The building at the mouth of Settlement Canyon with no windows will open its doors to the public this weekend.
The Rocky Mountain Lodge #11, also known as the Tooele Masonic Lodge, will hold an open house and fundraiser for the Life’s Worth Living Foundation at its lodge building on Settlement Canyon Road on Saturday.
The curious public will be able to take a look inside the lodge, learn more about who Masons are and what they do. And a lunch of hotdogs, chips and drinks will be available for a suggested $3 donation, according to Dave Tingey, a member of the Tooele Masonic Lodge.
“We aren’t a secret society,” Tingey said. “We are the world’s oldest fraternity with the aim to make good men better and to make our community a better place.”
All donations and proceeds from the hotdog sales will go to the Life’s Worth Living Foundation for the construction and installation of a bronze statue of a World War II veteran in Tooele City’s Veterans Memorial Park.
“The Masons support several local charitable causes,” Tingey said. “We thought the veteran’s statue was a worthy project. We have several veterans in the lodge and people affected by post-traumatic stress disorder.”
The Life’s Worth Living Foundation is helping Tooele City, and Stansbury Park sculptor Dan Snarr, to raise $50,000 to place a 13-foot-tall statue of a World War II veteran and purple heart recipient at the Veterans Memorial Park on the corner of Main and Vine Street in Tooele City.
“We have collected $24,000 in donations for the statue so far,” said Jon Gossett, president of the Life’s Worth Living Foundation. “We are well on our way to our goal of unveiling the statue on Veteran’s Day.”
Honoring veterans is significant to Gossett and the Life’s Worth Living Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to suicide awareness, education, and prevention. Unfortunately, there is a connection between veterans and suicide, according to Gossett.
“Every day we lose 22 veterans to suicide,” Gossett said. “There were 58,200 soldiers killed in Vietnam. We have lost 170,000 Vietnam veterans to suicide, three times the amount lost in the war. We are thankful to the members of our Masonic Lodge for their support of this memorial to our veterans.”
The Rocky Mountain Lodge has a long history. The Tooele lodge is named after the first Masonic Lodge that was chartered in Utah. Located at Camp Floyd, near present day Fairfield, Utah, the namesake of the Rocky Mountain Masonic Lodge was chartered in 1895 under the Grand Lodge of Missouri.
The present day Rocky Mountain Lodge was chartered in 1900 under the Grand Lodge of Utah, and was originally located in Mercur, Utah. After the 1902 fire destroyed the Mercur lodge building, the lodge moved to Tooele City. The present day lodge building was built in the 1970s, according to Tingey.
The Tooele Masonic Lodge currently has 43 members, Tingey said.
The open house and fundraiser is on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rocky Mountain Lodge #11 at 22 Settlement Canyon Road in Tooele City.