without visiting the Iowa Masonic Library. One cannot talk about visiting
the Iowa Masonic Library primarily to
review Prince Hall Grand Lodge proceedings without telling the truth about
the lack of a central repository of proceedings and other documents pertaining to Prince Hall Freemasonry.”
Who does not want to be strand- ed on a magical island? The annual meeting of the Peace Garden Lodge
of Freemasons (see the Extraordinary
Opportunities for Affiliation section), may
also include a journey to Masonic Island,
a landmass owned by the Grand Lodge
of North Dakota. The 7.2-acre property
was, according to research from Grand
Historian M∴W∴ James Savaloja, purchased from the Government in 1899
by Brother V.B Noble. The property was
transferred to the North Dakota Masonic
Foundation in 1933. The Grand Lodge
dedicated the property in 1934, and built
an outdoor lodge and a Fellowcraft stairwell on the island in 1935.
The stairwell, reached by passing two pillars, and consisting of three, five, and seven
steps, carries travelling men from the boat
dock toward the outdoor lodge room and
is decorated in beautiful Masonic blue with
gold accents. The outdoor lodge features
the three officer stations, pedestals, and
a Masonic altar in the center constructed
with mortar and beach stones and trimmed
in blue. Here, the second section of the
third degree is conferred and, as you might
expect, is a meeting only open to Master
Masons. Profane friends and family are
sometimes given a pontoon boat tour of
Lake Metigoshe during this time.
Perhaps the most interesting histori-
cal account of this island comes from the
North Dakota Mason Magazine (Novem-
ber 2012): “It is known fact that Masonic
Island was probably the first place where
visas to enter the United States were lifted
for Masons of Canada during WWII by an
agreement between President Roosevelt
and Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who
were both members of the Fraternity. This
agreement stated that the Canadian Ma-
sons could enter the United States by boat
from the north shore of Lake Metigoshe,
which is in Canada. As long as their feet
never touched the shoreline of the lake in
the U.S., and they landed only at Masonic
Island when a meeting would be held, they
would not be in violation of our wartime
rules of entry.” Thus, when your feet touch
the shoreline of Masonic Island in Lake Me-
tigoshe, you are visiting a part of an amazing
Masonic history of our country shared with
our Canadian neighbors to the North.
Lake Metigoshe lies across the U.S.-Canadian boundary line. About 1. 5 miles
south of the Canadian boundary is the 7.2-
acre spot of land, Masonic Island.
The first Masonic meeting was held there
in 1906, when Tuscan Lodge opened lodge,
and then permitted Westhope Lodge to
confer the Master Mason Degree.
Over the years, the island was frequently
used for Masonic meetings, with attendance
sometimes reaching 500 or more. A complete outdoor Lodge room and a staircase
leading up from the dock were built in 1935.
Today, Masonic Island is being restored as a special historic location in the
Turtle Mountains. The island lays claim
to being the only spot in the area untouched by the fires and other disasters
of nature which decimated old growths
of oak trees and other flora and fauna. Because of the island’s location in the center of the lake, it has some of the oldest
trees and most unusual plants in the state.
Every Mason should visit at least one of
these treasures in his lifetime.
Lake Metigoshe, ND
South center window War Memorial room.
The center window denotes patriotism and dedication to our country.
Have you joined
For more information,
please email srrs@
scottishrite.org or call 202–
232–3579. You can join
org by selecting “Masonic