In 1915, a group of distinguished gentlemen had a meeting of the minds to embark upon a journey to form a new masonic lodge in Nashville, TN. In accordance to its objective to promote traditional masonic values, they decided it would be named Observance Lodge.
The 43 initial members of Observance Lodge first met on January 1, 1916. Some of the founding members were newly made masons and others were prominent masons that maintained affiliations with their previous lodges. Soon thereafter, the Grand Master of the State of Tennessee formally accepted their petition and Observance Lodge was declared open for business “under strict supervision” on February 10, 1916.
During this time, as a newly minted lodge, Observance Lodge #686 held their meetings at Cumberland Lodge #283. Unto this day, it is unclear whether the two lodges met together or if Observance purely shared Cumberland’s home. As customary amongst masonic lodges within the same district, it can be speculated that Cumberland offered Observance the use of its home when it was not in use by them.
A year later, Observance Lodge would no longer be called Observance Lodge. On February 28, 1917, the Grand Master of the State of Tennessee officially granted our charter and we became forever known as Observance Lodge #686.
As the lodge continued to grow, it was time for Observance to find a permanent home. An arrangement was made with the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Nashville in 1926, and Observance moved into the Scottish Rite Valley Cathedral, located downtown Nashville. Ten years later, in 1937, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee purchased the building and solidified Observance Lodge #686’s home on Broadway, where Observance has met on the third Thursday of each month ever since.