first minutes of what was to become Reno Lodge record the meeting of a group men
recognizing themselves to be Masons gathering at the Odd Fellows Hall for the purpose of
asking permission to establish a Lodge under dispensation. The minutes are dated November
16, 1868. Their request was granted, and on September 23, 1869, the Nevada Grand Lodge
issued a charter to Reno Lodge #13.
Subsequent minutes reflect that, in addition
to the I.O.O.F. hall, meetings also were conducted above the Oasis Saloon, and in a
building recorded as "Alhambra Hall."
On October 15, 1872, the Grand Lodge set the
cornerstone of Reno Lodge's newly constructed two story Masonic Hall, located on the
southeast corner of Commercial Row and Sierra Street. This building, now vacant and
unoccupied, remains standing today as Reno's oldest commercial structure.
In 1904, a Masonic Temple Association was
formed to secure a building site where a livery stable then existed. The property was
located where the north bank of the Truckee River meets the West side of Virginia Street.
The Grand Lodge placed the cornerstone
September 16, 1905. The first stated communication in the new Masonic Hall occurred
December 8, 1906.
In October 3, 1953, the trustees were
authorized by a vote of the Lodge to build a large addition immediately west of the
existing structure. A devastating fire destroyed the older part of the Virginia Street
structure August 15, 1955. The burned out structure was razed and replaced by the now
existing three story building in 1967.
Today the newer structure and the four-story
annex built in 1953 are joined and serve the needs of several Masonic Lodges and appendant
bodies. The administrative offices of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge are located on the
third floor. The building also has several thousand square feet of space available for
commercial lease. Pictures of those two structures are available on the
"LodgeList" page of this website.
Red Kittell, PM
Historian, Reno Lodge #13