Our Lodge History
On May 10th, 1905 a group of Master Masons from other Lodges in the Northern Virginia area met to form a new Lodge.
Present at this first recorded Stated Communication held at Ashburn, Virginia under dispensation from the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Virginia, were the following Brethren:
G.M. Ellmore, Worshipful Master
Elmer E. Lewis, Senior Warden
Victor B. Herding, Junior Warden
M.M. Fadeley, Treasurer
John L. Grubb, Secretary
Clarence S. LeFever, Senior Deacon
R.W. Hutchison, Junior Deacon
G.T. Ellmore, Tyler
G.W. Popkins, Chaplain
Worship Ellmore became ill and died in early November of 1905. Bro. Ellmore was a Past Master of Herndon Lodge No. 264 A.F. & A.M. in the late 1890’s.
Lodge Charter No. 288 issued by Grand Lodge on February 15, 1906, showing Brothers E.E. Lewis – Worshipful Master, V. B. Herding – Senior Warden, R. W. Hutchinson – Junior Warden installed.
The present Charter is a reproduction provided by Grand Lodge on March 2, 1909, the original being destroyed by fire.
The members of Ashburn Lodge have been mainly farmers, merchants, railroad workers, policemen, firemen, doctors, lawyers, air traffic controllers, managers, politicians, mailmen, machinists, federal agents and carpenters.
The location of the first Lodge Hall was over a store near the railroad station and is the same building used in 1989 while the new Lodge was being built. Since 1905 meetings were held in a church, above the firehouse, and in steel building next to the elementary school where a tin/plumbing shop was located. The Lodge returned to the original building that was then the Partlow store and purchased by the Lodge in 1925 for $3,750 including the “lighting plant.”
Members took the train from Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Leesburg and Herndon to attend Lodge until the railroad was removed. During this period meetings were held on a full moon. Occasionally visiting Brethren would bring a box of cigars as a gift to the Lodge.
A resolution was passed that members would not eat peanuts and throw shells on the floor during a Master Masons Degree. Spittoons and smoking cigars were also discontinued during this period.
The Secretary’s dues were paid by the Lodge during the early years with the Tyler being paid $10 at the year’s end for taking care of the Lodge Hall.
Brethren were initiated and passed on the same night. On some Stated Communications a School of Instruction was held. Lodge met on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday until September 13, 1913, then on the 2nd and 4th Saturday. Many “Banquets” and picnics were held, some in conjunction with planned “motor car” tours of the countryside.
The stovepipe was repaired in 1914 at a cost of 25 cents. In June 1915 a cord of stove wood was purchased, delivered and stacked for $3.75. Oil lamps for the “Ante” room were purchased during this month. Inviting Brethren and “speakers” from other Lodges was called a “get together.”
June 24, 1916 – Our Masonic emblem for the Lodge exterior was made and gold gilded for $7.40.
In 1917 the first planned “motor car” trip was made to Harpers Ferry. The Lodge Hall was made available to Herndon Lodge No. 264 due to a fire in their Lodge Hall. A new Secretary desk was purchased for $15. Grand Master ordered all members in the Army and Navy to be dues exempt while serving in WWI.
In 1918 Andrew Jackson No. 120 presented the Lodge with a gavel made from a Magnolia tree planted at Mount Vernon by Worshipful George Washington. This gavel was ordered “only to be used for very special occasions.”
November 18, 1921 – Lodge, laid the cornerstone for Ashburn High School.
December 27, 1924 – Lodge jewels were purchased.
In the year 1969 land was purchased at a cost of $7,000 for the construction of a new Lodge building.
August 2, 1986 – Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth of Virginia assisted Ashburn Lodge in a Cornerstone Laying Ceremony for a lot south of Ashburn being 1 mile east of Ryan, Virginia for the purpose of building a new Lodge Hall. A 100 Year Time Capsule is buried beneath the cornerstone inside the Lodge Hall. A video tape in VHS format was made by Worshipful Kenneth E. Carlson to record the ground breaking, cornerstone laying and Lodge Hall construction. Worshipful David Arnold was serving in the East at this time. Senior Warden David Westenberger provided the plans for the construction of the new Lodge.
In 1987 damage to the new Lodge building resulted from gunshots into the front door and walls from a high caliber weapon, and windows were broken with large rocks. Lodge construction was mainly performed by Worshipful Richard H. Stuart with the assistance of Lodge Officers, Past Masters, Brethren and friends. The Brethren of Sterling Lodge No. 268 also assisted. Brother Alvis from Arlington installed the electrical wiring.
November 8, 1989 – New Lodge building was occupied during a period of refreshment from the old Lodge. Thirteen Past Masters were in attendance during this occasion with Worshipful Jon Foreman serving in the East. Very large donations including labor from private citizens, other lodges, the Eastern Star, Jobs Daughters, and the Brethren built the new Lodge Hall.
December 13, 1989 – Brother Richard Wade moved that the Lodge “Ante” room be dedicated as the John M. Wailes room. Motion carried and was so ordered.
December 16, 1989 – At a Called Communication, the new Lodge building was named the “Richard Henry Stuart Masonic Temple.”
August 10, 1991 – Dedication of the new Lodge building by the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Virginia.