By Collin Anderson

The Freemasons as an organization have existed since the beginning of our nation and from times long before that, and while the Pioche branch of the extensive brotherhood is relatively young, it is still over a century old and was the eighteenth ever chartered in Nevada. Ever since their inception, this group of Masons has strived to do good and help those around them.

The most recent example of this is the service they’ve done for their kindred dead in the Freemason cemetery. The cemetery itself has quite a history. At one point between 1890 and 1900, a fire in Del Mar destroyed the records of two full rows of those entombed there. That means that this place of rest comes with a mystery: who is buried in these two unaccounted for rows? Are there any bodies actually buried there, now possibly forgotten forever? We may never know, but what the Masons have decided to do is renovate the sprinkler system of the entire cemetery in an act of kindness and love that spreads to all those whose earthly remains rest there, both the known and unknown. The sprinkler system that was there before was made up of many different types of piping and sprinklers and was rarely buried more than a foot beneath the ground. This made the entire system prone to damage and leaking, wasting more than 250,000 gallons of water a year.

This type of waste was not acceptable to the Masons, so after extensive repairs, they have been able to replace the old sprinklers with something more efficient. But, their work does not end there. They are continuing to do repairs to their own St. John’s lodge, which was heavily damaged by a broken pipe a few years ago. But, between a $5,000 donation and their own grit, most of the lower part of the lodge has been restored. The work ahead of them is still daunting though; the ladies’ restrooms, the dining room, and the entire upper floor of the building still need attention. All donations are appreciated and can be sent to P.O. box 356 Pioche, Nevada, 89043.