The following history of the new Temple from 1970 - 1979, was prepared and

presented by Brother George Satterlee and read at the public ceremonies on September 8,

1979, when our mortgage was burned .


It was in 1970 that the Worshipful Master, William H. Goshen appointed a committee to check into the renovations needed to restore the High and Pine Street property to satisfactory condition. After thorough study it was found that between eighty and ninety thousand dollars would be required to provide a new roof, floor, windows, wiring, heating system and necessary painting.


While this committee continued, no definite action was taken on its findings.


When Worshipful Brother Russel A. Roberts became Worshipful Master in 1971, he set up a committee to investigate the possibility of erecting a new temple rather than make extensive repairs on the old building. It was thought advisable to canvas the members for pledges for such a big undertaking. In June the first donation was received and in October the Temple Association was formed with Worshipful Brother Walter S. Earling as president. Regular meetings were held and possibilities of a desirable new location were I explored.


In 1972 under Worshipful Master Richard A. Jervis, the Temple Association was continued and elected Brother Philip D. Barnes, President and Worshipful Brother Walter S. Earling, Vice-president. They negotiated for the purchase of 3.7 acres of land from the estate of Brother William Pettit. Now that the site had been secured, a concentrated effort was made to sell the existing property through Brother G. Vernon Pepper.


Under Worshipful Master Robert F. Andrews in 1973, an artist was commissioned to present a picture of the proposed new structure. The active Temple Association carried on a sale of Bibles to raise funds and in October a satisfactory agreement was made to sell the High Street property to Robert Corson, a long time tenant of the building's first floor.


When Worshipful Brother Daniel W. Hand, Jr. became Worshipful Master in 1974, the architect was given the assignment of drawing plans for the new temple. With this step a renewed effort was made to secure pledges. Plans for the new venture were submitted in November of that year.


In 1975 Worshipful Brother William H. Stiles became Worshipful Master and Worshipful Brother Walter S. Earling again assumed the presidency of the Temple Association due to the incapacitation of Brother Philip D. Barnes who continued as President Emeritus. A building committee was appointed and Worshipful Brother Richard A. Jervis accepted the challenging job of chairman.


Now meetings were held on a weekly basis in order to make important decisions. The contract for the basic structure was awarded to Brother Gerd Wehner and a building permit was obtained in August.


On October 18, 1975 , the heavy downpour of rain in no way dampened the enthusiasm of the large gathering that had come to be a part of the groundbreaking ceremonies. Now the work began in earnest and on October 31st the foundation was poured. Three days later Worshipful Brother Walter S. Earling and Worshipful Master William H. Stiles had the honor of laying the first block. In mid November about fifty lodge brothers were recruited to do laboring work on the temple. They poured insulation in basement walls and prepared the building for steel installation the same month. Before Christmas the cement floor of the lodge room was poured and despite the snowfall, the volunteers continued to be of assistance as side walls went up.


But the winter seemed to be extremely mild in January and February of 1976 and under the leadership of Worshipful Master Ronald N. Spiels and building committee chairman, Worshipful Brother Richard A. Jervis, work progressed rapidly, completing walls, trusses, mansards and roof. In March the basement floor was poured and then the inside finishing was begun. As well as doing laboring work, many of the brethren were out soliciting funds and gifts as memorials. Although $15,000 was raised in pledges in two and a half months by the finance committee, it was still found necessary to secure a $40,000 mortgage so that the work could be completed.


In May the Temple Association held its first weekly meeting in the unfinished lodge room and from then until September 3rd, when the first lodge meeting was held, work went on at fever pitch to complete the meeting room and foyer. On September 18th, 1976, when more than 500 people gathered in the hot sun to participate in the cornerstone laying ceremony, those who had worked so hard proudly guided visitors through the beautiful rooms that were nearly completed.


When the upstairs work was finished, the volunteers began work on the banquet room and kitchen. The grounds crew was actively engaged in filling and grading the property to provide ample parking space.


In 1977 Worshipful Master Norman H. Peek saw many of the finishing touches completed including the purchase and installation of permanent seating in April made possible through memorials and gifts. The lodge room was comfortably air-conditioned in June. In early summer the curbing was completed followed by the blacktopping of the entire parking area.


In 1978, under Worshipful Master J. Douglas Abdill, a concerted drive was begun to enable us to pay our 20-year mortgage. This effort continued through 1979 under Worshipful Master Robert W. Estell and has enabled us to assemble here today.


Through the combined efforts of the sisters of Shekinah Chapter No. 82, Order of the Eastern Star, who, besides sharing their husbands, contributed both finances and labor to this ambitious project.


It would be impossible to name all the brethren who freely shared their special abilities to complete this building and helped us to realize an estimated saving of $125,000.


Abraham Lincoln in his famous Gettysburg Address said, "The world wil l l ittle note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."


Likewise we have only brought to your attention a progress record of the last nine years, but this building will stand as a lasting memorial to those brethren who with vision and foresight had a dream and made it happen.


We would now like all of you to join with us in witnessing the burning of our mortgage.