Grand Lodge of Idaho
name=Grand Lodge of Idaho A.F. & A.M.
caption=Seal of the Grand Lodge of Idaho A.F. & A.M.
grand-master=Robert "Pete" Cargill
The Grand Lodge of Idaho, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons is one of several bodies that govern
Freemasonryin the U.S. stateof Idahoas recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England[The others being the Prince Hall Grand Lodges of Oregon and Nevada - [http://bessel.org/glspha.htm Bessel.org] page on Prince Hall Grand Ldoges] . It was established in 1867 by five Masonic Lodges operating in Idaho Territory.
The Grand Lodge of Idaho is headquartered in Boise.
The first organized Masonic activity in present-day Idaho dates to 1862, when a group of Freemasons organized an informal Masonic club in Florence in what was then
Washington Territory. That same year, a dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge of Washingtonto form a new Masonic Lodgein Lewiston. This Lodge was chartered in 1864 but disbanded a year later after a decline in gold mining activities in the area.
In July 1863 the
Grand Lodge of Oregongranted a dispensation to a Masonic group in Bannock City (now Idaho City). This Lodge was chartered as Idaho Lodge No. 35 in 1864. The Grand Lodge of Washington, which considered all of Idaho Territory to be within its jurisdiction, charged the Grand Lodge of Oregon with illegally chartering the lodge. This controversy continued for some time and spread throughout the Masonic community in the United States. Even so, over the next couple years Masonic Lodges in northern Idaho Territory were granted charters in Washington while southern Idaho Territory Lodges continued to receive charters from Oregon.
By 1867 the need for a local Grand Lodge was recognized by the active Masonic Lodges in southern Idaho Territory. These Masonic Lodges, Idaho Lodge of Idaho City, Boise Lodge of Boise, Placer Lodge of Placerville, Pioneer Lodge of Pioneerville, and Owyhee Lodge of Silver City, met in December 1867 to form the Grand Lodge of Idaho. This meeting is considered to be the founding of the Grand Lodge of Idaho. The new Grand Lodge issued charters to these five Lodges in June 1868 which superseded their original charters from Oregon.
Idaho Lodge, which spearheaded the drive to create a Grand Lodge in Idaho Territory, was given the distinction of being recognized as its first chartered Lodge. Today Idaho Lodge No. 1 is headquartered in Boise.
A Masonic Lodge in Grangeville was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Idaho in December 1873, becoming the first northern Idaho Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Idaho's jurisdiction.
Freemasonry spread quickly in Idaho. By the time Idaho attained statehood in July 1890 there were 21 active regular Masonic Lodges in the new state. In 1910 there were nearly 60.
Since its founding the Grand Lodge of Idaho has chartered 97 regular Masonic Lodges, of which 64 are active as of 2006. The Idaho Lodge of Research, a special Masonic Lodge dedicated to Masonic scholarship, was chartered in 1965.
As in most Masonic jurisdictions, membership in a Masonic Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Idaho is open to any male over 18 years of age who believes in a Supreme Being. In addition, Idaho Lodges require a candidate to be an Idaho resident for at least six months and apply for membership in his local Lodge. However, once he becomes a member of his local Lodge he may become a "plural affiliate" (i.e. a member of another Lodge simultaneously) elsewhere.
Prince Hall Freemasonry in Idaho
In the early 1990s the Grand Lodge of Idaho became one of the first in the United States to formally recognize
Prince Hall Freemasonry. However, as of 2006 there is no separate Prince Hall Masonic jurisdiction in Idaho. Prince Hall Freemasonry in the state is currently administered by the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Oregon.
*Known as Nampa No. 29 until 1988. ***Known as Acacia No. 62 until 1943. ****Previously existed as Kaniksu No. 85, 1922-1987. *****Lodge of Research No. 1965 is a special Lodge dedicated to Masonic scholarship.
* [http://www.idahoaf.am/ Grand Lodge of Idaho]
* [http://www.idahomasons.org/ Idaho Masonic Family Alliance]
* [http://www.eaglerock19.org/history.html Masonic History in Idaho]
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