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Oviedo Lodge #243 History as written by David H Greer, P.M. 1982. 1885

31 years before Oviedo Lodge #243 was chartered, Ionic Lodge #68 was given a Charter on January 22, 1885 in the area now know as Oviedo.

Central Florida in 1885 was a land of pine woods, swampy tracts and water soaked sandy soils dense with growth. Roads were little more than rutted horse and buggy paths winding through the woods. All roads avoided swamps when possible and used buried logs for road ballast when forced to cross a swamp. It was rough travel. At that time, approximately 3000 citizens occupied the area around Lake Jessup which would become the town of Oviedo.

In the 1880’s, the area to be know as Oviedo, was called Lake Jessup community. By 1884 it was large enough to warrant a post office. Andrew Auling (a Mason) was a Swedish born emigrant settler, who wanted the job of Post Master and filed for it. He needed a name for the new post office, different than any other name in Florida. He choose Oviedo, pronounced Oh-vee-Ay-Do, after the Spanish town. But Americans soon changed the name to sound like the present Oh-VEE-DO.

Few records remain to detail the time and events leading to the UP and Charter of Ionic Lodge. Brother C.L. West Jr. of Mokanna Lodge reports the following history of Ionic Lodge #68.

“When Andrew Aulin wanted to found a Masonic Lodge in the area, he talked it over with his Masonic Brothers from Chioula, Mellonville (to be known later as Sanford) and in 1884 he sought and obtained a UD from the Grand Lodge of Florida to form a new lodge. It was decided to name it Ionic Lodge”

Ionic Lodge, under UD, was granted Dispensation in 1884 by the deputy Grand Master, George S. Hallmark, acting as Most Worshipfull Grand Master in absence of the Grand Master.

Ionic Lodge #68 was formally Chartered 22 January 1885, by Robert J. Perry Most Worshipfull Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Florida, and for the next ten years met in a building owned by Brother Andrew Aulin.

The community depended upon agriculture for a living. The Lodge economy, like the settlement, depended upon the fortunes of farming which in turn depended upon the weather.

Some Lodge members were ministers, school teachers, or County Clerks. But the basic income for the community came from citrus groves, farms and forest products like hunting, logging and turpentine. Severe freezes in 1895 and 1896 destroyed much of the local agriculture crops and forced many of the local farmers out of business.

Ionic Lodge #68 became victim of the bad weather and was forced to surrender its Charter due to lack of members.  The last entry in the Lodge minutes reads:  June 7, 1895. “A resolution was made that because of the reduced number of members of the Lodge, a vote would be taken upon the question of giving up its Charter. The vote was taken and was unanimous in favor of giving up the Charter of Ionic Lodge. Read and approved June 7, 1895 Signed by” C.W. Sandson, Secretary.

Thus closed the first history of Masonry in Oviedo in the late 1800’s.

After the heavy freezes of the 1890’s Oviedo remained an economicly depressed area until the turn of the century. The new railroad, better roadways to accommodate that new invention – the automobile – plus the discovery of rich black humus soil began to change the economic situation. By 1914 acreage that sold for 25 cents per acre in 1900 was selling for $150 per acre. The land was prime farm land for raising celery and lettuce and other vegetables. The railhead and autos provided a quicker way to ship fresh produce to market and the fortunes of Oviedo changed. Another factor of importance was the forming of a new county called Seminole, voted into being on April 24, 1913. Oviedo was now free of the shadow of Orlando and could compete favorably with its neighbor Sanford.

A factor of importance was the “Big Oviedo Fire” of 1914. At that time there were seven main buildings in Oviedo. One, the Lawton building, was brick, the rest were wood frame. Lighting for the buildings was fueled by gasoline pressurized to 60 pounds and fed through individual pipes to the light mantle. The system worked well unless the tank pressure dropped below 45 pounds. Then the light dimmed, raw gasoline could spew out of the mantle and “flame up”.

Domer Daniels ran the drug store and had a taxi business on the side. January 21, 1914, Domer closed the store early to attend his taxi business, and forgot to turn off the lights. About 2 a.m. a fire started in the drug store. Fanned by a gentle south wind the blaze spread from building to building. At dawn only the brick Lawton building was still standing.

During the next two years Oviedo was practically rebuilt. New homes and stores were added until almost 250 citizens claimed Oviedo as home. As the population grew, some local freemasons began to think of starting a Masonic Lodge to be named Oviedo Lodge.

After discussion and planning, a UD was obtained from grand Lodge of Florida and on October 31, 1916, the first meeting of Oviedo Lodge UD was convened. The Brethren assembled in the new Hunt building.

The first floor was used for L.T. Hunt’s undertaking business and the upper story contained business offices and a large meeting hall. It was ideal for a Masonic Temple hall. And from here the Oviedo Lodge grew into what we find today.

Logo History

"The Original"

The date of the original design is unknown. It was modeled after Oviedo’s signature “Welcome” sign, keeping in step with the color scheme and feel of the actual design. 

"The Merger"

This Logo was created in 2015. As the first redesign took place, it was important to keep the culture of the Oviedo community we represent, but merge the importance of the Masonic “blue” Lodge into the design feature.

"Celebration"

In 2017 we created  the Centennial Celebration logo for our 100 year anniversary. It was important to give the lodge logo a well deserved make-over, celebrating the historic milestone of this fraternity and the importance of it to the community. 

"The Modern"

In 2022 the current logo was created. We wanted to modernize the look while keeping a similar theme to our logo history. It is Masonic “blue” to represent the blue lodge and has the establishment day as well as the classic Oviedo Rooster.