Cayce Lodge History

In 1952, 94 members from 18 lodges in South Carolina decided it was the right time to form a new lodge located in nearby Cayce, SC. They petitioned the Grand Lodge for a charter and on Nov 17, 1952 received a dispensation granting them the right to confer Masonic degrees. Grand Master John I Smith appointed Charles Finley as WM, Bruce Smith as SW and John Kiaser as JW to preside as the first officers of the Lodge. Cayce Lodge received its official charter from the Grand Lodge on April 24, 1953 authorizing it to conduct work. Cayce Lodge was off to a great start. By the end of its first year, the Lodge had raised 29 new members bringing the membership up to 129. Among the first acts of the new Lodge was choosing Monday as its normal meeting night and setting the annual dues at $5.

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The first officers of Cayce Lodge. (First row l-r) Andrew Davis, Charles Finley, Grand Master John Smith, Bruce Smith, Charles Shealy     (Second row l-r) Leland Gardner, George Jeffcoat, Charles Cayce   (Third row l-r) L. Jack Furtick, Greg Dowd  (Not pictured) John Kaiser

Since the newly formed Cayce Lodge didn't have a home of its own, its meetings were held in the Sinclair Lodge building in West Columbia. After much discussion, the Lodge decided that they needed their own  building. In 1953, the City of Cayce donated a plot of land on Holland Ave to the newly formed Lodge, so they could construct a lodge building of their own. It would take 7 years of planning and fund raising efforts, including a bank loan before the building could be started. The Lodge contained many members who were bricklayers, plumbers, electricians and other skilled tradesmen. Under the direction of John Ellisor, the members of Cayce Lodge used their own skills and abilities to build their lodge building.   Construction began in early 1960 and continued until May 2, 1960 when the building was complete and the first meeting was held with WM Harry Shirley presiding. On December 10, 1960, the members of Cayce Lodge and the Most Worshipful Grand Master Hugh N Layne gathered for a special dedication ceremony for the new lodge building. 

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The first lodge building on Holland Ave.

The Lodge was growing by leaps and bounds. After only 7 years (1960) the membership had grown to 210 members.
In 1965, the SC Dept. of Transportation decided to realign 12th street. The story goes that the best route for the realigned street was directly through the Cayce lodge building. When the surveyors came to layout the new street, they opened the front and rear doors of the lodge building and sighted straight through it. This development meant that Cayce Lodge would have to move. Plans were discussed and committees were formed, but for almost 30 years the road extension remained idle. However, in 1994, negotiations with the Highway Department to purchase the lodge building provided the Lodge with the money to build a modern, single story lodge building and a new plot of land, just to the east of the original location. By January of 1995, the designs were approved and the Lodge signed a contract with the Smith Co. to build the new building, with construction to start right away. The ceremonial ground breaking for the new building was held Jan 11, 1995 and was presided over by the Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master Robert V Pinkston and WM Howard Culver. Construction went quickly and the first lodge meeting in the new building was held on June 26, 1995. In an effort to connect the new building with the old, the cornerstone from the first building was saved and was mounted in the lobby of the new lodge building.

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Cayce Lodge Breaks ground for their new lodge building Jan 11, 1995. (from left) Don Phillips, Gene Grigsby, Billy Dorn, WM Howard Culver, Bobby Dorn, James Hickman, Hugo Bird, Nick Mathewes, Truett Templeton  Photo from Dispatch News 1-18-1995

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The ceremonial ground breaking with WM Howard Culver looking on as Mayor Avery Wilkerson of Cayce and Grand Master Robert Pinkston man the shovels.

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The new building under construction

The original cornerstone

In the late 70s and early 80s, Cayce Lodge began a series of annual visits with Hixson Lodge #727 of Hixson, Tenn. One weekend in the summer, the whole of Cayce Lodge; officers, brothers and candidates, would travel to Hixson Lodge and perform a Masonic degree for the candidates they had brought. The next year, Hixson Lodge would travel to Cayce and perform a Masonic degree for their candidates. Visiting brethren were put up in local members homes during these visitations. This exchange fostered many friendships and fond memories that live on to this day. One of the highlights was the visitation in 1982, where Cayce traveled to Hixson for a FC degree and the next day attended the 1982 Worlds Fair in Knoxville.
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Smiling faces after a visit to Hixson  Lodge #727, Hixson, Tenn.

WM Mike Hughes and the WM of Hixson Lodge exchange gifts

In November of 2002, Cayce Lodge celebrated its 50th anniversary as a working Lodge. Members, new and old, their wives, and officers of the Grand Lodge came together to celebrate the first 50 years of the lodge. Special guests included several widows of former Lodge members, Grand Master G. Kent Elkins, Deputy Grand Masters Jack Marler and Barry Rickman. Awards were given out and a fine dinner was served. The highlight of the evening was a speech by Grand Master G. Kent Elkins about South Carolina Masonic History. To make the evening even more memorable, a commemorate pin was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lodge.

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Commemorative Pin: Fiftieth Anniversary - Cayce Lodge No.384 AFM

On Sept. 26, 2009, the Grand Lodge convened at the Cayce Lodge building to lay the buildings cornerstone and rededicate the lodge building.GM Barry Rickman, a Past Master of Cayce Lodge, officiated the ceremony along with 30 Grand Lodge officers. Visitors included visiting masons,  members wives, members of Cayce Chapter #260 OES, and 2 councilman from the City of Cayce. When the building was built in 1995, the cornerstone from the first building was moved to the new lobby. But the brothers of Cayce Lodge felt that with their own Br Barry Rickman serving as GM, the time was right for the laying of a new cornerstone.
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Cornerstone laying ceremony lead by GM Barry Rickman

Cayce Lodge has always been proud of its service to the community and to the City of Cayce itself. On several occasions, Cayce Lodge has sponsored youth sports teams, donated money to send high school students to leadership camps, sponsored activities to support the US troops and made gifts of bulletproof vests to the Cayce Police Dept. In November 1996, when a tornado struck Cayce, the City asked Cayce Lodge for the use of their building as a shelter for disaster victims. The Lodge was there to help. A nurse and other volunteers were dispatched with cots, blankets, food, and emergency supplies. Thankfully, the shelter was not needed.
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Cayce Lodge sponsors youth sports. STRIKE!
Within the Lodge are a group of dedicated members known as the "Old Geezers". Through their dedication, over the years, these members have made many contributions to Cayce Lodge and the community. The Old Geezers started as a small group of members resting outside the lodge one day, when Mrs. Imogene Rivers mentioned that “You look like a bunch of Old Geezers sitting there” and the name stuck. During the construction of the second lodge building, the Old Geezers started cooking lunch for the construction crew. This eventually expanded to serving Wednesday lunches to the general public as a fund-raising project. The profits were used to pave the lodge parking lot and make charitable contributions and many other notable projects.
The members of the Lodge are very proud of their BBQ skills. In 1987, under the leadership of PM Mike Hughes and the "Old Geezers", the Lodge participated in the first of many Carolina Children's Home BBQ cook offs. Over the years, the Lodge has helped raise thousands of dollars for the Carolina Children's Home and has won many awards for their superior cooking abilities. In 2007, PM Mike Hughes was honored by the Carolina Children's Home for his and the Lodge's efforts.

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PM Mike Hughes receiving an award from the Carolina Children's Home

One of the Lodge's proudest moments occurred in 2009, when PM Barry Rickman will become Grand Master for South Carolina. Brother Rickman was raised in 1976 and served as WM of Cayce Lodge in 1983. He is a distinguished member of several Columbia Scottish Rite bodies, was made a Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (KCCH) in 2001, and became a 33rd in 2013. He has served on the Grand Executive Council for the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and received the Grand Cross of Color in 1996. He is a founding member of the Square and Compass Club of the Midlands, a member of several Columbia York Rite bodies, Hejaz and Newberry Shrine Clubs and Cayce Chapter #260, Order of the Eastern Star.

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Barry Rickman, Grand Master 2009-2010

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