Herndon Lodge No. 264 is located at the corners of Grace and Elden Streets in Herndon, Virginia . The Lodge itself served as an Episcopal Church, St. Timothy’s, for 89 years, when, in 1969, the trustees for the church, Stanley B. Hanes, Dudley Page and Richard R. Saunders sold the land to F.M. Robinson, Harry Middleton, Sr., and E. Russell Gillette, trustees for the Herndon Masonic Temple No. 264 (see History of the Herndon Lodge Building for further details).

The Lodge was initially granted a dispensation as Freedom Lodge No. 264, but when the Charter was granted on December 9, 1897, the name was changed to Herndon Lodge No. 264 after the town’s namesake, Commander William L. Herndon.

The history of the lodge operations discussed below is based on historic records. However, the lodge records previous to 1902 were destroyed by a fire in 1918.

The Early Years

On November 20, 1896, Lodge No. 264 was granted a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Virginia which, later when granted, became Herndon Lodge No. 264. Six of the 27 charter members were active physicians: Johnson, Russell, Leigh, Tebbs, Warner and Detweiler.

Edgar E. GilletteRt. Wor. Edgar E. Gillette, after having been made a Master Mason (June 1898), attended the June communication of the 1898 Grand Lodge of Virginia. His sole purpose was to be the lodge’s first representative and to bring back with him the Charter granted by the Grand Lodge in December of the previous year.

Henry A. JohnsonThe first Master Henry A. Johnson served as Master in 1896-1898, 1901-1902, and 1905. In his will, he left Herndon Lodge $1,000 (approximately $25,000 by todays value). Wor. Henry Johnson also started a special relationship between Ashburn Lodge and Herndon Lodge. It came about when Wor. Johnson requested the brethren from the Ashburn area to establish a new lodge. Today, Rt. Wor. Walter O. Harrison and members of Herndon Lodge keep this close fraternal friendship alive.

Herndon Lodge was not always in District 4. It started off in District 1 in 1896, changing to District 54 in 1915. Later it changed to District 59 in 1925 and transferred to District No. 58 in 1932. In 1994 District 58 became District 4 through a realignment of districts. Today, Herndon Lodge is one of six lodges that make up District 4.

Following is a look at Herndon Lodge No. 264 and the events that shaped this Lodge for nearly 100 years. Some names are familiar to Northern Virginia Masons – some are not – “Lest we Forget”.