Masons to place fire station cornerstone

photos by Brad Davis/The Register-HeraldTom Sopher unveils the 1932 marker that was discovered by construction workers who were building new sidewalks and other concrete work around the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Beckley, following a rededication ceremony Saturday afternoon. The marker once sat at the base of an American elm tree planted in honor of the nation’s founding that was situated in a former green space that was where all the new concrete along McCreery Street is.

Beckley Mason Lodge #95 will lay the cornerstone of the new Beckley Fire Department on Saturday during a special ceremony by the Raleigh County Historical Society, Mason Tom Sopher announced.

Sopher invited the public to attend the ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the East Beckley Bypass. A time capsule will also be placed on the premises.

The laying of the cornerstone is a Masonic tradition, Sopher has said in the past. The Emmett S. Pugh III Municipal Building, City of Beckley, features a Masonic cornerstone.

Masons most recently placed a stone at the Beckley Police Department, which was officially dedicated to the community earlier this summer.

Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold, who will speak at the Saturday cornerstone ceremony, said construction of the $5 million fire station had started with the pouring of the footers. Crews broke ground at the site about two months ago, he added.

"I think it's going great," Rappold said. "There have been very few bumps in the road, as far as site preparation."

Sopher, who represents Ward I on Beckley Common Council, is both a Mason and a member of the Raleigh Historical Society.

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