Sat, Jul 21, 2018

History of Lake Oswego Freemasons

Waluga Lodge was formed by members of Oswego Lodge No. 109, chartered June 15, 1893 originally in Oswego but later moved to Milwaukie due to economic downturn caused by the iron smelter shutting down.

Subsequently moved to Milwaukie the name Oswego Lodge No. 109 was retained until changed by Grand Lodge in its resolution dated June 15, 1922. Oswego Lodge No. 109 then became known as Milwaukie No. 109.

In order for the Oswego Members to attend lodge in Milwaukie, it was necessary for them to walk across the railroad bridge. In the early days, many lodges met “on or after full moon,” or “on or before full moon.” Transportation was poor, roads were rough and difficult; getting from home to lodge was often a problem. Having the light of the moon made such journeys safer and easier and thus ‘Oswego’ was known as a “Moon Light Lodge.”

In the spring of 1921, about nine members led by Bro, Bill Kingkade met in May’s Drug Store in Oswego and undertook the formation of Waluga Lodge. Bro, Kingkade was elected master but asked to be excused on account of not having the time to undertake the formation of the lodge.

Bro. Fred Reese was then elected to be the master. He secured the cooperation of Oswego Lodge No. 109, Orenomah 177 and Multnomah No. 1 in the matter of jurisdiction and the Lodge was instituted Feb. 1, 1922 in the Odd Fellows Hall, Oswego.

 Odd Fellows Lodge Oswego Oregon physical location of 1st Waluga Lodge Meetings

Odd Fellows Hall, Oswego, Oregon on Durham Road, currently the corner of Durham and Church Streets, the building where Waluga Lodge No. 181, A.F.& A.M. held it’s first meetings until a building of its own could be secured.

On April 15, 1922, a delegation came over from Orenomah Lodge and Cy Woodworth on behalf of Orenomah Lodge, presented us with our U.S. Flag which is still displayed in the lodge today.

Waluga Lodge No. 181 started in the spring of 1921 and the charter is dated June 16th, 1922. Support was given to establish a Chapter of the Eastern Star in 1923.

Through out our history many social affairs were held with Waluga Chapter No. 146 such as dances, joint installations, box socials, Sweet heart Dinners honoring our widows and others etc. The Lodge on at least one occasional voted to apologize for leaving the kitchen in a dirty mess for the Eastern Star to clean up. However, due to declining membership Waluga’s OES voted in May of 2007 to disband.

 Sometime during the 20’s the Lodge secured a lot for a future building site on First Street.

April 3, 1929 Bro. Stanton called for the Lodge to “to look to future and begin to lay by some money to build a hall”. Jan 1, 1930 Bros. Stanton & Banks presented selected “Magic Lantern” slides showing Masonic scenes to be used in presenting lectures. Motion to purchase passed.

Following the crash of 1929, some thought was given to giving up the charter. On Dec 30, 1930 a Resolution to surrender charter by the 1931 election if it could  not be shown that our lodge has been of greater value to members. Resolution to be read at subsequent meetings up till election. It was also voted to have talks on “Why did I join the Masons.” This provoked discussion after which other Masonic subjects were discussed with good results and attendance.

A photo of Waluga Lodge No. 181, Oswego (pre ‘Lake’ Oswego) found in the archives of Multnomah Lodge No. 1 in Oregon City  (photo circa 1966).

March 1, 1933 Waluga Temple Builders held discussion on opportunity to secure “Redmen” Hall which had been used as a community hall and for showing motion pictures. Committee: A.C. Doig, P.H. Morgan, J.I. Likens. April 5, 1933 Bro Dalged moved to accept the proposal of the W.T.B. Association to use the building which they are endeavoring to purchase.

Bros. Cosgray moved to loan the W.T.B. Assoc. $200. June 7, 1933 WM thanked the committee appointed to acquire the new temple and “discharged them of duties” with thanks. The purchase price was $3,000. The seller accepted the Lodge lot on 1st street for $1,000, leaving a balance due of $2,000, of which the Lodge made a down payment of $200, balance to be paid at $30/mo.

Sat July 15, 1933 First meeting of the Pick and Shovel Brigade assembled. Oct 7 1933 Temple was dedicated June 6, 1934. Bros. Stoetzel & Hal Cosgray appealed for assistance to finish basement work.

Oct 19, 1938. Bros. Sundley donated bricks for the fireplace March 1, 1939.  Miss Flauson purchased andirons for fireplace as donation in memory of her father.

March 22, 1944 Bros. Lester Davis donated  Fellow Craft floor carpet to the Lodge for use in presenting lecture.

Jan 16, 1945 M.W.G.M. presented the Lodge a gavel of black locust wood from his farm in Wasco County. The GM recited facts basic to the development of Masonic education of the individual brother.

June 9, 1947 25th anniversary for Waluga Lodge No. 181; Mill City No. 180, Parkrose No. 179, Molalla No. 178. Bros. Warren Graham, WP of OES presented $60 check to be used to purchase an illuminated letter “G” as a gift from Waluga Chapter.

 On Nov 26, 1947 The Illuminated “G” was officially lighted for first time by WM Don Larson. Credit to Tom Allen for donating a transformer and to Willis Hill who arrange for having it made.

On August 25, 1951 The lodge arranged for laying of the cornerstone at the Lake Oswego High School by the Grand Lodge MW R.W. S. Nesbitt. Cost of the Bronze tablet (16” x 11”) was $53.90 paid to Oregon Brass Works by Waluga Lodge.

On February 2, 1955 David Redmond made motion to install a phone in the basement. Seconded & passed.

On Nov 6, 1957 A Masonic Library was instituted by a gift from the estate of Lee B. Laighton, PM 1945 of $250.

June 4, 1958 Motion made to build Waluga’s vault.

June 1, 1960 WB Southard furnished the marble square for rapping the gavel in the East. WB Brown furnished the podium top and WB Walker made the sides.

On Jan 9, 1963 Motion to incorporate Waluga Lodge No. 181 as non profit.

1966 A Street



On September 7, 1967 Carpet was laid in the lodge room.

The Fifty Year Anniversary was in 1972. As of that date 462 men have become members of Waluga Lodge.

On May, 1986 Brother Ben Mahar installed three way switches on the second row of lights, in the dinning hall, “so that the post and knots on your heads can now be avoided.”

On June, 1986 Associate Matron Anne Amatori donates two ceiling fans to the Lodge and Brother Floyd Martin installed.

On Dec 3, 1986: Hobart Dishwasher purchased from a brother belonging to Holbrook Lodge. He bought at “old Shrine Hospital auction” and was going to use it in his restaurant but sold to Waluga for $350.00. Bro. David O Johnson making arrangements to donate a used range hood from the Scottish Rite for Waluga’s kitchen.

Feb 4, 2004 –Waluga web goes live at Webmaster Jeff Crawford.

In 2007 a decision was made to do a major cleaning and upgrading of the lodge which continued several years. The removal of the old, torn, smelly and ugly rug and then sanding, buffing and lacquering the marvelous floor of the main hall. The ceiling was also repaired. The next step was the facade as show below:

As the work progressed several other issues were discovered and addressed.  They ranged from the commercial dishwasher failing to a damaged gutter system.  As the front landscape and concrete was being replaced we discovered a major sinkhole. The work continued with dramatic improvements in the undercroft area and kitchen. Exactly one year after the above photo we had the facade finished:

2012 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrating

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