7th Annual "Meeting in the Hills"
June 25, 2004

On an unbearably hot July night in 1998 the idea for a "Meeting in the Hills" was born. It is not clear if Bro. Paul E. (Sam) Truxel III, P.M. or Bro. Jeffrey M. Wonderling D.D.G.M., 30th Masonic District, (then Worshipful Master), initiated the discussion addressing the possibility of moving the September Stated Meeting of King Solomon's Lodge No. 346 from the "bake oven" climate of the third floor of the Masonic Temple in Connellsville, PA. It is amazing how quickly information spreads through the network of our Fraternity. Within a few days someone mentioned that Bro. Alex Christner P.M. of James Cochran Lodge No. 614 Dawson, PA, owned a parcel of land that would be a suitable location. Bro. Alex was contacted and agreed to allow Bros. Richard J. Stemmler, P.D.D.G.M. (then D.D.G.M.) and Jeffrey M. Wonderling to tour the property. The setting was perfect, a grove surrounded by multi-floral rose located in "no-mans land." The only question was: would the brethren be able to find the location? After obtaining the necessary dispensation through the efforts of Bro. Stemmler, a tradition was born. The responsibility for holding the meeting rotates yearly between King Solomon's Lodge No. 346, Marion Lodge No. 562 and James Cochran Lodge No. 614. The Lodges have learned to work together in unanimity and are currently "working together" to build a Masonic Center. The attendance for this event has steadily increased as follows:

1998 ­ 160 King Solomon's Lodge No. 346
1999 ­ 178 James Cochran Lodge No. 614
2000 ­ 210 Marion Lodge No. 562
2001 ­ 325 King Solomon's Lodge No. 346
2002 ­ 368 James Cochran Lodge No. 614
2003 ­ 436 Marion Lodge No. 562

This trend continued its course as 478 Masons attended this year's event. It is well known that Masons cannot attend Lodge on an empty stomach, therefore the meeting is preceded by a Steak Fry with all the "fixin's." After dinner a Special Meeting of King Solomon's Lodge No. 346 was held and the Lodge was honored to receive Bro. William Slater II, R.W.G.M. The Grand Master spoke of the Man to Mason Adventure and the CHIP Program and his message was very well received. There were blank petitions available and by the end of the evening they all had been given away.

In the unlikely event that someone was still hungry, a dessert of Apple Crisp and Cinnamon Ice Cream was served. Mark your calendar for June 24, 2005, which will be the tentative date for the 8th Annual "Meeting in the Hills." We hope to see YOU there.

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