AMERICAN MASONIC HISTORY
Freemasonry first came to Utah during the winter of 1858 when twenty-three officers and men of General Albert Johnston's Army, sent to quell the reported "Mormon Rebellion," sought fraternal fellowship at their inhospitable outpost of Camp Floyd near Fairfield, Utah.
Twenty-three Master masons petitioned the Grand Lodge of Missouri for a Dispensation which was issued on March 6th, 1859. The following year, on June 1st 1860, the Grand Lodge of Missouri issued a charter to Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 205. The Masonic Hall in which they met was a simple building: 30 X 60 feet, with 8ft high adobe soil brick walls, a wood plank roof, and a packed dirt floor.
Unfortunately, due to the onset of the Civil War and the disbandment of Camp Floyd, the lodge had to surrender its’ charter in July 1861.
Organized Freemasonry did not return to Utah until 1865 and it wasn’t until January 16, 1872, that a convention was held for the purpose of organizing a Grand Lodge for the Territory of Utah. The three Lodges that attended the convention, all located in Salt Lake City, were Wasatch lodge No. 8 (Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Montana), Mount Moriah Lodge No. 70 (Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Kansas) and Argenta lodge No. 21 (Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Colorado).
During the convention, the Grand Lecturer, Bro. R. H. Robertson, noted that “The circumstances which surrounded our early history were complicated and peculiar, queer and unprecedented … (we) guarded well the’ inner door’ . . . none who held his country’s authority in defiance or trod its laws beneath his feet entered the portals of our Lodges.”
The Grand Lodge of Utah was originally housed in the Commerce Building, then situated about 145 South Main St. However, in 1876 the Grand Lodge dedicated a new Masonic Hall, located in the First National Bank Building. For the next 15 years, this building housed the three Masonic Lodges of Salt Lake City, the Utah Royal Arch Chapter #1, and the Utah Commandery #1. Following this, The Grand Lodge was located in the McIntosh Building from 1896 to 1906 and then in the Scottish Rite Temple until November 20th, 1927 when the Grand Lodge was moved to the newly dedicated Salt Lake Masonic Center at 650 East South Temple St.