Derita Lodge 715 History
On Nov. 2, 1957, 34 master masons with a dream of the future met in the basement of Cole Memorial
Methodist Church. A motion was made by Bro. Joe Fincher and seconded by Bro. Charles Kinnamon
PM, that a lodge be organized in the Derita community in Charlotte. Bro. Robert G. Fox suggested the
name “Derita Lodge” and it was approved unanimously over two other suggestions.
Officers were selected as follows: Thurman H. Sims PM, Master, Charles W. Kinnamon PM, SW
A.S. McLaughlin, JW, Joe F. Fincher, Treas., Fred A. Sharpe, Sec’y, Wm. B. Smith, SD, Earl I.
Ballard, JD, Ralph F. Skinner and James W. Garrison, Stewards, James A. Kiser, Chaplain and
Thomas R. Black, Tyler.
On Dec. 30, 1957, after much hard work and preparation, Grand Master Charles A. Harris granted a
Dispensation to Derita Lodge, UD. Meetings were then held in a temporary lodge hall in an old house
on the premises of Overnite Transportation Company.
On April 17, 1958, the charter was granted and was presented to the lodge on April 28, 1958. The
long awaited day had finally arrived. The 1st Stated Communication was held May 3, 1958.
The dream began to unfold when the lot where the present building now stands was purchased in January,
1959. In 1960, Charles Kinnamon PM, was elected Master. Under his direction, Bro. A.M. Price was
appointed chairman of the Building Committee. Through their efforts, the building was completed in Nov.
Long Creek Lodge 205 graciously loaned the use of their building during construction.
The first meeting was held in the new lodge on Nov. 6, 1960. It was officially dedicated Nov. 30, 1960.
Derita Lodge 715 was progressing at a steady pace.
The lodge got into the ham business, for which it is now famous, in Feb. 1962. 719 plates were served at
That first dinner and there have been thousands since. In 1965, a cookhouse was built to prepare the many
ham dinners to come.
The lodge was not without its hard times. At one point the treasury showed a balance of 20 cents in the red.
But no one gave up, the lodge building eventually paid for and a mortgage burning ceremony held Nov. 3, 1967.
Not bad for 10 years and a day.
In 1970, permanent seating was bought, 1971 carpeting and furniture, 1974 additional land was purchased,
1975 a new drive and parking lot was built. In 1977 the cookhouse was doubled in size for storage of supplies
and also in 1977 we reached a membership of 400 strong.
The progress of the building, grounds, furnishings, etc. have been good; but more importantly the real history
is the men who have passed through these doors. Using the moral and spiritual cement Masonary teaches,
Their lives have been shaped in much the same way as this building.
This is where the real growth of Derita Lodge has been taken place, in the hearts and lives of you and your