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History of our Lodge

Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge #1123 was instituted, May 12, 1973 in White Pines Community Hall(Independence Hall), located on Blagen Rd. in the community of White Pines near Arnold CA., Independence Hall was only used for the Institution of the Lodge and occasions when a large number of members were expected for special events. At the Institution ceremony 84 members were enrolled, and the first Board of Officers installed.
The first meeting place of the Ebbetts Pass Moose was the old Ebbetts Pass Lumber Company building, across Highway 4 from White Pines Bar and Restaurant in the town of Arnold, CA. The membership struggled to pay the rent, after 5 years and a rent increase they gave up the location.
The Ebbetts Pass Moose negotiated with CCWD to lease the old Blagen Saw Mill office building, which was scheduled to be used for practice and training by the fire department (Burnt Down). On April 13, 1978, Ebbetts Pass Lodge entered into a 5 year lease agreement with the Calaveras County Water District to lease the old Blagen Saw Mill Office.
The Lodge moved into the old Blagen Saw Mill Office, the old offices that consumed most of the floor space were removed, Carpets donated by Remo Casimo were installed, a solid slab was donated by Prest for a Bar Top, and a kitchen was built with funds from unknown sources, and volunteer labor.
The lease expired on April 30, 1983 and a new 10 year lease was signed on April 14, 1983, with a secure lease the members could begin the process of turning the old building into a real Lodge. The Kitchen was remodeled and new plumbing installed in 1983-1984, the plumbing work was donated by Marlin Hittle. The construction of the dining room began in 1984 with volunteer labor, and donated material. In the beginning material was donated by members buying one or more 2X4's or 2X6's, etc. at a time. This worked but the progress was slow and the need for a dining room was too great. The dining room was completed in 1986 or 1987 with donated funds and the sale of Letters of Indebtedness to raise the required funds. In 1987 the Southeast corner of the backyard was graded and a retaining wall built to hold back the bank. New Bar stools were purchased and new carpet installed in the Bar area.
In 1987, 1988 and 1989 the lease was re-negotiated to include 3 1/2 acres. In 1987 the Lodge acquired a Pool Table and Shuffleboard, with money raised by The Ebbetts Pass Legion Committee. The property was surveyed and staked in 1988, and planning for the parking lot began. In 1988 the Lodge acquired new tables for the dining room, and Installed sprinklers front and rear of Lodge. Summer of 1988 the exterior of the Lodge was repainted.
The lease with CCWD which included 3 1/2 acres was renewed and signed June 13, 1989. In 1989 Construction on the parking lot began. Two light poles were donated and installed by PG&E, the surface was graded, graveled and rolled then paving was completed with funds raised through the sale of Letters of Indebtedness. The Administrators Office was enlarged, the rest rooms were remodeled, the Handicap Ramp was covered, and the side driveway was paved.
1990-1991 Used Bar equipment was acquired from the Pleasant Hill Bar. A New Bar was built and installed. The New Bar included both front and back bars. The Dining room sound ceiling was also installed. Summer of 1991 the first annual Lake Alpine campout was held.
1991-1992 The Lodge improved the view of White Pines Lake by cutting down the weeds and removing the excess brush. This was Community Service and paid double benefits, it beautified White Pines Park and Lake, and made it much more enjoyable to sit and look out at White Pines Lake.
May 23, 1992, George Prest received his Pilgrim degree at Mooseheart. Georges Robing Ceremony was held later that summer in the back yard here at Ebbetts Pass Lodge, with at least sixteen Pilgrims attending.
August 16, 1992 The Old Gulch Fire burned 17,386 acres, and destroyed 170 structures. The fire caused the evacuation of the towns of Arnold, Avery, Fricot City, Hathaway Pines, and Sheep Ranch. During this major fire, Ebbetts Pass Lodge #1123 was used as a staging area, resting place and cafeteria for numerous fire crews.
In January 1995 the Lodge purchased a new Juke box, trading in the old 45 for more modern CD unit. In September the Lodge started Monday Night Football, serving an inexpensive meal at half time. With the crowd cheering on their team this soon became one of the most popular and certainly the nosiest event held in the Lodge. To see the game better a large screen TV was purchased with the funds raised from Monday Night Football and a little help from the annual Reno bus trip.
In 1995-1996 New carpet was installed in the Social Quarters, and the Women of the Moose garage built. The Lodge held the first annual Pig Feed, head cook Don Pietsch, cooked the Pig over an open pit with a make shift spit which ultimately failed and the pig had to be retrieved from the coals.
The lease was renewed again in 1996. This lease included an option for four more renewals of five years each. On April 9, 1996 the addition of a 24 ft. 24 ft. deck was approved. The deck was added on the North end of the Lodge and completed the same year. A shelter was also built over the back yard BBQ.
In June of 1997 the Construction of the children’s play ground was started, with swings, slides and a half-court basketball court plus the surrounding walkways the entire project took until 2001 to complete.
In 1998 a roof was added over the deck, the retaining wall in the back yard was extended the full length of the back yard, the horseshoe pits were improved, and Pietsch's Pig Pen was built. The pit is raised on a concrete pad and lined with fire brick, the rod supports are mortared into each end with iron braces notched to keep the pig centered, so far we've haven't dropped another pig in the coals.
In 1999 the deck was enclosed to providing a not too warm place for smokers that was out of the social quarters. Clyde Vaughn owner of the Apple Wood Shopping Center donated "Clyde" the big Lumber Jack statue located in the back yard to the Ebbetts Pass Moose. Clyde had been a fixture standing in front of the Applewood Center as far back as the late 1960's or early 70's but his deteriorating base became unsafe without extensive repairs. The repairs were made and a new concrete base pad constructed between the playground and the horseshoe pits, then "Clyde" was stood up and cabled for added security. The Lodge purchased and installed a beautiful awning over the main entrance side walk and stairs. No more rain and snow down your back as you walk up to the Lodge, well almost no more, sometimes the wind blows it in from the side.
In 2000 the first five year option was exercised, extending the lease until September 11, 2006. Max Strand former owner of Mountain Mike's Pizza, sold the business and donated his prize Mountain Man/Back Packer statue to the Ebbetts Pass Lodge, "Max" now stands on the North end of the front lawn. With Max on display there's no shortage of sight seers taking pictures of their children when they visit White Pines Lake.
In January 2001 the Kitchen Stoves were replaced, the Ebbetts Pass Legion Committee raised half the money required for the purchase. The old Stoves were donated to the Tri-Lakes Lodge, located in Valley Springs, CA. With the completion of the children's playground, swings, slide, monkey bars, etc. in 2001, Ebbetts Pass Lodge #1123 became an Official Moose Family Center.
In September 2001 The Darby fire burned 13,480 acres, and destroyed one camper. A Flume which supplies water to the communities of Murphys and Angels Camp sustained major damage early in the fire fight leaving those areas with less than a 48-hour water supply. The fire caused the evacuation of parts of the towns of Hathaway Pines, Avery, and Arnold. The cause of the Darby fire, human caused, still under investigation at time of containment.
In 2002 the property was surveyed a second time and a property appraisal made.
In 2003 The Ebbetts Pass Legion Committee started Thursday Night Tacos, which turned out to be a popular function with a sizeable turnout of members each week.
July 10, 2004 District #8 Meeting and District #8 Family Day Picnic was held at the Ebbetts Pass Lodge #1123. The California whose motto is "Promoting the Moose, Family Values and Community Involvement", Tom Bailey and Doug Phillips brought two of their horses and gave the children horseback rides.
August 6, 2004 Fire burns in Calaveras County, three separate fires. One near Copperopolis, the "Copper Fire", one near Sheep Ranch, the "Armstrong Fire" and one near Avery, the "Mineral Fire" are near enough to make the members in Arnold nervous. The fires are being called the "Calaveras Complex" by the CDF. There were 75 residences threatened, and 2 residences and 9 outbuildings were destroyed. The Calaveras Complex fires were contained on August 10, 2004.
August 17, 2004 The Kitchen Refrigerator failed, the minimum repair estimate was nearly equal to the cost of a new refrigerator so a decision was made by the House Committee to not only buy new but to also upgrade to a larger unit. On August 31, 2004 the new refrigerator arrived, 750 pounds, taller than the kitchen door opening, and almost too wide to go through the door. The door was removed the tread was removed, and then the door header was removed, it just barely went through. The wall plug was tested and found to be faulty, the plug was repaired, the wheels were installed and the refrigerator pushed into place.
In September 2004 the kitchen cabinets were removed along with one wall, new flooring was installed, and new restaurant style rolling shelves installed. The new shelves provide more storage space, and increased the available walking & delivery space.
In 2005 the WOTM and LOOM held a fundraiser to help the AMA Arnold, Murphys, Angels Camp wrestling team go to Virginia to compete in the NHSCA National Open Wrestling Championships on June26-29 at the Pavilion in Virginia Beach, Va. the wrestling team pitched in and served and bused tables and clean up after the meal. $1000 was raised from the meal and other donations ( see article). The carpets in the Social Quarters were also replaced and the Fire Alarms upgraded in 2005.
On September 30, 2007 not too long after "Max" our treasured statue of a Mountain man/Gold Miner met his fate "Clyde", the back yard lumberjack carved from a single tree was removed, his legs so riddled with carpenter ant damage he toppled with little more than a nudge. "Max" was removed intact sold to a Member, hopefully to be restored, "Clyde", well "Clyde is doomed to
become fire wood and warm someone’s home this winter.
In February, 2008 the old keg and drink refrigerators were replaced with new ones, drink prices were raised to raise the needed funds for the project.