Chartered December 11, 1877
From the initial correspondence we can assume that on March 10, 1875, Worshipful Brother John Y. Worthington sent a letter along with a $25.00 fee asking the Grand Lodge for dispensation to start a lodge at Clifton Station, that would be known as Acacia Lodge.
The original petition contained the signatures of 16 Master Masons in good standing and with Manasseh Lodge No. 182 cheerfully vouching for the Masonic and moral qualifications of the petitioners, they recommended favorable consideration. In March 1876 from Alexandria, Virginia, at that time we were in the First District. Joseph Hopkins D.
D. P. M. #1 district wrote that because of these men making their residence in and around Clifton Station, it was a hardship of having to travel to Henry #57 in Fairfax Court House and Manasseh #182 at Manassas, Va., and made it impossible to attend lodge and it was his belief that a new lodge could be built up and become a flourishing lodge.
Under a dispensation issued on March 11, 5876AL-1876 A.D. by most Worshipful Wm. B. Taliafenno, Grant Master of Masons in Va., appointing Worshipful Brother J. Y. Worthington, Master; Brother George P. Wright, Senior Warden; Brother T. T. Burke, Jr. Warden; the first regular communication of Acacia Lodge was held in their hall on March 24, AL5876-AD1876.
A Master Mason lodge opened in due and ancient form for dispatch of business. The following brethren were appointed to fill the various offices. W. E. Ford, Treasurer; H. D. Rice, Secretary; James W. Ashford, Senior Deacon; R. H. Butler, Jr., Deacon; J. P. Woodyard, Tyler and J. R. Buckley and W. S. Kearns were appointed Stewards.
The first petitioners, George W. Marshall and Joseph F. Anderson were read and laid over under the rules. Motions were made and ordered that the regulat communication be held on: the Second and Fourth Monday of each month. On motion, fee for initiation was set at $10.00 and passing $5.00, raising $5.00.
On motion of Brother Makley a vote of Thanks was tendered to Brother J. W. Ashford for the handsome alter donated to this lodge.
On April 24, AL5876-AD1876 at the regular communication held in their hail, W. F. Makley petitioned and was laid over. Petitions of George W. Marshall and Joseph F. Anderson having laid over for the necessary time a ballot was circulated and in each case and came up clear.
Master Mason’s lodge was then dispensed with and an Entered Apprentice lodge was opened for work and instruction. Mr. George W. Marshall and Joseph F. Anderson were introduced separately and initiated, thus becoming the first Enter Apprentice’s in our lodge.
On May 8, AL5876-AD1 876 at a regular communication Master Masons lodge was dispensed with and an Enter Apprentice lodge was opened for work and instruction and Brother J. F. Anderson was examined as to his masonic proficiency. Enter Apprentice lodge was closed and Master Mason lodge resumed labor. A Ballot was taken on his moral fitness $ and again on his masonic proficiency both of which being fair he was declared duly elected a receive the Fellow Craft degree.
Master Mason’s lodge was again dispensed with and a Fellow Craft lodge was opened for work and instruction and Brother J. F. Anderson was introduced and passed to the 2nd degree in Masonry, according to ancient form and ceremonies. Thus becoming the first fellow craft in our lodge. This was the last meeting Worshipful John Worthington attended.
On May 22, AL5876-AD1876 at a regular communication Master Mason lodge was opened and dispensed with a Fellow Craft lodge opened for work and instruction. Brother J. F. Anderson, a regularly initiated Entered Apprentice and having been passed to the 2nd degree of Masonry in this lodge, was examined in open lodge. Fellow Craft lodge was closed and work resumed in Master Mason Lodge. Ballots were taken on moral qualification and Masonic proficiency of Brother J. F. Anderson, both being for he was declared elected to receive the 3rd degree in Masonry and was introduced and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason thus becoming the first Master Mason raised in our lodge.
At a regular communication on June 12, 1876, Brother H.D. Rice made his last visit and the Secretary position was Pro Tem until the Nov. 12, 1876, meeting when Brother L. Quigg was appointed Secretary.
At the stated communication on Nov. 12, 1876, Brother George P. Wright was appointed to represent this lodge at Grand Lodge and ask for further continuation of the dispensation under which this lodge was working.
At the January 8, 1877, Stated Communication Brother J. P. Woodyard resigned Tyler and J. F. Anderson was appointed to replace him.
At the regular Stated Communication on November 26, 1877, on motion it was resolved to change the stationed officers, Worshipful Master and Senior Warden, Brother George P. Wright was recommended for Worshipful Master and Brother L. Makley for Senior Warden.
On motion Brother George P. Wright was requested to represent Acacia Lodge at the Grand Lodge and present our claims for a charter.
On December 11, AL5877-AD1877 Grand Master Beverly Randoldf Wellford granted the Charter and appointed George P. Wright, Master; Leander Makley, Senior Warden, and Thomas T. Burke, Jr. Warden.
At a Stated Communication of Acacia Lodge No. 16 AF & AM held in their hail at Clifton Station, Va., January 14, AD1878-AL5878.
George P. Wright, W.M.
L. Makley, Senior Warden
T. T. Burke, Jr. Warden
W. E. Ford, Treasurer
J. W. Ashford, Secretary
W. S. Kerns, Senior Deacon
R. H. Butler, Jr., Deacon
George W. Marshall, Steward
James F. Buckley, Steward
Joseph F. Anderson, Tyler
Master Mason - Cyrus Hickeey
A lodge was opened on the third degree of Masonry in due and ancient form, District Deputy Grand Master John B. Smoot of Alexandria, Washington lodge No. 22, having opened a lodge on the 3rd degree of Masonry in due and ancient form with Worshipful Brother J. F. Beckkam of Alexandria, Washington, No. 22, Senior Warden; Worshipful Brother E. E. Dunnham of Andrew Jackson lodge No. 120, Jr. Warden; Worshipful Brother H. D. Smoot of Andrew Jackson No. 120, Treasurer; Brother Chas. E. Steward of Alexandria. Washington lodge No. 122, Secretary; Brother F. D. Wood of Andrew Jackson lodge 120, Senior Deacon; Brother G. W. Carlins, Andrew Jackson lodge No. 120, Junior Deacon.
Brother F. F. Marburg of Alexandria - Washington lodge No. 122, Tyler; Worshipful Brother F. A. Reed of Andrew Jackson No. 120, Marshall and Chaplin.
The Grand Lodge then entered the Hall of Acacia Lodge No. 16, and was received by the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Brethren with the Grand Honors. The Grand Lodge then filled the chairs of the lodge and a dispensations and charter to Acacia Lodge No. 16 from the Grand Lodge of Virginia was then presented. The Grand Lodge was then called off. The lodge on 3rd degree of Masonry was again called on and Acacia Lodge No. 16 presented for installation.
Worshipful Brother George P. Wright,
Worshipful Brother Leander Makley,
Worshipful Brother John 1. Burke,
These officers were then installed respectively in due and ancient form. Acacia Lodge No. 16 was then constituted in accordance with the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. Brethren W. E. Ford, Treasurer; J. W. Ashford, Secretary; W. S. Kerns, Sr. Deacon; R. H. Butler, Jr. Deacon; James J. Buckley and George Marshall, Stewards; Joseph F. Anderson, Tyler, were then presented and installed in their respective offices. The Grand Lodge then retired from the Hall and nothing further appearing for the good of Masonry, the lodge closed in due and ancient form and harmony at 10 P.M.
Now that we had become a constituted Lodge we looked forward into the future to find that history has not been kind to us in the form of accurate records. From this we hope that now and in the future our records will be more precise and define details, by this, we refer to the minutes where as at every opening we find "at a Stated or Called. Communication of Acacia Lodge held in their hall at Clifton Station Virginia." This statement no matter how minute at the time tells future generations nothing about the location. We know that various places were used, store rooms, and the Clifton School and in the 1890-95 era degrees were performed at neighboring lodges because of lack of space. And at the March 2, 1896 Stated Meeting a committee was appointed to confer with a like committee from the Junior United American Mechanics to study the probability of jointly building a hall for the use of the two orders but nothing appears in the records of the results.
Even request for aid from our Sister Lodge’s proved to be negative.
Acacia Lodge was never flourishing with financial assets, repeated requests for aid from other lodges were turned down and then only donations of .50 to $3.00 were passed on from collections taken from Brethren attending.
Thanks to our determined fore Brethren we could not find any clue that would make us believe that the Lodge was in jeopardy of folding with the passing of Wor. Bro. John Y. Worthington in July 1878, and Wor. Bro. George P. Wright on January 17, 1900. We had the usual amount of demits, suspensions and deaths, but the candidates kept the
Lodge pretty stable and the foremost thought at the time was finding an adequate permanent home.
At a regular Stated Communication in October 1902 a committee was appointed to study the proposal of purchasing the Makley store house that was reported to be at the corner of Main and Chapel Road.
At the January 12, 1903 Stated Meeting a committee was appointed to contact Mr. R. C. Hickey about purchasing the mill property for a lodge room. At the February 11, 1903 meeting the committee reported that the mill property could be purchased for $250 on 5-years time and by unanimous decision a committee of three, A. W. Robinson, it R. Buckley, and F. G. Mayhugh, was appointed and ordered to make arrangements to purchase same. But at the April Stated Meeting the committee could not report a satisfactory deed, so a committee was appointed consisting of Wor. Bro. S. Ellis Davis, J. W. Tanner and D. W. Buckley to solicit subscriptions in what was to be called "Joint Stock Co." to purchase the mill property and rent it to the lodge. The lodge was to pay annual interest and keep the property insured with a reliable insurance company.
At the May Stated Meeting the committee reported collection of $90 of which was accepted; D. H. Robinson $50, G. F. Anderson $20, E. S. Davis $10, S. E. Davis $10. Records are very sketchy at this point, they moved that they purchase the mill property and a committee of three be appointed to make Deed of Trust to Mr. Hickey and get the deed, they being A. W. Robinson, F. G. Mayhugh and Wor. Bro. D. W. Buckley. As there is nothing further mentioned other than $40.00 more was collected and we have to believe that this finalized the transaction and Acacia Lodge’s permanent home became a reality. At this point we can only wonder what happened to the Joint Stock Co. that was appointed to purchase the mill house and rent same for their use as no where in the records is it ever mentioned again, and when we consider the original $130.00 and time tells us that we paid $14 a year interest from the beginning of the note to 1908 when $40 was applied to the principal and it dropped to $12 until 1909 and it became $9 when we paid $50 until 1911 and $10 more on principal brought the yearly interest rate down to $6 where it remained until early 1920 when an agreement was reached with Mr. R C. Hickey to exchange lots for one more convenient on Main Street and abolish the debt of $100 still owed on the Deed of Trust. We can only assume that the difference in the original $130.00 and following payments was used for Title and Settlement fees.
We have to admire the trust that existed between Mr. R. C. Hickey and our early Brethren since the Lodge was moved to its’ present site in June 1920 at a cost of $130 and the final transaction of acquiring the Deed did not take place Until July 18, 1921 and his apparent leniency of letting the note go beyond it’s original 5 year time.
02-10-2009 added Where did we hold our meetings prior to 1903? we have no records of this, and our minutes do not state a location, they simply say "in our hall" 04-30-14 We know know were.
Jason Mitchell, a CBA member contacted Michelle Stein of the CBA who then called Bro. Brant's office, he was out of town and his secretary called me, there was a letter from Acacia Lodge dated 1904 up for auction on eBay. With only two-hours left on the auction, I placed a bid and successfully won the bid. The seller is from Oceanside, NY.
We now know where we had our meetings, and now have a 104 year old original document to prove it. "Makely's Hall"
This is a case of deja view, 104 years later we again mailed a letter to all Lodges asking for donations, but the asking price went from $400 in 1904 to $80,000 in 2008.
The letter was mailed to Smith Lodge No. 46 in Mount Solon, Va. Which is near Charlottesville, Va. And no longer exist.
Read the letter closely, there are some other interesting facts
02-11-2009 added Noticed from the Proceedings that L. and W. F. Makely were early members of the Lodge.
At the December 1903 meeting of the Grand Lodge they made changes that Grand Lodge would meet on the second Tuesday in February instead of December 1, as previously, and subordinate Lodges will elect officers on the Anniversary of St. John the Evangelist in December.
With the deed finally in our possession and the treasury badly depleted, the general feeling now became not what should we do but what can we do.
The minutes attest to the fact that peace and harmony prevailed with our Brethren as every motion for improvement was carried unanimously. With what meager funds that could be mustered, the first project undertaken was to eliminate the steps outside and move them inside, and later the main entrance was moved to the center front side of the Lodge facing Main Street, as it is today. Within the interior, platforms were built for the officers’ stations and a committee was appointed to explore the possibility of having electricity installed in the building. This was accomplished with the help of Mr. R. E. Simpson, General Manager, of the Southern Railroad.
We take time now to review our relationship with the community and find the facilities of the Lodge played an active part in community affairs. The Parent Teacher Association used it for social affairs and the Young Men’s Club of Clifton used the first floor for dances.
Our Ladies have always played an active part where possible by making curtains, aprons, serving dinners at Called or Stated Communications when the Lodge had work to perform in the Master Mason Degree and they were recognized for this when they were invited to set in after the end of a meeting when the District Deputy Grand Master would visit and join in later at dinner that was always arranged for the occasion. When Wor. Bro. Richard L. Wells was Master he specifically insisted that the ladies be included at our Social Hour after the meeting and prepare our meals. The Stewards abided by his wishes and arranged for his instruction regarding the ladies be fulfilled.
Acacia Lodge was invited to lay the cornerstones of many institutions.
On May 27, 1896, Acacia Lodge journeyed to Fairfax Court House, Virginia and held a Called Communication in the Oak Street School, and then retired to the site of the now Oak Grove Methodist Church to lay the cornerstone.
At the Stated Communication held July 30, 1906, Acacia Lodge accepted invitation from Manasseh #182 to be present at the laying of the cornerstone of their temple.
April 5, 1909 the Officers and members of Acacia Lodge do hereby cheerfully vouch for Masonic and Moral Qualifications of the petition for a Dispensation to open and hold a Lodge at Occoquan, in the county of Prince William, Virginia and recommend their petition for the favorable consideration of the Most Worshipful Grand Master. Thus Occuquan #310 became a member of District #1.
Note spelling of Occoquan above
On November 24, 1910 Acacia was called upon to lay the cornerstone of the Clifton Baptist Church and on March 12, 1912 they laid the cornerstone of the Clifton School from which many of our present Brethren attended and graduated.
December 18, 1925 at the request of Brother John Barrett of Acacia Lodge, they laid the cornerstone of a building on the Crittenden Home property that was erected to the memory of the late Kate N. Barrett.
It is with shame that we now should realize that our Brethren’s wishes have not been carried out on the original Bible which was used since the foundation of the Lodge.
January 1922, Brother John Upp presented the Lodge with a gift of a new Bible to be used on the alter. A motion was made to make a suitable case with a glass top to contain the original Bible in order to save it in memory of the many members who had taken their obligation on its scarred pages.
August 25, 1925 Wor. Bro. George E. Kidwell presented a bill for $4.00 for this case and the Bible was placed in the Archives of the Lodge. Somewhere along the path of time the case has been lost but we still have the Bible. Shouldn’t we rectify this situation and restore it where our Brethren intended it to be.
From 1923 to 1933 we were a part of the 59th District and in 1934 we became a member Lodge of the 58th District as we are today.
Hope and then despair has plagued us throughout our history. In 1926 avenues were approached for a new building, and in 1940 attempts were made to join with the town council to enter in an agreement to build a town hall with facilities for a lodge. But this idea got no farther then the committees. Although attempts were made to purchase our property.
As we are preparing to celebrate our 100th Anniversary our Brethren did the same on the 50th. December 11, 1927 the Lodge met at the Clifton Baptist Church for services and proceeded to George P. Wright Billard Hall for a Turkey supper that was prepared by a Chef that had been engaged for $100.
When Wor. John M. Detwiler became Master he recommended to change the by-laws whereas our Stated Communication would be on the second Monday of the Month which was unanimously approved and adopted.
With the economy probably at its worst of any time in our history and the country at a standstill, Acacia Lodge remained a ray of hope for some of our Brothers who looked to the Lodge for the necessities of life, the Lodge while experiencing their own problems, dwindling petitions (4 petitions from 1928-1939) and members not being able to pay their dues because the opportunity to find a job was practically nil.
In 1928 Acacia Lodge #16 joined with Henry Lodge #57 and Manasseh Lodge #182 and the George P. Wright Headstone Fund was instituted to solicit funds from members of the three lodges to purchase and place a headstone on the grave of Rt. Wor. George P. Wright, P.M. of both Henry Lodge #57 and Acacia Lodge #16 and also Honorary member of Acacia Lodge and First Master of Manasseh #182..
November 9, 1936 Henry Lodge #57 set forth a petition for a transfer from the 54th District to the 58th District and requested a letter from Acacia Lodge #16 recommending the transfer.
February 13, 1939 Rt. Wor. R. R. Buckley, father of Wor. Bro. C. R. Buckley and Rt. Wor. R. R. Buckley, Jr., who we all know as Randy, was presented with a 50-Year Pin given by the Grand Lodge. Our first member to achieve this recognition. On the same night Wor. Bro. R S. Kincheloe received the Past Masters Jewell, being the first Past Master of Acacia Lodge to be so honored.
In the year of 1932 the four Lodges, Acacia Lodge #16, Manasseh #182, Haymarket #313, and Herndon #264 that comprised the 59th District agreed to share the expense of purchasing a District Banner that would stay in the home Lodge of the District Deputy Grand Master during his year and at a Stated Communication on June 13, 1932 a motion was made and seconded and carried to pay the bill of $6.15 for Acacia Lodge, ¼ share toward the Banner.
In 1934 when we became a member of the 58 Masonic District you can see where the 59 was taken off and 58 added. Then in 1936 when Henry #57 became a member lodge of the 58th District they were added to the Banner.
Most Worshipful Walter Albert Porter, Grand Master of Masons in Virginia, paid an official visit to Acacia Lodge on September 30, 1960. He was received with honors at a Called Communication at the Clifton Volunteer Fire Hall Auditorium. This location was selected by the Worshipful Master because of the small seating capacity of our Lodge Room. Thus, 83 years after the lodge received its Charter, Acacia Lodge was honored by being the host lodge for a Grand visitation.
In 1975 on the 18th day of October, Dr. Seymour David Levy, Grand Master of Masons in Virginia stepped through the doors into our Lodge Room. This was the first time for a Grand Master to view the room and its furnishings. He was accompanied by the Grand Marshall and the District Deputy Grand Master, for the 58th Masonic District, Rt. Worshipful John E. Frederick, Sr. Past Master and Secretary of Acacia Lodge, and was greeted by Worshipful Master, Richard L. Wells; Senior Warden, Roy E. Campbell; and Junior Warden, Mynor F. McIntyre. Then the Brethren sat down and enjoyed cake and coffee prepared for the occasion by our lovely and devoted ladies.
At the Stated Communication on March 17, 1924 Rt. Wor. A. J. Kidwell presented the Lodge with a piece of his handy work in iron, figuratively representing his life long occupation as a blacksmith, in the form of a large horseshoe with the Masonic Emblems arranged therein.
The third and present Bible was presented together with an altar cloth and pedestal cover to Acacia Lodge #16 by the following brethren; Rt. Wor. Richard R. Buckley, Wor. John M. Ramey and Wor. Francis W. Parker, Reverend Bro. Robert D. Bayman dedicated this Bible with appropriate ceremony at our Stated Communication on March 12, 1956.
At a Called Communication on February 22, 1962 Rt. Wor. Charles A. Sinclair presented to Acacia Lodge #16 through Wor. Bro. John North a memorial to the memory of Wor. Bro. Thomas 0. Clore our late and beloved brother. The memorial is a set of Jewels to be used by the Senior Deacon in receiving candidates.
Rt. Wor. Bro. Sinclair expressed his hope that all Brothers passing through the West Gate will feel "Tommy’s" presence.
The letter G above the Altar was presented to the Lodge at the April 14, 1958 Stated Communication by Wor. Doneghy and Wor. John North.
September 28, 1958 Wor. Thomas 0. Clore presented Wor. Francis W. Parker with a Wor. Master’s Pin of which has been passed on to every Master to this day.
Past records do not indicate where our Officer’s Jewels were obtained but we do know that our present Square and Compass was presented by Wor. Bro. Gary K. Stout on March 8, 1971.. In 1972 covers for the officer’s stations were presented by Wor. and Mrs. Oakley C. Wolfe as in 1975 our present Altar Lights.
Through the assistance of Wor. Archie P. Lyons in 1972 we received our flag which had flown over the Capitol.
Modernization of our lower hail can be attributed to efforts of many, without intending to omit any brother whose hours of long toil contributed to achieve this we should mention that Rt. Wor. R. R. Buckley, Jr., Wor. Harold Artz, Wor. Herbert Martin, Rt. Wor. John Frederick and Wor. Oakley C. Wolfe contributed much of the leadership and materials to reach our present appearance. In 1975 Wor. R. L. Wells was able to finish the floor and have the interior and outside painted. Yes, Acacia Lodge has come a long way in one hundred years.
The minutes tell us that on September 20,1920 first attempts were made to interest the ladies, that is Mason wives, daughters and sisters in forming an Eastern Star Lodge in Clifton, and at the Stated Communication December 20, 1920 a communication from Dr. E. A. Drun, Grand Patron O.E.S. was read which contained a petition for dispensation to establish a chapter at Clifton. Motion was made and seconded to secure as many signatures as possible, and all members to solicit all eligible members. Nothing further is mentioned until October 2, 1922 when a committee was appointed to meet with the O.E.S. to use the hail and provide the keys. Throughout their existence O.E.S. Chapter 67 was able to use our facilities and held joint picnics and dinners together. Nothing else is mentioned after 1932, but communications with former members explain that the charter was returned and the members affiliated with the Manassas chapter.
Acacia Lodge #16 can take pride and look on with honor that although in our 100 years we have only presented thirteen DDGM’s they have proficiently cor~ducted themselves in the highest Masonic tradition.
Without disrespect to present or past brothers, we feel that mention should be made to the fact that throughout our existence the one brother who attended and supported the Lodge with his presence and actual participation for 43 years was the longest period of contribution by any member Wor. Master three times, held every office in the Lodge and would no doubt have continued longer had he not retired and moved to Florida. He being Wor. Bro. John M. Detwiler our oldest living member, oldest Past Master, Fifty year and Honorary member.
Wor. John M. Detwiler confirmed what records did not reveal when he explained that the Tyler’s Sword belonged to Rt. Wor. George P. Wright and he presented it to the lodge for the purpose that it is used.
In concluding we can rightfully say that Acacia Lodge #16 was originated by Rt. Wor. John Y. Worthington and Rt. Wor. George P. Wright; but had it not been for men like Rt. Wor. A. J. Kidwell; Rt. Wor. James U. Kincheloe; Wor. D. W. Buckley; Rt. Wor. Robert R.
Buckley; Rt. Wor. Richard R. Buckley; Rt. Wor. E. G. Taylor; Wor. john M. Detwiler; Rt. Wor. Robert W. Darr; Rt. Wor. James W. Maley and to the present Rt. Wor. John E. Frederick Sr. having provided the backbone and leadership we might not have made our 100 year’s of existence.
Acacia Masonic Temple
7135 MAIN STREET
CLIFTON, VIRGINIA 22024