History of Lakewood Lodge

With dispensation granted in 1908, Lakewood Lodge U. D. held its first meeting in the newly decorated Lodge room at Warren Road and Detroit Avenue on Monday evening, March 14, 1908. The members worked diligently under dispensation until the fall of 1908, at which time, during the 100th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ohio on October 22, three charters were granted to Greater Cleveland Lodges–the first in over thirty years. Receiving charters were Euclid No. 599, Brenton D. Babcock No. 600, and Lakewood Lodge No. 601. The Lodge room was dedicated; and Lakewood Lodge No. 601, F. & A. M. was duly constituted and consecrated on November 7, 1908.

During its first year as a legally constituted Lodge, Lakewood initiated a custom which later spread to other Masonic Lodges throughout Ohio. The custom: to permit any brother who was interested enough to study and learn the work, to confer degrees. Until the time this custom was established by our first Master, Worshipful Brother Philip H. Keese, it had been the rule that the East in Masonic Lodges was deemed sacred to the Master, Wardens and Past Masters.

The years 1912 to 1916 were filled with a campaign of utmost importance to Lakewood Lodge. In 1912 a committee began the ground work for the building of a Lakewood Masonic Temple. By 1913, the Temple Company had been formed; and the directors had selected the site for the new Temple. In 1915, the cornerstone of the new building was laid with appropriate celebration, and by September of the following year, the building was completed. Two days after dedication ceremonies were held on September 30, 1916, Lakewood Lodge had its first annual inspection; and the first Master Mason degree was conferred in the new Temple.

Our next highlight came in 1922 when Lakewood Lodge began another custom that soon spread to all other Masonic Lodges in Ohio. In that year we started the practice of obligating each candidate on his own personal Bible, which in turn was presented to him upon completion of the Master Mason degree. Seventeen years later, in 1939, another annual event came into being when Lakewood Lodge held its first “Recognition and Rededication Night.”

Another high point in the history of Lakewood Lodge came on the night of October 30, 1950. For it was on this eventful night that our illustrious Brother Alpheus A. Stephens, 33°, received the highest honor ever conferred on an Ohio Mason–having a new Lodge bearing his name, Alpheus A. Stephens No. 733, F. & A. M., constituted and consecrated in the same Lodge room where he had served so well as Master in 1933. Truly a fitting tribute to the man who had served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Ohio in 1943-44. It was the first time in the history of the Grand Lodge of Ohio that a subordinate Lodge was named after a living Past Grand Master.

No history of Lakewood Lodge would be complete without mention of all the Masonic bodies that grew from the seed planted in 1908. In chronological order: Lincoln Chapter No. 309, O. E. S.; Cunningham Chapter No. 187, R. A. M.; Gaston G. Allen Lodge No. 629, F. & A. M.; Holy Grail Commandery No. 70, K. T.; Clifton Lodge No. 664, F. & A. M.; Lakewood Council No. 125, R. & S. M.; Ann Rutledge Chapter No. 453, O. E. S.; and Lakewood Chapter No. 509, O. E. S.

Lakewood Lodge No. 601, F. & A. M., can well be proud of the Masonic growth in Lakewood that began back in 1907 when a group of farsighted Masons laid the first foundation for Masonry in Lakewood.

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