Arco Lodge #48, located in Arco, Idaho was chartered on August 21, 1906, and over the years became an active center for Masonic and community social activities. The current building at 260 West Grand Avenue was built in 1916. Arco Lodge had the Concordant and Appendant Masonic organizations of Order of Eastern Star, Shriners Lost River Drum Corp club, International Order of Job’s Daughters for young women, and Order of DeMolay for young men.
Like many social organizations in smaller towns, as the population decreased, activity in these social organizations decreased and eventually closed over the years. Arco Lodge #48 merged with Mt. McCaleb Lodge #64 in Mackay, Idaho in November 2020.
Arco Lodge #48 Worshipful Master station
Arco Lodge #48, Senior Warden station
Arco #48 Centennial Pin
100 Year Centennial Celebration, 2006
Arco Lodge Celebrates 100 Years
This last Saturday, Masons from all over Idaho came to Bottolfsen Park to help members of Arco Lodge #48 celebrate the 100th year anniversary of their charter that was issued on August 21, 1906. Over 150 individuals from both the community and lodge members
were on hand to celebrate the centennial year. There were 9
members from the Grand Lodge of Idaho present to help with the
celebration, including the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Brother
James Herndon from Blackfoot who is a dual member of Grove City
Lodge #33, Blackfoot, and Lemhi Lodge #11, Salmon, Idaho.]
The ceremonies started shortly after 12:00 P.M. with a short
presentation from the 1st Masonic District Deputy, Russ Smith, on the
benefits of Masonry, what it is, and how it helps men to become better
individuals. This was followed by a pledge of allegiance to the United
States flag and after a prayer to bless the food, everyone enjoyed a picnic meal of buffalo roast beef or buffalo sloppy joes with corn on the cob, salad, baked beans, and dessert provided by B&B Catering,
During the meal a presentation on the history of Arco Lodge #48 was
given by Worshipful Master Jim Waymire and talked about the
formation of the lodge from the Wood River area, the building of the
Masonic building, the fire that almost completely destroyed the building in 1928, and the re-building which is the current structure that stands today. The Grand Master, James Herndon, then addressed the audience and talked about how Masonry benefits not only the individual but also society and the community through the members that donate time individually and are involved in other organizations.
Arco Lodge was selling commemorative hats and raffle tickets on a tanned buffalo hide and after dessert, the drawing for the buffalo hide was held and Neil Depew from Pocatello was the winner. The rest of the buffalo meat was raffled off and many individuals were awarded a tasty treat of buffalo meat. The buffalo was raised on the Hill Creek Bison Ranch and had been harvested by the Grand Master back in February.
An afternoon of good fellowship was enjoyed by all and everyone returned to their respective places of abode. Special thanks go to the community members and lodge members that attended. We hope that you have a better understanding and appreciation of what Freemasonry is and is not. Thanks to the Arco Advertiser for printing the ads and articles. It helped everyone to understand more about the lodge. And, thanks to the members of Arco Lodge #48 and their families for getting everything ready. With a little bit of hard work and perseverance, we might be able to make it another 100 years. (article originally published in the Arco Advertiser)
Arco Advertiser, newspaper article, 9-26-2016
Public Invited To Help Arco Lodge #48 Celebrate Building Centennial Re-dedication, October 8.
Arco Lodge #48 is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a worldwide organization that promotes charity and philanthropic service. The Grand Lodge of Idaho, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons issued a charter to Arco Lodge on August 21, 1906. The local lodge celebrated their centennial year in 2006. Their building was constructed in 1916, so their lodge building is 100 years old and one of the oldest buildings in Arco. The Grand Lodge of Idaho Officers have been invited to re-dedicate the building on Saturday, October 8 and will come from all over the state of Idaho to help with the celebration and building re-dedication. The public is invited to the building dedication ceremony at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 8. There will be refreshments served afterwards.
Arco Advertiser, newspaper article 10-3-2016
Grand Lodge of Idaho to re-dedicate 100 year old Arco Lodge #48 Building this Saturday, October 8.
The Grand Lodge Officers, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Idaho, led by Most Worshipful Grand Master Jim Hensley from Twin Falls will re-dedicate the Arco Lodge #48 building located at 260 West Grand Avenue, Arco, Idaho, this Saturday at 1:00 PM. It was built in 1916 for the lodge and has been used for Eastern Star Friendship Chapter #37, Job’s Daughters International Bethel #51, and Demolay Lost River Chapter meetings. The public is invited to attend the ceremony which will be the same ceremony that was performed on this building 100 years ago and the same one used by President George Washington to lay the cornerstone for the United States Capital in 1793. Masons from all across Idaho will participate in the celebration. Come down and enjoy the ceremonial ritual of re-dedicating the building for continuing fraternal benevolence. Refreshments will be served and everyone is invited to attend this historical event in celebrating the contributions the Masonic fraternity has made in our community in the past and plans to continue in the future. A fun and informational time is anticipated for everyone.
Arco #48 Masonic Building
100 Year Centennial Building Re-dedication, Grand Lodge of Idaho, 2016
Arco Lit By Atomic Power
Arco Recreation Center/City Clerk Building
Arco Rec Center Neon Sign at Night
EBR-1 Atomic Energy harnessed, December 20, 1951
The world's first peacetime use of nuclear power occurred when the U.S. Government switched on Experimental Breeder Reactor #1 (EBR-1) near Arco, Idaho, on December 20, 1951, and powered 4 lightbulbs with power from the reactor. The town of Arco, Idaho became the first city in the world to be lit by atomic power from a reactor built near EBR-1, the BORAX III, on July 17, 1955. This occurred for about an hour and though It was only temporary, it paved the way for commercial use of nuclear power.
What is not widely known is that the power was cut over on the transmission lines at night on July 17, 1955. This was done on purpose so the majority of the residents in Arco would not know that the power they were using was generated by Atomic Power. This information was captured in Susan M. Stacy’s book, “Proving the Principle”.
The below is the public release from the Atomic Energy Commission on Arco being supplied with Atomic Power. Notice there is no mention of the actual time.
AEC Press release for BORAX-III lighting Arco, Idaho
ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION
P. O. BOX 59
INFORMATION FOR PRESS, RADIO AND TV :
Telephone: Lemont 800 (Argonne)
Ext. 558 - 559
August 11, 1955
Friday, 9:00 a.m., D.D.T.
August 12, 1955
IDAHO TOWN GETS ATOMIC POWER AND LIGHT
IN NUCLEAR POWER DEMONSTRATION
Electricity, produced from nuclear energy, has been used to light and power a town in the United States. Arco, Idaho, became the first community in the Nation to receive its entire supply of power from a nuclear source when, on July 17,1955, electricity produced in an experimental nuclear power plant operated by Argonne National Laboratory at the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission's National Reactor Testing Station, twenty miles from Arco, was fed into transmission lines supplying the small town.
When the reactor power was cut in, utility lines supplying conventional power to Arco from the Utah Power and Light Company were disconnected. The entire community of 1,200 inhabitants then depended solely on nuclear power for more than an hour.
Although the transmission of electricity from the nuclear power plant to Arco was, by prior arrangement, discontinued after the demonstration had been completed, the generation of electricity at the testing station site was continued.
A motion picture record of the demonstration was presented to the United Nations today at the International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, in Geneva, Switzerland. The United States delegation plans to make the film available during the Conference and to representatives of 72 nations in attendance.
The experimental nuclear power plant, known as "BORAX", short for "Boiling Reactor Experiment", was the subject of a major technical paper presented to the Conference August 9 by Dr. Walter H. Zinn, Director of Argonne National Laboratory. The plant, which generates more than 2,000 kilowatts of electricity, was designed and constructed by the Laboratory. Harold V. Lichtenberger, who is a U. S. technical advisor at Geneva, is Director of the Laboratory's activities at the testing station.
This temporary transformer was used to connect BORAX-III with the town of Arco, Idaho.
The reactor for the nuclear power plant has been under development by the Laboratory since 1953. An experimental facility for conducting studies of a reactor of this type was constructed at the testing station site in the summer of 1953 and tests on safety and steady-state operating characteristics were conducted. The tests were sufficiently encouraging so that additional studies were made in the summer of 1954.
Experience gained during the operation of this reactor warranted the addition of a turbo-generator so that the steam being produced could be converted into a more usable form of energy. This generation plant was placed into operation on June 28, 1955, and the production of electricity is continuing on a routine basis.
The reactor consists of a pressure vessel containing an assemblage of enriched uranium-bearing plates submerged in water, plus a number of neutron-absorbing control rods. The water circulates through the reactor core by natural convection. Steam, produced by the heat created by the fissioning of uranium atoms, is conducted to the 3,500-kilowatt turbo-generator, located in a nearby building.
The simplicity of construction, ease of operation, low cost, and high degree of safety suggest the possibility that this type of small power plant may be suitable for use in remote areas or in conjunction with mining or manufacturing operations.
~MWB Russ W Smith