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The story of Cascade Lodge No. 10
Cascade Lodge No. 10
"In 1881 the Board of General Purposes reported that the preliminary steps had been taken to organize a new Lodge at Yale, which was then a flourishing town. The Board stated that the requirements of the Constitution had been complied with, and recommended that a Warrant be issued. Fifteen brethren joined in the petition for the new Lodge, a Dispensation for which was issued on the 22nd of June, 1881, under the name of Cascade Lodge, No. 10. On the 5th of July, 1881 a more extended Dispensation was issued, and on the 29th of October, 1881, by order of the Grand Master, a Warrant was given it. Its existence was of short duration, a fire at Yale and the changes incident to railway construction having made it expedient to return the Warrant to Grand Lodge inside of a year. The Board of General Purposes in 1882, in reporting the fact, stated that in view of the circumstances under which the Warrant had been returned, it had been agreed to issue a new Warrant free of charge to a sufficient number of the original Petitioners at any time during the ensuing twelve months, should it be thought advisable. Unfortunately the happy hour never came, and the first-born of the Grand Lodge died in infancy."1
"As has been said, no new Lodges were established in British Columbia during the years 1871 to 1884, but twice it seemed probable that there would be. At one time it seemed certain that a Lodge would be established at Yale. During the early eighties Yale was very prosperous.
"There was a real boom there. A contract had been let to Andrew Onderdonk for the construction of a line of railway from Emory's Bar to Port Moody, the commencement of the Canadian Pacific Railway line in the West. The general office of the contractors was established at Yale; powder and acid works were erected there with a capacity of 2000 lbs. per day of the highest grade of explosives then known; engine and repair shops built; houses sprang up in every direction; hotels, saloons, and business places crowded each other along the narrow streets, A mixed population from all over the world gathered there. (7)
"Among the residents of the place at that time were many f reemasons, many of them members of other Lodges in the jurisdiction, and they naturally took the lead. There was Alex, Lindsay, a P.M. of Cariboo Lodge, No. 4, at Barkerville; Benjamin Douglas (8) of Union Lodge, No. 9, at New Westminster; Isaac Oppenheimer of Vancouver and Quadra Lodge, No. 2 at Victoria, originally from Union Lodge, No. 58, Sacramento, California; and Richard Deighton also of Cariboo Lodge, and later, for many years, partner with Douglas in business in the Royal City. A petition was drawn up and signed asking for a dispensation and forwarded to the Grand Secretary, who reported to Grand Lodge in 1881 that a Lodge was being formed at Yale to be called Cascade Lodge, and that it would be No. 10 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. The dispensation was accordingly issued, and the charter was to follow. A lodge room had been arranged for and duly furnished, and the Lodge was to be instituted and the charter presented on October 24, 1881. Lindsay was to be the first Worshipful Master, Oppenheimer Senior Warden, Douglas, Junior Warden, Wm. Teague, Secretary, and Richard Deighton of Cariboo Lodge, Treasurer.
"Such a town as Yale, hastily constructed, and of wooden material, was what the insurance men call a "hazardous risk." There had been a severe conflagration there in July, 1880, but the town was quickly rebuilt. Shortly after the meeting of Grand Lodge in 1881, and before the lodge could be formally constituted, another fire swept the place, destroying one-half the town, and with the rest, the lodge room and the most of its contents. The charter was temporarily surrendered until a suitable lodge room could be arranged for. The Board of General Purposes accepted the surrender on these terms, and reported to Grand Lodge in 1882, that owing to the causes which had made it necessary, recent fires in Yale and changes incident to railway construction; and that the Brethren at Yale had been informed that if circumstances permitted, the Charter would be re-issued without further fees, and in the interim, Grand Lodge dues would be remitted. This was satisfactory to Grand Lodge.
"In 1883 the Grand Master reported to Grand Lodge that no application had been made for the re-issue of the charter, and recommended that the time for such re-issue be extended for another year, to enable the Brethren to whom it was granted to take it up without expense if they should find themselves in a position to do so. But Yale ceased to be prosperous, many of the original petitioners moved to other fields of labour, and the proposed Cascade Lodge, No. 10, passed into oblivion.
(7) Howay & Scholefield, History of B. C. Vol. II p. 417, 419.
(8) Benjamin Douglas was born at Huntingdon, Province of Quebec, May 6, 1838. He came to British Columbia in the autumn of 1862, and went to Cariboo for about a year and then came to Victoria, where he worked at his trade as a saddler. He then went to Puget Sound for a short time. While there he carried on a logging camp for a short time, and then came back to Victoria. In 1866 he was attracted by the boom at Yale and was there until 1884 when he came back to New Westminster and remained there until his death on Feb. 25, 1900, carrying on business with his friend Deighton as Douglas & Deighton. He joined Union Lodge, No. 9 in 1871. From 1885 to 1892 he was treasurer of his Lodge. On his retirement from office he was made an Honorary Member in recognition of his services as such. In June 1888 he was given the rank of Past Grand Treasurer. (see G.L. Rept. 1900, p. 12). 2

1.W.A. De Wolf-Smith. A Concise History of Freemasonry in Canada, Osborne Sheppard, comp.. 1924 : Osborne Sheppard, Hamilton, Ont. pp. 144-158.
2.Robie L. Reid, Historical Notes and Biographical Sketches. (Vancouver : 1945.) p. 150


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