Boylestonís history

Boylestonís First Lodge in Lexington, SC.

Boylestonís First Lodge in Ballentine, SC.

Copy of the Original Property Deed.

Boylestonís BBQ is a tradition thatís over 60 years old.

The Boyleston lodge No. 123 was Under Dispensation December 4, 1866.† It was Chartered on November 17, 1867, at Rocky Well in Lexington District.† The original site is located seven and half miles west to northwest of the Lexington County Courthouse on what is now Highway 378, near St. Johnís Lutheran Church.† To be more exact, the original site is on the edge of the present church parking lot.

During this time and for the first few years of its existence, the Lodge met at the Lexington County Courthouse.† Mr. George Jefferson Hook gave the Lodge a three-quarter acre lot for the purpose of building a Lodge hall.† This transaction was recorded at the Lexington County Courthouse on January 3, 1870.† The lot was located in what was then known as the Boyleston Community, hence where the Lodge got its name.† The lot was bordered on the north by land belonging to Margaret Dreher, on the west by land belonging to St. Johnís Lutheran Church, and on the south and east by lands belonging to Mr. Hook.† It is not known when the hall was built or what kind of construction was used, but it is known that it was a two-story building, 26 feet wide and 40 feet long.† The ground floor was used as a school and the upper floor was used as the Lodge meeting hall.† It is interesting to know that Mr. Hook was not a member of Boyleston Lodge, but his daughter Annie, was married to Jacob Tawl, who was at the time Senior Warden of the Lodge.

The information in the following two paragraphs was taken from A History of St. Johnís Church published in 1956.† Other information shows that the first recorded minutes of the Church in 1874 indicate that John B. Kyzer and John Rawl were Elders of the Church.† John B. Kyzer was also Past Master of Boyleston Lodge.† Mr. Horry E. Wessinger wrote the following excerpt in the church history referring to the old school and Lodge: ďMy mother walked four miles to and fro each day to attend school there under Prof. Sheppard Lindler, her cousin, and a strict disciplinarian.† (Brother Lindler was Senior Warden of Boyleston Lodge in 1902-03-04).† I remember seeing the old homemade desks on the first floor.

As a child I was warned not to go near the building, that the Masonic Order had a meeting hall on the second floor and kept a mean old goat there which they rode on meeting nights.† I didnít dare go near, unless accompanied by my parents or older brothers.† I did not question the story.† I guess I thought the goat was everlasting and never needed water or food.Ē

Ö the meetings were held on Saturday night preceding each full moon.† This was a common practice in those days, as Brethren could see better traveling to and from meetings under the full moon.† The Grand Lodge dues at the time were fifty cents per member and fifty cents for each Degree.

When Boyleston Lodge No. 123 A.F.M. first moved to Ballentine, SC, the meetings were held at the Woodman of the World building.

On February 15, 1919, a committee of John K. Riddle, John F. Lowman, and Preston D. Meetze was appointed to make arrangements for building a new Masonic Hall at Ballentine.† Sometime during 1920 the lodge was built.

In 1953, it was decided that a new lodge was needed.† On July 11, 1953, the first regular communication was held in the new Lodge.† On September 11, 1954 the dedication of the new lodge was held and a bountiful picnic supper was spread on the table in the downstairs dinning hall by the wives and family of the members of the Lodge and about 450 people partook of the delightful food.†

The history above is from The History of Boyleston Lodge 123 AFM by A.E. (Gene) Hutto, PM.