The Grand Lodge of West Virginia is a freemason organization in West Virginia. It is the only Grand Lodge recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and hence “regular” in the state. (The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of West Virginia is not currently recognized by the Grand Lodge of West Virginia and hence not by UGLE.) It had maintained the West Virginia Masonic Home.
Before the American Civil War, West Virginia had been a part of Virginia, and its Lodges were therefore under the control of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The area that became West Virginia seceded from the Confederacy and “maintenance of fraternal relations between lodges of the two states became impossible” (Gazette-Times, in 1915). A convention to create a new lodge took place in 1864, and then at the war’s end, on April 12, 1865, the day when Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was formally disbanded by ceremony at Appomattox Court House, the Grand Lodge of West Virginia was founded in Fairmont, West Virginia. William Bates was its first Grand Master. Over the following period there was confusion as many West Virginia lodges still maintained loyalty to the Grand Lodge of Virginia although all the Lodges that were originally chartered by Virginia were re-chartered by the Grand Lodge of West Virginia within the next fifty years.
West Virginia/U.S. – Cornerstone Ceremony hosted at Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department construction site
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