North Bend's Unity Masonic Lodge holds 100th installation of officers
October 25, 2011 · 1:43 PM
Unity Masonic Lodge No. 198 of North Bend, Washington has a long history of serving the Snoqualmie Valley. This year marks the Lodge's first century of service.
The fraternity first met as a Lodge in North Bend in 1912, and was granted an official constitution from Grande Lodge in 1913.
Little did they know, those few good Masons who gathered together in the North Bend railway depot in January of 1912, that they were making history. But nearly 100 years later their dream of creating a permanent Masonic Lodge in North Bend continues today. Eleven men pledged $1000 each to the construction and furnishing of an appropriate Lodge building; that equates to nearly $23,000 in today’s currency, each!
The building has since been historically landmarked as one of the oldest buildings in North Bend. Unity Lodge was not only where the men of the town met, it supported all the Masonic groups in the area: Eastern Star, Demolay and Rainbow Girls. It was also the dance hall for the town and all the local mill workers around the Valley.
Today, as well as continuing as the meeting place for Unity Lodge, the building is home to the Valley Center Stage Theater and SingleTrack Cycles, as well a meeting place for various non-profit groups and available for rent for receptions, etc.
While Freemasons have been a fraternal organization since the 16th century, their roots go back to 13th century Scotland. The working tools of those medieval masons: the compass, square and level have been used as metaphorical lessons for the members of the organization since then, and have continued to be used as such by Masonic Lodges throughout the modern world.
Famous Freemasons include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Meriwether Lewis, Mark Twain, Davy Crockett, John Wayne, Astronauts John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin and Presidents Harry Truman and Gerald R. Ford.