A History of King Solomon Lodge No. 60

In the year of 1886, a summons was issued to all Masons residing in the village of Slaughter and the Green and White River Valleys to attend a meeting and discuss the possibility of forming a Masonic Lodge in the area. It must be realized these Masons came from many jurisdictions with individual systems and ideas. The problems discussed at these and future meetings of that year were many and varied, such as: name, proper meeting place, dues, sponsorship, officers, and the many items facing the formation of a new lodge.

Out of these meetings came the decision to ask Corinthian Lodge No. 38 in Puyallup to act as the sponsor of King Solomon Lodge (a name picked after much consideration and discussion). Corinthian Lodge agreed to this request and after a proper request to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington, a dispensation was issued on May 23, 1889 in the names of H.G. Libby and 10 other Masons for the King Solomon Lodge UD at Slaughter (now Auburn). The lodge was later charted as King Solomon Lodge No. 60 on June II, 1890.

The reader must remember the future of Washington Territory was in the process of being changed to that of the State of Washington. This, of course, took precedence over other events as the formation of (he state government was of most importance. On November II, 1889, a proclamation of the United States Congress to make Washington a state was signed by President Benjamin Harrison. The new state government officials were inaugurated on November 18, 1889 and a Past Grand Master of Masons in Washington by the name of Elisha P. Ferry was installed as the first governor.

Following statehood, the welfare of Masonry as well as the ups and downs experienced for several years are well covered in Chapter Six (the Hard Road of Discipline) in the publication by Paul W. Harvey "Not Made With Hands." By perusing the minutes and records of King Solomon Lodge No. 60 it is determined those same events were suffered as in other lodges, however to a lesser degree. However, prosperity was kind to No. 60 until April 23, 1897 when a disaster struck for the first time. King Solomon Lodge lost its property and records by a fire and the same type of disaster struck again on March of 1898. Consequently, a duplicate charter was issued and the battle to recuperate began again. Therefore, these fires have caused a blank in the lodge history for that period of time.

It has been determined until the construction of the present temple that King Solomon Lodge has met in 5 different halls. (The explanation of this prohibition will be cited later.) The names of such meeting places have disappe3fed as they were .11 called "The Masonic Temple" by the secretaries of those years. Preceding and following the years of the fires, King Solomon Lodge continued to prosper and grow, even throughout the panic of 1893, with slight difficulties occurring as all lodges experienced.

On June 1901, Cyclamen Chapter No. 65 O.E.S. was charted, followed by Auburn Chapter No. 46 R.A.M. in 1922 . (The name was changed to Robert B. Palmer in 1956 to honor a past master of King Solomon No. 60 and Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of R.A.M. of Washington.) It might be suitable to note that three past masters of King Solomon Lodge have served in that capacity over the years. Specifically, Worshipful Brothers Robert B. Palmer, Joseph Dailey, and Ceil M. Ward. Damascus Shrine No.3 OWSJ was charted in May of 1920; followed in 1925, 1926, and 1930 by the three youth orders, DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, and Job's Daughters. In May of 1929 was the chartering of Amaranth Court No. 34 followed by Amaranth Court No. 84 in May 1961. All orders but the Job's Daughters still occupy the Auburn Masonic Temple.

In time the Grand Lodge recognized the many unfavorable circumstances caused by Masonic Orders using the same facilities as other non-masonic fraternal orders. This led to negotiations with Bro. Aaron Neely and his wife for the present site on which the current temple now stands. Bro. Neely wished to donate the said property and in 1923 construction began, while in 1924, Grand Master Tom W. Holman made the dedication. Many changes have been made internally but the exterior remains almost in its original state.
In putting this history together, much of the information was obtained from the old-timers of the lodge and the books "Not Made With Hands" and "Proceedings of Grand Lodge of Washington, 1858 to 1908." Both are invaluable as to reading and information.

WB Fred A. Cornwell, December 1988