|Brief History of the Lodge|
Polar Star Lodge No. 79 was organized under Dispensation January 14, 1845, Chartered October 14, 1846, and its officers were installed Monday evening, November 12, 1846. An unexcelled history of splendid Masonic Activity has marked all the years of its existence.|
Its records from the very beginning are intact, and those pages not only record its proceedings, and the raising, vicissitudes and last call from labor of the individual members, but reflect as well the wars, public calamities and main events of history of a city, state and nation during more than a century-and-a-half.
The steamboat days of the "fabulous forties" appear in the early pages, when the lodge met at 3rd and Pine Streets and its membership included many river men, captains and pilots of that colorful period.
A pilot among them, who became world famous, was raised therein to the sublime degree of Master Mason on July 10, 1861, just as the Civil War begins to appear in the records. His name was Samuel L. Clemens, but the world knows him best as "Mark Twain". Later, during his renowned trip around the world (basis of "Innocents Abroad"), he procured that prized possession of the Lodge presented in 1868, the beautiful gavel inscribed:
"This Mallet is of Cedar cut in the Forest of Lebanon, whence Solomon obtained the Timbers for the Temple. The handle was cut by Bro. Clemens himself from a cedar planted just outside the walls of Jerusalem by Bro. Godfrey DeBouillon, the first Christian Conqueror of that City, 19th of July, 1099. The gavel in its present form was made at Alexandria, Egypt, by order of Bro. Clemens. From Bro. Sam'l L. Clemens"
Many other names prominent in the history of the City and State appear in those records too - Crittenden, Marshall, Kingsbury, Boogher, Jaccard, Bates, Bofinger, Bogy, Capen, Vandervoort, Hilliard, Orr, Ewing, Lee, Pope, Clark, McDowell, Gershenson, McNary, and Goodwin, to mention a few - and an account of the members' services from the Civil War, Spanish American War, both World Wars, Korea, and Viet-Nam, would make a history in itself.
The Lodge is proud of the distinguished names that ornament its roster, and it is proud too of those many others not famous to the outside world but written equally large in the records of the Lodge where all are equal in the great brotherhood of the fraternity - names of those who in their life and work so well exemplified the great Masonic principles.