Northern Lights Masonic Lodge

Masonry in Hope, North Dakota was established six years prior to Cooperstown and drew candidates and affiliates from this territory.  The long horse and buggy rides to the meetings and the rivalry between the towns prompted the idea of a Masonic Lodge in Cooperstown.

The first recorded meeting of Northern Light #45 is dated July 5, 1895 and was held in the I.O.O.F. hall in Cooperstown.  The hall was situated over the Bateman drug store occupying Lot 11 in Block 73.  There was a charge of six dollars for the two informal meetings to discuss the establishment of the lodge and the meeting of July 5, 1895.  The charter members were:

W.D. Marsh, Worshipful Master

J.E. Johnson, Senior Warden

David Bartlett, Junior Warden

J.N. Brown, Secretary

B.A. Upton, Treasurer

M.W. Buck, Senior Deacon

George Stringer, Junior Deacon

E.C. Butler, Chaplain

B.B. Brown, Tyler

Glen Dyson

William L. Stringer

S.B. Langford

Rollin Cooper

F.J. Stone

C.H. Mosely

Charles Houghton

Knud Thompson

Alex Curry

W.C. Jimeson.

By 1905 the need for larger quarters was apparent and an opportunity presented itself.  In June of that year a contract was entered into with the Jimeson and Olson Company to add a second story to the building then under construction on lots 1 and 2 in Block 75.  The Masonic Lodge agreed to pay $30.00 a month and pay $1000.00 as advance rent in order to finance the construction.  Furnishings and decorations had to be supplied so a subscription list was circulated and $1965.00 was raised.  The lodge used those quarters until 1916.

For several years the lodge sponsored a lyceum course.  Dances and card parties were a regular feature and supplied entertainment.

In 1904 the lodge loaned its moral support and $25.00 to help organize an Order of Eastern Star.

In 1905 building plans were discussed.  R.C. Cooper offered to donate a large equity in a Section of land.  A Masonic Temple was incorporated, in which practically all of the members took from one to ten shares of stock at $100.00 per share.  The cornerstone was laid on June 23, 1916, while T.S. Syverson was master.  Dedication was July 6, 1917.

By 1915 the membership had grown to 150.

This Masonic Temple still stands on the northwest corner of Block 80 on Highway 45 running north and south through Cooperstown.  At the time of its erection it was the largest exclusively Masonic structure in a town this size.  The building is made of greyish brick with sandstone trimmings.  The main lodge room, 34' x 54', is located on first floor.  At the west end of the room is a balcony filled with opera chairs, which has a seating capacity of 65.  This balcony is reached by a flight of winding stairs, consisting of three, five, and seven steps and ornamented with columns representing the five ancient orders of architecture.

The ceiling of the main lodge room is twenty feet high, paneled with heavy oak beams.  In the east end of the room is a stage 34' x 20'equipped with curtains, drops and wings.

The room is finished in the symbolic Masonic color of blue, the floor covering, a blue rug, the windows of leaded blue glass.  The woodwork and furniture are of dark fumed oak.  The room is indirectly lighted.

A club room 20' x 70' in size, divided in the center by a big colonnade, is also located on the first floor.  This room has a fireplace, bookcases and lounging chairs.  Billiard tables, ping-pong tables and card tables are also there.

Upstairs is a ladies' parlor, also containing a fireplace and furniture.

On this floor is also the Red Room of the building, designed for the Lodge of Perfection.  It is finished in red, and oak furniture is used in the room.

Its basement houses the furnace room, kitchen, dining room, and two property rooms beside a large vault.  The building was valued at $50,000.00 at the time of construction.

John Syverson landscaped the grounds.

The temple was the Red Cross headquarters of Griggs County during World War 1.  Thousands of items were assembled, made, packed and shipped from this base.

Membership by 1930 had grown to over 200.  The membership was 140 in 1935.

In 1982 the building and furnishings are valued at $425,000.00 and membership is 73 members.

The temple association maintains the building.  Its members are:

Bruce G. Hazard, Chairman

Clarence Sandvik, Secretary-Treasurer

Steve Dahl

James Hazard Jr.

Helger Andersen

Don Loder

Norman Hoel

The officers of the Northern Light #45 Masonic Lodge are:

Steve Dahl, Worshipful Master

Rick Dahl, Senior Warden

Rick Hazard, Junior Warden

James Sott, Secretary

Clarence Sandvik, Treasurer

Bruce Lee Hazard, Senior Deacon

Peter Overby Junior Deacon

Erik Overby Tyler

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 240

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