Virginia City- Fraternal Lodges

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Storey County

As the Comstock mines boomed and the population grew, it wasn't long before fraternal societies began to organize in the area. This page is dedicated to the lodges that opened just in Virginia City. The first fraternal lodge to open in Virginia City belonged to the Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.). They were followed closely by the Masons. Mountain Davidson (I.O.O.F.) Lodge #3 was instituted at Virginia City on April 22, 1862. Nevada (I.O.O.F.) Lodge #7 was instituted on January 15, 1864. Virginia (I.O.O.F.) Lodge #10 was instituted on May 18, 1865. Olive Branch (I.O.O.F.) Lodge #12 was instituted on April 4, 1867. Pioneer Encampment, which is an appendant body of the Odd Fellows Lodge, was instituted on July 17, 1864. Piute Encampment was instituted on February 20, 1867. Silver State Encampment was instituted on February 17, 1874. Only one Odd Fellows body still meets in Virginia City today. This lodge has been renamed Virginia Lodge #1 and is described as being chartered on April 22, 1862..... The Masons first formed in Virginia City and the Comstock in 1863. These lodges operated Under Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of California. Nevada had not yet become a state and therefore, had no Grand Lodge at that time. Virginia City Lodge #162 was granted Dispensation from California on January 15, 1863. They were given Charter on May 14, 1863. After statehood in October of 1864, this Lodge became known as Virginia Lodge #3 under the new Grand Lodge of Nevada. Escurial Lodge #171 was granted Dispensation from California on January 22, 1864. Charter was granted on October 13, 1864. After Nevada statehood was achieved that same year, this Lodge became known as Escurial Lodge #7 under the Grand Lodge of Nevada. Escurial Lodge #7 still meets to this day. Appendant bodies of the Masons known as the Knights Templar and Royal Arch Masons (York Rite) also opened Chapters at Virginia City. Virginia Chapter #2 (Royal Arch) was granted Dispensation on September 8, 1865. De Witt Clinton Commandery of Knights Templar was granted Dispensation on February 4, 1867..... The first Knights of Pythias Lodge to open in Nevada was also in Virginia City. Nevada Lodge #1 was instituted on March 23, 1873. Lincoln Lodge #6 was instituted on March 29, 1874. Triumph Lodge #11 was instituted on October 20, 1879. The beautiful building that you see in the photographs with the initials "K of P", belonged to the Knights of Pythias. I am not sure of the years that these lodges stopped meeting..... The Fraternal Order of Eagles came to Virginia City right after the turn of the 20th century. Comstock Aerie #523 was instituted on September 26, 1903 and still meets in Virginia City today. They meet in the old Miners Union Hall building, which sits next door to the E Clampus Vitus and Knights of Pythias buildings. These three grouped buildings may be my favorite on the entire Comstock... E Clampus Vitus, Julia C. Bulette 1864 Chapter, still meets in Virginia City today as well. ECV is the organization responsible for all of those outstanding historical monuments that you see in these remote parts of Nevada..... Other fraternal societies with lodges in Virginia City included the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Grand Army of the Republic, Independent Order of Foresters, Caledonian Club, etc.