Central City Masons Hold Pig Roast Benefit
By David Josselyn
Sunday, August 24th, the Central City Masonic Lodge #6 held their annual benefit fund raiser pig roast. Historian George Snyder said they were hoping to serve 1,500 people this year. The benefit will help fund repairs to the building and other maintenance items that go into preserving the historic Lodge. The Central Lodge #6 Masons primary program is a children’s identity program whose purpose is to help law officials quickly identify missing children by providing fingerprints, pictures, and hair samples collected in advance. The Lodge also provides a scholarship of about $1,000 for Gilpin graduates for college.
Snyder waxed eloquent when asked about the history of the Lodge. Every country has at least one Grand Lodge and the United States has fifty state Grand Lodges. “They tend to not agree with each other,” said Snyder, “so those conspiracy theories are hogwash.” In the 1800’s, there was one Lodge built where Central City and Black Hawk meet. The Lodge grew to more than 10,000 members so they deemed it necessary to split into three different entities. A Lodge was built for Black Hawk, another for Nevadaville, and one for Central City. The Black Hawk Lodge building was sold when gaming came to town and the members now meet down in the Denver area. Every Lodge is required to have a portrait of George Washington on display. The painting in the Central City Lodge was originally done by Brother Glendenning in the 1800’s near or in the nation’s capital. The story goes that he painted it on a tablecloth that was so cumbersome it would detach itself from the wall and fall on the Grand Master’s head. The Master eventually had it rolled up and put in the archives where it was later resurrected for the Central City Lodge. When the masons unfurled the painting, they believed the gold paint used to be too dull so they layered the paint with Central City gold dust and framed the painting in a gold plated frame. The painting became so heavy, it took six strong men to carry it and mount it in the Lodge.
The main chamber in the Central City Lodge is adorned with several paintings and frescoes and is beautiful to behold. As hungry people drifted in and satisfied people drifted out, many were commenting on the architecture, design, and décor of the Lodge. A couple of Lodge members were heard swapping ghost stories of the “hauntings” in the building. One such story told mostly to kids is of a ghost horse that can be seen riding through one of the paintings. The magic of the story is lost when you realize that the horse is coming through from a painting underneath, but it’s a good story, none-the-less.
The Central City Lodge #6 is located on Eureka Street above Ermel’s Emporium and the old Weekly Register-Call press and offices just across the street from the Teller House.