- 1 CHICOPEE 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 DISTRICTS
- 2.9 LINKS
Chartered By: Edward M. Raymond
Charter Date: 12/27/1849 V-264
Precedence Date: 12/22/1848
Current Status: Active
needs living PMs
- W W. Johnson, 1848-1851, 1854, 1856, 1862
- Charles Sherman, 1852, 1853, 1855
- G. H. Webster, 1857
- M. D. Whitaker, 1858
- George M. Stearns, 1859, 1860
- P. S. Holden, 1861
- J. P. Woodworth, 1863
- Nelson Whittier, 1864, 1865
- Edwin N. Snow, 1866, 1867
- George D. Wiliiams, 1868
- William A. Sawin, 1869
- William J. Sawin, 1870
- Charles N. Smith, 1871, 1872, 1875, 1876
- Wellington M. Stebbins, 1873, 1874
- Richmond Danks, 1877
- John E. Lord, 1878
- Loranus E. Hitchcock, 1879; SN
- Amos O. Kenney, 1880, 1881, 1885, 1892, 1893
- Sprague L. Scribner, 1882, 1883
- Brainard F. McLean, 1884
- Fred M. Gilbert, 1886, 1887
- George D. Eldredge, 1888, 1889, 1894, 1895
- Fred J. Chapin, 1890, 1891
- Charles H. Prindle, 1896, 1897
- William J. Fuller, 1898, 1899
- William H. Ordway, 1900, 1901
- Fred A. Jenks, 1902
- Nelson B. Carter, 1903, 1904
- Charles H. Howard, 1905
- Samuel E. Fletcher, 1906
- William L. Haskell, 1907
- Charles H. Jenness, 1908
- Charles H. Nutting, 1909
- Frank M. Beesley, 1910
- Anson B. Armstrong, 1911
- Benn Blythe, 1912; N
- William A. Lorimer, 1913
- Herbert C. Hill, 1914; SN
- William S. Ritter, Jr., 1915
- James L. Gridley, 1916
- John J. Lorimer, 1917
- Frank P. Johnson, 1918; SN
- Frank R. Rood, 1919; N
- Albert N. Stebbins, 1920
- Frank A. Crothers, 1921
- John A. Coulter, 1922
- Harry B. Jarvis, 1923
- Frederick H. Thompson, 1924
- James L. Todd, 1925
- Albert E. Richey, 1926, 1943
- Harold B. Howard, 1927
- Thomas F. Robinson, 1928
- Willard A. McKinstry, 1929
- Percy A. Hathaway, 1930
- Nicholas C. White, 1931, 1932
- George R. Livingston, 1933
- Robert A. Torrey, 1934
- Edward T. Crompton, 1935, 1936
- George J. Brown, Sr., 1937
- Ernest A. Crosby, 1938
- Warren Westcott, 1939
- Kenneth D. Walker, 1940
- James Williamson, 1941
- Samuel B. MacDonald, 1942
- Clifford E. Richey, 1944
- Norman H. Todd, 1945
- Earl F. Bradway, 1946
- George W. Moorehead, 1947
- Arthur E. Lindstrom, 1948
- Royal H. Edgerly, 1949
- Henry Ryczek, 1950
- Joseph McClelland, 1951
- Kenneth L. Cady, 1952
- George A. Jenkins, 1953
- Charles L. Gridley, 1954
- George Sakakeeny, 1955
- Donald I. Downs, 1956
- James P. Dout, 1957; N
- Alfred W. McKinstry, 1958, 1981
- Sidney Weiner, 1959, 1967; PDDGM
- William A. Brown, 1960
- John E. Hazlett, 1961
- Edwin H. Jakubowski, 1962
- Irving Winer, 1963
- Norman N. Stockhamer, 1964, 1978
- Robert G. Welsh, 1965
- George J. Brown, Jr., 1966
- Thomas F. Koerber, 1968
- Jens L. Jensen, 1969
- Maurice J. Cotton, 1970
- George R. Sachs, 1971; PDDGM
- Sigmund Gumula, 1972
- Henry Evanson, 1973
- Richard C. Green, 1975, 1977
- Edward R. W. Allen, 1976
- Lewis E. Prentiss, 1979, 1980, 1993, 2002, 2009; PDDGM
- Alexander D. Smith, 1982, 1985, 1987
- David R. Barron, 1983, 1986
- Joseph Gondek, Jr., 1984, 1991, 1992, 1995
- Alan D. Dout, 1988
- Richard Kindness, 1989
- Joseph Zajac, Jr., 1990, 1994
- Justin G. Kahn, Jr., 1996
- Justin G. G. Kahn, 1997, 1998
- George R. Sachs, 1999; PDDGM
- Andrew P. Tiernan, 2000, 2001
- Willard A. McKinstry, 2003, 2010-2011
- Robert A. Loewenthal, 2004-2008
- Jay C. Reynolds 2012
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1872 (Nickerson)
- 1875 (Everett; Hall dedication; Special Communication; see description below)
- 1879 (Welch)
- 1882 (Lawrence)
- 1924 (Ferrell; cornerstone laying in Springfield)
- 1927 (Simpson; Veterans' Night)
- 1948 (Keith; Centenary)
- 1973 (Vose; 125th Anniversary)
- 1991 (Darling; 3 visits)
- 1992 (Darling; 2 visits)
- 1999 (Bauer; 150th Anniversary)
- 1875 (History at Hall Dedication; not in Proceedings; see below)
- 1948 (Centenary History, 1948-148; see below)
- 1973 (125th Anniversary History, 1973-54; see below)
CENTENARY HISTORY, OCTOBER 1948
From Proceedings, Page 1948-148:
By Worshipful Frank A. Crothers,
Worshipful Harold B. Howard,
Worshipful Benn Blythe.
Today we celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Chicopee Lodge and pay homage to the men of long ago whose courage and foresight were instrumental in organizing this branch of Masonry in Western Massachusetts. Men of the highest qualifications were absolutely necessary at this particular period for the time was shortly after the anti-Masonic years which almost destroyed Freemasonry in this country. From 1825 to 1843 not a single Lodge was chartered in Massachusetts, but in the year 1848, a number of interested citizens of Chicopee decided that a Masonic Lodge was needed in this town. A meeting was called for the purpose of forming such a Lodge and by-laws were drawn up, together with a petition, and taken to the Grand Lodge in Boston, asking them to grant said petitioners a charter. In due time a dispensation was granted to form a Lodge to be known as Chicopee Lodge, giving them the power to receive applications, initiate, craft and raise Masons.
The first meeting place of Chicopee Lodge under dispensation was Odd Fellows Hall at 251 Exchange Street. The quarters were rented for $45.00 a year, but light and heat were not furnished at that price. The hall was lighted by kerosene lamps and heated by a wood stove. The Brethren purchased an organ for $225, and we also noted as lodge property at this address, thirteen spittoons bought for $3.64.
Rufus Whittier was elected the first Worshipful Master and eighteen candidates were admitted during his term of office. There were many rejections of applicants for the first twenty years because the Brethren who were instrumental in the formation of this Lodge were insistent on the highest qualifications of all who applied for admission to their solemn rites, thereby building a foundation which has withstood the lapse of time. It is interesting to note the small fees charged in early Masonry, namely: $5.00 with application, $4.00 for the Entered Apprentice Degree, $2.00 for the Fellow Craft Degree and $4.00 for the Master Mason Degree. The annual dues were $1.00.
On the 27th day of December, 1849, a charter was granted to Chicopee Lodge, signed by Edward A. Raymond, Grand Master, and Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary, and the following names appear as charter members: Jeremy Bliss, Rufus Whittier, Lucius Harthan, Augustus Fowler, Samuel D. Sizer, H. Hutchins, James M. Smith, William M. Johnson, Daniel Leavitt, William P. Winkley, E. Remy, Joshua Britton, Daniel R. Perkins, J. W. Belcher, A. Nettleton, G. H. Carpenter, A. W. Quint, A. Alvord, Benjamin Leavitt, John Chase, David Bemis, Jas. A. Lyon, J. P. Bridgman, Isaiah Allen, Samuel D. Smith and Jonathan Pease, Jr.
In 1869 the Lodge moved their quarters to the Charles F. Kent Hall across the street and remained at that location for six years, at a rental of $70.00 a year. This hall was owned by the father of Brother Frank K. Kent, wKb was Treasurer of Chicopee Lodge for many years.
On October 3, 1872, a special meeting was called for the purpose of holding an exemplification under the direction of Right Worshipful W. J. Sawin, District Deputy Grand Master, who made a regular inspection of the books and collected dues.
At two P.M. on the above date, the Lodge was opened on the Entered Apprentice Degree by Quaboag Lodge, with 250 present. At four-thirty the Entered Apprentice Lodge was closed and a Lodge of Fellow Crafts was opened by the officers of Ionic Lodge of Easthampton. At eight P.M. the Fellow Crafts Lodge was closed and a Lodge of Master Masons opened by Chicopee Lodge.
After the exemplification, Right Worshipful W. J. Sawin introduced Most Worshipful Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Master, and Past Grand Master William Parkman, who addressed the Lodge, complimenting them on their work. The Grand Officers then vacated the chairs and Chicopee Lodge closed the exercises in due form.
In 1875 they again moved to a new building, built by Brother Madison Kendall, a member of Chicopee Lodge, on Market Square. This site was used continuously by the Lodge for almost seventy years. The hall was dedicated on November 12, 1875, and inspected by Most Worshipful Percival Lowell Everett and his Suite, who declared it Square, Level and Plumb and solemnly dedicated it to the use of Masonry. During the ceremony, a marble bust of John Chase, one of our charter members, was presented to Chicopee Lodge by his daughter, Mrs. Eliza Douglas, and this bust has occupied a prominent place in the lodge-room ever since that day.
From our early records we noted that even the Worshipful Master was sometimes elected from the floor, and in numerous cases, the Brethren were elected to the South or West for one year and then dropped out of line, whereas in our present day, a Brother has to serve a year in the South or West before he is eligible for the office of Worshipful Master.
Practically all the records of the Secretaries in the early days of Chicopee Lodge comprised only the regular form of meetings, but we have found items of interest during the last four score years which are an important part of this history. To be a Mason in the olden days, a man found it absolutely necessary to walk a straight and lawful path for from the records of November 1878 we read that a Brother was found guilty of conduct unbecoming a Mason on six different occasions, and after a due and fair trial, was expelled from all the rights and privileges of Masonry. On another occasion a Brother was commanded to appear before a trial committee for some lesser offense. However, the records show that he acknowledged his faults, expressed his sorrow and a determination to do better in the future. The committee did not expel this Brother, but admonished him against future violations of his duty as a Mason.
This hall was rented for a short time to the G. A. R., Red Men and Knights of Malta. Cabot Chapter No. 95, Order of the Eastern Star, also rented the hall from the year they were instituted in 1905 to 1934, at which time they moved to more adequate quarters in Chicopee Falls.
On May 30, 1879, Most Worshipful Charles A. Welch made a fraternal visit to Chicopee Lodge, gave an informal talk, and then asked permission to retire. There is no record of any suite accompanying him.
At the meeting in June 1882 we have a recorded visit of Right Worshipful Edmund P. Kendrick and Suite. The third degree was exemplified, with 242 present, and after work and a social hour, the visiting Brethren were escorted to the horse-cars, bid Godspeed and a pleasant journey home.
On November 2, 1882, an alarm sounded at the outer door, announcing the arrival of Most Worshipful Samuel Crocker Lawrence and his Suite, consisting of Right Worshipful Brothers Spellman, Wright, Spooner and Marshall. They apparently paid Chicopee Lodge a fraternal visit.
It is interesting to note that Rev. James L. Bugbee and six others made application for membership about the time of the blizzard of 1888. However, no mention is made in the Lodge records of any snowfall, but apparently their'fegular meeting on March 6, 1888, was the only one held during that month.
On November 12, 1889, the Grand Lecturer, Right Worshipful G. H. McGrew, made his first visitation to Chicopee Lodge and the first exemplification was held in Westfield on April 16, 1890.
On January 5, 1892, Chicopee Lodge voted that the Worshipful Master be authorized to tender to Unity Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Chicopee Falls the use of the lodge-rooms for such time as they required to work the Chapter degrees.
On January 26, 1892, Brother William P. Winkley, one of our charter members, died leaving Chicopee Lodge $1000 to be invested for fifty years, after which only the income on the total amount at that time could be used for needy and indigent Brethren. This fund is under the control of the Trustees and amounts to over $5000, but the principal amount remains intact forever.
On July 5, 1892, an invitation was received from Brigham Lodge of Ludlow to attend their dedication and installation July 9th. It was voted that Chicopee Lodge procure and present to Brigham Lodge a gavel, suitably engraved, as a token of our friendship and esteem.
On October 24, 1892, the officers and members of Chicopee Lodge took a special trolley from Market Square to Springfield and had a part in the parade and ceremonies of the laying of the corner stone of the old Masonic Temple at the corner of Main and State Streets. Later, the procession was re-formed and marched to the old City Hall for a collation, afterwards returning to Chicopee to close the Lodge.
In October 1896 Brother Phineas Steadman II set fire to the barn, stable and other property of Brother Chester W. Chapin because he claimed they would not give him fire protection in that vicinity. He was tried before the Commissioner of Trials in Boston, found guilty and expelled from all the rights and privileges of Masonry.
The Permanent Fund was started in November 1899 and the amount of $207.08 was transferred to the Trustees in 1901 and deposited in the Chicopee Savings Bank. This fund has been increased annually so far as possible, and even during the years of depression when the Lodge.drew on it for emergencies, there remained a nucleus on which we built up a sufficient balance so that together with our building fund and $1000 left to Chicopee Lodge by our late Brother Dana S. Courtney, we purchased a half interest in this Temple.
On February 6, 1900, the Lodge voted to have the charter copied and framed. It was approved and signed officially March 30, 1900.
The first Masonic ball was held in the Chicopee City Hall February 26, 1903. This event, which was an annual highlight of the City, was strictly of a social nature and was continued for more than twelve years.
On October 10, 1903, an invitation was received from Rev. Brother Henry H. Morrill, through Mount Tom Lodge, to be present at the laying of the corner stone ot St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Holyoke. The invitation was accepted and Chicopee Lodge was represented on that occasion by Nelson B. Carter,
Worshipful Master, Charles H. Howard, Senior Warden, Samuel E. Fletcher, Junior Warden, and seven Brethren. Many of us remember the annual series of dances starting in 1908 on the old duck that was laid over the carpet on the lodge-room floor for that purpose. These were continued for many years and in 1924, through the cooperation of Brother John L. Donaldson, the carpet was removed and a hardwood floor laid. During Lodge meetings this floor was covered by the large rug which now covers the floor and which was purchased through the efforts of Worshipful Frederick H. Thompson, Jr. No record was found of a written history or celebration of the twenty-fifth, fiftieth or seventy-fifth anniversaries, but on May 8, 1908, we noted that a Past Masters' Night was held, the third degree exemplified and the Quarter Century Club held a reunion in commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary.
In May 1911 a start was made to install electric lights in the lodge-rooms, and from the records, we read the following: "Brothers Benn Blythe, Dorr W. Sproat and Worshipful Charles H. Jenness worked twenty-six consecutive Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday to complete this work, a truly commendable task.
On February 4, 1919, a communication was received from Right Worshipful Frank O. Hartwell, District Deputy Grand Master of the 33rd Masonic District, in regard to the death of our late Brother Theodore Roosevelt and advised that these facts be inserted in the records of our next regular meeting.
On September 11, 1920, the officers and members numbering fifty-five, journeyed to Holyoke to attend the laying of the corner-stone of the beautiful new Masonic Temple, which will be a landmark in western Massachusetts for many years to come.
In 1921 the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge asked the subordinate Lodges to collect an amount equal to one dollar per member for the George Washington National Memorial Fund, and under the chairmanship of Worshipful William H. Ordway, Chicopee Lodge was one of the first to go over the top.
In December 1922, at a meeting of" the Chicopee Masonic Association, a committee was appointed to investigate the proposition whereby the Masons and Odd Fellows would purchase the Central Methodist Church for a Temple, each holding a half interest. In March 1923, after a final report of the committee, it was voted to drop the proposal as it the opinion of the Association that the Lodge was not make such an investment at this time.
On June 24, 1924, the Lodge journeyed to Springfield and joined in the parade and other ceremonies attending the laying of the corner-stone of the new Springfield Masonic It was a very impressive gathering and will long be remembered.
In May 1927 the first Fifty Year Medals were preseni Brothers James C. Buckley and George A. Blaisdell and Right Worshipful Edwin L. Davis.
On February 7, 1928, the first Lodge of Instruction for the Chicopee 18th Masonic District was held in the Masonic Temple in Springfield.
In 1934 we have recorded the death of one of our Brothers, Edward Wilcox, but through his demise we learn a lesson to long remember. An application to the Masonic Home was made for our Brother, and while awaiting a room he was seen early one morning in August on the Chicopee-Springfield Bridge by another member of this Lodge. He assumed he was out for a morning walk. When he was considered missing, this Brother reported having seen him, and the time and place. His body was found in the Connecticut River on September 14th, and the day of his funeral, word was reported that he had been accepted for the Masonic Home. Was it what we might call Destiny — or a lesson in Patience?
After the hurricane in 1938, the lodge-rooms were opened to those in need of shelter and everything was done to make them as comfortable as possible. As brotherly love is one of the tenets of our profession, it was fitting and proper that we should do this and we sincerely hope our action was appreciated.
In 1944 Most Worshipful Arthur W. Coolidge requested a donation of $200,000 from the Masons of Massachusetts to the Masonic Service Center at Camp Devens. This was approximately an average of $2.00 per member. Chicopee Lodge filled its obligation, and the grand total for the State was $260,000.
In 1946, after a lapse of twenty-four years, the proposition to purchase a half interest in the Odd Fellows Temple was brought again before the members of Chicopee Lodge. This building was the old Methodist Church which was taken over by the Odd Fellows in 1923. The Masons, after due consideration, accepted the proposal and paid to the Odd Fellows Building Association the sum of $5000. They also assumed the liability of one-half of the first mortgage of $5000, making the total investment of $7500. However, under excellent management, the Odd Fellows Temple Association Incorporated, holders of the property, had reduced the mortgage to $2500, thereby reducing our liability to $1250. We certainly commend the Association for its good work.
It is interesting to note at this time that one hundred ye ago we rented our first hall from the Odd Fellows for $45.00 a year, and now we are back with them as co-owners of the Temple, with a rental of $45.00 a month. We believe this is a natural situation for both organizations are closely linked together due to the fact that many Brothers are members of both fraternities.
On September 20, 1947, Chicopee Lodge raised four Fellow Crafts to the sublime degree of Master Mason. The unusual significance of this evening was the fact that the four Fellow Crafts were a father and three sons. Brother Everett T. Campbell was the father and the sons were Vernon W., Russell E. and Cyril C. Campbell. We greet this fine Masonic family on our one hundredth anniversary.
During the century since Chicopee Lodge was institute! four wars have come and gone — the Civil, Spanish-American and World Wars I and II. We know that some of our Brothers answered the call to the colors in each of these conflicts, but n complete list of names was found in the records. The only reference was made in regard to World War I when it was noted that twenty-three Brethren served their country, and all were spared to return home again.
Since the establishment of Westover Field in February 1940, six of our Army boys who have entertained a favorable opinion of our Ancient Institution have been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, and a seventh has joined by affiliation. On our one hundredth anniversary, we welcome these Brothers who are now members of Chicopee Lodge!
- Major Ervin G. Haack
- Major Thomas C. Hyde
- Captain Antonio Frederico
- Master Sergeant Glen E. Flanders
- Master Sergeant Donald A. Austin
- Sergeant Frankie L. Sharp
- Master Sergeant Carl E. Flanders—by affiliation
And in passing, may we say to all the Brethren who have not attended a Masonic Sunday at Westover Field and enjoyed the hospitality of the Westover Square Club together with a fine breakfast, a church service in the Chapel and a personally conducted tour of the hangars and big planes, you certainly have missed a real treat, and if the opportunity comes again, take full advantage of it.
The top membership of the Lodge was in 1919 when 335 were recorded and the officers found it necessary to work two or more nights a week to keep up with the applicants. The total number of members at the present time is 245, and strange as it may seem, Chicopee Lodge has no Honorary Members.
There are a number of Brothers not named elsewhere who deserve special mention to make our history complete and who will never be forgotten by those who knew them. The first in mind is Brother John W. Grout, a Civil War Veteran, a fine gentleman, a real Mason and the faithful Tyler of Chicopee Lodge for nineteen years. He was a member for forty-nine years and seven months, but died just before he was due to receive the Fifty Year Medal. The second is Brother Isaac L. Collard, who coveted no other office, but was happy just to serve as Marshal for fourteen years. The third is Worshipful Albert E. Richey. In 1943 Chicopee Lodge had no one eligible for the office of Worshipful Master except one of their Past Masters, for neither the South or West had a Warden who had served a year. Worshipful Albert E. Richey, who was Master in 1926, answered the call and served creditably throughout his second term of office. With Past Masters and Brothers of this caliber, Chicopee Lodge is truly built on a solid foundation.
On March 16, 1948, the Brethren who were present in Chicopee Lodge saw history in the making on that memorable occasion. Right Worshipful John Edward Almgren, District Deputy Grand Master of the Chicopee 18th Masonic District, accompanied by his Suite, paid Chicopee Lodge a fraternal visit. He deputized Worshipful William J. Fuller to present a Fifty Year Medal to a Brother whom he raised when he was Worshipful Master in 1898. That Brother is the General Chairman of this one hundredth anniversary committee and one of the finest Master Masons that was ever raised to the Sublime Degree — Worshipful Nelson B. Carter. There is no record of any other event of this nature in the annals of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
Chicopee Lodge has had many, many members who have been loyal and true during all the years of her existence, and she deeply appreciates their every effort and honors them all on this anniversary night.
The Committee have presented as concise a history of Chicopee Lodge for the past century as possible in the time allotted them and we sincerely hope that it has unfolded an interesting narrative to all our Brethren. And so we close the pages of the record books for the past one hundred years, and as we open new ones, we step with hope and confidence into the future with a prayer that our Heavenly Father will guide, direct and bless the labors of Chicopee Lodge, whose Greatest Light is the Holy Bible.
May brotherly love always prevail and every moral and social virtue cement us.
125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1973
From Proceedings, Page 1973-54:
In 1948, Chicopee Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Chicopee, Mass., celebrated its 100th Anniversary (1948 Mass. 145-157). Now, we here in 1973 have the opportunity to review the accomplishments of 125 years of Freemasonry in Chicopee.
From 1825 to 1843, not a single Lodge was chartered in Massachusetts, but in the year 1848, a number of interested citizens in Chicopee decided that a Masonic Lodge was needed. A meeting was called for the purpose of forming such a Lodge and Bylaws were drawn up together with a petition and taken to the Grand Lodge in Boston asking them to grant said petitioners a charter. In due time, a dispensation was granted to form a Lodge known as Chicopee Lodge A.F. & A.M., giving them the power to receive applications, initiate, craft and raise Masons.
The first meeting place of Chicopee Lodge was the Odd Fellows Hall at 251 Exchange Street, and the quarters were rented for only $45.00 a year. However, for this price, lights and heat were not furnished.
In 1875, again we moved to a new Building in Market Square built by Brother Madison Kendall, a member of Chicopee Lodge. This new hall was used continuously by the Lodge for almost 70 years.
Practically all the records of the Secretaries in the early days of Chicopee Lodge are comprised of only the regular forms of the meetings and very few items of particular interest occur except perhaps one note in 1878, that a Brother was found guilty of conduct unbecoming a Mason on six different occasions, and after a due and fair trial, was expelled from all rights and privileges of Masonry. On another occasion, a Brother was tried for faults which he had shown in his conduct and expressed his sorrow and determination to do better, and was therefore not expelled from the Lodge.
On October 3, 1872 a special meeting was called for the purpose of exemplification under the direction of Right Worshipful W. J. Sawin, District Deputy Grand Master. When the Lodge was opened at 2:00 p.m., 250 were present to exemplify the various Masonic degrees.
The bust in the ante room is a bust of one of our Charter Members, Brother John Chase. It was presented by his daughter in 1875 as an adornment of our Lodge.
On January 26, 1892, Brother William P. Winkley, one of our Charter Members, died; leaving Chicopee Lodge $1,000. to be invested for 50 years. Afterwards, only the income on the total amount at that time could be used for needy and indigent Brethren. This fund is under control of the Trustees. It is interesting to note that at the time of the 100th anniversary celebration this fund amounted to approximately $5,000., but at this time, it is somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000.
Also, in 1892, the Officers and members of Chicopee Lodge took a special trolley from Market Square to Springfield and had a part in the parade and ceremony of the laying of the corner stone of the Old Masonic Temple at the corner of Main and State Streets, after which a procession was formed to march to the Old City Hall for a collation.
In October 1896 Brother Phineas Stedman set fire to a barn, stable, and other property of Brother Chester W. Chapin because he claimed they would not give him fire protection in that vicinity. He was tried before the Commission of Trials in Boston, found guilty, and was expelled from all the rights and privileges of Masonry.
In February 1903 the first Masonic Ball was held in the Chicopee City Hall and this was an annual event of the city and continued for more than 12 years.
In May 1911, a start was made to install electric lights in the lodge rooms and from the records we read as follows: Rt. Wor. Benn BIythe, Brother Dorr W. Sproat and Wor. Charles H. Jeness worked 26 consecutive Saturday afternoons and all day Sundays to complete their work. In February 1919 a communication was received by Right Worshipful Frank Hartwee, District Deputy Grand Master for the 33rd District, in regards to the death of Brother Theodore Roosevelt.
In June 1924, the Lodge journeyed to Springfield and joined in the ceremony of laying the corner stone of the Masonic Temple.
In 1927 the first 50 year medals were presented to Brother James C. Buckley and George A. Blaisdell, by District Deputy Grand Master Edwin L. Davis.
In February 1928, the first Lodge of Instruction for the Chicopee 18th District was held at the Masonic Temple in Springfield.
In 1938 during the hurricane the Lodge was opened to those in need of shelter and everything was done to make them as comfortable as possible in accordance with the tenets of the Masonic Fraternity.
In 1944, during the war, the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Arthur W. Coolidge, requested a donation of $200,000. from the Massachusetts Masons for a Masonic Service Center at Camp Devens. This was approximately $2.00 a member. Chicopee Lodge fulfilled its obligation, and the goal of the Grand Master was achieved.
It was in the year of 1946, that the proposition to purchase a half interest in the Odd Fellows Temple, which was a former Methodist Church, was accepted. After 20 years of a fine partnership, Chicopee Lodge became the sole proprietor of this Temple, the Odd Fellows having disbanded their Chicopee Chapter.
In September 1947, Chicopee Lodge raised four Fellow Crafts to the sublime degree of Master Mason. The unusual significance of this evening was the fact that the four Fellow Crafts were a father and three sons. Brother Edward Campbell was the father, and the three sons were Vernon C, Russell E., and Cyril C. Campbell.
At this time it would be interesting to note that over the past 125 years, Chicopee Lodge has had several fathers and sons and brothers who served as Masters.
- Wor. Charles H. Howard 1905, Wor. Harold B. Howard 1927
- Wor. James L. Gridley 1916, Wor Charles L. Gridley 1954
- James L. Todd 1925, Norman H. Todd 1945
- Willard A. McKinstry 1929, Alfred W. McKinstry 1958
- George J. Brown, Sr. 1937, William A. Brown 1960
- George J. Brown, Sr. 1937, George J. Brown, Jr. 1966
Brothers Wor. Albert E. Richey 1926, 1943, Wor. Clifford E. Richey 1944
Chicopee Lodge might well be proud of its members as the records show that since 1848 many Brothers served in the Civil, Spanish-American and World Wars I and II.
On March 16, 1948 the Brethren who were present at Chicopee Lodge saw history in the making. Right Worshipful John Edward Aim, District Deputy Grand Master for the Chicopee 18th District, and his suite paid Chicopee Lodge a fraternal visit. He deputized Wor. William J. Fuller to present a 50 year medal to a Brother whom he had raised when he was Worshipful Master in 1898. That Brother was General Chairman of the 100th anniversary committee in 1948. He was Wor. Nelson B. Carter.
In 1948 the City of Chicopee celebrated its 100th year as a corporate municipality and many members of Chicopee Lodge were among the prominent business men, bankers and government of the City of Chicopee, as were two Mayors, Wor. William E. Fuller and Wor. Samuel E. Fletcher.
During the ensuing years of the late 1940's and early 1950's, Chicopee Lodge became very active with the Westover Square Club and many Square Clubs in the area. Until the innovation of the Strategic Air Command replacing the Military Air Transport Service, we had raised many men from all parts of the world. We were fortunate at that time to fill the lodge room and on many occasions, visitors introduced themselves from many Square Clubs from far and wide.
For several years, we at Chicopee Lodge traveled to Doric Lodge No. 94 in Thompsonville, Conn, and they too came back to us. We also initiated a unique situation, whereby we at Chicopee Lodge presented what we call a traveling gavel. Each year that Chicopee visited the Lodge in Connecticut and vice versa, the gavel was present at the meetings.
In November 1958 when Right Worshipful Sidney Weiner was installed Master of Chicopee Lodge, he presented to the Lodge in memory of his father, Brother Harry Weiner, who passed away one month prior, the Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses which grace the altar at this time.
In 1970, a committee headed by Wor. Maurice Cotton and Wor. Sigmund Gumula, assisted by Rev. Bro. Robert Nemkovich and Wor. Henry Ryczek, was formed to purchase an organ for Chicopee Lodge. This committee worked hard and long to achieve its goal and, with contributions from members of Chicopee Lodge, the organ was purchased and it lias enhanced the degree work.
While the records indicate that a number of members of Chicopee Lodge received their 50 year Veterans Medals over the many years, there is one evening in April 1970 that is outstanding.
The following members received their 50 year Veterans Medals:
- Wor. Willard McKinstry
- Wor. Thomas F. Robinson
- Bro. Kenneth S. Fletcher
- Bro. John P. Dekkers
- Bro. Frederick Gibson
- Bro. Frank Joy
- Bro. Colin Stevenson, Sr.
- Bro. William Hutchinson
Of the eight members entitled to receive their medals on this evening, five of them were physically able to attend Lodge to receive them from R.W. Gomer E. Bowen, District Deputy Grand Master for the Chicopee 18th District. The other three received them at their homes from R.W. Bro. Bowen and Wor. Maurice Cotton, who was then presiding Master.
The most recent recognition Chicopee Lodge received was in November 1971, when Right Worshipful Sidney Weiner was presented the Joseph Warren Medal for distinguished service. The presentation was made by Right Worshipful Gomer E. Bowen, District Deputy for the Chicopee 18th District.
The committee would like at this time to single out Wor. Harold B. Howard, recently deceased, for the fine work that he did, with his committee, in preparing the history of the first 100 years of Chicopee Lodge.
We would further like to thank all the officers and members of Chicopee Lodge who so graciously offered their services to help complete this task of 125 years of Masonic history.
We commend our predecessors, who have gone to the Celestial Lodge above, for the firm foundation and fine edifice they left behind and which has endured for these 125 years. With the help of the Supreme Architect of the Universe these will be passed on by us to generations of Masons yet to come.
Rt. Wor. Sidney Weiner
Wor. Irving Winer
Wor. Harold B. Howard
HALL DEDICATION, OCTOBER 1875
From New England Freemason, Vol. II, No. 11, November 1875, Page 515:
Dedication of a New Hall at Chicopee, Mass. A Special Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was held at Chicopee, on the 12th inst., for the purpose of dedicating the new hall, and installing the Officers elect, of Chicopee Lodge. The ceremony was performed by Most Worshipful Grand Master Percival Lowell Everett, assisted by Rt. W. Brothers Abraham H. Rowland, Jr., D. D. G. M. of the 14th, and John Wetherbee, D. D. G. M. of the 18th Masonic Districts, and a full suite of Grand Officers.
The hour appointed for the dedication was 3 P. M., long before which time the hall was thronged, not only with the members of Chicopee Lodge, but also by delegations from nearly all the Lodges in the Tenth Masonic District, who had assembled to congratulate the Brethren of Chicopee Lodge, and rejoice with them on the successful completion of their undertaking. To the experienced eye, it was plainly visible that there was no common interest taken by the visiting Brethren, but that while Chicopee Lodge rejoiced, they were filled with pride, not for that Lodge alone, but also for that as one of the Lodges composing the Tenth Masonic District, whose welfare was so dear to their hearts, and in whose prosperity they so deeply rejoiced.
The ceremonies of dedication having been concluded, the Brethren were called from labor to refreshment, and were all invited to partake of a bounteous collation spread by Chicopee Lodge. The time for installation having been fixed at 6 P. M., the Brethren were given an hour in which to rest and exchange greetings.
The installation was to be public, and long before the appointed hour the ladies began to pour thick and fast into the building, until "there was hurrying to and fro" for seats to accommodate the throng who had pressed and compressed themselves into the hall. Punctual to the hour, the Grand Officers entered, and the Officers of the Lodge were duly installed; the Most Worshipful Grand Master performing the ceremony for the Worshipful Master, the Grand Wardens for the Senior and Junior Wardens, and the Deputy Grand Master for the other officers.
The usual proclamation having been made, the Grand Master addressed the Brethren, reminding the Master of the cares and responsibilities devolving upon him, that in a great measure the success and harmony of the Lodge depended upon his efforts, and charging the Brethren to be active and zealous in his support. The Deputy Grand Master, being called upon, responded in his usual felicitous manner, remarking that, being a lawyer by profession, it was not meet for him to make extended remarks, that being the appropriate duty of the chaplains, who were expected to guide and cheer us on in the right path, and yet who, he feared in some cases, were like finger-boards, set up to point in a direction in which they themselves never travelled.
The Senior Grand Warden being called upon, responded that, as it was his good fortune to have been born, Masonically, in Chicopee Lodge, it was difficult for him to make remarks. To censure he could not, while to praise might seem vanity. He, with those around him, however, was proud of Chicopee Lodge, proud of the Tenth Masonic District, and proud of the beautiful Connecticut valley in which they resided; proud of Chicopee Lodge for the taste, spirit and liberality which had been displayed in the erection of their beautiful hall; proud of the Tenth Masonic District for its zeal and enthusiasm in Masonry, and for the great interest in and attachment of the Brethren to each other and the Fraternity; proud of the Connecticut valley, which possessed peculiar charms to them; and not to them alone were its beauties visible, for that day he had heard a desire expressed by a Past Grand ' Master, then present with them, that he might remove to it and spend his declining days in this beautiful region. He reminded the Brother that the whitening locks upon his venerable head were admonishing him that the end was approaching, and that in delay there was danger, and assured him that, should he pass from life in this peaceful valley, all would be well with him. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that nought but harmonious sounds should ever reverberate through that beautiful hall, and that no contention should ever arise among the Brethren of that Lodge, save that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree.
The Junior Grand Warden responded that a Lodge was supported by three great pillars, called wisdom, strength and beauty. The pillar of wisdom was represented by the Worshipful Master, the pillar of strength by the Senior Warden, while it was his pleasure as Junior Warden to represent the pillar of beauty.
The R. W. Charles H. Titus, as ever, was ready to point out the duties of Masons and give words of encouragement and cheer. Past Grand Master Coolidge, ever eloquent, was especially so on this occasion, and expressed himself as enraptured with the syren voices of the quartette who had so beautifully performed the musical part of the ceremony.
Remarks were also made by Brothers Samuel B. Spooner, of Springfield, and A. H. Howland, of New Bedford; and a sketch of the history of Chicopee Lodge was read by the Chaplain, Rev. Bro. Barrows, which he has kindly abridged for our columns.
Among the many pleasant and valuable decorations of the Lodge room was a marble bust of the late Bro. John Chase, who was a charter member of the Lodge and a pioneer in the town. He was the engineer who first laid out the water privilege at Chicopee Falls, and afterwards that at Chicopee or Cabotville. There was suspended on the wall, also, the portrait of Benning Leavitt, who was installed as Treasurer on this occasion for the twenty-seventh time, and who has been present, with very few exceptions, at all the meetings of the Lodge.
The exercises were interspersed with songs from a quartette, and music by the Germania Band, of Boston. After the conclusion of the exercises, all were invited to partake of another collation ; having done ample justice to which, the more sedate departed to their homes, while the younger portion repaired to the Town Hall, there to enjoy the pleasures of the mazy dance.
The Grand Master and suite, after viewing the happy company from a gallery for a season, and fearing perhaps that longer temptation might be irresistible, took their departure. Upon retiring to rest, some were soon locked in the arms of Morpheus, while others discovered, when too late, that five suppers are not conducive to sound sleep.
BARROWS HISTORY OF THE LODGE
The following is a condensation of an address, given by the chaplain, Rev. J. S. Barrows, containing a brief and succinct history of the Lodge.
1849 was a year memorable in the annals of the goodly town of Chicopee, because of many important events, the inception of projects, the organizing of movements which were to give character to the town, carrying their influence down through the coming ages to the end of time. The great event of the year, overshadowing, in its far-reaching, reformatory and energizing influences, other and, at the time, seemingly superior movements, pregnant with good in a thousand ways, was the organization of the Chicopee Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. There arc some things which, in their magnitude and weight of conceived and confessed importance, grow upon us more- and more as we are removed from them. They are too large, far-reaching, multiform in beneficent works, to be grasped by our narrowness of vision all at once. Their virtues rival themselves to us, and sparkle in brilliancy and glory as the stars come out of the sky at night, one by one, one by one, until we cannot count them, and stand gazing in a bewilderment of rapture.
Whatever has for its foundation principle, true greatness and real goodness, (and these cannot be divorced,) must live and expand. The opposite must ultimately die. Truth and right have inherent life, strength, must triumph and ultimately become universal. Wrong has inherent rottenness, and is finite.
Before I became a Mason I said to myself, "Why has this ancient Order so strong a hold on thinking, high-minded, honorable men all over Christendom? Why is it marching on through the higher orders of society as though destined to fill the whole earth?" I said, "This Temple must stand on solid rock ; for storms of hate and rage, full of satanic fury, have beat upon it again and again, but it stands, more a praise and a glory to-day than ever."
I said this much to myself, and knew no more. I am inside today, and know a little more than then. I have obtained further light. Then I saw through a glass, darkly; but now face to face. Shall 1 tell you a great secret of Masonry: the secret of its strength, power, perpetuity ? Why the gates of hell have not, shall not, cannot prevail against her? Why no weapon formed against her prospers? Because she has laid her corner-stone deep and broad in God's eternal truth and right. Because she acknowledges and reveres God and His Word. Because upon her consecrated altar, in the centre of every Hall she dedicates, there she places the open Bible. Because she has framed her laws, drawn her ritual, her formulas and her vows, so largely from that Book of books, carefully avoiding anything inharmonious therewith! That is the secret I give you.
And bo, looking back twenty-six years, we say that was an auspicious year, month, day, when, in the year 1849, in the month of December, on the 26th day, a Charter was granted to the petitioners of Chicopee for a Masonic Lodge.
The petitioners were 25 in number. Prominent among these were, John Chase, familiarly called "Uncle John," a bust of whom, through the generosity of Mrs. Eliza Douglass, adorns our Hall; "Father Bliss," Benning Leavitt, alive and with us to-day, who has been a Mason now for 50 years, and has held the office of Treasurer of the Lodge ever since its organization, a portrait of whose noble and happy face, with fatherly benignity, beams down upon us from its place on the wall.
The following is a list of the petitioners in their order on the old record: Jeremy Bliss, Rufus Whittier, Sam'l D.Sizer, Lucius Haithan, Augustus Fowler, H. Hutchings, James M. Smith, Wm. W. Johnson, Daniel Leavitt, Wm. P. Winkley, E. Renney, Daniel R. Perkins, J. W. Belcher, A. Nettleton, G. H. Carpenter, A. W. Quint, A. Alvard, Benning Leavitt, John Chase, David Bemis, James Lyon, J. P. Bridgman, Isaiah Allen, Samuel S. Smith, Jonathan Pease. Most of these have passed, as we hope, to the purer Lodge above; many of them of blessed memory. But four of the Charter Members, so far as we are aware, are alive to-day: W. W. Johnson, James M. Smith, Benning Leavitt, and William P. Winkley.
The following brethren have served, and in the order named, as masters: Rufus Whittier, while working under dispensation; Wm. W. Johnson, first master after receiving the charter, serving six years in all; Charles Sherman; Rev. C. H. Webster, two years; M. D. Whitaker, two years; Geo. M. Stearns, two years; P. S. Holden, two years; J. P. Woodworth; Nelson Whittier; E. N. Snow; G. D. Williams; Wm. J. Sawin, two years; C. N. Smith, three years; Wm. M. Stebbins, two years.
The present officers are C. N. Smith, W. M.; Richard Danks, S. W.; A. J. Jenks, J. W.; who, with their associates in office, are men of whom we are not ashamed.
The years in which the Lodge has enjoyed the largest prosperity, as would appear from the books, were from '67 to '71, inclusive. In '67-8-9 there were 135 applicants for admission, of whom seventy were accepted, and sixty-five rejected. We do not mention this latter number after the manner in which ladies are said sometimes to boast of discarded lovers, but as evidencing that the Lodge carefully guarded the door to the Order, not caring so much for members as for men. The whole number that have been before the Lodge in any manner is 543. Present membership, 184,
The Lodge first met in a building then known as "Odd Fellows' Hall," now better known as Capt. McLealond's Hall. They soon removed to Benning Leavitt's Hall, where they have continued to meet until the present time, nearly a quarter of a century. The rooms were not large, perfectly convenient or richly furnished. Nevertheless, much work and good was done, and many profitable and happy hours were spent therein. Pleasant memories linger about the consecrated spot!
The Brethren had it in their hearts to provide and furnish a larger, more commodious and elegant suite of rooms. After a little free discussion, with remarkable unanimity of judgment, they set about the work. This convenient, well-furnished hall, which has this day been dedicated after the manner of our Order, with its happily arrayed ante-rooms, is the result. The expense of furnishing the rooms has been, in round numbers, $2,000, all of which has been provided for by Chicopee Lodge; no mean evidence, I submit, of appreciation of the benefits to be derived from, and love for, Masonry. It has been done with a cheerfulness and heartiness with which any service is ever rendered, or offering made, which is prompted by deep, abiding love. May those who have so liberally and cheerfully given, with some sacrifice, it may be, in other things, receive back again in sweet enjoyment themselves, or sweeter consciousness of having labored and sacrificed for the good of those to come after them. May its freshness and beauty, and these speaking symbols over and about us, be typical of the purity of our hearts and the rectitude of our lives ; and may the glory of this latter Temple bo greater than the glory of the former, and this year of 1875 more memorable and auspicious of good to the Order and the town, than the year 1849.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Benn Blythe, DDGM, District 18 (Chicopee), 1929, 1930; N
- James P. Dout, DDGM, District 18 (Chicopee), 1980, 1981; N
- Herbert C. Hill, DDGM, District 33 (Springfield), 1916, 1917; SN
- Loranus E. Hitchcock, DDGM, District 16 (Chicopee), 1884, 1885, 1886; SN
- Frank P. Johnson, DDGM, District 18 (Chicopee), 1940, 1941; SN
- Lewis E. Prentiss, DDGM, District 18 (Chicopee), 1990, 1991
- Frank R. Rood, DDGM, District 18 (Chicopee), 1950, 1951; N
- William J. Sawin, DDGM, District 10 (Springfield), 1871-1874; Senior Grand Warden 1875
- George R. Sachs, DDGM, District 18 (Chicopee), 2002; District 28, 2003
- Sidney Weiner, DDGM, District 18 (Chicopee), 1968, 1969