LODGE FORMATION

JAMES K. POLK MASONIC LODGE #759 ORGANIZED

In 1981 WB James Van Wilson, Past Master of Friendship Masonic Lodge in Charlotte, started talking with other Masons in Pineville about organizing a Masonic Lodge in Pineville. After many informal talks with individuals he started having organizational meetings, first in the old Pineville High School Agriculture Building and later at the James K. Polk Memorial Museum. The North Carolina Grand Master, Jack Honeycutt, was invited to join in one of the meetings. This started the ball rolling.

In April of 1982 the lodge was organized under dispensation with WB Wilson as Master. The lodge was organized under the name of James K. Polk Masonic Lodge in Memory of the Eleventh President of the United States, who was born in Pineville. One year under dispensation was required before the lodge could be chartered.

Fifty five Masons, members of other lodges formed the new lodge as charter members and on April 30, 1983 the lodge was chartered by Grand Master Cecil Liverman. WB Wilson was elected again to serve as Master of James K. Polk Masonic Lodge No. 759.

One of the charter members, Brother James T. Deal, was the only surviving member of the original Pineville Masonic Lodge.

James K. Polk Lodge initially met in the old and dilapidated lodge of the original Pineville Masonic Lodge, upstairs over the old Pineville Drug Co. That lodge failed and lost its charter during the Great Depression of 1929. Much hard work was done by lodge members to make the old lodge suitable for holding meetings.. The building was owned by the late Brother John Joseph Miller, who was a Charter Member of the lodge, and was rented to the lodge for sixty dollars a year. Much of the lodge furniture was built by local craftsman, James McCoy.

After Brother Miller’s untimely death, the building was sold to a new owner. The amount of rent he demanded was much greater than the lodge could afford. So the next lodge was in the former Pineville Town Hall building on Dover Street, again requiring extensive work before being usable.

Immediately after being chartered, the lodge started a building fund for the purpose of building a Masonic Lodge. Brother John S. Miller, an Honorary Member of the lodge gave the lodge a lot on South Polk Street ( Highway 521 ) on which to build a lodge. According to Grand Lodge rules no lodge can be built until there are funds to pay for it. No Credit. Before the money could be raised, Brother John advised the lodge not to build on the lot. It was becoming too valuable. The lodge then purchased another piece of land on Hill Street consisting of ten acres. For a number of years the lodge was land poor, as the taxes on the two pieces of land was quite high.

In the year 2000, the property on Polk Street was sold for commercial development. The sale brought enough money to build a lodge on the other property.

On Saturday June 30, 2001 at 12 noon, under the leadership of Worshipful Master Warren Dover, ground was broken on the Hill Street property to commence building the new lodge. The ceremony was open to the public. Present were members of the lodge, Deputy District Grand Master Larry Sizemore, Deputy District Grand Lecturer Oscar Bass, Pineville Mayor Pro-Tem Libby Boatright, families of Lodge Members, and other concerned citizens. The ground-breaking ceremony was followed by a Bar-B-Q at the lodge picnic shelter.