The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2016

North Carolina Mason

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The Mason NORTH CAROLINA Official Publication of e Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 141 Number 3 Oxford, North Carolina May/June 2016 Ric Car ter photos see TRAIN, page 8 By Ric Carter SPENCER — Spencer 543 has always been part of the railroad machine, from the birth of Spencer Shops to the back shop's current incarnation as the North Carolina Transportation Museum. On April 2, they again made that heritage part of their public face by sponsoring their Railroad Degree. After the museum closed, nearly 300 Masons gathered in the 37-bay round house that now serves as a rolling stock and lo- comotive display for the museum. In the six bays emp- tied for the lodge's work, a third degree was performed between a 1913 Baldwin Copperhead steam locomo- tive on one side and Seaboard and CC&O cabooses on the other. e floor of the lodge took up two bays. e rest was littered with chairs brought by attendees. Arriving Masons met at the front of the Museum and had hamburgers and hot dogs under the picnic shelters there. ey had fun, talked trains and lodg- es, picked up their pre-ordered tshirts, and waited to make their big entrance to the degree. ey boarded passenger cars and toured the yard pulled by a 1958 EMD GP9 which served Norfolk and Western during its working life. After the tour, they stopped at the end of the roundhouse and entered the huge facility. ey walked down the row of giant locomotives and other historic rolling stock to the bays cleared for the lodge. ere, on a floor of vertically planted timbers, cov- ered work pits, and rail was a lodge floor with enough of the standard furniture from the lodge to be easily recognizable. A temporary wall with tyler and prepa- ration room doors was installed near the bay doors. e event was the result of months of planning. Lonnie Melton, Sam Krohn, Anthony Fisher, Woodie Weddington, and John Ogden were the committee to make the Train Degree happen. ey started work in January. Master Sam Krohn credited Melton's hard work and previous experience with the nearby quarry degree with the success they had. Spencer Lodge's officers conducted the first section Holds railroad roundhouse degree Spencer shares its rail heritage Masons retook the Spencer Shop's roundhouse to hold a Master Mason Degree in April. Grand Master Webster was dressed for the occasion. Spencer's 36-bay roundhouse furnished a huge stage for Spencer Lodge's headline degree. N&W's 611 steam streamliner was a visitor.

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