By Keith Trout • News Editor • October 15, 2010
Although not may visitors showed up for the local open house held here last Saturday at Hope Lodge #22, one of 40 Masonic lodges in the state scheduled to conduct open houses that day, Lodge Master Earl Purrington was actually pleased with the turnout.
At the open house, Purrington said he was pleased with the people who'd visited. He said this week there were 12 people who came by that day, four being local Masons, but he noted Carson City had conducted an open house a short while ago and only two people visited, both members
Those attending the event in the lodge area upstairs above the Leslie's Fashions (44 N. Main St.) were first able to watch a recording made by the Free and Accepted Masons, entitled "On the Level: A Look into Free Masonry."
The recording talked about the Free Masons in Nevada, which includes the 40 lodges and 4,000 members statewide, and throughout the country, where there are 11,000 lodges. It also answered many questions people may have about Freemasonry, such as whether it is a religion and whether it engages in politics, the answer of both being no.
It also noted that Masons don't solicit members and those interested must request an application on their own.
Some Hope Lodge #22 members were on hand to talk with visitors, to show them around and to answer questions. Overall, eight nonmembers attended the open house, Purrington said, including some women.
The lodge includes two main rooms, a meeting room located on the east side and a smaller room on the west end where the Masons eat meals prior to meetings. There is also a small foyer with boards listing all the past masters of Hope Lodge #22 and the other local group affiliated with the Masons, The Order of the Eastern Star.
Masonry features three degrees as well, Scottish Rite, York Rite and Shriners.
Masons have both regular monthly meeting (second Thursday of month at 7:30 p.m.) and ceremonial or ritual meetings conducted periodically.
The current lodge building upstairs has been used since the 1940s, members said. A previous building near where Boys & Girls Club is burned down, and an original Masonic meeting site was in Leavitt Hall, a meeting room that formerly was located upstairs above the present Dini's Lucky Club.