On the fifth day of November, 1867, a meeting was held in the State Bank at Rushford for the purpose of organizing a Masonic Lodge. Niles Carpenter read to the asembled men the dispensation from C. W. Nash, Grand Master of Minnesota, authorizing formation of this lodge. The name "Mystic Star" was selected and the officers appointed.
The first Lodge Officers were: Niles Carpenter-W.M., M.O. Wiltsie-S.W., W.E. Crandall-J.W., John Sarkie-S.D., B.W. Benson-J.D., G.G. Stevens-Treasurer, N. Currie-Secretary, John Brammer-Tyler, D.A. Hudson-Steward, G.O. Evans-Steward.
The second meeting was held at the office of G. G. Stevens on Wednesday, December 11, 1867. The first initiation was held on January 16, 1868, when G. R. Parker received the first degree. The first man to receive all three degrees and to be made a Master Mason by the Rushford Lodge was H. W. Eldred, who completed the degrees on April 8, 1868.
Visitors from neighboring Lodges came regularly to these early meetings, from Clyde, Winona, Hokah, and Preston. Several halls were used for meeting until 1881 when a hall was rented from A. K. Hanson on the second floor of his store. This was used for the Lodge room until completion of the present Masonic Lodge building in 1913.
On June 30, 1913 a special meeting was held and the lodge escorted Officers from Grand Lodge to the new Rushford Masonic Lodge building where the cornerstone was laid The lodge moved to the newly completed Temple on September 29, 1913 and the first meeting in the new Temple was held October 7, 1913. At this meeting the lodge was opened by the oldest members acting as principal officers. They were H.W. Eldred, F.M. Smith, Oliver Wilson and John Kahoun.
In 1922 Mystic Star Lodge No. 69 received an invitation from the Library Board to conduct the ceremony of laying the cornerstone for the new library building. Cornerstone cerimonies were and still are important Masonic rituals. Grand Master Herman Held of Mankato, assisted by local masons and masons from Houston, Lewiston, Clyde, Lanesboro, Money Creek, and Winona conducted the ceremony which was held August 22, 1922.
Through the years the Lodge has carried on with its regular work, receiving new members, conducting fellowship meetings with neighboring lodges and assisting in Masonic work such as the Masonic Cancer Hospital and providing scholarships. For a time a recreation room was maintained in the Lodge building.
Mystic Star Lodge has always been ready to provide service to the community. The Rushford School requested the use of the Lodge building during the school year 1950-51 because of overcrowded conditions in the school building. Masons were glad to assist in this emergency, and one section of the second grade met in the building during this school year.
The 90th Annivers~ry dinner was held May 21, 1959 at the Rushford School attended by 200 people Grand Master Clyde E. Hegman was present for this observance.
On July 9, 1969, the Lodge celebrated it's 100th Anniversary with a special meeting that included an address by Dr. Walter H. Judd, M.D. and a Fifty-Year Member Recognition. At that time, the officers were Maynard Ukkestad-W.M., Berger O. Halverson-S.W., Earl L. Johnson-J.W., Henry Vitse-S.D., Robert Forsythe-J.D., Theodore Roberton-Treas., Harley I. Larson-Sec., Stanley Hoiland-Tyler, Arvid Kjos-Chaplain, Harry D. Arnold-S.S., Carl Huseboe-J.S., and Emmons Kjos-Marshall.
In 1990, Mystic Star Lodge merged with the Masonic Lodge in Houston, Minnesota and began serving both communities. By 2004, Mystic Star Lodge was in trouble, with a deep decline in the number of active members. The Lodge took action to become more visible in the community and attract new members. Today it is thriving. A true success story!
Here is our newly carpeted Lodge room at present looking to the East.
Wonderful old photos and artifacts adorn the walls of the Lodge room. This is a view of the South Wall.
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