Torrence’s History of Tonopah Lodge #28

For untold ages summer’s boiling sun and winter’s chilling blasts have alternately scorched and chilled the breast of a towering, rocky sentinel, which rises abruptly from the shimmering plains where is located Tonopah, in Nye county, Nevada. For ages, majestic and silent it stood, the playground of the winds, jealously guarding the secret which lay locked within its rock ribbed breast. Its slopes were barren of vegetation, its broken sides bristled with threatening rocks and boulders, its lofty reaches as dry as Sahara’s sands.

But, like many of the paradoxes of life, nature had supplied this lofty sentinel with a heart as valuable as gold for, hidden beneath its forbidding exterior lay the ransom of Kings awaiting the genius and strength of man to open up its treasure trove, and flood the marts with its silvery sheen. And so, early in the present century, Mount Oddie released its age old secret and gave to the world the fabulously rich Mizpah and other mines, bringing fame and fortune to a new district, and opening up a mineral territory whose riches rivaled the fabled wealth of biblical Ophir, and the far famed mines of Solomon, king of Israel.

The beginning of the desert’s mad decade came through the wilderness with a few lone prospectors who believed that “gold was where you found it,” and so, undaunted, determined and optimistic, they begged a grub stake, loaded their packs on their burros and sallied forth into the mysterious desert, and up forbidding heights, to resurrect an industry almost dead, and to electrify the world with the discovery of a new El Dorado.

It was history repeating itself, rehearsing the mad scenes enacted in those districts unknown and undreamed of before the prospector’s pick and shovel uncovered the wealth of Nevada back in the late fifties and early sixties, and sent gold mad throngs rushing to Aurora, Austin, Comstock, Eureka and Treasure Hill, to woo the fickle goddess of fortune, and gave to the state the wealth which helped to save the financial structure of our nation.

And so, as Nevada’s treasures were brought to light with the discovery of undreamed wealth in the gulches and canyons of her rugged hills and mountains, so also, with the discovery of her mineral wealth, Masonry was introduced into the state, some of our first lodges following quickly the settlement of the new born camps.

Thus, as our state expanded and progressed, new mining localities developing new districts which became productive centers of wealth and industry, as long as mineral was mined, so Masonry has been finding among its initiates, treasures of real worth who have given to Masonry since its inception in Nevada, rare mental and moral contributions which have made their influence felt not only in the lodge room, but abroad in the world as well.

No particular Masonic lodge or locality in Nevada could be singled out from which to select these distinguished members, for from almost every lodge have come Masons of outstanding qualifications who have figured prominently in municipal, state and government affairs. The list is long and honorable, and Nevada Masonry is justly proud of her outstanding members of the craft, who have been, and are, a unit in the fraternity, as to the sound fundamentals back of them, and of life in general, and who met and now meet upon the level of real understanding as to the underlying values of life, living up to their heritage and their duties as consistent fraternalists.

It was from such men as these that Masonry added another unit to the Nevada jurisdiction early in the year 1902, which became an established and moral influence in what was Butler, Nevada, later becoming Tonopah, the county seat of Nye county.

A brief reference to the local history of this interesting and productive camp would not be amiss, for Masonry in that locality is in reality only a history of the district in which the order was born, flourished, and in spite of discouragements, misfortunes and decline, has continued to exist, a dominant factor in the policies and civic activities of this community.

Tonopah district is perhaps the only mining district in Nevada that has been a consistent producer of silver and gold since it was discovered in May, 1900, by Jim Butler. It is estimated that its mines have produced over $250,000,000.00 and paid approximately $35, 000,000 in dividends to their owners.

Many fantastic stories are related of Jim Butler’s discovery of the rich ore deposits on what is now Mount Oddie, named for former Senator Tasker Oddie. The story, however, as related by Butler some years before his death, involves a search one morning in May, 1900, for a burro, which had wandered off up the mountainside the night before. Butler related that as he searched for the recalcitrant animal he picked up a rock near a ledge, which was highly mineralized. He took the sample to an assayer in Klondyke, a settlement a few miles south of what is now Tonopah, and had it assayed. The assayer pronounced it worthless. Butler, however, kept some of the rock and showed it to his wife, who sent a sample to Oddie, then located at Austin, Nevada. Oddie had the ore assayed and the report came back that the sample ran 604 oz, in silver, and $206.00 in gold, per ton.

Butler and his wife set out to locate the claim, traveling by the way of Klondyke where they forced the assayer who pronounced the rock worthless, to admit that he had not made a careful analysis of the sample, but agreed to make a further assay of a quantity of the same ore Butler had previously left at his office. The result tallied very closely with the assay made in Austin.

The Butlers left at once for the mountains, and were hardly out of sight when the Klondyke assayer and a party of his friends left in hasty pursuit. They lost the trail, however, with the approach of night, and when they finally arrived upon the scene the next morning, Butler had already staked out all the ground he wanted. The first location was named the “Desert Queen,” the next the “Burro,” while the third, named by Mrs. Butler, “The Mizpah,” proved to be the richest mine of all.

As soon as their location work was completed, Butler went to Belmont where he met Tasker Oddie and Cal Brougher, who were included in a partnership, and development work was started. Two tons of ore were taken from a shallow shaft, which they took to Belmont and from there by team 100 miles to the railroad, from which point it was shipped to San Francisco. Six hundred dollars was realized from this shipment, with which a few men were hired and active development of the claims started. Oddie was made manager, and eventually became general manager of the property when the mine was finally sold to the Tonopah Mining Co., a Philadelphia concern.

When the news of the discovery became known a wild rush to the new district began. A town of tents and shacks appeared in a short time and the trails from Austin, Eureka, Ely, and west from California were black with the hurrying throng. Excitement ran high, every available foot of ground in the district was staked; while in the new settlement a motley mob of adventurous men and a few lone women milled through the hastily laid out main street, gambling on newly located claims, and indulging in orgies which are ordinarily practiced in localities where law and order had not been established.

Gradually, however, the excitement subsided as the newcomers realized that the newly found metal was confined to practically the one locality, and those who remained settled down to the task of making the most of business opportunities. Order was created out of chaos, in time the canvas tents gave way to neat frame dwellings, the roughly erected business shacks were replaced by larger frame buildings, the angling main street became a neatly laid out thoroughfare, from which radiated well ordered side streets, flanked by neat dwellings.

Oddie and Butler took a fortune from the Mizpah, as did many lessees. In one single year this mine produced $4,000,000.00; by 1907 over $12,000,000.00 had been taken out, at which time 1500 miners were at work, and nearly 7,000 people were residents of the camp.

Much of the glamour, the picturesqueness and the romance of the roaring sixties had disappeared when Tonopah came into existence, modern methods of mining and more progressive modes of living had been introduced, besides which, a higher type of education was sweeping the country than had been common when Comstock, Aurora, Treasure Hill and Austin ruled the metal world in the late fifties and middle sixties.

However, it is not to be inferred that Tonopah was free from the rougher element and that the moral atmosphere of the camp was what it should be. Gambling was wide open, and thousands of dollars were lost daily in various games of chance. The main street of the camp was made up largely of saloons and gambling dens, frequented by both men and women, where the stakes ran high.

Dance halls, of which there were several, were open day and night, infested with scores of adventuresses, lured by the glitter of gold, which found its way into the purses of these painted women, in almost unbelievable amounts. A motley gathering was always present. Chinese moved side by side with erstwhile pampered scions of cultured England; Mexican peons palled with New York club men; residents of Boston’s aristocratic four hundred hobnobbed with the scum from Paris; for here all classes and races met upon a common level, for one man’s money was as good as another’s, and caste and social prominence were forgotten, as men and women foregathered to lure the fickle goddess of chance, or woo the sirens of unbridled pleasure.

In 1901 Tonopah had 32 saloons, or an average of one for every 50 people; it supported six faro games, as many roulette wheels, and a poker game in almost every saloon. There were two weekly newspapers printed, a public school, two overtaxed stage lines, and two churches.

Meanwhile another agent was quietly at work among ail the excitement incident to the locating and development of new claims, the erection of dwellings and business houses, and the wild night life of this fast growing camp; for with the influx of the excited throng came members of the Masonic craft to seek their fortunes in this new El Dorado, heralded over the country as another possible “Comstock.”

From various states in the Union they came, bringing with them traditions of Masonic interest developed in their respective jurisdictions; bringing also the accepted ritualistic work of their separate domains; all of them imbued with the spirit of genuine Masonry, strong adherents to its fundamental truths, staunch supporters of its basic principles. And so, with the proving of the new mining territory, and the almost certainty that the camp would be a rich producer for an indefinite period, the urge to establish Masonry in the district grew among the brethren who, since their coming had found one another on the common level of Masonry and proved each other after the fashion of the craft.

During the exciting months of the spring of 1901, an endeavor was made by some of the newly arrived brethren to interest all known Masons in the camp in organizing a Masonic lodge but, owing to the hectic condition of the camp, it was found impossible to appoint a suitable time or place to carry out their intentions, but the seed had been sown, and at different times during the summer the project was revived.

However enthusiastic the sojourning brethren in Tonopah may have been, and with whatever eagerness they may have anticipated the organizing of a Masonic lodge in the town of their adoption, their plans were doomed to miscarry, not through human agencies, but rather through natural causes, an interference which brought woe and sorrow to the town, and drove the inhabitants in terror to other settlements within the state.

For, in the late part of 1901 and early weeks of 1902 an insidious, unknown and cruel fatality stalked into their midst, depopulating the town and filling the graveyards with some of the best citizens of the camp. This agent was first known as the “Tonopah Sickness,” and is said to have made its appearance during December, 1901. Its attack was sudden, and the end came quickly, leaving its victim a swollen, blackened mass of humanity; eventually the disease was designated as “The Black Plague.

The epidemic raged for over a month. When the camp realized that this grim terror was amongst them the stampede began. Outgoing stages were overcrowded; every available wagon, buggy and buckboard was commandeered and the roads were black with the terrorized fleeing throng.

Suddenly the epidemic was over, for, with the coming of a heavy snowstorm, which cleared the atmosphere of a miasmic haze which had hung over the town and swept down the ravines and gulches surrounding the camp for more than two months, several weeks of freezing weather followed and ravages of the epidemic ceased, but the graves in the cemetery down the canyon had been increased by three score and ten, all of which were occupied by former adult male residents of the camp, for it is claimed that neither women nor children fell victims to this dread disease.

And so, once again the desert trails, deep rutted by the wheels of countless wagons, and pitted by the heavy hoofs of horses and mules, were dotted with returning humanity, treking back to the land of promise.

Once more the impact of hard steel against unyielding rock could be faintly heard, and the blast of powder sounded from hillside, gulch and ravine, as the determined miners forced their way to fortune. For peace brooded over the community, while gloom and mental terror were forgotten as the new district prepared itself for an era of prosperity, which with passing years should number it among the first great wealth producing mining centers of the world.

During the busy months which followed, the Masonic population of Tonopah was augmented by the addition of several brethren which increased the number in the district to a quota large enough to warrant a request from the Grand Lodge for a permit to organize under dispensation.

The movement was fostered by Brother A. L. Smith who, with the assistance of brethren representing six other jurisdictions, directed a petition to the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Nevada Masons, praying for the establishment of a lodge of Masons in Tonopah Under Dispensation, while setting forth their ability to perform Masonic labor.

On February 9, 1902, the dispensation was issued, signed by Most Worshipful Geo A. Morgan, G. M., and C. N. Noteware, Grand Secretary, its number on the Nevada roster of Masonic lodges being 28.

Born in a district destined to become one of the leading producers of silver and gold in the country, but nurtured in a community the atmosphere of which was rampant with vice and lawlessness, subject to the uncertainties of a transient membership, braving the venom of sectarian propaganda – these were some of the conditions which confronted the members who visioned a lodge devoted to Masonic effort and service in this new mining camp. However, to the brethren actuated by true Masonic spirit, these were obstacles of minor importance, and upon receipt of advice from the Grand Lodge informing them that the dispensation had been granted, Masonic activity in the new camp was launched.

The first meeting of the newly grouped brethren is said to have been an informal affair, held in the rooms of Brother A. L. Smith, to provide for and arrange the details of the anticipated visit of M. W. Geo. A. Morgan, or his authorized representative, who would deliver the dispensation and officially proclaim the existence of a Masonic lodge U. D. in Tonopah.

It was also proposed at this meeting to decide upon a suitable place in which to hold their future meetings, negotiations having already been made with Jim Butler for the rent of the upper story of his new building on Main street.

At this meeting authority was granted the Committee to close the deal and to provide necessary furniture with which to equip the lodge room.

The stage was set for the arrival of the G. M. or his representative to institute the lodge and install the officers but, owing to the uncertainty of the weather, the heavy snow and blocked roads, it was learned that no Grand Lodge officer could be present, and Tonopah Lodge No. 28 began its uncharted journey in Masonry dependent upon the experience of the brethren who had demitted from other jurisdictions, the nucleus of which was to gather around it an outstanding body of Masons, and to give to the state and nation men and Masons who should attain honor and fame.

Reference to the granting of the dispensation appears in the report of M. W. Geo. A. Morgan in the 1902 Grand Lodge proceedings, as follows: On February 7, 1902, I granted a dispensation to seven brethren to form a new lodge in the town of Butler, Nye county, Nevada, to be called Tonopah Lodge No. 28 U. D., and appointed Brother Albert Lindsay Smith, W. M.; Brother Henry A. Stevens, Senior Warden, and Brother J. Lazarovich, Junior Warden.”

The first meeting of the new lodge was held February 15, 1902, with the following officers and members present, viz: A. L. Smith, W. M.; H. N. Stevens, S. W.; J. Lazarovich, J. W.; T. R. Duffield, secretary; J. Lazarovich, treasurer; P. E. O’Rrien, Senior Deacon; G.P. Holmes, Junior Deacon; E. L. Pomeroy and A. L. Hudgens, Stewards; V. C. Johnson, Tyler. There is no record of the lodges or jurisdictions from which these brothers demitted.

The first petition received was from Tim L. Butler, who discovered silver on Mt. Oddie. However, only the first degree was conferred upon him.

With the convening of the 38th annual communication of the Grand Lodge in the Masonic Hall in Carson on June 30, 1902, Tonopah Lodge showed a membership of 15 members. This evidence of their zeal and accomplishments during the four months of their existence induced J. S. Burlingame to introduce the following resolution before the Grand Lodge: “Resolved, that a warrant of Constitution be issued Tonopah Lodge at Butler, Nye county, Nevada, to be called Tonopah Lodge No. 28, and that the following brethren be named in the charter as its first officers, viz: Bro. A. L. Smith, W. M.; Bro. Harry N. Stevens, S. W.; Bro. Joseph Lazarovich, J. W.” The resolution was adopted.

In his report to the Grand Lodge at its 39th annual communication held at Virginia City in June, 1903, Most Worshipful A. O. Percy, Grand Master of Masons of Nevada, makes the following statement in reference to the constituting of Tonopah Lodge No. 28. Quote: “July 5, 1902, I authorized Past Junior Grand Warden Walter J. Harris, a resident of Tonopah, as my representative to constitute Tonopah Lodge No. 28, and to install its officers, who reports that he duly constituted the lodge according to ancient usages and regulations, and installed its officers July 19, 1902. I was induced to take this course in constituting this lodge in order to save the expense to the Grand Lodge of a personal trip to Tonopah, and reposing full confidence in the ability of R. W., W. J. Harris, to properly perform the ceremonials of constituting and installing. The thanks of the Grand Lodge are due to Brother Harris for his services in this connection.”

The records of that meeting state that assisting Past Junior G. Warden Harris in the ceremony of constituting the lodge and installing its officers, was Bro. C. J. McDavitt of Santa Paula Lodge No. 291, and Nathan Crocker of Pacific Lodge No. 136, of the California Domain. The officers of the new lodge installed were: A. L. Smith, W. M.; H. N. Stevens, S. W.; J. Lazarovich, J. W.; J. R. Duffield, Secretary; Geo. Davidovich, Treasurer; P. E. O’Brien, S. D.; G. P. Holmes, J. D.; M. Sheridan, Steward; V. C. Johnson, Tyler.

The first fever heat of excitement waned in the new camp and the last months of 1902 drew to a close. While it was confidently believed that Tonopah would become one of the outstanding if not the greatest mining camp since Comstock, yet the close of 1902 and the early months of 1903, witnessed what today would be called a slump in activities.

True, properties were being developed, those who had funds or financial support were not backward in using the means at hand to promote their mines, and valuable ore was being taken out as the shafts increased in depth. The trouble, however, lay in lack of facilities to ship what ore was being mined, all of which was hauled from the mines to the smelter at Sodaville by team, at an approximate cost of forty dollars per ton freighting charges. So detrimental and restraining was this condition that actual returns to the mines is said to have been over $125,000.00 less in 1903 than it had been in 1902, and the owners and lessees were unable to improve these conditions. However, relief was promised with the arrival of the railroad, which extended its rails into Tonopah on July 24, 1904, and was the occasion for a hectic celebration, lasting for three days. Tonopah had arrived! With freight rates reduced to twenty dollars a ton for the haul to Sodaville, and a six dollar a ton smelting charge, fifty dollar ore could be mined at a handsome profit, and a new era was dawning for the mining camp.

In the meantime, Masonry in Tonopah had not been idle, the trestle hoard was covered with new work, and the roster of the lodge had been filled with the names of many brethren, some of whom were to become famous in social, civic, state and national affairs, while others were to achieve distinction not only in their own lodge, but would become dominant factors in the promulgation of Masonic doctrine within the state.

It is interesting to note that among those whose names appear in the 1902 roster of Nevada Masons from Tonopah, is that of Tasker L. Oddie, who was then just coming into prominence as one of the outstanding mining men in Nevada, and who in later years became prominent in the politics of the state, being chosen as governor of Nevada, and later elected to the U. S. Senate from Nevada. Brother Oddie still holds his blue lodge membership in Tonopah Lodge No. 28, (as of 1944 – ed.) has been a faithful and consistent member of the craft, and upon different occasions has been delegated as a member of Masonic Service Committees to represent the Grand Lodge of Nevada in other Masonic jurisdictions. He was the second member to be raised to the Sublime Degree of a M. M. in that lodge and is today its oldest living member in point of continuous membership. During the summer of 1902, there arrived in Tonopah a young man who was destined to bring honor to himself, and much credit to the community in which he had cast his lot. An attorney by profession, but a mining man at heart, Key Pittman had sought the colorful life of the Klondyke, had reveled in its mad excitement, had found clients among the heterogeneous mass of humanity which flocked to its far famed hills and plains in search of fortune. He had found profit in his profession in that far off country, but with the waning of the excitement following the mad gold rush of the late 90’s, Brother Pittman realized that the future of Alaska was largely in the hands of the money kings of that day, and having heard of the rich ore deposits in certain sections of Nevada, yielded to the lure of the newly discovered treasure troves, and came to the Sagebrush state. There was nothing in his makeup or bearing when he arrived in Tonopah to indicate that a bright and honorable future lay before him. However, a natural born trader and a fluent speaker, his majestic personality established around him a clientele and following which, in later years, was to bring him state wide reputation and was to place the senatorial toga on his distinguished shoulders.

In the early part of 1903 he applied for membership in Tonopah Lodge No. 28, was entered and passed in due time, and raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on May 3, 1903. He maintained his membership in Tonopah Lodge No. 28, and until his death in 1940 was in point of Masonic service and membership the third oldest member of that lodge.

For a period of more than nine years the brethren of Tonopah Lodge No. 28 performed their Masonic labors in the Butler building. But for many months it had been realized that more commodious quarters were not only desirable, but were actually necessary to care for the increasing membership. To provide for this contingency, as well as to furnish quarters in keeping with their needs, early in 1911, practical steps were taken to acquire new quarters. Several buildings were inspected, the most promising of which was the Golden building, located near the heart of the business district and well fitted by reason of its size to care for the future demands of the lodge. The price asked, however, for the structure, and the necessary repairs and alterations required to place it in order for lodge use, seemed staggering for, in addition to the purchase price of $12,000.00, it was estimated that an additional $8,000.00 would be required to remodel, furnish and place it in shape for occupancy. The project seemed hopeless, but eventually it was handled most successfully by the Tonopah Masonic Corporation, and financed through the sale of bonds under a committee consisting of P. S. Booth, H. H. Atkinson, R. J. Hyland, Thos. Lindsay and P. E. Kuler. The building is well adapted for lodge purposes, the commodious and well appointed lodge room inspires a feeling of fellowship and fraternity as one enters the inner door, and seems to welcome the visiting brother to the hospitality for which Tonopah Lodge has become famous throughout the state. Although at this writing more than a quarter of a century has passed since the building was acquired, yet it is realized that the lodge made a happy purchase in the acquiring of the property, for it has been more than a lodge – it has been a sanctuary to which the members might come when despair or discouragement entered their lives, a refuge to which they might turn when advice and counsel was sought from the brethren. Thus Tonopah Lodge has opened its doors to the worthy, dispensed its charity, and conferred its hospitality and entertainment alike upon both local and visiting members in a manner and measure peculiar to itself. Likewise, it has been a potent factor in directing the destiny of many civic, social and community enterprises and remains today a tower of strength in its community.

The custom sanctioned by the Grand Lodge for many years of the exchange of fraternal visits between the constituent lodges of the state, has proven both entertaining and beneficial to the individual lodges so engaged, and the records of many lodges throughout Nevada could tell the story of many delightful occasions, when there has been an interchange of such meetings. However, the magnificent distances which separate our active lodges, especially over in the eastern part of the state, has prohibited many such exchange of visits, not only for the element of expense involved, but also on account of the time necessarily spent in making the trip to and from the lodge in question.

But Tonopah Lodge has, nevertheless, indulged in its share of such visitations, perhaps the most important visit involving the greatest exodus of the brethren on any one such occasion being that of the visitation made to Ely Lodge No. 29, of Ely, Nevada, on October 8, 1927, when 87 members of No. 28, headed by Scott E. Jamison, made the trek to Ely Lodge to confer the third degree upon Brother Geo. P. Annand of Ely Lodge. The records of that meeting reflect the following paragraphs: “The W. M. welcomed the officers and members of Tonopah Lodge 28, and invited the officers of that lodge to occupy the chairs of Ely Lodge. The stations were filled by W. M. Scott E. Jamison; S. W., H. C. Schmidt; J. W., F. B. Lovelock; Chaplain, C. K. Loring; Secretary, J. E. Peck; S. D., J. P. Montague; J. D., E. G. Cupit; S. S., H. R. Reid; J. S., L. H. Abernathy, who proceeded in a most excellent and impressive manner to confer the sublime degree of a M. M. on Brother Annand. The master’s charge delivered by Brother Scott E. Jamison was of such unusual merit, expression and excellence as to win prolonged applause at its conclusion. Seated with W. M. Jamison in the Masonic East were P. M., Wm. Campbell, the first master of Ely Lodge; W. M. Dugan, present incumbent; Geo. E. Jeffs, W. M. of St. Johns Lodge No. 18 of Pioche, Nevada; I. P. Whitmore, W. M. of Eureka Lodge No. 16 of Eureka, Nevada, and H. R. Amens, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of Nevada.”

Tonopah Lodge has given to Nevada many members who have written their names high on the scrolls of honor and fame.

Even a brief reference to their accomplishments, their attainments and their successes would require, not a chapter, but a volume of many pages to make the record.

However, in passing, it is due the brethren of that lodge to mention the recognition it has received in the Grand Lodge of Nevada Masons through the selection of three well beloved, popular and able Grand Masters who were, or are now, members of that lodge.

The first member from No. 28 to wear the purple of the order upon his distinguished shoulders, was Thomas Lindsey, who served as Grand Master of Nevada Masons in 1917. Brother Lindsey’s term of office was marked by that same degree of enthusiasm and consistent service that had characterized his Masonic career since he first became a Master Mason.

In 1920, Brother Harry H. Atkinson became Grand Master. His fine personality, his fluent oratory, his legal and fraternal training, his willingness and ability to perform Masonic service, and his understanding of Masonic law and jurisprudence, won for him an enviable name and reputation among the craft, endeared him to the fraternity, and he retired from his exalted office with the respect and esteem of the entire membership.

In 1932, Scott E. Jamison succeeded to the purple. His interest in and service to Masonry during his progress through the various chairs in the Grand Lodge, prophesied his popularity and ability to be Grand Master long before that honor was conferred upon him. Always a student, his love for Masonic lore led to diligent research in Masonic usages, law and tradition, and the knowledge thus gained was of inestimable value, not only to himself but likewise to the craft, who profited from his intimate knowledge, as he so ably presented it in his masterly dissertations. His enthusiasm and sincerity, his Masonic zeal, and his loyalty to the brethren, won for him the confidence of the craft, and rendered his term as Grand Master one of outstanding success.

The glory and glamour of Tonopah has waxed and waned, and today it is only a memory of the activity and prosperity it once boasted. The old days of thrills are gone; gone too are the thousands which once inhabited the town, and played their part in the hectic drama of prodigality and mad excitement which won for it a nation wide reputation. But, as hope springs eternal in the human breast, so among those who have remained to breast depression and disappointment, and outlive the lean years which have befallen that once prosperous city, so today the hope remains in the hearts of those who have endured, that somewhere in the deep recesses of the hills that surround Tonopah, another Mizpah may be brought to light or other bonanzas yield their treasure; and yet again, may the stars above look down upon a replica of scenes and a duplicate of rich development and prosperity which followed the discovery of silver upon the slopes of Mt. Oddie back in 1900.

Step by step Masonry has kept pace with the progress or decline of the silver city which gave it birth in 1902. It too has shared in the glory with which fame and wealth encompassed that noted mining camp in its halcyon days; in times of stress its benign influence has been a guiding factor, or an efficient stabilizer.

Fortitude and charity, relief and brotherly love, freedom and equality – these are the cardinal virtues carved upon its Masonic shield and, though adversity may overtake it, or difficulties or disappointments may assail it, Tonopah Lodge No. 28 will continue in the future, as it has in the past, to solve its problems by the rule of charity and forbearance, and press forward on its exalted mission, giving each and all of its members a place in the sunshine of fraternal love.