History of Cerrillos Lodge

Craftsmen From The Quarry

A History of Cerrillos Lodge #19
Presented to the New Mexico Lodge of Research – June 4, 2005
By Bert P. Dalton, Past Master 2004

Cerrillos Lodge #19 is not the oldest, grandest, or largest. Yet a small, intimate, and persistent group of Craftsmen has sustained a quality lodge from its colorful birth in a mining boom town of the 1890s to the information age of the 21st century.

The history of Cerrillos Lodge was researched and written primarily for the information and benefit of its members, yet the story is part of the fabric of Cerrillos and New Mexico history. This paper is humbly presented to, and at the request of, the New Mexico Lodge of Research. It is a condensed version of “Craftsmen From The Quarry,” a longer printed work available from Cerrillos Lodge.


Native Americans were mining as early as 900 AD. As the Spanish settled in the area in the 1600s, they took over the mining operations, using the native inhabitants as slave labor. They were particularly interested in lead for use in making bullets. During one of the major excavations of the ancient Mina del Tiro mine, the entire west face of the mountain collapsed, killing hundreds of workers. It is believed that this incident was one of the principal causes of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, which drove out the Spanish until 1692.

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad obtained a route through Raton Pass in February, 1877 and the first rail town of Otero, about two miles south of Raton, was established in March, 1879. Two months later, President U.S. Grant offered a public sale of New Mexico lands that included the Los Cerrillos Hills. An enterprising politician named Stephen Elkins and a partner began accumulating property by settling land disputes.

Frank Dimmitt & Englishman Robert Hart, two miners from Leadville, Colorado, came to the Cerrillos Hills that same year to try their luck. They returned to Leadville with ore samples rich in gold, triggering a stampede. By mid-summer, there was a tent city of 300 miners extracting gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. Coal was discovered along the Galisteo River. In addition to Cerrillos, other mining towns sprang up nearby including Carbonateville and Bonanza City.

The tent city of Cerrillos was reported to have its share of saloons, gambling, and con men. According to Stanley, “No squeamish, self-respecting gentleman lingered here of a Saturday night during those first few months.” From the mayhem of the tent city, a town began to emerge. The Santa Fe to Lamy rail spur was completed in February, 1880. In April of the same year, the main rail line extended all the way through to Albuquerque. The AT&SF railroad established Los Cerrillos Station as the supply center for the surrounding camps of Waldo, Madrid, Golden, San Pedro, and Dolores.

D.D. Harkness had moved to Cerrillos when it was still a tent city. He built a temporary home and brought in his family from Las Vegas. When the railroad track was being laid in 1880, six railroad workers and a foreman were unable to find anywhere to eat or sleep. While D.D. Harkness was away on a prospecting trip, Mrs. Harkness offered to put them up in their home. Upon her husband’s return, she told him she had taken in seven boarders and that they were now in the hotel business. They set to work building the eighteen room Cerrillos House, the town’s first hotel.

The first Post Office opened in January, 1880, with George A. Waller named as the town’s first postmaster. The next ten years saw eight different locations and postmasters.

“Cerrillos is lively and coming to the front as a rich mining camp and a lively town,” reported the Las Vegas Optic, February 19, 1881. “The railroad company are looking well to their interests here, which are of importance, and among other things are shipping coal miners, and giving them $2.50 a day to mine the best coal in the West. Preparations are being made for extensive workings of the coal mines here, and the railroad company means business . . . Captain Harkness will feed the crowd, and will have his hands full, as he already has over fifty boarders. The captain is one of the original inhabitants of the burg, and has kept the ‘hotel’ for over a year, starting with but two boarders. The want of water has been badly felt, but is being overcome. Miners are arriving from all over.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported April 23, 1882 that “the Mina del Tira and the old turquoise mine are of particular interest to the antiquarian. It is said that some of the crown jewels came from this mine and that the Spaniards paid to the Church in tithes $300,000, and that over the years the mine produced $3,000,000 for the Spaniards . . . a number of miners, inspired by the success that attended the efforts of the Spaniards . . . went earnestly to work to derive benefit from the hidden treasure of the little hills. Since that time they have established several thriving towns, all of which have bright futures before them. They are Cerrillos, Carbonateville, and Bonanza City. At the first named place, business at this time is very brisk . . . The businessmen of the place are very much elated over the prospect of having the Texas, Santa Fe, & Northern run into their town, and there is general confidence in the future.”

In 1882, a town council was elected, and D.D. Harkness was chosen Justice of the Peace. By 1884, the stable town population reached one hundred. Joseph Richards was postmaster and ran a drug store, J.B. Daniels was a grain dealer, William C. Hurt had a general store, George Lay was the blacksmith, William McClurg was the carpenter, F.H. Mitchel was town constable, William Nesbit and George L. Williams had saloons, Joseph Silrey was town barber, Rev. W.C. Wheeler took care of the Methodist church, and C.W. Uptegrove ran the Tabor House.

Although mining of silver, gold, & turquoise played an important role, it was coal found first near Waldo, and later near Madrid, that brought prosperity. Beehive ovens were set up at Waldo to convert coal to coke. Madrid mines were worked as early as 1869 by the New Mexico Mining Co. Testing revealed the quality of the coal from those mines to be the best outside Pennsylvania, prompting the town’s nickname of “Little Pittsburg.” The railroad took advantage of this valuable local resource, eventually purchasing the coal mining property at Madrid in 1891. A spur line was installed from Madrid to Waldo to bring coal to the main rail line.

Four passenger and six freight trains passed daily through Los Cerrillos. There were 340 registered voters in the 1890 election. The Cerrillos Rustler, always a cheerleader for the town’s development, reported in 1890 that “there are no vacant houses in Cerrillos.”

An article in the Santa Fe New Mexican stated, “There is to be a rail line built from Texas through the breast of New Mexico that will have Salt Lake and the Northwest for its destination – and that road will come through the Cerrillos coal fields. It is not long off, either.”
Thus, Cerrillos became a junction of stage, horse and ox drawn freight, and rail lines, setting the stage for rapid growth and prosperity. Within a few years, it had grown to a population of over 1000 people and boasted a two-story schoolhouse, twenty saloons, meat markets, grocery stores, a bakery, barber shops, two livery stables, two blacksmith shops, several general stores, Wells Fargo Express, Western Union Telegraph, a theater, dance halls, Methodist and Catholic churches, three or four hotels, two newspapers, a jail and the “Little Pittsburgs” baseball team.


On a balmy May evening in 1889, fifteen men climbed an outside wooden staircase to the second floor meeting room of the new addition to the Palace Hotel in Cerrillos, New Mexico. Among them were miners, merchants, railroad men, a Judge, a minister, the Chairman of the Town Board, and the hotel’s owner – Masons from at least six different lodges in four states.

The meeting was called by order of Right Worshipful Charles F. Easley, Grand Lecturer, for the purpose of organizing a new Masonic lodge. The officers opening the lodge were Easley, J.D. Bush, John Gray, Eugene B. Ames, Joyce Board, William J. Jackson, C.W. Watergrove, and S. C. Wright. Other Master Masons present were L.D. Sugar, F.W. Estas, and C.W. Uptegrove. Kelley, Wyllys, Green, Jenks, Ames, Wright, Kendall, Board are listed as Petitioners for Dispensation.

Meetings were set for the first Saturday night of each month, and Brothers Green, Wright, and Board were set to work drafting by-laws to be submitted to the Grand Lodge Saturday, May 4, 1889. Two days later at the first regular communication, the by-laws were approved. The first degrees were conferred on June 1, 1889, when William E. Dame and Otto Zeigler were initiated Entered Apprentices. Zeigler was a partner in a dry goods store in San Pedro, and we’ll learn more about Dame later.

At the same meeting, petitions for affiliation from Rev. William J. Jackson of the Methodist Church and hotel owner C.W. Uptegrove were voted on and approved, as were petitions for the degrees from John King and P. Cunningham. Uptegrove was active in politics and chaired the 1890 meeting of Republican delegates in Santa Fe. By December, ten degrees had been conferred in Cerrillos Lodge.

Of the charter members, several held Grand Lodge offices. L.D. Sugar served as Grand Junior Deacon in 1899, S. C. Wright as Grand Tyler in 1889, George L. Wyllys as Grand Marshal, and C.W. Uptegrove as Grand Secretary in 1889. Uptegrove, incidentally, owned the first major hotel in Cerrillos, the Tabor House at Main and Second Streets. Joyce Board was a partner in a liquor, wine, and cigar store. John Gray sold real estate and insurance. Wyllys was a county commissioner. John Jenks served as one of the town’s early postmasters.

The Palace Hotel where Cerrillos Lodge met for nine years was the creation of Brother Richard Green, a charter member of the lodge and Master in 1899 and 1900. Brother Green was born in North Carolina on Valentine’s Day, 1847. He packed up his wife and family in 1873 and moved to Jonesborough, Tennessee, where they lived for two years.

By 1875, the family had grown to six children, and they pushed further west to Jacksboro, Texas. Here the Greens settled onto a 300 acre farm for ten years where they had success with cattle and crops, and where five more children were born.

Still restless, the Greens decided to head west one more time. In 1884, they gathered their eleven children and began a two month journey with four covered wagons, three horse drawn and one pulled by oxen, and 65 head of cattle. Upon their arrival in San Pedro, New Mexico, Richard Green and his three eldest sons quickly landed a contract hauling ore from the San Pedro Mines to Los Cerrillos where it was loaded onto rail cars for shipment to the smelter in Socorro.

While the business venture proved successful, there wasn’t a school in San Pedro, so Richard and Mary moved their family to Los Cerrillos where they purchased land and a seven room house in 1885. Richard purchased the Madrid Coal Mines, and his children enjoyed the benefits of the new schoolhouse in Cerrillos. When Brother Green’s health began to fail in 1888, he sold the mines to the Colorado Iron and Fuel Company. The new owners built a railroad from Madrid to Cerrillos. The Greens’ plans for owning a hotel materialized after the sale of the mines, and work began converting their seven room house into the Palace Hotel in 1888.

The stone portion which contained twelve rooms was built first. Next, an adobe addition was added which provided a 32 seat dining room downstairs and a lodge room upstairs, accessible by an outside stairway.

Brother Green served as night clerk and occupied a little room behind the office. Julius Muralter had a tailor shop in a room to the right of the entrance. Dr. F. Palmer, the town’s only physician, occupied two rooms on the second floor above the tailor shop. One served as his office, the other as his operating room. Several of the Green children were married in his office. The notorious outlaw Tom “Black Jack” Ketchum was once treated here by Dr. Palmer for gunshot wounds, and it is said that his bloodstains on the floor could never be completely removed.

Prominent hotel guests included Lew Wallace, author of “Ben Hur,” and Thomas A. Edison, who came to Cerrillos to develop a waterless method of extracting gold from sand using static electricity. Ulysses S. Grant and Governor Prince stayed at the Palace while in Cerrillos. Sarah Bernhardt is rumored to have spent a week at the Palace Hotel recovering after a performance with many encores at the Opera House, occupied later by Cerrillos Lodge.

Brother Green died in the hotel in 1906. His widow sold the property in 1911 and it was consumed by a fire on October 27, 1968. The original property is now in the hands of Cerrillos Lodge Brother Todd Brown who operates the Turquoise Trail Mining Museum and Petting Zoo.

At the September meeting, Richard Green asked to be paid $20 for the use of his meeting room for the last six months. An arrangement was struck to pay him $12.50 per month for the next six months, but in actuality, continued for nine years.

Tragedy struck the new lodge when Senior Deacon William J. Jackson, noticeably absent from the October and November meetings, died at his home at 7:00pm, December 10, 1889. Jackson was minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Cerrillos. The lodge was called upon to perform the rites of burial on December 12.

Cerrillos Lodge attended to the passing of a member with a great deal of grace and ceremony. Brother Jackson’s Masonic funeral was typical of the work the lodge performed to honor the deceased and to minister to his family.

Services were held in the lodge, and then Brother Austin L. Kendall, as Marshal, organized the procession to Brother Jackson’s home. The lodge took charge of the remains and conveyed them to Methodist Episcopal Church where Senior Warden J.D. Bush, Presiding Elder for the church, conducted the service. Afterwards, the casket was conveyed to the hill north of town and interred in the town’s Protestant cemetery in due Masonic form.

At the January 4th regular meeting, a resolution honoring Brother Jackson was drafted and supplied to the local newspaper and the lodge paid $45 for a coffin and funeral expenses. Cerrillos Lodge has a tradition of drafting these resolutions, publishing them in the paper, giving a copy to the family, and writing them into the lodge records.


On January 27-29, 1890, the New Mexico Grand Lodge met in Las Cruces for the twelfth annual communication during which charters were issued to Roswell Lodge #18 and Cerrillos Lodge #19. Since Roswell had met under dispensation April 3, 1889, one month before Cerrillos, the lower number went to Roswell.

The Cerrillos Lodge Consecration and Dedication ceremony was set for Friday, February 7, 1890. Grand Master Frederick H. Kent opened a Specific Grand Lodge of Masons in the Cerrillos Lodge room with five Grand Lodge officers listed as members of Cerrillos Lodge.

The Grand Master stated that “upon due deliberation, the Grand Lodge had granted the brethren of Cerrillos Lodge a charter confirming them with the rights and privileges of a regularly constituted lodge.” The lodge hall was dedicated according to ancient usages and consecrated it in due and ancient form. The officers were installed for the ensuing Masonic year were:

• George L. Wyllys, Worshipful Master
• Richard Green, Senior Warden
• John L. Jenks, Junior Warden
• E.B. Ames, Treasurer
• Stuart Loughborough, Secretary
• Joyce Board, Senior Deacon
• Rudolph Kelley, Junior Deacon
• Robert S. Grier, Tyler

The Grand Master declared them duly elected and appointed, and they were installed. Deputy Grand Master J.E. Carr delivered “a very instructive address,” the Grand Master was thanked, and the lodge was closed for the first time as Cerrillos Lodge #19.

Two of the signers on the Cerrillos Lodge charter became well-know, but for very different reasons.

Albert Fountain

Albert Jennings Fountain, one of the most colorful figures in New Mexico Masonic history, led a remarkable life and died an equally remarkable death. Born in New York and educated at Columbia College, Fountain traveled extensively through Europe, India, and China. He was arrested in China along with a group of Americans and was released only after the intervention of the U.S. Consul.

While working as a correspondent for a California newspaper, Fountain was arrested in Nicaragua and sentenced to be shot. He escaped in a woman’s disguise on the eve of his impending execution and made his way to San Francisco.

He commanded a group of First California Volunteers during the Civil War and marched across New Mexico under General Carleton. At Apache Pass, his command of 110 men defeated Cochise and 1200 Apaches in a two day battle.

Fountain settled in El Paso after the war and served as Surveyor of the Bexar District, Probate Judge, and U.S. Customs Inspector. He was elected to the Texas State Senate, was president of that body in 1874, and authored the bill creating the Texas Rangers.

In 1875, he moved to Mesilla, New Mexico, developed a law practice, and founded The Independent newspaper. As Colonel of the First New Mexico Cavalry, he fought cattle rustlers and searched for the renegade Apache leader Geronimo.

Fountain took an interest in the Las Cruces Agricultural College. He won a seat in the New Mexico State Legislature and became Speaker of the House in his first term. There he garnered support for the school that eventually became New Mexico State University. In addition, he was appointed Special Council for the U.S. Government by President Cleveland and Assistant U.S. District Attorney for President Harrison.

Fountain was an active Mason and served as Deputy Grand Master twice. In 1896, he traveled with his son to the county courthouse in Lincoln, New Mexico, to obtain indictments against Oliver Lee and William McNew for cattle larceny. He was handed a threatening note in Lincoln, but finished his business and left for his home in Mesilla on January 30. Three riders tailed the buckboard for two days. On February 1, Fountain met Saturnino Barela, a mail carrier, and stopped to talk about the riders. Fountain declined Barela’s offer of escort and rode off toward White Sands – and into oblivion.

Posses were formed and located the abandoned buckboard and a bloody handkerchief, but no trace of the father and son. Charges were brought against Lee, McNew, and others in the disappearance. After a venue struggle, a spectacular trial was held in Hillsboro in newly formed Otero County. Tom Catron, a powerful lawyer, a Mason, and leader of the “Santa Fe Ring” was chosen to prosecute. Defense attorney Albert B. Fall commanded the trial, had strong popular support against the “Santa Fe Ring,” and got the alleged cattle rustlers acquitted of murder charges. No one else was ever charged, and the bodies have never been found.

Charles H. Dane

Charles H. Dane served as Grand Master in 1891. He organized banks in Deming and Silver City, both of which were closed February 3, 1892 by the Controller of Currency. Dane was convicted for illegally using $81,000 of the banks’ funds for his own ranching properties in Colfax and Sierra Counties.

Masonic charges were filed against him by Deming Lodge. At his trial, a representative pointed out that he could not be tried by the Grand Lodge as he had been suspended for non-payment of dues. The Grand Lodge voted to reinstate him and then proceeded to expel him. A communication from Deming Lodge was read in Cerrillos Lodge July 7, 1893, stating Dane had been expelled for unmasonic conduct. He died in Los Angeles in 1904.


Cerrillos Lodge held its first regular communication in March 1890. The first order of business was paying the following bills:

• Brother Richard Green – $25.00 for rent of Lodge Hall
• Brother Joyce Board – $21.75 for Grand Lodge expenses (Roswell)
• McKenzie Supply Co. – $1.00 for oil and chimneys
• Brother Stuart Loughborough – $1.10 for laundering Masonic aprons

On June 23, 1890, a devastating fire consumed the entire block nine of Cerrillos on South Railroad Avenue between First and Second Streets. It originated in a two-story frame building, known as the Speigelberg Building, then owned by W.C. Hurt. Fortunately the lodge room in the Palace Hotel on Third Street and Main was located at a safe distance and was unharmed. The Santa Fe New Mexican observed that “it is very generally believed that the fire was of incendiary origin.” The loss was estimated at $30,000, of which $18,000 was covered by insurance. Many of the businesses were rebuilt within a few months.

The town of Cerrillos incorporated in 1891 with a population estimated conservatively at one thousand residents. Brother Charles Easley began the official Book of Ordinances, which some years later was commandeered by Cerrillos Lodge to record minutes.

The early months were full of degree work for the new lodge with special communications being called each month. The lodge approved a furniture purchase of $64.00 on January 2, 1892, and shipping charges indicate the furniture arrived within the month. (This same furniture is still in use at Valley #69 in Espanola.) In July, Richard Green indicated he would like his second floor meeting room back “if a suitable location could be found” for the lodge to meet. This didn’t happen for another six years.

New Mexico Grand Lodge records report that in 1891, Cerrillos Lodge inquired of Most Worshipful Grand Master Charles H. Dane if it would be proper for them to entertain an application for the degrees from a saloon keeper. The Grand Master replied he knew of no landmark, regulation, or Grand Lodge by-law that would interfere. He did not think, however, that saloon keeping would be considered a recommendation for membership, but a hindrance. Grand Master Dane, as we have seen, was hardly a good judge of character.

Cerrillos, being a mining & railroad town, attracted residents from many other states and countries. An early lodge roster shows members from twenty different states as well as Canada, England, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Wales, Croatia, Austria, Ireland, and Russia.

The only Masonic trial ever held in Cerrillos Lodge took place in 1896. Brother P. Cunningham was tried for unmasonic conduct stemming from a “brutal assault” on Brother Thomas P. Gable in Santa Fe on March 20 of that year. A search of the Santa Fe New Mexican revealed no mention of the incident. Gable had run “Tom’s Broad Gauge,” a “pleasant resort” on the east side of the Santa Fe plaza and later managed A.T. Grigg’s undertaking business.

The Lodge voted 6 guilty, 1 not guilty. On the question of expulsion from the lodge, the vote was evenly split 3-3. A vote on suspension was passed 5-1, and the period was set at one year.

In mid 1898, a call for volunteers went out for the 1st Regiment of United States Volunteer Cavalry, better known as Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders.” While the ranks were filled with men from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma Indian Territory, and several Eastern states, it was New Mexico that provided the most volunteers. Ten Cerrillos men served with Roosevelt including William E. Dame, first man raised in Cerrillos Lodge, and Clay Green, son of charter Brother Richard Green. Tragically, Clay Green, serving as Roosevelt’s Orderly of the Day, was killed in the first charge up San Juan Hill, July 1, 1898. Brother Dame served in the Philippines, was cited for bravery by Teddy Roosevelt, and was Senior Grand Warden in 1904-5. He died in Venezuela in 1937 and is buried in Albuquerque.

In 1899, Richard Green’s request to have his room back was finally granted when Cerrillos Lodge vacated the Palace Hotel, but herein lays a mystery. There was no recorded communication with the New Mexico Grand Lodge regarding the move and no dispensation requested or granted. Cerrillos Lodge minutes indicate that $10 per month rent was paid to a “Lewis Jones” from 1899-1903, but there is no mention in Cerrillos Lodge or the Grand Lodge records of where the meetings were held during those years.

This perplexing question called for extensive research. Census records of 1900 confirm the presence in Cerrillos of Louis Jones (age 47), his wife Sarah (age 45), and their son and two daughters. There is a boarder in their home at this time, a 27 year old telegraph operator named Annie Campbell. Mr. Jones indicates his occupation as “merchant.”

County records indicate they owned at least five properties in the Cerrillos area, four of them in the town’s center.

Sarah Jones, Lewis’ wife, had purchased two lots on First Street in 1892 from Stephen Elkins. The 1902 town map clearly shows adjoining two-story buildings with the words “Lodge Room” written on the third lot from the corner. None of the other Jones properties had two-story buildings. There is a meat market on the second lot. The Cerrillos Rustler, unfortunately, is unavailable during the years in question, but earlier issues still contain many valuable clues.

• 11/30/89 – McCormick’s Meat Market opens in old Jones store building
• 9/26/90 – “L.G. Jones contemplates the erection of a second two-story business house by the side of the new one nearing completion.
• 10/3/90 – “Miller and Legace’s drug store will occupy the lower floor of L.G. Jones’ new building. The upper floor will be used by the Knights of Pythias.”
• 7/10/91 – Knights of Pythias (Vesper Lodge) officers installation names L. G. Jones as an officer, also Cerrillos Lodge brother Crutchfield.

Easley and Crutchfield belonged to both Cerrillos Lodge and the Knights of Pythias, and Jones himself was a member of the Knights. No other property owned by Jones was two stories high or could reasonably accommodate a meeting room. The 1902 town map clearly indicates a lodge room on the second floor of the First Street property.

It seems logical to conclude that Cerrillos Lodge would have met on Saturday nights in the lodge room above the Miller & Legace drug store, even if Vesper Lodge was still meeting on Tuesday nights.

Evidence strongly suggest that Cerrillos Lodge moved into the second floor room of what was called the “L. G. Jones Building” on First Street, three doors south of Main Street above what later became the Simoni Store, where the Knights of Pythias had been meeting.

Although rent was paid to Louis Jones, it was his wife Sarah who held title to the property. It must have been unusual in the 1890’s for a woman to own the property where the Masonic Lodge met.

Apparently, the accommodations were less than perfect as numerous mentions are made in the minutes of requesting repairs to the lodge room. In December of 1901, a committee of three was appointed to meet with Jones to “see whether something could not be done so as to make lodge room more pleasant.” Out of frustration, the lodge withheld rent payments for a time until repairs were made. The struggle continued for two more years.

The population of Cerrillos was at its peak in 1890 when the lodge was founded. As the mining slowed, people began leaving and by 1902, the population had been reduced to 500. The town marshal was discharged in 1903, and on Feb. 11, 1904, the residents of Cerrillos voted 23-8 to disincorporate. The town council met for the last time on March 19, 1904, and the town clerk, Jose S. Gonzales, made this final entry in the record, “A motion was made to adjourn for good. Carried, I guess.”

The Book of Town Ordinances was apparently in the possession of Brother Charles Easley. As only one third of the book had been used, and the blank pages posing temptation, the Lodge commandeered the Book of Ordinances in 1909 as the second volume of official Lodge minutes.

Charles F. Easley served as Master of Montezuma Lodge in 1888 & 1889. Immediately after he was Master, he demitted and affiliated with Cerrillos Lodge as a Charter member and became its first Senior Warden. He then served four consecutive years as Master from 1891 to 1894. In 1902, he demitted from Cerrillos and re-affiliated with Montezuma #1 serving a third term as Master there in 1903. Along the way he served Grand Lodge as Grand Sword Bearer in 1885, Grand Lecturer in 1889, Senior Grand Deacon in 1902, and Junior Grand Warden in 1906.

An ex-register for the Santa Fe Land Office, Easley was an attorney in land and mining cases, real estate and collection agent, abstractor, conveyaneer, surveyor, and notary public.

An item in the Rustler on May 1, 1891 reports “Hon. C. F. Easley received a severe blow from a line ball batted by Dick Mathews in the game last Saturday afternoon between the fat and lean men of Cerrillos. The ball was like a cannon shot and appeared to whack on Mr. Easley’s seat of knowledge about the same time the whack of the bat resounded.” The blow knocked him out for a few minutes and he recovered at home. A week later the paper reports him still “affected with swimfog,” and prompted the following quip in the May 15 paper, “Cerrillos would like to organize a regular baseball club, only it has no more good men to kill off.”


In 1903, Hurt’s Hall, also known as the Clear Light Opera House, became available. The building had been used for community concerts, guest performers, and glee club performances usually involving the women of the Methodist church. William Hurt had died and his widow Maud was interested in selling off some of their real estate. Cerrillos Lodge incorporated and purchased the stone building on September 21, 1903, for three hundred and five dollars. Richard Green had his room in the Palace Hotel back, the lodge was rid of the troublesome Mr. Jones, and for the first time in its fourteen year existence, Cerrillos Lodge had a permanent home. Grand Lodge records show a dispensation to remove to their new hall was granted by Grand Master John C. Slack on December 14, 1903, at the Twenty-seventh Annual Communication held at Temple Lodge #6 in Albuquerque.

The building known as the Clear Light Opera House was apparently built in 1879 or 1880. It was owned originally by Stephen Elkins, changed hands twice, then was bought by William and Maud Hurt who settled in Cerrillos in 1881 and became extensive property owners. Also known as “Hurt’s Hall,” the opera house was used for dances, theatrical presentations, and musical concerts by local and visiting artists.

Hurt fought in the Civil War with Tennessee on the Confederate side then suffered a stroke of paralysis when he was 25 years old. He came to New Mexico for his health and managed his business and real estate until his death in 1889.

The stone building certainly had its rustic charm. Several hours before a meeting, the Tyler would have to go down to the lodge and stoke up the coal fire in the pot belly stove. Lighting was provided by three kerosene lanterns hung from the ceiling, and during meetings a brother would have to jump up and pump the lanterns. There was no plumbing and no bathroom. Refreshments consisted of coffee made in an old pot. Members reported watching the moon rise through a crack in the wall. The coal stove had a nasty habit of building up coal gas, then spewing a burst of heat, flame, and ash into the room.

Until now, meetings were held on the first Saturday of each month. In April, 1904, the meeting night was changed to “the Saturday night on or before the full moon in each month.” This was not uncommon in Lodges of the time, for more practical than esoteric reasons. The moonlight would aid members in returning home safely after meetings.

While the stone building was an improvement over the room above the drug store, repairs were still needed. In October of 1907, Brothers Gable & Kennedy were ordered “to procure an architect or builder in Santa Fe to make estimate on repairs,” not to exceed $25. Later photos show a steel cable encircling the building near the roof line to help keep the walls together. The cable remains to this day.

In April of 1909, District Deputy Grand Master H.F. Stephens reported to the Grand Master that “there is a very great lack of harmony in this lodge … members even ignoring a summons although there is work pending, and further, the Master has been untiring in his efforts to get his lodge in better condition but without effect.” The lodge must have strongly disagreed, because they passed a resolution “that the Secretary be ordered to call the District Deputy Grand Master to his grave error and have same corrected in his next report” (to the Grand Master).

There were some marathon meetings in 1910 when John W. Sullivan was Master. The February meeting saw an Entered Apprentice Proficiency, a Fellowcraft proficiency, and regular lodge business which included voting on a petition, paying of bills, and a vote on a $200 allowance for building improvements. Any self respecting lodge would have adjourned at this point, satisfied with a evening of accomplishment, but Cerrillos Lodge continued on into the night conferring all three degrees, complete with lectures and charges. The March meeting saw three proficiencies, regular business, and again the conferring of all three degrees in one night. Assuming the lodge opened at 8:00pm, which was the custom, the work must have continued until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, no doubt requiring explanations to skeptical wives.

Grand Lodge relations seem to improve in the next two years. District Deputy Grand Master Salamon Spitz “gave us heaps of advice” during his June 1913 visit. “His points were well taken, and we needed it.” The following year, Spitz “gave expression from the Most Worshipful Grand Master and expressed his pleasure in being with the lodge, his pleasure in your success holding meetings, your success in improvements, in work, in efficiency, and that all this were a credit.”

The Grand Master’s praise proved ironic as Cerrillos Lodge faltered over the next three years. During 1915-1917, only three meetings were held each year and no degrees were conferred. 1918 saw five meetings, then, coinciding with the conclusion of the First World War, activity resumed as the lodge gathered eleven times in 1919.

On August 20, 1920, thirty-six Masons (10 members and 26 visitors) crowded into the stone lodge building for the official visit by the Grand Master. A team from Montezuma Lodge conferred the Master Mason degree.

A courtesy funeral for a Scottish brother, Alexander Brown, a member of Ancient Brazen Lodge #17 of Linlithgow, was performed on Nov. 27, 1922.

Mary Mora is the grand-daughter of the Vergolios who bought the Palace Hotel from Richard Green’s widow. Mary still runs the only bar in Cerrillos and enjoys reminiscing about the town’s earlier days. She was born in the Palace Hotel, used to deliver papers all over town, and later taught in the Cerrillos School. She recalls hearing that the Masons would make the candidates ride a goat during their initiation, so she climbed onto the roof of a house near the old stone building on a degree night to peek in and see if it was true. She said they chased her away and put curtains in the windows after that.

In September, a discussion developed on the condition of the hall. The Master called for a ten minute recess while a committee looked the place over. Upon reconvening, the committee recommended a new rug for the front room, three easy chairs, one library table, curtains for the ante room, a new heating stove, and a new coal house. The report was accepted and the committee given authority to buy those things.

The late 1920’s was a busy time for the lodge with steady work and meetings. The lodge met 18 times in 1928.

A grim report to Grand Master Herbert S. Murdoch was sent March 17, 1930 from James P. McNulty and reads:

Most Worshipful Sir and Brother:
Cerrillos Lodge #19, Cerrillos: Due to the fact that the lodge hall is located in Cerrillos and the majority of the members reside at Madrid, it is difficult to have a good attendance. It seems to me that eventually the charter should be transferred to Madrid for the good of all. Of course, it is realized that this is not feasible during the lifetime of some of the older members. In view of these conditions, I believe an outlay of funds for additions to the present building unwise. Financially the lodge is in exceptional condition.

Contrary to this report, the lodge continued to meet regularly with steady degree work. While turnouts were never large, they were consistent.

In 1931, the secretary was allowed his dues plus one dollar per meeting – the same was approved for the Tyler, providing he cleans the lodge and builds the fire.

The first discussion of moving the lodge appears on June 27, 1934. “The matter of moving Cerrillos Lodge #19 to Madrid was discussed but no action taken.” One of the earliest community events was a banquet held at the Lamb Hotel on the night of a Master Mason degree with all local Masons and their wives invited. Members were encouraged to invite one non-Masonic couple to the dinner.

Activity slowed down into the late 1930s with six meetings in 1937, three in 1938, and seven meetings in 1939.

There was a “discussion on changing the meeting dates to conform with the months rather than moon,” in the summer of 1943. “Seemed to be a consensus of opinion dates should be left same.”

An Entered Apprentice degree on March 24, 1948, marked a new era as “This meeting is the first to be held with the new electric lights.” Cerrillos is believed to be the last New Mexico lodge to get electricity. The old pot of coffee was now heated on a hot plate. In October, William G. Loomis of Montezuma Lodge visited, a grandson of charter member Eugene B. Ames.

Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Ron Brinkman, who is a source of information for this history, first visited Cerrillos Lodge on February 6, 1948. He appears in many degrees in the next several years, including a double Master Mason degree night on July 15 in which 31 Masons attended.

Members of Pajarito Lodge in Los Alamos visited Cerrillos Lodge to confer the Master Mason degree on Albro Rile, who happened to be Fire Marshal. During the degree, and while the candidate Rile was blindfolded, the gas in the coal stove blew up spewing heat, flame, and ash into the room. Brother Rile was duly impressed with the pyrotechnics accompanying the degree.

The Grand Masters’ visit on August 3 was literally a washout, with no quorum present. “On this date was the big washout at Madrid. It was said by quite a few people at Madrid that 7” of rain fell in about an hour.”

There was a suggestion made in 1949 to put a fence around the Protestant cemetery where a number of Masons were buried, but the matter was tabled.


The years 1950-51 saw regular work done by the lodge, but at a number of meetings only six members were present, pressing visitors into officer’s chairs. The Grand Master’s 1950 visit brought out only 8 members and 5 visitors.

Ron Brinkman made six visits to Cerrillos Lodge in 1951, taking part in five degrees. In September, the “Grand Master (Hensley) was duly welcomed after which he made a talk touching on various matters of Masonic interest including recommending this lodge seriously consider moving to Santa Fe.”

At the October meeting, a resolution from Montezuma Lodge #1 was read inviting Cerrillos Lodge #19 “to move their meeting place to Santa Fe and offered the use of their lodge rooms at $5 per meeting date.” A committee was appointed to meet with Montezuma Lodge for further discussion. The first vote came in March, 1952, when the motion to move the Lodge was rejected.

At the 75th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Portales on March 17 & 18, Grand Master Hensley recommended that the Cerrillos Lodge charter be revoked, but the Jurisprudence Committee suggested that the members be given the choice to move to Santa Fe or surrender the charter. On instructions from the Committee, Grand Secretary Chandler G. Thomas sent a letter to each member of Cerrillos Lodge explaining their choices.

Grand Master Thorne attended the next meeting of Cerrillos Lodge, not held until June 4, where he “explained situation as to ultimatum on move to Santa Fe.” The matter did not arise at the July 2 degree night.

On September 3, an historic meeting was opened at 8:15pm by Worshipful Master Grantham with A.M Tackitt as Senior Warden, Leo Pick as Junior Warden, J. F. Husler as Treasurer, John W. Allen as Secretary, Gerald Hoff as Senior Deacon, George W. Petterson as Junior Deacon, Right Worshipful Brother Rupert St. Clair as Senior Steward, and visitors C.A. Franks, Harvey Lutz, and John L. Boza.

There must have been ample discussion about the future of Cerrillos Lodge before this night, because the meeting was short and to the point. “Letter from Chandler C. Thomas, Grand Secretary, regarding Grand Master Thorne’s advice to vote on Santa Fe read. Motion to move to Santa Fe carried unanimously. Closed in due form at 9:15 pm.”

In one hour, the course was set to leave the old stone building the lodge had owned for 49 years, and the town which had spawned this remarkable group of Masons 62 years earlier.

Preparations for the move began right away. At the October 1 meeting, the Grand Master’s Letter of Transmittal and Dispensation was read, and a resolution was drawn up changing the meeting night to the second Wednesday in each month and raising dues to $10 to conform to Montezuma Lodge.

The last meeting of Cerrillos Lodge #19 in Cerrillos was October 29, 1952. The change in dues and meeting night was approved and Montezuma Brother Sam Back was thanked for building a cabinet for use by the Cerrillos brethren. There was a report on offers to buy the building. Brothers St. Clair & Hoff were asked to contact Valley Lodge #69 in Espanola to store the lodge furniture, and use of the columns was offered to Pajarito Lodge #66. With that, the lodge closed for the last time in the old stone building.


At the time of the lodge’s move to Santa Fe, Montezuma Lodge #1 owned the “Spiegelberg Block” on San Francisco Street. They had rented space in the Gans Building at the southeast corner of the plaza for many years previous. Montezuma Lodge purchased the building next door in 1905, joint owners with Santa Fe Chapter #1, Royal Arch Masons. A lodge room was created on the second floor with the first floor reserved for retail space. There was a major remodeling in 1929 and a facelift of the front in 1952.

On November 12, 48 Masons crammed into the Montezuma Lodge hall to begin a new era for Cerrillos Lodge and a most unique fraternal partnership between the two lodges. The old stone building was sold to Mary Salazar on November 19 and reported to the lodge on December 12.

In 1974, the old stone building was a residence with a coffee shop in the front. That same year the opera house was placed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties. In 1977, the building was purchased by Baird Banner, who transformed the interior into a modern recording studio. He had the front entrance stoned shut to discourage vandals. Baird and his wife, Busy McCarroll, continue to operate their studio to the present time.

For the first time, both lodges opened simultaneously on December 27 for the installation of 1953 officers. This marked the beginning of busy and fruitful years for Cerrillos Lodge.

Meeting time was set in April at 8pm, and then changed in May by the Master to 7pm. A permanent building fund was established in 1953, indicating the brethren saw the relationship with Montezuma Lodge as a stepping stone to another Cerrillos Lodge hall.

In 1954, Cerrillos Lodge met 24 times. They voluntarily raised the rent paid to Montezuma Lodge to $6.50 per meeting, and set meeting time for 7:30 on the second Wednesday, a custom that continues to this day. In 1955, rent was raised voluntarily again to $7.50 per meeting. The December installation saw 20 Cerrillos and 82 Montezuma members.

No doubt encouraged by the renewed activity, and viewing the shared lodge room as a temporary arrangement, Cerrillos Lodge purchased a lot for $4000 on the southwest corner of Galisteo Street and the planned extension of Camino de los Marquez. A city resolution dated February 29, 1956, granted Cerrillos Lodge a special permit for non-conforming use of the land to build a lodge building and parking lot.

Mesa Lodge #68 put on a degree at Cerrillos Lodge in May 1956 that saw 18 members and 67 visitors, which was a Cerrillos Lodge attendance record at 81 Masons.

The year 1957 saw 27 meetings, and the lodge voted to voluntarily increase the rent to $15 per meeting. The members began reconsidering the possibility of a long term relationship with Montezuma Lodge as evidenced by two decisions. A committee was appointed in July to investigate selling the lot, and the lodge voted to sell the chairs which had been loaned to Valley #69 in Espanola. The original chairs, pedestals, and altar from Cerrillos Lodge are still in use in Valley Lodge to this day.

A quarterly publication, The Trowel, was begun in 1958. A decision to meet on 4th Wednesdays was made early in 1959 “as it was thought proper as Montezuma Lodge #1 held this Wednesday open for Cerrillos.”

Cerrillos Lodge approved Loring Sperry’s motion in early 1960 “that we not try to build a building until our membership reached 300…” The also agreed to “sell the lot for what we had in it and buy bonds.” A committee was formed to try to sell the lot on Galisteo Street and a “For Sale” sign was posted. The committee reported activity on an impending sale in the fall of 1960, but Cerrillos Lodge continued to hold title to the property for several more years.


Meanwhile, Montezuma Lodge had moved forward building on the property next to the Scottish Rite Temple. A Property Management Board was created in 1958, and in 1960 purchased a tract of land adjacent to the Scottish Rite Temple on Paseo de Peralta. The tract was a portion of the Presbyterian Allison-James School and included a larger dormitory. Montezuma Lodge built the present lodge building in 1961 and moved into it on January 1, 1962. The dormitory in back provided a kitchen and dining hall until the building was leased to a law firm in 1982. A dining room, kitchen, and small office were built over the existing rose garden.

The building features two lodge rooms with Cerrillos occupying the smaller room in the southeast.

The Master’s and Wardens’ chair from Montezuma were placed in the new Cerrillos Lodge room. These Victorian officer’s chairs are very old and are reported to have traveled west over the Santa Fe Trail. Several rows of theater seats, obtained from the old El Paseo Theater in 1953, were added. Montezuma Lodge possessed a number of wooden Captain’s chairs that came from Santa Fe’s Palace Hotel (not to be confused with Richard Green’s Cerrillos Palace Hotel), located at Washington and Marcy Streets, when the hotel burned in 1926. Several of these were also placed in the new lodge room.

Official permission to move the lodge once again came from Grand Master Ray Lofton on January 24. Although the minutes do not specify, the first meeting of Cerrillos Lodge #19 in their fifth and current lodge room would have been February 14, 1962. The first Master of Cerrillos Lodge at the new hall was Brother Enos “Sandy” Arnold.

Brother Leo C. de Baca constructed new altar lights and kneeling cushions were donated by Brothers Pompeo and Qualls. The Past Masters’ photo board which graces the ante room was created in 1965 by Sam Back and John Conlin. The flag was replaced at the end of 1961.

The lights went out in the middle of a Master Mason degree in April, causing a one hour interruption – an event that never happened under the kerosene lanterns in Cerrillos.

The lot on Galisteo Street finally sold in March of 1965 to Fred and Theresa Campora for $4500. The report to the lodge indicates a $500 profit on the sale plus $709.29 “interest received at 5% on unpaid balance.” After subtracting the $100 attorney’s fee, the lodge recorded a gain of $1109.29. This property now is numbered 1200 Galisteo Street in the desirable South Capitol area of Santa Fe. If the brethren had had a crystal ball, they would have been astounded at what the property would be worth fifty years hence.

The Cerrillos Lodge Charter was reported to be in the Santa Fe National Bank lock box early in 1965, but by fall, the lodge decided to move important papers into the Montezuma Lodge vault.

Enos “Sandy” Arnold painted a picture of the old stone building in Cerrillos and presented it to the lodge in February 1969. In March, Worshipful Master Glen Burttram of Montezuma Lodge visited Cerrillos Lodge for the first time. In April, Grand Lodge was opened during a Cerrillos Lodge meeting by Past Grand Master Howard Sleeper to install W. Carlos Powell as Grand Senior Warden.

Brother Pompeo, in his ongoing generosity, presented the lodge in 1970 with the Rough and Perfect Ashlars now in use. They were fashioned from stone taken from the Northeast corner of the old stone building in Cerrillos.

A unique practice in Cerrillos Lodge is the use of sign language for the hearing impaired in the ritual. Brothers Luke Jacobs and Stephen Hughes are fluent in signing, and for the first time Brother Jacobs signed a degree for Brother Robert Klingenpeel in 1974.

The subject of the Cerrillos cemetery came up again in February, 1978. John Waite of Montezuma Lodge advised that the graveyard was suffering from vandalism. A committee was formed to ask Grand Lodge the legal implications of acquiring or maintaining the graveyard. At the next meeting, Charles Churchill gave a historical account of the old cemetery. He recommended the committee meet with Hobart Durham and historian Marc Simmons, who are knowledgeable of the area. Marc Simmons had nominated the old stone building to the State Register of Cultural Properties in 1974. Ownership of the cemetery had not been determined.

Formerly a moonlight lodge, Cerrillos became a daylight lodge in 1980. It was not the first in New Mexico, as Zia Daylight Lodge in Albuquerque was already active at this time. A change in the by-laws was submitted in February and approved by the Grand Lodge changing the meeting time to the second Saturday at ten a.m. The first Saturday meeting held on April 12, 1980, was attended by 11 members and 21 visitors.

The daylight scheduled was not long-lived, however. By July, 1981, there was a proposal changing the meeting time back to Wednesday night. The last Cerrillos Lodge daylight meeting was held on Dec. 12, 1981.

There were frequent discussions at lodge on traditional Masonic topics, but beginning in 1986, more esoteric subjects were explored. In August, Brother Ivan Head spoke on the changing earth, earthquakes, and polar shift. Brother James Morgan talked about his extensive knowledge and experience with dowsing along earth energy lines.

Cerrillos brethren have always been curious about the past of Cerrillos Lodge as evidenced by lodge history presentations by Enos “Sandy” Arnold in 1973, Clyde Durnell in 1982, and Ron Brinkman in May, 1969; December, 1983; and May, 1987. Secretary John Hughes observes on the latter occasion that Brother Brinkman “spoke on history and interesting events of Cerrillos Lodge. He mentioned some of the Past Masters he had known and worked with – a very interesting, emotional evening.”

In mid 1988, Brother Sean Graystone reports the lodge is authorized to remove the carpeting from the floor and replace it with a black and white mosaic pavement, traditional in Masonic ritual. The work was completed by Brothers Graystone, Mark Roush, and Will Woods.

Stephen Hughes comments in February 1989 that “… we should write a formal letter to Montezuma (Lodge) thanking them for all the past years and especially for the new floor. Master (Hildon) Simmons (pro tem) then mentioned the very special harmony that has existed between Montezuma and us for so long. We probably would not be here now if they had not allowed us to move in.”

As the 1980’s drew to a close, the lodge began preparing for the centennial celebration. Sean Graystone led the preparations and historical research. Brother Ron Brinkman agreed to be the speaker for the event.


There was a discussion in early 1990 about changing the name of the lodge, but no action was taken. The only suggested name mentioned in the minutes was “Santa Fe Lodge.”

The 100th Birthday of Cerrillos Lodge was celebrated on May 7, 1990. Secretary John Hughes writes:

We celebrated our 100th birthday on this date due to scheduling problems. Our actual birthday was 29 January 1990.
unch was served to about 85 people. The meal was prepared by P.M. Carl B. Berghofer, Jr., with Sean Graystone making the gravy. The sit down dinner was served by Santa Fe Assembly International Order of Rainbow for Girls.

We were pleased to have eleven Grand Lodge Officers present, plus immediate Past Grand Master Ernie Hazelwood Many Cerrillos Past Masters were here including Horace F. Wilder P.M. 1939, and John L. Boza 1953. Many, many other friends of Cerrillos and officers of other lodges were present. (At close of day almost 100 had signed in).

W.M. Graystone M.C’d the program. We had P.G.M. Hazelwood introduce Ronnie who presented an interesting program on History of town(?) especially where connected with Cerrillos Lodge. Many interesting tales of old Cerrillos town.

W.M. Graystone then introduced Horace Wilder, our oldest Past Master, who remembered Christmas Lights and stories also. Boza remembered driving from Cerrillos to Los Alamos during March and wearing out a couple of cars.

W.M. Graystone then introduced Grand Master Allen for some remarks, and then an impressive and meaningful re-dedication of Masons for the next 100 years. We had all Masons take this re-dedication service.

A very happy birthday was had by all.

And with that, Cerrillos Lodge ceremoniously entered its second century of continuous Freemasonry.

Past Master Glen Burttram was appointed State Chairman of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation and continues to assist many New Mexicans who could not otherwise afford eye surgery.

Cerrillos and Montezuma Lodges conferred a joint degree in September 1994, but the installation of officers was held separate that year. The next year, 1995, saw the beginning of the tradition of both lodges installing officers at the same time.

Enos “Sandy” Arnold presented the Lodge with his Past Master’s watch in March of 1997 to be deposited in the archives of the lodge. His watch is still on display in the historical display case in the ante room.

The June 2000 meeting saw a lively discussion about merging with Montezuma Lodge and what effects that would have. Senior Grand Deacon Joe O. Chrisman, who was present that evening, commented that “Masonry was alive and well in this room and this had been one of the best meetings he had ever attended.”

Brother Enos “Sandy” Arnold passed away in December 2000 and remains one of the most respected and beloved past masters of Cerrillos Lodge.

Montezuma Lodge celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2001 with a lodge rededication, followed by a colorful procession. Members were joined by Grand Lodge officers, local Shriners, the Order of the Thistle Pipe Band from the Scottish Rite Temple, and members of other Masonic organizations in a march to the Santa Fe Plaza and back. A banquet was held that evening with Past Grand Master Ron Brinkman as the speaker. Following the banquet, the Masonic play “The Traitor” was performed in the Scottish Rite Auditorium.

Cerrillos Lodge welcomed a visiting Mason from Turkey, Brother K. Kaynak Kugukpinar of Sabah Gunesi Lodge 093, Bursa, Turkey, at the November 2002 meeting. In addition to the Bible, a copy of the Koran was placed on the altar representing the book of Sacred Law.

A Traveling Gavel, which Cerrillos Lodge received from Pajarito Lodge #66 in Los Alamos was presented to Mt. Everest Lodge #1, F. & A.M., Prince Hall Affiliate in January 2004. The gavel had traveled throughout the state, but never to a Prince Hall lodge. The visit drew fourteen members of A.F. & A.M. lodges.

Cerrillos Lodge came full circle when it met back in the stone building in Cerrillos on Oct. 29, 2004, fifty-two years to the day since the last meeting there. Significantly, the date was a day after the full moon, an old lodge tradition. Twenty Masons crowded into the largest room of Baird Banner’s Kludgit Sound recording studio, transformed for the evening back into Cerrillos Lodge #19. Lodge was opened by Dalton as Master, then Past Grand Master Ron Brinkman and Montezuma Lodge Master Don Helberg were escorted to the East. Worshipful Master Helberg was thanked for the support of Montezuma Lodge, without which Cerrillos Lodge would have closed in 1952. He reaffirmed Montezuma’ Lodge’s continuing support.

Ron Brinkman shared humorous stories about the lack of facilities and the informal nature of the lodge in the old days.

Special guest Baird Banner told how he had acquired the property in the 1970’s, gutted the interior to the dirt, and constructed a modern recording studio within the old walls. His wife Busy McCarroll shared stories of a resident ghost seen numerous times during late night recording sessions. Could it be an old Mason?

The Entered Apprentice Degree was then conferred on Mr. Todd Brown who, along with his wife Patricia, owns the Turquoise Trail Mining Museum and Petting Zoo located on the old Palace Hotel Property. Brother Brown has voluntarily cared for the old Masonic/Protestant Cemetery for many years. He presented the lodge with a carved stone from the old Palace Hotel and a historical photo of the property.

By curious coincidence, four of the five lodge rooms where Cerrillos Lodge #19 has met are oriented where the ritual East is in the geographic south, to the frustration of several its members. The only room situated east and west was the irregular lodge room in the L.G. Jones Building.

In more recent times, Cerrillos has been the setting for several film and television productions. They include “The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca” (1958), “Pancho” (1968), “Shootout” (1971), “The Bear Cats” (1971), a Lone Ranger Movie in 1980, “The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez” (1982), “Outrageous Fortune” (1987), “Young Guns” (1988), “Sparks: The Price of Passion” (CBS TV 1990), “John Carpenter’s Vampires” (1998), and “The Hi Lo Country” (1998).


Hall, J. Morrow – “Seven Score and Ten – 150 Years of Freemasonry in New Mexico”, 2001, Privately Published
Langston, LaMoine – “A History of Masonry in New Mexico 1877-1977” – printed by Poorbaugh Press, Roswell. 1977
Lawson, Jacqueline E. – “Cerrillos – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” – Sunstone Press 1989
Trigg, Maggie Day – “Cerrillos Adventure at the Bar T H Ranch” – Sunstone Press, 1985
Stanley, F. “The Cerrillos New Mexico Story,” 1964, limited to 400 copies
Cerrillos Lodge minutes – 1889-present
Cerrillos Lodge Membership Roster
Personal interviews with Ron Brinkman, Baird Banner, Mary Mora
Museum of New Mexico Historical Archives
Internet sites
Rough Riders
Cerrillos Park
Knights of Pythias
Detailed notes from John Hughes
Lodge of Research Publication No. 35, “Some Unusual and Interesting Things Taken From The Communications of The Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A.F. & A.M.” by Aubrey H. Stover, WM, Lodge of Research of New Mexico, Sept. 11, 1976
Cerrillos Rustler (newspaper) – 11/30/1

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