Alaska’s Premier Adventuring Masonic Lodge
Valdez Lodge No. 4, originally of the Grand Lodge of Washington, first received dispensation to work on March 17, 1908, and was chartered as Valdez Lodge No. 168 on June 17, 1908.
On February 7, 1981, the M.W. Grand Lodge of F. & A.M. of Alaska opened its Constitutional Communication in Ample Form at 10:30 am. Resolutions were adopted and Valdez Lodge was re-chartered by Grand Lodge of Alaska, the charter for the lodge having been assigned a number according to the ages of the lodges, as Valdez Lodge No. 4.
To discover more about Valdez No. 4, please visit the lodge’s website at www.valdez4ak.org.
Phone: (907) 255-1300
PO Box 2442
Valdez, AK 99686
Location & Meetings:
Valdez No. 4 meets every Tuesday at 6:30pm, with stated communications being held on the Second Tuesday of each month. Delicious dinners, engaging discourse, and good fellowship served weekly.
Degree work is typically conducted on weekends and occasionally in the surrounding mountains and wilderness.
It is kindly requested that you contact Valdez No. 4 in advance of your visit to Valdez and the Lodge.
We look forward to seeing you!
Valdez is located in the Northeast corner of Prince William Sound at the end of the Richardson Highway, 257 miles away from the next sizeable city. Valdez sits along a fjord, where the steep mountain sides often extending directly down to the ocean. Much of the town is developed on small areas of flatland that was deposited by glaciers and more recently by the streams that drain from them depositing rock and gravel down along Port Valdez.
Historically, as well as now, the territory south of Valdez belonged to the Chugach (pronounced Chew-gach) natives, a maritime hunting people. To the north, the land is that of the Ahtna, an Athabaskan speaking people of the Copper River Basin. Although it is unclear whether there was a native village at one time in Port Valdez, it is certain that the Chugach and Ahtna did use the area for fishing and trading copper, jade, hides and other furs. The Chugach had eight principal villages spread throughout the rest of Prince William Sound. Of these, the villages of Tatitlek and Chenega remain today.
In 1790, Don Salvador Fidalgo named the Port of Valdez after the celebrated Spanish naval officer Antonio Valdes y Basan. A town developed in 1898 as a debarkation point for men seeking a route to the Eagle Mining District and the Klondike goldfields. Valdez soon became the supply center of its own gold mining region and incorporated as a city in 1901.
Once the rush to the Klondike subsided, prospectors concentrated on the gold, copper, and silver deposits on the islands and shores of Prince William Sound. The most profitable mines in the vicinity of Valdez were the Cliff Gold Mine and the Midas Mine. In 1906, H.E. (Red) Ellis discovered and then leased out what was to become the Cliff Gold Mine about five miles east of Valdez on the north shore of Port Valdez.
Recognizing that Valdez was a strategic location for communications and defense, the Army built Fort Liscum at the site of the present Valdez Marine Terminal, at the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. A telegraph line was connected, linking Seattle, Washington, to Eagle, Alaska (thereby bypassing Canada for the first time) and further developed the Keystone Canyon trail. The latter, which became the Richardson Highway in 1919, served as the only viable inland route to Fairbanks until the 1920’s. Valdez became the coastal port for the majority of traffic going into and out of the interior. Valdez is the most northern ice-free port (during winter) in the United States.
By the 1920’s, Valdez’s first boom had busted. With the completion of the Alaska Railroad from Seward to Fairbanks (via Anchorage) in 1924, Valdez was no longer the only entry to the interior. In addition, mining had ceased to be profitable, and in 1925, even the army pulled out. The population of Valdez fell to 400-500.
On March 27, 1964 (Good Friday), disaster struck Valdez. At 5:36 in the evening, an earthquake lasting over four minutes and registering 8.6 on the Richter Scale and 9.2 on the Moment Magnitude Scale struck 45 miles west of Valdez. The quake triggered an underwater landslide that, in turn, created several tremendous tsunami. The first waves washed away the Valdez waterfront and drowned the 32 people who had been standing on the dock, including three men on the steamer Chena that had been tied to the dock. In all of Alaska, 114 people died as a result of the earthquake. The town of Valdez was condemned when it was discovered that the entire town had been built on unstable ground. In 1967, the relocation of the town to its present site was complete.
A great reason tourist visit Valdez is for the amazing wildlife and beautiful scenery. Whale watching, skiing, and glacier climbing are just some of the things you can expect to do if you are the adventurous type.