Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Saratoga #12, Saratoga
March 26, 1901

Clement Jensen
Loren Willford
Karlene Sjoden
     On January 15, 1901, after considerable efforts by Sister Ellen J Tilton, a petition from twenty-two interested individuals was forwarded to Brother Henry Bunger, Grand Patron, asking to organize a chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star in Saratoga.
     After all preliminary work was completed, Sister Ada L Miller, Grand Matron, accompanied by Brother A D Wood, Grand Patron, and members of Wyoming Chapter No. 7, Rawlins, instituted Saratoga Chapter No. 12 on March 26, 1901. The chapter enjoyed a total of thirty charter members.
      Sister Ellen J Tilton was installed their first Worthy Matron and Joseph B Maghee their first Worthy Patron. Saratoga Chapter’s By-laws were prepared, forwarded to and approved by Sister Sarah A Bristol, Wyoming’s first Grand Matron.
      On November 8, 1901, Saratoga purchased seventeen jewels for their officers at a cost of #23.00 and spent $43.95 for other needed paraphernalia.
       In 1906, the chapter purchased a Magic Lantern slide projector for $87.90 but delayed the purchase of a screen until electric lights could be installed.
      Fund raisers in the early 1900’s included dances and dinners, minstrel shows, plays, card tournaments and the soon to be famous “Saratoga Fish Fry Days”.
       In 1913 Brother Mace donated a graphophone and the chapter bought $10.00 worth of records to go with it.From 1942-1945, Saratoga Chapter participated in many programs with the time and money in support of the war effort.
       In 1943 the chapter Secretary was paid $4.00 monthly for her work.
      In 1951 Saratoga Chapter celebrated its Golden Anniversary.
      The 50’s seemed to be spent keeping thing spiffed up. Silverware was purchased, the downstairs wall was painted and the roof of the hall was fixed as part of the Worthy matron’s projects.
      From 1901 to 1961, the chapter has had a total of 351 members; 248 have demitted or passed away. Current membership in 1961 was 104 members, thirty-nine were non-residents and four were 50-year members.
      In 1963-64, the officers chose to wear similar long dresses in a washable material. The chapter voted to donate $50.00 to the Job’s Daughters in honor of Mildred Wilson, their Grand Guardian.
      In 1976 one hundred twenty six people attended the 75th Anniversary of Saratoga Chapter.In 1977 Brother Loren H “Teense” Willford was honored with a covered dish dinner upon his election as Associate Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming.
      In 1978, the Rebekahs served a buffet dinner for Brother Teense’s Homecoming.The December minutes declared “no meeting, too much snow and wing”. Bad weather continued to effect the early part of 1979, limiting attendance through April.
       In 1982 the By-laws were changed, which also changed the meeting time from 8:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Rent for use of the Masonic Hall was raised from $25.00 to $50.00 per month.
      In 1983 card tournaments continued to be used as primary fund raisers.
       In 1987 Saratoga Chapter’s annual report showed “ninety-six member, two uninitiated, one demit, on life member, eight dual members and eleven 50-year members.”
       In 1988 the masons purchased the old Mormon Church for the MasonicHall. The first Eastern Star meeting in the new hall was held on June`.
      In 1990 the chapter created a float for Saratoga July 4th parade.
       In March 1991, the chapter celebrated in 90th Birthday with a dinner and “received a special stick” from Worthy Matron Betty Vyvey’s yard.
      In 1992 the chapter housed the MS Bike-A-Thon participants. They were also served sixty-two spaghetti dinners and 132 breakfasts.
       In 1993, at Friendship Night, Worthy Matron Mary Pigg honored Sisters Madeline Forbes and Phyllis Vyvey in the East for their wonderful support and loyalty to the chapter.
      In 1994 Sisters Margaret Allen, Vivian Jones and Lori Allen were honored as the new 50-yhear members during the Friendship Night dinner.
      Membership in 1994 stood at eighty-four members including fifteen 50-year members and seven dual members.
       On May 1, 2002, Encampment Chapter No. 17 consolidated with Saratoga Chapter No. 12, Saratoga at a ceremony presided over by WGM Luella Blackmon and WGP Lloyd Brown.