Historic Littleton explores Masonic roots
Stories behind Western Lodge No. 22
Historic Littleton Inc. tries to have its annual meeting in one of Littleton's historic buildings each year so that members can become better acquainted with the various parts and pieces that make up the city's history.
Located at a highly visible entrance to the downtown area, is Weston Lodge No. 22 at 5738 S. Rapp St. as one enters the downtown from Santa Fe drive.
On Jan. 22, HLInc members gathered in the upstairs meeting hall at the lodge to learn about the building's history from retired engineer Robin Knox, who — with assistance from several other members — led a tour of the building, talking about what they could comfortably discuss and skipping what they could not.
When Littleton's first settlers arrived on the banks of the South Platte River to search for gold in 1858, many gold hunters were already Masons, he said.
By 1861, a Grand Lodge was established at Auraria — needed in order to grant other lodges permission to form. Colorado was still a territory at that time and by 1872, Littleton's Weston Lodge was No. 22 in the sequence — recognized on March 1, 1872.
Meetings were held for the first 49 years upstairs in the J.D. Hill General Store, which is next door to the Lodge now. (Natural Surroundings and Three Chimneys).
“Close quarters as the membership grew,” Knox commented.
In 1911 the related ladies and brothers met to start a chapter of Order of Eastern Star, Manzanita No. 85. They met above the Littleton Independent on Main Street, using a piano the Masons helped to provide.
Both organizations needed more room and in July 1914 a building fund was set up to receive 25 percent of Lodge income. On Oct. 20, 1920, member I.W. Hunt donated land at the end of Main Street for a temple and building began with donated labor, materials, paint and more.
The cornerstone was laid April 23, 1921, containing various symbolic items, a list of members and a copy of the Littleton Independent. The first Lodge meeting was Aug. 21, 1921.
It was the sturdy brick building we see today with two white pillars and Masonic symbols on the facade. Members still care for it lovingly and it houses regular meetings of Masons, Eastern Star, Demolays, Rainbow Girls and Jobs Daughters.
Everything in the upper meeting room has symbolic meaning, much of it not open for discussion, but Knox pointed out a photo of lawyer/Harvard graduate Adam Weston, for whom the Lodge was named.
Three lighted tapers, two pillars holding globes, an altar set on black and white checkerboard tiles, symbolic of Solomon's Temple, copies of the lodge's charters and a picture of George Washington, who was an active Mason, were described.
Any good man who asks to be a Mason can start his Masonic journey and women related to a Mason can start as Eastern Stars or Job's Daughters. Rainbow Girls is open to any girl to join — which leads to how this meeting all came about.
Historic Littleton board member Darlee Whiting first visited the Lodge as a Castle Rock teenager. She and others sought training so they could start a Rainbow Girls chapter in Castle Rock — which they did. Many years later, it occurred to her that it would certainly be a place of interest to her fellow history buffs, so she arranged for the meeting.
For information about Historic Littleton Inc., which is open to anyone interested in local history, see the website, www.hlinc.org.