Led by Grand Master of Masons in Nevada Mark A. Marsh, members Northern Nevada's Freemason lodges gather on the capitol steps to help rededicate the building for its 150th anniversary.
An innocuous centerpiece – three small vials, holding corn, wine, and oil – sat before the Capitol pillars this morning as Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a proclamation honoring the Nevada State Capitol’s 150th Anniversary.
Their significance became apparent near the end of the ceremony, when the Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of Nevada gathered on the Capitol steps to rededicate the building, in a shortened version of their usual hour-long ceremony. Following masonic tradition, past Grand Master of Masons in Nevada Mark A. Marsh and his brethren mixed the three ingredients in a platter on the steps.
Vincent Travens, president of the Carson Valley Masonic Lodge, told the Nevada Appeal before the ceremony that these are symbols of fruitfulness. The Freemasons living in Northern Nevada used them to anoint the capitol when they first helped lay the cornerstones of the building over 150 years ago.
“If a building can be described as dedicated to its work, then (the Nevada State Capitol) is the definition of long serving,” State Museum Director Myron Freedman said at the start of the event, prior to the rededication ceremony.
Alongside him and Grand Master Marsh, speakers at the ceremony included Governor Sisolak, Nevada State Treasurer Zach Conine, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Scott Anderson and author and local historian Ron Roberts.
All praised the longevity of the Capitol its significance as a symbol of the “Nevada state story,” as Sisolak said.
Treasurer Conine entertained the small audience with tales of the first Nevada State Treasurer, Ebenezer Rhodes, who embezzled over $100,000 from the permanent school fund (among other state accounts) and died a mysterious death in San Francisco, where he allegedly ran an opioid den.
“It’s an honor to work in (the Capitol), trying to meet the example of…most of…my predecessors,” Conine said, followed by guffaws and chuckles from listeners.
He said it was fitting that the same silver and gold that built the state and the capitol is now being poured back into the school system by the mining tax, recently passed by the state legislature.