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Bedford Liberty Lodge celebrates its bicentennial

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By John Barnhart

    Masonic Lodge dignitaries from all over the state, including Virginia Grand Master Wayne Sawyer, gathered in Bedford to celebrate Liberty Lodge’s bicentennial. The lodge takes its name from Bedford’s original name, Liberty, because that was the town’s name when the lodge was chartered in 1813. Liberty didn’t become Bedford until that century’s end.

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    “It was named for the community,” said Sawyer.
    The Lodge received its charter on Dec. 14, 1813, with six members, and held its first meeting in the home of George Mitchell.
    The two-century old minutes books of those early meetings are in good shape and one entry mentions Joseph Flood’s trip, on horseback, to Richmond. It took 10 days to get there. Sawyer noted the beautiful handwriting in these old documents.
    Sawyer congratulated the Lodge for its longevity.
    “It’s no easy matter to keep a lodge going,” he said. “It’s my hope that Liberty Lodge will be here another 100 years,.”
    Liberty Lodge currently has 129 members.