Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM


After satisfying themselves that there was need of a lodge closer to home, they appointed a committee to discuss the matter with Adin Lodge, in whose jurisdiction they happened to reside.  They also instructed their secretary to write to Inspector Charles S. Baldwin of Alturas, to arrange a meeting between him and the same committee.  Though Fall River Mills is in Shasta County and Baldwin was in Modoc County, it was still his jurisdiction.  The rest of the meeting was devoted to the obtaining of a meeting place and demits from home lodges. 

The second preliminary meeting took place in Fall River Mills May 14th.  It was better attended than the first.  Twenty-three brothers received the report of the committee that had met with Adin Lodge.  There was a question as to whether a lodge could be organized at Fall River Mills without injury to Adin, which was then paying for a newly-erected hall.  But, before the meeting was over, the Master and Secretary of Adin Lodge arrived and announced that they had given further consideration to the matter.  Though they had no desire to see Adin lose members, they still felt there was a need for a lodge at Fall River Mills, and that Adin’s Lodge would not be seriously injured if one were established there.  Indeed, “it would benefit Masonry generally.” 

This bit of excellent sportsmanship was not lost on the brethren of Fall River Mills.  It was the consensus of the meeting that they could organize a lodge in Fall River Mills without taking any member from Adin, though two of the Adin members insisted on demitting.  As a result, the Secretary prepared a petition for a dispensation, which was signed by 12 brethren including the two from Adin. 

A third meeting, held May 18, brought a still larger attendance.  At it, the brethren chose the name “Fort Crook” for their Lodge, assessed themselves $10 apiece and made plans to raise funds for organizing.  They also elected their first officers and received donations of certain paraphernalia.  The officers elected were: Otho Stewart, formerly of Arbuckle, as Master; Robert Grover Brown, formerly of Adin Lodge, as Senior Warden; and Walter Ernest Richardson, formerly of Eureka Lodge, as Junior Warden. 

Grand Master William A. Sherman issued them a dispensation July 28 and Fort Crook Lodge was instituted a week later, on August 4th.  The following October 11th, when it received its charter, it was ready to take its permanent place on the Roster of Lodges.  Grand Master Arthur S. Crites presided at its constitution on November 1. 

 After 1923, when it filed its first returns on 25 Master Masons, Fort Crook Lodge grew into a flourishing organization of 140 members, most of whom were employed by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  Therefore, it was termed a “power” Lodge or “hydro-electric” Lodge. 

 The Lodge’s close connection with hydro-electric power and the company that produces it is best illustrated by something that happened in 1931.  When the Odd Fellows Hall, in which Fort Crook Lodge originally met, was destroyed by fire that year, the Grand Master issued a dispensation permitting the brethren to meet in the local Pacific Gas and Electric Company office until the new Hall was built.  The office, located in a one-story structure, gave to the Lodge the transient distinction of meeting on the ground floor. 

Fort Crook Lodge #575 had an outstanding characteristic that was immediately apparent to a visitor – some of which is based on close family ties – a fine Lodge spirit.  Three of its Past Masters, G.C. Green, Simon Franklin Smith and Otho Stewart, raised their own sons to the sublime degree of Master Mason in it.  Two Senior Wardens, A.M. McDaniel and C.M. Foster, acted a Master when raising their own blood brothers in lodges of other communities.  At home or abroad, they carried their Masonry into their family circles.  And the stories of Grover Cleveland Green and Otho Stewart afford two of the best examples of lodge spirit in the anals of California Masonic history. 

Green, an engineer for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, was Master of Fort Crook Lodge 575 in 1927.  Just before he was installed in that office, his company transferred him to Jackson, in Amador County, over 287 miles away by automobile travel.  Nevertheless, he did not give up his office; he drove a round trip of 575 miles to attend every stated meeting during his term, to say nothing of attending third degree meetings and Public Schools Week programs. 

Stewart, also a PG&E Company employee, was installed Secretary of the Lodge in 1927.  In 1939, when he retired from his company, he moved to Redding, 70 miles away.  Yet, he attended every Stated and 3rd Degree meeting and such other meetings as may have required his attendance. 

On September 1, 1988, Fort Crook #575 joined Adin #250 and became Fort Crook Lodge #250.  On June 1, 2007, Modoc Lodge #235 joined Fort Crook Lodge #250. 

(The above text was slightly abbreviated in the interest of website space.  For a complete manuscript, please contact the Lodge Secretary). 

The history presented here will include only up to the consolidation with Adin Lodge #250 on September 1, 1988, after which the Lodge became Fort Crook Lodge #250. 

On the evening of May 2, 1923, thirteen Master Masons gathered at Walter E. Richardson’s home at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Pit 1 Power House, (between Fall River Mills and Burney), to discuss the feasibility of organizing a lodge at Fall River Mills.  Nine of them belonged to Adin Lodge 250, about 45 miles by highway to the northeast.  The remainder hailed from Arbuckle, Millville, Auburn and Susanville.  Richardson was appointed chairman and George H. Taylor, secretary. 

 

Fort Crook Lodge 575