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Lozahatchee Lodge No. 97, A. F. & A. M. was originally chartered Dec. 7,1849, located in Goshen Valley at Hudson's Mill (now Shady Grove), Cherokee County. After one year, he name was changed to Clark Lodge by resolution. Within a year or two, by resolution, the name Lozahatchee was resumed. Apparent population and interest shifted, and in 1895 the Grand Master concurred in petitions from two lodges (97 & 412) and they consolidated into Amberson Lodge No. 412 at Spring Garden. Immediately, seven former members petitioned for reformation of Lozahatchee, but by virtue of the consolidation all members had been transferred to 412. Therefore, there were no members left in 97 to call for the reformation of original charter. Dispensation for anew lodge charter was granted Dec. 4, 1895, with number 547, located at Piedmont, in Calhoun County. At this time a resolution in the Grand Lodge was passed to charter this Lodge Lozahatchee No. 97, and to return all former possessions, including inscribed jewels. Dispensation procured October 29, 1895, and the lodge was chartered December 9, 1895. The officers were H. G. Earnest, W. M.; W. W. Little, S. W. and Thomas A. Howell. J. W., and to I. C. O. Bryant George W. Alexander, Andrew W. Smith and Daniel Monahan.

Cross Plains Lodge No. 368, was Chartered Dec. 8, 1870. Name was changed in 1892 to Piedmont Fraternal No. 368. (This was four years after the town, Cross Plains, changed its name to Piedmont) This Lodge Charter was forfeited in 1902. Over the years Lozahatchee Lodge No. 97 F. & A. M. has operated in three locations, first on the second floor of the Sharpe and Chancellor Block building on North Main Street. (once occupied by Bennett-Knight Furniture Co., and now the site of SouthTrust Bank) The lodge was moved to the third floor of the J. P. Woolf Building on North Center Avenue. The lodge entered into an agreement with Mr . Woolf to add this third floor to his building, this third floor to be owned by the lodge. The lodge moved into the present building, on Highway 278 By-pass, in 1967.

A Brief History Of The Efforts To Build A New Lodge
The idea of building a new lodge was discussed on several occasions. The main reason being to get away from the third floor and long flight of stairs necessary to reach the lodge hall. Some elderly members could not attend for this reason. But as usual finances were the main reason no action would be taken.

In 1950 Brother Hershel West, Worshipful Master, appointed a committee to investigate the cost of constructing a new lodge. The committee reported that the probable cost would be $35,000 to $40,000 and the lodge voted not to build at this time, the reason being that this amount would be impossible to raise.

The idea was brought up again in 1959-60, with the idea of increasing dues, with a specified amount going into a building fund, likewise a specified amount into the welfare fund. The lodge membership was summonsed for the purpose of voting on this proposal. After quite a bit of discussion a vote was taken with 55 members voting yes and 3 voting no.

In 1963-64 with approximately $6,500.00 on hand it was decided to buy a lot on the U.S. Highway 278 Bypass from Brother Robert White for $3,000.00 The lodge decided to not assess the members for building funds but to raise the. money by volunteer contributions. With a membership of 400, it was suggested that each member would give $100.00, that would be $40,000. Realizing that there would be some members who would not be able to do this, some of the Brothers agreed to give an extra $100.00 or more. Over the next few years there were 50 Brothers who went beyond the length of their cabletow to give to the building fund. In the next three years (1964-65-66) the building fund had on hand $27,000.00 The lodge voted at that time to start construction of a new lodge hall. The work was started in the summer of 1966, with many of the Brothers doing volunteer work and some work let out on contract. The Corner Stone was layed by the Grand Lodge of Alabama, on October 1, 1966, with Brother Fred Vaughan being Most Worshipfull Grand Master. The lodge was completed and Lozahatchee Lodge moved to the new building with the first meeting June 15, 1967. Open house was held on Sunday afternoon August 27, 1967, with about 200 in attendance. The Lodge had to borrow $4,000.00 to complete the cost. This debt was payed off in two years.

The Eastern Star was very helpful during this building program, they helped financially and otherwise. Several Masonic widows gave $100.00 in memory of their husbands. A plaque now hangs on the wall in the lodge entrance hall in memory of these deceased Brothers.
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Location: Piedmont, AL

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Lozahatchee Lodge #97 Piedmont AL