- 1 BLUE HILL LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.9 DISTRICTS
- 2.10 LINKS
BLUE HILL LODGE
Chartered By: William Parkman
Charter Date: 03/09/1864 VI-497
Precedence Date: 03/10/1863
Current Status: Active
- J. Mason Everett, 1863-1866; Mem
- Edward R. Eager, 1867, 1868
- Henry B. Miner, 1869, 1870
- Daniel T. V. Huntoon, 1871, 1872
- George H. Mansfield, 1873-1875
- Frank J. Sawyer, 1876-1878
- Andrew A. Harrington, 1879-1881
- Samuel H. Capen, 1882-1884
- John B. Robinson, 1885-1887
- Francis B. Dunbar, 1888, 1889; Mem
- Charles A. Hixson, 1890, 1891
- Franklin D. Bullard, 1892, 1893
- Nathaniel W. Dunbar, 1894, 1895
- Robert Bird, 1896, 1897
- Charles H. Eager, 1898, 1899
- Harlan W. Curtis, 1900, 1901
- John E. Stanton, 1902, 1903
- William N. Tenney, 1904, 1905
- J(oseph) Fayette Stone, 1906, 1907; N
- Warren W. Capen, 1908, 1909
- Arthur W. Chase, 1909, 1910; SN
- Louis W. Fischer, 1911, 1912
- Ralph L. Pollard, 1913, 1914
- Walter R. Merriam, 1915, 1916
- Freddy Mosley, 1917, 1918
- Ernest T. Johnson, 1919, 1920; SN
- Karl W. Pollard, 1921, 1922
- William B. Tirrell, 1923, 1924
- Edmund A. Chapin, 1925, 1926
- Roger J. Baldwin, 1927, 1928
- W. Lincoln Burt, 1929, 1930
- Charles M. Hewett, 1931, 1932
- Eliot C. French, 1933, 1934; N
- Ralph L. Whitcomb, 1935, 1936
- John MacKenzie, 1937, 1938
- Hobart Hughes, 1939, 1940
- William G. Darrow, 1941, 1942
- Harold W. Merriam, 1943, 1944
- Frank L. Ervin, 1945, 1946
- Arthur E. Tordoff, 1947, 1948
- Clayton F. Harvey, 1949, 1950
- Andrew U. Kokko, 1951
- Russell H. Sellew, 1952
- Marshall W. Porter, 1953
- Myles Standish, 1954; SN
- Cabot Devoll, Jr., 1955, 1956
- John H. Daltn, 1957
- Samuel S. Mitchell, 1958
- Storrus L. Kenney, 1959
- William G. Blakely, Jr., 1960, 1965
- Herman Brightman, 1961
- George E. Banks, 1962
- Arthur W. Fisk, 1963
- Frederick E. Hodes, 1964
- Elliott S. Darrow, 1966
- Adrian W. Hardy, 1967, 1972
- Warren H. Holmes, 1968
- Thomas F. Farmer, 1969
- Edward T. Johnston, 1970, 1971
- Ralph W. Staples, 1973
- Edward I. Waldman, 1974
- Lawrence P. Clews, 1975
- John E. Hutchins, 1976, 1987, 1997
- Harold L. Pushee, 1977
- Dan M. Petrescu, 1978
- Henry L. Munson, 1979
- Albert R. Horan, 1980
- Raymond L. Morandi, 1981
- Kenneth A. Churchill, 1982; N
- Walter T. Wedge, 1983, 1989
- Charles S. Wentworth, 1984
- Roland Vanasse, 1985, 1986, 1991
- Douglas MacNeill, 1987
- Leo V. Hand, Jr., 1988
- Dan M. Petrescu, 1990
- Robert D. Vanasse, 1992
- Bruce H. Manin, 1993
- Stanley S. Marshall, 1994
- George H. Perkins, 1995, 1996
- William L. Chapman, 1998
- William H. Young, 1999, 2000; SN
- Donald G. Seaman, Jr., 2001
- James E. Goode, 2002, 2003
- Lester M. Oshry, 2004; N
- Paul G. Ciccotelli, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014
- Joseph R. Graham, 2007
- David W. Wetherell, 2010
- Antoine N. Jabbour, 2011
- Cameron D. MacNeill, 2012
- Jeffrey D. Randall, 2013
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1864 (Parkman; Constitution of Lodge and installation; see description below)
- 1881 (Lawrence)
- 1886 (Howland)
- 1913 (Senior Grand Warden L. Abbott)
- 1919 (L. Abbott)
- 1927 (Simpson; Veterans' Night)
- 1938 (Perry; 75th Anniversary)
- 1940 (Perry; Hall dedication)
- 1947 (Wragg)
- 1957 (A. Jenkins; mortgage burning)
- 1963 (Osgood; Centenary)
- 1972 (Vose)
- 1984 (Richardson)
- 1988 (Ames; 125th Anniversary)
- 1998 (A. Johnson)
- 1999 (Bauer; 2 visits including installation)
75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1938
From Proceedings, Page 1938-85:
by Wor. William H. Tenney.
The history of an epoch or the biography of a man may never be completed because research and study constantly bring to Light letters, diaries, or other documentary evidence which confirm, modify, or even contradict what has already been written. The history of a Masonic Lodge, on the contrary, is all in the records of the Lodge and one cannot expect or hope for further authentic sources of information.
Twenty-five years ago a history of Blue Hill Lodge was read at the fiftieth anniversary of the institution of the Lodge and although there is nothing new to record of these fifty years it is expedient to review that account so that the events of the subsequent twenty-five years may be seen against their proper background.
It was on the tenth day of March 1863 that the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts granted a Dispensation to Joseph Mason Everett, Edward Rutledge Eager, Frank Morton Ames, Rufus Corbin Wood, William Whittington Brooks, Charles Ellis, Charles Franklin Cushman, Charles Howe French, and Benjamin Huntoon to organize a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in Canton and to initiate, pass, and raise candidates. Joseph Mason Everett was named as Worshipful Master, Edward Rutledge Eager as Senior Warden, and Frank Morton Ames as Junior Warden. Eight of these nine men had been raised in Rising Star Lodge in Stoughton, the ninth, Charles Ellis, was raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Benjamin Huntoon never became a member of Blue Hill Lodge. He was a Past Master of Rising Star Lodge and his Brethren of that Lodge seriously objected to his withdrawal, for in that day no Mason could be a member of two lodges. Then, too, the Reverend Brother was in poor health, was practically confined to his home and, in fact, died only a few weeks after the constitution of the Lodge in 1864. His name appears on the Dispensation but on the Charter it is replaced by that of Charles Endicott.
The first meeting of Blue Hill Lodge was held in the office of the Kinsley Iron and Machine Company on Revere Street when Charles H. French was elected Treasurer and Charles Endicott Secretary, One application for the degrees was received. Before the next meeting the Lodge had secured a Masonic Hall on the third floor of the old Massapoag Building on Washington Street opposite Revere Street. That building was afterward occupied by the Canton Catholic Club and several years ago was destroyed by fire. A public garage and the Canton Post Office now occupy the site. For this hall the Lodge paid an annual rental of twenty-five dollars and borrowed $250 to furnish its apartments. We may safely conclude that the low rental was a concession by the Kinsley Iron and Machine Company, which owned the building, because two of our Charter members were prominent officers of that corporation.
The fee for the Degrees was set at twenty-five dollars and the annual dues at two dollars. The Master Mason Degree did not give title to membership. It was necessary to make further formal application. This was referred to a committee which reported at a subsequent meeting. A ballot was then taken and if no black ball appeared the candidate was declared elected to membership, paid two dollars membership fee, one dollar for his diploma and signed the By-laws. In March 1874 the Grand Lodge abrogated this rather unfair double jeopardy and ruled that a Lodge must admit to membership all whom it raised provided the By-laws were signed within the succeeding six months.
On March 15, 1864, the required year of the Dispensation having elapsed, Blue Hill Lodge was formally constituted, the hall consecrated, officers elected by ballot and installed. Until 1867 all Lodge officers were elected by ballot and usually all on one ballot deposited by a single member. If an officer were not present for installation he could be installed by proxy. Installations were frequently public and were made occasions of considerable social importance.
Meetings at first were held on the Wednesday on or before the full of the moon in each month. This was later changed to the Tuesday of the same lunar relation and in November 1884 an unusual and interesting situation arose; there was no Tuesday on or before the full moon in that month. As the Annual Meeting of the Lodge was then held in November it was necessary to secure a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge to hold the election of officers at the December meeting. In 1892 this inconvenient custom of holding meetings with reference to the moon's phase was discontinued and the first Tuesday of the month substituted.
In 1866 a Sick Committee was appointed. We may hope that it functioned for there is no documentary evidence to show that it performed any duties or even made a report.
In 1867 the Grand Lodge called for an assessment of nine dollars from each member for a building fund for a new Temple in Boston and practically every member contributed that amount. We are confident that the Lodge had prospered during its first half-dozen years because in 1867 the need of more commodious apartments was felt. These were secured in a building belonging to Deane and Wood on Church Street opposite the Baptist Church. The hall was later occupied by Revere Post No. 94, G.A.R. and eventually was remodeled for a dwelling. The rental was $150 a year. The members subscribed $500 for new furnishings and the Lodge borrowed what was required beyond that sum.
The Brethren had a sincere affection for their first home. The records bear ample evidence of this in the farewell to the old hall so feelingly expressed by the Secretary, our late Brother William Bense. The new hall was dedicated on February 7, 1870, at which time the widow of the Reverend Benjamin Huntoon presented the bust of Washington now in the Lodge-room.
In the records of the March 15 meeting in 1870 is the first account of an examination of a candidate in open Lodge and there is no mention of another for several years. In that same year Past Master's jewels were first presented.
In May 1880 there occurred a serious crisis in the affairs of this Lodge over the matter of an assessment for another new Masonic Temple. You will remember that thirteen years before the members cheerfully subscribed to a similar project. This time there was-strong opposition. The Lodge was not in affluent circumstances — it was subletting its hall to another organization to help on the fixed charges — and many members felt that the Grand Lodge should shoulder its own burdens. However, sixty members contributed $750, but much bitter feeling persisted and a number of old and valued members, including two Charter members withdrew from the Lodge. It is possible that some members objected to the assessment because they realized that Blue Hill Lodge would, ere long, have to seek larger quarters with all the attendant expense of furnishing a new hall and that the members should reserve their funds for that purpose. As a matter of fact the Lodge did move one year later, in 1881, to this hall and, as usual, had to borrow money to furnish the apartments.
In 1884 is the first account of a Lodge of Exemplification held in Sutton Hall in the new Temple. Blue Hill Lodge worked the Second Degree and the meeting was declared a pleasant and a profitable one despite some dissatisfaction with the Grand Lecturer's decisions.
At the Annual Meeting it was customary for a Nominating Committee to bring in a list of officers to be balloted for and, as we have noted, that list would constitute the ballot when deposited. In 1888 the custom was-abolished. It seems that one officer had not occupied his station even once during the year and the Nominating Committee found itself between the horns of a dilemma: either the risk of offending the aforesaid Brother or the stultifying alternative of recommending for office one manifestly unworthy of such an honor. So it dodged the issue.
In January 1888 a committee appointed to arrange a celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Lodge never made a report and no celebration was held until 1889 — the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Constitution of the Lodge. It may be a debatable question, but as we take precedence from March 10, 1863, it seems logical to accept that as our natal day just as we reckon a child's age from the date of his birth and not from the date of his baptism. The anniversary observance in 1889 was a success and Worshipful Brother Francis D. Dunbar read a historical address prepared by Charles Endicott, who was unable to be present. How I wish we had that address written by a Charter member of the Lodge. It must have contained much that is not in the record. Possibly that is why it is not now available.
That celebration seems to have whetted the appetite of the Brethren for further social adventure beyond the public installations of the period because for many years after 1889 entertainments, ladies' nights and minstrel shows were much in evidence. These were invariably satisfactory as social functions and almost as invariably financial disappointments. This writer was once on a small committee, every member of which had to go down in his individual pocket to cover a deficit of seventy-five dollars! But we always had a good time, at least until the bills came in.
In 1890, following a ruling of the Grand Lodge, Blue Hill Lodge voted to give each Entered Apprentice a lamb-skin which should be his personal property. Before that time one white leather apron — that is, it was originally white — did service for generations of Masons and was never subjected to any cleansing process. The ceremony of investiture could not have impressed the novitiate more deeply than the lack of ceremony in the celerity with which it was whisked off to be used for the next candidate. It is a pity that that venerable and dirty relic could not have been deposited in the archives of the Lodge as a memorial and as an emblem of hope that, an all-wise Grand Lodge having successively assured to the newly made Brother his membership, his diploma, and his apron, might be moved to elevate the symbolic presentation of the implements of Masonry to the dignity of actuality and give to each Brother a chest of tools.
In December 1893 our Lodge-room was damaged by fire and we were permitted to meet in the apartments of Hyde Park Lodge, but the records indicate that only one communication was held there. In 1895 the Lodge purchased the copy of the Charter which hangs in the Lodge-room. It was not until 1913 that the Lodge owned a safe. Prior to that time it was necessary to keep our Charter in a bank vault which meant that it must be carried to the Lodge each month and kept in his home over night by some Brother pending the opening of the bank. Fortunately we now have a secure repository for our irreplaceable records, our Charter and, what is hardly less valuable, our photograph album. This last represents a truly remarkable achievement. In 1897 Brother Winthrop Leonard was designated a Committee of one to obtain and mount a photograph of every member of Blue Hill Lodge. The difficulties of such an undertaking were formidable. Nearly a half of those who had been members were dead or removed from this town and dispersed all over the country, and many of them had left no relations within easy reach. Some members had never been photographed and a few were too indifferent willingly to co-operate.
Brother Leonard was the one man who could and would assume such a task. His methods were not always tactful, to express it mildly, but he did complete the job and our album will always be a monument to his indefatigable industry and devotion to the work.
It was in this same year, 1897, that our banquet room on the third floor of this building was completed. Those of us who remember the makeshift arrangements on ceremonial occasions, when we crowded tables into the ante-room and the Lodge-room, may be pardoned a little pride in what was accomplished beneath the rafters of this building.
In 1905 we were offered an opportunity to secure new quarters. A large block on the corner of Church Street had been destroyed by fire and the owner intended to rebuild if desirable tenants could be assured. He made overtures to us and his proposal at first seemed attractive. However, later developments indicated that our prospective landlord expected us and one or two other organizations practically to support the new building and our interest died. Good results accrued in the end for our landlord-in-fact, alarmed at the prospect of losing a permanent tenant, agreed, if we would remain here, to make certain important improvements with a satisfactory adjustment of lease and rental. So, in the fall of 1906 we met in the best appointed apartments this Lodge had ever enjoyed and, for the first time in the history of Blue Hill Lodge, without incurring one dollar of indebtedness.
The fiftieth anniversary of Blue Hill Lodge was observed in March of 1913. A notable gathering of Grand Lodge officers and representatives of sister Lodges made the occasion a memorable one. A full account of the proceedings with verbatim reports of the-many excellent addresses has been preserved in the archives of the Lodge, together with the historical account then read and from which we have taken the larger part of this paper. How few of those present at that time are now with us!
Some forty-two years ago when Worshipful Brother Charles H. Eager was Master he instituted a form of entertainment which was probably new in Blue Hill Lodge. It was during the second year of his administration that he designated members to give informal talks at each meeting after the conclusion of the business of the evening. The talks were interesting and instructive and brought to light a surprising number of interests held by members quite apart from their usual vocations. Unfortunately few, if any, succeeding Masters during the next twenty years continued this admirable practice, but about twenty-two years ago when our late brother Walter Merriam was in the East, some desultory attempts to revive extra-Masonic entertainments were made. In 1916 a roll-call meeting was held which brought out nearly half the membership of the Lodge. At that meeting Brother E. G. Britton gave an interesting account of the old Cobb's Tavern, a Revolutionary landmark of this district and also a Masonic landmark. At the same meeting two purses of gold were presented to our then Secretary, Rt. Wor. F. D. Dunbar. One purse was from his Brethren of Blue Hill Lodge, the other from Mt. Zion Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
The outbreak of the Great War found Blue Hill Lodge prepared to do its share of patriotic duty. The Lodge purchased Liberty Bonds, subscribed to the War Relief Fund of the Grand Lodge, and contributed money for Christmas gifts for Field Hospital No. 101 of the 26th Division, commanded by one of our members.
Several members of Blue Hill Lodge entered the service of their country, but who they were or how they fared is not recorded in the minutes of the Lodge. It was voted that their names be listed and hung in the ante-room, but there is no definite record that this was ever done.
In February 1922 a Washington Memorial service was held with an appropriate address by the Chaplain, Reverend Cloyd H. Valentine. Worshipful Brother John B. Robinson presented the Lodge with a copy of the Constitutions of 1789. That copy had belonged to Edmund Baker, grandfather of Worshipful Brother D. T. V. Huntoon and later came into the possession of the Right Worshipful J. Mason Everett, first Master of Blue Hill Lodge. Brother E. C. Britton read a memorial of Major General Cobb. There were 129 present of the 271 members of the Lodge.
In October 1922 a series of Masonic Service meetings was instituted for educational purposes and more frequent programs of entertainment were presented. We cannot ignore the manifold influences tending to draw members away from Lodge attendance. Easily available transportation, the screen, and the radio all have contributed to this and Masons, in too many instances, have got out of the habit of going to Lodge except on special occasions. This is recognized by the Grand Lodge and by the Particular Lodges. Successfully to meet this competition is not easy. Education, to give our members a clearer insight into the origins and significant features of Freemasonry, is the object of Service Meetings and Lodges of Instruction. If each time a Mason witnesses the exemplification of a degree it takes on a new meaning by so much is his interest stimulated. So, too, is he attracted by some form of entertainment. Blue Hill Lodge has not neglected opportunities for such diversions. Lodge meetings have been supplemented by interesting talks, some illustrated, all instructive and appreciated. At one time we even had an orchestra, but unfortunately it died of inanition.
Blue Hill Lodge has always nursed the laudable ambition of having a Temple of its own. In 1923 an opportunity of realizing that ambition was presented and the Blue Hill Masonic Association was formed and incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts to secure and hold the so-called Tucker Block here in the center of the town. A competent architect prepared suitable plans but the purpose had to be abandoned for various reasons.
Again in 1930 it looked as if we might be able to attain our desire. The Baptist Church property was available and negotiations were started for its acquisition, but nothing came of it at that time. Our Building Association did, however, buy the Sydney Smith property farther uptown on Washington Street which was self-supporting, with a tentative plan of building on that site at some future date.
Last year, 1937, the Baptist Church was offered at such an attractive figure that the Blue Hill Masonic Association purchased it. Necessary changes are now being planned and at last it really looks as if Blue Hill Lodge would actually have a home of its own. The Building Association will own the new Temple but the Lodge will eventually, it is expected, some into posses- sion of all of the capital stock of the Association and thus acquire ownership of the property.
Thus, Brethren, has our Lodge grown and prospered. Our membership has been larger than it is now for the depression has made itself felt, many members have been unable to continue payment of dues, and young men who in happier times would have sought membership are, doubtless, deterred by the economic situation. Our Lodge has grown in service and effectiveness if not in members and that is the true measure of success. However, financially we have progressed; the assets of the Lodge twenty-five years ago were $3900. At the close of our last year in August, 1937, our assets were nearly $18,000. Five hundred ninety-three members have signed our by-laws since the Constitution of the Lodge. Today we have two hundred forty-five. We have had thirty-five Worshipful Masters of whom 15 are now living. Our senior Past Master is Worshipful Samuel H. Capen who was Worshipful Master in 1882-84. In its 75 years Blue Hill Lodge has had only six Treasurers, and the combined service of two of them amounts to 45 years. We have had twelve Secretaries and three of them held office for an aggregate of 47 years. Many others have held office for from eight to thirteen years. These are records not only of years but of devoted fidelity to our Lodge and to Freemasonry. We remember these men with grateful appreciation and delight to honor them. We revere the memory of those who have laid down their working tools forever and have passed through the East Gate.
Ezra Starkweather Brewster: Treasurer for sixteen years until his death in 1882. A man of sterling worth, of kindliest spirit, he daily exemplified in his life the pure principles of our order.
Timothy Owen: Beloved by all. Secretary for thirteen years. Always cheerful, his sunny nature brightened the pathway of all who knew him. After his long and honorable service as Secretary, he desired a post which should qualify him for the Oriental Chair. This was cheerfully accorded him by his Brethren. He was elected Senior Warden but died while in that office, in 1902. John Thomas Pitman: In spite of bodily infirmities faithfully tyled Blue Hill Lodge for fourteen years and declined reappointment only when failing health would no longer permit him to continue.
James Tate: Tyler for eleven years. Once a soldier in our Indian Wars his military training was reflected in his bearing, his speech, and his loyalty.
Silas Coburn Owen: Secretary for nine years. He was the son of Timothy Owen and like him of gentle mold and kindly spirit. During a long and distressing illness he performed so much of his duties as he could. He died in office in 1937.
Francis Draper Dunbar: Raised in Blue Hill Lodge April 16, 1878. Worshipful Master in 1888-89. District Deputy Grand Master. Proxy to the Grand Lodge for twenty-four years. Secretary for nineteen years, finally refusing re-election ten years ago because of age and declining health. No member of Blue Hill Lodge had more at heart the interests of his Lodge. No Brother was more regular in attendance. Never obtrusive, he was always ready to counsel and especially was he the friend of the newly elected Master, as this writer can testify with deep gratitude. His death in 1934 broke almost the last link connecting us with the earlier days of our Lodge, for Blue Hill Lodge was only fifteen years old when he became a member to serve Freemasonry tor fifty-six years.
Among officers, past and present, with long records of service, who are still with us as members we include Edward Livingstone Underwood: Secretary for fifteen years. A life-long teacher of youth, Brother Underwood's scholarly mind is reflected in the accurate, terse, and elegant English in which his records are couched. It was with sincere regret that the Lodge received his determination to relinquish the office when professional duties precluded his further attendance at meetings.
Joseph Fayette Stone: Fayette Stone was first appointed to office in Blue Hill Lodge in 1897 and now for more than forty consecutive years has he held Masonic office. At present he is Treasurer of Blue Hill Lodge, a chair he has occupied for twenty-nine years.
William Bacon Revere, lineal descendant of Paul Revere of Revolutionary fame, was Marshal of Blue Hill Lodge for seven years. He presented to the Lodge the portrait of his distinguished ancestor which graces our east wall.
Reverend Cloyd Hampton Valentine, who served as Chaplain for a dozen years until his removal to another parish.
Sumner Iveson Fischer, organist, conducted the musical service of the Lodge for twelve years.
Max Brightman, our present Marshal, has performed the duties of that responsible office with dignity and precision for eight years.
George Bradford Graham: He has tyled Blue Hill Lodge for thirteen years and we hope will continue for another thirteen, at least. In this connection it is of interest to recall that one of our Charter members, Rufus Corbin Wood, was Junior Deacon for eleven years; why, the record sayeth not.
Blue Hill Lodge has been honored by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. Four of our Past Masters have held the office of District Deputy Grand Master; Joseph Mason Everett, Francis Draper Dunbar, Joseph Fayette Stone, and Arthur William Chase. Others have held subordinate positions in the Grand Lodge.
Brethren—I have tried to give you a comprehensive view of Blue Hill Lodge through the years. There is none living who can tell us of those early days; even many of those who joined in the observances of twenty-five years ago are now gone. So will it be with us. We shall pass even as they, and only the formal record will remain to tell future generations of Masons of what we tried to accomplish when we wrought as craftsmen in the Temple of Freemasonry.
May those who shall follow us in man's eternal quest for light and wisdom see that our work was good and that we were faithful to the trust bequeathed us!
CENTENARY HISTORY, MAY 1963
From Proceedings, Page 1963-115:
by Worshipful Samuel S. Mitchell.
Blue Hill Lodge, since the 75th Anniversary history was written, has sent on to the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts three illustrious Brethren.
The first was Wor. Master Eliot C. French, who sat in the East of his home Lodge from 1933-35. In the years 1935-39 he served as Chairman of the Masonic Service Committee for the 25th Division. In 1939, Rt. Wor. Eliot C. French became District Deputy Grand Master, the first from Blue Hill Lodge since Rt. Wor. Arthur C. Chase, who had been Master of our Lodge in 1909-11. In addition, he was District Representative of the Board of Masonic Relief, which controls the affairs of the Masonic Home in Charlton, Mass., and the Masonic Hospital in Shrewsbury, Mass. He was also President of the Masonic Secretaries' Association of Massachusetts. In 1945 he began to be that familiar figure at the left of the Worshipful Master, the Secretary of Blue Hill Lodge, continuing until 1957. All during that time and until the present (he is now Ritualist), he was a consultant on Masonic ritual and law, and urged many a young and new Master Mason to use the books in the Masonic Library at 51 Boylston Street, Boston, to learn more about our Craft and its long history. He was also President of the Worshipful Masters' Association of southeastern Massachusetts. During the time that Rt. Wor. Myles Standish was D.D.G.M., Rt. Wor. Bro. French was D.D.G. Marshal. He is also a member of Corner Stone Lodge of Duxbury, and of Bar Harbor Lodge No. 185, Bar Harbor, Maine.
Rt. Wor. Ernest T. Johnson, Wor. Master of Blue Hill Lodge during the years 1919-1921, assumed his new duties as District Deputy Grand Master of the 25th District, and shortly thereafter, following custom, he made his visitation to his home Lodge on March 4, 1947. The record states, "During the course of the evening he presented a Veteran's Medal to Wor. Warren W. Capen, in recognition of his fifty years' membership in the Craft. Both he and Wor. Bro. Capen gave some very interesting reminiscences of the early days in Blue Hill Lodge." He himself received the Veteran's Medal at Blue Hill Lodge on November 5, 1957. Rt. Wor. Myles Standish was installed as District Deputy Grand Master of the Hyde Park 25th Masonic District, at the Feast of St. John, December 29, 1958. He made his fraternal visit to Blue Hill Lodge on February 3, 1959. He was accompanied by Rt. Wor. Eliot C. French, D.D.G. Marshal, and Wor. Cabot Devoll, Jr., D.D.G. Secretary, and suite. Wor. Master Samuel S. Mitchell was host of the evening's celebration.
As an illustration of Masonry's continuing state, it is noted that Wor. Ralph L. Whitcomb was buried during this time with Masonic Services. Raised June 26, 1923, he had spent twelve years in preparing himself in the Masonic Craft to become the Worshipful Master of Blue Hill Lodge, 1935-37. At the time of his death he was a Trustee. "Fear not to lay down the Tools of the Craft, for there are many to seize hold of them and continue the Work."
The history of any family is made up of small incidents. Some are serious, even sad. Mostly, however, we remember and record, like the sundial, only the sunny hours. Since the 75th Anniversary, therefore, the records and the notices show a pattern of slow but steady growth in many things. These we will now present.
The active membership of the Lodge now stands, during the 100th Anniversary, at 322.
At the 1000th Communication, there were 312 members, and 829 Master Masons had signed the by-laws since the Charter was granted in 1863. At this time, the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts was 225 years old.
On August 31, 1946, there were 238 active Master Masons in our Lodge.
At the 50th Anniversary, there had been in Blue Hill Lodge a total of 345 Master Masons, and the membership of the Lodge was unknown.
During the last 25 years, these events and men made up among countless others the history of the Lodge. As in any historical study, not everyone will be mentioned. Records are incomplete. Even memories fail, and stories cannot always be substantiated. If the names of many beloved and faithful workers do not appear below, it is not because they are not appreciated, but because of the reasons listed above, and because of lack of space. Masonry here gives all those not mentioned the "well done" that all Masons expect to hear in that house not made with hands.
First, an outstanding family in the annals of Blue Hill Lodge and in Masonry shall be representative of many of those father, son, and grandson groups which are spread on the Minutes. How many times have fathers or grandfathers assisted in the rites as they stood in a circle!
The family is exemplified by the Brightmans. Bros. Hill Brightman and John Brightman (they were blood, as well as fraternal, brothers) were raised on February 7, 1905. Their brother Max was raised in March of 1916. He served in various offices, rising to Senior Deacon; and then was Marshal from 1930 to October 7. 1941. Saul, another brother, also was a member of Blue Hill Lodge. The second generation included Bros. Louis, Benjamin, and Herman. It is recorded that Bro. Max "assisted in the raising of his youngest son, Benjamin." Wor. Master Herman Brightman of the second generation was raised on December 9, 1919. Forty-two years later, after tireless work in and for the Lodge, he sat in the East from 1961-62. During that time he had been in the Shrine Band and the Grotto Band for 43 and 21 years respectively ; had become a charter member of Freedom Lodge in Somerville; had fathered two sons, Bros. Shepard A. Brightman and Saul J. Brightman, who are Master Masons, not of Blue Hill Lodge, although they are not strangers here. Both of the boys have been in the Shrine and Grotto Bands.
Looking back at those times when Masons were alive who remembered men of the Revolution, Bro. William B. Revere, born in 1859, great-grandson of Most Wor. Paul Revere, was a member of Blue Hill Lodge. Raised May 5, 1855, he died May 23, 1948. So do four generations of Masons span the history of our country. Bro. Revere was a Trustee of the Lodge at his death. An interested young Master Mason could well search out his history and tie it to his illustrious great-grandfather and to Blue Hill Lodge. How happy would be the reading of such an account to young and old members of our Lodge!
On October 5, 1937, Wor. John McKenzie was installed. He served as Wor. Master for two years and was responsible for the 75th Anniversary festivities. Of the visit on that date by Most Worshipful Joseph E. Perry, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and his Suite, it was reported, "The M. W. Grand Master then entered with his Suite, and after a most successful and enjoyable occasion (expressed) the hope that some here might be present at the Centennial meeting."
Wor. John McKenzie was instrumental in starting the blood bank, and while contributions' of blood from members of Blue Hill Lodge are always in arrears, no Brother or his immediate family has ever been denied the blood needed in an emergency. As more and more hospital procedures require blood, every member should try to give blood regularly. This privilege of drawing on the Grand Lodge blood bank is priceless, and only those who are in good health can help those who are in need. All requests for blood must go through the current Worshipful Master; no direct appeals to the Grand Lodge are possible. Wor. Bro. McKenzie was among the last of the Masters who had no assistance in the learning of the ritual other than by word of mouth. Your historian can testify to his perfection and the requirement of absolute accuracy he demanded of the candidates whom he was instructing. And no one will ever forget seeing him, when the Brethren were called from refreshment to labor. His trade, working with heavy machinery in the Readville yards of the New Haven Railroad, often as a blacksmith, had made his arms like the steel of the rails locomotives ride. It was evident that he could, as was said, hold a 200-pound anvil in the air in front of him; or, if he were in a certain position, a man as heavy or heavier!
Some of the events which paint a picture of the activities of the Lodge will bring back memories to older members, and will suggest to younger ones the Lodge's needs and methods used in meeting them. This might be called a DIARY OF ONE DECADE OF BLUE HILL LODGE.
It begins ten years ago, on February 3, 1953. On this evening, Worshipful Master Russell H. Sellew closed the Lodge, using a gavel made from the Washington Elm in our nation's capital, and a block made from timbers replaced in the renovation of the White House. These were a gift from Bro. Karl Standish and were presented by his son, Bro. (later Rt. Wor.) Myles Standish. The Lodge has here a romantic link with Most Wor. George Washington.
The steeple of the church which is now the Temple was removed, it being unsafe, under the direction of Wor. William G. Darrow, on January 4, 1954.
On May 1, 1954, the first Auction was held to raise money for the renovation of the Temple. Bro. Myles Standish, S. W., was chairman, and Bros. Fred S. Crowther, Cabot Devoll, Jr., Warren C. Morse, Frederick E. Noll, and Wor. Master Marshall W. Porter were the committee. On June 10, 1961, the Auction netted $467.
A new 10-burner gas stove was installed by the Order of Eastern Star, Canton Chapter 132, on February 1, 1955. Since then, they have donated at least $700 more for the kitchen. In 1960-61 Wor. Frank L. Ervin and Wor. Arthur Tordoff, assisted by Mrs. Eliot C. French, completed the task. During these years, Wor. John McKenzie campaigned for funds and obtained them to provide a new floor for the kitchen and the dining hall.
In rapid succession during the years 1957-58, the parking lot was hot-topped, the organ was restored, largely with manual and financial help from the Brethren, and a game and TV room furnished. A $100 paper drive helped finance these improvements. Another, on November 4, 1958, netted $70.
The highlight of 1957 occurred on December 3, when the mortgage on the Temple was burned with appropriate ceremonies and thanks to Deity for our continued good cheer and gifts.
The outside of the Temple now needed care. In October and November of 1959, the Brethren contributed $3000 for the painting, before which some carpentry work had to be done. "Wor. Bill Darrow and Bro. Elliott Darrow installed our beautiful new outside door." A gift of the lock on December 1, from Bro. David Prescott, which he installed himself, made our entrance one of dignity. On May 2, 1961, a visit of the Norwood Assembly No. 8, Order of Rainbow for Girls, Miss Carol Standish, Worthy Adviser and Mrs. Grace Woodberry, Mother Adviser, exemplified their initiatory degree in beauty and grace. Eastern Star members were also in attendance.
Bro. William E. Capper, then the oldest living member and a frequent attendant at meetings of the Lodge, celebrated his 92nd birthday. The custom of greeting in the notices those whose Masonic Birthdays occur during the month, and their Masonic ages, seems to have begun during this time, or perhaps revived. It is a happy custom.
Wor. John H. Dalton, Past Master of Blue Hill Lodge, became the first elected Master of Sharon Lodge on October 15, 1960. Bro. Walter Carlton of Hyde Park Lodge was Senior Warden; Wor. Henry Brillant of Sharon, P.M. of Rising Star Lodge, was Junior Warden; Wor. Cabot Devoll, Jr., assisted in the organization of this now-thriving neighbor Lodge.
The members of Blue Hill Lodge are always saddened when a Brother departs, but especially was the sorrow felt when Wor. John H. Dalton, after a long illness during which he continued his work in Masonry, never complaining, both in the Lodge and in the Sharon beginnings, departed on April 20, 1961. A Masonic Service, attended by over one hundred of his Brothers, was held at Bro. John L. Keeling's funeral home in Sharon. He had been raised on January 8, 1952; had risen from Junior Steward to Worshipful Master in the years 1952-57; and had been constantly at labor for the Lodge, his Brethren, and his community. May he rest in peace.
The Officers, Members, and Dad Advisers of the Milton Chapter, Order of DeMolay, exemplified their first degree on eleven initiates in the Lodge on February 7, 1961. Their work was very fine and was witnessed by a large group of Masons.
Mrs. Zillah Clark, our guest at the Masonic Home in Charlton, Massachusetts, just off Rt. 20, "was admitted to the circle of new friends in a place where brotherly love prevails always."
The George Washington Memorial Endowment Fund was oversubscribed on February 6, 1962.
It would not be fitting to close the roll of recent Worshipful Masters, many of whom have already been mentioned in this DIARY, without mentioning further Wor. Cabot Devoll, Jr., now our Secretary. Modern members need no reminding that he is active day by day, week by week, year by year. He was on the staff of the D. D. G. M., Rt. Wor. Myles Standish, and, as cited above, he was President of the Masonic Secretaries' Association of Massachusetts in 1961.
Wor. Samuel S. Mitchell is an active member of the Centennial Committee and, with Wor. Storrus L. Kenney and Wor. William G. Blakely, appeared in major roles in the Past Masters' Nights of 1961 and 1962. In addition to these traditional and Masonry-wide celebrations of the labor of our beloved Past Masters, Blue Hill Lodge is famous for its Strawberry Festival, held at the same time. No one has ever dared to add the total gallons of ice cream and quarts of strawberries consumed over the years by the Brethren. It is believed that they would fill that traditional Temple whose steps we climb.
Ladies' Night has long been a time of fellowship and fun. Members' wives often meet for the first time those "MASONS" who steal away their husbands one, or many, nights a month. If they should add up the contributions to the community, aye, the nation and the world, they should be happy that something more than pleasure and entertainment comes from Masonry. The course of history has been changed by just such Brothers as the members of Blue Hill Lodge, who learned the principles and ideals of Masonry when they were initiated into those rites that are constant reminders of what is expected of a Mason.
The final entry in this DIARY is that of Wor. George E. Banks, our Worshipful Master for this Centennial Year. He was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, on June 18, 1910. Raised on January 3, 1956, by Wor. Herbert Harding, P. M., Seaview Lodge, Revere, Massachusetts, he saw that evening the Ebb & Flow Club Degree Team work the long form on another candidate. This colorful team is composed of members of the U. S. Naval Air Station, South Weymouth, Massachusetts. Wor. Cabot Devoll was in the East for the regular meeting, and relinquished the gavel to Wor. Walter F. Breivogel of the Team, for the degree work.
Afterwards the Lodge and its guests, over 200 in number, sat down to a Dora Ferguson dinner. Mrs. Dora Ferguson, Past Worthy Matron of O. E. S. in Quincy, Massachusetts, was widowed in 1927. Seeking some way to make a living, she talked to Wor. Roger Baldwin, then Master of Blue Hill Lodge. He urged her to start a catering business. Except for the war years, when food and help were scarce, her staff has provided literally thousands of servings to our Lodge. No one has ever been heard to protest, except that he just couldn't eat another bite! She sold the business in 1958. One of her daughters still works with the present owner, who has kept up the high standards Mrs. Ferguson set.
A quotation from James Thurber, American writer and humorist, "Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness" might typify the task of the Brethren of Blue Hill Lodge who are now at labor. And Dylan Thomas tells us, as does the admonition to every Mason, which he hears again and again,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot; . . .
And death shall have no dominion.
- 1937 (Petition for reduction of fees)
CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, DECEMBER 1863
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 6, April, 1864, Page 176:
This Lodge having worked its year under Dispensation, was Chartered by the Grand Lodge on the 6th of December, and regularly constituted by the Grand Master, assisted by his officers, on the 15th. It is located at South Canton, a beautiful and flourishing manufacturing village, in Norfolk county. It has a fine hall, though s/nall, fitted up in excellent taste, with nil the appointments necessary for the successful working of the Lodsje. lts officers and members are young, intelligent and zealous, and the Lodge starts with more than ordinary promise of future prosperity and usefulness. The Grand Lodge was handsomely received by the Brethren, and after the ceremonies of the Lodge room were over, the party spent an agreeable hour at the supper table. We omitted to take a list of the officers, and cannot therefore give their names. W. Bro. John E. Everett was installed as Master.
50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, MARCH 1913
From New England Craftsman, Vol. VIII, No. 7, April 1913, Page 232:
Blue Hill Lodge, Canton, Massachusetts, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its birth, Tuesday, March 25th.
Owing to the absence of the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master. Rt. Wor. Leon M. Abbott, Senior Grand Warden, represented the Grand Lodge in the ceremonies of the occasion.
Other members of the Grand Lodge were Rt. Wor. James M. Gleason, as Senior Grand Warden; Rt. Wor. Wm. H. H. Soule as Junior Grand Warden; Dana J. Flanders, Past Grand Master; Henry A. Belcher and W. H. L. Odell, past Deputy Grand Masters; J. A. McKim, past Grand Warden; Thomas W. Davis, Recording Grand Secretary; Charles A. Estey, Freeland D. Leslie, and Edwin T. Ellis, District Deputy Grand Masters of the Third, Fourth and Twenty-Fifth districts; George C. Thacher, grand marshal; Philip T. Nickerson and Edmund S. Young, as Grand Deacons. There was an historical address delivered.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Richard B. Burgess, DDGM, District 25 (Hyde Park), 2001, 2002; Senior Grand Warden 2006
- Arthur W. Chase, DDGM, District 25 (Hyde Park), 1921, 1922; SN
- Kenneth A. Churchill, DDGM, District 25 (Hyde Park), 1993, 1994; N
- Francis D. Dunbar, DDGM, District 22 (Hyde Park), 1892, 1893, 1894; Memorial
- J. Mason Everett, DDGM, District 13 (Taunton), 1868, 1869, 1870; Memorial
- Eliot C. French, DDGM, District 25 (Hyde Park), 1939, 1940; N
- Ernest T. Johnson, DDGM, District 25 (Hyde Park), 1947, 1948; SN
- Lester Miller Oshry, DDGM, District 7, 2008, 2009; N
- Myles Standish, DDGM, District 25 (Hyde Park), 1959, 1960; SN
- J. Fayette Stone, DDGM, District 22 (Hyde Park), 1909, 1910; N
- John Vannevar, Grand Chaplain 1926-1931