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Location: East Boston; Chelsea (1954)

Chartered By: George M. Randall

Charter Date: 03/10/1853 V-453

Precedence Date: 03/10/1852

Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault; merged to Wyoming Lodge, 09/07/2001 (2001-81).


  • William Waters, 1852-1854, 1856, 1857
  • Thomas Dalton, 1855
  • Thomas Foster, 1862-1864, 1867
  • Albert Hughes, 1865, 1866
  • Emory D. Leighton, 1868, 1869
  • Daniel W. Palmer, 1870, 1871
  • Richard Ingalls, 1872-1874, 1877
  • Thomas Kellough, 1878, 1879
  • Andrew P. Fisher, 1880, 1881
  • Frank C. Wood, 1882, 1883
  • Albert R. Perkins, 1884, 1885
  • Charles T. Writt, 1886, 1887
  • Joseph Rossiter, 1888, 1889
  • John Stalker, 1890, 1891; SN
  • William G. Smith, 1892, 1893
  • Gilbert M. Stalker, 1894, 1895
  • Edward G. Graves, 1896, 1897
  • Henry W. Smith, 1898, 1899
  • Willis B. McMichael, 1900, 1901
  • William B. Jackson, 1902, 1903
  • Ellsworth Hatherway, 1904, 1905
  • George H. Battis, 1906, 1907
  • Fred I. Pigeon, 1908, 1909
  • Alfred E. Wellington, 1910, 1911
  • J(acob). Franklin Hodge, 1912, 1913
  • Roy W. Pigeon, 1914, 1915
  • Edward E. Lyon, 1916, 1917
  • Arbert R. Steadfast, 1918, 1919
  • Edward C.R. Bagley, 1920; Mem
  • George M. MacKinnon, 1921, 1922
  • George L. Duncan, 1923, 1924
  • E. Coleman Brown, 1925, 1926
  • Arnold B. Crosby, 1927, 1928; SN
  • Horace W. Sia, 1929, 1930
  • Frederick M. Jackson, 1931, 1932
  • Henry Chisholm, 1935, 36
  • George C. Eldridge, 1937
  • Harry M. Carlson, 1938, 1939; N
  • Charles M. McNeil, 1940
  • Merrill E. Osbourne, 1941, 1942
  • Gustave Schlaugk, 1943, 1944; N
  • John O. Broberg, 1945, 1946
  • Robert E. Turpin, 1947, 1948
  • Stanley B. Oram, 1949, 1950
  • Tallman Gunderson, 1951
  • Roger A. Hooper, 1952
  • Wallace Snowden, Jr., 1953, 1954
  • Carlton Cooke, 1955
  • James Sirios, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992; N
  • George H. Cleary, 1957
  • Frank Peterson, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1993
  • Richard A. Isasi, 1960, 1961
  • Harold K. Emmons, 1962
  • Peter P. Lane, 1963
  • Willis Emmons, 1964, 1967
  • William R. Machado, 1965, 1966
  • John W. Keene, 1968, 1969
  • Manuel J. Souza, 1970
  • Clifford O. Dolber, 1971
  • Daniel Seaward, 1972
  • Keith W. Lidback, 1973
  • Henry P. Lidback, 1974
  • James K. Brayden, 1975
  • Randall H. Neal, 1976-1977
  • Roland Scott-Robson, 1978
  • Thomas F. Voyer, 1979
  • Herbert F. Silva, 1983, 1984
  • Adolfo Fernandes, 1985
  • Henry C. Betcher, Jr., 1986, 1990; N
  • Warren Cutts, 1987
  • Lawrence B. Boyd, 1994, 1996, 1997
  • Howard A. Judd, Jr., 1995
  • Frank A. Peterson, 1998-2000
  • Arthur Gagnon, 2000-2001


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1852
  • Petition for Charter: 1853
  • Consolidation Petition (with Wyoming Lodge): 2001


  • 1902 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1952 (Centenary)



1870 1872 1874 1875 1878 1879 1884 1890 1898 1924 1931 1935 1940 1947 1949 1952 1958 1961 1966 1983 1994


  • 1952 (Centenary History, 1952-118; see below)


By Worshipful George L. Duncan

As I have studied the early records, I am impressed with the fact that in one respect at least, Baalbec Lodge resembles the ancient city whose name it bears, in that little can be said of the origin and early history of either.

When and where the Lodge was instituted there are no records to tell. A Dispensation was granted on March 10, 1852. The first meeting of which we have any record is that held on May 10th of that year in the ante-room of Mount Tabor Lodge. There must have been earlier meetings than this, however, as previous to this date the officers had all been elected.

Masonry teaches its Entered Apprentices that no man should enter upon any great undertaking without first seeking the benefit of prayer. So with the fathers of this Lodge, for the first recorded transaction in our records is, (I quote you the exact words of the Secretary) "and after a very fervent, affectionate and Truly Masonic prayer from our Worthy brother Libby, the following officers were appointed."

The charter bears the date of March 9, 1853; consequently the Lodge must have worked under a dispensation for a full year.

I am told that one of the problems which the charter members found difficult to solve, was that of a name for the Lodge. Several had been suggested, but nothing on which they could all agree. Finally William Waters, our first Master, suggested that they consult with Dr. J. V. C. Smith, a prominent citizen of Boston; in fact he was at one time Mayor of this City. He was also an enthusiastic Mason, and had recently returned from an extended tour through Palestine and the East. When Dr. Smith was invited to suggest a name for the new Lodge, he came to East Boston and gave a very interesting account of his visit to the ruins of the ancient City of Baalbec. He told of its massive ruins, of blocks of stone of immense proportions, so large that there were no modern appliances that could move them. His story so pleased the Brethren that they at once decided on the name Baalbec.

On June 1, 1852, the second meeting was held in the same place, the anteroom of Mount Tabor Lodge. At this meeting the by-laws of Mount Tabor Lodge were adopted until the Lodge should arrange a set of its own. At this meeting also the application of E. A. Pettingill was received. He therefore was the first candidate and the first man to be raised in the Lodge. Some years later there is a record that gives this distinction to one John Lothrup, but the early records do not substantiate it.

It must be borne in mind that this new Lodge was comprised of men who were formerly members of Mount Tabor Lodge and that they had seceded from the old Lodge. Whether these ante-room meetings were objected to by the parent Lodge or not I do not know, but the records of this second meeting close with these significant words: "Voted, That as we have no place to meet, the Lodge will hold its next meeting on Tuesday evening on Eagle Hill."

Masonic tradition informs us that our ancient Brethren assembled and held their meetings on high hills and in low valleys; that sentinels were stationed to keep off all cowans and eavesdroppers to see that none pass or repass except those who could prove themselves in the several degrees.

Thus it was with the original members of Baalbec Lodge. There were two of these open-air meetings held on Eagle Hill, at which instructions were given the new officers and rehearsals of the degree were held.

There is certainly a tinge of romance in the story of those out-of-door meetings. We meet on this 100th anniversary occasion in this large and comfortable room. The ceiling above us portrays the Heavens to symbolize the fact that our ancient Brethren met in the open air. To us, as members of Baalbec Lodge, this has an added significance and suggests the early days of Baalbec. I am satisfied that these out-of-door meetings were not held for effect, or from sentiment, for if they had been, we would unquestionably have had a full and probably an elaborate account of the meetings. But as a matter of fact, all the records say regarding them is that "as we have no other place to meet, we hold our next meeting on Eagle Hill."

Perhaps I ought to say for the benefit of those who may not be familiar with the geography of East Boston that the Eagle Hill referred to comprised pretty much all of the area upon which this building now stands, together with all of these adjacent streets, up to and beyond Prescott Street. This portion of the island was afterwards known as the 3rd section. At that time there were but few houses above Central Square, and Meridian Street ended at Saratoga Street, and was not extended for some years. It wasn't until 1856 that cutting down the hill and laying out streets actually commenced. This entire section of the island was then known as Eagle Hill.

The third recorded meeting is that of one held June 29, 1852, in the counting room of Bro. Wm. Brewster. Wm. Brewster was a rigger; his place of business was in a building long since destroyed by fire. It was situated on the west side of North Ferry Avenue, of which but little now remains. It was the short street running from the corner of Sumner Street to the North Ferry entrance. At this meeting it was voted to lease the lodge room of the Maverick Lodge of Odd Fellows, situated at the corner of Webster and Orleans Streets. The name of this hall was Adelphia Hall. The Lodge was to have exclusive use of the premises at a rental of $50.00 per annum. At this meeting a committee was appointed to procure furniture, aprons and jewels. There being no funds available to pay for them, Bro. Richard Whitehouse offered to loan the Lodge sufficient money, taking its note for the same, which offer was accepted. I am informed that this same Brother loaned the Lodge money on several different occasions.

The Lodge now being fully organized and permanently located, there is little to be found in the records that is of unusual interest, most of it being strictly the Masonic history of the Lodge.

The first Master was William Waters, who served from the institution of the Lodge in 1852 to March 20, 1855. He was followed by Thos. D. Dalton, who served from March 1855 to March 1856. Bro. William Waters was again elected Master and served one year, making four years in all in which he served the Lodge in that capacity.

Samuel Torrey Bliss was elected Master from the office of Secretary March 24, 1857, and resigned June 2nd following, presiding at only two meetings. He was succeeded by Otis Turner, who served five years, from 1857 to 1862, and he, so it was said by the old members, "was an Ideal Master." During his term of office the Rev. Warren H. Cudworth was made a Mason in this Lodge, as was also one of our most respected Past Masters, Emery D. Leighton.

Thos. A. Foster succeeded Otis Turner as Master, serving the Lodge from March 11, 1862, until March 1865. The Civil War being at its height during this period, there were many young men made Masons by him whose occupations are given as "Soldier." It seemed to have been the custom at that time to work all three degrees on these soldiers under special dispensations granted by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, William Parkman. It was not an uncommon thing for a soldier's name to be proposed at a meeting, the Lodge made a "Committee of the Whole," the name reported on, the candidate elected, entered, crafted and raised all in the one night. Many of them evidently were home from the front on leave or on account of sickness, as many of them bore letters of recommendation from the Rev. W. H. Cudworth, then Chaplain of the First Massachusetts Regiment. Bro. General Joseph H. Barnes and Wor. Bro. E. Y. Brown were raised in that manner. The night that Bro. Barnes was raised, he was in the full uniform of his rank. It was during Wor. Bro. Foster's term that the corner stone for the Masonic Temple on Tremont Street was laid, in October, 1864. I will give you an account of the celebration as given in the records by the Secretary, Daniel W. Palmer.

The Lodge was convened by order of the Wor. Master to assist in the ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the new Masonic Temple on the site of the building that was burned. The day was unpleasant but the Brothers gathered in goodly numbers of nearly 100, and at 8 o'clock formed in procession and received Mt. Tabor and Hammatt Lodges and cheered by the inspiring music of the Chelsea Brass Band, proceeded to the city and reported on the Common according to orders. After a tedious delay an imposing procession was formed which passed through several of the streets of the city to the site of the proposed new Temple at the corner of Boylston & Tremont Sts., where the Cornerstone was laid in Due and Ancient Form by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mass. Baalbec Lodge accompanied by Mt. Tabor & Hammatt Lodges returned to East Boston, and after passing through several of the principal streets of the First, Second and Third sections proceeded to the Sturtevant House and partook of a dinner provided by the popular Landlord, Bro. Phineas Drew. In March 1865, Albert Huse, who had served the Lodge as Secretary for several years, was elected Master. It is interesting to remark now that Bro.Huse at that time and for many years was Superintendent of the Linseed Oil Mill which occupied the site on which this building now stands. Bro. Huse served until March 1867, when Thos. Foster was again elected Master and served until March 1868. Wor. Brother Foster must have been a good Master, and one who was held in very high esteem by his Brethren, for on June 2nd, two months after he had retired from office, the Lodge adjourned and proceeded in a body to his home and presented him with a Silver Service. It was evidently intended for a surprise, but Bro. Foster was not taken unawares as he, in accepting the gift, presented each of the committee who had selected it with a gold-headed cane.

On March 17, 1868, Emery D. Leigh ton was installed Master of this Lodge; and I am pleased to say that it was my privilege and pleasure to know and associate with Wor. Bro. Leighton in this Lodge from 1914 until his death in 1920.

Wor. Bro. Leighton was followed by Daniel W. Palmer, a former Secretary. He was followed by Richard M. Ingalls, better known as Dr. Ingalls. Wor. E. Y. Brown was Master from 1874 to 1876. Then Dr. Ingalls was again elected, but before the close of his term of office, he contracted diphtheria and died November 11, 1877, beloved and mourned not only by the Fraternity, but by the entire community.

Bro. Thomas Kellough followed until December 1879. He in turn was followed by Andrew P. Fisher, and Frank C. Wood, in 1881. The records state that Bro. Wood's assuming the Master's chair was one of the most brilliant Masonic functions ever held in East Boston up to that time. That occasion was honored by the M. W. Grand Master, Samuel C. Lawrence, and about all of the Masonic dignitaries of the State.

There have been thirty-six Masters since Wor. Bro. Wood and the records of their terms of office would make a story far too long to be read at this time, but I will touch on a few of them later.

Since the Lodge was organized, it has had eight Secretaries: William S. Albertson, Samuel Torrey Bliss, Albert Huse, Daniel W. Palmer, Edward F. Brigham, Charles F. Libbie, John Marno and Wor. George C. Eldridge. Of these names, Bro. Marno's stands out beyond all of the others. Bro. Marno was elected Secretary December 4, 1877, and served continuously into his sixtieth term, passing away January 19, 1937, at the age of eighty-five years. He had written sixty years of Baalbec history.

Since its institution, the Lodge has had several places of meeting. The first was Adelphia Hall, corner of Webster and Orleans Streets, which it occupied for nine years, 1852 to 1861. In the winter of 1861 the roof leaked so badly that they could not hold their meetings. The owner would no nothing in regard to repairs, so the Lodge sold its unexpired lease, furniture and belongings to Aurora Lodge, Sons of Temperance. Evidently they thought that while water might be objectionable at a Masonic meeting, it was all right at a temperance gathering.

On April 2, 1861, the Lodge voted to occupy quarters with Mount Tabor Lodge in Winthrop Block, Maverick Square. The last candidate raised in the old hall on Sumner Street was Wor. Bro. Emery D. Leighton. The first candidate raised in the new hall was Bro. John Stark.

The Lodge met in Washington Hall from 1861 to 1872, when it moved with the other Masonic bodies to the new Masonic Hall in Central Square, which premises it occupied from 1872 to 1892, when it removed to these present quarters. It will no doubt be of interest to read of the moving of the Masonic bodies from the old temple at Central Square to the new one on Meridian Street, which we still occupy.

Special Communication of Baalbec Lodge, Friday, June 24th, 1892. Lodge opened on Third Degree in due form at 10 o'clock.

Wor. Master Smith informed the Brethren that they were assembled together for the pleasant duty of assisting the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, by invitation, in dedicating the new Masonic Temple in East Boston, and after complimenting his Officers and brother members for their prompt and good attendance, ordered a procession to be formed and proceeded to take its position in line. Lodge left hall at 10:30 and took its place in Central Square, opposite the Congregational Church. Precisely at 11 A.M. the procession moved and paraded the principal streets, and arrived at the new Temple at 2 P.M. where a sumptuous banquet was partaken of.

After refreshments the different bodies were called to order by the Wor. Master of Mt. Tabor. Then the Grand Marshal was announced, who in turn introduced the Most Wor. Grand Master, who with the most imposing ceremonies dedicated the New Masonic Temple to the Craft. After some pleasant remarks the Grand Master closed the Four Lodges without form at 4 P.M.

Also on February 7, 1893, Wor. Master Smith vacated the East to Wor. Bro. Brown for the purpose of presenting to Baalbec Lodge a framed picture containing three photographic views of the East, West and South as draped and decorated for the Lodge of Sorrow which was held under the auspices of our Lodge on Monday evening, January 30, and Wor. Bro. Smith also thanked the Brethren for the faithful support tendered him by the Brothers of the Lodge, which enabled him to bring to a most successful ending the Memorial services of last week. Since the institution of the Lodge, 1528 persons have signed the by-laws and become members. A large number have died, dimitted or been suspended, leaving the membership at the present time 302. Baalbec's membership has fluctuated considerably in its hundred years. It had a steady growth during the first forty years until, just before moving into this building,

it had 298 members. During the term of office of Wor. Bro. Wm. G. Smith, 1892 and 1893, the Lodge held sixty-three regular and special meetings and the membership increased to 346 on November 7, 1893. At the fiftieth anniversary, it was 355. Again, in 1914, during Wor. Bro. Roy W. Pigeon's term, it was 319. Then with the advent of Wor. Edward C. R. Bagley in 1920, the Lodge held ninety-two meetings, and in December 1920, the membership was 507. It reached its peak, 642 members, December 4, 1923. These figures, however, do not by any means represent the number of men who were made Masons in Baalbec Lodge. Scores of men have knelt at its Altar, and there received the sublime teachings of Masonry, who never joined this or any other Lodge. Now when a man applies for the degrees, he gets membership with them. Formerly a man received his degrees, and if he desired membership, he applied for it afterward. Consequently, large numbers of candidates never took membership but remained unaffiliated Masons.

It was the custom for a number of years when the Lodge was young to celebrate St. John's Day by having a picnic or excursion, and always joining with some other Lodge. Some years they had as many as three invitations to visit Lodges at a distance. They have visited Worcester, Framingham, Lowell, New Bedford and had one trip to Lake Walden in Concord with Mount Tabor Lodge.

Probably the greatest excursion the Lodge ever made was the occasion of the laying of the corner stone of the Pilgrim Monument at Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Grand Master had issued an invitation to the Lodges throughout this section to assemble at Plymouth on August 2, 1859, and assist him in the ceremony of laying the corner stone. It appears from the records that Mount Tabor Lodge was the first to accept the invitation and invited Baalbec to accompany them. This Lodge accepted and appointed a committee to act in conjunction with Mount Tabor. At a subsequent meeting they reported that the O. C. R. R. would charge $2.00 for the round trip, which with the music and refreshments would be too expensive; also that the Mount Tabor committee had reported back to their Lodge that it would be inexpedient to go. The Baalbec committee also reported that they could hire the steamer Neptune (Capt. Morris) for the day for $100.00. The Lodge instructed the committee to make all necessary arrangements. They also voted to hire Bond's Brigade Band of sixteen pieces at $4.00 per man. As Mount Tabor had voted not to go as a Lodge, Baalbec extended an invitation to such of its members as wished to accompany them. They also invited King Solomon's Lodge of Charlestown.

The Lodge was opened at five o'clock in the morning and at six o'clock, headed by Bonds Brigade Band, marched to the north side of Lombard's Wharf and took the boat. They first proceeded to Charlestown and took on board the members of King Solomon's Lodge and then started for Plymouth. On their way they met a large party of Masons on a schooner bound for the Plymouth celebration. The boat was becalmed and not likely to reach there that day. When those on the schooner discovered that the steamer was loaded with Masons, they yelled lustily and made a stirring plea as Masons in distress and in need of assistance, which was given in the form of a rope, and the becalmed Brethren were towed to Plymouth — a Cable Tow, so to speak.

After participating in the celebration, the party returned and the Lodge was dismissed at eleven o'clock. This no doubt was the greatest excursion the Lodge ever undertook. At a subsequent meeting of the Lodge, the committee reported a profit of $39.00. The enterprise, push and energy displayed on the part of these Brothers way back over ninety years ago, has been characteristic of Baalbec members all through its history down to the present time.

There were other trips in the years that followed, but gradually the idea died out, and for many years nothing of the kind occurred. Lately, however, the idea has been revived, but in a different manner. For several years now, usually on a Sunday in July, through the generosity of Brother Hedbloom, the members of Baalbec Lodge and their families have been his guests on a boat trip around Lake Winnepesaukee on the Steamer Mount Washington.

The early part of this century marked the close of one era in the history of Baalbec Lodge. On March 3, 1907, Bro. Benjamin Seaver passed away. He was the last of the ten Brothers whose names are on the charter of Baalbec Lodge. His Masonic record is as follows: Entered, March 5, 1848; Crafted, April 3, 1848; Raised, May 1, 1848; Died March 3, 1907.

It is recorded that on February 1, 1910, Wor. Bro. Wellington complimented Bro. George Lawley, the ship builder, who at the advanced age of eighty-seven years, was present. Bro. Lawley was raised in 1853 and passed away in February 1915, ninety-two years of age and sixty-two years a member.

July 1920 marks the passing of Wor. Bro. Emery D. Leighton. He was the last of those who joined the Lodge during its first ten years. Bro. Leighton was raised April 2, 1861, and was Master in 1868 and 1869. He was a member for fifty-nine years, fifty-two of them a Past Master.

In May 1902 the Lodge celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. It was honored then by the presence of the Grand Master, M.W. Charles T. Gallagher. A very complete review of fifty years of life and work of Baalbec Lodge was prepared and read by Bro. J. Frank Hodge, afterward Wor. Bro. Hodge, and father of our present Past Master, George E. Hodge.

October 4, 1904, was another notable event. Wor. Ellsworth C. Hathaway, as Master, received the District Deputy Grand Master, R. W. Edward G. Graves, who was accompanied by His Excellency, Bro. John L. Bates, who at that time was Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

January 7, 1908, marked the installation of Bro. C. F. W. Ramus into the office of Marshal, who was destined to remain in that position for over thirty years. He succeeded Bro. E. A. Magee, who had been Marshal since March 1892.

January 3, 1911, a public installation of officers was held, Wor. Alfred E. Wellington, Master. The guests of the evening were the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Dana J. Flanders, Past Grand MasterJ. Albert Blake, and the Senior and Junior Grand Wardens. The installing officers were R. W. Brothers Joseph N. Gleason and Charles S. Robertson.

January 6, 1914, marked the installation of Wor. Roy W. Pigeon, our senior Past Master, who is with us tonight.

March 6, 1917, with Wor. Edward E. Lyon presiding, the Lodge members met with families and friends and celebrated the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Lodge. An unusual situation existed January 1, 1918. Because of the extreme cold weather prevailing at that time and the heating plant of this building being completely out of service, the installation of officers of Baalbec Lodge took place in the small hall, being performed by Wor. Bro. Hayden, assisted by Wor. Bro. Cook. The temperature in the hall was thirty-two degrees and we all wore our overcoats and hats, and some had their gloves on.

On April 3, 1923, the Lodge was honored by a visit by the Grand Master, M. W. Dudley H. Ferrell, who presented Wor. Frank C. Wood with a Henry Price jewel.

At a special communication December 30, 1924, Wor. E. Coleman Brown was installed as Master on the fiftieth anniversary of his father's elevation to the same position. January 3, 1928, Wor. Bro. Wood and Brothers George A. Palmer and John Marno were presented Veterans' Medals in recognition of fifty years of continuous service. Also in November of the same year, the seventy-fifth anniversary took place. At a meeting held on November 7, 1933, Wor. Bro. Hodge called the attention of the Lodge to four of the officers and to their respective years of service: Brothers Robert J. Maxwell, Tyler, C. F. W. Ramus, Marshal, Charles E. Lindergreen, Treasurer, and John Marno, with twenty, twenty-five, thirty-seven and fifty-seven years respectively.

During all of these years the most important feature of the history of Baalbec Lodge was gradually taking shape. I refer to the wonderful record of Bro. John Marno in his sixty years as Secretary. It had its start on December 7, 1875, when Bro. Marno was raised. Two years later he was installed as Secretary, December 4, 1877. When the fiftieth anniversary of this Lodge took place, he was still Secretary. At the seventy-fifth anniversary, he was still holding the same position and continued to do so until January 19, 1937, the time of his passing away. On the occasion of his fiftieth year as Secretary, Bro. Marno was the recipient of a beautiful clock which was presented in a very pleasing manner by Wor. George L. DollofF. The following year, 1928, he was presented with a Veteran's Medal for fifty years of continuous service, and in 1931, he received the Distinguished Masonic Service Medal, which was sent to him by the Most Worshipful Grand Master. During his many years as Secretary, Bro. John proved to be a pillar of strength to the many Masters who passed in review. His records were a pleasure to look at, being neat and accurate to the last detail.

And now, Brethren, just a brief word on tonight, our one hundredth anniversary. We have present with us our senior Past Master, Wor. Roy W. Pigeon, also the oldest member of the Lodge, Bro. Oliver Cook, who was raised in 1896, but he is only eighty-two years old. Bro. George S. Webster has the record for age, having just passed his ninetieth birthday.

At this time I ought to make mention of a letter sent to the Lodge during Bro. Fisher's term by the Rev. W. H. Cudworth. The letter is long, but the subject matter being of such interest to the members of the Lodge, and coming from a Brother so universally beloved and respected, I will read it:

Baalbec, Syria, Oct. 31, 1880.
Anno Lucis 5880.

To the W.M. Officers & Members of Baalbec Lodge F. & A.M. of East Boston.

Brethren: I thought it might be interesting and pleasant to you to receive a letter from the very spot whose name has been so very creditably attached to your Lodge. That I might assure you, there is no name in the annals of Architecture more deserving the high regard of Masons, Operative & Speculative than Baalbec.

My tent is now pitched within the area of the Great Temple which is mainly a mass of ruins. It was built by the Phoenicians at least six or eight hundred years before Christ, and has been successively occupied by the Greeks under Alexander, the Romans under Constantine, and the Turks under Mohammed and his Ottoman successors. It was entered by a broad staircase of 100 steps leading into a vestibule ISO Ft. wide by 50 Ft. deep, and 100 ft. high, adorned with columns and sculptures as delicately wrought as if designed for the Palace or Boudoir.

A spacious portal led from this to the Great Court, which with its associated buildings was called one of the 7 wonders of the World. It well deserved that name; even in ruins its huge blocks of masonry and its vast dimensions fill the beholder with astonishment and admiration. The Arabs have ruthlessly hacked and thrown down most of the columns merely to secure the iron clasps that bound them together; but six still remain. They are the first objects seen as the traveler approaches Baalbec, and he will gaze upon them with unwearied and increasing delight as long as he remains.

Passing on to the right we come to the Temple of Baal. Of this temple hardly anything remains except a portion of the west wall. That is enough however to take the conceit out of anybody who may think that modern machinery is superior to that known and used by the Phoenicians, for one stone is 63 feet long and another 63 feet 8 inches, and another 64 feet, and they are all 13 feet high and 13 feet thick and raised 20 feet from the ground. Upon, beneath, and around these immense masses of lime stone rock moved from quarries at least a half mile distant are other large stones resting where they were laid perhaps 4000 years ago. Rough ashler when cut from the quarry, but perfect ashler as they rest in the wall, hundreds of them, 10, 15 and 20 feet long, looking as fresh and firm as when first laid although beaten by the storms of nearly 40 centuries and subjected to the vicissitudes of five antagonistic dynasties. Right opposite the temple of Baal is the beautiful temple of the Sun, also called the Temple of Jupiter. There is nothing finer in this part of the world than this superbly designed and well-preserved religious structure.

These magnificent relics of the past, so far removed that even their archives have disappeared and their records lost in the darkness of an obscure antiquity, are now as silent as a sepulchre. Their occupants are lizards and birds of the air. Travelers from distant lands occasionally pitch their tents beneath the Cyclopean shadows of their silent walls, and swarthy Arabians come forward and gaze upon the curious foreigners. But Idolatry & Idolaters have alike disappeared, and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is fast occupying the places they have left. God speed the blessed time when all the temples of the world shall be devoted to the advancement of His cause, and men of all nations shall meet upon the |cvel and live upon the square, in Faith, Hope and Charity.

Your Brother,
W. H. Cudworth

It may be of interest to remark that the picture of the ruins and broken columns that appears on the front page of our monthly Lodge notice is not an imaginary or ideal picture, but is a reproduction of a photograph of the ruins of Baalbec, taken on the spot by the Rev. Bro. W. H. Cudworth.

One cannpt study the records of the early years of this Lodge without being impressed with the fact that these men stood closer to one another than we of the present time know anything about. As a man could be a Mason without being a lodge member, only those took membership who actually desired it and were willing to assume its responsibility. This, probably, is the secret of their closeness. I have been deeply impressed with their Fraternal Spirit and I feel I would be negligent in my duty if I permitted this anniversary occasion to pass without paying a tribute to the unselfish generosity and noble charity of these early members.

A different condition of things existed in those times. Greater demands were made on their liberality than we of a later date know anything about. We have a charity fund upon which we draw when occasion may require. Their charity fund consisted or the pocketbooks of the members and was drawn upon more frequently than you can imagine. Their benevolence was not confined to their own members, but was extended to all Masons and their families. They held meetings three or four times a month, and at almost ever}- meeting a demand of some kind was made upon them.

I have told you my story of the history of Baalbec as I have lead it from the records. But there is another record to which I have not had access — fuller, more accurate, more complete. That has been kept through the years by God's recording Angel. For who of us can tell how many hearts have been made lighter or lives have been made brighter through the kindly offices of these Brethren? Or how many lives have been kept in the path of rectitude and uprightness through the teachings that here have been inculcated? Brethren of Baalbec Lodge, the work which they did so well was not finished. It was simply transferred to us. Nor will we in our time complete the work. "Let us then be up and doing" ere the week closeth and the Sabbath of Eternity sets in. We, like them, shall be called from oui Labor to our Wages and Refreshment, for

"There's a world to which we are hastening
We are hurrying to it fast.
We shall meet upon the Level there
When the gates of death are past.
We shall stand before the Orient
And the Master will be there,
To try the blocks we offer
With his own unerring square.
Let us meet upon the Level then
While laboring here.
Let us meet and let us labor
Though the labor be severe.
Already in the Western sky
The signs bid us prepare
To gather up our Working Tools
And part upon the Square."


  • 1954 (Petition to remove to Chelsea)



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XII, No. 7, May 1852, p. 235:


Those of our native but distant readers (and we have many such), who may remember that part of our city now known as East Boston, only as an island with its lone wooden dwelling, will be gratified to learn that amid its present ten thousand inhabitants and numerous substantial and beautiful residences, two flourishing Lodges have been erected, and are in the enjoyment of a measure of prosperity unsurpassed by any others in the Commonwealth, as they are unexcelled in the devotedness of their officers and members. Mount Tabor Lodge was established in 1846, and until 1852 was deemed to be sufficient to answer all the demands of that section of the city. But in that year its members had increased to a number alike inconvenient for its accommodations and for the purposes of work. It was also thought,—and the result has justified the opinion,— that the rapid increase of the population and the consequent increase of petitioners for the privileges of the Order, called for the establishment of another Lodge there. A petition was accordingly presented to the Grand Master, who very readily issued his Dispensation, and a new Lodge was formed, and worked under this authority until the quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge in March last, when a Charter was granted for its permanent organization under the name of "Baalbec Lodge."

Its new hall, which is large, convenient, and handsomely furnished, was dedicated, the Lodge consecrated, and its officers installed, by the M. W. Grand Master, assisted by the proper Grand Officers, on Thursday evening the 28th of April last, in the presence of a large number of Brethren, including the officers and members of both the new and the old Lodge. The ceremonies were necessarily brief for the want of time, but we be lieve they were satisfactory to all present, and were of an interesting and impressive character. At their conclusion the Brethren were appropriately addressed by the M. W. Grand Master, and the Lodge was closed. The Brethren, together with the officers of the Grand Lodge as invited guests,

then repaired to the Maverick House, where an excellent entertainment had been provided for their refreshment, and where they passed a pleas ant hour in an agreeable way. The usual sentiments were given, and speeches were made by the Grand Master, Rev. George M. Randall, Dr. J. V. C. Smith, D. D. G. M. for the District in which the new Lodge is lo cated, and other Brethren. The officers of the new Lodge are as follows :—

  • William Waters, W. M.
  • Thomas Dalton, S. W.
  • Benjamin C. Seaver, J. W.
  • John Davis, Trea.
  • William S. Albertson, Secretary
  • Joseph H. Bates, S. D.
  • William Brewster, J. D.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXIII, No. 6, April, 1864, Page 178:

This excellent old Lodge, located at East Boston, had a public celebration of its officers, on the 22d ult. Previous engagements prevented our personal attendance, but we understand that there was a very large number of Brethren and invited guests, including ladies, present, and that the ceremonies and festivities of the evening passed off in a very agreeable manner. The installation ceremonies were performed by Dist. Dep. Gr. Master Nickerson, in an appropriate and impressive manner. At the close of the installation services a beautiful and costly Past Master's Jewel was presented to W. M. Thos. A. Foster, on behalf of the members of the Lodge by Past Master N. A. Apollonio, of St. Paul's Lodge, in a neat and eloquent speech, and was responded to by the recipient in a few but appropriate remarks. The members of the Lodge, their ladies and invited guests then repaired to the music rooms of J. A. Turner, Esq., where a bountiful collation had been prepared under the direction of a committee of the Lodge. The following officers were installed :—

  • Thomas A. Foster, W. M.
  • Albert Huse, S. W.
  • Nathaniel T. Gorham, J. W.
  • William H. Brown, Treas.
  • Daniel W. Palmer, Sec.
  • John Carney, Joseph Baker and Joshua Smalley, Com. of Finance
  • Joshua Smalley, Wm. H. Brown and Joseph Baker, Trustees of Lot in Woodlawn Cemetery.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. II, No. 8, November 1878, Page 251:

The Annual Visitation to Baalbec Lodge of A. F. and A. M. took place at Masonic Hall, Central Square, Tuesday evening Sept. 3d. W. Bro. Seth C. Ames, D. D. G. M., and W. Bos. Martin M. Hancock, Fred'k Pease, Wm. J. Ellis, I. S. Pote, W. Kelley and W. F. Spear representing the Grand Lodge.

The Work of the evening was on the Third Degree, which was very credibly performed by W. Bro. Kellough and his officers, at the conclusion of which the Brethren, with the Grand Lodge officers and invited guests, retired lo the Banquet Hall and partook of a bountiful collation.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. VII, No. 5, February 1912, Page 165:

The officers of Baalbec lodge, East Boston, were installed January 2d by Past Master Harry Hamilton of Mt. Tabor Lodge with the assistance of outgoing Master Alfred E. Wellington. The brethren are congratulating Secretary John Marno who was installed for the 36th consecutive time on his long service. The secretary of one other lodge in Boston comes very near the record of Brother Marno having been installed the 35th consecutive time in December last, and who has the record of nine years previous service in office, finishing as Wor. Master with an interval of one year before he began his career as secretary. The following are the officers of Baalbec lodge for 1912: Every one of the old line having advanced a step, and Tyler Newhouse taking office for the 12th year; Prank Hodge, WM; Roy W. Pigeon, SW; Edward E. Lyon, JW; Charles E. Lindergreen, T; John Marno, S; Gideon L. Rumney, C; Christian F. Ramus, M; Albert R. Stedfast, SD; William J. Hughes, JD; Alfred L. Maggi, SS; August J. L. Rausch, JS; Richard E. Kent, IS; George J. Ferreira, organist; William A. Newhouse, tyler. J. Lawrence Martin, Gideon L. Rumney and Herbert C. Huntress are the new trustees; Past Master Thomas Kellough was chosen proxy to Grand Lodge, also an associate member of the Board of Masonic Relief.

Rt. Wor. Charles A. Estey, newly appointed deputy of the Third Masonic District, made his first call since the new dignity has come to him. In response to the invitation of the Master he spoke and said he hoped to have the co-operation of all in the district in making it second to none in the jurisdiction.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XII, No. 7, April 1917, Page 243:

Baalbec Lodge, East Boston, Mass., celebrated the advent of the sixty-fifth year of its career by a Ladies' Night party March 6th. Of its 25 charter members there is one survivor, Emery D. Leighton. His presence made notable the occasion as it rarely happens that a living charter member of such distinction can be found. There was a company of 250. The present master of the lodge is Edward E. Lyon. There have been 30 presiding officers.




1852: District 1

1867: District 3 (Boston Highlands)

1883: District 3 (East Boston)

1911: District 3 (East Boston)

1927: District 3 (Chelsea)


Massachusetts Lodges