The Pine Lodge’s existence dates back to 1873. That is seven years after Oconto received its charter, becoming a city, and two years after the famous Peshtigo fire. The first regular communication was held on the 15th of January, 1873. The meetings were held at various locations over the years. The longest rented location for 46 years, was the Funke building, where Bay Impressions is currently located. The present lodge building was purchased in 1949 from the Synod of St. Paul’s Evangelical Church. The first meeting was held on September 19, 1951, and the official dedication on March 16, 1953.
From the beginning, Pine Lodge #188 members have been integral in Oconto’s history. The names of Higgins, Balcomb, Holyoke, in the early years, and Comstock, Fulton, Rietz, Panetti, Chesley, Plier, McCall and LeMay of late, have all carried on the Masonic tradition.
The above Masonic Tile was found recently at our lodge. (Click the image to enlarge)
It depicts many symbols that teach and instruct Masons upon how they should live their lives.
A full size copy of approximately 24×30 inches may be obtained through the Oconto Masons. (without watermark)
They all believed that as a Freemason:
-they are a fraternity of men who hold some fundamental belief which guides their lives,
-a fraternity helps build and strengthen personal character,
-a fraternity provides support to people and varied charities,
-a fraternity stresses high moral standards, supports its country, its government and the American way of life,
-a fraternity stresses a belief in God,
-a fraternity is nationally recognized as an organization which aided our country through leadership from its beginning.
The Masons of Pine Lodge #188 join together for friendship, binding us together as a group of men who respect one another and enjoy being together. Our lodge takes pride in our charitable activities, providing scholarships to Oconto County students. And through our “degrees,” we teach the lessons of LIFE-the importance of honor, integrity, of being trusting and trustworthy, of the importance of self-control, of knowing how to love and be loved, and knowing how to keep things confidential.
We welcome those men who wish to learn more about Masonry, yet we do not force membership. We talk to friends about Masonry, we can tell them what we do, and we can tell them why we enjoy it. But when a man decides he wants to be a Mason, he must ask for a petition or application.
As the steps of man are trod in the various and uncertain incidents of life, and his days are variegated and chequered by a strange contrariety of events, his passage through this existence, though sometime attended by prosperous circumstances, is often beset by a multitude of evils; hence is our Lodge. Furnished with Mosaic work, to point out the uncertainty of all things here on earth.
Today we may travel in prosperity tomorrow we may totter on the uneven path of weakness, temptation, and adversity. Then while such emblems are before us, we are morally instructed not to boast of anything but to give heed to our ways, to walk up rightly and with humility before God, there being no station in life on which pride can with stability be founded; for though some are born to more elevated situations than others, yet, when in the grave, we are all on the level, death destroying all distinctions; and while our feet tread on this Mosaic work, let our ideas recur to the original whence we copy; let us, as good men and Masons, act as the dictates of reason prompt us, to practice charity, maintain harmony, and endeavor to live in unity and brotherly love.