The population of Boulder mushroomed from 363 in 1868 to 3,063 in 1880. And just twelve years and seven months after Columbia No. 14 moved to Boulder, twenty Master Masons petitioned for a new lodge.
Allen’s History of Masonry in Colorado regarded it “as a good thing for Masonry at large, a good move for the members of Boulder 45, and especially a great help to its ancestor, Columbia 14, because of the noble rivalry or rather emulatior we have so often heard about.”
Many dimits accompanying the application were official and ornate document while others were simple hand-written documents on plain note paper. The dispensation was dated June 25, 1881. T. R. Palmer was Worshipful Master.
The fine spirit that has always existed between the two lodges was evident in an immediate proposal that the new group might use Columbia’s hall, jewels, and furniture temporarily for only $8 a month.
The Grand Lodge chartered Boulder No. 45 on September 21, 1881. M. W. Bro Wyman constituted the lodge and installed its officers two days later. Charter members had affiliated from Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Maine, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and other Colorado lodges.
During the early financial struggles, when money had to be borrowed from the bank, A. M. Sawyer, “that treasurer among treasurers” advanced interest on the loan from his own pocket. No wonder he was elected 33 times!
W. S. Bellman was secretary 23 terms starting in 1894. He was often called the “Past Master without a pin” for he could present all the lectures and do all the work but was so busy being secretary he had no time to be Master.
The first joint installation of officers with Columbia No. 14 occurred in 1884 and has continued until the present. The installing teams have had long periods of service. M. W. Bro. J. A. Davis ended 21 years as installing Grand Master in 1930 W. Bro. Sam Wylam served as installing Marshal for 20 years ending in 1935. Since then M. W. Bros. C. Wheeler Barnes and William R. “Pop” Arthur have officiated most of the time.
The cornerstone of the first Masonic Temple was laid on March 19th, 1894 Three special trains brought visiting Masons.
The two lodges conferred the Third degree at Grand Lodge in 1897. In 1913 Grand Lodge officers came to Boulder and conferred the same degree at a joint communication. Grand Lecturer Wm. W. Cooper acted as Worshipful Master.
On July 4, 1932 the lodge assisted in “relaying” the same cornerstone of the County Courthouse which had first been laid 50 years before on July 4, 1882. When the building was destroyed by fire in early 1932, the original cornerstone was not damaged.
Fire destroyed the Boulder Temple in 1944. A new Temple was built with members donating stone, lumber, and other materials and the members offering their services as “operative Masons.” The attractive, well-designed building was free of debt in 1952.
Source: Grand Lodge of Colorado A.F. & A.M.