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An Error 120 Years In The Making

September 14, 2021

I’m the historian for my Masonic Lodge. I belong to Story Lodge #4 Free & Accepted Masons of Utah. Story Lodge, or just “Story” as it’s referred to, is the oldest lodge in Utah. It was the very first lodge established in Utah. It was established back in 1872. If you do the math, it’s been 149 years since Story was established.

As you might imagine we are looking forward to the 150th anniversary next year. And that’s where I come in. We kind of want to be able to talk about what’s happened in that ensuing century and a half. So, we need to get the history together.

Fortunately, much of the work is done. Back in 1989 some members of Story put together the 117 year history. Why did they compile the 117 year history? What’s special about the year 117?

I have no idea. But, we’ve got the history up through 1989.

So, all I have to come up with is the last 32 years and the upcoming 12 months. Okay. That’s fine. Masons are great record keepers. We sign into the ledger every meeting. We keep minutes. We have a secretary. And of course, we have a history committee.

I went to the secretary and to start gathering records. The past three years of information is in an online app. (Our organization may be old, but that doesn’t mean we don’t embrace new tools.) But, I need to get the data from 1990 – 2018. That’s still a fair bet of data to collect and collate, but hey, that’s why we have a history committee.

Our secretary took me down into the vault. That’s literally a big old iron vault in the basement of the Provo Masonic Temple. (No, there is ZERO treasure in there. Just a bunch of old records and we don’t even lock the door.)

So, you need 1990 through 2018 or so?

Yeah, anything we have from that period.

Here’s what we found.

This we perfect! I thought it would be harder to find those “missing” years. I collected a couple of the ledgers and took them home to start collecting the information I needed.

And I discovered my mistake. They didn’t make me a historian because I’m smart. See, I completely forgot that our lodge is OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD. So, the lodge has seen the end of two separate centuries.

Yeah, these books weren’t from 1990s. They were from 1890s. They were in remarkably good shape for books that are over 120 years old. I guess that’s what happens when you store them in a vault.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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  1. ah, that dreaded Y1900 and Y2K problems still kicking us.

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