Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 was charted on January 19, 1922 to meet in New Port Richey, Florida. In 1922 when Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 was charted, New Port Richey was in its infancy and as a result, early meetings were held on the second floor of the Snell Building, pictured below. The Snell Building was situated on Main Street in downtown New Port Richey and it was also the location of the Avery Public Library. In addition to Masonic meetings, the second floor of the Snell Building was also used to hold regular church services for the Community Congregational Church of New Port Richey. At the time of Pearl of the West’s charter the three Line Officers representing the Lodge were:
Charles A. Tansill– Worshipful Master (W.M.) (From Manila, P.I.)
John Gay Snell– Senior Warden (S.W.)
Mead Wood– Junior Warden (J.W.) In addition, recorded were the chartering Grand Lodge Officers: Charles Henry Ketchum– Grand Master (G.M.)
Lamar G. Carter– Deputy Grand Master (D.G.M.)
John Lloyd Hall– Senior Grand Warden (S.G.W.)
T.T. Todd– Junior Grand Warden (J.G.W.)
W.P. Webster– Grand Secretary (G.S.)
On Wednesday, March 1, 1922 Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 local and Florida Grand Lodge members met in New Port Richey to hold a ceremony for the purpose of publicly consecrating, dedicating, and instituting Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146. The grand ceremonies were also reported in the local newspaper the New Port Richey Press on March 9, 1922 and the article is transcribed in its entirety below.
Consecrating New Port Richey Lodge
A vast concourse of Masons gathered in New Port Richey, Wednesday evening, March 1, to attend a convocation of the Grand Lodge of Florida call for the purpose of publicly consecrating, dedicating, and institution Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 and installing the officers.
The Grand Lodge was opened by Right Worshipful Brother Krommer, District Deputy Grand Master, assisted by a corps of Grand Lodge officers for the occasion. Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 received the distinguished visitors, who proceeded with the ceremonies. The lodge hall, being found too small to accommodate the Masons alone, a procession was formed, which proceeded to the Community Church, the cornerstone of which was laid by the Grand Lodge a few months ago, where the beautiful and impressive ceremonies were held.
The oration was delivered by Very Eminent L.P. Newby, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the U.S.A. A very large number of distinguished Masons from seventeen states and Canada were present, many of them past lodge and grand lodge officers.
A very pleasant feature to the newly installed Master was the presence of Brother H.M. Johnson, Past Master Corrigedor, Lodge No. 3 Manila, P.I. The church was crowed with resident and visiting Masons and local people with their families. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, refreshments were served by members of the O.E.S. (Order of the Eastern Star) in the lodge room.
New Port Richey Press, March 9, 1922
Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 was chartered with twenty-five (25) members, with five of those members receiving their degrees in Pearl of the West Lodge (U.D.). As a result, Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 took it’s name from the Pearl of the Orient Lodge No. 3 in Manila, Philippines, where charter Worshipful Master Charles A. Tansill also lived for a time. Hillsborough Lodge No. 25 and King Hiram Lodge No. 68 were the only Florida Lodges from which Pearl of the West Lodge charter members came from. Other Lodges from which Pearl of the West Lodge charter members came from were: Clinton Lodge No. 82, Kentucky; Floral Lodge No. 260, Ohio; St. Charles Lodge No. 86, Arkansas; Boulevard Lodge No. 882, Illinois; Newaygo Lodge No. 131, Pearl Lake Lodge No. 324 and Siloma Lodge No. 35, Michigan; Morton Lodge No. 63, Cascade Lodge No. 427, Gramercy Lodge No. 357 and Reliance Lodge No. 776, New York; Bay View Lodge No. 146, New Jersey; Charles C. Dame, Massachusetts; Midway Lodge No. 135, Minnesota; Humber Lodge No. 305, Ontario; and Tippecanoe Lodge No. 495, Indiana.
The charter Worshipful Master Charles A. Tansill was from Clinton Lodge No. 82, the charter Senior Warden John Gay Snell was from King Hiram Lodge No. 68, and charter Junior Warden Mead Wood was from the Floral Lodge No. 260.
As the small town of New Port Richey grew into a young city the Snell Building was eventually torn down as many of the old style wood frame buildings were being replaced by the better red brick. As a result sometime around 1925 Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 moved to another building situated in downtown. Their new meeting location was in the Morey-Bowman Building situated at the corner of Grand Boulevard and Missouri Avenue and named for the developers of the project. Like the Snell Building the Morey-Bowman Building, pictured below, was a two-story design. However, the upper floor of the was designed for use as a Masonic Temple and at the time was one of the most modern halls in the state. Not only was this new hall used by Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 but it was also rented to Order of the Eastern Star, Knights of Pythias, and the Pythian Sister Lodge as long as meetings didn’t conflict with the Masonic meetings.
The number 146 was previously assigned to Yular Lodge No. 146 to meet in Alachua County Florida. Yular Lodge No. 146 surrendered it’s charter on December 27, 1917 with the number being assigned to Pearl of the West Lodge in January 1922. Today Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 still meets in New Port Richey and in their own building situated at 6319 Louisiana Avenue, pictures of this building will soon be added.