Enterprise Lodge No. 70 History
A dispensation was issued to Sundry Mason by WM William H Howard, Grand Master of California, on January 4, 1855, to organize a lodge known as Enterprise Lodge, U.D. in Yuba City, Sutter County. At the sixth Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge on May 4, 1855, a charter was granted as Enterprise Lodge, #70. The brethren held their first meetings at the Wooden C Street School at the Corner of C Street and McRae Streets. This building no longer exists.
Following are the charter officers and members: Officers -- WM - C. E. Wilcoxson; SW- C. L. N. Vaughan; JW - D. H. A pperson; Treasurer - C. C. McClure; Secretary - G. M. Hanson; SD - D. G. O'Donnell; JD - J. W. Gaither; Tyler - J. M. Fronk; Master Masons -- M Rassette; J A Brown; C. Burson; A F T Calley; S Z Cross; A B Davis; J P Dillon; D B Goode; A S H ightower; A G Jones; J B Kyler; J Nichols; I Ramsey; L W Taylor; G W Watson; Enter Apprentice Mason -- R G Boon. The work of officers and members was outstanding and efficient; the lodge prospered. In 1861 charter Master Caleb E Wilcoxson was elected Jr Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge. By the 1890's, Enterprise Lodge #70, had increased to 115 members. Meanwhile the lodge had outgrown the little school house; and in 1869 construction began on a brick, two-story building at the southwest corner of Second and Bridge Streets in Yuba City. This structure and lot were jointly owned by a retail mercantile establishment and the Lodge. The retail business occupied the first floor, the lodge the second floor. The meeting hall was completed by April 1870 and "furnished in a most elegant manner." At this time the lodge had 61 members.
Enterprise Lodge #70, members and their ladies (150 people in all) celebrated Enterprise Lodges Golden anniversary on Friday evening, January 13, 1905, with a program that included live orchestral music, speeches, remarks by Past Master C. B. Harter, and an address by Junior Grand Warden, George M Perins. Following these festivities at the Temple, "all repaired to the Odd Fellows Hall where a sumptuous banquet was partaken while the orchestra discoursed pleasing music" until the band played "Auld Lang Syne" thus ending the jubilee. The lodge now had 142 members.
On October 2, 1907, a disastrous fire struck Yuba City that destroyed most of Second Street south of the Bridge. The Masonic Temple was damaged, but not destroyed. Meetings continued to be held there. The fire, however, consumed an adjoining wooden annex that had been used as a banquet room. The brick building was rebuilt and still houses a business, but members of Enterprise #70, decided to sell their interest in the structure and to build a much larger temple with a banquet room on the ground floor and the Lodge Hall on the second floor, two blocks south at the northeast corner of Second and B Streets. This edifice is the present home of Enterprise Lodge #70.
Ground for the new Temple was broken January 12, 1908. The architectural design is of MISSION REVIVAL, constructed only during the period of 1900 through 1910. Built of twelve inch reinforced concrete walls on twelve-inch reinforced concrete pilings twelve feet deep, spaced "a few feet apart" along a two-foot wide reinforced concrete foundation "several feet deep," it was termed the finest building of its kind in the state. The timbers which support the covering, were felled and prepared in the forest of Georgia (clear Georgia Pine) and transported on ship via a route of the Horn, through the bay, up the delta, up the Sacramento River, up the Feather River and docked in Yuba City. The exposed timbers run the full length of the Lodge room. W H Allen, the architect, supervised the construction that was performed mainly by members of the lodge -- no general contract was let. Almost the entire cost of the edifice was contributed by the members through voluntary subscriptions.
On March 22 that same year, a twenty-four inch by eleven inch cornerstone was laid in a ceremony conducted by H D Moncur, Master. One hundred masons observed the ceremonies that included insertion behind the cornerstone of a sealed lead box containing the Enterprise Charter and sundry documents. By December 1908, the new temple was completed and the first meeting was held there. This was indeed a memorable accomplishment by a membership of approximately 1 50 dedicated Masons. Dedication services were observed at a special meeting on Tuesday, May 30, 1911. Grand Master Dana Reid Weller and Grand Lecturer Thomas J Baker conducted the ceremony witnessed by many Masons from the surrounding area. A dinner followed the event.
According to the Marysville Appeal of August 27, 1914, the marble stone inscribed with the Masonic emblem was removed from the old Masonic Hall at Second and Bridge Street, where it had rested for nearly Fifty years, and was placed in the new temple . Weighing Two hundred pounds, the stone was originally carted by team from Sacramento in 1869.
The diamond jubilee was celebrated by (275) two hundred and seventy-five Masons on January 4, 1930, in the Masonic Temple. Following a dinner in the banquet room, the celebration continued in the lodge hall with talks by Charles M Wolenberg, Grand Master; Thomas J Baker, Grand Lecturer; Charles E Quaid, Past Master; James R Robinson, Master of Enterprise Lodge #70; and the Reverend J J Evans. Interspersed during the evening were serenades by the Ben Ali Shrine Temple Chanters. Lodge Membership was now 251 and by 1949 reached 279.
A notable third degree was put on by Enterprise on March 25, 1937. A father assisted by his four sons raised a fifth son. Clyde B Harter, Master in 1904 and acting Master, with his sons Orlin, Chauncey, Leonard, and Howard, master in 1923, raised Gordon (the fifth brother) to the sublime Degree of Master Mason.
The one hundredth birthday of Enterprise Lodge #70 was observed during the stated meeting January 4, 1955, by one hundred masons following a 6:30 PM dinner. James H Barr, Master, gave a brief history of the lodge and paid tribute to those "Pioneer Masons, who in spite of trials and trying times, have brought down to us our wonderful lodge, Enterprise Lodge #70."
In the year 1992, Roses Bar #89 in Smartsville, due to a lack of membership wanting to hold officer stations started the procedure for consolidation. By a unanimous ballot of all members, they elected to consolidate with Enterprise Lodge #70. Membership in Enterprise by a unanimous ballot of its membership elected to allow Roses Bar #89 to consolidate with its Lodge. By the November Stated Meeting in 1992, the consolidation was final. After consolidation, membership was 334 members. With the funds that was acquired through consolidation was used to upgrade the heating and air conditioning of the Temple.
In the years of 1996 and 1997, the Master, Edmund C Smith (1997) expended many hours of energy and devotion to make Enterprise Lodge #70 a point of Historical Interest. This feat was accomplished by September of 1997. Membership at this time was 287.
Enterprise Lodge #70, (2015) is in its one hundred sixtieth year with 176 members ably led by enthusiastic officers. As it ever has been, the Lodge is financially solvent and has been debt free for several years. Please stop by and see us.