On Friday, Sept. 22, the Masonic Grand Lodge of Colorado will dedicate a cornerstone at the new West Elk Clinic -- Hotchkiss on West Hotchkiss Avenue in Hotchkiss. The tradition of dedication begins at 3 p.m. and is open to interested community members. The event is sponsored by the Mount Lamborn Masonic Lodge of Hotchkiss.
A time capsule will be installed behind the cornerstones. The capsule will contain a history and photos of the Masonic lodges as well as histories and photos of Delta County Memorial Hospital and other items provided by members of the two organizations.
All Masonic organizations in the area have been invited to participate in this ancient ceremony. All the middle and high schools in Delta County, as well as the Crawford School, have cornerstones and time capsules. Cornerstones were also laid at Bill Heddles Recreation Center, Lincoln Elementary School, Delta County Memorial Hospital, Cedaredge Fire Station, Paonia Town Hall, Orchard City Town Hall, all four Masonic buildings in Delta County and numerous other public buildings. The laying of cornerstones for public buildings is a long-standing tradition of Freemasons. A noteworthy example is the laying of the cornerstone in the U.S. Capitol building by George Washington, who officiated as master of his lodge in Virginia. A cornerstone was laid in the foundation of the Statue of Liberty in 1884, and at the Colorado State Capitol in 1890.
Freemasonry arrived in Colorado with the early miners. Today, there are about 7,000 Freemasons in 121 lodges scattered throughout the state. In the U.S. alone there are about 3.4 million Freemasons.
A grand opening celebration will follow the ceremony. Tours, refreshments and an opportunity to meet clinic providers will be offered from 3 to 5 p.m.