1909 ~ 1965

The following is taken directly from
"Masonic Lodge History ~ Vashon Island, Washington"
1965

PREFACE
This history is a labor of love of several Brethren, but more especially Worshipful Brother Maurice Dunsford, who, having written an account of Lodge activities in 1934, was willing to contribute further his first-hand knowledge.
Also we are fortunate in having all of our records intact, such as minutes, Tyler's registers, record sheets and financial books; plus the Grand Lodge archives: which produced the charter members demits, records and many interesting letters and documents. While our records and our living links with the past do exist, here is our early history as we find it.
Art Gorham, Worshipful Master, 1965

Fifteen or more Brethren are required to form a Masonic Lodge. When they have obtained their demits, located a place secure for instruction and elected their principal officers, a PETITION FOR DISPENSATION is then carried to the nearest Lodge for endorsement.

This is compiled in the year 1965. Vashon Island has a population of 5500, and there is plenty of room for more. We have perhaps a thousand automobiles of early and late vintage and what we consider to be a network of good roads, most of them paved. We have ferries, some large and new, some old and small, that give us good cross water transportation to Seattle, Tacoma and Southworth. We are listening to plans for a bridge and better service, too. Our means of transportation is good. We have dial telephones in most homes. Only Vashon has street lighting, but all-electric homes are commonplace. Seattle and Tacoma newspapers are delivered to boxes, as is the mail. We have television in most homes, and many have colored TV. We tune in 4 or more stations. And radio is still around, especially if you have kids who listen to screaming jungle sounds and moans for music. But no more Amos N' Andy. Our communication is good in 1965. 
In 1907 the main street of Vashon, while only a dirt road, has some semblance of today's, but there are horse drawn carriages with buggy whips swaying, and wagons, some with kerosene lanterns slung beneath. 
Those lanterns bring to mind Brother Russell Carty's stories as he tells of seeing the Ogilvy brothers riding the wagon road from their house near Robinson Point on Maury to the lodge in Vashon. They carried a lantern on this trek in good and foul weather for many years in their struggle to keep our lodge alive. It impressed the young Carty boy and when he became 21 years of age in 1920, he petitioned the lodge. Today Russ is still one of our hardest working members, and our oldest active past master. 
Transportation and communication are not up to the standards of 1965. News sometimes traveled slowly, but not as slow as our early brethren's varied means of getting to lodge; not the least often being good ole shanks mare. But they got there and they kept on coming. Sometimes too few to hold a regular communication, and sometimes they turned out a crowd. 
But we're getting ahead of the story… From early accounts the first founder's meeting was held at Van Olinda's place, near where the Vashon Library stands today, during January or February of 1908. 
We do not know who attended the first meeting, but in all there were ten founders who met from time to time as the demits were collected to accompany the petition for dispensation.
These brothers were: William Henry Harrison Grant, most active, and demitted from Washington Lodge No. 46 of East Portland, Oregon; Dan B. Steele, our first St. Warden and for much of that first year, acting Master and a prime mover of the lodge; William Hall, our first Jr. Deacon; and James Ford, our first Marshall. These four stayed on and signed the petition for dispensation, making them charter members as well as founders.   
Others were: L. B. Anway, who affiliated May 1909; E. E. Van Olinda, who affiliated May 1910; R. W. F. Martin, who affiliated January 1910; and L. C. Beall, Jr., who affiliated in 1929 as he had moved off the Island during organization and later returned. His father, L. C. Beall, Sr., never applied for membership, nor did Brother L. S. Covey. 
Still alive is Brother L. C. Beall, Jr., now about 90, and in a nursing home here. He is blind and his mind does not reflect too accurately those early days. 
And while they do not appear as founders or charter members in our archives, there are many who were there and who shouldered the wheel, who are listed as brethren on the rolls. That our lodge exists today we owe to many of them. Only that we could record each, and their acts, but time dims the accuracy of the events. 
Francis Sherman who applied for the degrees at our first meeting, March 31, 1909, is the son of charter member Salmon Sherman and the father of presently active member Fred Sherman who petitioned in 1920. Brother Fred has been a valuable historic link; also others like Brothers Dunsford, Carty, Poultney, Morrissey, McCormick and Metzenberg, who originate with us in the 1920's. 
Most of the year 1908 went by before enough petitioners demits arrived, and on October 8, 1908 it was signed by nineteen brothers (three withdrew) and carried to Fairweather Lodge No. 82, Tacoma with the remaining 16 signatures. 
The petition listed the name as WATERMAN LODGE and the following officers: Worshipful Master George Alexander McDowell, Senior Warden Daniel Bruce Steele, and Junior Warden Earl Bryant Watt. Early correspondence was carried on by Secretary William Gibson and William S. Freed was our first Treasurer. 
On October 17, 1908, just nine days later, a mortgage for $2100.00 was received enabling the temple to be built at the Vashon site. So while effort was being put forth to obtain demits and signatures to petition for a dispensation, even more effort must have gone into obtaining this financing which did not come easily in those days. No financial records can be located today as to the dispensing of these funds and other building data. According to our minutes these were kept by Brother Grant.

Vashon, Washington
January 29, 1909
Horace W. Tyler,
Grand Secretary F & A M of Washington
Dear Sir & Bro:
Yours of the 23rd is duly received. I was at Bro Waterman's, who is sick, and did not receive your communication until last night. We had no meeting Wednesday night owing to the fact Worshipful Master McDowell was not present. They were getting his boat ready for launching. Thursday was very busy but we had a few brothers present and they all decided to advance the money to lodge and secure our dispensation fee and it will be coming after next Wednesday. We are sore in need of it. We have 12 or 15 who are very anxious to go ahead with their initiatory work and of course they will have to wait for 30 days after receiving petition or application for the degrees.
Fraternally, W. H. H. Grant

Vashon, Washington
February 3, 1909
Horace W. Tyler,
Grand Secretary F & A M of Washington
Herewith enclosed please find check of Bro. T. Hansen for $100.00 accompanying the petition for dispensation as per instructions in your favor 1st inst. Brother Hansen has leased the lower front room in the Masonic Building for a bank and I trust you will recognize the importance of starting our lodge as soon as possible. Also enclosed copy of by-laws adopted at our last communication. The name will be Island Lodge. It was the intent to have the name Mark P. Waterman but the Grand Master suggested that we adopt some other until Bro. Waterman passed away. A resolution to this effect was adopted at the last communication of the members.
Fraternally, W. H. H. Grant per Wm. Gibson, Secretary


THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE
Masonic legend tells of the building of King Solomon's Temple, its destruction and rebuilding. It happened on Vashon Island too. 
That there was dissention over the finances of the building of the temple seems evident, but no one has determined any pertinent details. Several members demitted during this period, or consequently, thereafter. All was not always smooth, as can be expected among affairs of men. 
As the lodge was being pulled together member by member, obtaining their demits, working with Grand Lodge requirements, raising fees, working out many organizational problems and deciding their officers, all out effort went into the building of the physical temple. A lodge requires a place secure for instruction. Renting, as they later did, could have sufficed but the temple was the goal and our early brethren were doers, more especially Brother Grant who seemed continuously to be the spark. 
The plot of ground purchased by Brother Waterman for the lodge site is the brick building where the Taylor Realty and a barber shop new stand in 1965, on the west side of the main street and a half dozen stores south of the intersection. In our 1934 history Brother Dunsford refers to it as "the spot where the present Vashon Garage now stands." At least we at this time can examine the very building that was our first temple. 
Even though the top floor where it was the temple itself is long gone. Today it is a small, repainted old brick storefront. But it had its day. A lot of love, effort and frustrating aches must have gone into it, and it must have been with tremendous pride and enthusiasm that those first meetings were held. 
Brother Francis Sherman had a sawmill and Brother Dan Steele a brickyard. They accepted notes from the brethren for materials, according to Fred Sherman, his son, but when the brickyards (there were many along the island's shores in those days) closed, times were rough and many of the brothers had to leave the island unable to pay. Had there been prosperous times the lodge's history would have been different. That they persisted through these hard times is the real endowment they have passed down to us. 
Brother Waterman was unable to attend the organizational or any lodge meetings. He was a sick man at the time of the Jan. 29, 1909 letter, and the minutes of Island Lodge UD of December 22, 1909 read:

"Brother Waterman being reported as seriously ill and request for attention being received, Brothers Steele and Gibson were appointed a committee at attend to the matter and secure nurse for the day time."

He died on May 26, 1910 and the request for charter was immediately requested in his name and granted on June 22, 1910.
In 1958 the Grand Lodge Centennial History reflected upon the naming of our lodge. Little can be said to vary from that content. That the lodge was named after Mark Waterman for the financial contribution is consistently borne out. Although it was necessary to change the submitted name of WATERMAN LODGE by resolution to ISLAND LODGE, the arrangement with Brother Waterman was sufficiently binding upon the brethren to revert to MARK P. WATERMAN LODGE upon his death. It is the name that many of us have lived with and fostered; some for nearly a lifetime.
Now let's attend that first communication of Island Lodge U.D., on Wednesday evening, March 31st, 1909 at the temple in Vashon, overlooking the Smith Hotel across the street, and above Terkel Hansen's bank.

UNDER DISPENSATION
The Masonic Temple at Vashon, Washington:
At 8 o'clock, when W. M. McDowell called for stations and places, it was dark and no doubt there was sufficient lamp light along with the three burning tapers. But whatever glow they may have given off, it was far less than the prideful glow within the brethren at that moment. This was the first meeting of Freemasonry on Vashon Island.
It was listed as a Special Communication to ISLAND LODGE U.D. F&AM, Wednesday evening, March 31, 1909.
No Tyler’s register existed for the first two meetings, but listed at the top of the minute book were:

George A. McDowell WM     SD
Dan B. Steele SW   William H. Hall JD
Earl B. Watt JW     SS
William S. Freed Treasurer     JS
William Gibson Secretary   Salmon D. Sherman Tyler

There is reason to believe that was all able to make it. And for those days it was excellent; only 8 were absent. 
The dispensation was first copied in full in the minutes, then the by-laws. Then followed the appointive officers by the W.M., which included the Secretary and Treasurer. Bills were ordered paid (postage $1.00), and secretary instructed to purchase all necessary paraphernalia. Treasury balance this date, $37.64.
There were listed nine names of petitioners for the degrees, who are listed here as there were surely as close to charter members as can be imagined; and one was black-balled, but a year later, admitted:

Hannibal Hamlin Dawson age 28 steamboating
George Clinton Leach age 28 steamboating
Charles Edward Atherton age 31 lighthouse keeper
Louis Statelin age 58 machinist
Thomas Statelin age 58 farming
Charles Lemuel Foster age 24 rancher
William Henry Cross age 52 millwright
John C. McDowell age 27 steamboat captain
Francis M. Sherman age 41 lumber merchant

More than the minutes show was covered at this communication, of course. The minutes close:

"The hour being late, and the secretary's minutes incomplete, reading thereof was postponed until next stated communication." 

They then could well have drifted across the street to the Hotel Smith, and no doubt a few did linger a while. Could any of them have guessed the seed that was planted, finally, that early spring evening? 
On April 14th, (they met 2nd and 4th Wednesdays) the minutes read:

"There being neither of the principal officers present, an informal meeting was held by Brothers Hall, Steele, Hansen and Gibson, and no regular communication of the lodge was convened . Steele was Senior Warden and could have called it to order, but it took time to get organized in more ways than one."

The minutes were approved by acting W.M. Watt on April 28th. 
On April 28th, L. B. Anway and Charles Brebner affiliated. On May 26th petitions were received from Thomas G. Ogilvy and James M. Ogilvy. Brother Duns-ford writes of them:

"I believe that we owe to these two brothers, more than any others, our thanks for not letting this lodge die. Their love of masonry must have been very great for them to do the things they did to keep us from losing our charter."

On that same night petitions were received from Robert S. McDowell and Albert Nilsen.

On May 26th Brothers Dawson and Leach were initiated. Which of them was our first candidate is not known, but they were our first two.
William S. Call, a charter member, demitted on August 25th. On September 22nd Brothers Leach, Dawson and Sherman were passed to Fellowcrafts, our first. And on October 6th, with the help of six visiting brethren from Doric Lodge, Brothers Leach, Dawson and Sherman were raised. Masonically, three is symbolic and our first third degree was three brothers, and we may never know which was the very first. We were now multiplying.
On November 3rd we had to lean on Brother Hansen and his bank for an advance on the rent to pay the 8% due on the $2100 mortgage. On November 10th a petition for degrees from Gustav Rust, and on November 24th from Wilfred Smith. On December 22nd Brother R. W. F. Martin applied for affiliation.
On January 12th there is an interesting item: J. P. Luther Glove Co.-$7.50. Did our early brethren wear white gloves at these communications? 
On March 23, 1910 Elmer E. Van Olinda petitioned for affiliation. And those same minutes read, "A motion by Bro. Sherman that the secretary be instructed to employ a janitor to care for the hall was carried. The compensation to be paid being $3.00 per month."
On April 27th, 1910 petition for the degrees was received from Charles L. Foster. The following, being reported in arrears in dues, were ordered suspended N.P.D.: Brothers Roach, Cochrane and Gagnon. And that same evening the resolution to meet only on the second Wednesdays at 8 p.m. was adopted.
On May 29th, 1910 the lodge met on a Sunday in special Communication to attend the funeral and conduct the burial services of Brother Mark P. Waterman. 16 members attended and there were 6 visiting brethren.
On July 13th Charles W. McGuire petitioned for the degrees. There was a balance of $161.91 in the treasury.
On August 2nd Deputy Grand Master Ralph C. McAllister, who was a visitor on several previous occasions, constituted Mark P. Waterman Lodge No. 177 and publicly installed the same five elective officers plus:

James M. Ogilvy SD
Wm. H. Hall JD
Thomas G. Ogilvy SS
Robert S. McDowell JS
Elmer E. Van Olinda Tyler
Wilfred T. Smith Marshall

After installation ceremonies the charter was delivered to W. M. McDowell by Acting Grand Secretary Gove. Following the affair, all retired to the Hotel Smith for refreshment and entertainment. 19 members were present and it appears there were also 19 visiting brethren. This was the final communication of Island Lodge U.D. and the first of Mark P. Waterman Lodge No. 177.
From the very first, Al McDowell, as he was known, was decided upon as Master. He was an excellent ritualist and a rare mason, as we learn more of him. And Brother Gibson, our first secretary, as well as the other officers deserve special recognition for all that they did.
The new chartered lodge had troublesome days ahead. Not the least of which was inability to meet the mortgage payments. So in January 1911, they elected to convert to renting, with an option to redeem in 15 months. They were unable to do this and continued as tenants until September 11, 1912 when they left the original Masonic temple for room above the post office across the street. This was to serve as the Temple until August, 1915.

WE MOVE ALONG
James M. Ogilvy became Wor. Master in 1912 and also-served in 1913. Then his brother Thomas G. Ogilvy was Wor. Master in 1914 and 1915. These were the darkest days for Mark P. Waterman Lodge and the Tyler's register shows there were many nights when there were only 3 or 4 members present. Wm. Gibson was faithful until he got sick and passed away in 1915.
Two old timers who affiliated with the lodge proved very faithful. One was R. W. F. Martin who later became Secretary in 1916 and served for the rest of his life. The other was William Marsden, who probably attended more meetings than any one else until he passed away and then willed his home to the lodge. He was a devoted mason to his death, and while he lived, he lived for his lodge..
Wor. Bro. James Ogilvy, the old faithful who had filled out Wm. Gibson's term as Secretary in 1915, now took over as Master again in 1917 filling out Brebner's year, and was re-elected again for 1918. 
The lodge was paying $80.00 per year rent for the room over the Post Office and by 1915 was having a hard time paying the rent and not being able to get a reduction, started to think about moving again. The Oddfellows hall at Center agreed to let them move in for a rental of $2.00 per meeting including light and heat, so they moved to Center in August 1915..
R. W. F. Martin was elected Secretary in 1916 and served almost continually until his death in 1940. He proved a good dues collector and the finances began to get better.
Conditions on Vashon Island were starting to improve rapidly. Electric lights made a big difference and there was a lot of talk about getting a ferry as automobiles were becoming more numerous. The County Commissioners promised to start a ferry if the people could decide where it was to be. That is when the big argument started. Everyone wanted the ferry in their own locality and no one really knew where the proper place would be. After many meetings, a lot of talk and some voting, it was finally decided to have it run from half way between Portage and Ellisport to Des Moines, on the mainland. After much road and dock building the ferry "Vashon" finally got started in 19l3>. This made a great change in the Island. The Model Ts became thicker and the trucks began hauling the produce and freight. The roads began to get better and people really started getting around.
These changes made a big difference to Mark P. Waterman Lodge. Attendance at the meetings got much better and the petitions began to come in quite fast and the new blood was just what the lodge needed. Bro. E. E. Van Olinda, who had been active in the Lodge earlier, but had lost interest, now came back into the lodge and took a prominent part and was elected Master in 1919, and Bro. A. J. Marsh, who had affiliated and helped with the work of getting things going again, was elected Master in 1920.
By 1917 the lodge finances began to get much better. The January 1918 treasurer's report showed a balance of $435.35 on hand and $247.20 was invested in War Bonds and Savings Stamps. This was the first time in the history of the lodge that the wolf was away from the door, and while they had been very fortunate to have the Oddfellows hall to meet in at a rental they could afford they began to long for a place by themselves where they could grow and do the things they desired.
By January 1, 1920 the lodge had a balance of $940.89, so they started looking for a place to move to where they could be by themselves. They found they could rent the hall over the store at Portage for $75.00 per year, and as there was a desire to start an Eastern Star Chapter for the ladies of the Brothers, they decided to move to Portage in May 1920. This was a very good move, as the lodge was growing rapidly.
With the coming of the ferry the lodge was no longer isolated and many visits were made with other lodges. Des Moines Lodge and South Gate Lodge visited us and we visited them and there was lots of interest. Our lodge developed a very good third degree team and they put on excellent work in those lodges and also in Tacoma.
While we were becoming quite well fixed financially, our Scotch Brothers had not forgotten the days of hardship, and it is interesting to read in the minutes where they instructed Brother Duncan Newman, an electrician, to get a letter "G" for the East, but be sure not to spend over $15.00.
Wor. Bro. Thomas G. Ogilvy had been a pillar of strength to his brother Jim over the years and had served as Master through two of our darkest years, and helped to keep things going, so when the lodge was really going good it was decided that he should be Master again, and they elected him Wor. Master for
1921. He really had a wonderful year, over 20 new Masons were raised that year and they were having meetings about once a week. It was very fitting that this faithful brother was honored.
Bro. E. J. Dickson, who had been raised in this lodge in 1920 and had proved very proficient in the work and a good leader, was elected Wor. Master for 1922. He had a very good year. This was the beginning of a period of much visiting with other lodges and we had many visitors here.
In August 1920 the fees for the degrees were raised from $40.00 to $50.00, then a couple years later the Grand Lodge added $10.00 more for the Masonic Home, which was being started at that time. The fees then stayed at $60.00 for many years.
Wor. Bro. Elmer Stone was Master in 1923 and had a very busy year. We also continued making visits to other lodges and had many visitors. On March 28, 1923 a special meeting was called to discuss the possibility of building a new temple and trying to decide where it should be. This proved just about as easy to decide as the location of the ferry was. Every one wanted it in their own neighborhood. Bro. Fred Weiss spoke in behalf of building the Temple at Vashon and gave a number of good reasons. Bro. Royce Wise was in favor of building at Center and Bro. William Marsden, who owned property across the road from the Telephone office, to the north, offered to give it to the lodge free of charge if they would build there. Bro. B. K. Starr suggested a location at Ellisport, and Wor. Bro. James Ogilvy thought the new Temple should be at Portage. Bro. Coy Meredith spoke of Burton as the location of the Temple, but did not offer any particular site at that time. With so many different opinions it was impossible to do anything at that time, so they decided to stay where they were and made some improvements to the hall so they could get along for awhile. 
Wor. Bro. Martin Tjomaland was Master in 1924 and had a very good year. Probably the biggest night of the year was March 22, 1924, when the Most Worshipful Bro. Tom Holman, Grand Master of Masons of Washington and many of his Grand Officers and several Past Grand Masters, visited with us. They were on the Island inspecting sites for the New Masonic Home, one which interested them was the Burton Peninsula. The Eastern Star ladies served them a very good dinner and then we had a fine meeting. When Grand Lodge met in June it was decided to build at Zenith across the Sound from us. The only thing that was against the Island was transportation and we have to admit it was not too good in those days.
In 1924 we became interested in getting the stereopticon slides we now use for our lectures. Up until that time we just had a chart we hung on a pole. We joined with Robert Burns Chapter in the purchase of the slide machine and screen and we purchased the slides for the three lectures for $41.70. On November 7, 1924 we used the slides for the first time, when Bro. Joe Lindstrom gave the lecture in his usual wonderful way and we certainly enjoyed it.

THE REBUILDING
In 1925 it was felt by the brothers that the time had come for us to have our own temple. The meeting place at Portage was quite primitive. The cracks were wide and the wind blew through them. In the winter it was so cold that most of the activity was in the southwest corner of the lodge where the heating stove was located. The Tyler kept his vigil atop the stairs dressed like an Eskimo. The steward's room was about seven feet square, where we had to prepare the candidates and also prepare refreshments, always with the threat that his socks might wind up in the stew or sandwiches and cakes brought by the brothers from home. All refreshments were donated in those days.
There was much discussion at that time as to what should be done. Many of the brothers felt we should build a new temple which would have meant a big mortgage, and it was feared by many that history might be repeating itself, not having forgotten what happened to the first temple. Finally the wisdom of our Scottish Brothers prevailed and it was decided that we should spend no more money than what the brothers could raise themselves. On December 9, 1925 Wor. Bro. Elmer Stone, the chairman of the Ways and Means committee, made a report to the lodge and a recommendation that we buy the old Woodman hall at Burton for $1,000.00 and remodel it for a Masonic Temple. After reading the report, Wor. Bro. Stone moved for its adoption and Wor. Bro. Martin Tjomsland seconded the motion. After considerable discussion by the brothers, Bro. F. A. McMurray made an amendment that the members should vote by secret ballot; the amendment was accepted. The motion carried and we had decided to purchase the hall at Burton for a Masonic Temple.
The members of the ways and Means committee were Wor. Bro. Elmer Stone, chairman; Wor. Bro. Martin Tjomsland; Wor. Bro. Joe Lindstrom; Wor. Bro. F. J. Shattuck; Bro. W. C. Meredith; Bro. Alex Stewart and Bro. C. J. Williams. The Ways and Means committee was authorized to raise $3,000.00 from the brethren;
all of the brothers who were able, bought non-interest bearing bonds of either $25.00, $50.00 or $100.00 each. Also the articles were set up for the forming of a Masonic Association to control the Temple. There were to be seven members of the Association board, consisting of the three principal officers of Mark P. Waterman Lodge and four elected trustees, they being elected by the members of Mark P. Waterman Lodge for two year terms. This has proved a very successful way to handle the business of the Temple and is has been well taken care of over the years.
Brother Dunsford reports on the new Temple from his 1934 history:

The first time I inspected what we had bought I must admit it looked almost hopeless. The roof leaked very badly, most of the plaster was falling from the walls and nearly all of the windows were broken. It really was a mess, but on closer examination it could be seen that the old hall had been built with good timbers, which were sound, and that we had something to start with. Although it was going to take an awful lot of work and cost quite a bit of money. The furnace room and kitchen were built and the anterooms upstairs and down. The plumbing and a furnace were installed and a new roof put on. We added a coat of paint on the outside and new plaster on the inside. When the construction was finished, there was still a lot of work to be done to clean up the mess and move over from Portage. All of this was done by donated labor. Many of us who could not afford to buy bonds donated weeks of labor. Bro. Tim dark, who was not busy at the time, took a big interest in the work and as a self appointed boss really cracked the whip. Anyone who was not really busy was persuaded to come down and help as much as he could. I had a big truck there for several days, hauling away the debris and moving over our possessions from Portage. The raised portions of the lodge room floor in the East and West and on the sidelines were brought from Portage and installed. Also the old rug we had at that time. In fact, we brought everything we had from there except the old heating stove, and when we were settled it was real luxury for those days, to get the furnace going and have a nice warm building to meet in. While the building was a long way from being finished as it is today, we thought it was wonderful. It was the first time we had a kitchen and dining room, and we could prepare a candidate, without worrying, in a warm preparation room.

We were in the building quite awhile before we could finish up the dining room. There was a row of posts through the center of the room, which we eliminated by putting in the cross beams, which not only made the building stronger but looked quite attractive. Bro. Finn Shattuck suggested this big improvement and had charge of the work. As the years went by and we could afford it, we have made many improvements and many different brothers have had a helping hand. The Masonic emblem we use for a knocker on our Lodge room door was donated by Wor. Bro. Matt Morrissey. The electric lesser lights by our Altar were donated by Bro. Ira Case, before that candles were used.
December 19, 1926 our faithful old brother William Marsden passed away. He had been our janitor for many years and seldom missed a meeting. He willed five acres at Center to the Lodge. He certainly meant well but it did not turn out that way. We had to pay $50.00 inheritance tax and we paid property taxes for a number of years. During the depression years this became quite a burden. On September 9, 1931 Bro. W. D. Garvin offered the Lodge $50.00 for the 5 acres and the Brothers decided to sell them to him, so our inheritance did not work out very well.
Our Temple was dedicated on February 5, 1927 by Most Wor. Bro. Walter F. Meier, Grand Master of Masons of Washington. It was a grand night for Mark P. Waterman Lodge and the following story, clipped from the Masonic Tribune, can tell about it better than I could. 

VASHON ISLANDERS DEDICATE MASONIC TEMPLE AT BURTON
The Masonic fraternity of Vashon Island, King County, ties a new home. It is located at Burton at the south end of the island. The officers and members of Mark P. Waterman Lodge No. 177, after months of saving and hard work purchased and remodeled one of the buildings at Burton for Masonic purposes.
The dedication of this home took place Saturday evening, February 5, and the ceremony was performed by M. W. Bro. Walter F. Meier, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Washington, assisted by the following Brethren, all of whom were especially appointed for the occasion with the exception of W. Bro. Walter H. Steffey, Senior Grand Deacon:
P. G. M., Bro. Jos. M. Taylor, Deputy Grand Master; Elmer E. Stone, Senior Grand Warden; A. J. Marsh, Junior Grand Warden; R. W. F. Martin, Grand Secretary; J. A. Lindstrom, Grand Treasurer; S. J. Harmeling, Lecturer; C. J. Williams, Grand Historian; John H. Reid, Grand Marshal; Walter Steffey, Senior Grand Deacon, J. M. Ogilvy, Junior Grand Deacon; W. C. Whitefield, Grand Standard Bearer; R. S. Hearst, Grand Sword Bearer; J. R. Raisbeak, Grand Bible Bearer; C. H. Merry, Grand Tyler. 
The memorable celebration started with a banquet at 6:30 after which Grand Lodge was opened and the ceremony of dedication performed according to ancient custom.
Grand Master Meier followed the dedication with a very helpful address. He gave a striking analysis of the true purpose of Masonry.
M. W. Bro. Taylor talked about the old days and entertained his hearers with anecdotes.
Judge Chas. E. Claypool followed with an address which was filled with inspiration and bubbling over with wisdom.
Talks were given by other brethren, among them being Walter G. Parkes, Senior Deacon of Mark P. Waterman Lodge and P. Monroe Smock, editor of the Vashon Island News-Record.
At the close of the dedication exercises another visit was made to the dining room where the ladies of Island Chapter No. 170, O.E.S., again served everyone with a splendid meal. The assembly then with David Mackie, as toastmaster, spent an hour in telling or swapping stories. The rafters did ring with the laughter that resulted.
Wor. Bro. Joe Lindstrom was Master in 1925 and did a splendid job of it. He was one of the best ritualists, usually letter perfect and very impressive. Wor. Bro. Fred Weiss was Master in 1926, that is the year we were busy preparing our new home at Burton and everyone was interested and busy. We moved in at the end of his year. Wor. Bro. Dave Mackie was the first Master in our new Temple, in 1927, and a busy year it was. We raised about 20 new Masons that year. Then came Wor. Bro. Carty, who carried on the good work in 1928.
That is the year there was a motion made that there should be no more smoking in the Lodge room. There was much discussion on this and the Master finally decided to lay it on the table until a later date. but the brothers never smoked in the Lodge room from that time on. Wor. Bro. Arthur Ganley was Master in 1929. That is the year it was decided no more refreshments would be solicited from the brothers, but would be purchased by the Stewards and bills presented to the Lodge.
In 1930 Wor. Bro. Cephas Ramquist was Master and at the end of his year surprised the Lodge with a new Altar and 3 new pedestals. He said the officers had raised the money to purchase them and present them to the Lodge. This was not acceptable to several of the officers and brethren, but a motion was finally made and seconded that the Lodge accept them as a gift. Wor. Bro. Elmer Stone, Wor. Bro. Joe Lindstrom, Bro. James Bennett and Bro. S. J. Harmeling had protested the removal of the old Altar because of its historical associations, it having been presented to the Lodge by St. John's Lodge of Seattle, and it had been used by them back in the last century and all of us had been raised on it. 
In May, 1931 Past Master Ramquist explained about buying the Altar and pedestals while he was Master and made a financial report on what had been raised to pay for them. There was still a balance due of $33, and he suggested that card parties could be given to pay the balance. Wor. Master Ed Harmeling appointed a committee to raise the money, and finally on December 14, 1932, $14.00 balance due was paid by the Lodge. Brother Ramquist dropped NPD at the end of 1933. Our only Worshipful to do so.
Wor.Bro.Ed Harmeling had a nice year in 1931. That is the year we decided we would have summer vacations and voted not to have meetings in July and August unless something important came up. Wor. Bro. V. Chas. Coutts was Master in 1932. He was very interested in starting a Low Twelve Club. This was in the depression days and we were quite conscious about welfare and relief. The club was started that year and Wor. Bro. Coutts looked after it for many years. It was later taken over by Wor. Bro. Arthyr Poultney for a number of years and now is in the capable hands of Wor. Bro. Ben Staats. While this club is not a part of the Lodge it certainly has done a lot of good and possibly relieved the Lodge of a certain amount of embarrassment.
In 1932 we made our biggest change to the Lodge room. Up to that time we had only had chairs in the East and West and some old church pews and benches on the sidelines. A meeting was called of the elective officers of the Blue Lodge, O.E.S., Royal Arch, and Commandery, each agreed to put up as much money as possible. Wor. Bro. Martin Tjomsland, a fine builder, agreed to lay out what we wanted and do the carpenter work. A committee went to Seattle and shopped for the upholstery work. The seats were made by the Washington Furniture Mfg. Co. and have certainly lasted wonderfully well over the years, in fact, they still look very good after 33 years of use. It is hard to believe that the whole project was done for $415.95. We had estimated it could be done for $450.00 so everyone was very happy. The Eastern Star sisters were very active in helping us get these wonderful improvements and insisted we have the same company make the officers' chairs, which I believe cost about $100.00; the Eastern Star paid most of that.
In 1933 Maurice Dunsford was elected Master. Maury had an excellent year and since has been one of the faithful who are always ready. He delivers the work and the lectures with exceptional ability. One of our outstanding Past Masters. He recalls: June 14, 1933 was Past Masters Night which started with a fine dinner. Our first Wor. Master, Geo. A. McDowell headed a large group of Past Masters. He was invited to the East and asked to preside over the Lodge which he did in a gracious manner. We did not have a real candidate so the Past Masters took our Senior Warden Bro. Arthur Poultneyand put him through the second section of the third degree, in a very impressive manner. Wor. Bro. McDowell gave us an interesting and humorous talk about the early days of Mark P. Waterman Lodge and asked the more than 40 brothers present how many of them were present when he was master 23 years ago. There were only two: Bro. Lewis Beall and Bro. R. W. F. Martin. I believe this was the last time Wor. Bro. McDowell was able to attend this Lodge. The Past Masters present who all gave little talks, were:
Wor. Bro. Geo. A. McDowell
Wor. Bro. Elmer E. Stone
Wor. Bro. Joe A. Lindstrom
Wor. Bro. Fred A. Weiss
Wor. Bro. Russel E. Carty
Wor. Bro. Arthur W. Ganley
Wor. Bro. Edward B. Harmeling
Wor. Bro. Vester Charles Coutts
The reason I am giving the names is that several of these brothers passed away before very long and now nearly all are gone from us.
November 8, 1933 Bro. Charles E. Claypool and Bro. R. W. F. Martin were invited to the East and honored as 50 year Masons. They were presented with silver trowels with suitable engraving. Bro. Kenneth Van-House sang a beautiful song while the brothers were in the East. We were honored by a visit from Wor. Master F.S.Balyeat and many members of Lafayette Lodge #241 of Seattle. Over 65 were served a fine dinner and Bro. Fred Stevenson was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.
Wor. Bro. Arthur Poultney was Master in 1934 and had a very good year. On April 23, 1934 the Lodge was shocked by the accident at the county gravel pit, that claimed the life of Wor. Bro. Elmer Stone. He was killed instantly while working for the County. Wor. Bro. Stone had been a devoted member of Mark P. Waterman Lodge for many years and was greatly missed by his brothers.
Wor. Bro. A. T. Bacchus, colorful and dynamic, was Master in 1935. Gus gave much of his time and energy to our Lodge. On August 2, 1935 the 25th anniversary of Mark P. Waterman was celebrated. Our pioneering days are ended and we continue to grow, now in years.
Mark P. Waterman Lodge has had 50 Worshipful Masters over the past years and each one has made his contribution to the success of the Lodge. While many have passed away, none are forgotten and we can still hear their voices and the impressive way they put on the work.
Our faithful old secretary, R. W. F. Martin, passed away in 1940, after 24 years of almost constant service and he certainly had a lot to do with the success of this Lodge. Very Worshipful Bro. Arthur Poultney took over at that time and did a wonderful job as secretary for 22 years until failing eye-sight forced him to give up his duties in 1962. Wor. Bro. John Metzenberg took over as secretary in 1963, and in 1965 Bro. Fairman B. Lee. The history of Mark P. Waterman Lodge shows that we have been very fortunate in having faithful secretaries who have played a big part in the success of the Lodge. To them we are very grateful.
In 1935 Bro. George McCormick was elected Treasurer and has been installed an additional 30 times. 31 years of faithful service in office is only part of the story, for Brother George is a stalwart in all Lodge business. He was made an Honorary Past Master, as was Brother Matt Morrissey who has been with us, and active, for over 50 years. Matt is currently Dad Advisor to the Rainbow Girls and he dearly loves and is loved by his "lovely bunch of coconuts".
We had two previous Honorary Worshipfuls: Brother R. W. F. Martin, our Secretary who served so well over the years, and Brother Stephan J. Harmeling, an ordained minister, who was our Chaplain for so many years and a constant source of inspiration to all.
These four Honorary Past Masters are deservedly worshipful.
In 1949 our Lodge acquired its one and only Grand Lodge officer, Very Worshipful Brother Art Poultney. He served as deputy for 3 years, and then on the Board of Governors for the Masonic Home for 3 years. He has been, and always will be, one of our most outstanding and respected members. Long after his blindness and his retirement from the Secretaryship, Art sat in lodge and kept active in all work and lodge business, unfailingly spreading cheer and wisdom. He is our only Secretary-Emeritus. He has so many Masonic accomplishments that a separate history might well be his due.
Between our 25th year and today, our 56th, we have had many good Masters who pursued their obligations well. Also there have been outstanding sideliners who carried many of their ideas and efforts to fruitful accomplishment. Perhaps a more detailed history of some will be an undertaking of our future brethren who can best judge with the perspective of time. How about in our diamond year, 1984 ?
Looking back over that rough and rugged road, it has brought us a wonderful heritage. We can be truly proud of our founders and their followers. May it serve to keep us in due bounds as we carry the light of Masonry in our time.

CONCLUSION
Masonry is now actively established on Vashon Island.
ROBERT BURNS CHAPTER NO. 48, ROYAL ARCH MASONS was chartered in 1923 with P. Monroe Smock first High Priest. They have 60 members, and meet on the third Tuesday.
VASHON ISLAND COMMANDERY NO. 26, KNIGHTS TEMPLAR was chartered on May 7, 1926. They have 40 members, and meet on the fourth Tuesday.
ISLAND CHAPTER NO. 170, ORDER OF EASTERN STAR was chartered on June 12, 1920 with Lillian Marsh and Tom Ogilvy first Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron. They number 225, and meet on the first Wednesday.
VASHONIA COURT NO. 57, ORDER OF AMARANTH was chartered November 20, 1945, with Cecilia Winters and Fred Winters first Royal Matron and Royal Patron. They have 70 members, and meet on the third Saturday.
ISLAND ASSEMBLY NO. 112, INTERNATIONAL ORDER OF THE RAINBOW FOR GIRLS was chartered September 13, 1946 with Roberta Magill first Worthy Advisor and Mrs. Ada Bargett first Mother Advisor. They meet the second and fourth Mondays. With turnover constant, they number about 65.
ISLAND CHAPTER OF THE ORDER OF DEMOLAY has just been re-instituted with a yet undecided first Master Counselor and Carl Winge first Dad Advisor. They are off to a good start with second and fourth Thursday meetings.
We now have 180 members in Mark P. Waterman Lodge with about a 20% regular attendance. We are frequented with visitors and have our share of Masonic affairs to attract them along with the occasional Grand Lodge officer. Our progressive pace is moderate. There are excellent potential Masters in the line and our side-liners are second to none. Our temple is adequate, comfortable and pleasant..
Pictures of our Past Masters are framed in the Tyler’s room. They recall some of the old days.
We still have the original Bible used by our founders from 1908. It is used only for special occasions and has the Masters' signatures in the front along side their year in office.
We now meet at 7:30, but on the same Wednesday as from the first. Only one lodge left at 8:00 P.M. in our district. The kerosene lantern treks are long gone.
Prideful, we are still a small lodge. We appreciate our Temple and our heritage. We often reflect back upon our early brethren's days and doings and are a friendlier, financially sounder and truly more harmonious Lodge because of them.

1965 ~ 2010

PREFACE
This history was mostly taken from
“Masonic Lodge History—Vashon Island, Washington” which was written in 1965 by W.B. Art Gorham
with much help from several Brethren but more especially W.B Maurice Dunsford,
who had written an account of Lodge activities in 1934
and contributed further his first-hand knowledge in interviews in 1965.

In addition, all added history from 1965 up to 2010 was taken from
W.B. John P. McCarthy, Secretary-Treasurer and
V.W.B. Kenneth V. Ellingson, Past Secretary in interviews
as well as from their own notes passed down to me.
Fraternally, W.B. Devin T. Barnes, Chaplain

In 1908 the main street of Vashon was only a dirt road barely resembling that of today’s as there were only horse drawn carriages with buggy whips swaying and wagons, some with kerosene lanterns slung beneath. News traveled slow but not as slow as our early brethren’s varied means of getting to lodge often being a good ole shanks mare. But they got there and kept on coming, sometimes too few to hold a regular communication and sometimes they turned out a crowd. From early accounts the first founder’s meeting was held at E. E. Van Olinda’s home at Vashon near where the Vashon Library stands today during January or February. The following brothers attended the meeting: L. C. Beall Sr., L. G. Beall Jr., William Hall, J. G. Ford, Dan B. Steele, R. W. F. Martin, N. E. Van Olinda, Grant, L. S. Covey and L. B. Anyway who all met to discuss the possibility of starting a Masonic Lodge on Vashon Island and subsequently met from time to time as the demits were collected to accompany the petition for dispensation. Mark P. Waterman, an early Vashon pioneer and a founding member of the lodge, donated a plot of land on the west side of the main street of Vashon, a site today approximately six stores south of the main intersection, on the condition that a new temple would be named after him.

Most of the year went by before enough petitioners demits arrived and on October 8, 1908 it was signed by nineteen brothers (three withdrew) and carried to Fairweather Lodge No. 82 in Tacoma with the remaining 16 signatures. Notably at the top of the petition was the signature of Mark P. Waterman from Somerset Lodge No. 34 at Skowhegan, Maine, but it also included the following names: William H. Grant, John Gorden, William S. Freed, William S. Call, James E. Roach, William H. Hall, James G. Ford, Phillip L. Gagnon, Henry P. Cochrane, Terkle Hansen, William Gibson and Salmon D. Sherman. The petition listed the name WATERMAN LODGE and the following officers: W.M. George Alexander McDowell, S.W. Daniel Bruce Steele, and J.W. Earl Bryant Watt.

On October 17, 1908, just nine days later, a mortgage for $2100.00 was received enabling the temple to be built at the Vashon site donated by Mark P. Waterman. Although no financial records can be located today as to the dispensing of these funds and other building data it is clear much effort must have went into obtaining this financing which did not come easily in those days, while the concurrent effort was being put forth to obtain demits and signatures to petition a dispensation. According to our minutes kept by Brother Grant, it is mentioned in a letter from January 29, 1909 to the Grand Secretary that Bro. Waterman was sick and though we had but a few brothers present at the last meeting, they had all decided to advance the money to lodge to secure our dispensation fee as we had 12 or 15 who were very anxious to go ahead with their initiatory work being they would have to wait 30 days after receiving petition or application for the degrees.
That there was dissension over the finances of the building of the temple seems evident, though no one has determined any pertinent details. Several members demitted during this period, or consequently thereafter, as all was not always as smooth as could be expected among the affairs of men. As the lodge was being pulled together member by member, obtaining their demits, working with Grand Lodge requirements, raising fees, working out many organizational problems and deciding their officers, an all out effort went into the building of the physical temple to have a secure place for instruction. Renting a place, as they later did, could have sufficed but the temple was the goal and our early brethren were doers, more especially Brother Grant who seemed to be the continuous spark. Bro. Francis Sherman had a sawmill and Bro. Dan Steele had a brickyard. They accepted notes from brethren for materials (there were many along the Island’s shores in those days) though times were rough and many of the brothers had to leave the island unable to pay.

A two story, brick building was built on the plot of land donated by Bro. Waterman. This Masonic Temple was the first brick building on the island and had been called “Vashon’s first real improvement” and was located on the west side of the main street and a half dozen stores south of the intersection. In our 1934 history, Brother Dunsford refers to it as “the spot where the present Vashon Garage now stands” and by 1965, Bro. Gorham referred to it as “a small repainted old brick storefront where Taylor Realty and a barber shop stand.” The temple was on the top floor and the lower floor was leased to the new Vashon State Bank, which was owned by Terkel Hansen and opened for business on March 26, 1909.

Bro. Waterman was unable to attend any of the organizational or lodge meetings because he was a sick man. At the time, the January 29, 1909 letter and the minutes of Island Lodge UD of December 22, 1909 read: “Bro. Waterman being reported as seriously ill and request for attention being received, Brothers Steele and Gibson were appointed a committee to attend to the matter and secure a nurse for the day time.”

On February 3, 1909 we received the petition for dispensation from Grand Lodge after Bro. Grant per Sec. William Gibson had sent a letter to the Grand Secretary with a $100.00 check from Brother Hansen for the petition of dispensation informing them of his leasing of the lower front room for his bank. Also enclosed was a copy of our by-laws adopted at our last communication. The Grand Lodge would not accept the lodge being named after Mark P. Waterman since he was still living so the dispensation was granted to “Island Lodge” at the suggestion of M.W.B.Royal A. Gove, Grand Master of Washington. Since it was the intent to have it named after Bro. Waterman, a resolution to that effect was adopted at the last communication of the members.

On March 31, 1909, Wednesday evening the first communication of Island Lodge U.D. F & AM was held as a Special Communication over looking the Smith Hotel across the street and above Turkel Hansen’s bank. At 8 o’clock, when W.M. McDowell called for stations and places, it was dark and no doubt sufficient lamp light along with the three burning tapers. But whatever glow they may have given off, it was far less then the prideful glow within the brethren at the moment. This was the first meeting of Freemasonry on Vashon Island. The Officers were: George A. McDowell as W.M, Dan B. Steele as S.W., Earl B. Watt as J.W., William S. Freed as Treasurer, William Gibson as Secretary, Terkle Hansen as S.D., William H. Hall as J.D., Phillip L. Gagnon as S.S., James E. Roach as J.S., and Salmon D. Sherman as Tyler. No Tyler’s register existed for the first two meetings but listed at the top of the minute book were all the names but the S.D., S.S and J.S. as there was reason to believe that was all able to make it. For those days it was excellent, being that only 8 were absent.

The dispensation was first copied in full in the minutes followed by the by-laws and then came the appointive officers by the W.M., which included the Secretary and Treasurer. Bills were ordered to be paid (postage $1.00) and the secretary instructed to purchase all necessary paraphernalia. The Treasury balance was $37.64. There were the first nine names of petitioners for degrees who are listed here as they were surely as close to charter members as can be imagined though one was black-balled but admitted a year later:
Hannibal Hamlin, age 28, steamboating
George Clinton Leach, age 28, steamboating
Charles Edward Atherton, age 31, lighthouse keeper
Louis Statelin, age 58, machinist
Thomas Statelin, age 58, farming
Charles Lemuel Foster, age 24, rancher
William Henry Cross, age 52, millwright
John C. McDowell, age 27, steamboat captain
Francis M. Sherman, age 41, lumber merchant

More than just what the minutes show was covered at this communication, of course, as the minutes close, “The hour being late, and the secretary’s minutes incomplete, reading thereof was postponed until next stated communication.” They then could well have drifted across the street to the Hotel Smith and no doubt a few did linger awhile. Could any of them have guessed the seed that was planted, finally, that early spring evening?

It is interesting to note that stated communications were held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month, but less than a year later they were changed to the 2nd Wednesday of each month and have remained the same to the present time. On April 14th, the minutes read, “There being neither of the principal officers present, an informal meeting was held by brothers Hall, Steele, Hansen and Gibson, and no regular communication of the lodge was convened.” Steele was Senior Warden and could have called it to order, but it took time to get organized in more ways than one.
Acting W.M. Watt on April 28th approved the minutes. Also then, L. B. Anway and Charles Brebner affiliated. On May 26th petitions were received from Thomas G. Ogilvy, James M. Ogilvy, Robert S. McDowell and Albert Nilsen. The Brothers Dawson and Leach were initiated, though which of them was our first candidate is not known, but they were our first two.

William S. Call, a charter member, demitted on August 25th. On September 22nd, Brothers Leach, Dawson and Sherman were passed to Fellowcrafts, our first. On October 6th, with the help of six visiting brethren from Doric Lodge, Brothers Leach, Dawson and Sherman were raised. Masonically, this is symbolic and our first third degree was three brothers though we may never know which was the very first. We were now multiplying.

On November 3rd we had to lean on Brother Hansen and his bank for an advance on the rent to pay the 8% due on the $2100 mortgage. On November 10th a petition for degrees from Gustav Rust, and on November 24th from Wilford Smith. On December 22nd, Brother R. W. F. Martin applied for affiliation.

On January 12, 1910, there was an interesting item in the Treasurer’s report: J. P. Luthor Glove Co.-$7.50, suggesting the possibility that our early brethren wore white gloves at these communications.

On March 23rd, Elmer E. Van Olinda petitioned for affiliation and those same minutes read, “A motion by Bro. Sherman that the secretary be instructed to employ a janitor to care for the hall was carried. The compensation to be paid being $3.00 per month.”

On April 27th, a petition for the degrees was received from Charles L. Foster. The following brothers, being reported in arrears in dues, were ordered suspended N.P.D.: Brothers Roach, Cochrane and Gagnon. At that same evening the resolution to meet only on the second Wednesdays at 8 p.m. was adopted.

On May 26, 1910, Brother Mark P. Waterman died and the request for charter to rename the lodge after him was immediately submitted to Grand Lodge. It seems that, due to the fact that he had contributed quite substantially to the erection of the new Masonic Temple and also being the first brother to pass away, the brethren felt that the arrangement to rename the lodge after him was sufficiently binding. On Sunday, May 29th, the lodge met in a special communication to attend the funeral and conduct the burial services of Brother Mark P. Waterman. Sixteen members attended and there were 6 visiting brethren. The charter to change the name of the Lodge to Mark P. Waterman was granted on June 22.

On July 13th, Charles W. McGuire petitioned for the degrees and Brother R. F. W. Martin who was to serve this lodge faithfully for so many years as secretary, was elected to become a member by affiliation. There was a balance of $161.91 in the treasury.

On August 2, 1910, Deputy Grand Master Ralph C. McAllister, who was a visitor on several previous occasions, constituted Mark P. Waterman Lodge No. 177 and publicly installed the same five elective officers plus James M. Ogilvy as S.D., William H. Hall as J.D., Thomas G. Ogilvy as S.S., Robert S. McDowell as J.S., Elmer E. Van Olinda as Tyler and Wilford T. Smith as Marshall. After installation ceremonies, the charge was delivered to W. M. McDowell by acting Grand Secretary Gove. Following the affair, all retired to Hotel Smith across from the Masonic Hall for refreshment and entertainment. Nineteen members were present as well as nineteen visiting brethren. This was the final communication of Island Lodge U.D. and the first communication of Mark P. Waterman Lodge No. 177. And from the very first, Al McDowell, as he was known, was decided upon as Master as he was an excellent ritualist and a rare mason. Our first secretary, Brother Gibson, as well as the other officers deserve special recognition for all that they did.

From the beginning, the newly chartered lodge started out with quite a wave of enthusiasm but had troublesome days ahead. It wasn’t long before it was burdened with some dissension and lack of interest although it must be remembered that at that time transportation on Vashon Island was quite a big problem, taking considerable enthusiasm to walk several miles to and from lodge. Dan B. Steele and Earl B. Watt who were very active in the first 2-3 years of the lodge’s history were then forced to drop out by reason of leaving the Island. Notes incurred by the lodge to Brother Francis Sherman for the lumber provided by his sawmill and to Brother Dan Steele for bricks provided by his brickyard were unable to be paid.

As Masonic legend tells of the building of King Solomon’s Temple, it’s destruction and rebuilding, so has it happened on Vashon Island also. In January 1911, The lodge had difficulty meeting the financial obligations entailed by the new building due to a mortgage upon it of $2336.00, which was held by Mr. Andrew Laland of Seattle. Being unable to see how this obligation could be properly met, it was decided to deed the building to him to settle this mortgage and rent the building from him. They continued to hold lodge in that building until September 11, 1912 when they left the original Masonic Temple and moved across the street into the rooms above the post office.

James M. Ogilvy became Worshipful Master in 1912 and also served in 1913. Then his brother Thomas G. Ogilvy was Worshipful Master in 1914 and 1915. Secretary William Gibson, who was very faithful from the very beginning and kept a beautiful set of minutes, got sick and passed away on April 8, 1915 so W.B. James Ogilvy filled out his term as Secretary. The years 1912-1915 are remembered as the darkest days for Mark P. Waterman Lodge when nationwide economic hardship seriously affected it. The Tyler’s register shows there were many nights when there were only 3 or 4 members present. Had there been more prosperous times, the lodge’s history would have been different but the fact that they persisted through these hard times is the real endowment they have passed down to us.

The lodge was paying $80.00 per year rent for the room over the post office and by 1915 was having a hard time paying the rent and not being able to get a reduction, started think about moving again. The Oddfellows Hall at Center agreed to let them move in for a rental of $2.00 per meeting including light and heat, so they moved to Center in August 1915.

Two old timers who affiliated with the lodge in 1915 proved very faithful. One was R. W. F. Martin and the other was William Marsden who probably attended more meetings than anyone else until he passed away and then had willed his home to the lodge being a devoted mason to his death.

We find that the time from 1911 to 1916 were times when the future of Mark P. Waterman Lodge was considerably in doubt and much credit is due to James and Tom Ogilvy for their efforts to keep things going and not let the interest entirely fall away. Brother Dunsford writes of them, “I believe that we owe to these two brothers, more than any others, our thanks for not letting this lodge die. Their love for masonry must have been very great for them to do the things they did to keep us from losing our charter.”

Charles Brebner was Worshipful Master in 1916. R. W. F. Martin was elected Secretary and served almost continually until his death in 1940 proving to be a good dues collector and gradually getting the lodge on a sound financial basis, deserving much credit for our prosperity at the time. Charles Brebner was re-elected as Worshipful Master in 1917 but died in February. Once again W.B. James Ogilvy stepped in and filled out his term as Worshipful Master.

Conditions on Vashon Island were starting to improve rapidly. Electric lights made a big difference and there was a lot of talk about getting a ferry as automobiles were becoming more numerous. The County Commissioners promised to start a ferry if the people could decide where it was to be. That was when the big argument started about where the location of the ferry would be. Everyone wanted the ferry to be in their own locality and no one really knew where the proper place would be. After many meetings, a lot of talk and some voting, it was finally decided to have it run from half way between Portage and Ellisport to crossing over to Des Moines on the mainland. After much road and dock building, the ferry “Vashon” finally got started running in 1917. This made a great change in the transportation on the island as the Model Ts became thicker and the trucks began hauling the produce and freight. The roads began to get better and people really started getting around.

After the establishment of the first ferry on Vashon Island in 1917, the economics of the island revived and these changes helped Mark P. Waterman Lodge to make a steady and healthy growth. Attendance at the meetings got much better and the petitions began to come in quite fast with the new blood being just what the lodge needed. The lodge finances began to get much better as the January 1918 treasurer’s report showed a balance of $435.35 on hand and $247.20 was invested in War Bonds and Saving Stamps. This was the first time in the history of the lodge that the wolf was away from the door and while they had been very fortunate to have the Oddfellows Hall to meet in at a rental they could afford, they began to long for a place by themselves where they could grow and do the things they desired.
W.B. James Ogilvy was re-elected again as Worshipful Master in 1918. E. E. Van Olinda, who had been active in the lodge earlier, but had lost interest, now came back into the lodge and took a prominent role and was elected Worshipful Master in 1919.

A. J. Marsh was elected Worshipful Master in 1920. By January 1, 1920, the lodge had a balance of $940.89 so they started looking for a place to move to where they could be by themselves. They found they could rent the hall over the store at Portage for $75.00 per year, and there was a desire to start an Eastern Star Chapter for the ladies of the Brothers. They decided to move to rooms on the second floor of the Portage Store in May 1920. This was a very good move as the lodge was growing rapidly and meetings were frequent and candidates plenty in the years that were to follow. In August 1920, the Grand Lodge raised the fees for the degrees from $40.00 to $50.00.

With the coming of the ferry, the lodge was no longer isolated and many visits were made with other lodges. Des Moines Lodge and South Gate Lodge visited us and we visited them with much interest. Our lodge developed a very good third degree team and they put on excellent work in those lodges as well as in Tacoma also.

While we were becoming quite well fixed financially, our Scotch Brothers had not forgotten the days of hardship and it was interesting to read in the minutes where they instructed Brother Duncan Newman, an electrician, to get a letter “G” for the East, but to be sure not to spend over $15.00.
W.B. Thomas G. Ogilvy had been a pillar of strength to his brother Jim over the years and had served as Master through two of our darkest years and helped to keep things going, so when the lodge was really going good it was decided that he should be Master again. They elected him Worshipful Master for 1921. He really had a wonderful year because over 20 new masons were raised that year and they were having meetings about once a week. It was very fitting that this faithful brother was honored.
Bro. E. J. Dickson, who had been raised in this lodge in 1920 and had proved very proficient in the work as well as a good leader, was elected Worshipful Master for 1922. He had a very good year because this was the beginning of a period of much visiting with other lodges and we had many visitors here as well. Having raised the fees for the degrees a couple of years ago, the Grand Lodge added $10.00 more for the Masonic Home which was being started at that time. The fees then stayed at $60.00 for many years.

W.B. Elmer Stone was Master in 1923 and had a very busy year. We also continued making visits to other lodges as well as receiving many visitors. On March 28, 1923, a special meeting was called to discuss the possibility of building a new temple and trying to decide where it should be. This proved just about as easy to decide as the location of the ferry was. Every one wanted it in their own neighborhood. Bro. Fred Weiss spoke on behalf of building the Temple at Vashon and gave a number of good reasons. Bro. Royce Wise was in favor of building at Center and Bro. William Marsden, who owned property across the road from the Telephone office, to the north, offered to give it to the lodge free of charge if they would build there. Bro. B. K. Starr suggested a location at Ellisport and W.B. James Ogilvy thought the new Temple should be at Portage. Bro. Coy Meredith spoke of Burton as the location of the Temple, but did not offer any particular site at that time. With so many different opinions it was impossible to do anything at that time, so they decided to stay where they were and made some improvements to the hall so they could get along for awhile.

W.B. Martin Tjomaland was Master in 1924 and had a very good year. Probably the biggest night of the year was March 22, 1924, when the Most Worshipful Bro. Tom Holman, Grand Master of Masons of Washington and many of his Grand Lodge Officers and several Past Grand Masters, visited with us. They were on the Island inspecting sites for the new Masonic Home and one that interested them was the Burton Peninsula. The Eastern Star Ladies served them a very good dinner and then we had a fine meeting. When Grand Lodge met in June, it was decided to build at Zenith across the Sound from us. The only thing that was against the Island was the transportation issue and we had to admit that it was not too good in those days.

In 1924, we became interested in getting the stereopticon slides that we have used for our lectures for many years. Up until that time we just had a chart that we hung on a pole. We joined the Robert Burns Chapter in the purchase of the slide machine with screen and we purchased the slides for the three lectures for $41.70. On November 7, 1924, we used the slides for the first time when Bro. Joe Lindstrom gave the lecture in his usual wonderful way to the enjoyment of all the brethren.

In 1925, W.B. Joe Lindstrom was Master and did a splendid job of it, as he was one of the best ritualists, usually letter perfect and very impressive. It was felt by the brothers that the time had come for us to have our own temple. The meeting place at Portage was quite primitive. The cracks were wide and the wind blew through them. In the winter it was so cold that most of the activity was in the southwest corner of the lodge where the heating stove was located. The Tyler kept his vigil atop the stairs dressed like an Eskimo. The steward’s room was about seven feet square, where the candidates had to be prepared and also the refreshments, always with the threat that his socks might wind up in the stew, sandwiches or cakes that were brought by the brothers from home since all refreshments were donated in those days.

There was much discussion at the time as to what should be done. Many of the brothers felt we should build a new temple that would have meant a big mortgage, and it was feared by many that history might be repeating itself, having not forgotten what happened to the first temple. Finally the wisdom of our Scottish Brothers prevailed and it was decided that we should spend no more money than what the brothers could raise themselves.

On December 9, 1925, W.B. Elmer Stone, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, made a report to the lodge and a recommendation that we buy the old Woodman Hall at Burton for $1000.00 and remodel it for a Masonic Temple. After reading the report, W.B. Stone moved for its adoption and W.B. Martin Tjomsland seconded the motion. After considerable discussion by the brothers, Bro. F. A. McMurray made an amendment that the members should vote by secret ballot; the amendment was accepted. The motion carried and we had decided to purchase the hall at Burton for a Masonic Temple.

The members of the Ways and Means Committee were: W.B. Elmer Stone, chairman; W.B. Martin Tjomsland; W.B. Joe Lindstrom; W.B. F. J. Shattuck; Bro. W. C. Meredith; Bro. Alex Stewart and Bro. C. J. Williams. The Ways and Means Committee was authorized to raise $3000.00 from the brethren; all of the brothers, who were able, bought non-interest bearing bonds of $25.00, $50.00 or $100.00 each. Also the articles were set up for the forming of a Masonic Association to control the Temple. There were to be seven members of the Association board consisting of the three principle officers of Mark P. Waterman Lodge and four elected trustees, they being elected by the members of Mark P. Waterman Lodge for 2-year terms. This has proved a very successful way to handle the business of the Temple and has been well taken care of over the years.

Brother Dunsford reports on the new Temple from his 1934 history: “The first time I inspected what we had bought I must admit it looked almost hopeless. The roof leaked very badly, most of the plaster was falling from the walls and nearly all of the windows were broken. It really was a mess, but on closer examination it could be seen that the old hall had been built with good timbers, which were sound and so we had something to start with although it was going to take an awful lot of work and cost quite a bit of money. The furnace room, kitchen and anterooms, upstairs and down, were built. The plumbing and a furnace were installed as well as a new roof put on. We added a coat of paint on the outside and new plaster on the inside. When the construction was finished, there was still a lot of work to be done to clean up the mess and move over from Portage. All of this was done by donated labor. Bro. Tim Clark, who was not busy at the time, took a big interest in the work and as a self appointed boss really cracked the whip. Anyone who was not really busy was persuaded to come down and help as much as he could. I had a big truck there for several days, hauling away the debris and moving over our possessions from Portage. The raised portions of the lodge room floor in the East and West and on the sidelines were brought from Portage and installed along with the old rug we had at that time. In fact, we brought everything we had from there except the old heating stove, and when we were settled it was real luxury for those days to get the furnace going and have a nice warm building to meet in. While the building was a long way from being finished as it is today, we thought it was wonderful. It was the first time we had a kitchen and a dining room, and we could prepare a candidate, without worrying, in a warm preparation room.”

“We were in the building quite awhile before we could finish up the dining room. There was a row of posts through the center of the room, which we eliminated by putting in the cross beams, which not only made the building stronger but looked quite attractive also. Bro. Finn Shattuck suggested this big improvement and had charge of the work. As the years went by and we could afford it, we have made many improvements and many different brothers have had a helping hand. W.B. Matt Morrissey donated the Masonic emblem we use for a knocker on our Lodge room door. Bro. Ira Case donated the electric lesser lights by our Alter, candles were used before that.”

The Burton Masonic Lodge is significant as a rare, intact example of vernacular architecture that has been in continuous ownership for it’s original purpose, a lodge housing a fraternal organization on Vashon Island, for over 100 years. Built in approximately 1894 by carpenter/builder Howard C. Stone, the lodge is associated with the development of the community of Burton, which is in turn associated with the broad historic themes of transportation and culture due to the proximity of Quartermaster harbor and Vashon College in those days.

W.B. Fred Weiss was master in 1926 and we were busy preparing our new home at Burton and everyone was interested and busy as we moved in at the end of his year. On December 19, 1926 our faithful old brother William Marsden passed away. He had been our janitor for many years and seldom missed a meeting. He willed five acres at Center to the Lodge and though he certainly meant well, it did not quite turn out that way because we had to pay a $50.00 inheritance tax and we paid property taxes for a number of years, which became quite a burden during the depression years.

W.B. Dave Mackie was the first Master in our new Temple in 1927 and we had a busy year raising about twenty new Masons. Most W.B. Walter F. Meier, Grand Master of Masons of Washington, dedicated our Temple on February 5, 1927. It was a grand night for Mark P. Waterman Lodge with the memorable celebration starting with a banquet at 6:30 after which Grand Lodge was opened and the ceremony of dedication performed to ancient custom. G.M. Meier followed the dedication with a very helpful address and gave a striking analysis of the true purpose of Masonry. M.W. Bro. Taylor talked about the old days and entertained his listeners with anecdotes. Judge Chase E. Claypool followed with an address that was filled with inspiration and bubbling over with wisdom. Other brethren gave talks, among them being Walter G. Parkes, Senior Deacon of Mark P. Waterman Lodge and P. Monroe Smock, editor of the Vashon Island News-Record. At the close of the dedication, another visit was made to the dining room where the ladies of Island Chapter No. 170, O.E.S, again served everyone with a splendid meal as the toastmaster David Mackie and the rest of the assembly spent an hour telling or swapping stories – the rafters rang with the laughter that resulted.

In 1928, W.B. Carty carried on the good work as Master and there was a motion made that there should be no more smoking in the Lodge room. There was much discussion on this and the Master finally decided to table it until a later date, but the brothers never smoked in the Lodge room from that time on. W.B. Arthur Ganley was Master in 1929 and it was decided that year to stop soliciting refreshments from the brothers and instead would be purchased by the Stewards and bills presented to the Lodge.

In 1930, W.B. Cephas Ramquist was Master and at the end of his year surprised the Lodge with a new alter and three new pedestals. He said the officers had raised the money to purchase them and present them to the Lodge. This was not acceptable to several of the officers and brethren, but a motion was finally made and seconded that the Lodge accept them as a gift. W.B. Elmer Stone, W.B. Joe Lindstrom, Bro. James Bennett and Bro. S. J. Harmeling had protested the removal of the old Alter because of its historical associations, it having been presented to the Lodge by St. John’s Lodge of Seattle, and they had used it back in the last century and all of us had been raised on it.

In May 1931, Past Master Ramquist explained about buying the Alter and pedestals while he was Master and made a financial report on what had been raised to pay for them. There was still a balance due of $33, and he suggested that card parties could be given to pay the balance. W.M. Ed Harmeling appointed a committee to raise the money and finally on December 14, 1932, the Lodge paid the $14.00 balance due. Brother Ramquist would later drop NPD at the end of 1933, our only Worshipful Brother to do so at that time.

W.B. Ed Harmeling had a nice year as Master in 1931 and that was when we decided we would have summer vacations and voted not to have meetings in July and August unless something important came up. On September 9, 1931 Bro. W. D. Garvin offered the Lodge $50.00 for the 5 acres of the inheritance the late Bro. Marsden had left us and the Brothers decided to sell them to him.

W.B. V. Chas. Coutts was Master in 1932 and he was very interested in starting a Low Twelve Club. This was in the depression days and we were quite conscious about welfare and relief. The club started that year and W.B. Coutts looked after it for many years until it was later taken over by W.B. Arthyr Poultney for a number of years and then W.B. Ben Staats. While this club was not part of the Lodge it certainly did a lot of good and possibly relieved the Lodge of a certain amount of embarrassment.

In 1932, we made our biggest change to the Lodge room. Up to that time we had only had chairs in the East and West and some old church pews and benches on the sidelines. A meeting was called of the elective officers of the Blue Lodge, O.E.S., Royal Arch and Commandry, each agreed to put up as much money as possible. W.B. Martin Tjomsland, a fine builder, agreed to lay out what we wanted and do the carpenter work. A committee went to Seattle and shopped for the upholstery work. The seats were made by the Washington Furniture Mfg. Co. and certainly had lasted wonderfully well over the years. It was hard to believe that the whole project was done for $415.95 when we had estimated $450.00 so everyone was happy. The Eastern Star sisters were very active in helping us get these wonderful improvements and insisted that we have the same company make the officer’s chairs, which is believed to have cost about $100.00 and was mostly paid by Eastern Star.

In 1933, Maurice Dunsford was elected Master and had an excellent year, proving himself as one of the faithful who was always ready by delivering the work and lectures with exceptional ability. On June 14, 1933 was Past Masters Night, which started with a fine dinner with a large group of Past Masters headed by our first Worshipful Master, George A. McDowell. He was invited to the East and asked to preside over the Lodge, which he did in a gracious manner. They did not have a real candidate so the Past Masters took our Senior Warden Bro. Arthur Poultney and put him through the second section of the third degree, in a very impressive manner. W.B. McDowell gave them an interesting and humorous talk about the early days of Mark P. Waterman Lodge and asked the more than 40 brothers present how many of them were there when he was master 23 years before. There were only two: Bro. Lewis Beall and Bro. R. W. F. Martin. This was believed to be the last time W.B. McDowell was able to attend this Lodge. The Past Masters present, who all gave little talks, were: W.B. George A. McDowell, W.B. Elmer E. Stone, W.B. Joe A. Lindstrom, W.B. Fred A. Weiss, W.B. Russel E. Carty, W.B. Arthur W. Ganley, W.B. Edward B. Harmeling and W.B. Vester Charles Coutts. Several of these brothers passed away before very long.
On November 8, 1933, Bro. Charles E. Claypool and Bro. R. W. F. Martin were invited to the East and honored as 50 year Masons and were presented with suitably engraved silver trowels and Bro. Kenneth Van House sang a beautiful song while the brothers were in the East. They were honored by a visit from W.M. F. S. Balyeat and many members of Lafayette Lodge #241 of Seattle. Over 65 were served a fine dinner and Bro. Fred Stevenson was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.

W.B. Arthur Poultney was Master in 1934 and had a very good year though on April 23 the Lodge was shocked by the accident at the county gravel pit that claimed the life of W.B. Elmer Stone. He was killed instantly while working for the County. W.B. Stone had been a devoted member of Mark P. Waterman Lodge for many years and was greatly missed by his brothers.

W.B. A.T. Bacchus, colorful and dynamic, was Master in 1935 giving much of his time and energy to our Lodge. On August 2, 1935 the 25th anniversary of Mark P. Waterman Lodge was celebrated as our pioneering days had ended and we had continued to grow now in years.

In 1935, Bro. George McCormick was elected Treasurer and had been installed an additional 30 times. 31 years of faithful service in office is only part of the story, for Bro. George was a stalwart in all Lodge business. He was made an Honorary Past Master, as was Bro. Matt Morrissey who had been active with us for over 50 years.

Our faithful old secretary, R. W. F. Martin, passed away in 1940, after 24 years of almost constant service and he certainly had a lot to do with the success of this Lodge. Very Worshipful Bro. Arthur Poultney took over at that time and did a wonderful job as secretary for 22 years until failing eye sight forced him to give up his duties in 1962. W.B. John Metzenberg took over as secretary in 1963 and in 1965 Bro. Fairman B. Lee did. Most recently V.W. B Kenneth V. Ellingson had carried that mantle of secretarial excellence for the last decade or so before the Lodge decided to combine the Secretary and Treasurer office again in 2010 for our first Secretary-Treasurer (W.B. John P. McCarthy) since V.W.B. Ken had performed that dual role over a decade before. The history of Mark P. Waterman Lodge shows that we have been blessed in having very faithful secretaries who have played a big part in the success of the Lodge.

Another of our early Honorary Past Masters, besides Bro. R. W. F. Martin, was Bro. Stephan J. Harmeling, an ordained minister, who was our Chaplain for so many years and a constant source of inspiration to all.

In 1949, our Lodge acquired its first Grand Lodge Officer, Very W.B. Art Poultney. He served as Deputy for 3 years and then on the Board of Governors for the Masonic Home for 3 years. He had been and always will be one of our most outstanding and respected members. Long after his blindness and his retirement from the Secretaryship, Art sat in lodge and kept active in all work and lodge business, unfailingly spreading cheer and wisdom. He is our only Secretary-Emeritus. Later, our beloved brother V.W.B Ken Ellingson was appointed to the Grand Lodge office of Deputy of the Grand Master in District #6 of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington, once in 1995 and again in 2004. He would be joined a little later in the 2000s by a couple of other brothers that became members of Mark P. Waterman who had the distinction of serving as Deputies to the Grand Master as well as serving on various Grand Lodge Committees together like the Code Commission, V.W.B. R. John Bozeat and V.W.B. James A. Smyth. V.W.B. Ken Ellingson also served as the Grand Representative for the Grand Lodge of Washington to the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan as well as Junior Grand Steward for the Grand Lodge of Washington. V.W.B James A. Smyth was also appointed Junior Grand Deacon in 2009. These Brothers have always been a bright light and shining example of the tenets of Freemasonry in our Lodge.

In the 1980s, The Mormon church rented the Lodge room so they could still hold their services while they were under construction and we were able to save enough money to build a proper foundation under the Lodge building, replacing the old wooden timbers with concrete.

By 1990, all of the concordant bodies renting from the Lodge (Order of Amaranth, Rainbow Girls, Robert Burns Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and the Knights Templar Commandry #26) had either given up their charters or joined another group on the mainland, the Island Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star was the last to leave.

In 1994 we started experiencing negative cash flows in both the Lodge and Temple Board while our operating costs substantially exceeded our income. Due to this, in 1995 the Temple Board had to borrow money from the Lodge to cover repairs and operating expenses of the building. After borrowing and then paying current bills, we had a total of $336.00 with no income. We were fortunate to receive the sum of $2000.00 from Margaret Hamilton’s estate who was an Aunt of W. B. Elmer Lindseth’s wife Joan. On February 1, 1995 a letter went out to all members of Mark P. Waterman Lodge detailing specifically the budget as well as projected spending and fixed costs which showed by conservatively spending we had a projected life of less than 3 years before we would be totally bankrupt.

A special meeting notice was sent to all Lodge members to meet on March 4, 1995 to discuss the future of Mark P. Waterman Lodge and as a result of that meeting it was agreed by all who attended that we do 2 things: To pursue Landmark status in order to be eligible for grant monies for the repair of the leaky roof as well as effect other repairs to the lodge building’s structure and to pursue renting the lower floor of the Lodge in order to generate income to survive.
On August 1, 1995 the Temple Board negotiated a long-term lease with Silverwood Art Gallery that has worked out very well for all parties. On September 28, 1995 our building was officially designated a historical landmark. Through the efforts of all our brethren especially our Treasurer W.B. John McCarthy and under the leadership of our Worshipful Master Don Ellingson in this tumultuous time, we had dramatically turned around the financial status of the Lodge and Temple Board and would remain fiscally sound into the future to come.

W.B. Luke Vangolen was the Master in 1996 and he set us to work with very busy and productive year. In the spring of 1996 we received a grant from the King County Landmarks Commission for $25,000 which was used to replace the roof (replicating the original), repair the soffits, paint the new chimney extension and other items to greatly improve the Lodge building.

Due to our now positive cash flow we were able to now focus on continuing to do our charity work within the community with our High School Scholarship Awards Program, our Holiday Gift Certificate Program for needy families in conjunction with Thriftway and having our yearly Honored Ladies Night Dinner for the spouses of our deceased brethren. One thing we were always remembered for since the 1960s, the Annual Strawberry Feed (around the time of the Strawberry Festival Parade) was stopped in 1995 after losing the use of the first floor (our former food serving area) to renters.

In 1997 the brethren under the fine leadership of that year’s Worshipful Master W.B. John P. McCarthy, decided to elect W.B. Melvin E. Larsen as the Worshipful Master for 1998. W.B. Mel had been raised to the Master Mason degree in 1949, served as Tyler for many years, was made an Honorary Past Master in 1983 and was a Hiram Award recipient. This came as quite a shock to him but was an opportunity he would accept so he traveled from lodge to lodge and district-to-district for the next several months practicing his ritual work and the art of conducting lodge business. W.B. Mel Larson was well loved by his brethren and though confined to a wheel chair, he had traveled to Grand Lodge for at least the past ten years and was the brother whose hand was always ready to grip another’s, was always ready to listen to a troubled mind and had a smile that never ended. At his installation, all seven Master-elects or installed were present along with many Grand Lodge Team members and 2 Past Grand Masters-that was W.B. Mel’s night to stand tall and he did.

On February 28, 2001, Washington was hit with the Nisqually earthquake that measured 6.8 on the Moment Magnitude Scale. A fair amount of minor-to-moderate structural damage was done to buildings in and around the Seattle area and our Lodge building was not immune as there were cracks found in the plaster of the lathes in the ceiling and adjoining walls near the ceiling. With much persistence from W.B. John McCarthy, we applied for Nisqually earthquake damage repair funding through the King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission. On December 17, 2001 the King County Council approved the recommendations of the King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission and through this program we were awarded $10,000 to assist with the rehabilitation of the damaged interior plaster walls in the second story Lodge room. In 2002, under the outstanding leadership of W.B. Tim Morris in his third year in a row as Worshipful Master and through considerable hard work by the incredibly dedicated brethren of Mark P. Waterman Lodge, we were able to make the extensive repairs needed to the Lodge room caused by the quake. With a true teamwork attitude, the brethren worked on this project over the course of the year sometimes holding lodge meetings in true Masonic fashion as a working Lodge, coming dressed in our overalls ready to punch nails, spackle plaster, paint and move scaffolding around the interior in-between our ritual work.

In the intervening next few years, we gradually rounded out the improvements to the Lodge whenever we could get the funds together by replacing the carpeting and tile flooring, replacing lighting fixtures as well as electrical wiring to bring it up to code (with the help of Bro. Everett Wittman and W.B. Tim Morris), replacing and reupholstering seating, finishing door/window frames, finishing painting and prominently displaying our collection of Norman Edson Mt. Rainier photographs on the wall inside the Lodge room for all to enjoy.

In 2005, after receiving a lukewarm response to our High School Scholarship Awards Program for the past few years (rarely getting more than 1 or 2 applicants), we decided to re-target our resources to younger students in the 5th grade of Chautauqua Elementary, as they didn’t have those hectic end of school schedules and pressures with a sea of scholarships to choose from. We felt we could make more of an impact for Freemasonry in their minds as well as in their parent’s minds (hopefully inspiring some younger fathers into Freemasonry) while building more credibility within our community. In 2006, led by our Worshipful Master, VWB R. John Bozeat, and under the direction of Bro. Ric Novak; we started an adaptation of the Bikes For Books Program. As it was felt somewhat unfair to award new bicycles to only those students who excelled at reading, we gave the faculty of Chautauqua a free hand in tailoring the program to their students. Rather than using just reading as the criteria for students to be awarded draw tickets to win a new bike, other important factors such as perfect attendance, zero tardiness, community service, and overall excellence in all subjects would earn a student additional chances. It was hoped this would create more motivation in the educational process. The criteria was developed entirely by the teachers and students of the 5th grade class. The tickets awarded throughout the school year would be placed into a box. Each year we were fortunate to be invited to the school for the draw which determined the winners of the bicycles. The students and teachers were so enthusiastic, the program was quickly expanded to include the 4th grade students. We now provide the school with 4 bicycles each year to be awarded to a girl and a boy in each of these grades.
Coincidently, Chautauqua teaches bicycle education (safety, maintenance, repairs) to the 4th grade class.

In the last 5-10 years though we seemed to have lost a few great members to either moving away (W.B. Bill Griffin, Bro. Ole Lindseth) or to that Great Celestial Temple in the sky (W.B. Ellis Tilton, W.B. Mel Larson, W.B. Paul Neacsu), we have been blessed with very dedicated, hardworking brothers with a real love for Masonry who have joined our Lodge from Alkai Lodge #152 serving a dual membership. These brothers have been outstanding as many of them have not only taken up the mantle of officer positions like Elmer Lindseth and Don Carlock but have become Worshipful Masters of Mark P. Waterman Lodge #177 as well, like V.W.B. John Bozeat, W.B. Jeffrey Tosh and W.B. David Brown. Due to their wonderful Masonic spirit and the impact they have made on our Lodge in the last decade, these worthy Brothers, M.W.B. Milton R. Benson, W.B. Don Carlock and Alden Sarmiento were made Honorary Members of Mark P. Waterman Lodge #177.

In 2010, the brethren of Mark P. Waterman Lodge worked very hard on their preparations for a most historic year under the diligent guidance of our Worshipful Master, W.B. David Brown. On June 26, 2010, the brethren of Mark P. Waterman Lodge #177 were honored to have the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Washington led by our Grand Master, M.W.B. G. Santy Lascano, perform our Reconstitution Ceremony in celebration of 100th year.

Between our 25th year and today, our 100th, we have had many good Masters who pursued their obligations well. Also there have been outstanding sideliners who carried many of their ideas and efforts to fruitful accomplishment. Looking back over that rough and rugged road, it has brought us a wonderful heritage. We can be truly proud of our founders and their followers. May it serve to keep us in due bounds as we carry the light of Masonry in our time.