Saturday, Sept. 22, Monte Vista Masonic Lodge No 73, with the assistance of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Colorado laid a cornerstone at the new Monte Vista High School building. The event was open to the public and sponsored by Monte Vista Lodge No 73 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons (AF&AM). The school is located at 295 Prospect Ave. in Monte Vista. School and local officials were attended. Grand Lodge Orator Robert Herd told the small crowd assembled for the Saturday morning ceremony that the art of masonry began in Biblical times and has continued to modern times. Next, the cornerstone is consecrated with corn, wine and oil — Masonic symbols of prosperity, health and peace. Finally, the stone is symbolically tapped in place with a gavel. Following the speeches, Worshipful Master Dennis Burch of Monte Vista Lodge No. 73, AF&AM, presented a symbolic trowel to MVHS Principal Wiedeman, asking that it be placed on display in the school.
A time capsule was installed behind the cornerstone, which contained a history of the Masonic Lodge, as well as a history of the school, as well as articles from the original capsule opened this spring and other items as provided. It is the custom to seal the time capsule for 100 years.
The laying of cornerstones for public buildings has long been a standing traditional practice of Freemasons. Perhaps one of the most noteworthy examples of this was the laying of the cornerstone of the United States Capitol building in 1793 by George Washington, who officiated as master. A number of local buildings have Masonic Cornerstones, such as the fire station in Monte Vista and the Colorado State Veterans Center. The cornerstone of the Colorado State Capitol building was laid by the Freemasons in 1890 and rededicated in1990.