Keystone Lodge No. 412 History

A peti­tion for a char­ter was there­fore pre­sented to Grand Lodge at its reg­u­lar con­vo­ca­tion in 1885. Grand Lodge issued a dis­pen­sa­tion on June 19th, 1885, and the first recorded meet­ing was held on July 21st of that year. R.W. Bro. Robert King, DDGM, of Geor­gian Dis­trict, was in charge of that meet­ing and placed Bro. Rev. N. A. McDi­armid in the chair. Bro. W.H. Car­ney, Sher­iff of Algoma, was the first senior war­den and Bro. E. Big­gings, pro­pri­etor of the Algoma Pio­neer, was first junior war­den and sec­re­tary. Oth­ers present at the meet­ing were Broth­ers S.D. Evans, J.G. Hands, J.H. Dick­in­son, A.W. Cun­ning­ham, W.R. Cun­ning­ham and J.G. Crow­ell. The meet­ing is described in the min­utes as ‘‘the first reg­u­lar meet­ing of Key­stone Lodge U.D.” The meet­ing opened at 9 p.m. and closed at 2:30 a.m.

The tremen­dous growth of the lodge con­tin­ued, from 100 mem­bers in 1902, to 284 mem­bers in 1904. In that same year R. W. Bro. C. Far­well, K.C., a for­mer mem­ber of the Provin­cial Leg­is­la­ture, and him­self a mem­ber of Key­stone, pre­sented a peti­tion that a new Masonic Lodge be founded in Sault Ste. Marie to be called  “Algoma Lodge”. Key­stone Lodge rec­om­mended the peti­tion and Algoma No. 469 was soon granted a dis­pen­sa­tion and there­after duly organized.

A joint com­mit­tee reported in 1926 on the fea­si­bil­ity of build­ing, a new tem­ple. 1928 saw a cor­po­ra­tion formed under the ener­getic pres­i­dency of R.W. Bro. H. F. Good­fel­low. In con­se­quence of the gen­er­ous response from the local lodges and pri­vate mem­bers, the first sod was turned on Octo­ber 23rd, 1928. Our senior Past Mas­ter, R.W. Bro. Sir William Hearst, K.C.M.G., who was act­ing for the Grand Mas­ter, laid the foun­da­tion stone with the time-honoured forms and cer­e­monies of the craft on Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 24th, 1928.

On Sep­tem­ber 20th, 1929 the com­pleted tem­ple, beau­ti­fully fur­nished, was ded­i­cated in due and ancient form by the Grand Mas­ter, M.W. Bro. R. B. Dar­gravel. It was a great occa­sion not the less enjoy­able because the new tem­ple, embod­i­ment of dreams, was opened free of debt. Never has the Masonic fra­ter­nity in Sault Ste. Marie been so com­fort­ably housed. The com­modi­ous lodge room with sev­eral con­ve­nient rooms adjoin­ing, the ample stor­age, the

well-equipped recre­ation rooms, and ban­quet room, with ade­quate offices, make it a home of which the fra­ter­nity may well be proud.

Through out the years Key­stone Lodge has always enjoyed hav­ing brethren from many parts of the world visit. In the early years till today Key­stone has always had close ties and loy­alty with Bethel Lodge in Sault Ste. Marie Michi­gan. Of course Bethel Lodge played a major part in the for­ma­tion of Key­stone Lodge in 1885. We have had the hap­pi­est rela­tions with its sis­ter lodges of Algoma and Hatherly. We have shared vis­its with dis­trict lodges in Thes­sa­lon, Blind River, Elliot Lake, Wawa and Chap­leau as well as lodges in Sud­bury — Man­i­toulin Dis­trict.