History of Edgewood Lodge
In the summer of 2001, a dozen or so Masons residing in and around the “East Mountain Area” near Tijeras, Edgewood and Moriarty, New Mexico, began discussing the possibility of more centrally locating the Lodge they were attending in Estancia, NM. This Lodge was Estancia Lodge No.33 and was celebrating 95 years of Masonry in the Estancia Valley, having been in existence since 1907.
Understandably, many of the members of Estancia Lodge No.33 did not feel that moving the Lodge would be in the best interest of the Lodge. They did however; support the formation of a new Lodge that would be more convenient for Masons living in the East Mountain area. With that support and the support of Lodges in the Albuquerque area, 18 Masons met to discuss the formation of a new Lodge in the East Mountain area. Early in 2002, support for this new Lodge had grown and 35 Masons in good standing, petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of New Mexico to form a new Lodge.
On March 22nd, 2002, MWB William T. Beckett granted a dispensation to 35 Masons to meet and work as Edgewood Lodge Under Dispensation. On March 30th, 2002 the Grand Master, in Temple Lodge No.6, at Albuquerque, New Mexico, instituted the Lodge. He appointed RWB Wesley D. Thornton as Worshipful Master, MWB Ernest R. Hazelwood as Senior Warden and WB Lowell R. “Charlie” Loucks as Junior Warden. The first Regular meeting of Edgewood Lodge U.D. was held on April 4, 2002, in a garage located at the Walker Construction building on “Old 66”, west of Edgewood about 5 miles.
The task of finding a suitable location for the Lodge began. Several locations were considered, with all having issues of one kind or another, which made them unacceptable. It was suggested that the Lodge build a new building, with none of the inherent issues of the other choices and a plan was born to construct a new building. With the generous support of WB Duane Walker and his wife, Mary Ann, the Lodge acquired a piece of property adjacent to Walker Construction and the work began. The Lodge had the benefit of several members skilled in construction and many more who were willing to work. In July of 2002, the process of building the Lodge began.
In 2002, the membership continued to grow with affiliations and 2 Masons being Initiated, Passed and Raised on the concrete floor of the Walker Construction shop. With a suitable location, a building under construction and an increasing membership, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of New Mexico granted a Charter to Edgewood Lodge No.82. The Charter was granted during the One Hundred Twenty Sixth Annual Communication at Deming, New Mexico, on March 21, 2003. Edgewood Lodge No.82 had 48 Charter Members. March 25, 2003, the Lodge held its first Special Communication as Edgewood Lodge No.82 for the purpose of electing officers in the new Lodge. MWB Ernest R. Hazelwood was elected Worshipful Master, WB Lowell R. “Charlie” Loucks as Senior Warden, WB Duane E. Walker as Junior Warden, RWB Wesley D. Thornton as Treasurer and WB Fred B. Frye as Secretary. The following officers were appointed: Bro. Buster W. Gates as Chaplain, Bro. Ralph A. Easley as Senior Deacon, Bro. Fred J. Gregg as Junior Deacon, Bro. Charles H. Baker as Marshal, Bro. Steven Don Wallin as Senior Steward, Bro. Mark D. Williams as Junior Steward and WB Daniel Lucero as Tyler.
On February 28, 2004, MWB Jeffery D. Johnson, Grand Master opened a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico in the new building. The purpose of the communication was to have a Corner Stone ceremony and to dedicate and consecrate the building.
Over the next few years, the membership contributed both their time and finances towards the building of the Lodge. Furniture for the Lodge came from Lodges around the State. Some had gone extinct or had been consolidated. The Grand Lodge and other Lodges donated the furniture to Edgewood Lodge No.82. In particular, the Altar and Columns came from Magdalena Lodge No.50. The Altar was refinished by one of the members to its original, if not better condition. This beautiful Altar, standing on the black and white mosaic tile, donated by members, it is the centerpiece of the Lodge. The Officer’s Chairs came from Clayton Lodge No.23. Magdalena Lodge No.50 and Clayton Lodge No.23 live on in our Lodge. The Scottish Rite, in Santa Fe, donated 100 folding chairs for the dining room. Seating for the Lodge room came from the old Elks Club in Albuquerque. The stand for the three Lesser Lights was made by a local Blacksmith and donated to the Lodge by a member. The Lodge walls were painted, restrooms tiled, officers Stations constructed and Lodge room carpeted all through the efforts of the members of the Lodge. The kitchen cabinets were purchased with donations received from several members, for that purpose. A member acquired a commercial stove, oven and refrigerator/freezer and donated it to the Lodge. In July of 2006, WB Herman Price of Sacramento Lodge No.24, presented the Lodge with a set of walnut columns and gavels for the Stationed Officers.
The Lodge has had a Labor Day Yard Sale almost from the beginning. The first was in 2003 and since then, the Lodge has raised well over $75,000.00 through this effort. It has become such a huge success, we have purchased two large tents to keep things out of the weather in the weeks leading up to the sale.
On August 7, 2007 Edgewood Lodge No.82 A.F.&A.M. held its 100th Regular Communication. Membership records reflected 81 members, of which 17 were Initiated, Passed and Raised in the Lodge, since March of 2002.
In the 15 years of its existence, Edgewood Lodge No.82 has Raised 39 Master Masons, 32 of which have remained members of the Lodge. The Lodge currently has 77 members.
Fred B. Frye
Edgewood Lodge No.82