The First 75 Years
A short chronological history of Six Mile Masonic Lodge #339, AFM, Six Mile, SC.
May 6, 1922
A dispensation was granted to open a new Lodge to be known
as Six Mile Lodge under dispensation.
Acting Worshipful Master, Marion Augustus Evans
Acting Senior Warden, Robert Bruce Hunnicutt
Acting Junior Warden, James Waco Holliday
Along with the following Brothers as officers:
Steward Elford M. Bolding
Steward D. E. Peek
Tyler D. E. Brown
Secretary Loyd S. Griffin
Treasurer Harley J. Peek
Junior Deacon Beaufort M. Peak
Senior Deacon J. Oscar Durham
All ten of these Brothers were members in good standing of Tate
Lodge #292, AFM located at Norris, SC.
June 13, 1922
The charter members were the ten forming officers.
Brother J. Campbell Bissell MWGM of AFM of SC granted the
dispensation to form the Six Mile Lodge. Information was passed on to us that
these Brothers walked from Six Mile to Norris, opened a Lodge, walked back to Six
Mile and closed the Lodge. This is a round trip distance of 12 miles, and long
before it was necessary to jog to stay in shape.
July 15, 1922
This date is the earliest recorded minutes we have of a
regular communication at Six Mile Lodge under dispensation. Regular communications
were to be held on Saturday of the full moon or the first Saturday thereafter.
March 3, 1923
The Lodge asked for a charter to be granted at Grand Lodge
meeting of 1923. A motion with second and favorable vote to borrow $90.00 to
pay for the charter. This was quite a financial obligation for eleven farmers.
Much credit is due these faithful Brothers for their vision and courage. There
still remain direct descendants of these men in our Lodge today.
March 14, 1923
At the annual communication of the Grand Lodge of AFM of SC
held in Charleston, SC, the charter for Six Mile Lodge #339 AFM was confirmed.
Right Worshipful Brother R. T. Hallum was appointed by most Worshipful Grand Master
J. Campbell Bissell to constitute and form Six Mile Lodge #339, AFM.
May 5, 1923
The Six Mile Masonic Lodge No. 339 was constituted at a
regular communication by District Deputy Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother
R. T. Hallum.
The first meeting place was in a two story building owned by
J.L. Dillard or T. L. Dillard which was located on the lot where the Deadwylers
apartments are now located near the Six Mile Baptist Church.
Meetings were also held in the old Six Mile High School
building for a short period of time.
September 10, 1922
Rev. J. E. Berts was the first to petition the Lodge,
accepted and received his First Degree. Receiving his Second Degree, September
7, 1922 and his third Degree on November 18, 1922.
The Lodge grew rapidly, beginning with 11 members in 1922. There
were fourteen members by 1923 year’s end and thirty members at the end of 1924.
By 1925 year’s end the Lodge had grown to 37 members. Most
members came as demits from other Lodges and the raising of new members.
January 22, 1927
At a regular meeting, Dr. D.E. Peek was appointed to have
the Lodge hall wired for electric lights. The cedar wood for the altar and
trestle boards came from Keowee river bottom and the property of Mr. Damel
Thomas Alexander in 1934-35. It is handed down that the logs were cut with crosscut
saws on Thanksgiving Day. The furniture was made by Frank Ernest Winchester of
Pickens, SC. Daniel Thomas Alexander was the Grandfather of D. Harold
Winchester, a member of this Lodge.
In regular communication, the Lodge voted to meet on the 4th
Saturday of each month but was later changed to the 4th Monday night.
August 1937 – November
During this time the minute books were destroyed in a tragic
fire at the home of Brother John T. Chalmers, who was secretary of the Lodge at
In this year dues were increased from $3.00 to $5.00 to
begin January 1962.
The known history of our present building construction took
place after 1945; the cement blocks were manufactured by J.C. Mcjunkin and Roy Whitmire.
An estimated 3300 blocks were made. Brother J.C. Mcjunkin, ace Julian and Earl Brown
laid the blocks that built the building for Acie Whitmire. The Lodge Brethren
leased the building for 99 years to be used as a Masonic Lodge. Acie Whitmire
later sold the building to Lem Kerck who later sold the building to the Six
Mile Masonic Lodge in 1965.
It is reported that Oscar Alexander once had a corn mill on
the lot. The building has been used as a furniture store, a TV shop by Mr. Schrader,
a US Post Office, a carpet store, and Bill Peek’s drug store. Today the
building is fully used by the Masonic Lodge for Lodge meetings and socials,
except for the basement, which is rented.
November 26, 1965
In a regular meeting it was discussed to investigate whether
the building could be bought for $6500.00.
January 28, 1966
The Lodge voted to buy the building for $6500.00. The Lodge
voted to rent the basement at a fair price to Six Mile town council or they
could have first choice to rent the basement.
February 25, 1966
The Lodge only had 80% of the funds to purchase building. A
discussion at length went on as to how the additional funds could be raised.
March 19, 1966
A special meeting was called to vote on the building
purchase. 11 voted for the purchase and 5 voted against the purchase.
September 23, 1966
A Brother Ray K. (Johnny) Bryant injured his back and the Lodge
donated $50.00 to him and applied for Masonic relief for Brother Bryant.
January 27, 1967
The Lodge received a motion and second to close the purchase
of the building. These Brothers helped with additional funds for the purchase.
Brother Bill G. Bowers loaned $165.00
Brother John G. Evans loaned $165.00
Brother C. Carl pilgrim loaned $26.00
To be repaid at a later date.
During this year the Lodge saw the need for the dues to be
raised from $5.00 to $15.00 beginning in 1969.
The Lodge voted to change the meeting night from 4th Friday
to the 4th Monday night at 7:30 PM year around. The Lodge also voted to improve
and upgrade the building by adding water, a rest room and a septic tank. Brother
C.F. Merck loaned the Lodge the money for the installation.
January 24, 1972
At this meeting, the Lodge voted to install a gas heater in
the Lodge to replace a small coal heater. The old coal heater was sold to Brother
Leo Pettigrew for $15.00.
During this year our very own most Worshipful Brother C.F.
Merck was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the 16th Masonic district.
January 28, 1974
Worshipful past Master Brother L.C. Holliday, who was
serving as our treasurer, announced to the Lodge that the mortgage on the
building has been paid in full.
January 28, 1974
The Lodge paid off the mortgage on the building. The Lodge building
belongs to the Lodge members free and clear.
February 28, 1976
Keowee Lodge requested the use of our building for their Lodge
meetings while their building was being renovated.
December 27, 1976
Keowee Lodge presented Six Mile Lodge a new set of working
tools in appreciation for the use of this Lodge while their Lodge was being
April 24, 1978
The many attempts to rent the ground floor of the Lodge
building didn’t prove as profitable as had hoped it would. Therefore, the Lodge
voted to fix this section for festive occasions. The Lodge purchased six tables
and 50 chairs to furnish this room.
July 27, 1978
On a special communication, Six Mile Lodge receives the
fellowship Bible from Bethlehem Lodge #338 of Round O, SC. This Bible was a
gift of Worshipful Brother Joseph G. McNaughton, a member and secretary of
friendship Lodge No.9 in Charleston, SC. It was requested by the past Master that this Bible
and a book accompanying it be presented to every Lodge in this Grand
jurisdiction at a regular or special communication for everyone to see and sign
the accompanying book. The purpose of this circularization is to encourage
visitation among the Lodges to further strengthen the bond of friendship and
unity between our Lodges. This will remind us of the importance of the great
light, the Holy Bible, in order for us to continue living our lives with
friendship, morality, and brotherly love.
After a brief stay on July 29, 1978, Worshipful Master Mack
E. Albertson presented this traveling Bible to Amity Lodge # 340 in Florence,
SC, and finally ending its travel at the Grand Lodge Museum in Columbia, SC.
September 25, 1978
A request was made to the Grand Lodge to change the December
4th Monday night meeting to the 2nd Monday night because of the holidays and to
hold elections before the festival of Saint John the Evangelist day.
Another Past Master of our Lodge, Worshipful Brother Bill G.
Bowers was appointed as District Deputy and served the Grand Lodge of SC in the
16th Masonic District.
The Lodge saw again the need and voted to raise the dues
from $15.00 to $25.00 and have remained at this level to date. On this date the
Lodge gave the charity committee a $100.00 limit for any charitable causes as
the need arises. Today it is customary to send flowers or a monitory memorial
to a deceased Brother’s family at his death.
March 28, 1988
The Lodge celebrated 65 years of masonry with the Grand Master
of South Carolina most Worshipful Tommy F. Brant attending the Lodge, along
with the Grand Secretary H. Dwight McAwster and Right Worshipful W. Douglas Whitfield,
District Deputy Grand Master of the 16th Masonic district. Worshipful Brother Ed
Watson, Worshipful Brother Earl Brown, and Right Worshipful Bill G. Bowers gave
a verbal history of our Lodge. This was the first time that a Grand Master has
ever visited our Lodge. At this visit the Lodge Officers were:
Scottie Porcher – WM
Phillip Bowers – SD
Don Daugherty – SW
JohnBowers – JD
Lamar Merck – JW
Jerry Crenshaw – Chap
Frank Donald – Sec
WillieDorsey – Tyler
W. Melvin Watson – Tres
To encourage visitation among the Lodges, the 16th Masonic
district created a plaque which would be presented to the Lodge with the most
visitors attending at that meeting.
February 9, 1989
The Six Mile Lodge #339, with eight members attending the
meeting of the Keowee Lodge #79, won the plaque.
February 27, 1989
Ten (10) members of the liberty Lodge #235 visited the Six
Mile Lodge and claimed the plaque.
April 22, 1989
A special joint communcaton of the 16th Masonic District
was held for an outdoor Degree at Sugar Liquor Lake. Six Mile Lodge presented
one candidate fellow craft Richard James Chapman to receive his 3rd Degree,
along with two others from other Lodges. Right Worshipful Wallace Cession, District
Deputy Grand Master, conferred the Degree on the candidates.
May 22, 1989
The Lodge opened in due form, the most Worshipful Grand Master
of Masons of South Carolina, Ray Marsh, was here on an official visit. Accompanying
the Grand Master was the Senior Deacon Bobby Holbrooks. The Grand Master was
well pleased with Six Mile Lodge work, officers and Brethren. At this meeting,
the Lodge was presented one dozen past Master aprons. This gift was made
possible from the periderm payments presented to the present Masters and Wardens
who attended the annual Grand Lodge meeting.
September 24, 1990
A motion with second and passed vote made possible the
carpeting of the downstairs area and stairway for approximately $100.00. This
would be ready for our annual ladies’ night banquet.
August 26, 1991
During regular communication, Worshipful Brother Jerry Crenshaw
was assigned the duty of obtaining the heavy old safe that was stored in the
The safe was used when the post office was here. Brother Jerry
Crenshaw contacted Worshipful Brother John Gary Evans and the John A. Roper Estate
for an agreement so the safe could become the property of Six Mile Lodge. The Lodge
later located a locksmith who was able to open the safe and resurrect the
combination so the safe is now being used. On this date the Lodge also agreed
to publish a newsletter for the next twelve months.
May 25, 1992
Being somewhat active in the community, the Lodge received a
letter from the Six Mile parent, teachers association thanking the Lodge for a
gift donation of $250.00.
November 23, 1992
The Lodge again being community minded voted to provide
coffee and hot chocolate during the Six Mile Christmas Parade. This practice is
still carried on today.
January 23, 1995
Our Lodge prides itself in its work, but it also wants to
project a suitable image in the community. The Lodge orders new aprons and
jewels for all officer stations.
August 28, 1995
On this occasion, the Lodge recognizes Worshipful Brother Tom
L. Dillard who celebrated his 100th birthday on August 24, 1995. It is believed
that he is the oldest living mason and perhaps the one having the longest time
in Masonic service.
April 28, 1997
At the Grand Lodge meeting our Lodge had the distinct
privilege of having a third District Deputy selected from our Lodge. Past Master
Worshipful Brother Jerry D. Crenshaw was appointed to serve the 16th
Masonic district as district deputy.
June 23, 1997
Six Mile Lodge continues to upgrade and improve the
building, by blowing insulating in the overhead ceiling. Many other building
enhancements, such as investments in place of insurance on the building.
November 14, 1998
Tonight, the Six Mile Lodge celebrates its ladies’ night
banquet by commemorating 75 years of masonry and its history in Six Mile, South
Carolina. The Lodge commemorates this event with a published history of the Lodge.
Much research was done by reading of the old minute books and picking the minds
of its elder living members. A special thanks to these most Worshipful Brothers
for their work: Scottie Porcher and his reading glasses, who read the minute
books to pick out the highlights of Masonic history of our Lodge; Franklin Donald
for his minute books and his historical archives, which we have gleaned to add
facts to our history; Melvin Watson, for his creative touch in creating and
organizing our history into this souvenir history book.
(To Be Continued)