At church Sunday night, Joe Suddeth said, “We need to know more about Bates Lodge.”
We must concur with Joe, this being the 100th birthday of Bates Lodge No 189.
Mr. Suddeth continued, “Our lodge has played a vital part in the development of Easley.”
One only has to thumb through the record ledgers to see that all of the early leaders of our city were active in Masonic work.
The next question was “Where was the first Masonic Lodge in Easley?”
Well, it was in the upstairs of the Holcombe building, and later owned by Dr. R.F. Smith (Everyone today knows it as the Frierson Drug Store building on Main Street.
The Masons, K of P’s, Woodman of the World and Junior Order used this large room for almost 50 years.
Dr. J.H. Cutchen came to Easley in the 1920s and this room was made into smaller ones and doctors offices.
The Lodge then occupied the big room upstairs at the Finley building (Peppers Feed, Seed and Hardware).
After two years, it moved again to the upstairs of the building behind Sherwin Williams paint store, and until recently this building was known as Bruce’s Furniture on Pendleton Street. From this place we move to our permanent home, The Masonic Temple.
I was serving as treasurer when we purchase the old First Baptist Church building. We had several members who made large donations to the lodge. the late R.C. McCall gave $1,000 and the late Ben T. Day left a large sum or money and two valuable lots on North A. Street.
These lots were sold for a tidy sum which made it possible to obtain this building.
Under the wise direction of Noble D.W. Merrill and others, the lodge became free of debt.
Members gave of their time and money to put the building in the fine shape. Today it is considered to be the finest Masonic Temple in upper South Carolina.
Afterthougth: We cannot go any further without thanking the wonderful members of the Eastern Star for their many contributions and furnishing. They have been vital to the success of our Temple.