About Us

Since September of 1921 Manito lodge # 246 has been a place of brotherhood and friendship. A place where good men are made better and a love for our fellow human and community has taken a forefront in the lives and minds of our membership and families. We proudly support such charitable organizations as:

• The Second Harvest Food Bank

• The Vannesa Behan Crisis Nursery

• The Shriners Hospital for Children and the Scottish Rite's Early Life Speech & Language Clinic in Spokane

The idea of forming a neighborhood Lodge on the South Hill originated in the minds of 3 men; A.P. Moore, W.I. Harvey and Robert B. Soper, all residents in the neighborhood and all with more or less extensive acquaintance among the residents. Mr. Moore had the largest acquaintance because he had been a grocery merchant in the neighborhood for many years.

Their first step was to compile a list of some 60 names of known Masons who were unaffiliated, or members of Lodges outside of the concurrent Jurisdiction of the Spokane city Lodges. The task of methodically contacting each one on the list occupied their time in the evening after work, on Sundays and holidays and upon chance meetings occupied their time during the spring and summer of 1921. By September they had secured 55 applications with demits attached and these together with a letter asking authority to form a Lodge on the South Hill with A.P. Moore as Worshipful Master, W.I. Harvey as Senior Warden and Robert B. Soper as Junior Warden was delivered to Grand Master John Gifford, who finding the documents in order and almost four times the required minimum number of petitions, did on September 19, 1921 sign a dispensation granting the request.

A preliminary meeting was held in the building formerly occupied by the congregation of the Manito Methodist Church with a surprisingly large attendance. A temporary chairman and secretary was selected and the purpose of the meeting stated, which included the selection of a full lineup of officers, authorizing the 3 principal officers to find and prepare a temporary meeting place and draw up a set of By-laws. The concluding business was a request for a small donation to be used as a petty cash fund to take care of unavoidable expenses incurred prior to the first meeting.

The officers selected were A.P. Moore as Worshipful Master; W.I. Harvey as Senior Warden; Robert B. Soper as Junior Warden; G.E. Fredricks as Treasurer; John Sarginson as Secretary; Emil V. Olsen as Senior Deacon; David R. Glasgow as Junior Deacon; Archie Liggert as Senior Steward; Clarence Glasser as Junior Steward; George R. Harbinson as Chaplain; and V.K. Whittaker as Tyler.

The first meeting of Manito Lodge U.D. was held on October 3, 1921, just 14 days after the dispensation had been signed. In that brief two weeks time the officers had found a vacant store room and had secured the Grand Master’s permission to use it temporarily.

When the first candidate was ready, the officers were ready and conferred the degree in a most creditable manner. Petitions continued to come in and in doing the work they were able during the nine months between the first meeting in October and the Grand Lodge meeting in June 1922 to make a highly satisfactory report of their activities while under dispensation. The charter was granted in June 1922 while MWB John Gifford was Grand Master and the Lodge was given the number 246 with membership of 64.

The temporary meeting place of Manito Lodge would not accommodate a full attendance of the membership and it was out of the question to think of having the Grand Lodge ceremony there so they were forced to accept the hospitality of the main Temple downtown; and on the afternoon of August 31, 1922 Manito Lodge #246 was Constituted with full Grand Lodge ceremony under the direction of Grand Master James McCormack.

The Cornerstone for Manito Lodge #246 was laid by the Grand Lodge on May 15, 1923 with MWB James McCormack, Grand Master, presiding; and on September 19, 1923 (two years to the day after Dispensation was signed) the doors of the completed Temple were thrown open for the admission of the Grand Lodge to be opened by Grand Master Tom Holman, who dedicated it for its intended use.

Members of Manito Lodge #246 to receive Grand Lodge appointments

WB Arthur G Nelson, Grand Sword Bearer

VWB Arthur G Nelson, Deputy in District No. 27

VWB Arthur G Nelson, Credentials Committee

1944-1953 VWB Arthur G Nelson, Credentials Committee

1952 WB F.R. Lilly, Research and Education Committee

1958-1959 VWB Lloyd D Martin, Deputy in District No. 27

1961 VWB Lloyd D Martin, Research and Education Committee

1962 VWB Lloyd D Martin, Grand Historian

1964 WB Dale I Thomas, Junior Grand Deacon

1969 VWB Macy Forsyth, Deputy in District No. 27

1970 VWB Macy Forsyth, Deputy in District No. 33

1972 WB John D Stainer, Junior Grand Steward

1973 WB John D Stainer, Masonic Home Endowment Committee

1974 WB John D Stainer, Chairman Masonic Home Endowment Committee

1975 WB John D Stainer, Grand Historian

1976 VWB John D Stainer, Deputy in District No. 33

1977 VWB John D Stainer, Deputy in District No. 33

1978 VWB John D Stainer, Grand Lecturer

1980 VWB John D Stainer, Senior Grand Deacon

1980 WB Norman Anderson, DeMolay Committee

2000 VWB Jim Nichols, Deputy in District No. 33

2003 WB Lawrence Coulson, Grand Sword Bearer

2007 VWB Brian Gilbert, Deputy in District No. 33

2013-2014 WB Roger Nelson, Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee

2015-2019 WB Roger Nelson, Chairman Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee

2015-2017 VWB Ryan K Leonard, Deputy in District No. 27

2018-2020 VWB Ryan K. Leonard, Grand Lodge Legislative Task Force

2019-2020 VWB Roger Nelson, Deputy in District No. 27


What is a Mason?

That’s not a surprising question. Even though Masons (Freemasons) are members of the largest and oldest fraternity in the world, and even though almost everyone has a father or grandfather or uncle who was a Mason, many people aren’t quite certain just who Masons are.

The answer is simple. A Mason (or Freemason) is a member of a fraternity known as Masonry (or Freemasonry). A fraternity is a group of men (just as a sorority is a group of women) who join together because:

There are things they want to do in the world.
There are things they want to do “inside their own minds.”
They enjoy being together with men they like and respect.

(We’ll look at some of these things later.)

What is Masonry?

Masonry (or Freemasonry) is the oldest fraternity in the world. No one knows just how old it is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Probably, it arose from the guilds of stonemasons who built the castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Possibly, they were influenced by the Knights Templar, a group of Christian warrior monks formed in 1118 to help protect pilgrims making trips to the Holy Land.

In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization in England when the first Grand Lodge was formed. A Grand Lodge is the administrative body in charge of Masonry in some geographical area. In the United States, there is a Grand Lodge in each state. In Canada, there is a Grand Lodge in each province. Local organizations of Masons are called lodges. There are lodges in most towns, and large cities usually have several. There are about 13,200 lodges in the United States.

If Masonry started in Great Britain, how did it get to America?

In a time when travel was by horseback and sailing ship, Masonry spread with amazing speed. By 1731, when Benjamin Franklin joined the fraternity, there were already several lodges in the Colonies, and Masonry spread rapidly as America expanded west. In addition to Franklin, many of the Founding Fathers — men such as George Washington, Paul Revere, Joseph Warren, and John Hancock — were Masons. Masons and Masonry played an important part in the Revolutionary War and an even more important part in the Constitutional Convention and the debates surrounding the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Many of those debates were held in Masonic lodges.

What is a lodge?

The word “lodge” means both a group of Masons meeting in some place and the room or building in which they meet. Masonic buildings are also sometimes called “temples” because much of the symbolism Masonry uses to teach its lessons comes from the building of King Solomon’s Temple in the Holy Land. The term “lodge” itself comes from the structures which the stonemasons built against the sides of the cathedrals during construction. In winter, when building had to stop, they lived in these lodges and worked at carving stone.

While there is some variation in detail from state to state and country to country, lodge rooms today are set up similar to the diagram on the following page.

If you’ve ever watched C-SPAN’s coverage of the House of Commons in London, you’ll notice that the layout is about the same. Since Masonry came to America from England, we still use the English floor plan and English titles for the officers. The Worshipful Master of the Lodge sits in the East (“Worshipful” is an English term of respect which means the same thing as “Honorable.”) He is called the Master of the lodge for the same reason that the leader of an orchestra is called the “Concert Master.” It’s simply an older term for “Leader.” In other organizations, he would be called “President.” The Senior and Junior Wardens are the First and Second Vice-Presidents. The Deacons are messengers and the Stewards have charge of refreshments.

Every lodge has an altar holding a “Volume of the Sacred Law.” In the United States and Canada, that is almost always a Bible.