- 1 BRISTOL LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.4.1 125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1922
- 184.108.40.206 1797
- 220.127.116.11 1798
- 18.104.22.168 1799
- 22.214.171.124 1800
- 126.96.36.199 1801
- 188.8.131.52 1803
- 184.108.40.206 1806
- 220.127.116.11 1809
- 18.104.22.168 1810
- 22.214.171.124 1811
- 126.96.36.199 1812
- 188.8.131.52 1813
- 184.108.40.206 1814
- 220.127.116.11 1815
- 18.104.22.168 1816
- 22.214.171.124 1817
- 126.96.36.199 1818
- 188.8.131.52 1820
- 184.108.40.206 1821
- 220.127.116.11 1822
- 18.104.22.168 1827
- 22.214.171.124 1828
- 126.96.36.199 1829
- 188.8.131.52 1830
- 184.108.40.206 1831
- 220.127.116.11 1832
- 18.104.22.168 1838
- 22.214.171.124 1859
- 126.96.36.199 1861
- 188.8.131.52 1862
- 184.108.40.206 1863
- 220.127.116.11 1864
- 18.104.22.168 1867
- 22.214.171.124 1870
- 126.96.36.199 1871
- 188.8.131.52 1872
- 184.108.40.206 1875
- 220.127.116.11 1876
- 18.104.22.168 1877
- 22.214.171.124 1879
- 126.96.36.199 1881
- 188.8.131.52 1882
- 184.108.40.206 1883
- 220.127.116.11 1884
- 18.104.22.168 1885
- 22.214.171.124 1886
- 126.96.36.199 1887
- 188.8.131.52 1888
- 184.108.40.206 1889
- 220.127.116.11 1890
- 18.104.22.168 1891
- 22.214.171.124 1892
- 126.96.36.199 1893
- 188.8.131.52 1894
- 184.108.40.206 1895
- 220.127.116.11 1897
- 18.104.22.168 1902
- 22.214.171.124 1904
- 126.96.36.199 1909
- 188.8.131.52 1913
- 184.108.40.206 1915
- 220.127.116.11 1916
- 18.104.22.168 1922
- 22.214.171.124 SUMMARY
- 2.4.2 150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1947
- 2.4.3 175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1972
- 2.4.1 125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1922
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 DISTRICTS
- 2.9 LINKS
Chartered By: Paul Revere
Charter Date: 06/12/1797 V-264
Precedence Date: 06/12/1797
Current Status: Active
At the 125th Anniversary in 1922, an excellent history was presented (beginning on Page 1922-150 of the Proceedings). It indicates that the lodge was in the 3rd Masonic District (though this is probably an error - should be the 5th District) "as late as 1846", that records (with one exception) are missing from 1832 to 1859, and suggests that the charter was surrendered some time after 1846 and restored in 1859.
In Grand Master Heard's address in December 1857 (Page 1857-36 in the original Proceedings), it was noted: "Having received information that Bristol Lodge, in the town of Attleboro, had held but one meeting since its Charter was restored, December 13, 1854, and that during this period it had made no returns or payments required by our regulations, I ordered, in August last, D. D. Grand Master Taber to take possession of its effects. This duty was promptly performed, and the Charter, records and jewels, have been placed in the keeping of the Grand Treasurer. As the delinquency of this Lodge to make returns and payments has continued for three years, its Charier, foods and regalia should be declared forfeited to the Grand Lodge, according to our Constitutions, Part 4th, Article 1, Sec 4."
MEMBER LIST, 1802
From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 20:
- R. W. Ephraim Raymond, M.
- W. Ebenezer Tyler, S. W.
- W. Benjamin Billings, J. W.
- William Veny, Sec.
- George Gilbert, Tr.
- Jonathan Willmarth, Deacon.
- Silas Cobb, Deacon.
- Hezekiah Tucker, Steward.
- Daniel Knap, Steward, Tiler.
- Daniel Gilbert, Marshal.
- W. Laban Wheaton, Rep. to the M. W. G. Lodge.
No. of Members, 40.
- Seth Smith, 1797
- Laban Wheaton, 1798, 1799, 1807
- Ephriam Raymond, 1800, 1801
- Ebenezer Tyler, 1802, 1803
- William Verry, 1804, 1805, 1806
- Abiathar Richardson, Jr., 1808-1814, 1816, 1817, 1825; SN
- Edward Richardson, 1818, 1819
- Moses Richardson, 1820-1823
- George W. Robinson, 1824
- Danial Babcock, 1826-1829
- Williard Blackinton, 1830; 1859
- Samuel G. Bates, 1831
- George B. Richards, 1832
- gap in records and loss of charter
- William Cutting, pro tem 1838
- Samuel S. Ginwood, 1860-1863
- Charles E. Smith, 1864, 1865; SN
- John B. Maintein, 1866-1868
- Thomas A. Sandland, 1869, 1870
- Obed C. Turner, 1871, 1872
- Frank S. Fairbanks, 1873, 1874
- Samuel H. Bugbee, 1875, 1876
- Arthur E. Codding, 1877, 1878
- Edward R. Price, 1879, 1880; Memorial
- James A. Codding, 1881, 1882
- Theodore B. Hazzard, 1883, 1884
- Walter E. Barden, 1885, 1886
- Elton I. Franklin, 1887, 1888
- Fred B. Byram, 1889, 1890
- George E. Hawes, 1891, 1892
- Owen B. Bestor, 1893, 1894
- Leo A. Heilborn, 1895, 1896
- Henry H. Curtis, 1897, 1898
- William H. Pond, 1899, 1900
- William S. Metcalf, 1901, 1902
- Charles E. Stainley, 1903, 1904
- William F. Maintein, 1905, 1906
- Arthur E. Coding, 1907, 1908
- Edwin E. Hale, 1909
- H. Alton Hall, 1910
- Arthur T. Parker, 1911
- Harry E. Litchfield, 1912; N
- Charles S. Parker, 1913
- Silas H. Dyer, 1914
- Ernest T. Upham, 1915
- Fred I. Gorton, 1916
- Harlie H. Thompson, 1917
- George E. Osgood, 1918
- Edmund G. Flint, 1919
- Winthrop F. Barden, 1920
- Byron S. Gardiner, 1921
- George A. Livingston, 1922
- Henry B. Cornell, 1923
- John A. Clarner, 1924
- William H. Beckman, 1925
- David Sinclair, 1926
- Lee R. Higgins, 1927; N
- A. Victor R. Chevers, 1928
- John L. Thompson, 1929
- John H. Paton, 1930
- Frank Batchelder, 1931
- John A. Gilchrist, 1932
- Edward P. Bennett, Jr., 1933
- David G. Hayes, 1934
- James Donaldson, 1935
- Clarance F. Telford, 1936
- John H. Peckham, Jr., 1937
- George Lincoln, 1938
- Edward E. Osterholm, 1939
- William H. Ryder, 1940
- Benjamin Armstrong, 1941
- Albert B. Totten, 1942
- Gerald E. Riley, 1943, 1944; N
- Ovid A. Davington, 1945
- Edwin W. Cheney, 1946
- A. Gilbert Weller, 1947
- Donald F. Austin, 1948
- Ralph B. Johnson, 1949
- Leroy C. Linnekin, 1950
- Earl C. Batchelder, 1951
- William Budlong, Jr., 1952
- John D. Cruickshank, 1953
- Albert Kanadarian, 1954
- Eugene E. Hawkins, 1955; N
- Horace E. Darling, 1956
- Lawrence E. Zilch, Jr., 1957
- Robert J. Gillespie, 1958
- Leon G. Carpenter, 1959
- Reginald B. Keyes, 1960
- Albert K. Welton, 1961
- Samuel B. Robinson, 1962
- Stanley C. Welton, 1963
- Ralph H. Hemmingsen, Jr., 1964
- Harold H. Chace, 1965
- Frank E. Manchester, 1966
- William H. Riley, 1967
- Anthony F. Ferreira, 1968
- L. Raymond Wyatt, 1969
- Robert B. Chamilliard, 1970
- John F. Burke, 1971
- Mowry E. Tennant, 1972
- Ronald C. Hobbs, 1973
- Louis A. Harmon, 1974
- Blaine Emery, 1975
- Herbert M. Tinkham, 1976; N
- Damon J. Swistak, 1977
- Edward A. Dyer, 1978
- Herbert A. Cote, 1979
- Neal B. Emerson, 1980
- Markeith E. Host, 1981
- Damon J. Swistak, 1982
- John H. Nelson, 1983, 1988
- David L. Thibault, 1984
- Charles A. Currie, 1985
- Louis A. Lasker, 1987
- Richard F. Grant, 1989
- Clifford H. White, 1990
- Conrad A. Morel, 1991
- Lawrence E. Williams, 1992; PDDGM
- David L. Beane, 1993
- William E. Taylor, 1994
- James W. Halliday, 1995
- Herbert A. Prew, Sr., 1996
- David S. Tinkham, 1997; PDDGM
- Michael E. Rench, 1998
- Alfred H. Erdos, Jr., 1999
- Todd O. Galarneau, 2000
- Oliver J. Galarneau, 1986, 2001
- Douglas R. Lovett, 2002
- Gerald L. Brookbush, 2003
- Donald M. Ryng, 2004, 2011
- Richard D. Cathcart, 2005
- Emil J. Kashouh, 2006, 2009
- Herbert A. Prew, Jr., 2007
- Frederick C. Parastatides, 2008
- Lawrence E. Thomas, 2010
- David R. Brecken, 2012
- James S. Fontaine, 2013
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 1897 (Centenary)
- 1922 (125th Anniversary)
- 1947 (150th Anniversary)
- 1972 (175th Anniversary)
- 1997 (200th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1865 (Parkman; installation; not in Proceedings)
- 1876 (Everett; Dedication of Hall; Special Communication)
- 1881 (Lawrence)
- 1882 (Lawrence; Cornerstone laying; Special Communication)
- 1893 (Acting Grand Master Shepard)
- 1894 (Holmes; Cornerstone laying; Special Communication)
- 1897 (Hutchinson; Centenary; Special Communication)
- 1916 (M. Johnson; Cornerstone laying; Special Communication)
- 1922 (Prince; 125th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1927 (Simpson; Hall dedication; Special Communication)
- 1928 (Simpson; Hall dedication; Special Communication)
- 1929 (H. Dean; Cornerstone laying; Special Communication)
- 1943 (Schaefer; mortgage burning)
- 1947 (Wragg; 150th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1972 (Vose; 2 visits, including 175th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1976 (Maxwell)
- 1989 (Ames)
- 1997 (A. Johnson; 200th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1922 (125th Anniversary History, 1922-150; see below)
- 1947 (150th Anniversary History, 1947-217; see below)
- 1972 (175th Anniversary History, 1972-132; see below)
125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1922
From Proceedings, Page 1922-150:
EXTRACTS FROM RECORDS OF BRISTOL LODGE
AS READ BY HARRY E. LITCHFIELD AT
125TH ANNIVERSARY, JUNE 10, 1922.
Charter of Bristol Lodge was granted June 14, 1797.
Lodge to be holden at Norton, Mass.
Which Charter is now in the custody of Bristol Lodge, in excellent condition.
June 26. The Bristol Lodge first opened June 26, 1797, at which time Seth Smith, Jr., Job Gilbert, Samuel Morey, Jr., Daniel Gilbert, Joshua Pond, Samuel Day, George Gilbert, George Palmer, and Ira Smith were present.
February 19. Bros. Wheaton, Raymond, and Parker appointed a committee to enquire and report with respect to the establishment of a Lodge in the Town of Rehoboth. Treasurer instructed to furnish 6 chairs, 6 candlesticks and 2 pair andirons.
May 7. Consent given to the establishment of a Lodge in the Town of Rehoboth.
April 4. Voted that the Master shall sign an approbation for the Brethren from Taunton to be separate Lodge.
INSTALLATION OF BRISTOL LODGE.
June 20, 5798. The Bristol Lodge was then Constituted and Installed at Norton in Ample Form and with the Usual Ceremonies by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Most Worshipful Josiah Bartlett presiding as Grand Master, and the following Officers were Installed viz:
- Right Worshipful Seth Smith, Jr., Master
- Brother Daniel Gilbert, Senior Warden
- Brother Joshua Pond, Junior Warden
- Brother Laban Wheaton, Treasurer
- Brother Samuel Morey, Jr., Secretary
- Brother Samuel Day, Senior Deacon
- Brother William Augustus Crocker, Junior Deacon
- Brother Silas Cobb, First Steward
- Brother Elisha Hodges, Second Steward
- Brother John Balkom, Tyler
On this occasion when the Lodge was opened in Ample Form and a regular procession being made, they walked from Masons Hall to the Meeting House. When the Reverend Pitt Clark addressed the Grand Master of the Universe by prayer. An elegant and well adapted discourse was then delivered by the Reverend Brother John Eliot. A sublime and learned oration was also delivered by Brother Laban Wheaton and a concluding prayer by the Reverend John Eliot.
The whole concluded by a congratulatory and truly Masonic address by the Grand Master, after which they proceeded to the place of entertainment where an elegant dinner was provided and the afternoon was spent in social and rational festivity.
It might be interesting to quote for the benefit of present day members from the original By-Laws of Bristol Lodge.
- ARTICLE I
- Sec. 2. This Lodge may consist of forty members and no more, unless a majority shall think it expedient to alter the number.
- Sec. 5. If convenient a lecture shall be given by the Master or his appointment every lodge night, during which no one shall be admitted into the room, nor shall any be suffered to go out and the strictest attention shall be given.
- Sec. 6. No liquors shall be brought into the lodge room except by order of the Master.
- Sec. 7. No brother shall quit the lodge during lodge hours without permission of the Master.
- Sec. 8. Any brother, whether a member of this lodge or not, who shall, while in lodge, or in the house where the lodge is held (if he came with an intent of visiting the lodge), be guilty of any quarrelling or fighting, shall use abusive, profane language, or behave in any manner derogatory to or inconsistently with the character of a good Mason, either during the time of the Lodge being opened or within thirty minutes after the close shall for the first offense be publickly called by name and admonished by the Master, either the same evening or the next time he appears in Lodge; and for the second offense (if a member of this Lodge) shall be expelled from the same.
- Sec. 9. The stewards shall furnish the tables when desired thereto by the Master, and on the evening of the choice of Officers they shall exhibit in writing to the Master an inventory of all the
utensils and furniture belonging to the Lodge which shall be delivered to the new Stewards, and a copy of the inventory to the Secretary for record.
- ARTICLE IV
- Sec. 3. Every brother who desires to be raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason shall be examined before the Lodge respecting the proficiency he has made in his former degrees; after which, and obtaining the unanimous consent of the members present, he shall receive that degree; paying the usual fees, and no brother shall be initiated, crafted or raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason at Lodge specially called for that purpose unless he pays the expense of the evening beside the usual fees.
- ARTICLE V
- Sec. 2. Any member who shall mention to any person not a brother the name of any person negatived in this Lodge shall be publickly reprimanded the first time he appears in Lodge.
- ARTICLE VI
- Sec. 1. Every candidate made a Mason shall pay for being initiated and passed $10.00.
- Sec. 2. Every brother not made in this Lodge who shall be passed a Fellowcraft shall pay $3.00.
- Sec. 2. Every brother raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason if initiated in this Lodge shall pay $4.00.
- Sec. 4. Every brother who was not initiated in this Lodge who shall be raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason shall pay $4.00.
- Sec. 5. Whenever the breach of any of the By-Laws shall come to the knowledge of the Secretary, he shall inform the Lodge of same under penalty of paying $4.00 to the Lodge Chest each time he neglects.
August 15. The Lodge received a communication from King David's Lodge of Taunton requesting the attendance of Bristol Lodge at the Installation of that Lodge on Wednesday the 28th inst.
February 5. Received the communication from the Grand Lodge respecting the funeral honors of our illustrious deceased Brother George Washington and directed the Secretary to answer the same.
March 6. Voted that no refreshments should be brought into the Lodge in future except wine or spirits, and that the expense should be paid out of the funds.
July 3. Voted that Brother Knap buy two pair of candle snuffers for the use of the Lodge, and that the Steward provide bread and cheese the next Lodge night.
August 28. Voted that the Lodge should for the future open precisely at 5 o'clock and close at 9 o'clock.
May 21. Voted that 12 1-2 cents be paid by each Brother present, every Lodge night for refreshments.
April 7. Voted that the Secretary draw a subscription paper for the purpose of purchasing Discourses, Illustrating and Defending Masonic Institutions by Brother Thaddeus Mason Harris.
April 2. Voted that the Secretary send notices to every member of this Lodge informing them that it is motioned that this Lodge be removed to Attleborough and their attendance is earnestly requested the next Regular Lodge.
April 15, 16. Lodge met at 9 A. M. for the purpose of lecturing and instruction.
April 21, 22, 23. Met and attended to the instructions of Brother Benjamin Gleason, the Grand Lecturer and Instructor.
May 2. Voted that the further consideration of the removal of Bristol Lodge from Norton to Attleborough be postponed until the first Monday in June next.
June 26. Voted that the Lodge make a present of eight dollars to Brother Benjamin Gleason to pay his stage fare, etc. Voted to choose a committee to wait on Reverend Pitt Clark to express the thanks of this Lodge for his polite attention to Bristol Lodge and make a present to him of three gallons of wine.
August 28. Voted to accept the report of the committee viz., that the motion of removing the Lodge from Norton to Attleborough should subside for the present, and for the future the Lodge meet but once in three months.
February 23. Made choice Noah Clanin, Geo. Gilbert, Thomas Stanley, a committee whether it is proper to enlarge the number of members in this Lodge and to consider the mode or the sum, to be paid by such as are admitted members, if not made in this Lodge.
April 27. Committee chosen to report respecting the propriety of admitting more than forty members in this Lodge. Committee chosen to inquire into the circumstances of the widows and orphans of our deceased Brethren to see who are entitled to charity.
November 8. Chose Brother Jacob Balkom, Brother Zebulan White and Brother Amos Sweet for a committee to wait on the Reverend Nathan Holman to express the thanks of Bristol Lodge for his polite attention to the Lodge and make a present to him of five dollars' worth of wine.
November 28. A petition was read for removal of Bristol Lodge to the East Parish in Attleborough. Chose Brothers John Richardson and Wm. Verry a committee to enlarge the number of members of Bristol Lodge.
December 5. Committee reported to alter the By-Laws respecting the number of members and to enlarge said number to eighty members. Voted that the petition for the removal of Bristol Lodge be immediately forwarded to the Grand Lodge for approbation. Chose Brother Jabez Newell for agent for the purpose.
January 23. Read the Order from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the removal of Bristol Lodge to the East Parish in Attleborough. Closed the Lodge until Thursday next preceding the full moon in February, then to meet at the Franklin School House in the East Parish in Attleborough, precisely at one o'clock P. M.
January 30. Special meeting of Bristol Lodge at Attleborough East Precinct. Received the petition of Mr. Sylvanus Tingley to become a member of this Lodge.
February 27. Regular meeting of Bristol Lodge holden at Attleborough Bast Parish. Initiated Mr. Sylvanus Tingiey into the first Degree of Masonry. Raised Brother Artemas Reed to the sublime Degree of Master Mason, received petitions of Peter Fales, Jr., and James Warren to become members of this Lodge.
January 14. Chose Brothers Abiathar Richardson, Jr., Jabel Ingraham, and Amos Sweet a committee to build a Hall.
Feburary 11. Made choice of Brothers Jabel Ingraham, Lemanuel Arnold, and Luther Cobb a committee to agree with Brother Benjamin Balkom on a certain sum of money to be loaned to him for the purpose of assisting in building a Hall and to report in due time. The above committee for agreeing with Brother Balkom on a certain loan returned and reported, (to wit.): That Brother Balkom would build a Hall and lease it to Bristol Lodge, providing said Lodge would loan him $500 which money he, the said Balkom, would return at the end of 14 years.
November 3. Bristol Lodge met at 9 o'clock for the purpose of dedicating their new hall. Opened a Lodge of Entered Apprentices and as the Grand Lodge did not appear, dedication was omitted. The Brethren (about 120 in number) formed procession, followed by a band of music, marched to the meeting house, where an appropriate discourse was delivered by Brother John Holroyd.
The procession then returned to the hall again, where they partook of an excellent repast, and after wine, toasting and singing the Lodge was closed.
(Note the lapse of time before Grand Lodge did appear to dedicate the building).
June 24. A special meeting of Bristol Lodge convened at 9 o 'clock A. M. for the purpose of celebrating the Anniversary of St. John the Baptist, and also of dedicating the new Masonic Hall. Right Worshipful William Fisher in the chair opened a Lodge of Entered Apprentices for the dispatch of business; the Worshipful Master appointed a committee of five to wait upon the most Worshipful Grand Lodge (who had recently convened in an adjoining room) and introduced them into the hall.
The committee consisted of Brothers Jacob Balkom, Manning Richards, Luther Cobb, Otis Robinson, Elihu Daggett, Jr.
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge accordingly attended and the hall was dedicated in ample form. A procession was then formed and marched to the Meeting House where a very excellent and appropriate discourse was delivered by Reverend Brother Barnabas Bates of Bristol. The procession was again formed and marched back to the hall. The officers of Bristol Lodge having taken their seats (officers of the Grand Lodge on the right) committees were chosen to tender the sincere thanks of the Lodge to the Grand Lodge for their polite attendance on this occasion, also to the orator of the day for his appropriate and sentimental discourse. The Brethren then repaired to the dining table where a splendid entertainment was provided by Brother Benjamin Balkom.
After regaling themselves with food, the Brethren drank to a number of very sentimental toasts.
There were present at this meeting Most Worshipful Grand Master Benjamin Russell, Grand Marshal Michel Roulstone, with two other officers of the Grand Lodge, Brethren from Eastern Star Lodge, King David Lodge, Rising Star Lodge, Montgomery Lodge, most of the Brethren from Bristol Lodge with many from Providence, Pawtucket and elsewhere.
April 11. At a regular meeting of Bristol Lodge Past Right Worshipful Eben Tyler in the chair, opened a Lodge of Entered Apprentices in due form. The doors of the hall were then opened to spectators and an oration (previously prepared) was delivered by Right Reverend Brother Richard Carigue. Brothers Benjamin Balkom, and Obed Robinson were chosen a committee to wait on Brother Carigue and present him the grateful thanks of the Lodge for his discourse delivered this day.
May 9. Voted that every man indebted to Bristol Lodge by note of hand, be called upon for the payment previous to the 20th day of May current, and if not complied with by the debtors within three days from the said 20th day of May, that all those notes be commenced in a suit of law at June court.
October 31. Received an address of a committee from Adoniram Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, requesting the indulgence for the said Adoniram Chapter to use the furniture belonging to this Lodge. Voted to raise a committee to confer with the committee from Adoniram Chapter relative to their request. Brothers Benjamin Balkom and William S. Robinson were appointed said committee. The committee attended to that business and reported as follows, viz.—That said Adoniram Chapter shall pay to said Bristol Lodge for the use of their furniture one year, six dollars, and make good all damage which may happen by their means to the same. Report accepted.
June 12. Voted that Adoniram Chapter have the privilege of using this hall on the 24th of this month, and that this Lodge meet in the Franklin School house on that morning.
June 24. Installation of Adoniram Chapter, Bristol Lodge joining Adoniram Chapter (with neighbouring Lodges) in the celebration of the annual festival or Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The Lodge met in the Franklin School House (the Chapter using the hall) and from thence were invited to the hall, from whence the procession was formed and marched to the meeting house where the consecration of its officers was publicly performed by the M. E. Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts.
After which a very beautiful and appropriate discourse was delivered by the Grand Chaplain Reverend Paul Dean. The procession returned to Brother Balkom's and partook of a sumptuous dinner prepared by him for the occasion.
April 16. Received a communication from a number of Brethren in Wrentham, praying for our consent to the establishment of a Lodge in that town. • Voted to give orir full consent and assistance agreeably to their progress.
September 21. On motion made and seconded voted to act on the petition of ____. Proceeded and balloted for _____ and the ballot was unanimous against the candidate.
June 4. Voted to dispense with all spiritous liquors for the future.
January 4. Voted to take refreshment down stairs and that the Secretary pay the bill and pass it over to the Treasurer as so much money.
May 7. Voted that the Treasurer be instructed to purchase a few pounds of mould candles and 1-2 dozen brass candlesticks for the use of the Lodge.
June 3. On motion made and seconded a Committee of Charity were chosen and impowered to draw on the Treasurer for the sum of four dollars if found necessary, for the relief of any distressed Brethren, and any one of said committee allowed to draw from the funds, one dollar for the purpose aforesaid.
February 8. Chose Brothers A. Richardson, Jr. and E. Daggett a committee to make sale of our land on Cuttings Plain so called, within two months.
March 22. Voted to sell our glasses, etc. to the highest bidder, which sale amounted to $0.47.
February 12. Chose a committee of three to consult Moses Richardson and see what he will charge Bristol Lodge per year for the use of the hall. Preston Draper, Joseph Blanchard and Edward Richardson were chosen. The committee returned and reported that they had attended to their duty and could have the hall at $20 per year commencing the 6th of June, 1828.
August 13. Voted to petition the Grand Lodge to amend the Charter of Bristol Lodge by erasing from it the words East Precinct.
May 6. Voted to move the furniture of Bristol Lodge to the Farnum House in the West Parish in Attleborough, and appointed Brothers Edward Richardson, and Ira Richards a committee to attend to the same.
March 24. George B. Richards and Ira Richards chosen a committee to purchase the Farnum Estate if it can be bought at about eight hundred dollars. Voted in case the said estate is bought, that the committee dispose of as much of the same as they may think will be to the interest of the Lodge.
June 6. Chose Ira Richards and George B. Richards a committee to confer with the committee for the subscribers to the contemplated Academy to ascertain on what terms the Lodge can have a room in said Academy (if it should be built) and report to the Lodge at our next meeting.
June 24. Voted to subscribe for twelve shares in the Attleborough Academy and Masonic Hall, provided it can be built for twelve hundred dollars. Shares at twenty-five dollars each.
September 24. Voted that the Treasurer of Bristol Lodge, secure to the Attleborough Academy and Masonic Hall the amount of their subscription to the said Academy, by turning out notes to the amount of the same. Voted that the land on Cuttings Plain belonging to Bristol Lodge be sold at public auction. Chose G. B. Richards a committee to sell said land.
June 4. A regular meeting of Bristol Lodge held at Masons Hall. It being the annual meeting, officers were elected.
This is the last meeting recorded in the Record Book; it is presumed that, owing to the Anti-Masonic times, the meetings were not regularly held, and the records being kept on separate sheets have been lost or destroyed, with the exception of the following:
April 5. At a regular meeting of Bristol Lodge held at Masons Hall, proceeded to business as follows; Opened a Lodge of Entered Apprentices for the dispatch of business. Present:
- Jonathan Ames, District Deputy Grand Master of West Bridgewater,
- William Cutting, Master pro tem
- G. B. Bichards, Senior Warden pro tem
- Elihu Daggett, Junior Warden pro tem
- Willard Robinson
- Virgil Blackinton, Secretary pro tem
- S. O. Draper
- Carlos Barrows
- Ira Richards
- Ephraim Dean
- Preston Draper
- Milton Holmes
- George Ellis
Voted to adjourn till our next regular communication the Thursday next proceeding the full moon in May. Closed without ceremony.
VIRGIL BLACKINTON, Sec. P. T.
The records of the Grand Lodge do not show when the Charter was surrendered.
The Lodge appears in the List of Lodges, in the 3rd Masonic District as late as 1846, but does not appear after that date. So no doubt the Charter was surrendered about that time.
October 31. Willard Robinson, S. O. Draper, Willard Blackinton, Rufus P. Barrows, Bphraim Dean, Daniel Babcock, Edward Richardson and Noah Clafiin, original members of Bristol Lodge, F. & A. M. and petitioners to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the return of said Bristol Lodge Charter held a meeting at Odd Fellows' Hall. Brother Willard Robinson presided. Voted to restore to membership Brothers George Bacon, Milton Holmes, George B. Richards, Chester Bugbee, George W. Horr, Elkanab Briggs, Thomas D. Sadler, and Obed Robinson.
December 28. Voted to change night of meeting from Thursday evening to Tuesday evening.
December 17. Voted to establish quarterly communications at the regular meeting in June, September, December, and March. Voted that the members pay quarterages to the amount of $4.00 per year.
Voted to exempt those who were members prior to the restoration of the Charter from paying any quarterages.
June 10. Voted to appoint a committee to consider the propriety of procuring and furnishing a hall for the use of Bristol Lodge.
March 3. Voted to exempt the members of Bristol Lodge who are in the United States service, fighting for their country, from quarterages.
April 28. Voted to hire Howard Hall at a rental of one hundred dollars per year, and a committee was appointed to furnish the hall.
October 1. Public installation of the officers of Bristol Lodge at Howard Hall. The Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, William Parkman with his suite officiated.
November 24. Voted to change by-laws so that the officers shall be elected on the first Monday of December instead of June annually.
January 19. Voted that Bristol Lodge take a lease of the Hall for five years of Brother Samuel S. Ginnods.
March 30. Presentation of a Bible by the Ladies of North Attleborough to Bristol Lodge, Wednesday evening, March 30, 1864, at the Universalist Church.
- 1st, Voluntary
- 2d, Singing by the Choir
- 3d, Prayer by Rev. J. D. Pierce
- 4th, Singing by the Choir
- 5th, Introductory remarks by Brother Gardner Clark
- 6th, Presentation of Bible by Miss Cora Price; Replied to by Brother Simeon Bowen
- 7th, Singing by the Choir
- 8th, Presentation of Past Master Jewel to Wor. Bro. Samuel S. Ginnods.
- 9th, Singing by the Choir
- 10th, Benediction
(Miss Price's speech of presentation is on file with Lodge records.)
April 19. The Lodge formed a procession in Masonic order, and proceeded to the Universalist Church to hear an address by the Reverend J. D. Pierce on the death of the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
February 12. Voted to purchase bonds of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to the amount of $500.
March 19. Voted to appropriate one hundred and fifty dollars ($150) from the funds of the Lodge for the purpose of procuring a banner.
June 24. The officers and members of Bristol Lodge numbering sixty (60) men visited Boston today, by invitation of the Grand Lodge, to assist in the dedication of the new Masonic Temple.
July 16. Voted that the thanks of this Lodge be presented to Tilton, Didlee & Co., 18 & 20 Franklin St., Boston, for the generous use of their .store June 24, 1867.
February 15. A communication was received from Brother George F. Bicknell and 23 other members of Bristol Lodge, asking permission, to ask the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a dispensation to form a new Lodge at East Attleborough.
May 10. Worshipful Master Thomas G. Sandland presented to Brother John T. Bates, Secretary, a gold watch in behalf of the members of Bristol Lodge. Inscribed as follows: Presented to John T. Bates, Secretary, by Bristol Lodge of P. & A. M., May 10, 1870.
November 8. Voted that Brother Frank S. Draper be a committee to procure two swords to be used at Masonic funerals and a sword and belt for the Tyler of the Lodge.
June 27. Voted to grant demits to the following named members of Bristol Lodge, who have received a Charter for Lodge of Free Masons at East Attleborough, known as the Ezekiel Bates Lodge of Free Masons:
- D. H. Smith
- George E. Bicknell
- A. E. Crosby
- James H. Sturdy
- John N. Daggett
- Charles E. Bliss
- Edward Corbett
- K. A. Chatterton
- John Baxter
- Daniel K. Capron
- William E. Reed
- Thomas S. Nye
- John W. Luther
- Oscar S. Thayer
- Alfred Chatterton
- Charles S. Cummings
- Edwin L. Crandall
- C. H. Wetherell
- Benjamin J. Angell
- John C. Cummings
- Orville Balcom
- Walter W. Smith
- Fred S. Marcy
- Emory A. Perrin
October 25. Voted to donate to the sufferers of the late Chicago conflagration two hundred dollars from the funds of the Lodge.
May 21. Voted that a committee of five be appointed to make arrangements to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Bristol Lodge, June 14, 1872; Worshipful Brothers Charles E. Smith, Thomas G. Sandland, John B. Maintien and Brothers Edward A. Luther and Arthur E. Codding.
June 14. The Lodge met for the purpose of celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the date of the Charter of the Lodge and to assist the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in laying the corner-stone of Grace Church in North Attleborough. Bristol Commandery of Mansfield, St. Alban's Lodge, of Foxboro, St. James Lodge, of Mansfield, Ezekiel Bates Lodge, of East Attleborough were present by invitation of Bristol Lodge.
After the ceremonies were concluded at the church and the corner-stone laid in the usual Masonic ceremony, the members and their ladies of the various Masonic institutions, present, proceeded to the Wamsutta Hotel and partook of a sumptuous dinner prepared for the occasion.
January 27. The officers were publicly installed by R. W. Wyzeman Marshall, assisted by Worshipful Brother Benjamin Hersey.
November 2. Official visitation of D. D. Grand Master George L. Rhodes, of Norwood. The Brethren about this time finding that the accommodations of the Masonic Hall were not sufficient for the rapidly growing Lodge, determined to have a larger and better appointed Lodge-room if possible. Several committees were appointed at different times to interview the owner of the hall, Worshipful Brother S. S. fiinnods, but not being able to make satisfactory arrangements, it was determined to buy the hall and enlarge it.
The following Brethren were appointed a committee to bring plans and specifications, also to formulate a plan by which the expenses could be met: Brothers Charles B. Smith, Frank S. Fairbanks, H. G. Bacon, Thomas G. Sand-land, Oscar M. Draper, Harvey Clap.
The plans having been submitted and approved, it was proposed to issue stock in the new building at $25 per share, but pending the sale of the stock, the following committee was appointed to purchase the property and proceed to remodel it, which was accordingly done. Committee: Brothers O. M. Draper, A. B. Codding, S. S. Ginnods, Charles E. Smith.
Arrangements were made with the committee to rent the Lodge-room until such time as the Lodge could purchase the same, the committee in the meantime to be the virtual owners. The Lodge-room was furnished under the direction of the following committee: Brothers S. H. Bugbee, A. Codding, Jr., B. F. Bronson, T. B. Hazzard, H. G. Bacon.
The new organ was procured by Brother Frank I. Barden, who was appointed a committee for that purpose. During the alterations the Lodge met in a hall over Hancock's store.
February 9. Dedication of the new Masonic Hall by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Lodge opened at 12 o 'clock M.
- Samuel H. Bugbee, Worshipful Master
- Arthur E. Codding, Senior Warden
- Charles E. Smith, Junior Warden
- James A. Codding, Treasurer
- Thomas G. Sandland, Secretary
- Rev. J. D. Pierce, Chaplain
- E. D. Sturtevant, Marshal
- Edward E. Price, Senior Deacon
- Theo. B. Hazzard, Junior Deacon
- A. M. Sperrt, Senior Steward
- William H. Lull, Junior Steward
- Frank I. Barden, Organist
- Abel B. Block, Tyler
About 100 members and visitors were present.
Lodge was opened in due form, for the reception of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, consisting of:
- M. W. Percival L. Everett, Grand Master
- R. W. Ab. H. Howland, Jr., Senior Grand Warden
- R. W. John McClellan, Grand Treasurer
- R. W. Charles H. Titus, Grand Secretary
- W. William H. Chessman, Grand Marshal
- W. Benjamin F. Nourse, Grand Tyler
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge then proceeded to dedicate the hall to the uses and purposes of Masonry in due and ancient form. At two o 'clock the Brethren with their ladies repaired to the Banquet Hall, where a sumptuous repast provided by the ladies was partaken of, after which speeches were made by several of the Grand officers and other Brethren. Reverend Brother Joseph D. Pierce officiating as Toast Master.
In the evening the Brethren with their ladies and friends assembled in the Lodge-room where speaking, interspersed with singing, enlivened the occasion while in the Banquet Hall above was spread a bountiful supply of refreshments.
At a seasonable hour the social Lodge was closed, all who had participated in the exercises and enjoyments of the day agreeing that the ceremonies attending the dedication of the Masonic Hall were a perfect and complete success.
February 27. Masonic Hall burned at about 12 o'clock at night, soon after the Brethren left the hall.
March 27. A communication was read from Ezekiel Bates Lodge, F. & A. M. expressing their sympathy for us, for the loss of our Lodge-room by fire, and tendering to us the use of their own, until we could repair our loss.
August 21. This was the first meeting held in Masonic Hall after the fire. Bristol Lodge held ten (10) meetings in Odd Fellows Hall while the Masonic Hall was undergoing repairs. Voted that the Lodge tender a vote of thanks to Aurora Lodge of Odd Fellows for their kindness in our adversity.
November 20. Voted to establish a fund for the care of the sick.
December 23. Voted that the dues of the Lodge be $8.00 per annum, payable quarterly.
January 25. Public Installation—performed by Worshipful Master Edward R. Price, assisted by Worshipful Brother Thomas G. Sandland as Marshal. Past Master Edward R. Price presented a Jewel.
March 15. On motion it was voted that the Worshipful Master appoint a collector for Bristol Lodge with compensation fixed at 5 per cent.
September 18. Bristol Lodge acted as escort to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts at the laying of the corner-stone of the First Universalist Church.
January 30. Public Installation of Officers by Right Worshipful Wyzeman Marshall, Past Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, assisted by Worshipful Brother Edward R. Price, as Grand Marshal.
Past Master James A. Codding presented a Jewel.
December 30. Brother Walter E. Barden elected Worshipful Master.
February 3. Public Installation of Officers by Worshipful Brother A. E. Codding, assisted by Worshipful Brother Edward R. Price, as Marshal. Past Master Theodore B. Hazzard presented a Jewel.
December 15. Worshipful Brother Walter E. Barden re-elected Worshipful Master.
September 7. Brothers A. T. Parker, F. B. Byram, Worshipful Brother S. H. Bugbee, Brother B. I. Franklin, Worshipful Brother W. B. Barden and Brother E. T. Guild were appointed a committee to locate the tract of Real Estate owned by Bristol Lodge.
Voted for the future to have a memorial page in the book of records for each deceased Brother and that his Masonic history be inscribed thereon in place of drafting a set of resolutions.
April 7. Twenty members attended a District Deputy's Lodge of Instruction at Taunton.
June 14. Voted that the Trustees of the Lodge be instructed to sell the Masonic Hall.
November 29. Voted to make the dues six dollars per annum from December 1, 1887.
April 5. Bristol Lodge met the other Lodges of the 23rd Masonic District at Masonic Hall, Attleborough. Worked second degree. The Grand Lecturer pronounced the exemplification as nearly perfect as it could be.
September 18. Brother A. T. Parker informed the Lodge that in looking over the old papers of the late Brother James Hamilton he had discovered the old records and papers of Bristol Lodge.
August 6. Communication received from the Most Worshipful Grand Master inviting Bristol Lodge to be present and assist him in laying the corner-stone of a new Court House in the City of Fall River on Thursday, the 8th day of August, 1889.
Voted to accept the invitation provided forty Master Masons will agree to go to Fall River.
December 23. Brother George E. Hawes elected Worshipful Master.
April 30. Voted that the Lodge donate to the Lodge at Bradford, Vt., such of our Regalia as the Lodge does not use.
June 7. Voted that the word "North" be placed upon the Banner before the word "Attleborough."
December 19. Presentation to the Lodge by Josiah E. Draper of an Ancient Masonic Pitcher, which had been dug out of the ruins of a fire at Nantucket some 40 years ago.
February 13. Voted to light the Lodge-room by electric lights.
June 16. Special communication for the purpose of assisting the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, in the laying of the corner-stone of the Richards Memorial Library.
The Grand Lodge on their arrival from Boston on the 1.26 train were met by a committee of the Past Masters of Bristol Lodge, headed by Worshipful Brother B. R. Price, and escorted to the Lodge-rooms.
The members of the Grand Lodge were as follows:
* R. W. William H. H. Soule, Acting Deputy Grand Master
- R. W. Henry G. Fay, Senior Grand Warden
- R. W. Charles S. Robertson, Junior Grand Warden
- R. W. Thomas W. Davis, Grand Treasurer
- R. W. Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary
- R. W. George H. Rhodes, Grand Marshal
- R. W. Solon R. Wright, District Deputy Grand Master
The Lodge having been opened by Worshipful Brother Owen B. Bestor, Worshipful Master, received the Grand Lodge.
A few minutes after 2 o'clock the various organizations began to form in line on Washington St. between Bank and Chestnut Streets. As soon as possible the line was formed and moved in the following order to the site of the Memorial Library.
Squad of Police.
Hedley's National Band of Providence.
Bristol Commandery, Knights Templars, of North Attleboro.
King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter, of Attleboro.
Ezekiel Bates Lodge, of Attleboro.
St. James Lodge, of Mansfield.
Bristol Lodge, of North Attleboro.
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
As soon as the line reached the corner of Grove and Washington Streets the Craftsmen formed on two sides of the stone, while the Grand Officers ascended to the platform upon which were already seated members of the Richards family and a large number of specially invited guests.
The exercises began with an overture by the band. Then a hymn appropriate to the ceremony about to be performed was sung by the Temple Quartette of Boston.
A formal request was then made to the Grand Master by the Chairman of the Trustees of the Public Library, E. R. Price, for the laying of the stone, after which the stone was laid with the usual Masonic ceremonies by the Grand Lodge.
After the ceremonies the Grand Lodge was escorted to the Maples where a banquet was partaken of.
The visiting Lodges were entertained at Wamsutta Hall.
April 9. Committee appointed to formulate a plan for celebrating our Centenary in June, 1897.
May 7. Report of Centennial Committee received and the plan as a whole, including list of centennial committees adopted.
June 14. Celebration of 100th Anniversary under H. H. Cuites, Worshipful Master.
February 18. Final action taken by Lodge on establishment of Permanent Fund.
December 23. Installation of George E. Hawes, Secretary.
January 5. Installation of E. E. Hale as Worshipful Master.
During this year a very fine-toned pipe organ was installed in the Lodge-room, the expense being borne by the members and its installation by the Lodge. The organ added greatly to effectiveness of the degree work and was greatly enjoyed by all, remaining in service until the fire of March 12, 1915.
December 30. S. H. Dyer installed Worshipful Master by Grand Lecturer Putnam of the Grand Lodge.
March 12. About midnight the Lodge building was visited by fire originating in the Old Academy building adjoining. Banquet Hall floor completely ruined, Lodge suffering loss of all furniture on that floor which included chairs, tables, storage, etc. Fortunately the recently purchased crockery was saved with the exception of about 60 pieces and many of these, it is understood, disappeared as souvenirs. The Lodge-room was drenched with water, but the Brethren managed to remove all regalia, pictures, and small articles together with banners. Carpet was spoiled, and the organ badly wet although the fire did not get into that.
With the usual courtesy of good fellowship Aurora Lodge of Odd Fellows opened their doors to us and did all possible to make our position as easy as possible. Ezekiel Bates Lodge also offered us use of their quarters and one meeting was held at Attleborough.
March 30. W. R. Barden presented the Lodge with gavel and baton made from timber taken from Paul Revere House, Boston. Paul Revere as Grand Master having signed our Charter, made the gift very appropriate.
May 27. Lodge laid corner-stone to new P. O. Building. Most Worshipful M. M. Johnson, Grand Master and Grand Officers presiding, assisted by visiting Lodges, Bristol Commandery, and King Hiram Chapter. Cost $470.00. Receipts $470.00.
January 17. G. A. Livingston installed Master, he being the 49th Master of Bristol Lodge.
May. Appointment of Bristol Lodge Building Fund Committee.
June 10, 11. Celebration of 125th Anniversary.
Opened with dinner at Red Man's Hall at 6:00 P. M.— Lodge meeting at 8:00 P. M. in I.O.O.F. Hall where Grand Master A. D. Prince and suite were received and the Grand Master delivered an address.
Sunday following Lodge met I. O. O. F. Hall and proceeded to Methodist Episcopal Church and were addressed by Past Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson.
- 1797. Bristol Lodge organized in Norton, Mass.
- 1812. Bristol Lodge moved to Attleborough meeting in hall in Balkom's Tavern, corner South Main and Park Street.
- 1816. Adoniram R. A. Chapter, now of New Bedford, organized in Balkom's Tavern.
- 1868. Forty Brothers, all but one, members of Bristol Lodge, secured dispensation for Ezekiel Bates Lodge at Attleborough, the Charter being dated April 9, 1870. First meeting recorded April 13, 1870. Bristol Commandery, No. 29, K. T., chartered at North Attleborough.
- 1876 March 6. King Hiram, R. A. C, chartered at Attleborough.
- 1908 April 16. Angle Stone Chapter, No. 118, O. E. S., chartered at North Attleborough.
- 1912 March 7. Rabboni, R. A. C, chartered at North Attleborough, Mass.
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1947
From Proceedings, Page 1947-217:
History of Bristol Lodge
‘’By Worshipful Ernest T. Upham.’’ The following historical sketch of Bristol Lodge compresses into a single narrative many years and many events that touched the lives of its members over a period of a century and a half. It starts with that far-ofF June 14, in 1797, when the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts issued a charter authorizing its inception. It was also specified that the "Lodge be holden at Norton, Massachusetts."
One of the cherished and priceless possessions of the Lodge is the original charter which bears the signature of Most Worshipful Paul Revere, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.
It was the twentieth Lodge organized in Massachusetts. Its membership originally was drawn from the residents of Attleborough, Mansfield, Norton, Rehoboth, Taunton, Easton, Middleboro, Wrentham, Halifax, Raynham, Needham, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cumberland, Pawtucket and Providence, Rhode Island.
The records indicate that the Lodge first opened at Norton on June 26, 1797, at which time Seth Smith, Jr., Job Gilbert, Samuel Morey, Jr., Daniel Gilbert, Joshua Pond, Samuel Day, George Gilbert, George Palmer and Ira Smith were present and acting under the authority of a warrant issued by Most Worshipful Paul Revere, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. It would be of interest to learn where these Brothers received their Masonic instruction. Possibly the membership lists of the older Lodges in Boston and Providence would furnish this information. As many of the men who were prominent on the American side in the long struggle by which the colonies gained their independence were Masons, it is possible that to some the Masonic affiliation was a continuance of a comradeship born on the camp ground, and fostered and developed through mutual experiences.
Approximately a full year elapsed from the granting of the charter till the installation of Bristol Lodge on June 20, 1798.
On that date it was constituted and installed at Norton in Ample Form and with the usual ceremonies by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Most Worshipful Josiah Bartlett presided as Grand Master and the following officers were installed:
- R.W. Seth Smith, Jr., Master
- Bro. Daniel Gilbert, Senior Warden
- Bro. Joshua Pond, Junior Warden
- Bro. Laban Wheaton, Treasurer
- Bro. Samuel Morey, Secretary
- Bro. Samuel Day, Senior Deacon
- Bro. William Crocker, Junior Deacon
- Bro. Silas Cobb, First Steward
- Bro. Elisha Hodges, Second Steward
- Bro. John Balkom, Tyler
On this occasion when the Lodge was opened in Ample Form, a regular procession was made, and they walked from Mason's Hall to the Meeting House where the Reverend Pitt Clark addressed the Grand Master of the Universe in prayer. A well adapted discourse was then delivered by the Reverend Brother John Eliot and an oration by Brother Laban Wheaton. After a final prayer by the Reverend John Eliot, the whole ceremony was concluded by a congratulatory and truly Masonic address by the Grand Master, after which they proceeded to the place of entertainment where "an elegant dinner was provided and the afternoon was spent in Social and Rational Festivity."
Very little is known about the first officers of the Lodge. Seth Smith, Jr., the first Master, was a merchant, born October 1, 1756, in Norton. He was a member of the state Senate in 1797, having been first chosen to the House of Representatives, then chosen from that body to fill a vacancy in the Senate. Laban W7heaton, the first Treasurer and the second Master, lived at Norton Center. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from May 1809-March 1817. He was also the founder of Norton Academy in which enterprise he was assisted by subscriptions for stock by Bristol Lodge as an organization and by many of its members individually. Norton Academy afterwards became Wheaton Seminary, and later stil received a charter from the state legislature creating it a College with the authority usually accorded such.
Samuel Morey was a physician with a large and lucrative practice in Attleborough and Rehoboth.
Ephraim Raymond, one of the original members, was a cotton manufacturer. He was born April 12, 1764, in Boston and died May 21,1840, in Mansfield. These are the only original members about which it has been possible to learn. The Lodge accommodations were poor and meager. The fees for the degrees were five dollars each for the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft and four dollars and the cost of entertainment for receiving that of Master Mason. The entertainment for many years usually consisted of wine or spirits and crackers and cheese. The first property purchased for the use of the Lodge was six chairs and two pairs of andirons. Sometime later the Stewards were ordered to provide six candle sticks and two pairs of candle snuffers. In the beginning, the Lodge usually met early in the afternoon, its meetings rarely lasting till evening. Still later the meetings opened at five in the afternoon and closed by 9:00 p.m.
It might be interesting to note briefly, for the benefit of present day members, some of the regulations and procedures that occur in the records as follows:
"The Lodge may consist of forty members. If convenient, a lecture shall be given by the Master or his appointment every Lodge night.”
"No liquors shall be brought into the Lodge rooms except by order of the Master."
Fighting was forbidden during the opening or within thirty minutes of the closing of the Lodge.
The Natal days of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist were celebrated in December and June. Sometimes Eastern Star and King David Lodges united with Bristol at the June celebration for a joint session and to attend divine service.
A frequent reference is found in the records to land owned by the Lodge on Cuttings Plain. The records do not show how the land was acquired, but it seems to have been a frequent subject of discussion. In 1827 we find a committee appointed to sell it, but they never reported. Later, it was voted to sell it at public auction. Still later, one of the Brothers is given "the care of the property and allowed to cut wood on the premises if he thinks it is for the best interest of the Lodge." Sometime after, a committee was appointed to examine the title to the land and report at the next annual meeting. However, at the next annual meeting the committee asked for more time and there is no record of its having reported as yet.
Probably owing to the formation of Lodges at Rehoboth and Taunton and later at Stoughton, a proposition was made in April, 1806, to remove Bristol Lodge from Norton to Attle-borough, but it was not until December 5, 1811, that the Lodge formally requested the Grand Lodge for permission to do so. On January 23, 1812, the order was received from the Grand Lodge for the removal to the East Parish in Attleborough. The meetings were held for a time in the Franklin School building, located as near as can be ascertained, on the present location of the Congregational Church in Attleborough.
Soon after moving into the Franklin School, arrangements were made for the erection of a building to be occupied as a lodge-room. From that time and for several years, the Lodge prospered and all went well down to the time of the anti-Masonic Agitation in 1833.
The first intimation of the anti-Masonic Crusade is a record on April 8, 1830. A communication was received from the Grand Lodge permitting the removal of the furniture of the Lodge to such place as will best serve the interest of Masonry. Accordingly it was voted to purchase the Farnum house in the West Parish of Attleborough if it could be done for $800.00. This proposition was not carried out and the Lodge moved to North Attleborough. The Lodge subscribed for twelve shares of the stock of the Attleborough Academy located at North Attleborough with the proviso that the Lodge should have use of a room in the building for its meetings. This Academy was the means of furnishing educational facilities to many of the young people of Attle-borough and vicinity, though it failed to attain the prominence of the Norton Academy, two institutions to which the Lodge had contributed during the early years of its existence.
A regular meeting of Bristol Lodge was held June 4, 1832. It being the annual meeting, officers were elected. Probably because of the anti-Masonic agitation, the meetings of the Lodge were not held regularly. Records of the meetings were made on loose sheets of paper. The only one in possession of the Lodge shows a meeting to have been held on April 5, 1838, at which District Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Ames of West Bridge-water was present as were twelve members of the Lodge.
From this time there is no record of life in the Lodge until 1859. It is supposed that the organization maintained a nominal existence until sometime in 1846 when probably the charter was surrendered to the Grand Lodge. Under date of October 31, 1859, Brother Willard Robinson and seven other original members met at Odd Fellow's Hall for the purpose of reorganizing the Lodge. They voted to restore to membership eight of the former members and Bristol Lodge again started on its Masonic course.
On June 10, 1862, a committee was appointed to consider the propriety of procuring and furnishing a hall for the use of the Lodge. On the next April, Howard Hall was secured at a rental of one hundred dollars per year. In October, 1863, a public installation of the officers was held in this hall at which the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, William Parkman, with his suite, officiated.
On June 27, 1871, the Lodge voted to grant dimits to twenty-four members of Bristol Lodge who had received a charter from the Grand Lodge for the purpose of forming a new Lodge in Attleboro. The new Lodge was known as Ezekiel Bates Lodge of Freemasons.
The Seventy-fifth anniversary of the date of the charter of Bristol Lodge was celebrated on June 14, 1872, and on the same day, the Lodge met to assist the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in laying the corner stone of Grace Episcopal Church in North Attleboro. Bristol Commandery of Mansfield, and the Lodges of St. Alban's of Foxborough, St. James of Mansfield and Ezekiel Bates of East Attleborough were present by invitation of Bristol Lodge.
After the ceremonies were concluded at the church and the corner stone laid in the usual Masonic ceremony, the members and their ladies of the various Masonic institutions present proceeded to the Wamsutta Hotel and partook of a sumptuous dinner prepared for the occasion.
Late in 1875, it was found that the accommodations of the Masonic Hall were not sufficient for the rapidly growing Lodge, so it was determined to make some effort to secure more ample space. To this end several committees were appointed at different times to interview the owner of the hall, but not being able to make satisfactory arrangements, it was determined to buy and enlarge it. This plan was carried out and the hall was purchased and furnished, including a new organ.
The hall was dedicated to the uses and purposes of Masonry in due and ancient form on February 9, 1876, at 12:00 noon by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Percival L. Everett, and his Suite. Following the dedication, the Brethren with their ladies repaired to the banquet hall, where a sumptuous repast was provided, after which speeches were made by the Grand Officers, and others, with Reverend Brother Joseph D. Pierce acting as toastmaster.
On the night of February 27, 1877, Masonic Hall burned soon after the members had left. At the next meeting in March, a communication was read from Ezekiel Bates Lodge expressing their sympathy for the loss and tendering the use of their own until the hall could be repaired. However, Bristol Lodge, for the next ten meetings, convened in Odd Fellows' Hall, that facility having been placed at its disposal. The first meeting held in Masonic Hall after the fire was on August 21, 1877, at which time a vote of thanks was tendered to Aurora Lodge of Odd Fellows for their kindness in granting the use of their hall.
On September 18, 1882, Bristol Lodge acted as escort to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts at the laying of the corner stone of the First Universalist Church in North Attleborough.
The corner stone of the new Court House in Fall River was laid by the Grand Lodge on the 8th of August, 1889. Bristol Lodge participated in this ceremony on the invitation of the Grand Lodge.
For the next several years, the records indicate that the Lodge was running smoothly and was wholly concerned in such matters of routine as the election of officers, the purchase of a banner upon which the word "North" should precede Attleboro, the presentation of Masonic mementoes and a vote to light the lodge-room by electric lights.
Then on June 16, 1894, a special communication was held for the purpose of assisting the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in the laying of the corner stone of the Richards Memorial Library. Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master Edwin B. Holmes, acting for the Grand Master, and his Suite, were met, on their arrival by train from Boston, by a committee of Past Masters headed by Worshipful E. R. Price and escorted to the lodge-rooms. The Lodge having been opened by Worshipful Owen B. Bestor, the Grand Lodge was received.
A few minutes after 2:00 o'clock, the various organizations began to form in line on Washington Street between Bank and Chestnut Streets. Very shortly, they moved forward in the following order to the site of the new Memorial Library:
- North Attleboro Police
- Hedley's National Band of Providence
- Bristol Commandery, Knights Templar of North Attleborough
- King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter of Attleborough
- Ezekiel Bates Lodge of Attleborough
- Saint James Lodge of Mansfield
- Bristol Lodge of North Attleborough
- Grand Lodge Officers
As soon as the line reached the corner of Grove and Washington Streets, the Craftsmen formed on two sides of the stone, while the Grand Officers ascended the platform upon which were already seated members of the Richards family and a large number of specially invited guests.
The exercises began with an overture by the band. There was then a hymn appropriate to the ceremony by the Temple Quartet of Boston. A formal request was then made to the Grand Master by the Chairman of the Trustees of the Public Library, E. R. Price, for the laying of the stone, which was then laid with the usual Masonic ceremonies, after which the Grand Lodge Officers were escorted to the Maples where a fine dinner was served.
On April 9, 1895, a committee was appointed to formulate a plan for celebrating the Centenary of Bristol Lodge. This committee recommended, and it was voted, that there be at that time a "History of the Lodge, A Parade, an Oration and a Banquet." Accordingly, a special communication of Bristol Lodge was held on June 14, 1897 to receive the officers of the Grand Lodge, who were appropriately received by Worshipful Henry H. Curtis.
A procession was then formed and escorted by Sutton Commandery of New Bedford, marched to the First Universalist Church, where exercises were held at 12:00 o'clock noon. Upon conclusion of the exercises in the church, the procession was reformed and the Grand Officers were escorted to the place of opening where it was closed in Ample Form. At 2:30 p.m., the Brethren again assembled in a spacious tent erected opposite the Memorial Building, where a banquet was Lerved, with Worshipful Fred B. Byram acting as Toastmaster. The exercises were very well attended and the interest and feeling of the community for Bristol Lodge was evinced by the great numbers of decorated dwellings and stores. This fact so impressed the Grand Master that he was moved to ask: "Is North Attleboro Bristol Lodge or is Bristol Lodge North Attleboro?"
About midnight on March 12, 1915, the Lodge was again visited by fire which originated in the old Academy building next door. The banquet hall floor was completely ruined and all furniture on that floor was lost. The lodge-room suffered much damage by water, but the Brethren removed all regalia, pictures and small articles. With the usual courtesy of good fellowship, Aurora Lodge of Odd Fellows opened their doors to us and did all that was possible to make our position easy.
Early in April of 1916, the Lodge received an answer to its request to lay the corner stone of the new postoffice in North Attleboro. The Secretary of the United States Treasury, however, stipulated that the Lodge must bear the expense of the ceremonies. The Lodge accepted this condition and on May 27 of that year, the corner stone was laid at the cost of $470, which was raised by the sale of banquet tickets. Previous to the ceremony, the Lodge, with Worshipful Master Fred I. Gorton presiding, assembled at 4:30 p.m. at Red Men's Hall to receive the Grand Lodge. Then a procession was formed and the members of Bristol Lodge and visiting Brethren from other Masonic Lodges in the district proceeded to the site of the new postoffice, escorted by Palestine Temple Band and Bristol Commandery. The corner stone was laid with full form and ceremonies according to the ancient usages of the Craft by Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master, assisted by his Suite. The usual mementoes were deposited in the stone. With one exception, they were all of a Masonic character.
On June 10 and 11, 1922, Bristol Lodge celebrated its 125th anniversary. The festivities opened with a dinner in Red Men's Hall at 6:00 p.m. At 8:00 p.m. the Lodge opened in I. O. O. F. Hall, when Grand Master Arthur D. Prince and Suite were received and the Grand Master delivered an eloquent address, which was listened to with close attention and was received with great applause. This was followed by an interesting address on the history of the Lodge, together with excerpts from the old record books by Right Worshipful Harry E. Litchfield.
On Sunday, June 11, a commemorative service was held in the First Methodist Episcopal Church, where an inspiring address was delivered by Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson.
The records indicate that early in 1923 the members of Bristol Lodge were thinking seriously of securing a permanent home. In February of that year a committee was appointed to see if the members desired a building of their own. The meetings of this committee were held in the office of the H. F. Barrows Company. Later in the same year a Building Fund Committee was appointed for the purpose of raising funds and perfecting plans for the present temple. This committee held sixty-two meetings and performed a most difficult task with energy and dispatch. A building site already having been presented to the Lodge by the family of the late Brother G. K. Webster, a building committee was appointed on April 21, 1925. This committee was authorized to procure plans for a building, to select an architect and to let contracts. It also had the authority to decide when the Building Fund Committee had sufficient funds to warrant the start of building operations.
In March 1927, operations had proceeded to such an extent that plans were made for the laying of the corner stone of the new temple.
On the afternoon of June 25, 1927, Bristol Lodge convened for the purpose of receiving the Grand Lodge and the corner stone laying. At 3:15 the line was formed on Church Street, with the Shrine Band of Palestine Temple of Providence leading the procession and an escort provided by Bristol Commandery No. 29, Knights Templar, of Attleboro. The procession moved to Washington Street, to Park Street, then counter-marched to the site of the temple on South Washington Street, where the line opened up and the Grand Lodge Officers passed through and ascended the platform erected for the ceremonies. The exercises opened with a selection by the band, after which Brother John L. Thompson presented Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, Grand Master, and requested he lay the corner stone of the Temple. The Grand Master made his opening remarks according to ritual, followed by prayer by the Grand Chaplain, Worshipful and Reverend Brother John Vannevar, and the customary responses by the Grand Lodge. The Male Quartet of Pawtucket rendered a selection. The Grand Treasurer, Charles H. Ramsay, then read a list of the contents of the box to be placed in the stone. Cement was laid by Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, Grand Master, assisted by the members of his Suite. After the ceremonies, the line was reformed and paraded to Red Men's Hall, where an excellent buffet luncheon was served. Masonic Brethren were present from all the Lodges in this vicinity, about eight hundred being in the procession alone.
Construction work proceeded according to schedule and the formal dedication was made by the Grand Lodge on January 9, 1928. The Lodge was opened at 5:30 p.m. with Worshipful Master Lee R. Higgins, the first Master to sit in the temple, presiding. It was shortly recessed for dinner, which was held in the new banquet hall, at which three hundred and sixty-one places were occupied, it being necessary to have two sittings.
At 8:45 the Lodge was reopened to receive the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Frank Leslie Simpson, and Suite from the Grand Lodge. Forthwith, the temple was dedicated according to Masonic form and for the purpose of Freemasonry. The ceremonies were very impressive, whereby the building was tried by the plumb, square and level and concluded with the spreading of corn, wine and oil in keeping with the symbolism of Masonic usage. The ceremonies were completed and the Lodge closed at 10:20 p.m.
Shortly after this, on January 19, 1928, the first regular meeting was held in the Temple.
For the next decade the affairs of Bristol Lodge moved along in a smooth and routine manner. Payments were made on the outstanding mortgage on the temple and the indebtedness was being gradually reduced. However, as Worshipful Gerald E. Riley took up the gavel in the East, he resolved to avoid further interest payments by retiring the mortgage. Under his leadership, and largely due to his personal initiative and the encouragement of his father, Brother Charles E. Riley, a drive was inaugurated and carried through, which was completely successful. Not only was a sufficient sum of money realized to dispose of the mortgage, but a further amount was obtained to take care of a thorough renovation of the building and provide for badly needed repairs.
The renovation and repair of the temple having been completed, the Lodge convened in special communication on December 3, 1943, for a Mortgage Burning Ceremony. After a fine dinner, the Lodge was reopened at 8:00 p.m., at which time the Grand Master was escorted into the lodge-room by twenty-one of the twenty-two living Past Masters of Bristol Lodge, under the Chairmanship of Right Worshipful Lee R. Higgins. The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer, accepted his introduction, and after introducing those who had accompanied him, ascended to the East of Bristol Lodge, and following a few introductory remarks, proceeded to burn the mortgage.
The Grand Master delivered a most interesting address to the members in attendance, after which others of the Suite were called to the floor and asked for remarks, which were readily given. Among the latter was Right Worshipful Frank H. Hilton, Grand Secretary, an old friend of Bristol Lodge, who had been present at both the laying of the corner stone and the dedication of the temple. The ceremonies having been completed, the Grand Master closed the Lodge in Ample Form and all repaired to the banquet hall for ice cream, cakes and coffee.
The Grand Master, as frequently is the custom, did not open the Grand Lodge here so no doubt the celebration was not an official Grand Lodge affair. This was the first meeting held in the newly decorated Lodge-room and all were high in praise of its fine appearance.
In late years the Lodge has been honored by the Grand Lodge in the appointment of three of our Worshipful Brothers as District Deputy Grand Masters, namely. Right Worshipful Brothers Harry E. Litchfield, Lee R. Higgins and Gerald E. Riley, thus attesting to the loyalty and efficiency of our organization.
This completes a brief history of the highlights in the life of Bristol Lodge. Age has brought no infirmity. Time has only increased its vigor and crystalized the hopes and ideals of its early years. The esteem and respect in which it is held in the community is the best test of its truth and sincerity and of the wisdom of its Masters and other officers who have guided it through one hundred and fifty years.
175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1972
From Proceedings, Page 1972-131:
By Worshipful Edmund G. Flint.
On June 14, 1797 the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts issued a Charter to Bristol Lodge signed by Paul Revere, Most Worshipful Grand Master, and specified that the "Lodge be holden in Norton."
The Lodge first opened at Norton on June 26, 1797, but was not constituted until June 20, 1798.
Due to the formation of several Lodges in nearby communities, Bristol Lodge was removed from Norton on January 23, 1812 on an order from the Grand Lodge. The meetings were held in the Franklin School building in Attleborough and for a time the Lodge prospered.
Then in 1830 a communication from the Grand Lodge permitted the removal of the furniture of the Lodge to a place of safety due to the beginning of the Anti-Masonic Crusade. It was voted to purchase the Farnum house in Attleborough, but this was not carried out, and by subscribing for twelve shares of stock at the Attleborough Academy in North Attleborough the Lodge obtained the use of a room in the building.
Because of the Anti-Masonic agitation meetings of the Lodge were not held regularly, although some activity was maintained until 1 846 when the Charter was surrendered to the Grand Lodge.
In 1 859 several of the original members met to consider reorganizing the Lodge and the Lodge again started on its Masonic course. In April 1863 Howard Hall was secured as a meeting place and in October a public installation was held, attended by the Most Worshipful Grand Master and his Suite.
The seventy-fifth anniversary of the granting of the Charter was held on June 14, 1872 and on that date the Lodge assisted the Most Worshipful Grand Master in laying the cornerstone of the Grace Episcopal Church. (1872 Mass. 147-150)
In 1875, the accommodations of Howard Hall being insufficient for the needs of the Lodge, the Hall was purchased and enlarged. On February 9, 1876 the Hall was dedicated by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, and one year later the Hall burned. The next ten meetings were held in Odd Fellows Hall.
On September 18, 1882 the Lodge acted as escort to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge at the laying of the cornerstone of the First Universalist Church in North Attleborough. (1882 Mass. 186-202) The Lodge participated in the laying of the cornerstone of the Court House in Fall River on August 8, 1889. (1889 Mass. 92-101) This was followed by assisting the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in laying the cornerstone of the Richards Memorial Library.
On the night of March 12, 1895 fire again struck the Lodge inflicting severe damage although all the regalia, pictures and so forth were removed by the brethren. Again Aurora Lodge of Odd Fellows gave us the use of their rooms.
On June 14, 1897 the Centenary of Bristol Lodge was held attended by the officers of the Grand Lodge. (1897 Mass. 107-112)
On May 27, 1916 Bristol Lodge assisted in the laying of the cornerstone of the North Attleborough Post Office. The Most Worshipful Grand Master laid the stone with full form and ceremonies. (1916 Mass. 150—154)
The Lodge celebrated its one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary on June 10th and 11th, 1922, attended by the Most Worshipful Grand Master and Suite. (1922 Mass. 149-181)
In 1923 a Building Fund Committee was formed to raise funds and perfect plans for a Temple on land presented by the family of the late Brother G. K. Webster. By 1927 plans were made for the laying of the cornerstone, and on June 25th the stone was laid by Most Worshipful Grand Master, Frank L. Simpson. The dedication of the Temple was made on January 9, 1928 by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Frank L. Simpson. (1928 Mass. 1-3) Then the first regular meeting in the Temple was held on January 19, 1928 and for the next decade the Lodge moved along smoothly.
When Worshipful Gerald Riley was installed as Master in 1943, he announced that his main project was to retire the mortgage on the Temple. The drive for funds was so successful, that in addition to the fund for retiring the mortgage, enough money was received for renovations and repairs. The Lodge convened on December 3, 1943 with Most Worshipful Grand Master, Albert A. Schaefer, in attendance to burn the mortgage. In late years the Lodge was honored by the appointment of four District Deputy Grand Masters: Right Worshipful Harry E. Litchfield, Right Worshipful Lee R. Higgins, Right Worshipful Gerald E. Riley and Right Worshipful Eugene E. Hawkins.
The one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge was held on Saturday, June 14, 1947. (1947 Mass. 214-229) A recess was called soon after the opening and the Brethren adjourned to the banquet hall for dinner, attended by Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg, Grand Master, and a full line of Grand Lodge Officers. An entertainment followed and the Lodge reconvened with Worshipful Master, A. Gilbert Weller, presiding. The members of the Grand Lodge were then escorted to the Lodge-room where the gavel was surrendered to Most Worshipful Brother Wragg, who gave a few words of greeting before calling on Worshipful Ernest T. Upham, who spoke on the history of the Lodge. The Grand Master then gave an inspiring address after which he called for remarks by three Grand Lodge Officers and Right Worshipful Gerald E. Riley. The Grand Lodge and Bristol Lodge were then closed.
On the following day an Anniversary Service was held in the Lodge-room with an address by Right Worshipful Peter A. Day, Past Senior Grand Warden. This was followed by musical selections and prayers by five Reverend Brethren of the Lodge and of the Town.
Since the one hundred fiftieth anniversary, the Lodge has moved along progressively and with good fortune; fortunate in the election of officers who have maintained the excellence of the Lodge work.
Fortunate in having a line of Past Masters always ready to help, and keeping up with the Ritual as evidenced by their work on Past Masters Nights.
Fortunate in the appointment of committees which have kept the Temple in excellent condition; added improvements to the Lodge rooms and improved the financial condition of the Lodge. Fortunate in having dedicated Past Masters who have done such fine work with the Bloodmobile in obtaining generous donations of blood.
Fortunate in the election of Secretaries who kept such complete and accurate records.
But the Lodge has also had misfortunes. Right Worshipful Harry E. Litchfield died on August 20, 1954 after forty-three years of devoted service. He was Worshipful Master in 1912; Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master in 1924-1925; Treasurer, 1917-1928; Secretary and Custodian, 1928-1951.
On December 19, 1968, Worshipful Master, L. Raymond Wyatt, died following an automobile accident only two months after being installed as Master. Always affable and eager to help. Worshipful Master of Bristol Lodge, Past High Priest Rabboni Chapter, Officer in the Council, Past Commander Bristol Commandery.
On October 24, 1970, Worshipful Horace E. Darling departed suddenly and the Lodge lost an outstanding Mason, deeply interested in the Lodge and of Masonic Philosophy and History. Past Master of Bristol Lodge, Past High Priest Rabboni Chapter, Past Illustrious Master of the Council, Past Commander of Bristol Commandery, and recipient of the Grand Lodge Distinguished Service Medal. Nineteen Past Masters have passed away since 1947 and Brother Walter P. Marble died on October 5, 1954 in his ninety-seventh year. He was commended several times for his almost uninterrupted attendance at meetings since joining the Lodge.
From early 1950 to 1965 we received an unusual number of applications and the membership rose to its highest peak. Since that time, the number of applicants has tapered off in accordance with the trend throughout New England. The membership list is now slightly lower, but still very satisfactory. The average age of the members is a bit over forty years and nine members have been in the Lodge over fifty years.
In 1953 and again in 1970 the By-Laws of the Lodge were amended to bring them up to date.
Right Worshipful Gerald E. Riley gave a complete report on the condition of the Permanent Fund at the Annual Meeting in 1957. Since that time the wise counselling of the Trustees has resulted in the increase of over fifty percent in the Book Value, Market Value and Income of the Fund in spite of extraordinary expenditures for the maintenance of the Temple, renovation of the Temple, renovation of the heating system, a new kitchen, new chairs for the banquet hall and a new carpet for the stairs, second floor and officers stations. Aleppo Temple Third Degree Team entertained an overflow crowd of three hundred on November 20, 1956 and a capacity crowd watched the work of the Kilwinning Club Scotch Third Degree Team of Boston with full regalia — kilts, bagpipes and drums on February 18, 1958. The work of both teams was so outstanding that they received standing ovations. The Lodge has also been entertained by Degree Teams from the Police Square Club of Massachusetts, Metals and Controls, New England Telephone Company, L. G. Balfour Company, Foxboro Company, New Haven Cable Club and Firefighters Club of Massachusetts.
We have widened the activities of the. Lodge. The first recorded Past Masters Night occurred on October 17, 1947 and on January 14, 1950 the first Table Lodge was exemplified. An outline of the original meaning of the Table Lodge was given by Worshipful Horace E. Darling. There is an Annual Father and Son Night; Family Night; Appreciation Night; Golf and Fishing Outings and annual attendance at a church in the vicinity.
Worshipful Master, Charles J. Bejma, Master of E. L. Freeman Lodge No. 41, Pawtucket, R.I., visited the Lodge on April 20, 1971 and presented the Master with a seventy year old Golden Gavel with the request that it be used during the meeting. He explained that he was visiting fifty Lodges with the gavel to commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of his Lodge in October.
On December 28, 1960 the Lodge was honored by the appointment of Right Worshipful Eugene E. Hawkins as District Deputy Grand Master of the Attleboro 28th Masonic District.
Brother Ralph A. Henshaw was named District Deputy High Priest of the Third Capitular District on December 8, 1971.
On January 19, 1971 Right Worshipful Eugene E. Hawkins was appointed General Chairman of the one hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary celebration with power to appoint committees, commit the Lodge to any reasonable expense and to make all arrangements. Due to the generosity of Right Worshipful Gerald E. Riley, the original Charter has been removed and reframed at no cost to the Lodge. Arrangements have been made to obtain a limited number of duplicate copies for those who may wish to have one.
And now we start with confidence toward 1997 and the two hundredth anniversary. As someone has said, "If all the Masons in America should carry into the world of politics, economics and citizenship the principles and usages he recognizes in the Lodge, Masonry could do more than all other combined influences to convert our country into an ideal republic."
- 1798 (Withdrawn petition, II-120)
- 1811 (Petition to remove to Attleboro granted, II-508)
- 1812 (Remonstrance on removal, II-526; II-539)
- 1821 (Report on delinquency, III-341)
- 1830 (Petition to remove to Attleboro East Parish granted, IV-182)
- 1836 (Communications, IV-412)
- 1838 (Communications, IV-451)
- 1843 (Communications, IV-589)
- 1892 (Endorsement of charter, 1892-102)
- 1935 (Petition to reduce fees granted, 1935-316)
INSTALLATION, JANUARY 1865
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXIV, No. 5, April 1865, p. 182:
This old Lodge celebrated its 68th anniversary on the 28th of January last, by a public Installation of its officers, a supper, &c. The ceremonies of Installation took place in the neat and convenient hall of the Lodge, and in the presence of as many ladies as could possibly be accomodated. They were performed by the M. W. Grand Master in his usual happy and impressive manner. At the conclusion of which, he addressed the Lodge at some length on the general purposes of the Institution, and its importance as a means of great good, not only to its own members, but to the community in which it exists.
The Lodge was then closed, and the Brethren, with their ladies, formed in procession and marched to the vestry room of one of the neighboring churches, where tables were bountifully spread for about three hundred persons. After supper, the company were entertained with speeches by several of the Brethren person, but the great feature of this part of the entertainment was the music, and we have not on any similar occasion ever been more gratified, or known it to be excelled. The singing was surprisingly excellent, and the piano was handled with great skill and beauty. We are happy to state that the Lodge is in excellent condition, and is composed of a fine class of members. The following officers were installed: -
- Charles E. Smith, W.M.
- John B. Maintein, S. W.
- John Stanley, J. W.
- Abial Codding, Jr., Treas.
- John T. Bates, Sec.
- Thomas A. Sandland, S. D.
- James W. Foster, J. D.
- A. W. Sperry, Marshal
- Gardner Clarke, Chap.
- Chas. A. Blake, S. S.
- James A. Hodges, J. S.
- William H. Heath, Tyler.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Eugene E. Hawkins, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1960, 1961; N
- Lee Higgins, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1933, 1934; N
- Louis A. Harmon, Grand Marshal 1996-1998, Senior Grand Warden 1999
- Harry E. Litchfield, DDGM, District 28 (Taunton), 1925, 1926; N
- Edward R. Price, DDGM, District 23 (Taunton), 1893, 1894; Memorial
- Abiathar Richardson, DDGM, District 4 (Southeast), 1819, 1820; SN
- Gerald E. Riley, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1947, 1948; N
- Charles E. Smith, DDGM, District 13 (Dedham), 1880, 1881; SN
- David S. Tinkham, DDGM, District 16, 2004, 2005
- Herbert M. Tinkham, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1980, 1981; Junior Grand Warden 1985; N
- Lawrence E. Williams, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1996, 1997