Kingston Lodge No. 676, A. F. & A. M.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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History of Kingston Lodge

Kingston Lodge received its Charter as Kingston Lodge Number 666, A.F. & A.M from the Grand Lodge of Iowa on September 20, 1967.  This makes it one of the youngest Lodges in Iowa.

Many of the Charter members of Kingston Lodge were Masons employed in the construction of the Duane Arnold Nuclear Power Plant, then being built near the town of Palo, about 10 miles NW of Cedar Rapids.  They decided they wanted a Lodge of their own, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Iowa for a dispensation, worked for some time, and eventually received their Charter.

The members of Kingston Lodge initially met in a Methodist church building, in a part of Cedar Rapids known as Kingston.  From this location, the charter members selected the name for their new Lodge.  After meeting there for several years, they determined that they would like a dedicated place to hold their meetings.  Determining that the construction of their own Lodge Hall would be prohibitively expensive, they joined with the brethren of Mizpah Lodge to refurbish a room on the second floor of the Scottish Rite building, and met there until about the year 2000.  To facilitate the attendance of some older members, they moved downstairs to the Consistory classroom.  After meeting there for two years, they moved to next door to the Cedar Rapids Masonic Temple.  In 2006, they moved their meeting place to the El Kahir Shrine activity building.  This provided them with a ground floor meeting place, a large parking lot, year round air-conditioning, and other benefits.

In 2001, the brethren determined that their Lodge number, "666", was an unnecessary bit of baggage, since it was viewed very negatively by some prospective members.  They sponsored legislation at Grand Lodge to change their number to the next available number, which just happened to be "676".  This was quite fortuitous, since the number changed by only a single digit, making it easier to remember and still maintaining links to the original number.  This legislation was passed by the delegates to Grand Lodge on September 22, 2001.  Of course, this activity was viewed as extremely news-worthy by the news media, gaining front page headlines in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.  (Apparently it was a slow news day.)  This rapidly spread through the national media, including prominent mention on the "Bob and Tom" show.  At least it was attention.

During the short history of Kingston Lodge, it has been honored by having by having its members serve many important roles in Iowa Masonry, including a Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, a Grand Master of the Grand Council of Iowa, a Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Iowa, a Deputy Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, a Potentate of El Kahir Shrine,  two Chief Camaxtlis of the Central States Quetzalcoatl Association, and a Supreme Tlaloc of the Order of Quetzalcoatl.

In 2003, Mel Price, a charter member of Kingston Lodge, was also awarded the T.S. Parvin award, the highest award given to Iowa Masons.

With a current membership of about 50 men, Kingston Lodge remains extremely active, and looks forward to a bright future.