During the early months of 1961 several Masons, living in the Bayside Area of Princess Anne County, Virginia, started talking about the possibility of forming a Masonic Lodge in this area. On June 2, 1961, twenty-five members of various Lodges met in a room on the second floor of Overtons Supermarket, 2112 Waterworks Road, to discuss these possibilities. Worshipful George P. Leigh, Jr., a Past Mater of Corinthian Lodge No. 266, was elected as moderator to preside over the meeting and after much discussion a high degree of enthusiasm prevailed and a second meeting was scheduled for June 16, 1961.
The Lodges of Masonic District No. 36 were approached and in all cases the Lodges of this district unanimously approved support of the petition to form a Masonic Lodge, and a prayerful request for dispensation was submitted to the Grand Lodge of Virginia. On October 26, 1961, the Grand Master of Masons in Virginia granted a dispensation. Right Worshipful Benjamin L. Ferrell, District Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District No. 36 presented this dispensation and Bayside Lodge U. D. entertained its first two petitions for degrees. The first elected officers were:
George P. Leigh, Jr. (Worshipful Master of Corinthian Lodge No. 266)
Herbert L. Smith (Senior Warden of Atlantic Lodge No. 2)
James H. Parkerson, Jr. (Junior Warden of Norview Lodge No. 113)
Much assistance was received from the Lodges in the area, particularly from Corinthian Lodge No. 266, who gave the Lodge its first officer's aprons, jewels and working tools. The jewels had a particular significance, having been hand made by Naval Trainees of the Advance Base Aviation Training Unit at the Overhaul and Repair Department of the Norfolk Naval Air Station. This courageous group of trainees later were shipped out in late 1943 and all were killed in a landing at a Pacific Island, needless to say Bayside Lodge treasures these jewels.
Sixty-one members, representing thirty-one Lodges from nine states, reaching from Alaska to Texas, signed the request for dispensation. Following the receipt of the dispensation, Bayside Lodge raised its first candidate on March 15, 1962. At the Grand Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Virginia on February 14, 1962, a charter was presented by Most Worshipful E. C. Glover, Jr., proclaiming Bayside Lodge No. 218.
The Lodge was dedicated, and instituted on March 17, 1962, by Most Worshipful Edward H. Cann, Grand Master of Masons in Virginia. On March 29, 1963, Right Worshipful Jesse Albert White, Grand Junior Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Virginia was elected as the first Honorary member of this Lodge. In 1964 it became obvious that the quarters over Overtons Store were beginning to become inadequate and it was realized that new accommodations would be required. After much searching and consideration, the Lodge purchased approximately six acres of land on Independence Boulevard and launched plans to raise funds to build a temple. Later, one-half of the land was sold to Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, the balance retained for construction of the Bayside Masonic temple. Ground was broken for the new temple on September 24, 1967. Construction began in earnest with the Senior Warden, Rubin I. Hedspeth, serving as General Contractor for the construction of the temple. The bylaws were changed to raise the dues to $45.00 per year on October 26, 1967, in order to have adequate funds to complete the building. A construction loan of $75,000.00 was negotiated with First & Merchants National Bank. Work progressed on schedule and the General Contractor, Rubin I. Hedspeth, was elected Worshipful Master to preside in the new Masonic temple. On the cold, windy, snowy afternoon of January 6, 1968, the cornerstone was laid with Right Worshipful Jesse Albert White, Deputy Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of Virginia presiding. On April 4, 1968, the Lodge held its first communication in the new temple.
Bayside Lodge has always been a Lodge long on the stressing of fellowship, enjoying fraternal visits with Hillman Lodge of Youngstown, Ohio for many years and always taking the opportunity to exchange visits with the Lodges in the area. In April 1975 the Social Hall was named the Jesse A. White Memorial Hall in memory of Most Worshipful Jesse A. White. At a stated communication held on May 5, 1988, Worshipful Marvin R. Beacham, assisted by Most Worshipful Glover Hunter Jones, Jr., Grand Master of Masons in Virginia, burned the mortgage on the building, heralding the satisfactory retirement of the loan and at the same time signifying the dedication of the membership of Bayside Lodge to the continued growth in Masonry.