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Location: Gloucester

Chartered By: Charles C. Dame

Charter Date: 06/13/1866 VII-81

Precedence Date: 08/03/1865

Current Status: Merged into The Tyrian-Acacia Lodge, 10/23/2003; now part of The Tyrian-Ashler-Acacia Lodge.


  • Fitz J. Babson, 1865-1868
  • Edward L. Rowe, 1869, 1870
  • Francis Burnham, 1871, 1872
  • John P. Dennett, 1873, 1874
  • Aaron F. Clark, 1875, 1876
  • Charles H. Wonson, 1877-1880
  • J. Warren Wonson, 1881, 1882
  • Frank Miller, 1883-1885
  • Washington A. Niles, 1886, 1887
  • William H. Cross, 1888, 1889
  • Charles F. Wonson, 1890, 1891
  • Ozro F. Dagle, 1892
  • A. Simpson Lyle, 1893
  • Thomas H. G. Douglas, 1894, 1895
  • Benjamin H. Spinney, 1896, 1897
  • Clarence A. Elwell, 1898
  • George D. Morley, 1899
  • William W. Palmer, 1900
  • Alonzo T. Wonson, 1901, 1902; Mem; N
  • William L. Alphen, 1903, 1904
  • Ernest L. Munger, 1905, 1906; Mem
  • John W. Gaskill, 1907
  • Willard S. Pike, 1908, 1909
  • William Parsons, III, 1910, 1911; Mem
  • Warren S. Mitchell, 1912, 1913
  • Frank M. Johnson, 1914, 1915
  • John J. Lowrie, 1916, 1917
  • Frederick F. Wonson, 1918, 1919
  • Lendal W. Harding, 1920, 1921; N
  • Carlton W. Wonson, 1922, 1923
  • E. Alan Brown, 1924
  • Walter H. Peterson, 1925
  • Charles C. Hilton, 1926, 1927
  • Edward E. Peterson, 1928
  • Kenneth S. Webber, 1929
  • Robert E. Nelson, 1930
  • Alan C. Gerring, 1931
  • Frederic W. Frost, 1932; N
  • H. Bardwell Marston, 1933
  • Clifford F. Parsons, 1934
  • Lawrence W. Brown, 1935
  • F. Elliott Waldron, 1936; N
  • Ronald H. Hammond, 1937
  • Sherman R. Anderton, 1938
  • Leon L. Ricker, 1939
  • Harold W. Wentworth, 1940
  • Harold S. Lafond, 1941
  • Harold N. Pike, 1942
  • Robert C. Hiltz, Sr., 1943
  • Gus Chekares, 1944
  • Ralph B. Day, 1945
  • R. Dana Towle, Sr., 1946
  • David A. Carter, 1947
  • Herbert O. Reed, 1948
  • Frederick K. Tarr, 1949
  • Emil Mantyla, 1950
  • Richard G. Parsons, 1951
  • William T. Hoysradt, 1952
  • Perley E. Coffin, 1953
  • George E. Taylor, 1954
  • Howard P. Blatchford, 1955; Mem
  • Joseph R. Costigan, 1956
  • Howard L. Baker, 1957
  • Earl H. E. Barnes, 1958
  • Carroll W. Wonson, 1959; N
  • Robert O. Parsons, 1960
  • Lester C. Irving, Jr., 1961
  • Ralph S. Munroe, 1962, 1983
  • Wesley C. Tucker, 1963; N
  • George A. Courtney, 1964, 1973
  • Harold W. Adams, 1965; N
  • Lincoln M. Burgess, 1966
  • Ralph G. Whitten, 1967
  • Martin J. Hanrahan, 1968; N
  • Charles L. Flygare, 1969
  • Frank O. King, 1970
  • Frederick A. McKechnie, 1971
  • Walter K. Finn, 1972
  • Maurice F. Roberts, 1974
  • John W. Trudel, Jr., 1975
  • David M. Kain, 1976
  • Wayne W. Anderton, 1977, 1988, 1998, 1999
  • Malcolm L. Patterson, 1978
  • William E. Shofner, 1979
  • Elliott R. Haselgard, 1980
  • John I. Donahue, 1981, 1986, 1990
  • Randall T. White, Sr., 1982
  • Ralph A. Pelosi, 1984, 1994
  • Thomas J. Corcoran, 1985
  • Maurice B. Saint, 1987
  • Paul E. Fay, 1989, 1991
  • R(aymond) A(llen). Brown, Jr., 1992, 1995; SN
  • Alfred C. York, Jr., 1993
  • Peter A. Todd, 1996, 2002, 2003
  • Gregg E. Knutsen, 1997
  • David W. Tucker, 2000, 2001


  • 1865 (Dispensation; organization of Lodge)
  • 1866 (Constitution of Lodge)
  • 1870 (Move from Burnham's Block to Hough Block)
  • 1870 (Move to Masonic Block in East Gloucester)
  • 1890 (25th Anniversary)
  • 1915 (50th Anniversary; not in Proceedings)
  • 1940 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1965 (Centenary)
  • 2003 (Consolidation with The Tyrian)




1870 1884 1886 1888 1894 1895 1912 1914 1918 1927 1930 1933 1939 1944 1945 1951 1953 1960 1970 1971 1975 1980 1987 1988


  • 1940 (75th Anniversary History, 1940-203; see below)
  • 1965 (Centenary History, 1965-328; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1940-203:

By Wor. Frederic W. Frost:

Seventy-five years of real service in the community, plus the genuine fellowship and sociability to be found in any Lodge of Masons, is almost too great a span to adequately portray in a treatise of this kind. Through periods of strife, with always a membership of substantial men of character and influence, who have upheld the tradition not only of the community, but also the traditions and dignity of the Craft, Acacia Lodge has nobly carried on through three quarters of a century.

Contrary to the general idea of the present day, Acacia Lodge was founded in the city proper. It was started in an important era in the Gloucester history and as a matter of fact, a year of national import, just after the close of the Civil War. The Gloucester vessel tonnage was 22,534 - the anchor works had just been established on Vincent Point - General Butler had been nominated and was subsequently elected to Congress, the frozen herring fleet was forty-four and the mackerel catch amounted to 112,857 barrels.

The newspapers of the day evidently attached but small importance to what was to the early founders such a stupendous event. We do find mentioned, in the Cape Ann Advertiser, of the scarcity of water in East Gloucester. It was so great that the people resorted to melting ice in order to obtain sufficient water for ordinary purposes. A nice idea, truly, but how fortunate they were in having ice, the Advertizer relates. And counterfeit notes were in circulation, the long 50-cent notes of the new pattern so poorly executed, during those days.

The idea of a new Masonic Lodge in Gloucester was begun as early as 1864. In 1865, it was thought that it would be for the good of the Order to form a new Lodge in Gloucester and a petition was sent to the Grand Lodge in June, 1865, recommending that Fitz J. Babson be appointed Master; George B. Honnors, Senior Warden; and William H. Steele, Junior Warden. This petition was signed by John S. Webber, William H. Steele, Thomas Raymond, Francis M. Loring, John J. Clark, Jesse Lewis, Judge Charles P. Thompson, George H. Proctor, Andrew Elwell, Alfred Mansfield, Jr., Thomas Coas, John Trask, Fitz J. Babson, David W. Low, William E. Ansell, John Hawson, Charles Raymond, Edward L. Rowe, George B. Honnors. A dispensation was granted and the Lodge began operating on Sept. 6, 1865. The first regular communication was held with nineteen original members, fourteen of whom were in attendance.

The first meeting under the Charter was held on Friday evening, Sept.7, 1866, with Fitz J. Babson as Master. Of the pioneers, Captain Fitz J. Babson, the first Master, served gallantly in the 23rd Massachusetts regiment. Captain Edward L. Rowe was a leader in the community and a pioneer in his line of endeavor. Colonel Andrew Elwell, originally a Lieutenant in Company G., was Commander of the 23rd Regiment. Others were of high standing in the community.

The first visitation came on Nov. 9, 1866. Right Worshipful George H. Peirson was Disrict Deputy Grand Master of the 7th (should be 2nd?) District and Brother Henry A. Brown, District Deputy Grand Marshal.

At the meeting held on June 7, 1867, the installation of officers was postponed because of the dedication of the Masonic Temple] at Boston and the installation was then held on July 12, 1867.

ideetings through the early years were held in Burnham's Block and on July 15, 1870, the Lodge voted to accept the proposition of The Tyrian Lodge, to meet in Hough Block. Meetings were held on Fridays. From October 6, 1876, to March 2, 1877, meetings were held in Grand Army Hall. In 1875, the question of another new Lodge-room came up to accommodate the East Gloucester Brethren. It was voted in December of that year to move Acacia Lodge to that locality and on April 6, 1877, the first meeting was held in the New Masonic Block at East Gloucester. in September, 1895, the meeting night was changed from Friday to Wednesday and regular meetings have been held on the first Wednesday of each month since that time.

Acacia Lodge has enjoyed, through the years, a healthy growth with a membership of men of high standing in the community. Its original membership roll was nineteen. On July 5, 1868, the Lodg- roll had expanded to sixty-eight and on the 25th anniversaiy there was an even 100. Today the membership is 330. The oldest member is George A. Olsen, now residing at Staten Island, who was entered, passed and raised on October 23, 1879.The oldest resident member is Bro. A. Herman Skarin, now in his 90th year, who was raised on Jan. 19, 1883. The oldest living active Past Master is A. Simpson Lyle, raised on May 13, 1883 and served as Master in 1893. William H. Sawyer, probably one of the oldest of active officers, became acting Tyler on June 14, 1895, and is still serving the Lodge in that office without having missed a meeting.

The first visit of a Grand Master came on Friday, October 6, 1882, when the Lodge was visired by Most Worshipful Samuel C. Lawrence, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. Friday, Sept. 26, 1890, marked the 25th milestone. It was during the administration of Colonel Charles F. Wonson, as Worshipfui Master. It was an occasion of consid.erable moment and the toast responses were "The Mother, The Tyrian", by Worshipful Master Isaac A. Steele; "The Daughter, Acacia" by past Master William H. Cross; and "The Sister, Ashler", by Junior Warden John C. Pierce.

The next quarter century found Acacia Lodge establishing itself as an institution of importance in the community with an increasing membership, and a body of men who met the exacting qualities of Masonry. On October 6, 1915 came the first visitation of a District Deputy Grand Master who was a member of Acacia Lodge. Righi Worshipful Alonzo T. Wonson was the first member o[ Acacia Lodge to hold this ofice.

Acacia's golden anniversary was celebrated. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 1915, with a turkey banquet, visitation and other ceremonies. Frank M. Johnson was the Master. Right Worshipful William H. Parsons III was District Deputy Grand Master of the 9th Masonic District. The speaker was Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Roscoe Pound, who was accompanied by Right Worshipful Harry P. Ballard, past Senior Grand Warden. On this occasion, Acacia Lodge was presented with a picture of Wor. Bro. Fitz J. Babson, first Master, by his son, Wor. Bro. Fitz J. Babson.

On May 2, 1917, Worshipful Master John J. Lowrie appointed a committee comprising Frederic F. Wonson, Lendal W. Harding, Ernest L. Munger, A. Simpson Lyle, Charles H. Gamage, Fitz J. Batson and the Master to negotiate the purchase of the Independent Block. The buildlng was purchased on May 4, 1917, with valuable service re.,dered by Worshipful Carlton W. Wonson.

In the World War, Acacia Lodge contributed twenty-six of its members to Federal service. Brother Rodney Brown gave his life.

The building was used by the Chapel Street Baptist Church through 1921-22 for Divine service, following the fire which destroyed the church. Appreciation of this service was expressed on December 10, 1925, when a banquet and entertainment was given the members of Acacia Lodge, an occasion that was dignified by the presence of Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

Acacia Lodge celebrated the George Washington Bi-Centennial, on Febrrrary 24, 1932, with fitting ceremonies at which time a picture of Brother George Washington was presented to the Lodge by Worshipful Brother Edward E. Peterson. Worshipful Brother Frederic W. Frost was Master during that time.

On Sunday, June 20, 1937, Acacia Lodge joined with Cape Ann's Masonic bodies in observance of St. John's Day by attending Divine worship at the Independent Christian Church, Universalist. Most Worshipful Claude L. Allen, Grand Master, and 400 Masons marched in the parade from Masonic Hall on Main Street to the church.

Through a remarkable co-operative spirit of the membership, the Lodge-rooms were renovated and put in their present condition in 1939.

Acacia Lodge has had the honor of having four District Deputy Grand Masters-Right Worshipful Alonzo T. Wonson, R.W. Ernest L. Munger, R. W. William Parsons III and R.W. Lendal W. Harding. This is the 1470th Communication.


From Proceedings, Page 1965-328:

By Worshipful Harold W. Adams.

To condense one hundred years into a few words or a few pages and not leave out some important items of interest is a very difficult task, particularly when a Lodge has been as active as Acacia Lodge has been.

Nineteen interested Masons, who felt there was a need for a second Masonic Lodge in Gloucester, met and decided to petition the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a dispensation to meet in June, 1865. This dispensation recommended that Wor. Fitz J. Babson, a Past Master of The Tyrian Lodge be appointed Master, George B. Honnors, Senior Warden, and William H. Steele, Junior Warden. The other petitioners were John S. Webber, Thomas Raymond. Francis M. Loring, John J. Clark, Jesse Lewis, Judge Charles P. Thompson, George H. Proctor, Andrew Elwell, Jr., Thomas Coas, John Trask, David W. Low, William E. Ansel, John Hawson, Charles Raymond, Edward L. Rowe and Andrew Elwell.

Their first Communication was held on September 6, 1865 in the city proper and not in East Gloucester as is a common belief. There were 14 of the petitioners present at this first meeting. The early meetings of the lodge were held in the Burnham Block. Then from July 14, 1870 to October 1876 the lodge accepted the invitation from The Tyrian Lodge to meet in their apartments in the Hough Block.

On November 9, 1866, R.W. George H. Peirson, District Deputy Grand Master of the 2nd Masonic District, accompanied by Wor. Henry A. Brown as the District Deputy Grand Marshal, made the first official visitation to Acacia Lodge. This was quite an event, not only because transportation was considerably more difficult than it is today, but because of Acacia's being such a young Lodge; and it had just held its first meeting under charter on September 7, 1866.

By 1868 the Lodge had grown to 68 members and by 1871 to 102 members.

From October 6, 1876 to March 2, 1877, meetings were held in the Grand Army Hall on Friday evenings.

In 1875 a question came up of another new Masonic Lodge in East Gloucester, and in December of that year, with a vote of 29 to 2, it was voted to move Acacia Lodge over to East Gloucester. The first meeting there was held in what was then called the Masonic Block on April 6, 1877.

About the time Acacia Lodge was being organized, a group of young ladies in East Gloucester organized the Young Ladies Independent Society and they built what was known as Independent Block in East Gloucester Square. Acacia Lodge, upon its move to East Gloucester, made arrangements to use this hall, and the first meeting in this new building was on April 6, 1878, with an attendance of 50. It is interesting to note that besides 25 members of Acacia Lodge present, there were 17 from The Tyrian Lodge, 1 from Essex Lodge in Salem, 3 from Saint Mark's Lodge in Newburyport, 1 from Gate of the Temple Lodge, South Boston, and 3 from Old Colony Lodge in Hingham. Meetings were held in Independent Block from that time until the move was made to these quarters on Eastern Avenue in December, 1959.

Lodges seem to have always experienced certain financial problems as it is noted that in 1873, ten members were suspended for non-payment of dues.

The first visit of a Grand Master to Acacia Lodge was on Friday, October 6, 1882, by Most Worshipful Samuel Crocker Lawrence. Ou October 4, 1905 was the first visitation of a District Deputy Grand Master who was also a member of Acacia Lodge. This honor goes to R.W. Alonzo T. Wonson. Over this period of 100 years, Acacia Lodge has been fortunate to have had six members serve as District Deputy Grand Masters. Besides R. W. Brother Wonson, we find the following listed: R. W. Lendal W. Harding, R. W. Ernest L. Munger, R.W. William H. Parsons, 3rd, R.W. Frederic W. Frost and R.W. F. Elliott Waldron.

On May 2, 1917, the Wor. Master, John J. Lowrie, who is now our oldest living Past Master, appointed a committee consisting of Brothers Frederick F. Wonson, Lendal W. Harding, Ernest L. Munger, A. Simpson Lyle, Charles F. Wonson, Thomas E. Reed, Charles H. Gamage, Fitz J. Babson and the Worshipful Master to try to negotiate for the purchase of Independent Block. The writer of this history wonders why such a large committee was appointed, as the purchase was made five days later on May 7, 1917. The records show that much work and effort had been put into the project of this purchase by another of our Past Masters, Wor. Carlton W. Wonson, whose legal services have been made available to the Lodge on many occasions.

At this time the Acacia Masonic Building Association, Inc. was formed and operated the building with Acacia Lodge as its tenant until the move to these apartments was made in 1959.

Sixty Masters presided during the stay at Independent Block, of which, if my count is correct, thirty-two are still with us.

The building was finally sold to Wallace Ryan, proprietor of the East Gloucester Pharmacy, on March 11, 1959, and the records show that on March 13, 1959, by vote of the Lodge, the work of the officers and committees from the Lodge in applying for membership in the Gloucester Masonic Building Corporation was ratified. $10,282.48, which was two-thirds of the Permanent Fund, was voted to be given to this Corporation as Acacia Lodge's share of the cost of this new Masonic Temple. This was one of the requirements from all of the Masonic and affiliated bodies that were to use this wonderful new building which was completed and dedicated by M. W. Andrew Gray Jenkins, Grand Master, on December 10, 1959. The Cornerstone had been laid by M.W. Brother Jenkins on August 11, 1959. I am sure that all of the Cape Ann Masons are very pleased that M.W. Brother Jenkins was able to accept our invitation and be with us again this evening.

In 1921-22 the apartments at Independent Block were used by the Chapel Street Baptist Church when their quarters were destroyed by fire. On December 10, 1925 their appreciation for this favor was expressed by a banquet and an evening of entertainment put on by the Church. Most Worshipful Dudley II. Farrell was present at this occasion.

At the 75th Anniversary in 1940, the Lodge had grown to 359 members. At the observance on September 6, 1940, Most Worshipful Joseph Earl Perry and many distinguished Masons from the Grand Lodge joined with the members and guests of Acacia Lodge in making this an event that is still talked about by many of our Brethren who were present that evening and are again present this evening at our one-hundredth anniversary.

During the hectic years of World War II the membership dropped to 322, but following those hostilities from 1945 to 1959 many special meetings of the Lodge were necessary to take care of the large number of applicants. Our membership now stands at 421 and we are looking for a continuation of this growth.

In January 1959, The Tyrian Lodge apartments on Main Street were destroyed by fire and upon invitation from Acacia Lodge, The Tyrian Lodge together with the Bethlehem Commandery and the Eastern Star shared the Masonic apartments at Independent Block. William Ferson Royal Arch Chapter and the DeMolay held their meetings at the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street until the new Temple was built.

At the time of the proposed joining with the other Gloucester Masonic Bodies in the construction of this new Temple, there was considerable discussion as to its advisability. It appears, however, that because Independent Block was certainly not getting any younger and was in need of quite extensive repairs, it was finally agreed to put Gloucester Masonry under one roof. It now proves to have been the right move, as the old apartments were destroyed by fire on July 30, 1960. Unfortunately, there were still many Acacia Lodge belongings in the building that were forever lost.

Many other items of interest that should be included in this brief history do not seem to lend themselves to story form; so we will now attempt to list them in outline form.

May 7, 1902. First Past Masters' Night on record. This is now an annual event.

1916. The Tyrian and Acacia Lodge Officers worked various degrees for each other. This proved to bring many Brethren to the meetings to see the visiting Brothers work. Visiting Degree Teams are now invited to participate in our work quite frequently and prove to be quite interesting.

Ladies Nights are now another Annual occasion and have been popular since the early days of the Lodge.

The painting for the Second Degree dates back to 1887.

The Officers' collars are the original collars. They were repaired and new facings put on in 1951.

Many members of Acacia Lodge have served their Country in time of war: 26 in World War I and 60 in World War II. It seems to be impossible to tell just how many took part in the Korean conflict, but there were quite a few.

The Annual Halibut Roll Call supper was initiated by Wor. Charles C. Hilton in 1927 and has been held annually in April ever since. The record attendance was in 1935 with 220 Brothers answering to their names.

The meeting night was changed to the second Wednesday of the month by vote of the Lodge on April 1, 1953.

In 1927 it was voted to end the Lodge year on August 31 to coincide with that of Grand Lodge.

The Annual Meeting was changed from November to September and the installation of Officers was moved from November to December.

At the 1000th Communication of Acacia Lodge on December 10, 1958, Wor. Carroll Wonson was installed as Master by his father, Wor. Carlton W. Wonson.

There have been two father and son Masters, Wor. Carlton W. VVonson, 1923 and his son, Wor. Carroll W. Wonson, 1959; Wor. J. Warren Wonson, 1881-82 and his son, Wor. Alonzo T. Wonson, 1901-02. There have been two brothers serve as Master of Acacia Lodge: Wor. Walter H. Peterson in 192S and Wor. Edward Peterson in 1928. Also a father-in-law and son-in-law combination: R. W. F. Elliott Waldron in 1936 and Wor. Joseph R. Costigan in 1956. R.W. Brother Waldron initiated, passed, raised and installed his son-in-law.

The name Wonson has always been very prominent in the activities of Acacia Lodge. Especially Wor. Carlton W. Wonson, who has put much effort into assisting the Lodge in many ways and also on many occasions acting as its legal advisor. He was the Gloucester City Solicitor for some 30 years. Another name that is frequently mentioned is Parsons.

A great many of our Brothers in Acacia Lodge have been very active in our City Government and also the Fire Department. We also have several members that serve on the Police Department.

Many Brothers have also been active in the York and Scottish Rites of Masonry, particularly in the York Rite.

Although originally I had not expected to do any of the work on the history of the Lodge, due to circumstances it seems that I have had the opportunity to summarize the many notes of other histories that have been presented in the past, and many of the old records of Acacia Lodge, into what I hope is not too boring a resume of the past one-hundred years of the life of Acacia Lodge. It has not only been a most interesting task but has given me an insight to Masonry that I had not realized existed on Cape Ann. The observation of the closeness of the Cape Ann Lodges and all Masonic Bodies seems to prove that all of our members are certainly a credit to the Craft.

It has also been a pleasure and an honor for me to be serving Acacia Lodge as its Master this wonderful year and to have had a part in this 100th Anniversary.



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXV, No. 10, August 1866, p. 304:


(We are indebted to the "Cape Ann Advertiser" for the following excellent and graphic account of the constituting of the new Lodge at Gloucester on the 13th July. It is so full and well done that we have no occasion to add anything to it, except to acknowledge, in behalf of the officers of the Grand Lodge, the kind and generous hospitalities extended to them by their brethren of Gloucester. These are rightly appreciated, and will long live in the pleasant memories of the past. The new Lodge is composed of active, intelligent, and experienced brethren; and its future prospects are such as should encourage their hearts and strengthen their hands.)

The new Lodge of Masons formed in town some ten months since, under the name of Acacia Lodge, and which has been working under dispensation, was duly constituted as a regular Masonic Lodge on Monday evening last at Masonic Hall. The peculiar ceremonies pertaining to the constituting of a. Lodge were witnessed by a large number of the fraternity, and were of a most impressive and beautiful character; but being purely of a masonic nature cannot be made public. All who attended will long remember the event as a bright chapter in their masonic life, and will, in the days to come, love to dwell upon the theme. The following officers from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts were present and conducted the ceremonies: Charles C. Dame, M. W. G. M.; William Parkman, R. W. P. G. M.; William Sutton, R. W. S. G. W.; Wyzeman Marshall, R. W. J. G. W.; John McClellan, R. W. G. T.; Charles W. Moore, R. W. G. S.; Edward Stearns, W. G. S. D.; William F. Davis, W. G. J. D.; L. L. Tarbell, W. G. S.; William D. Stratton, W. G. M.; E. F. Gay, G. T.; John W. Dadmun, W. & R. G. C.; George A. Pierson, R. W. D. D. G. M.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies pertaining to the constituting of the Lodge, the officers for the current year were installed as follows :

  • F. J. Babson, W. M.
  • George B. Honors, S. W
  • William H. Steele, J. W.
  • Alfred Mansfield, Jr., Secretary
  • William F. Ansel, Treasurer
  • E. L. Rowe, S. D.
  • Edward E. Burnham, J. D.
  • John Logan, S. S.
  • Edward Burnham, J. S.
  • Charles Raymond, C.
  • Thomas Raymond, T.


Tuesday morning dawned bright and beautiful. Members of the fraternity to the number of one hundred and fifty gathered at Battery Wharf, where the new schooner, commanded by Capt. Henry R. Smith, and owned by himself and Mr. Daniel Sayward, was in readiness to take out the party. At half-past nine, orders were given to "cast off" and with a light wind the vessel sailed down the harbor. Tyrian Lodge and Ashler Lodge of Rockport were well represented; brotherly love prevailed, and all hearts were happy as the beautiful craft moved slowly over the calm surface of the water. Whistling for a breeze was attempted, but given up as ineffectual, and the party jogged slowly on.


When about midway of the outer harbor, W. M. Fitz J. Babson called the brethren forward, and in a neat speech informed them that they were afloat in a vessel without any name, and it was deemed expedient that she should then and there be christened. The M. W. G. M. of the Grand Lodge was invited forward, and the speaker informed him that the vessel was to bear his name, and, breaking a bottle of wine according to the ancient custom, pronounced her the Charles C. Dame. Mr. Dame was completely taken by surprise, and so were all on board. Hearty cheers were given for him and the vessel which bore his name; and all acknowledged that the secret had been well kept and the christening a perfect success. As soon as quiet was restored, Mr. Dame made a telling speech, wherein he acknowledged the honor that had been conferred upon him by giving such a beautiful craft his name. It was one of the most agreeable events of his life, and never before was he so completely taken by surprise. He should watch her career, and hoped that success would follow her in all her cruisings, and sincerely hoped that her owners might reap rich returns for their investment. Thanking them for the high compliment they had paid him, and alluding to the pleasant occasion which had called the brethren together, he concluded amid a hearty round of cheers. He was followed by Capt. Thomas Hunt of Salem, who spoke of the pleasant event as one long to be remembered, and predicted that the Charles C. Dame would prove a successful craft, both to her owners and those who embarked in her. The speaker alluded to Masonry as one of the great lights of the age, drawing men towards it with cords of brotherly love, and cementing hearts with kindly feelings and charity, which was the great cardinal virtue. Capt. Hunt was listened to with earnestness, and was most heartily applauded. Other remarks were made by Messrs. William Parkman, Eben Page, L. L. Tarbell, J. C. Calef. Rev.J. W. Dadmun also spoke and sung a beautiful song, entitled The Sea, which was well received.

Capt. Smith was then called for and received the cheers of the company. Cheers for the owners and for the crew were next given; and it was pretty conclusive that the vessel had received its christening under circumstances of a most auspicious nature.

During the speaking, Mr. Samuel Elwell, 3d, a member of Acacia Lodge and a painter by trade, very quietly obtained the requisite materials, and, getting into the boat, placed the name upon her stern. But few were aware that this was being done, and most all received a double surprise when they saw the work completed. This was one of the most pleasant episodes of the day, and one that seldom occurs, that of a vessel leaving port without a name and returning fully christened, with her name duly placed in its proper position.

The wind being so light, the project of visiting the Old Man's Pasture and indulging in the fine sport of cod-fishing had to be given up. Some efforts at fishing were made, but without success, and this portion of the programme had to be omitted, much to the disappointment of many who counted upon pulling several mammoth cod from their abiding places at the bottom of old Neptune's domains.


At about high twelve, a yacht was seen bearing down for the vessel. She fired a salute and was recognized as the Juniata of Boston, owned by Arthur Cheney, Esq., having on board R. W. P. G. M. Winslow Lewis, and others of the fraternity who had promised to grace the festivities with their presence. Their boat was lowered, and they were soon on board, where a most hearty welcome greeted them. During the day the yacht was visited by many of the officials, and pronounced as fine a specimen of workmanship as had ever visited these waters. Upon the return of the party, she came into the harbor, and her passengers reported themselves at the Fort, where they took dinner.


Was an event long to be remembered. The party sat down at tables spread in the barracks, at about four o'clock, with appetites rendered all the more keen from having been obliged to wait. Messrs. Logan and Woodman were the caterers, and well did they accomplish their part of the programme. A fish-chowder, which an epicure might have feasted upon, was one of the features, while meats and the accompanying fixings supplied all that was needed to fill the aching void in the bread-baskets of hungry Masons. Such a merry game with the spoon we have seldom seen, and the cry for " more chowder" kept the waiters busy. After dinner, songs and speeches followed in quick succession, giving an entertainment which was well appreciated. At six o'clock preparations were made to re-embark; and after a pleasant sail in the harbor, the vessel returned and landed at steamboat wharf. Here stood

Capt. E. W. Davidson of the steamer Charles Houghton, who gave a pressing invitation for the party to come on board the steamer. The invitation was accepted, and they were received in the most hospitable manner and a half-hour passed very agreeably. Thus ended the masonic festivities. All enjoyed themselves, and nothing occurred to disturb the harmony of the occasion. They met upon the level and parted upon the square.

To the courtesy of Ordnance Sergeant Henry Bricken, the fraternity are indebted for much that made their visit to the fort so agreeable. Even-thing that was in his power was freely done for the comfort and accommodation of the brethren, and his efforts were duly appreciated.




1861: District 2

1867: District 5 (Salem)

1883: District 8 (Salem)

1911: District 9 (Gloucester)

1927: District 9 (Gloucester)

2003: District 10


Tyrian-Ashler-Acacia Lodge web site

Massachusetts Lodges