- 1 CORINTHIAN 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 EVENTS
- 2.6 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.7 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.8 DISTRICTS
- 2.9 LINKS
Chartered By: Paul Revere
Charter Date: 06/12/1797 II-100
Precedence Date: 06/12/1797
Current Status: Active
In the History of the Lodge that appears in the 1921 Proceedings, it indicates that the Lodge voted on February 22, 1836 to not surrender the Charter; the Lodge did not meet between December 1840 and February 1845. (Page 1921-92)
This history also contains brief biographies of several prominent members of the Lodge.
MEMBER LIST, 1802
From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 22:
- R. W. Reuben Bryant, M.
- W. Andrew Adams, S. W.
- W. Grosvenor Tarbell, J. W.
- Francis Jarvis, Sec.
- Bulkley Adams, Tr.
- William Mercer, S. D.
- Daniel Brooks, J. D.
- Samuel Dakin, Steward.
- Charles Brown, Steward.
- John Curtis, Tiler.
No. of Members, 42.
- Francis Jarvis
TROWEL, FALL 2005
From TROWEL, Fall 2005, Page 2:
Corinthian Lodge, from the Concord Grape to a Complete Makeover,
by Wor. Vaughn J. McKertich and Wor. John B. Ritchie
Colonial American farmers loved their freedom in the New World. They believed the English colony in Massachusetts was a land of opportunity and beauty. One of the places of real beauty was to be found in a Masonic lodge. Patriots who were Freemasons were able to meet and greet one another on the level of pure brotherhood. There were just a few such lodges in and around Boston. The soil in Concord grew patriots. In the spring of 1775 the town had a secret hiding place for the colonists’ military supplies. The war for independence started here.
The Revolution ended. The United States of America was created. It was the first modern nation influenced by Freemasonry. Corinthian Lodge, in the heart of the town of Concord, was formed in 1797 under the authority of Grand Master Paul Revere. The first permanent meeting place was in the building across from the Colonial Inn. The inn was a stopping place for the Grand Master when he made the 20-mile trip from Boston to Concord. Farming was the principal occupation then.
Today, the setting is far from farming. Freemasonry continues to be vigorous in the community. The Concord Masonic building is now home to Corinthian Lodge, Houghton-Walden Royal Arch Chapter, Adoniram Council Royal and Select Master Masons, Nashoba Valley Court #13 Order of the Amaranth (the Court of the Grand Master’s grandmother) and Concord Assembly #53 of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls. The Masons and their families adore the lodge building that is simple, but now brightly restored. The makeover has been amazing. The center of Concord is rich with homes of colonial architecture, many built before the Revolution. Masonic life and community awareness are intertwined here. With the help of two Master Masons, Paul Revere and William Dawes, and the people of Concord, this Massachusetts town is known throughout America as the birthplace of the American Revolution.
Corinthian Lodge became the 25th lodge constituted by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. With the charter in hand, the petitioners met in the grand jury room at the Court House in Concord on July 5, 1797, the day following the annual Independence Day celebration. That original charter, signed by Most Worshipful Paul Revere, was recently placed in safekeeping in the Concord Museum.
During the early American period, New England was thought to be an austere place, but any austerity was on the outside. Inside lodges, like Corinthian Lodge, meetings were held in the warmth and comfort of a tavern’s hospitality. In its first 22 years, the lodge met in six different halls. The first lodge meeting was held in Joshua Jones’ Hall (tavern) on Exchange Street. The last three of these early years were at the County House, where warmth and hospitality continued.
On November 13, 1820, Corinthian Lodge and the Town of Concord dedicated their new brick building that was to be used as a school and the first permanent Masonic Hall. It is said that the young Henry David Thoreau was a teacher here for a short time. From 1797 to 1916, Corinthian Lodge operated as a “moon lodge.” Its meeting dates were tied to the arrival of a full moon, which helped the brothers traveling on foot and horseback without benefit of electricity.
The first Master was Dr. Isaac Hurd, who later served as Senior Grand Warden and was the son of Benjamin Hurd, for whom the Distinguished Service Medal of Royal Arch Masonry is named. Many notable Masters took office in the ensuing years. Among them were Dr. Lemuel Shattuck for whom the Boston hospital is named; Louis A. Surette, a historian and author of many Masonic histories; and Ephraim W. Bull, who developed the Concord grape.
During the 50th anniversary of the battle at the bridge over the Concord River where the farmers stood and fired the shot heard around the world, the Masons of Corinthian Lodge were prominent in the laying of the monument cornerstone on April 19, 1825.
The brothers never rested. The most recent 25-year period of Corinthian Lodge’s history is full of enhancements, and a restoration of the building, inside and out. It has become a proud showplace for the Masons. “We welcome the future,” says Worshipful John B. Ritchie, Master of Corinthian Lodge. “In our lodge, we see a growing membership that will not rest on its past restorations and accomplishments, but will look forward to new challenges.”
THE CONCORD MASONIC HALL
The townspeople in the 19th Century intended to have a building that housed a school for children on the ground floor and a lodge room upstairs for the Masons. The brick structure was more than the typical one-room schoolhouse. It has been used continuously by the Masons, and briefly by the Odd Fellows.
The Masonic building was set off Monument Square, in the center of town, about ten feet from the curb. In 1882, the lodge changed the building’s location on their lot, moving it back 42 feet to where it stands today. Following World War I, membership outgrew available accommodations, and in 1920 the present lodge room and banquet hall were added to give the building its present footprint. An old photo in the lodge room shows that the front of the building has changed very little from its original design by town officials.
The architectural style is Federal, so named because it flourished during the first years of American federal government, from around 1790 to 1815. Its understated design is of great refinement, with simple flat shapes, but delicate detail. At the top, near the peak of the gable end, are three little openings built for pigeons that were used for communication or other more gastric uses. With the arrival of the telephone in the 20th Century, pigeons have left, but the openings remain and seem an intimate part of the facade.
In Masonic tradition, the Worshipful Master is figuratively in the East when Corinthian Lodge is open. A beautiful lighted mural in a recessed wall behind the Master’s chair depicts a Grecian landscape with a facade of Corinthian pillars and pilasters on his left and right. The setting is the Mediterranean coast, a green valley and village, as bright as it is simple.
The impressive lighted ceiling is reminiscent of the biblical readings of Genesis 1:14-15: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth.’”
The impression one receives while in the lodge room relates the Masonic world we live in today to that of the ancient Greeks, who created the Corinthian columns about 2,000 years ago, and who loved the philosophy of brotherhood. In 2005, we enjoy the same kind of associations with one another. In Corinthian Lodge, you can sense our history old and new, and will always be warmly welcomed as a friend or brother.
RESTORATION OF A TREASURE RENEWS MASONIC COMMITMENT
When one assumes custodianship of a cherished valuable, that responsibility is often viewed with awe and trepidation. That was certainly the situation in which the Master of Corinthian Lodge found himself two years ago. The roof on the 1920 addition had leaked over a period of time, causing significant damage to the beautiful lodge room, which had not been painted in years. However, the extent of the water damage reached far beyond what could be mended with so limited a fix. Before any interior restorations could begin, the exterior shell would have to be repaired. This was no small task given the location of the lodge, in the midst of a significant historical district like Concord. After all interested parties were satisfied with the specifications for the new roof, the lodge went ahead. In spite of a busy Masonic agenda, lodge operations were only slightly affected by this phase of the repairs. As the year progressed, the need arose to plan a special event: a visit by officers of Grand Lodge.
Although Most Wor. Donald G. Hicks, Jr., received a warm welcome, with over 130 members and visitors in attendance, the large and visible water damaged area in the lodge room unfortunately remained. It is difficult to receive important guests when the house is in disrepair.
In the second year of the restoration it was possible to address the interior aspects of the project, which, while unseen by the passing public, were of great significance to lodge quality of life. While evaluating bids for the interior painting, the lodge was fortunate to identify a Masonic brother, and future Corinthian Lodge affiliate, James LeClair, as a potential contractor. Bro. LeClair was selected because of his credentials as an experienced conservator, his impressive knowledge of Masonic traditions and practices, and his enthusiasm for the restoration task at hand. As part of the project, Bro. LeClair agreed to repair the water-damaged wall where the old horsehair plaster was crumbling away.
It became apparent that the right man had been selected when he undertook extra tasks far beyond the originally specified scope of work and at no additional cost, such as fully painting and adorning the entire lodge room. He even accented in gold the bases and capitals of all pillars and pilasters adorning the facades in the East and West of the lodge. Additionally, the clouded canopy that previously adorned the lodge room ceiling was replaced with a starry-decked heaven. With Bro. James LeClair’s work, the veil of age was lifted and beauty revealed again.
With the successful completion of this project, the members of Corinthian have found that interest in their lodge has grown, and the morale of the membership has improved. The appendant bodies, which traditionally support events at the annual Concord Patriots Day parade, display new vigor. The establishment of a Masonic Angel Fund, as well as efforts to raise funds for that purpose, has been well received. Blood drive numbers have increased.
Pride in the restoration project created a new wave of enthusiasm that will carry Corinthian Lodge forward, and the officers and members look ahead with renewed spirit to meeting the Grand Master’s membership recruitment challenge. They will proudly show off their treasure to Masons and the community at an open house on September 24th, the Grand Master’s Square and Compasses Day.
- Isaac Hurd, 1797-1799
- Thomas Heald, 1800, 1801, 1803
- Reuben Bryant, 1804
- William Mercer, Jr., 1805, 1806
- John Leighton Tuttle, 1807, 1808
- Samuel Dakin, Jr., 1809, 1810
- John Brown, 1811-1813
- Daniel Smith, 1814, 1815
- Benjamin Ball, 1816-1818, 1822, 1823
- Eli Brown, 1819, 1820
- John Keyes, 1821
- William Whiting, 1824, 1825, 1832-1834, 1845, 1846; Memorial
- Ebenezer Wood, 1826
- Lemuel Shattuck, 1827-1829; SN
- John Nelson, 1830, 1831
- William Shepherd, 1835-1840
- Ephraim H. Bellows, 1841-1844
- Joseph O. Skinner, 1845-1848; Grand Chaplain
- Micajah Rice, 1849, 1850
- James Weir, 1851
- Louis A. Surette, 1852-1858, 1864-1866
- George P. How, 1859-1862, 1867
- Ephraim W. Bull, 1863
- Moses Hobson, 1868
- Benjamin Tolman, 1869
- James Garty, 1870, 1871
- William F. Hurd, 1872, 1883
- Edward C. Damon, 1873, 1874; SN
- Henry F. Smith, 1875, 1876
- G. Arthur Gray, 1877-1879
- Charles E. Brown, 1880-1882; Mem
- J. Alfred Smith, 1884, 1885
- Herbert W. Hosmer, 1887, 1894
- Densmore B. Hosmer, 1888, 1889, 1892, 1893
- Horatio S. Richardson, 1890, 1891
- George H. Hopkins, 1895, 1896
- Charles S. Hart, 1897, 1898; SN
- Joseph A. Dakin, 1898
- George W. Hopkins, 1899, 1900
- John H. Marrs, 1901, 1902
- George M. Bowker, 1903
- Robert W. Browning, 1904
- Franklin C. Farley, 1905
- Woodford E. Coy, 1906
- Benjamin Derby, 1907
- Harry A. Douglas, 1908
- Charles S. Towne, 1909
- Hollis S. Howe, 1910
- William Lincoln Smith, 1911
- Charles G. Kent, 1912
- Charles W. Sylvester, 1913; Mem
- John G. Watson, 1914
- Nathaniel P. How, 1915
- Robert J. Stevenson, 1916
- Edward B. Caiger, 1917
- Raymond D. Willard, 1918
- Wells A. Hall, 1919
- Will A. Charles, 1920
- Winslow J. Damon, 1921; N
- Walter N. How, 1922
- Gardner W. Lawrence, 1923
- Austin D. MacRae, 1924
- Warren B. Goddard, 1925; N
- Duncan G. Chapman, 1926
- Elmer L. Joslin, 1927
- Howard B. Daniels, 1928
- Alexander R. MacLeod, 1929
- G. Sherman Blair, 1930
- Robert F. Charles, 1931
- Philip C. Holden, 1932
- William H. Davis, 1933
- William E. J. Graham, 1934
- Ralph Hemenway, 1935
- Benjamin F. Clark, 1936
- Walter A. Kennedy, 1937
- John Anderson, 1938
- Ronald S. MacKenzie, 1939
- H. Arnold MacLean, 1940
- E. Payson True, 1941
- Russell C. Berry, 1942
- Merton J. Leigtor, 1943
- E. LaForest Robbins, 1944
- Donald P. Donaldson, 1945
- A. Robert MacLeod, Jr., 1946; N
- William A. Robus, 1947
- Harold E. Lawson, 1948
- Donald M. Spooner, 1949
- Edgar M. Rohan, 1950
- Elmer M. Lantz, 1951
- Norman H. Bowen, 1952
- Ralph G. Burstad, 1953
- Gilbert G. Lawrence, 1954
- Donald M. Smith, 1955
- Robert P. Condit, 1956
- J. Raymond Young, 1957
- Albert J. Kroon, 1959
- George W. Owen, 1960
- John H. Hart, 1961; PDDGM
- Walter J. Macone, 1962
- Paul P. Wilkalis, 1963
- Alan F. Batstone, 1964
- Wallace A. Semple, 1965
- Dean E. Comeau, 1966
- Wallace S. Smith, 1967, 1972
- Warren F. Davis, 1968
- R. Bruce Stevenson, 1969
- Edmund K. Blake, 1970
- Eric F. Smith, 1971, 1972
- William E. Weeks, 1973
- Charles A. Lukas, Jr., 1974, 1999; PDDGM
- John L. Brown, 1975
- Norman J. Adrian, 1976
- Stephen J. Doherty, III, 1977
- Robert A. Krom, 1978
- Robert E. Clark, 1979
- Charles F. Davis, Jr., 1980
- William L. O'Brion, III, 1981
- Maynard C. Forbes, 1982
- A. Peter Armstrong, 1983
- Charles W. Hunter, Sr., 1984
- James L. Parker, 1985
- Graham D. Law, 1986
- Donald C. Morse, 1987, 2001
- John J. Schurman, II, 1988
- Kerry M. Daigle, 1989
- Kenneth S. Gendall, 1990; N
- John L. Atkins, 1991
- John W. Geis, 1992
- George L. Herbolsheimer, IV, 1993
- Gilbert M. Eichinger, 1994
- David I. Blake, 1995
- Richard A. Doherty, 1996
- Charles R. Grimm, 1997
- Douglas A. G. Stevenson, 1998
- David A. Sproul, 2000, 2002
- John B. Ritchie, 2003
- Stephen G. Jones, 2005
- Peter E. Blankenship, 2006
- Steven E. McMahon, 2007
- Randall C. Oxley, 2008, 2009
- Michael E. Doherty, 2010-2012
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Charter: 1797
- 1897 (Centenary)
- 1902 (105th Anniversary)
- 1922 (125th Anniversary)
- 1947 (150th Anniversary)
- 1972 (175th Anniversary)
- 1997 (200th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1865 (Parkman)
- 1872 (Nickerson; hall dedication; see below)
- 1897 (Hutchinson; Centenary; Special Communication)
- 1902 (Gallagher; 105th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1912 (Benton)
- 1918 (L. Abbott)
- 1921 (Prince; Hall Dedication; Special Communication)
- 1922 (Prince; 125th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1947 (Wragg; 150th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1972 (Vose; 175th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1975 (Maxwell)
- 1981 (Berquist)
- 1983 (Berquist)
- 1985 (Richardson; installation; Concord 350th Anniversary)
- 1989 (Ames; Reception for Senior Grand Warden Charles A. Lukas, Jr.)
- 1997 (A. Johnson; 200th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 2004 (Hicks; Concord Award Night)
- 2011 (Stewart; Table Lodge)
- 2013 (Stewart)
- 1921 (History at Hall Dedication, 1921-81; see below)
- 1947 (150th Anniversary History, 1947-158; see below)
- 1972 (1947-1972 History, 1972-158; see below)
- 1997 (Bicentenary History, 1997-53; see below)
HISTORY AT HALL DEDICATION, MAY 1921
From Proceedings, Page 1921-81: By Wor. Edward B. Caiger.
The history of Corinthian Lodge may be roughly divided into six epochs. The first from its institution to the time of the anti-masonic activity. Second, the period of the anti-masonic activity. Third, the period of the revival to 1872. Fourth, from 1872 to the one hundredth anniversary in 1897. Fifth, from 1897 to the period of the participation of the United States in the World War, 1917. Sixth, 1917 to the fulfillment of the hopes of several years as represented in these new and beautiful quarters.
The origin of any organization of this kind which has been in existence for one hundred and twenty-four years and in a small country town is always a matter of particular interest. It is well to consider that the Lodge itself has been in existence almost as long as this government of ours; that its charter members were all living during the Revolution and some of them fought in it; that the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts who signed its charter in 1797 was Paul Revere, whose name is so closely linked with the events of the nineteenth of April. In the light of the Revolutionary history it would certainly have been a matter for regret had not n Lodge been instituted here in Concord thus early. Practically all the patriots of the Revolutionary period were freemasons, the Boston Tea Party (and no doubt other activities related so closely to the Revolution), was instigated in a Masonic Lodge-room and carried through by our Masonic Brethren.
The first meeting of Corinthian Lodge took place July 5th, 1797, and we read from the records that Isaac Hurd, John Hartwell, Thomas Heald, Abel Barrett, Reuben Bryant, John Richardson, Daniel Davis, Ithamar Spaulding, James Temple. Jonathan Curtis, A. I. Fitch, Joshua Brooks, Francis Jarvis and Samuel Tuttle, having met at Concord at the Court House in the Grand Jury Room on Wednesday, the fifth of July, 1797, and having made choice of Brother Isaac Hurd, Moderator, to govern the meeting, and Brother James Temple, Secretary pro tempore, voted as follows:
- Voted to have the Charter for Corinthian Lodge which was obtained by the mediation of Brothers Isaac Hurd. Thomas Heald, and John Richardson from the Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in behalf of the brethren mentioned in the Charter.
- Voted, to choose the officers for Corinthian Lodge for the remaining part of the year and made choice of the following, viz.:
- Brother Isaac Hurd. first Master,
- Brother John Hartwell. Senior Warden.
- Brother Thomas Heald, Junior Warden.
- Brother Ahel Barrett, Treasurer.
- Brother James Temple, Secretary.
- Brother Daniel Davis, Senior Deacon.
- Brother A. I. Fitch, Junior Deacon.
- Brothers Jonathan Curtis and Ithamar Spaulding, Stewards.
- After other votes it was voted: To adjourn this meeting to the first Wednesday of the ensuing month, (August 2nd, 1797.) at; four o'clock p.m., to open as a regular Lodge. James Temple, Secretary.
At the meeting of August second, it was "Voted that each regular meeting he opened precisely at three o'clock p.m., and closed at eight o'clock." And on the same date it was voted that the Master and Wardens be a committee to purchase three large candlesticks of King Solomon's Lodge. As a consequence of this vote three large candlesticks were purchased of King Solomon's Lodge, and of these three I am informed that we have two in use today, the one in the east and the one in the west of the Lodge-room.
It is difficult to find much concerning the Masonic history of our charter members prior to the institution of Corinthian Lodge. Isaac Hurd and John Hartwell received their degrees in St. Andrew's Lodge, and Thomas Heald in King Solomon's Lodge. Roger Brown, Joshua Brooks, and Winthrop Faulkner received the second and third degrees in this Lodge, and had received, therefore, but the first degree when they petitioned for a Charter. Francis Jarvis had received the first and second degrees in St. Paul's Lodge, now of Ayer, instituted just, prior to Corinthian Lodge, and Jarvis received his Master Mason degree in this Lodge, the first man to receive the degree in Corinthian Lodge.
One of their first duties was to find a meeting place, said arrangements were made with Joshua Jones for his hall for a term of eight or nine months, the Lodge to have the right to use the hall as often as they pleased. Joshua was to find the fire-wood and build the fire one hour before each meeting, having due notice thereof. Per this accommodation the Lodge was to pay the munificent sum of two dollars and fifty cents a month. Joshua Jones Hall stood opposite the Concord Bank Building where Friends Block now stands, and was torn down to make way for Friends Block.
Thus was Corinthian Lodge instituted and it continued very active through the term of Lemuel Shattuck as Master, down to the year 1830, when the effects of the anti-masonic crusade began to be noticeable. During this period there were two hundred and twenty initiates and two hundred and seven were made Master Masons, an average of over seven initiates a year.
On January 16, 1800, a committee was chosen to meet the citizens of the town at Wyman's Tavern (Middlesex Hotel) and make all necessary arrangements to commemorate the death of our illustrious Brother George Washing ton. The citizens of Concord and its vicinity held a large meeting and voted to join the Masons in the funeral obse-ipihss, all of which were under the management of our first Master, Isaac Hurd.
Middlesex Hotel, Concord
I have noticed two things in particular during this (period of our Masonic history of some note. First, the customary practice of observing St. John's Day, June 24th. In 1802 Corinthian Lodge celebrated the day at Watertown, 1803 in Concord, 1804 in Framingham, 1805 in Concord with Hiram, of Lexington, Meridian, of Natick, and Middlesex, of Framingham. Isaiah Thomas, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, was present and the address was delivered by Reverend Brother Ezra Ripley. In 1811 it was celebrated in Harvard by invitation of Lancaster Lodge, in 1819 again in Concord with Hiram and Meridian Lodges. Our records state that "a procession, headed by three marshals and a hand of music was formed in front of the court house, walked around the 'pond' to the Meeting House, where an address was delivered by Brother John Keyes, at the close of which the procession proceeded to the court house and partook of an elegant entertainment provided by Major Caleb Simons" (of Middlesex Hotel). The pond began at the mill dam and extended toward what is now Hey wood Street. In 1816 the celebration was held at Lexington by invitation of Hiram Lodge, in 1818 at Framingham by invitation of Middlesex Lodge, in 1819 in Concord, in 1821 at Waltham by invitation of Monitor Lodge, in 1822 at Chelmsford by invitation of Pentucket (now of Lowell).
In 1824 St. John's Day was celebrated in Concord with Monitor Lodge, of Waltham, Pentucket, of Chelmsford, St. Paul's, of Groton, and Middlesex, of Framingham. The procession proceeded to the Meeting House where an appropriate prayer was made by Reverend Brother Ezra Ripley, and a very ingenious and well adapted address was delivered by Reverend Brother Charles Train, of Framingham.
Select pieces of music were performed by Hie choir accompanied by an excellent hand of musicians. The procession again formed and proceeded lo the Middlesex Hotel, where they partook of an excellent feast prepared by Brother Eben Thompson. Appropriate toasts were drunk, after which the brethren departed in peace and good order. "seldom witnessed on like occasions any other societies on their public celebrations." Corinthian Lodge then repaired to the Hall where a committee consisting of the Right Worshipful Master and Worshipful Wardens was chosen to wait on Brother Train to tender the thanks of Corinthian Lodge for his excellent, address and to request a copy of the same for the press. Brother Train is said lo have been a very noted speaker in his day.
The second noticeable fact is the comparative youth of our deceased Brethren. Of about forty-six of our Brethren passing away during that period, fourteen were under forty years Of age; ten between forty and fifty; twelve between fifty and sixty, and but ten over sixty.
The Lodge remained in Joshua Jones Hall until December, 1798, when it moved into Brother John Richardson's Hall in the old Middlesex Hotel, burnt June 10, 1845), and which stood on the site of the Middlesex (Irounds. Brother Richardson engaged to open his hall free of rent and furnish refreshments at tavern prices. The Lodge held its communications here for a little over two years until in January, 1801, it moved into Deacon Vose's Hall at forty-two dollars per annum. We all remember this as the three-story yellow wooden building on Walden Street, torn down to make way for Torney & ViaJle's garage. Two years and a half later finds the Lodge in Richardson's Hall over the store of Richardson and Wheeler, located according to Surette's History on Church Square opposite the Unitarian Meeting House, and the second dwelling from Lexington Street. This is probably the house just east of the burying ground across the square and now occupied by Mr. Henry It. Joslin. Here the Lodge stayed four years and a half when it met in Sawyer's Hall in Israel Sawyer's Tavern. I have not been able to identity this building, but believe it is the tavern which preceded the Middlesex Hotel on the location of the Middlesex Grounds. The name of the tavern probably followed the name of its proprietor for the time being. One year only did they remain when they returned to the hall over what had been Richardson & Wheeler's store, at twenty-five dollars a month.
A little over nine years later they moved to the County House which was hired from Brother Abel Moore for sixteen dollars and fifty cents a year, for hall rent and firewood. The County House is now the residence of the Catholic priest, the second building east from here. The next meeting place has proved to be. with the exception of ten years when the Lodge met in Brother Garty's Block from 1872 to 1882, the permanent Masonic home of Corinthian Lodge. On November thirteenth, 1820, Corinthian Lodge Dedicated Freemasons Hall, which is the front portion of this structure and which lies beyond yonder wall. On that day the Brethren of Corinthian Lodge met at Darrah's Hotel at eleven o'clock, according to summons for the purpose of Dedicating their new hall. A procession was formed and marched to the Meeting House where an able Masonic discourse was delivered by Brother Benjamin Gleason, After the ceremonies were closed at the Meeting House, the procession again formed and proceeded to the new hall which was dedicated with becoming solemnity, "To Masonry, to Virtue, and to Benevolence"' by Brother John Keyes. Master of the Lodge, in the presence of a large audience. The Brethren dined at Darrah's, and the whole day was spent in a manner highly satisfactory to the lovers of Masonry and the friends of the Order.
April 19th, 1825, was memorable in the annals of the Lodge in that the corner-stone of a monument, to commemorate the Concord tight was laid by Corinthian Lodge in Masonic order, but never erected, Brother William Whiting, Master, officiating. The site of this monument was on the Square about five feet east of the liberty pole. A large number of citizens of Concord disapproved this site as it was nearly half a mile from (lie North Bridge.
In the winter of 1825 and 1826, a sham monument about twenty feet high was erected in the night, of empty casks and boards over the foundation, of the monument with the following inscription: "This monument is erected here to commemorate the battle which look place at the North Bridge." The following night the structure was burned down, the intense heat, injuring the corner-stone. Nothing further was done until the erection of the present shaft at the bridge in 1836, at which time the country was in the throes of the anti-masonic persecution.
The Masonic persecution arose out of the disappearance of one William Morgan, which look place on September 12, 1826. How one of Morgan's character was admitted to a Masonic body, if it had been known at the time, is rather incomprehensible, lie appears to have been of intemperate habits, envious, malicious, and vindictive in disposition. During the year 1825 serious difficulties sprang up between Morgan and his Masonic brethren. He failed to receive a contract to build a Masonic edifice at LeRoy, New York, and further was not permitted lo become a charter member of a new Chapter at Batavia, New York. Soon after this he collaborated with one Miller, and published a so-called expose of Freemasonry. He was committed to Canandaigua Jail on September eleventh on charge of petit larceny, and was released the next evening. He left the jail with one Lawson with whom he appeared to be on friendly terms. From that time nothing is known of him, except that he disappeared. The Masonic fraternity was charged with his murder which was of course ridiculous; if in any way true, it could have only been the act of individuals, but there was no evidence of even that. There is some evidence that he was bribed to leave (he country and that he was afterwards seen in foreign parts.
At any rate Morgan's disappearance was seized upon by persons of vindictive mind toward our Institution, by expelled Masons, by those who had been refused admittance to our Order, and by some who coveted political honors, and the names gradually, then more rapidly, spread. An anti-masonic party was formed, anti-masonic conventions held, anti-masonic papers published. Men of the highest and most reputable character were abused, threatened, and persecuted by this strange fanaticism. With one exception the Brethren of Corinthian Lodge remained steadfast. On December 31st, 1871, the famous Declaration of the Freemasons of Boston and vicinity, was published and signed by nearly six thousand Masons in New England. It. is a calm, dignified statement denying certain allegations made against the Fraternity and stating briefly the underlying principles of our Masonic Earth. We have the satisfaction of knowing that thirty-seven members of Corinthian Lodge signed this declaration, and it seems to me worth while to read their Dames as many of them will be recognized by the older members here.
Lemuel Shattuck, historian of Concord, Reverend Ezra Ripley, pastor of the First Parish Church for sixty-two years, John Keyes, our twelfth Master, Isaac Hurd, our first Master, William Whiting, our thirteenth Master, William Shepherd, our seventeenth Master, Herman Atwill, Dudley Smith, Abel Moore. Alvan Pratt, John Hosmer, John Nelson, our sixteenth Master. E. H. Bellows, our eighteenth Master, Thomas D. Wesson. Nathan M. Wright. James Weir, our twenty-first Master, Hartwell Bigelow, Joseph Smith, John Brown, our eighth Master, Cyrus Warren, James Adams, Henry Wright, Henry H. Merrill, Obediah Kendall, Francis Jarvis, first Master Mason made in Corinthian Lodge and our fourth Master, and David Gilmore, all of Concord. Reverend Samuel Ripley, of Waltham, son of Ezra Ripley, Charles A. Wheeler, of Lincoln, and the following Brethren all from Acton; Simon Hosmer, Jonathan B. Davis, John Fletcher, Simon Hosmer, Jr., Peter Tenney, Luther B. Jones, Bradley Stone, and Stephen Hayward, and Stephen Blood of Carlisle. There was but one traitor among this number, Herman Atwill, who some time afterward became editor of the Yeoman's Gazette, in which paper there first appeared an anti-masonic editorial on January 26th, 1833. He was most unscrupulous in his denunciations of our Institution and its members, and took particular delight in abusing Worshipful Brother John Keyes, who at the time was County Treasurer. Any where from a quarter of the space in the paper to all of it was devoted to Masonic persecution. Brother Keyes is called King Keyes and King John, lie held the office of King in the Concord Royal Arch Chapter. During this period of the Masonic persecution our records show brief reports of meetings and the meetings were at this time very infrequent. At the meeting held in October, 1829, we read thai the ceremonies were closed by an appropriate prayer by Brother Dr. Ripley and the meeting adjourned to Mr. Shepherd's Motel where a supper was served in a manner not unworthy of the occasion, after which all parted in harmony. And so we learn from the records of meetings along this troublous period, that: they were closed in peace and harmony. At the meeting of February 12, 1832, it was moved that two hundred copies of the Declaration made by the Masons in Massachusetts be purchased for the purpose of distribution among the friends of the Order, and it was so voted.
Surette's History states that on February 22, 1836, it was unanimously voted not to surrender the Charter of Corinthian Lodge, Although I cannot find this vote on the records, it might be read between the lines. A committee was chosen to see what should he done with the hall. Brother Cyrus Warren was chosen to take charge of the furniture, and thereafter appear no records for four years and nine months. The Charter was not surrendered. Two members of this period lived to a ripe old age, Brothers Alvan Pratt and James Weir, both of whom were very active in Masonry, and who carefully preserved our Charter. A meeting was held December 7, 1840, and then no other was held until February 3. 1845. Regular meetings began again at the annual meeting, October 14, 1845; at this time the Lodge had twenty-four members. As we look back on this period we have reasons to look with pride on the loyalty of these men, in holding our Charter and making the reports to the Grand Lodge, even during the years when no meetings were held. In the records of the Lodge for the next, forty years we find continual references to the steadfastness and loyalty of the Masonic Brethren of this period.
Worshipful Brother James Weir became a Master Mason in Corinthian Lodge, November 5, 1821, and held office in the Lodge for a period of seventeen years. In 1823, a Steward; 1824 and 1826, 1830 and 1831 Junior Deacon; 1824 and 1826, 1830 and 1831 Senior Deacon; 1845 and 1846 Senior Warden; 1848 Junior Warden; 1849 and 1850 Senior Deacon; 1851 Master; 1852, 1854, and 1855 Senior Warden again. His early career was rather interesting and exciting as he was a seaman in the British navy and took pari in several engagements with the French and was at Elba at the landing of Napoleon.
Brother Alvan Pratt was initiated in Olive Branch Lodge in 1815 and became a member of Corinthian Lodge in 1821. Brother Weir and Brother Pratt were admitted to membership on the same date. December 3, 1821. In 1821 Brother Pratt, was Junior Deacon; 1824 and 1825 Junior Warden, twelve years secretary from 1835 to 1846 inclusive; 1847 Treasurer as well as in 1851 and 1852; Senior Deacon 1849 to 1850, holding office twenty years in all. He died on July 21, 1877, a Mason sixty-two years. From the sketch of his life printed in our records appears the following: Among the twenty-three members of Corinthian Lodge who dared to assert their Masonic independence was the name of Alvan Pratt. By holding the office of Secretary at that time it became his duty to look after the safe keeping of the Charter, which was alternately kept by him and Worshipful Brother Weir, and if these Brethren had not remained faithful to their trust, perhaps we should not be the possessors of one of the oldest Charters in the state. Brother Weir died March 25, 1869, a Mason forty-seven and one half years.
About this period appear names in our records which are known or familiar to us today. Louis A. Surette, proposed by Alvan Pratt, became a Master Mason on November 5, 1845. George P. How, proposed by Louis A. Surette, received the degree of Master Mason January 25, 1852, and Henry J. Hosmer, proposed likewise by Louis A. Surette, was made a Master Mason, February 12, 1855. Many others, too, who afterwards became prominent in Masonic work. Among them, William W. Wheildon, Ephraim Wales Bull, our twenty-fourth Master, originator of the Concord Grape, Moses Hobson, our twenty-fifth Master, and Benjamin Tolman, our twenty-sixth Master. Worshipful Brother Surette was an ardent Mason. To him we are indebted for the history of the Lodge compiled to the year 1859. He was Senior Warden in 1851; Worshipful Master in all ten years, from 1851 to 1858 inclusive and from October 1864 to October 1866. On Brother Surette's retirement in 1866 the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
"Resolved, that Corinthian Lodge owes a debt of gratitude to its retiring Master, Louis A. Surette, for being first and foremost in coming to her rescue in her dark days, and bringing her from comparative obscurity to become the first institution in the town, as well as to occupy a high position among her sister Lodges throughout the Commonwealth. Resolved, that the thanks of the Lodge be given Brother Surette for what he has done as an officer, as a member, and a Mason. Believing that honor should be given when honor is due, and that so long as the name of Corinthian Lodge shall be found in the archives of Freemasonry, so long shall his name be held in grateful remembrance by us."
I doubt if a more devoted, just and upright Mason can be found than Worshipful George P. How. He was Junior Deacon in 1853; Senior Deacon in 1854; Junior Warden in 1855; Senior Warden in 1856, 1857, and 1858; Worshipful Master in 1859, 1860, and 1861. He was in the army one year, 1862. He was Senior Deacon from October 1863 to 1866, Worshipful Master again from October, 1866 to October, 1867; Senior Deacon again 1868 and 1869; Chaplain 1872 to 1874, and was in constant attendance at the meetings, always of help and assistance whenever he was needed. He held office fifteen years in all. Brother Surette and Brother How were elected honorary members the same night in April, 1873. Brother Henry J. Hosmer was likewise a very active member, held most of the offices in Corinthian Lodge, except Master, which office he declined to serve in, although unanimously elected, and even after that for many years was a devoted friend of the institution.
In March, 1854, Freemasons Hall was forcibly entered in the night and the carpet of the main floor and the Senior Warden's jewel were stolen. A new carpet was procured at a cost of fifty-three dollars and forty-five cents. The carpet on this floor has cost us sixteen hundred dollars.
On March 22, 1855, the first Masonic and Civic Ball that ever took place in Concord was attended in the Town Hall by nearly one hundred couples, under the direction of Brother Surette. The Lodge had forty-three members in November of that year. The interest which the general public was manifesting in Masonry at that period seems only a natural consequence and reaction from the period of the persecution. This is illustrated by the Masonic Ball, and by a Masonic occasion in the Town Hall on May 5th, 1857, when memorial exercises were held for Brother Dr. Elisha Kent Kane and an address was delivered by Reverend Brother William Roundeville. The audience filled every seat on the main floor and three hundred persons stood in the gallery of our Town Hall across the Green.
At the meeting of October 29, 1860, we find that the family of Peter Whelan having shown a perfect coldness with regard to any affection or sympathy for his memory, it was voted that the first three officers of the Lodge be a committee to erect a suitable slab at his grave. As far as I am able to discover the remains of Peter Whelan are the only ones buried in our lot in Sleepy Hollow.
At the meeting held on January 14. 1875, Worshipful Edward C. Damon called attention to the lot supposed to belong to Corinthian Lodge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and expressed a desire to annex said lot to his and give Corinthian Lodge another in exchange. A committee appointed to report found that the Lodge owned no lot. As a result Brother Damon gave the Lodge a deed of lot No. 257, to which he had caused the body of Brother Peter Whelan to be removed.
The records of our Brethren who were in the army at the time of the Civil War are not very clear, but at least eight members served in the Union forces: W. S. Rice, who was prisoner of war for a year, George H. Willis, W. H. Chap man, E. C. Wetherbee, James M. Billings, George P. How. Charles B. Snell, and a member by the name of Wheeler, whom I believe to he Caleb H. Wheeler. On June 17, 1865, fifty members of Corinthian Lodge proceeded to Lowell in a body and attended the consecration of the Ladd and Whitney monument in that city. We learn from our records that this was the first public display of Corinthian Lodge for many years and the members expressed themselves very well satisfied with the results.
Oil February 4, 1866, Thomas Todd, of Bethesda Lodge, Brighton, was a visitor. Brother Todd became a member of Corinthian Lodge on April 23, 1866, and has been a member of Corinthian Lodge for fifty-five years. He was initiated in Bethesda Lodge in December, 1857, and has therefore been a Mason sixty-three years. He was Treasurer of Corinthian Lodge from October, 1872, to October, 1898. His father, Thomas Todd, was a member from 1840 till his death, 1854, and his son, Thomas Todd, has been a member since the spring of 1903.
Probably the oldest living initiate of Corinthian Lodge is Brother Charles S. Twitchell, initiated February 18, 1867, crafted May 13, 1867, made a Master Mason Septem ber 30, 1867, and admitted to membership February 3, 1868. We are glad to say Brother Twitchell is a frequent attendant at our Lodge meetings. Worshipful Brother Smith visited our Lodge for the first time February 18, 1867, and was present at the initiation of Brother Twitchell. He became a member of Corinthian Lodge May 24, 1869. He was made a Master Mason in St. Matthew's Lodge, of Andover, in 1858, and has, therefore, been a Mason, like Brother Thomas Todd, for sixty-three years. I believe he has held office more continuously than any other mem ber of Corinthian Lodge. He was Junior Warden 1870 to 1872; Senior Warden 1872 to 1874; Worshipful Master 1874 to 1876; Senior Deacon 1887 to 1889; Chaplain 1890 to 1898; Chaplain 1903 to date. He has, therefore, held office in Corinthian Lodge for thirty-four years. In June, 1918, Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott presented Worshipful Brother Smith a Henry Price Medal.
On October 26, 1869, it was voted that Brother Todd continue to act as Organist, and that Brother Ball receive the pay attached to that office.
William F. Hurd became Master October 27, 1871. He was installed in office by Worshipful Brother George P. How, with the jewel presented to the Dodge by Brother Hurd's venerated grandfather, Isaac Hurd, our first Master. During Brother Hurd's regime the Lodge moved into Garty's Block, the Dedication of the Hall taking place February 28, 1872. About two hundred were present, members of the Lodge and their wives, and also men who were not Masons. From our records we learn that it was discovered that some of the fair sex had taken possession of the hall during the afternoon and decorated it profusely with beautiful flowers, a very pleasant surprise to the members. After the Lodge was seated it was again surprised by Mrs. William H. Brown, daughter of the Worshipful Master, who arose, presented a case of tools, and addressed him as follows: "A few ladies, wives of your members, desiring to show their interest in the Institution of Freemasonry and in Corinthian Lodge in particular, have selected these tools and implements which they hope you will accept as testimonials of their confidence and esteem, believing that any Institution in which those near and dear to them are so deeply interested must be worthy of their encouragement." The gift consisted of a gavel, trowel. twenty-four inch gauge, square and compasses, baton, and two truncheons appropriately inscribed. All of these we are regularly using at our meetings.
On July 18, 1872, occurred the death of Samuel Thatcher in Bangor, Maine, at that time the oldest Mason in the country, initiated in this Lodge June 18, 1798, and therefore a Mason seventy-four years.
The presentation of the first Past Master's jewel ever presented to a Master of Corinthian Lodge occurred October 1, 1872, when Worshipful Brother Edward C. Damon was presented such a jewel in behalf of the Lodge by Worshipful Brother Henry F. Smith. Worshipful Brother Damon was initiated January 25, 1869, and became a Master Mason March 22, 1860. He was Senior Warden from October, 1870, to October, 1872, and Worshipful Master from October, 1872, to October, 1874, and held the office of Chaplain for nine years, from October, 1874 to October, 1883. He was a devoted Mason, always present at the meetings when health would permit, and a very influential member of the Lodge. Brother Damon had just previously been appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourth Masonic District. His father, Calvin Carver Damon, was admitted to membership in 1846, and died at Factory Village, then so-called, in 1854. He has three grandsons, members of the Lodge, one of them our Senior Warden, Winslow J. Damon. Worshipful Brother Edward C. Damon was elected to Honorary Membership January 7, 1895. On February 4, 1895, he presented his Past Master's jewel In the Lodge with instructions that it be worn by the youngest Past Master unless the Lodge otherwise provided, but if any of his descendants became Master he was to have it as long as he generally attended the meetings, he to give a satisfactory bond to return it upon his death or when lie ceases to attend the meetings. The jewel is in our safe, wailing for his grandson, Winslow J. Damon, to be able to wear it, and I believe we may look forward at not a very far distant date to the presentation by Worshipful Brother Henry F. Smith to him, as he once presented it to Window's grandfather.
Note should be made of one who took a great interest in the Lodge, but who died while in the office of Senior Warden, Stephen Jefferson Ballou, He was initiated in February, 1870. and elected Secretary the following autumn, serving two years, then Senior Deacon two years, Junior Warden two years, and was filling his second term as Senior Warden when he passed away. From our records we find the following: "Often he faithfully filled the chair in the West when he was ill enough to be in bed, but none of the Brethren knew it however. Seldom did he complain of his grievances to the world, but on the contrary was patient, cheerful and calm, conscientious and upright, trying to live a Christian life, therefore gaining many friends and the respect of the community."
To G. Arthur Gray, who was Worshipful Master for three years, from October, 1876, to October, 1879, we are indebted for the working copy of our Charter. This copy is an exact, facsimile of our original Charter. Worshipful Brother Cray, during his term as Master, made a rather exhaustive study of the old Charters in existence, and he reported that ours was the twenty-sixth Charter in order issued by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Of these original twenty-six, five Charters had been destroyed by fire, nine had been surrendered, and nine only, including our own, had remained intact as issued. He considered Garty's Block in which the Lodge was then holding its meetings, a fire trap, had little respect for the safe in case of fire, and felt a great responsibility rested on him for its custody. He, therefore, deemed it advisable to have a copy made before anything should happen to the original. He spent two whole days making a tracing of the Charter, but was informed by the engravers that they must have the original. Worshipful Brother Gray then spent five whole days before he could find an engraver who would make an engraving at a cost he felt the Lodge could pay, and who would do a satisfactory job or receive nothing for his labor. A photograph of the Charter was made. Both the engraver and the photographer wanted the Charter left, saying it would be perfectly safe. Brother Gray would not allow the Charter out of his sight, so conscientious was he. The day the Charter was photographed he remained at the photographer's without his dinner until dark. It was a cloudy day and the lines on the Charter were so faint that it had to be exposed to the camera nearly an hour each time and four negatives had to be taken. During the term of Worshipful Brother Robert J. Stevenson as Master, the Charter was placed in a box in the vaults of the Security Safe Deposit Company in Boston, where it has since remained except as brought out on special occasions, and we expect that it will be safely preserved.
In reading the records of the Lodge at this time two things stand out, a peculiar veneration for our Charter, it would seem more than now and perhaps due to the second, namely, the impression of the anti-masonic agitation, con tinually referred to in the records and referred to as the "dark ages." The fact that the Charter was held safely and not surrendered during the "dark ages" made our Brethren of that day treasure it highly.
On March 2, 18S2, a Grand Masonic and Civic Ball was held in the Town Hall under the management of Floor Director Charles E. Brown. who was assisted by Messrs. Richard P. Barrett, John L. Gilmore, Daniel O. French, Henry P. Richardson, Alfred Smith, George E. Houghton, and Herbert W. Hosmer. From the particular description of some of the dresses worn by the ladies as set forth in the Concord Freeman, it was surely a gala affair. We learn from the records that the rough and perfect ashlars we have been using the past years were the gift of Worshipful Charles E. Brown, who was our Master for three years, from October 27, 1879, to October 23, 1882, succeeding Worshipful Brother Gray.
At the meeting of January 30, 1882, on motion of Brother Thomas Todd it was voted "that the Lodge remove from its present quarters in Garty's Block to the Old Masonic Hall on the Square as soon as practicable after the same shall have been remodelled according to plans shown," which contemplated an addition to the rear of said building. On October 16th, 1882, the Lodge again occupied the room in the forward part of this building. On that date Right Worshipful Brother Brown gives some history of this building, and it seems fitting to quote a part of his statement. "From the records of Corinthian Lodge we find under date January 24, 1820, Brothers John Keyes, Abel Moore and Luke Rogers were made a committee to confer with a Town Committee in regard to the erection of a brick building to be used as a school house and a Masonic Hall. February 6, 1820, the committee of conference having reported favorably Brother Eli Brown, John Keyes, Cyrus Warren. William Whiting, and Abel Moore were chosen to attend with the Town Committee to the erection of a Masonic Hall on Concord Square. Brother Nathan M. Wright, Treasurer, was authorized to pay four hundred dollars to the Town Committee for a Masonic Hall in the new brick school." The ownership of the building was apparently divided between the Town and the Lodge. The Lodge owned the hall which we occupied until last summer, with a right of entrance from the street, and the Town owned the lower floor and agreed to keep the outside of the whole building in good order. The new building was Dedicated June 15th, 1820. The Brethren of Corinthian Lodge met at Darrah's Hotel at eleven o'clock a.m. for the purpose of Dedicating their new hall. A procession was formed and marched to the Meeting House where an able Masonic discourse was delivered by Brother Benjamin Gleason. After the ceremonies at the Meeting House the procession again formed and proceeded to the new hall which was Dedicated with becoming solemnity to Masonry, to Virtue, and to Benevolence by Worshipful Brother John Keyes, Master of the Lodge, in the presence of a large audience. The Brethren dined at Darrah's. The whole day was spent in a manner highly satisfactory to the lovers of Masonry and the friends of the Order.
The little brick building was occupied by Corinthian Lodge from 1820 till 1872, a period of fifty-two years. The Lodge then moved to a hall in the third story of Garty's Block on Exchange Street, (now Main Street) and soon after sold its interest in this building to the Town. The Town soon conveyed the building to Worshipful Brother William F. Hurd, who fitted up the upper story as a schoolroom, the lower story being used as an engine house. Ten years later, as before related, the building was again used by Corinthian Lodge, after alterations had been made, the whole building now being used by the Lodge. The building was moved back forty-two feet from the street, and an addition of sixteen feet built in the rear. Thus the building was used by Corinthian Lodge until the addition was torn down last summer, the present structure built, and the original remodeled. In 1909 Corinthian Lodge purchased the building from the heirs of Worshipful William F. Hurd and an additional strip of land along the side of the lot and a small parcel of land in the rear. Last year the Concord Masonic Corporation was organized for the purpose of erecting this structure and the title vests in the Corporation at the present time.
Our records show that Brother Peter H. Bullock, of Henry Price Lodge, of Charlestown, was a visitor in this Lodge for the first time on October 16, 1882.
On January 23, 1888, Corinthian Lodge received the valuable gift of a Secretary's jewel, the plain one on the right of the lower row in the frame which hangs in the main corridor. This Secretary's jewel is of ancient workmanship and solid silver, once the property of John Richardson, one of the Charter members of Corinthian Lodge, and our second Treasurer. His son, Colonel George W. Richardson, one time Mayor of Worcester and in later life a resident of New Brunswick, presented the jewel to William F. Bunting, at one time Grand Master of New Brunswick, who caused it to lie placed here in Corinthian Lodge. On one of the feathers appear the initials "J. R. 1873," the date John Richardson was supposed to have been initiated, and on the other "W. F. B. 1881," the year it was presented to William F. Bunting.
In June of 1891 reference is made to the death of Edward Stern, elected as honorary member of Corinthian Lodge in 1852. Reverend Grindall Reynolds, Pastor of the Unitarian Church of this town, officiated at the funeral ceremonies. Brother Stern presented Corinthian Lodge with the four Masonic paintings we have used ever since in the work of our second degree.
In October, 1894, Brother Henry H. Benson resigned from the office as Treasurer, having faithfully filled that position for a period of twenty-five years.
In June, 1897, the one hundredth anniversary of Corinthian Lodge was celebrated. The celebration began on Sunday, June 13, 1897, with a service in the First Parish Meeting House at which Reverend Brother Loren B. Macdonald delivered a sermon. On Monday, June 14, at two thirty-five o'clock, was held the last regular Lodge meeting of the first century and five candidates were made Master Masons and a reception to the Past Masters of Corinthian Lodge was held in the evening. On Wednesday, June 14, 1897, at two fifteen O'clock p.m., a centennial Communication was held. At two forty-five P.M., with Most Worshipful Charles C. Hutchinson and his suite as guests, the Lodge proceeded again to the First Parish Meeting House, where appropriate exercises were held. The exercises finished with a banquet in the Town Hall with ten particular toasts. The standing committee was in charge of the celebration, Worshipful Charles S. Hart, as Master of the Lodge being chairman. Our Worshipful Brother George W. Hopkins was .Senior Deacon at that time. After serving in the lower offices he served as Junior Warden 1897 and 1898 and Senior Warden 1898 and 1899. He served as Master two years from October, 1899, to October, 1901.
The Lodge then had a slow but steady growth down to the lime of the participation of the United States in the World War. Eighteen members of Corinthian Lodge at the time of declaration of war entered the service. Their names are as follows: George A. Cowlard, Philip W. Damon, Winslow J. Damon, Wallis H. Ford, Roger S. Hoar, Eliot R. Howard, Herbert Hunt, Everett E. Pierce, Burleigh L. Pratt. Joseph S. Hart, Edmund W. Pratt, Joseph S. Richardson. John Alvord Rose, Frederick H. Conant, Franklin N. Prescott, Dr. Frederick K. Shaw, Edward B. Caiger, and Wendell Dodge Gowell. Of that number nine went overseas. Three of its officers are included in this number. One, John Alvord Rose, lost his life on the sinking of the steamer Leinster, and his loss has been a great one to Corinthian Lodge. Those of us who were officers of the Lodge at the time remember his painstaking work, his interest in the sodalities, and we all looked forward In his work in the office of Senior Deacon, to which he was elected and installed, hut never served after election, as he entered the service. A few others who were in the service during the war became members before the armistice and a much larger number since.
Further, I cannot pass by one, in particular, who passed from us during the period of the war, our late Master Nathaniel P. How, son of our former Master George P. How, a devoted Mason who from intimate associations in our Lodge work, I know was looking forward to this which we have realized here tonight, and who was about to enter upon greater service to the Lodge when called from among us.
Corinthian Lodge silently, without noise, without undue display, in many ways unknown to those outside its portals, bus in the last century and a quarter and is today making its influence felt in this community. Many of its members have held responsible positions of trust in town affairs. More than once has the entire Board of Selectmen been members of our Order as well as the majority of members of other town boards.
In the early days, especially before Lodges were so numerous, members of Corinthian Lodge frequently appear as members of Grand Lodge. Our first Master, Dr. Isaac Hurd, who procured our Charter, served as Junior Grand Warden in 1801 and 1802, and Senior Grand Warden in 1808. At the Lodge meeting of December 4th, 1797, he presented to Corinthian Lodge an antique and beautiful Master's jewel which I believe is now in the frame of jewels in our main corridor. Our twelfth Master, Honorable John Keyes, was Junior Grand Warden in 1824, 1825, and 1826, and Senior Grand Warden in 1827 and 1828. Colonel William Whiting, our thirteenth Master, was District Deputy Grand Master for the Fifth Masonic District in 1826, 1827, and 1828, and again in 1834 and 1835. Our fifteenth Master, Lemuel Shattuck, was District Deputy Grand Master for the Fifth Masonic District in 1829, 1830, 1831, and 1832. William Whiting and Lemuel Shattuck thus held this office for nine consecutive years. Brother Shattuck wrote a history of Concord, well known at least by name, and like Brothers John Keyes and William Whiting, was a man of great influence iu this community and in places where he afterwards lived. When I was Master of the Lodge I received a communication from a granddaughter or grandniece in Ipswich, requesting permission to present certain of Lemuel Shattuck's Masonic regalia to the Lodge, which proved to be a Chapter apron of beautiful design and a Chapter jewel. Worshipful Brother Edward C. Damon was District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourth Masonic District for the years 1876 and 1877. Worshipful Charles E. Brown was District Deputy in 1883 and 1884; Worshipful Charles S. Hart held the office in 1902 and 1903; "Worshipful Charles W. Sylvester filled that office in the Twelfth Masonic District with honor to himself and pleasure to the Fraternity in 1919 and 1920. Brother Ezra Ripley was Grand Chaplain of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in 1803, 1831, 1832, and 1833. Ezra Ripley's son, Samuel Ripley, was appointed Grand Chaplain in 1823 Our nineteenth Master, Reverend Joseph Oberlin Skinner. was initiated in Middlesex Lodge at Framingham. He was one of the Grand Chaplains of the Grand Lodge in 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, and 1848. On the twenty-fourth of January, 1845, he officiated as Chaplain of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge at a great Masonic celebration at Charlestown, Massachusetts, when a miniature monument, an exact model of the original monument erected by King Solomon's Lodge in 1794, was placed inside Bunker Hill Monument.
One of our members has had the distinction of being Most Worshipful Grand Master, viz.: Samuel P. P. Fay, initiated in 1799, crafted March 18, and made a Master Mason June 17, 1799. He was a member of Amicable Lodge in 1800 and Grand Master in 1820. For many years he was Judge of Probate for Middlesex County. The last record of his appearance in Grand Lodge is in 1856.
Never has there been a time when the Grand Lodge has had to wait for its dues from Corinthian Lodge. Worshipful G. Arthur Gray has made a study of the Grand Lodge Records and from his report it appears that at one Communication of the Grand Lodge only five lodges were represented and Corinthian Lodge was one of that number and Worshipful Brother William Whiting was the representative. At other Communications when as few as ten to twenty were present, there was always some member of Corinthian Lodge in attendance. We have had three instances in which fathers and sons have been Masters of the Lodge: George P. How and Nathaniel P. How, Henry P. Smith and William Lincoln Smith, George H. Hopkins and George W. Hopkins. Also two instances of grandfathers and grandsons: Dr. Isaac Hurd, our first Master, and William V. Hurd, our twenty-eighth Master, and John Brown, our eighth Master, and Charles E. Brown, our thirty-second Master. Roger Brown, the father of John Brown, was a Charter member; Percy W. Brown, son of Charles E. Brown, is to be initiated this month so that soon four generations of the same family will have been members of the Lodge.
Since the Institution of the Lodge to the present time, we have had about six hundred and eighty-eight initiates and six hundred and sixty-one have been made Master Masons. Five men are now receiving their degrees and seven are waiting. We have now a membership of two hundred and sixty.
Of our Masters, three have been graduates of Harvard College, Isaac Hurd, John Leighton Tuttle, Edward B. Caiger; three of Dartmouth College, Thomas Heald, John Keyes, Will A. Charles; two of Brown University, John Nelson and Wells A. Hall; two of Northeastern College, George W. Hopkins and Raymond D. Willard, and William Lincoln Smith from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The occupations of our various Masters is illustrative of the democracy of our Institution. We have had doctors, lawyers, ministers, merchants, small tradesmen, school teachers, clerks, farmers, carpenters, artisans of various kinds, financial or banking men, literary men, men representing almost all walks of life.
For the brief space of time allotted to an historical sketch of this kind many items of interest have to be passed over. From the history of our Lodge as shown by the example of our forbears in constancy, fidelity, and devotion to the Institution let us gain an inspiration to carry on in the future with honor to ourselves, what they have so nobly handed to us. As Masonry has been a great steadying force in the history of our country in the past, so will it be during these years to come when, if ever there was a time, we need to bear in mind the fundamental principles upon which both Masonry and the institutions of this country are founded, and it is the individual Lodges in communities such as this, whose influence can and will make itself felt for good, for justice to all mankind in the years to come.
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1947
From Proceedings, Page 1947-158:
By Worshipful Will A. Charles.
It has been said that the history of any institution is the foundation on which to build the future superstructure. Therefore, Corinthian Lodge has a firm base on which to erect a future temple which will reflect the everlasting permanence of Freemasonry.
Corinthian Lodge was conceived in the hearts of the following nineteen men: [Isaac Hurd, John Hartwell, Thomas Heald, Daniel Davis, Samuel Tuttle, Jonathan Curtis, Ithamar Spaulding, A. J. Fitch, John Richardson, Abraham Skinner, David Barnard, James Temple, Abel Barrett, Reuben Bryant, Francis Jarvis, Roger Brown, Joshua Brooks,Winthrop Faulkner and Joseph Heald.
These men, all of whom lived in the period of the Revolutionary War, and some of whom, no doubt, took part in it, met in the Grand Jury room at the Court House in Concord on Wednesday, July 5, 1797, and acting under a Charter which had been granted by the Grand Lodge on June 12, 1797, proceeded to elect Isaac Hurd, Moderator, and James Temple, Secretary. The Lodge was then organized with the following as officers: Bro. Isaac Hurd, Master; Bro. John Hartwell, Senior Warden; Bro. Thomas Heald, Junior Warden; Bro. Abel Barrett, Treasurer; Bro. James Temple, Secretary; Bro. Daniel Davis, Senior Deacon; Bro. A. I. Fitch, Junior Deacon; Bros. Jonathan Curtis and Ithamar Spaulding, Stewards. It was voted to adjourn to August 2, 1797, at four o'clock, to open as a regular Lodge.
The second meeting took place on August 2, 1797, in the Grand Jury room. By-Laws were presented and adopted and fees for the degrees were established.
The first duty was to find a suitable meeting place, and a hall was hired from Joshua Jones. Jones was to find the firewood, build a fire one hour before each meeting and he received for rent $2.50 a month. Joshua Jones Hall stood opposite the bank building where Friends Block is now situated.
Several members of the Lodge advanced $220.50 to defray the expense of furnishing the Lodge, and the Lodge gave notes to these Brethren for this amount. Among the furnishings purchased at this time we find
- Two dozen double flint punch glasses, $2.00
- Two dozen wine glasses and two dozen tumblers, 6.67
- Four mugs, 1.67
- Three punch ladles, 7.00
- Two jugs, .25
- One tin pail, 1.00
Some of the charter members had not received all three degrees, but Brother Francis Jarvis was the first member to receive the Master Mason Degree in Corinthian Lodge, September 4, 1797. Fees for the degrees were established as follows:
- Deposited with application, $ 3.00
- Initiating and Passing, 10.00
- Raising, 4.00
- Membership, 2.00
- Letters of Recommendation, 2.00
- Dues Payable Quarterly, 2.00
- Visiting Brethren Fees per Meeting, .38
At the same meeting, it was voted to initiate Mr. Jno. Curtis of Concord and to exempt him from the fees if he would become Tyler of the Lodge. A salary of seventy-five cents per meeting was voted the Tyler.
Wor. Bro. Hurd was elected the first proxy from Corinthian Lodge, and from that time to the present day, Corinthian Lodge has always been represented at the Quarterly Communications of the Grand Lodge.
If a special meeting was held at the request of any Mason, he paid the expenses of holding the same, and we learn that Bro. Seth Alden paid $2.75 for a meeting held September 8, 1797, at which time he was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
The first gift of which we find any mention was made by Bro. John Hartwell, who gave the Secretary $1.37 for the purchase of three candlesticks from King Solomon's Lodge. It was voted to have Bro. Hartwell's name engraved on the candlesticks, and tradition informs us that two of those candlesticks are now in use in the east and west of Corinthian Lodge, but search fails to reveal any name on them.
The jurisdiction of Corinthian Lodge was evidently far and wide, for we find candidates from Gilmanton, New Hampshire, and North Adams, Massachusetts. The time of the meetings was from three o'clock in the afternoon to eight in the evening on or before the full of the moon, which allowed the members to travel in more comfort and to allow time out for refreshment, which was furnished by the Stewards, and as the kitchen furnishings at that time consisted of several glasses and two punch ladles, we can guess what the refreshments were. The two ladles which at present hang framed in the Tyler's room were evidently the ones in use and the origin of them has been ascribed to Paul Revere, but they do not bear his hall mark and it cannot be said authoritatively that he made them.
At the meeting of May 8, 1798, it was voted to have an installation and to invite the Grand Officers to do the work. A committee was appointed to engage a band, to provide toasts, and it was voted that the tickets should be $2.00. It was also voted to have a sermon preached at the installation.
Accordingly, we read from the records that on June 25, 1798, the Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Josiah Bartlett, Grand Master, united with Corinthian Lodge in regular order and after the Grand Lodge was opened in due form, both Lodges in conjunction with the visiting Brethren and the customary attendance on such occasions, proceeded in regular procession to the Meeting House, where a well-adapted prayer was made by Bro. Ezra Ripley and an admirable discourse was delivered by the Reverend Jedediah Morse, D.D. of Charlestown. Wor. Master Bro. Hurd and the other officers of Corinthian Lodge were then duly installed by the Grand Officers.
The procession then being properly regulated, proceeded around the square to the Court House and partook of an entertainment provided for the purpose. Four hundred copies of the discourse and the prayer were published for distribution.
On December 3, 1798, it was voted that the number of members should not exceed forty-five. This number has been equalled or exceeded in recent years by the number of members admitted in one year.
Financial difficulties appeared early. At the annual meeting held December 3, 1798, it was reported that the Secretary had received $613.47 and had disbursed $606.50, leaving $6.97 unaccounted for, but the committee recommended that the Secretary be discharged from liability for the loss, which was due to some error, and the Lodge so voted. At the same meeting, it was voted to move the Lodge to Bro. John Richardson's Hall in the old Middlesex Hotel (burned June 10, 1845). Bro. Richardson agreed to open his hall free of rent and to furnish refreshments at Tavern prices.
January 6, 1800, a committee was chosen to meet the citizens of Concord and make all necessary arrangements to commemorate the death of our much-beloved Brother George Washington, and it is worthy of note that the exercises were in charge of the Masons, the citizens agreeing. Accordingly, we find from the records that on January 16, 1800, the Lodge met according to summons. The Worshipful Master informed the Brethren of the arrangements entered into between the Masons and the citizens. A procession formed of the Fraternity and various descriptions of citizens moved circuitously to the Meeting House where the following exercises were attended to, viz.: an occasional and plaintive hymn was sung, an appropriate prayer was made by Bro. Rev. Ezra Ripley, and a just and pertinent eulogy was delivered by Bro. Thomas Heald. Between the prayer and the eulogy was sung an ode, "The Dying Christian." A Masonic anthem was next performed, a Masonic prayer given by Bro. Ripley, and funeral honors and sepulchral ceremonies by Wor. Master Bro. Isaac Hurd. A funeral dirge closed the ceremonies.
With reference to the same occasion, the Grand Lodge requested a contribution to assist them in defraying the expense of a procession in honor of George Washington and Corinthian Lodge voted to send ten dollars.
At the meeting of April 12, 1800, it was voted to purchase one hundred copies of the sermon delivered by Rev. Bro. Ripley on the day of the execution of Samuel Smith for burglary. With a view of distributing a number of copies gratis to the jail keepers for the particular use of the criminals in their custody, for whose benefit principally the sermon was published. They were given to the prisons in Boston, Salem, Concord, Worcester, Dedham and Ipswich, History does not inform us of the effect upon the prisoners.
At the meeting of April 27, 1800, the Wor. Master appointed Bro. Buckly Adams as Marshal, the first appointee to hold that office in Corinthian Lodge.
At the meeting of November 24, 1800, it was voted to celebrate St. John's Day. Accordingly, the Lodge met December 29, 1800, and after divine services at the Meeting House, proceeded to Bro^Wyman's Tavern, where a dinner was enjoyed, a number of Masonic toasts drunk, and then returned to the lodge hall. This custom was continued for many years, often in conjunction with other neighboring Lodges.
On December 29, 1800, the Tyler's salary was raised from seventy-five cents per meeting to one dollar. The Tyler had not only to tile the door, but he saw that all the regalia was in readiness for the ceremonies. He also delivered any summons for extra meetings. The dates of stated meetings were printed on a card and given to all members at the beginning of the year, but the Tyler took care of notices of all other meetings. It was also his duty to clean the apartments, and in some cases, to build the fire.
January 26, 1801, the Lodge moved again, this time to Deacon Vose's Hall, paying a rental of $42.00 per year. This was a three-story dwelling house on Walden Street, opposite the Concord Bank Building and later torn down to make way for Torrey and Vialle's Garage.
January 11, 1802, it was voted to give the stewards quarterly $20.00 in advance to purchase refreshments and other articles. On April 12, 1802, it was voted to raise a so-called Charitable Committee for the purpose of uplifting poor and needy Brethren and the amount expended for each applicant be limited to $10.00. Thus was started the Charitable Fund which has continued to the present day and is used to contribute to the relief of distressed Brethren and their families. In reading the records of Corinthian Lodge, one cannot help but be impressed by the interest shown to all sick Brethren, the willingness to attend all funerals and the sincerity with which our founders took their obligations.
On August 9, 1802, the Lodge hired Richardson's Hall over the store of Richardson and Wheeler on Church Square, opposite the Unitarian Church. It is now occupied as a dwelling house. On August 23 of this year the Lodge took a flyer in a lottery when it was voted to purchase five tickets in a lottery granted by the Rhode Island Legislature to the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island. No mention is made that the Lodge profited from this venture.
At the meeting on November 21, 1803, the Lodge used sperm candles for the first time.
January 19, 1807, found the Lodge in Sawers' Hall in Israel Sawers' Tavern at a rental of $25.00 per year. This was probably located where the Middlesex Tavern was later built.
January 11, 1808, the Lodge returned to Richardson and Wheeler's Hall at a rental of $25.00 per year, and once again, in April, 1817, the Lodge engaged the County House at a rental of $16.50 a year, this to include light and fuel. This building was located where now stands the residence of the Catholic priest.
In 1810, the Lodge voted to hold the annual meeting in October instead of January and an early fall annual meeting has since been customary.
The first record that we have of Past Masters' jewels is March 29, 1814, when a committee was appointed to procure three or four Past Masters' jewels.
Our ancient Brethren were very zealous in maintaining their good name as Masons in the community. On December 7, 1818, they voted to expel Samuel Smith for immoral and unmasonic conduct and to publish such vote in the Middlesex Gazette printed in Concord.
January 25, 1820, the Lodge voted to choose a committee to confer with a committee from the town with regard to building a Masonic Hall to be connected with the school house which the town was about to build, and the sum of ?400 was voted in payment of such a hall. This proposal was consummated and on November 13, 1820, the Lodge met at Darrah's Hotel at eleven o'clock in the morning for the purpose of dedicating the new Hall which, with changes and additions, has been the home of Corinthian Lodge from that date to the present time, with the exception of a short space of time which will be noted later. A procession was formed and proceeded to the Meeting House where a Masonic discourse was delivered by Bro. Benjamin Gleason. The members then proceeded to the new Lodge Hall which was dedicated with becoming solemnity to Masonry, Virtue and Universal Benevolence by Right Worshipful John Keyes, Master of the Lodge. The Brethren then marched to Darrah's Hotel and dined. At six o'clock, the Brethren returned to the Hall and held their first meeting in their permanent home.
June 6, 1820, it was voted that Bro. Shattuck be authorized to procure a player on the French horn to assist the band on St. John's Day and that the expense be paid out of the funds of the Lodge. It would be interesting to know just why a French horn player was necessary.
August 14, 1820, the members of Corinthian Lodge accepted an invitation to attend the installation of officers of Concord Chapter of Royal Arch Masons on Wednesday at nine o'clock in the morning.
September 17, 1824, the Lodge received a dispensation from the Grand Lodge, the first noted in the records, to confer the Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degrees on Bro. Simon Adams, without waiting the customary time between the degrees, he being about to leave the Commonwealth.
At the meeting of December 3, 1825, the Lodge voted to choose a committee to have an article inserted in the Town Warrant with'respect to the differences existing between Corinthian Lodge and the Society of Singers relative to a Claim which the Singers made on their right to hold their meetings in Masonic Hall. However, this disagreement was peaceably settled by a meeting of committees from the Lodge and the Town of Concord.
March 20, 1826, Corinthian Lodge voted to lend $200 to the Royal Arch Masons and also voted to allow them the use of Masonic Hall.
On November 13, 1826, it was voted that the first three officers of the Lodge be appointed a standing committee whose duty it should be "always to inquire into the character of every applicant for the degrees or for membership and report before such applicant is acted upon," and at this same meeting it was voted that some new regalia be procured for conferring the third degree with more effect. Perhaps a new gavel was needed.
October 1, 1827, a committee appointed previously reported that it had conferred with a committee from Concord Royal Arch Chapter and necessary repairs had been made to Masonic Hall at a cost of $76.36. The Lodge voted to pay one-half of this amount.
Financial difficulties again arose in 1828, when the Secretary died while in office. A committee was appointed to straighten out the accounts, and reported that the Secretary's accounts had been adjusted so far as possible and it appeared that the deceased Secretary owed the Lodge $14.00. The committee tried to collect this amount from his father, but without success, and it was voted to charge off the amount. Also the Treasurer made a demand on the Lodge for money which he claimed to have loaned the Lodge. A payment of $50.00 was voted the Treasurer.
It was customary at this time for members who could not pay the dues of $2.00 a year to give notes for their indebtedness and several were in arrears. Two of the members bought the notes from the Lodge and took their chances of collecting, but their generosity kept the treasury of the Lodge in good condition.
April 19, 1825, the fiftieth anniversary of the Concord Fight was commemorated in Concord and the cornerstone of a monument was laid in the square about five feet east of the Liberty pole, nearly half a mile from the North Bridge. The ceremony was under the direction of Wor. William Whiting, Master, in the presence of a large number of citizens, including sixty veterans who bore arms at the Concord Fight. An address was delivered at the Meeting House by Hon. Edward Everett, after which about five hundred dined at the Middlesex Hotel. This site was disapproved by a number of citizens and nothing further was done about erecting a monument until July 4, 1837, when the present monument was dedicated at the Old North Bridge.
In 1831, it was voted to hold meetings only quarterly. This was at the height of the anti-Masonic period and no candidates had been received for some time. Masons were held in suspect, and the hostility knew no bounds. Stage doors were flung open and questions were asked of all male passengers to determine if any were Masons. A committee was appointed to take into consideration the disposal of Masonic Hall, either by leasing or selling. A long discussion took place relative to the celebration of St. John's Day. A committee appointed to consider the situation reported that the celebration should be held, that it would have a tendency "to show the public that we are alive and awake, and by coming together in a social manner it will have a tendency to excite in each other those kindly feelings of brotherly love and charity which have ever been the distinguishing characteristics of our excellent institution." The committee was further led to believe that if the fraternity should entirely cease to celebrate in public, it would with propriety be considered by the great body of the community as a tacit acknowledgment on the part of the Lodge either that the celebration was wrong or that they stood in fear of the persecutions or were about to give up or abandon the ancient and honorable institution. But on June 24, 1833, the Lodge held no meeting of any kind and there were no meetings from April 29, 1833, until October 13, 1834, when the annual meeting was held and officers elected. On February 22, 1836, the Lodge met and appointed a committee to see what should be done with the Hall and to settle up the Lodge affairs.
December, 1831, is a date which should be remembered by all Masons, as follows: for five years after the mysterious disappearance of Morgan in 1826, anti-Masonry had grown to such an extent that it had become nation-wide. In March, 1828, a large Anti-Masonic convention was held at LeRoy, New York, and the Anti-Masonic party took on undisguised political form. In June of that year, an Anti-Masonic paper was published in Boston called The Free Press. In New York, a convention was held at Utica and nominated an Anti-Masonic candidate for Governor. Anti-Masonic conventions were held in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Rhode Island. In 1831, William Wirt was nominated as an Anti-Masonic candidate for President of the United States, and the storm of Anti-Masonry grew to a tempest of rage and fury. During all this time, the Brethren of Massachusetts, with the exception of a few disgruntled persons, remained silent, but they finally proposed to enter a solemn protest against the lying crusade. The matter was proposed in Grand Lodge, but was postponed. Finally, Boston Encampment of Knights Templar unanimously adopted, on December 31, 1831, a declaration of protest prepared by Bro. C. W. Moore. It was intended only for members of the Encampment, but so eager were the Brethren to sign it that all who wished were allowed to sign. In a short time, nearly 6000 Masons in New England had signed it, among them thirty-seven members of Corinthian Lodge. One of the Corinthian Lodge signers, Herman Atwill, was the editor of the Yeoman's Gazette and on January 26, 1833, the first of several anti-Masonic articles appeared in the Gazette. From that date on, Atwill boldly vilified men with what he knew to be deliberate falsehoods. On February 25th of that same year, a County Anti-Masonic Convention was held in Concord and Anti-Masonic candidates were nominated for office. Atwill was expelled from Corinthian Lodge, and the epithet "traitor" was written against his name in the By-Laws. During all this Anti-Masonic period, Corinthian Lodge kept its charter and its preservation is due almost entirely to the Secretary, Bro. Alvan Pratt.
On September 10, 1844, Freemasons Hall was rented to the Odd Fellows for five years at a rent of $20.00 a year, but Corinthian Lodge reserved the right to meet in the Hall once a year. The Odd Fellows refurnished the Hall at an expense of nearly $800. At this time, the Lodge had nineteen members and although few meetings were held from 1835 to 1845, returns were made annually to the Grand Lodge.
In February, 1845, there is a notation in the Lodge records that Bro. Alvan Pratt had received for the use of Masonic Hall at sundry times $54.25 and also that Corinthian Lodge owed Bro. Pratt $40.25 for paying bills for repairs and for paying the yearly fees to the District Deputy Grand Master.
On October 27, 1845, the Lodge met at the home of Bro. Hartwell Bigelow and it was announced that the Lodge could now rent its own quarters from the Odd Fellows (to whom they had leased Masonic Hall in 1844) for $2.33 an evening. The Lodge voted to accept this offer and Corinthian Lodge resumed its regular monthly meetings after a lapse of nearly ten years. That year, also, the Festival of St. John was attended at Fitchburg.
The Worshipful Master gave notice in March, 1855, of a Masonic and Civil Levee to be held in the Town Hall. This was the first Masonic Ball given by Corinthian Lodge. The net receipts were $20.00, which were paid by the Worshipful Master to the Secretary.
In 1852, Brother Surrette, by a previous agreement, met the officers of the Odd Fellows Lodge and paid them fifty dollars for all their property in Freemason's Hall, the lease to the Odd Fellows having expired October 1, 1849.
October 27, 1855, the first public installation of the officers of Corinthian Lodge was held.
March 28, 1855, the matter of ventilating the Hall property was referred to a committee. This same subject is still a matter not yet settled satisfactorily nearly a hundred years later.
At the meeting of November 21, 1855, it was voted to have cards provided for the Brethren showing the dates of the regular meetings of the Lodge, and that the Secretary notify the Brethren in writing of all special meetings. A sample of the card for 1855 shows that regular meetings were held January 1 and 29, February 26, April 2 and 30, May 28, June 25, July 23, August 27, September 24, October 22, November 19 and December 17. The reason for two meetings in January and April and none in March is that the Lodge met on or before the full of the moon.
Our ancient Brethren were always active to bring relief to any distressed Brethren or their families and any request for assistance was investigated and acted upon promptly, but they were wary in paying out money unless there was actual need. September 8, 1856, a letter was received from Mrs. Mary Davis of Chelmsford who appealed for charity on the grounds that her first husband was a member of Corinthian Lodge. A committee was appointed to investigate the request and that committee reported that they found Mrs. Davis worth from two to three thousand dollars and not in need of relief. Her request was refused.
In 1856, the Lodge was invited to join in public procession in Boston on Wednesday, September 17, and to take part in services on the occasion of the dedication of the Franklin statue. The Lodge voted to accept the invitation.
October 19, 1857, we find the first report of a visit from the Grand Lecturer to Corinthian Lodge. He witnessed the work of the First Degree and expressed himself as satisfied and waived the right to see the work of the Second Degree. The work of the Third Degree was presented and the Grand Lecturer complimented the Lodge on its work and its good condition.
The ladies were invited to the installation of officers on November 16, 1857, following which they repaired, with the members of Corinthian Lodge, to the Middlesex Hotel for a banquet.
On December 28, 1857, an important change in the By-Laws was made, providing that only one negative vote was necessary to reject a candidate instead of three as formerly.
It was voted, on November 15, 1858, to notify the members of the meetings by private circulars and to dispense with the printed card showing the regular meetings for the year. This was the beginning of sending notices of each meeting separately as is done today.
On February 14, 1859, we find the members concerned about itinerant Masons applying for relief. They could pass an examination, but had no travelling card and Masons were cautioned to be exercised about granting relief to these persons until they could be proved to be in good standing.
September 24, 1860, a committee was appointed to see that the hall was lighted in a better manner and to report their "luminous" labors at a subsequent meeting.
The Master related to the Lodge, on October 29, 1860, that there was no manifestation on the part of the widow and family of Bro. Peter Whelan to erect a stone at his grave. He had died three years previously and they had shown a perfect coldness with regard to any affection or sympathy for his memory. It was voted that the three first officers be a committee to erect a suitable slab at his grave and perform any other work they deemed necessary and that the members be requested to subscribe a sufficient sum of money to defray the expense of the same.
On November 26, 1860, the District Deputy Grand Master paid an official visit to Corinthian Lodge and his remarks alluded to the small attendance. He thought there must be something wrong somewhere. According to the records, there were present eleven officers, two members and one visitor. But at the meeting of December 24, 1860, a letter was read from the same District Deputy stating that he had examined the records for several years past and was satisfied that the number present at his visit of November 26 was as great, if not greater, than for many previous years.
April 22, 1861, it was voted that the thanks of the Lodge be recorded for the prompt manner in which Bro. W. S. Rice responded to the call to arms recently issued by the Commander-in-Chief for the defense of the United States. It was voted to secure a photograph of Bro. Rice, who was Sergeant of Co. A, 5th Regiment, M. V. M., to be placed in the hall. An interesting event in the life of Bro. Rice is revealed when, at the meeting of December 16, 1861, a communication was read from the Master of Holland Lodge No. 8 of New York, to the effect that a Brother of that Lodge who had just arrived from New Orleans had stated that Bro. Rice was a prisoner in that city, that the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Louisiana had provided for Bro. Rice's wants and that he was in good health and comfortable. It was voted that the Secretary write the Grand Master, J. Q. A. Fellows, and thank him for the interest he had manifested in our captive Brother. January 24,1862, Bro. Rice was present and related incidents of Masonic interest that he had seen during his captivity.
September 16, 1861, Worshipful Bro. Surette presented to the Lodge six diplomas of old members of Corinthian Lodge which he had discovered in his barn. They had been the property of Brothers Alfred Brooks, James Adams, Ira Fisher, Silas Burgess, Purchase Miles and the notorious traitor, Herman Atwill.
November 16, 1862, a sword belt and sash was presented to Wor. Bro. George P. How who had enlisted in the army. The money for this gift was subscribed by members of Corinthian Lodge.
Corinthian Lodge made its first public appearance after many years on June 17, 1865, when about fifty members went to Lowell to attend the consecration of the Ladd and Whitney monument erected to the memory of two soldiers who died in the Civil War.
On February 24, 1866, a communication was received from the Grand Lodge covering two amendments to the Grand Constitution: Each Lodge should pay toward the support of the Grand Lodge ten dollars annually and five dollars for each candidate initiated. The fee demanded by each Lodge for the degrees should not be less than $25.
On May 13, 1867, an order was received from the Grand Lodge for an assessment for thirteen years of one dollar per year for each member of the Lodge, whereupon it was voted that the Master and Wardens be instructed to use their influence and votes to have this order rescinded at the next quarterly meeting of the Grand Lodge.
October 26, 1868, a peculiar vote was passed in that Bro. Todd was to continue to act as organist and that Bro. Abner Ball was to receive the pay allotted to that office. No explanation of this vote is shown in the Lodge records.
A committee, consisting of the Standing Committee, was appointed on July 11, 1870, to consider the question of adding another story to the lodge building to be used as a lodge-room. However, the Selectmen of the town of Concord, which owned the building, voted not to build another story that year. The Lodge then notified the Selectmen that the roof was unsafe and should be repaired.
May 1, 1871, the old question of suitable quarters was again brought up and a committee was appointed to investigate the matter. This committee reported that they had examined a hall, but the rental was more than the Lodge could afford. Later, another committee was appointed and they reported on November 20, 1871, that suitable apartments could be hired in the Garty building for $250 a year. Bro. Garty, who was present, then offered to lease the quarters to the Lodge for $250 per year and it was voted to accept the offer, to increase the initiation fee to $35 and the dues to $5 per year. February 19, 1872, it was voted that the Treasurer be authorized to borrow $1,000 to pay for furnishing and ornamenting the new hall. The public was invited to the dedication of the new hall on February 28, 1872. About two hundred attended and some of the wives, headed by the wife of the Master, presented to the Lodge a gavel, trowel, twenty-four inch gauge, square and compasses, baton and two truncheons, all of beautiful and costly material and appropriately inscribed. These articles are in use by the Brethren today.
Finally, on December 9, 1872, the Treasurer was authorized by the Lodge to convey to the town the interest of the Lodge in the brick building, which through the years had been school house, engine house No. 1, and Lodge quarters. This would seem to end the location of the Lodge in the building which it had occupied for so many years, but we shall see that they returned to the old lodge hall at a later date.
The one hundredth anniversary of the famous battle in Concord was held April 19, 1875, but because of the celebration of the date by the town, and because so many members of the Lodge were members of the Militia and other organizations, it was felt impossible to have any special celebration in the Lodge.
It was found September 13, 1875, that the lot which the Lodge thought it owned in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery did not belong to the Lodge. Wor. Bro. Edward C. Damon then presented to the Lodge lot No. 257 and had removed to that lot the body of Bro. Peter Whelan, he having been buried in the lot thought to belong to the Lodge. It was further voted that the standing committee of the Lodge be instructed to keep lot No. 257 in Sleepy Hollow in good order. This has been done up to the present time and Bro. Whelan is the only occupant of the lot.
Right Worshipful E. C. Damon made an official visit to Corinthian Lodge on November 27, 1876. This was the first official visit made by a member of Corinthian Lodge as District Deputy to his own Lodge. He had on his suite the Masters of the following Lodges: St. Andrew's, Boston; John Abbot, Somerville; Bethesda, Brighton; Belmont, Belmont, and Hiram, Arlington, together with Brethren from the following Lodges: Lakeside Lodge No. 739, Chicago, Illinois; Excelsior of Franklin; Simon W. Robinson, Lexington; Charles A. Welch, Maynard; Caleb Butler, Ayer; St. Mark's, Newburyport; and Grecian, Lawrence. Corinthian Lodge was at that time in the Fourth District.
October 1, 1877, a Past Master's jewel was presented to Right Worshipful Brother Damon and that jewel is worn today by his grandson, Right Worshipful Winslow J. Damon.
During the three year (1876-1879) term of office of Wor. Bro. Gray, the previously accumulated debt of $700 was wiped out by subscription from members of the Lodge.
At the meeting of April 16, 1894, there was presented to the Lodge a piece of wall paper made in England in 1794 for the walls of a Masonic Lodge in Virginia. It was voted that it be put in a frame with a card of information attached. At the same meeting, Bro. John M. Keyes presented a Masonic Chart to the Lodge.
May 14, 1894, a collection was taken to defray the burial expenses of one of the Brethren and $45.60 was received. It was voted on November 12, 1894, to present each Brother initiated in the future with a lambskin.
February 4, 1895, a Masonic Trestle Board bearing the date 1797 was presented by Bro. H. P. Richardson.
June 3, 1895, it was voted to purchase an electric appliance for striking low twelve, but no trace of this can be found.
September 30th of the same year we find the first mention of a Past Master's diploma which was given to Wor. George H. Hopkins by the visiting District Deputy.
At the meeting of March 23,1896, Bro. S. J. Barrett presented the Lodge a picture of Bro. George Washington delivering his inaugural address.
July 12, 1897, it was voted that the Lodge make an excursion to the Isle of Shoals. This was the beginning of outings held by the Lodge at various times and such outings have been held intermittently from time to time.
In June, 1897, the one hundredth anniversary of Corinthian Lodge was held. On June 13, Rev. Bro. Loren B. MacDonald preached the anniversary sermon to an attendance of five hundred. On June 14, the last regular meeting of the first century of the Lodge — the 1246th communication — was held in the lodge-room. There was a reception to the Past Masters and a banquet served to one hundred and twenty-five. On Wednesday, June 16, the Grand Lodge took part in the celebration. The meeting was held in the evening in the Town Hall, with an attendance of four hundred. A special train was provided for visitors from Boston. The total receipts of the celebration were $965 and the expenses were $862. In 1904 an attempt was made to find new quarters in the Court House and also in the Insurance Building, but without success.
On February 5, 1906, Wor. Bro. William L. Smith presented the Lodge with the point within a circle which is in use today, and on March 1, 1909, Wor. Bro. Smith presented the Lodge with the two emblematic pillars which now stand in the West of the present lodge-room.
The Lodge voted April 5, 1909, to buy the present building from the town at a cost not to exceed $4,000. This deal was consummated and the Lodge moved back to the building which it had occupied previously, and which then became its permanent home. On November 22, 1909, Wor. D. B. Hosmer presented to the Lodge the steps which lead to the building.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master, Everett C. Benton, visited Corinthian Lodge June 24, 1916 and presented a piece of cedar from the Mountains of Lebanon, which was cut and conveyed all the way to Concord by Masons.
On November 6, 1916, it was voted to change the meeting night from the Monday on or before the full of the moon to the second Monday of each month.
At the meeting in April, 1917, the mortgage held by Bro. C. Fey Heywood was paid, and Bro. Heywood made the Lodge a present of one hundred dollars.
In the year 1919 it became more and more apparent that the Lodge building was too small, and on July 14, 1919, a committee was appointed to consider and report to the Lodge on the advisability of adding to the lodge-room at an expense of $6,500. August 18, 1919, the committee reported that it did not believe the $6,500 could be raised. Another committee was appointed to investigate the purchase of the John Friend block and on September 8, 1919, a committee of twenty was appointed to solicit money for the purchase of that building. But on October 13, 1919, the committee reported that it seemed impossible to raise the amount necessary to purchase the Friend block and this project was dropped.
January 29, 1920, a Memorial Service was held for the Brethren who had taken part in World War I. The service flag was removed from the wall and placed in a metallic tube, together with a list of members of Corinthian Lodge, a copy of a regular communication, a list of the service men and a greeting to the members of the Lodge in the year 2018, when the tube will be opened.
Meanwhile, discussions and suggestions had been going on regarding the Lodge building, and on February 9, 1920, it was decided to go ahead and build an addition to the building then occupied by the Masons. A committee was appointed to secure plans and to determine and devise a means of securing the necessary funds.
On April 12, 1920, the Concord Masonic Corporation was voted into existence and authorized to spend $20,000 for the addition to the building and $3,000 for furnishings. Non-interest-bearing, non-transferable shares of stock with a value of $25 were sold and no great difficulty was found in getting subscribers for the amount specified. This stock was redeemable as fast as the Lodge could find the money. It was further specified that should any Brother die who held any of this stock, his heirs would receive the value of the stock as soon as possible.
At this time, the dues were raised to ten dollars per year — three dollars of this ten being given to the Corporation to pay the interest on the mortgage and to retire stock.
The new building was dedicated publicly on May 16, 1921, by the Grand Lodge and the friends and wives of the Brethren filled the hall. The necessity of the addition was quickly proven when in the Masonic year 1919-20, thirty-five were raised, in 1920-21, forty-three were raised and in 1921-22, thirty-three raised.
Like a great many similar undertakings, it was found that the $20,000 authorized for the building was far short of the amount expended and it was necessary to raise an additional amount of 210,000. A mortgage was placed with the Concord Cooperative Bank, and for twenty years frequent unsuccessful drives were made to sell sufficient shares of stock to wipe out the mortgage. In 1940, Wor. Bro. E. Payson True went to work with a committee and obtained sufficient subscriptions to pay off the mortgage. There are outstanding at the present time 740 shares, and when these shares have been liquidated, Corinthian Lodge will own the building.
On September 8, 1924, a gift of rare dishes was received from Mrs. Quincy Brown.
On April 15, 1929, Wor. Wells Hall presented the Lodge with a gavel made from wood from the original Old North Bridge of Revolutionary fame.
October 23, 1933, the 200th celebration of the formation of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was held at Corinthian Lodge by the Lodges of the Twelfth Masonic District with an anniversary address by Past Grand Master Herbert W. Dean.
Some of the articles of the first By-Laws of the Lodge contain some interesting notations, as follows:
- The Lodge should be furnished with all articles of refreshment by the stewards and no liquor should be allowed but such as were made out in the stewards' bill.
- Every Brother who visited the Lodge after the first time should pay such a sum as should be annually established.
- A candidate who did not present himself for initiation within four months from the time of balloting on his name forfeited his initial payment of $3.
- It was not permissible to ballot on a candidate unless the member who proposed his name was present.
- Sailors and soldiers, when necessarily abroad in the service of their Country, were exempted from paying dues.
- No Master should be eligible for re-election nor should he receive a vote of thanks for his services unless he gave to the Lodge at the annual meeting a correct view of the concerns of the Lodge, the amount and situation of the funds, the state of the account with the Grand Lodge, together with all the outstanding demands of whatsoever nature.
- Every member should be in duty bound to serve upon committees when occasion required and any member of a committee who failed to attend a meeting of the committee was fined fifty cents for each neglect.
- Any member, except such as were out of the state, who should absent himself from the Lodge for twelve regular meetings successively should forfeit his membership.
Corinthian Lodge has been well represented in our Armed Forces, particularly during the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World Wars I and II. Just how many members took part in the Civil War is not known, but at least there were eight. Eighteen members entered the service at the beginning of World War I. Twenty-eight members took part in World War II. The members of Corinthian Lodge have shown their interest in civic and national affairs by their membership on various committees and by being elected or appointed to civic and judicial positions.
Corinthian Lodge has been honored by the Grand Lodge several times, with appointments to its members, including Grand Wardens, Grand Chaplains, District Deputy Grand Masters and a Junior Grand Steward. We have never had a Grand Master; not from want of material, for many members of Corinthian Lodge have shown their ability in. various civic appointive and elective positions which demand judicial and administrative ability. In many ways outside of the Lodge, their influence for right living and sincerity in business have been felt in the community.
Notwithstanding the previous phrases, one of our early members, Samuel P. P. Fay, was Grand Master. He was made a Mason in Corinthian Lodge June 17, 1799. However, he joined Amicable Lodge in 1806, and was Grand Master in 1820.
Several times fathers and sons have been Masters of Corinthian Lodge — George P. How and his two sons, Nathaniel P. How and Walter N. How; Henry F. Smith and William Lincoln Smith; George H. Hopkins and George W. Hopkins; Will A. Charles and Robert F. Charles; Alexander R. MacLeod and the present Master, Alexander R. MacLeod, Jr. Also, three instances occur of grandfather and grandson holding the office of Master of Corinthian Lodge — Dr. Isaac Hurd, our first Master, and William F. Hurd, our twenty-eighth Master; John Brown, our eighth Master, and Charles E. Brown, our thirty-second Master; Edward C. Damon, our twenty-ninth Master, and Winslow J. Damon, our sixty-first Master. Brothers Edward C. and Winslow J. Damon were also both District Deputy Grand Masters of our District.
Through the years no large gifts have been presented to Corinthian Lodge,but in addition to those previously mentioned, the following should be noted: Wor. Bro. Walter N. How gave the starry decked heaven in the lodge-room; Wor. W. A. Hall, the lights used in the First Degree, and Wor. Bro. Winslow J. Damon the painting in the East. Wor. Will A. Charles gave the telephone installation between the East and the Tyler's desk, and Wor. Robert F. Charles installed the two pictures of George Washington in the lodge-room. Richard Wilson left $1,200 to the Lodge, which was used to purchase stock in the Concord Masonic Corporation and W7or. Henry F. Smith gave his stock to be redeemed for the use of the Lodge, the income from which was to be used to purchase Past Masters' aprons. Wor. William J. Rodday gave the stove in the kitchen and Allan Kennedy and his son have furnished men and material in beautifying the interior and exterior of our building. Bro. William A. Robus has been assiduous in several ways and during the summer of 1946, with a corps of helpers, he made the room upstairs, formerly used as a lodge-room and later as a club room, into a very pleasant social room.
The Masonic Temple now houses Corinthian Lodge, Walden Royal Arch Chapter, Hawthorne Chapter of the Eastern Star, Concord Assembly No. 53, Order of the Rainbow for Girls, and there has recently been formed an order of De Molay for boys.
Someone has said that it is a notable faculty of our nature which enables us to connect our thoughts, our sympathies, and our happiness with what is distant in time and space, and looking before and after, to hold communion at once with our ancestors and our posterity. Human and mortal although we are, we are nevertheless not mere insulated beings without relation to the past or the future. So, Brethren, it is in your hands to continue the high standard that has brought Corinthian Lodge to its present position in the Masonic Fraternity and in the community. Corinthian Lodge has ever been mindful of the tenets of its profession. It has always been prompt to go to the assistance of a destitute Brother, his widow and orphans. It has ever been loyal to the Grand Lodge. It has the name of being a friendly Lodge and of welcoming visitors and encouraging them to come again. You have a charge: to maintain the character of Corinthian Lodge and to see that the next one hundred and fifty years find Corinthian Lodge still true to the principles of Masonry and to the high esteem it holds today. It is the place and time now for the Brethren of Corinthian Lodge to rededicate themselves to this task so that the spirit of our ancestors will still remain a living example for future generations.
200TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1997
From Proceedings, Page 1997-53:
To fully appreciate the heritage of Corinthian Lodge, we must briefly follow the evolution of organized Freemasonry in Massachusetts. In 1733 Henry Price apparently received a commission in London, from the Grand Master of England, Viscount Montague, to establish Masonic Lodges. Upon returning to Boston, he organized his Provincial Grand Lodge on July 30, 1733; it was known as the St. John's Grand Lodge. The first Lodge of that organization, now known as Saint John's Lodge, was constituted on August 31, 1733. In the early 1750's a group of brethren met at the Green Dragon Tavern and formed a Lodge later known as St. Andrew's Lodge. In 1754 they petitioned the Grand Lodge of Scotland for a Charter and received it on September 4, 1760. A petition was granted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland on May 30, 1769, to appoint the Most Worshipful Joseph Warren, Esquire, to be Grand Master of Masons in Boston, New England and within one hundred miles of the same. This second Grand Lodge was called the Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
After many meetings and discussions, the two Grand Lodges united on March 5, 1792, forming the "Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts". Prior to this time, the Massachusetts Grand Lodge had chartered 30 Lodges and the St. John's Grand Lodge, 44 Lodges - each was allowed to retain its original Charter and to take precedence according to seniority. Only eighteen of these Lodges remained or elected to become part of the united Grand Lodge of Massachusetts with two-thirds of them having been associated with the Massachusetts Grand Lodge and one-third with St. John's Grand Lodge. St. Andrew's Lodge did not join the union and worked independently under its Scottish Charter until 1809 at which time it also joined. By June 1797, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts had constituted nineteen Lodges and at their June 12, 1797, Quarterly Communication, six more petitions were presented. The order of the petitions presented was:
- Bristol Lodge, Norton;
- Jerusalem Lodge, South Hadley;
- Fellowship Lodge, Bridgewater;
- Corinthian Lodge, Concord;
- (Adams) Lodge, (Wellfleet) (blanks were recorded in the Grand Lodge minutes); and
- Tuscan Lodge, Columbia, Maine.
For some unrecorded reason, the actual dates of the six Charters are not in the same order and Corinthian Lodge was the last one with a Charter date of June 16, 1797. Consequently, Corinthian Lodge was the twenty-fifth Lodge constituted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. When the pre-existing Lodges were considered, Corinthian Lodge was 39th in precedence; by 1870, this position had advanced to 26th because Lodges had gone dark and never recovered, had failed for other reasons, or had become part of the Grand Lodge of Maine.
When one reviews the locations of the various Lodges in Massachusetts in 1797, it becomes obvious why the brethren of Concord wanted to form their own Lodge. Outside of Greater Boston, the closest Lodges were located in Framingham, Groton and Ipswich - a long distance even with today's improved methods of travel. Unfortunately, no records exist of the early planning sessions for the Charter application to the Grand Lodge. The first written words are those recorded in the minutes of the Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication of June 12, 1797:
"A petition from Isaac Hurd and others, praying for holding a Lodge in the town of Concord, by the name of Corinthian Lodge, was read with the recommendations, and it was voted to grant the prayer of the petition."
With Charter in hand, fourteen of the nineteen petitioners met in the Grand Jury Room at the Court House in Concord on Wednesday, July 5,1797, to perform those duties required to set a Lodge in operation. Those founders who attended the organizational meeting were:
- Isaac Hurd
- Abel Barrett
- Daniel Davis
- Jonathan Curtis
- Francis Jarvis
- John Hartwell
- Reuben Bryant
- Ithmar Spaulding
- A. I. Fitch
- Samuel Tuttle
- Thomas Heald
- John Richardson
- James Temple
- Joshua Brooks
Under the leadership of Isaac Hurd, Moderator, and James Temple, Secretary, the group elected officers, chose two committees - one to draft a suitable set of By-Laws and another to obtain the jewels, flooring and other essentials required to properly equip the Lodge. It was then voted to adjourn the meeting to the first Wednesday of the ensuing month when Corinthian would open as a regular Lodge. The officers elected to lead Corinthian Lodge that first year were as follows:
- Bro. Isaac Hurd, First Master
- Bro. Jon Hartwell, Senior Warden
- Bro. Thos. Heald, Junior Warden
- Bro. Abel Barrett, Treasurer
- Bro. James Temple, Secretary
- Bro. Daniel Davis, Senior Deacon
- Bro. A. I. Fitch, Junior Deacon
- Bros. Curtis & Spaulding, Stewards
During that August 2 meeting, also held in the Grand Jury Room, By-Laws were presented and adopted and fees for the degrees were established. It was voted to buy three large candlesticks from King Solomon's Lodge and to accept a donation offered by Bro. John Hartwell to pay for the same. His name was directed to be engraved on those candlesticks as a token of his generosity. A suitable meeting place had also been located and secured in Joshua Jones' Hall on Exchange Street, opposite the bank building where Friends Block stood. Joshua Jones was to find firewood and build a fire one hour before each meeting as part of the rental agreement for which he received $2.50 per month. The first meeting held in that facility was on September 4, 1797. At that September meeting, the first Master Mason degree was granted by Corinthian Lodge - to Bro. Francis Jarvis - and it was voted to initiate Jonathan Curtis and make him exempt from the fees if he would become the Tyler. A salary of seventy-five cents per meeting was voted for the Tyler.
The original By-Laws contained the normal items attendant to the operation of a Masonic Lodge, including the various fees for membership, degrees, visitation, etc, and set the meeting hours as being from 3 P.M. to 8 P.M. A change in December 1798 limited the Lodge membership to 45 brethren; this was later changed to allow for expanded growth. The fees were changed many times throughout the 200 years of existence - the first happening in December 1799. In November 1800, the meeting start time was changed to 6:00 P.M. but fourteen months later was again changed, this time to 3:00 P. M. in February, March and April and 6:00 P. M. for the remaining months. By December 1803, it was adjusted to 5:00 P. M. for September to March and 6:00 P. M. for March to September and in October 1811 the times were normalized for all months as 4:00 P. M. to 8 P. M., almost a full cycle.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was invited to install the officers of Corinthian Lodge on June 25,1798. The festivities were under the direction of Most Wor. Josiah Bartlett, Grand Master, and included a prayer by Rev. Bro. Ezra Ripley and a discourse delivered by Rev. Jedediah Morse of Charlestown. Tickets for the event were $2.00 and included entertainment with a band at the Court House as well as appropriate toasts. The Master's Jewel used by Wor. Bro. Isaac Hurd was one he provided for the Lodge. Past Masters' Jewels were not acquired until 1814, when a committee was appointed to procure three or four; there had been eight Masters of the Lodge by that time.
Corinthian Lodge's residence in Jones' Hall only lasted just over a year. On December 17, 1798, the Lodge moved to Bro. John Richardson's Hall, in the old Middlesex Hotel, where he charged no rent and offered refreshments at "tavern" prices. Over the next 19 years, Corinthian Lodge occupied five more meeting halls, one of which was a repeat. Deacon Vose's Hall was the locale from January 1801 to August 1802 when the move was made to Richardson's Hall over the store of Richardson & Wheeler on Church Square; rent at both of these places was $42 per year. Following four years occupancy, the Lodge moved to Sawyer's Hall in Israel Sawyer's Tavem for a year and then to J. & J. H. Davis's hall over their store, formerly Richardson & Wheeler's. May 1817 saw the start of a three and one half years of meetings at the County House from which the Lodge moved to their own Masonic Hall on Concord Square. Corinthian Lodge and the Town of Concord both appointed committees which met jointly to erect a brick building to be used as a School House and a Masonic Hall; the Treasurer was authorized to pay $400 to the town as the Lodge's share. The end result was that the Lodge owned the street level floor with right of entrance from the street and the town owned the lower floor and agreed to keep the outside of the whole building in good order. The only dissenters to this amicable arrangement was a "society of singers" who claimed a right to occupy the hall; their differences were settled by committees from the Lodge and the town in 1822. Dedication of the Masonic Hall was an all-day event on November 13, 1820, and included a Masonic discourse at the Meeting House and a repast at Darrah's.
Upon the death of Wor. Bro. George Washington, members of the Lodge met with citizens of Concord to plan a fitting tribute to our first President. On January 16, 1800, an impressive procession was followed by a memorial service consisting of prayers, eulogies and music held at the Meeting House. Grand Lodge requested contributions from the constituent Lodges for the celebration they held for Bro. Washington. Corinthian Lodge contributed ten dollars.
Wor. Isaac Hurd resigned the chair in the East in December 1800 after three years in that position. He had just been elected Junior Grand Warden, a position he held for two years and followed that with a year as Senior Grand Warden. The only other Corinthian Lodge officer to serve as Grand Warden during that period was Wor. John Keyes, who served as Junior Grand Warden for three years starting in December 1823. Bro. Samuel Phillips Prescott Fay was an initiate of Corinthian Lodge in 1799 but demitted to Amicable Lodge in Cambridge prior to his accession through the ranks to become Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1820. We must remember that he received his basic instructions in the principles of Freemasonry in Corinthian Lodge. In more recent years, Wor. Charles A. Lukas, Jr. also served as Senior Grand Warden.
The District Deputy concept was instituted in 1802 and the first visit of this officer, filled by R. W. Timothy Whiting of Lancaster, occurred on November 2, 1802. Corinthian Lodge made no visible objections to this innovation as some other Lodges had done.
It is interesting to note that in 1803 Corinthian Lodge was induced to procure five lottery tickets from the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island; this lottery had been granted by the Legislature of Rhode Island. There is no indication as to any outcome but we can be sure that a "win" would have been spread upon the records.
In December 1818, Past Master Daniel Smith was expelled from Corinthian Lodge for "immoral and unmasonic" conduct. It was voted that this vote of expulsion be published in the Middlesex Gazette, published in Concord, and proper notification was provided to Grand Lodge. Grand Lodge recorded the receipt of this communication at their December 28, 1818 Meeting and a committee report was delivered at the September 1819 Quarterly Communication confirming the finding but faulting Corinthian Lodge for their handling of the case with Grand Lodge. It must be noted that this was the only "juicy tidbit" recorded in the Grand Lodge proceedings for the first 100 years of Corinthian Lodge's existence. Beyond the normal Lodge and Proxy representations at the various Communications and By-Law revision submittals, there were only six references to Corinthian Lodge:
- The granting of the Charter in 1797
- The Past Master Smith affair in 1818-19
- A statement in G. M. Oliver's annual report of 1820 that the Lodge has flattering prospects
- The recording of the laying of the Cornerstone in 1825
- A comment in 1869 that there had been no representation at Grand Lodge for the past year
- The dedication of the Masonic Hall in 1872
This performance was creditable when one considers all the actions which other Lodges were guilty of, including the granting of extra degrees, vocal objections to Grand Lecturers and District Deputies, etc. Further, Corinthian Lodge was listed among those Lodges which commutated the Capitation Tax during the first year - 1880. The Grand Lodge had levied a per annum tax on each member and requested that each Lodge or member pay their entire amount up front - thereby commutating their tax.
The laying of the Monument Cornerstone cited above was an event in Masonic History which might best be forgotten. On April 19, 1825, the festivities celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the "Concord Fight" included a procession to lay the cornerstone of a monument which was to be erected on the square in memory of that event. The cornerstone was duly inscribed that it was laid in Masonic form by Corinthian Lodge, but the monument itself was never built. Too many citizens disapproved of the selection of the site, nearly half a mile from the North Bridge where the "Concord Fight" occurred. The present monument was erected in the proper location in the 1835-36 time frame at which time the Anti-Masonic fever was too high to permit another Masonic ceremony.
The membership of Corinthian Lodge remained fairly steady from its foundation until the height of the Anti-Masonic period - it had grown to about fifty members in the early 1800s. Like most Masonic Lodges of that time, periods of financial stress were experienced. Notes due the Lodge were sold to the highest bidder in 1821 and subscriptions were solicited in 1822 to retire the Lodge's debt. The death of the Secretary in 1828 posed its own set of problems. These indications, coupled with the establishment of Investigating Committees for all candidates in 1826, served as a precursor to the upcoming Anti-Masonic period which wreaked havoc across the entire country. In May 1830, the Lodge members, down to 34, voted to hold meetings only quarterly. Thirty-seven members of Corinthian Lodge, including the Masonic traitor Herman Atwill, signed the noted Declaration of Freemasons of Boston and Vicinity. This "Declaration" was a public statement supporting Freemasonry and its ideals which was intended to counter the anti-Masonic wave sweeping the nation. By 1833 Bro. Atwill had joined the Anti-Masonic forces and was editorializing strongly against them in the Yeoman's Gazette, of which he was Editor. He was banned from further participation in Corinthian Lodge on March 4, 1833.
From 1833 to 1844 there were many years during which there were no regular meetings. Annual returns were provided to Grand Lodge and informal Masonic information meetings were held. A committee was appointed in June 1831 to consider selling the Masonic Hall, but the report returned was that such an action was not deemed proper at that time. It was agreed that the Hall could and should be leased for various functions and various functions and organizations took advantage of this opportunity. In September 1844, the Hall was leased to the Odd Fellows for five years at $20 per year with the provision that Corinthian Lodge be allowed to meet once a year. By this time Lodge membership was down to nineteen.
Throughout this entire period, the vote of the Lodge was to not surrender the Charter. Bro. Alvan Pratt, Secretary at the time and signer of the 1831 "Declaration", assumed the responsibility of preserving the Charter of Corinthian Lodge. He was a noted rifle maker of his time and his portrait hangs in Old Sturbridge Village. His steadfast dedication to the Fraternity in general and to the Concord members specifically, resulted in Corinthian Lodge being one of the select few which did not "go dark" during the Anti-Masonic period.
Finally, the remaining members of Corinthian Lodge met at Freemasons' Hall on February 3, 1845, for the purpose of electing officers under whom the Lodge would resume business. Bro. Alvan Pratt, who had maintained control of the funds and books of the Lodge since 1835, rendered an account of the receipts and expenditures. Bro. William Whiting was chosen Master and the Lodge was closed until the Monday preceeding the full of the moon in October. (From 1797 to 1916, Corinthian Lodge operated as a "Moon Lodge". Its meeting dates were tied to the full of the moon.) During October, the Lodge met at Bro. Hartwell Bigelow's and Bro. Addison G. Fay reported that he had made arrangements with the Odd Fellows whereby Corinthian Lodge would resume its regular monthly meetings in November and would pay $2.33 per night, including fuel and light. By 1847, the charge of the Odd Fellows for using the hall was offset by the rent due Corinthian Lodge. As it eventually worked out, Corinthian Lodge was able to resume full control of their hall by 1852; at that time a sum of $50 was paid to the Odd Fellows for all their property therein - the only item of any value was the carpet.
November 11, 1845, signaled the resumption of regular meetings with a membership of 24 members. By March 1847, a new set of By-Laws had been drafted and accepted and the membership had risen to 30 by 1848.
In March 1854, Freemasons' Hall was forcibly entered during the night by breaking the front window and the carpet of the main floor (was this the one item of value bought from the Odd Fellows?) and the Senior Warden's Jewel were stolen. Just fifteen months earlier, insurance had been procured for the hall, $500, and the furniture, $200, at the Middlesex Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Within four months the members were solicited to subscribe $50 to pay for a new set of regalia and it was voted that a committee be appointed to purchase a carpet and stove and to repair the Hall as they saw fit. Records indicate that this refurbishment cost about $325.
October 30, 1854, saw the presentation of a Past Master's Apron to Wor. Bro. Surrette by the D. D. G. M., the first of such recorded at Corinthian Lodge. Twelve years later the Lodge extended their sincere thanks to Wor. Bro. Surrette as he completed ten years of service as Master - seven as part of the post-dark period (1852 to 1859) and then another stretch from 1864 to 1867. Several gifts were presented to the Lodge during the 1850's era, some of which have survived the years and are available today - tablets for the lectures of the Second Degree, a silver trowel, a silver Twenty-Four inch gauge and a melodeon. Wor. Bro. Surrette presented six diplomas to the Lodge in September 1861, which he found in his barn. They belonged to old members of Corinthian Lodge, including the notorious Masonic traitor, Herman Atwill.
The first Public Installation was held on October 27, 1855, for one of Wor. Bro. Surrette's several investitures. Earlier that year, on March 22 to be exact, the Lodge staged a major public event which was carried on for several years - the First Masonic and Civic Ball. It was held in the Town Hall and attracted almost 100 couples. A memorable time was apparently had by all, Masonic Awareness was achieved and $20 was added to the Lodge treasury. Newspaper reports of subsequent years' events billed it as the social event of the season.
Several subsequent activities demonstrated the active nature of Corinthian Lodge and Masonry in general. On September 17, 1857, the Lodge participated in the dedication of the Benjamin Franklin statue in Boston. The Lodge attended the consecration of the Ladd and Whitney Monument in Lowell in June 1865 - this was a Civil War monument erected to the memory of the two individuals cited. Several members of Corinthian Lodge served during the Civil War and the records abound with items and tales of the soldiers. One of the more interesting anecdotes involves Bro. Sidney Rice who was a Prisoner of War in New Orleans; the Grand Master of Louisiana had personally looked after his welfare.
In late 1860, the Lodge voted to place a stone at the grave of Bro. Peter Whelan. His widow and family had shown no intention to do so. The Lodge apparently also had been responsible for the interment of their departed Brother three years earlier. Fifteen years later, it was discovered that the lot in which he was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was not owned by the Lodge. The presiding Master, Wor. Damon, donated another lot to the Lodge and the body of Bro. Whelan was moved to the new lot. Since that time, Lot No. 257 has been maintained in good order, but there is still only one occupant of that lot.
In 1860, the Lodge voted a quarterly assessment of 25 cents upon its members. This levy was restated and revoted in October 1865 with suitable provisions for relief for those unable to pay. The assessment was increased to $4.00 per year in 1870 and yet in 1867, when the Grand Lodge recommended an assessment of $1.00 per person per year for their benefit, the Master and Wardens were directed to use their influence in Grand Lodge to have this order rescinded.
A committee was appointed in July 1870 to consider adding another story to the Lodge building to be used as a Lodge room. The Selectmen of the town of Concord, who owned the building, voted not to add another story that year, so the Lodge informed them that the roof was unsafe and should be repaired. By November 1871, the search for improved quarters resulted in the acceptance of Bro. Garty's offer of his building for $250 per year. The Lodge initiation fee and annual dues were raised to accommodate the move. The records define the upper story of this new building as having a fine hall 30 ft by 45 ft, a preparation room almost ten feet square, a closet on the upper landing and storage room for fuel in the cellar. The second floor contained a hall 24 ft by 34 ft and an adjoining room 9 ft by 14 ft.. The old facilities consisted of a hall approximately 28 feet square, a preparation room 8 feet square and an ante room 8 ft by 18 ft. The improvements were obvious and the new Hall was dedicated in a fitting public ceremony on February 28, 1872, conducted by Grand Lodge officers under the leadership of M. W. Sereno D. Nickerson. In December of that year, the Lodge Treasurer was authorized to convey the interest of the Lodge in the brick building to the Town. This building had been a school house, engine house No. 1 and Lodge quarters. Within ten years, Corinthian Lodge reestablished this edifice as its meeting place. In January 1882, the Lodge voted unanimously to move back to the "Old Hall" after renovating the same. The brick building had been bought from the Town by Wor. Bro. William F. Hurd; he had converted it to use as a school-room and engine house The renovations consisted of moving the building back 42 feet from the street and creating an addition of 16 feet in the rear. After the building had been moved, but before the walls had been finished, a copper box containing Masonic items of the day was placed in a specially prepared space in the North East corner on July 10,1882. There have been no further departures of Corinthian Lodge from this brick building located strategically in the center of the town of Concord.
The town of Concord held a Centennial observance of the "Concord Fight" on April 19, 1875 and Grand Lodge Officers were guests of the town. Corinthian Lodge, however, could not participate as a Lodge because most of the members were already deeply involved in the town activities. Consequently, a Regular Communication scheduled for that date was closed without form for lack of a Quorum required to transact business.
Corinthian Lodge celebrated the first Official Visitation of a District Deputy Grand Master from this Lodge when R.W. Bro. Edward C. Damon conducted same on November 27, 1876. He brought an impressive suite with him. Two members of Corinthian Lodge had previously served as D.D.G.M. - R. W. William Whiting and R. W. Lemuel Shattuck - but during their tenure all Visitations were considered Fraternal even though several of the same functions were performed.
A duplicate Charter was finally procured in January 1879 to enhance preservation of the original. A Past Masters Jewel was presented to Wor. Bro. Damon in October 1877, continuing a practice begun in 1814; few jewels had been awarded, however, in that interim. In 1896 it was voted that each retiring Master would receive a Past Master's Jewel. The practice of setting aside a page in the record books for a departed Brother was started in 1885 and in November 1894 it was voted to present each new Entered Apprentice with his own Lambskin or white leather apron.
A planned Lodge activity was held in July 1897 when an excursion to the Isle of Shoals attracted many of the members and their guests. An unplanned activity was staged on the evening of January 31, 1897, when ten members took a "Klondike Degree" following the Regular Communication of that evening. Actually these ten brethren were unable to return home after the meeting because of a severe snow storm and had to stay at the Temple. Medals commemorative of the occasion were presented to the participants.
The Centennial of Corinthian Lodge's Charter was celebrated in June 1897 with three functions: a Divine Worship Service on June 13 at the First Parish Meeting House, a Regular Communication on June 14 and a Special Communication on June 16. The Church Service was led by the Lodge's Rev. Bro. Loren B. MacDonald. The Regular Communication adhered to a normal business meeting format and was highlighted by a reception of the Past Masters; over 100 attendees were recorded. The Special Communication included the reception of Grand Lodge and a procession to the First Parish Meeting House for an entertainment with an Order of Exercises. The details of the celebrations are many and suffice it to say that all the attendees enjoyed a pleasant and rewarding experience.
With the advent of electricity, the building landlords gave the Lodge two option: wiring the building themselves or having it done by the owners in return for an increase of 10 percent in the rent and a new lease for ten years. On March 12, 1900, it was voted that the former options be selected, and by May the job was complete at a cost of $60.35; $10.60 worth of extra electric lamps were also purchased. An organ was purchased in 1903 for $50.00.
Over the next quarter century, the subject of a suitable meeting place for the Lodge occupied a position high on the priority list. Two unsuccessful attempts were made in 1904 to find quarters - first in the Court House and then in the Insurance Building. Five years later, on April 5,1909, Corinthian Lodge voted to buy the brick building at a cost not to exceed $4,000. The consummation of this deal placed the Lodge back in the building it had previously occupied and which still remains its home. The steps to the building were presented by Wor. D. B. Hosmer in November of that year. The resulting mortgage was discharged in March 1917.
Corinthian Lodge departed from the fold of "Moon Lodges" in November 1916, when it voted to change the Regular Meeting night from the Monday on or before the full of the moon to the second Monday of each month; it had been a "Moon Lodge" since the Chartering in 1797.
By 1919, the Lodge membership and activities had outgrown the available accommodations and it was voted to consider the advisability of adding a new Lodge Room. It was estimated that $6,500 would be required -the committee did not believe that such a large sum could be raised. Another committee was appointed to investigate the purchase of the John Friend Block and a third committee was appointed to solicit the required funds. By October this project was also abandoned. Finally, in February 1920, it was decided to proceed with an addition to the existing building and the required committees were established for planning and financing. This activity resulted in the creation of the Concord Masonic Corporation on April 12, which was authorized to spend $20,000 for the addition and $3,000 for furnishing thereof. Non-interest bearing, non-transferable shares of stock with a value of $25 were sold and there was no difficulty in obtaining the required number of subscribers. This stock was redeemable as quickly as the Lodge could find the money and it was specified that, should a Brother die, his heirs would receive the value of his stock as soon as possible. Lodge dues were also increased to ten dollars - with three dollars going to the Corporation to pay the interest on the mortgage and to retire stock. As it turned out the allocation of $20,000 was not sufficient to complete the task; an additional $10,000 was required. A mortgage was placed and later liquidated through successful drives to sell more shares of stock. The last of the Concord Masonic Corporation stock was retired by vote of the Lodge on June 13, 1960.
The new addition was dedicated publicly on May 16, 1921, by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts under the leadership of Most Wor. Arthur D. Prince. The Grand Lodge Officers, Corinthian Lodge members, their wives and relatives and other stockholders of the Corporation, filled the building to participate in this great event. A dinner preceded the ceremonies and addresses were delivered by the Grand Master, Wor. Caiger and Wor. Hopkins. The large increase in candidates over the next several years proved the wisdom of the Brethren in choosing to expand the facilities.
A Memorial Service was held for the Brethren who had taken part in World War I. The Service Flag was removed from the wall and placed in a metallic tube along with a list of members of Corinthian Lodge, a copy of a Regular Communication, a list of the servicemen and a greeting to the members of the Lodge in the year 2018 when it would be opened.
The Grand Master, M. W. Arthur D. Prince, and his suite were guests of Corinthian Lodge for their 125th Anniversary celebration on June 15, 1922. Following a banquet and the official reception, Wor. E. B. Caiger, Master in 1917-18, rendered a brief but interesting history of the Lodge to the 119 members and 49 visitors present.. His talk was followed by dissertations by the Junior Grand Warden, the District Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Master.
Corinthian Lodge members helped organize a Chapter of the Order of DeMolay in Concord in 1924 and joined in the cornerstone laying ceremony for the Lowell Masonic Temple four years later. The Lodge finally joined the Lodge of Instruction established within the District in February 1929. By directive from the Grand Lodge, the brethren were forbidden from participating as a Body in the Concord Tercentenary Celebration. In January 1945 it was voted to purchase an American Flag which was to be presented to the new Assembly of Rainbow Girls to be instituted the following month.
Monument Hall, home of the Concord Council, Knights of Columbus, next door to the Masonic Apartments, burned on the afternoon of March 13, 1947. That evening the members of the Lodge extended an offer of the use of their Hall until such time that the Council found other quarters. Twenty years later, Corinthian Lodge and Concord Council united for the First Annual K of C, Masonic Brotherhood Banquet - an event which has been repeated several times since.
The 150th Anniversary of Corinthian Lodge was celebrated over a three-day period in June 1947. A Worship Service was held late afternoon on June 8 at the First Parish (Unitarian) Church and was followed by a social gathering. The Regular Communication of June 9 included a Supper (at a cost of $2.00, including gratuity), normal business and a reception of the Grand Master, Most Wor. Samuel H. Wragg, and his suite who presented a Veterans Medal to one of the members. Of the 29 living Past Masters, 24 were present at this gathering. Thirdly, a Social Evening was held on June 10 consisting of a buffet supper followed by entertainment and dancing at the Concord High School Auditorium.
In October 1947, an Entered Apprentice degree was conducted on a candidate with the various chairs being filled by the presiding Masters of the Lodges within the 12th District. This signaled a trend of the times in which the officers of various Lodges visited other Lodges to perform degrees. Corinthian Lodge established an exchange program with Corinthian Lodge #27, Edgewood, RI, in 1953 with a Fellowcraft Degree being performed in Rhode Island using Massachusetts ritual and an Entered Apprentice degree in Concord utilizing Rhode Island Ritual.
Asparagus and Strawberry dinners became popular in the late 1940s and continued as an annual June affair well into the 1980s. Fraternal ties between the Concord Assembly #53 of Rainbow Girls, the DeMolay Chapter and Corinthian Lodge were demonstrated often with mutual support evidenced through Degrees presented to the Lodge by the youths and by sponsorship and financial support by the men.
Renovations and improvements to the Lodge facilities were evidenced throughout the 1950s and 1960s. A new organ was purchased for the Lodge in 1949 and a gift of chimes for the organ was made in 1957 by R.W. A. Robert MacLeod, Jr., in memory of his father. A new stove was procured jointly by the Lodge and Hawthorne Chapter #48, Order of the Eastern Star, in 1949. An electric stove was purchased in 1956 for $50, but when the Banquet Hall was outfitted with new lights, it was determined that the wires were in poor condition and the stove was offered for sale. A Civil Defense committee was formed in February 1951 with town officials designating the Masonic Apartments as a First Aid Station and Kitchen in the event of a disaster. During the implementation stages of this plan, the Christian Science Church indicated a disposition toward selling to the Lodge part of the land at the rear of their building. No deals were consummated, however, and in 1956 the minutes state that a committee was appointed to discuss use of the lot with the Church. A Temple Improvement Committee was organized in 1950 which led to the creation of the Acacia Club of Concord - a group intended to provide good times for the members and at the same time raise funds for needed improvements to the Masonic Apartments. Several attempts were made in the early 1950's to increase dues and/or fees to provide funds for much needed improvements. Each time the motions were defeated until 1954, at which time the fees were voted to be increased. The Acacia Club was responsible for many functions and events and the records contain many references to improvements being made to the building and its facilities. By the late 1950's, this organization had run its course and another committee was appointed to improve the building with the attendant recommendations that the Acacia Club be dissolved and their funds be recovered for Lodge use. In 1958, a strong plea was issued for contributions to cover the cost of renovations determined necessary by the committee - some success was realized. Concerted attention to the maintenance of the building has been maintained to the present.
The 175th Anniversary festivities, like the 150th, spanned a three day period. The Social evening was held at the Concord Country Club on June 10, 1972, featuring a Banquet, entertainment and dancing. The Worship Service on June 11 was held at the Trinitarian Congregational Church, included participation by the Brethren and ended with a social gathering at the Temple. The Masonic celebration on June 12 included a banquet followed by the reception of the Grand Master, M. W. Donald W. Vose, and his suite with addresses and remarks interspersed with musical selections.
The most recent 25-year period of Corinthian Lodge's history is full of building/facility enhancements and Masonic awareness activities. Unfortunately, the first four years of this period were recorded by notes only in 1984, R. W. A. R. MacLeod, Jr., painstakingly recreated the minutes of those meetings through those notes and personal recollections.
Many improvements and upgrades have been made to the Masonic Apartments over these recent years to make it a proud showplace for the Lodge and its activities. A break-in to the building in April 1972 with damage sustained to the Library and Archives room triggered the renovation process. Later that year the outside trim was painted and new utilities were installed in 1973. All bodies using the building contributed through a 10 percent increase in rent to enable maintenance and improvements in 1974; the first such improvement that year was a replacement of the boiler. Tile floor and slate roof repairs were in order for 1979-80, with kitchen painting and insulation installation the following year. A major renovation of the banquet hall was accomplished during the summer of 1983. The dirt floor of the cellar was finally covered over with concrete in 1984. An electrical update in 1985 was followed by a dishwasher purchase in 1986. The underground oil storage tank was removed in 1989 and a new roof was installed the following year. A major upgrade was launched in 1991 and was accelerated by a Board of Health condemnation of the kitchen in May 1992. By 1994 the major efforts had been accomplished and the concerns of the maintenance committee were over such items as chair reupholstering. To make all these recent refurbishments possible, the membership assessed themselves $60 per year for four years starting in the fall of 1991. This successful approach was renewed in the fall of 1995 with a vote to continue the assessment for another two years. The results are visible and have contributed to the attractiveness of Corinthian Lodge itself as well as the facilities.
Five Brethren have been honored during the past twenty five years upon the attainment of 50 years as a Past Master- Wors. W. J. Damon (1972), D. G. Chapman (1976), E. L. Joslin (1979), R. Hemenway (1986) and A. R. MacLeod, Jr. (1996). R. W. Charles A. Lukas, Jr. served as D. D. G. M. in 1981-2 and again in 1988 and was elected Senior Grand Warden in 1989. More recently, R. W. Kenneth S. Gendall served as D. D. G. M. in 1995-6. Corinthian Lodge has been awarded the Grand Master's Award eight times since 1982 - 1982 (Wor. O'Brion, III), 1984 (Wor. Armstrong), 1985 (Wor. Hunter, Sr.), 1986 (Wor. Wor. Parker), 1988 (Wor. Morse), 1989 (Wor. Schurman, III), 1990 (Wor. Daigle) and 1991 (Wor. Gendall). This continued excellence speaks to the nature of the Lodge's character.
Masters over the recent years have added features to the meetings to increase the attraction factor and to please more members. They have included noted speakers to fill in degree voids as well as presentation of DeMolay and Rainbow Degree work. Several Masters established exchange nights with local Lodges as well as with Corinthian Lodge No. 27, Edgewood, RI. Table Lodges were instituted in 1969 and continue to be a strong attraction. Asparagus and strawberry dinners in June were a long-standing tradition as were Valentine Dances/Ladies Nights in February. Wor. Gendall instituted a "Lowell Twelfth Steal Our Trowel Contest" to stimulate Lodge visiting - a Lodge could steal the trowel only if they visited the particular Lodge with more members than the possessor had when they stole it.
An attempt was made by Washington Lodge of Lexington in 1991 to relocate to the Concord Masonic Temple. After several meetings and some spirited discussion, it was finally decided that it would not be in Corinthian Lodge's best interest to accommodate this relocation.
Corinthian Lodge has long been a staunch supporter of the Masonic Home in Charlton. They have made many pilgrimages to the Home and have made several significant contributions over the years. On February 22, 1984, the Lodge sponsored a Table Lodge at the Home - the first such event in the 73 years of the Home's existence. This event was repeated a few times since and on June 17, 1995, the Lodge Officers performed a Master Mason Degree at the Home for the visiting pleasure of the residents. Our own Wor. James L. Parker had served as the Administrator for the Home for a number of years.
Long before Masonic Awareness became the "buzz word" of Lodge activities, Corinthian Lodge was practicing its virtues. They have been a forerunner in the Blood Donor Program, having received Diplomas and Certificates for their achievements every year since 1982. The Lodge has marched as a Body in many Patriot's Day (April 19) Parades and often has held an Open House in conjunction with many of them. There have been several Brotherhood Nights and gatherings with the Knights of Columbus.
Initial planning for the Lodge's Bicentennial celebration can be found in meeting minutes dating back to 1972. In September of that year, it was recommended that a fund be established with annual S200 contributions to it; unfortunately, that recommendation was never implemented. Further discussions were held in 1987 - with no action. 1990 discussions resulted in the appointment of R.W. Lucas as Chairman of the event planning committee and Bro. Douglas Lyons was appointed to the same position in 1994. Wor. Elchinger got more serious in 1994-5, appointing Wors. Charles Davis, Jr., Don Morse and Jim Parker to head up the planning and establish sub-committees as necessary. We have now arrived at the symbolic 200th Anniversary and are engaged in suitable activities related to the celebration of our heritage and the outlook for our future. A Regular Communication was held in the Corinthian Room in Grand Lodge in January and a Table Lodge was conducted on January 30 in the Concord Masonic Temple. The Bicentennial Dinner is being held on May 17, a Worship Service will be held on June 15 and a Past Masters Night Special Communication on June 16. These events should remind us of where we have been and where we should be headed for the next 200 years to maintain Corinthian Lodge at the level it has so long enjoyed.
175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1972
From Proceedings, Page 1972-158:
From 1947 to 1972
By Worshipful Wallace S. Smith.
(Detailed histories of Corinthian Lodge for the earlier periods may be found in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as follows: 1921, pages 81-111; 1947, pages 158-180).
June 9th, 5947 —
"At 8:00 P.M. a committee of the Past Masters of Corinthian with Wor. Walter N. Howe as Chairman, escorted Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and his suite into the Lodge Room, for the purpose of helping Corinthian Lodge celebrate its 150th Anniversary. Of the 29 living Past Masters, 24 were present."
December 13th, 5948 —
"After the Lodge had voted to accept the report of the Committee, on motion by the Secretary, which were duly seconded, the following votes were passed;
- That Corinthian Lodge purchase a Hammond Organ, taking the money necessary to make up the difference between the organ fund money and the purchase price from the surplus general funds, this amount not to exceed $500.
- That the same committee, Bros. True, Charles and Chase, be empowered to purchase and supervise the installation of this Hammond organ."
January 10th, 5949 —
"Wor. Bro. Robert Charles announced that the installation of the new Hammond Organ had been done by Wor. A. R. MacLeod and his Son, Wor. A. R. MacLeod, Jr., and that a receipted bill had been received for this work. The Secretary was instructed to send Wor. Bro. MacLeod a letter of thanks and appreciation."
March 14 th, 5953 —
"This being Past Masters' Night, but of more interest, the occasion of the Raising of three of the sons of Rt. Wor. Bro. Win Damon, Wor. Bro. Damon assumed the East. ..."
March 10th, 5959 —
"Wor. Bro. Donald McR. Smith reported that he had some old notices of Corinthian Lodge passed on from Fire Chief Wilson of Carlisle. The notices are noted to be of the 1860—70 period and should be of interest to the brethren and Archives Committee. The Master expressed his appreciation and felt certain they would have a place in the archives of the lodge."
June 13 th, 5960 —
"Wor. Donald McR. Smith made a motion that Corinthian Lodge authorize the treasurer to pay from the general funds to the Masonic Corporation the sum of $106.19 for the purpose of retiring the last of Masonic stock and the motion was so voted."
April 10th, 5961 —
"Wor. Elmer Joslin explained that Corinthian Lodge now owns all assets of the Lodge and that the Master and Wardens should be authorized to vote the stock and elect officers. The motion was made by Wor. Bro. Joslin and seconded 'That the Master and Wardens or a majority shall vote the stock of Corinthian Lodge.' The motion was carried."
December 11th, 5961 —
"The director of the Kilwinning Club of Boston Blue Lodge Degree Team, Bro. William Moffat, was received by the chairman of the evening, Rt. Wor. A. Robert MacLeod, Jr. and he introduced the officers of the Kilwinning Club who assumed their stations. Although an extra row of chairs had been provided, it was necessary to bring more chairs into the lodge and some of the brethren were obliged to sit on the steps. The Kilwinning officers were in the full dress of their native Scotland. Bro. Everett Donald MacPhee was introduced and raised on the long form by Wor. James Allen. Candidates Davis, Stevenson and MacPhee then received the third section of the third degree by Wor. Bro. Allen. The charge to the candidates was delivered by the Kilwinning Chaplain, Wor. Robert Burniston.
"Director Moffat personally introduced the officers who received a tremendous round of applause. The Degree Team then formed a single line on the floor and assembled around the altar in a circle. While the strains of 'Auld Lang Syne' still lingered, the Kilwinning Club of Boston retired from the Lodge. Following presentations to Bro. MacPhee, the Master closed the Lodge at 10:00 P.M.
"109 Members, 99 Visitors and 3 Candidates"
February 12th, 5962 —
". . . . Rt. Wor. Winslow J. Damon moved 'That Corinthian Lodge purchase Past Master Aprons from the General Fund for the Junior Past Masters until that time when sufficient interest has accumulated in the Henry F. Smith Fund to provide for this purchase. The Past Master aprons are to be uniform in design and quality.' This motion was seconded and so voted."
March 19th, 5962 —
"The Lodge voted in the affirmative 'To withdraw from the Reserve Fund the sum of $1,000.00 for the purpose of defraying the expenses relative to the installation of a new electrical panel in the Lodge Hall."
April 8th, 5963 —
"Ballots on the applications of Frank Stowell Aim and Alexander Crawford Peters were both clear and they were elected to affiliate with Corinthian Lodge. Both members were conducted into the Lodge and after signing the by-laws it was announced that Brother Peters was the 500th member of Corinthian Lodge."
October 14th, 5963 —
"Wor. Walter J. Macone was complimented on the change on the front page of the notice, also the new design of the Past Master's Apron".
November 11th, 5963 —
"After dinner, Bro. Burleigh presented the Lodge with a decanter which belonged to the Lodge during the Anti-Masonic period and had been preserved by his family for several generations."
June 8th, 5964 —
"It was voted to borrow $3900.00 from the Concord Co-Op Bank for the purchase of a new carpet for the Lodge".
September 14th, 5964 —
"The Lodge authorized the transfer of $3,000.00 from the reserve fund to the general fund to save bank charges on the carpet purchase."
March 11th, 5967 —
"Lodge was recalled at 5:55 P.M. at which time the Master announced the First Brotherhood banquet with Concord Council #287, K of C and Corinthian Lodge, A. F. & A. M., will be held April 6, 1967 and the speaker will be Senator (Brother) Leverett Saltonstall."
April 10th, 5967 —
"Motion was made, seconded and passed that the speech given by the Worshipful Master of Corinthian Lodge on the occasion of the 1st annual K of C, Masonic Brotherhood Banquet on April 6, 1967 be entered into the records. It is attached hereto. There was a general consensus of opinion of those who attended the evening that his speech was the highlight of the evening."
"Address by Wor. Dean E. Comeau on the Occasion of the First Brotherhood Night Held Jointly with the Concord Council K of C in Xavier H.S. Cafeteria on April 6, 1967:
"I wish to extend a warm welcome to the Concord Council of the Knights of Columbus, their guests and friends on behalf of the officers and members of Corinthian Lodge of Masons. The pleasure of seeing so many smiling faces assembled here tonight insures the success of the evening and is a rich reward for all those who have labored so hard to present this banquet.
"The spirit of co-operation and the timeless efforts of all the officers and committeemen from both our organizations has been an inspiration to behold.
"The occasion of this gathering deeply warms my heart, to think that after all these years we, as Knights and Masons are now sitting under the same roof to break bread together. For in the breaking of bread, there is the genuine feeling of openness and hospitality.between friend and brother. This is truly brotherhood in action!
"Yet we know that for years this brotherhood did not exist. For years we have been meeting as separate groups and each group priding itself on the wonderful sense of fellowship or brotherhood which existed within it. While that brotherhood did exist among Masons and, I am sure, among the Knights of Columbus, there was always that wall which separated the two groups, one from the other, and for so long a time there were ringing in my ears the words of New England's own poet, Robert Frost, who wrote: 'Something there is that doesn't like a wall'.
"'Something there is that doesn't like a wall' .... and six years ago the world was horrified when a wall was built to separate East and West Berlin. It was such an ugly thing which tore family and friend apart, and severed the relationship between the two sectors. The few who tried to get over the wall to break the barrier were shot or condemned by those they tried to leave behind. So ugly and devastating was this wall that it became known as the Wall of Shame.
"Yes, we were all horrified by the Wall of Shame, but when we turned from the world scene — when we turned from the wall of bricks and mortar—we turned only to see that a Wall of Shame existed in our own town, the town of Concord. A Wall of Shame and not built of brick and mortar which can be blasted down—but a wall built of prejudice, pride and fear. A wall which we had daily built around ourselves, thus hindering anyone from approaching us and limiting our relationships with others—and dare anyone try to break the barrier, cruel criticism by his own brethren would pull him back. And so, the Wall of Shame remained.
"It is my hope that the ecumenical spirit which exists today, and this affair, will be the charge which opens a passage thru this Wall of Shame, thru which we can pass freely, and in the true spirit of brotherhood go on to other joint cooperative endeavors in the future. "Let us not confine our teachings to the lodge rooms, and council chambers for another 365 days, brethren! Let's put preaching into practice.
"Brotherhood, fellowship, charity .... these are the basic reasons for our very existence. If we can bring these teachings out into the community and put them into practice, then I am sure that our historic town of Concord will have many charitable projects which will benefit from our joint efforts and we may stand a little straighter in the eyes of the Lord who commanded of us all when he spoke to Moses saying 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.'
"It has been an honor and a privilege to sit in such distinguished company and to speak before you this evening. For this pleasure and your kind attention, I thank you."
January 8th, 5968 —
Wor. J. Raymond Young noted that Wor. Robert P. Condit was awarded the York Cross of Honor late last year.
October 14th, 5968 —
"Congratulations were extended from the Lodge to Rt. Wor. A. Robert MacLeod, Jr., who was recently honored as a 33rd Degree by Scottish Rite. It is believed that Bro. MacLeod is the first member of Corinthian Lodge to be so honored."
October 22nd, 5969 —
" . . . The Master and Wardens then proceeded to the banquet hall for the purpose of conducting a Table Lodge . . . The usual series of toasts were made and a delightful evening enjoyed by all."
March 13th, 5971 —
. . . Procession was then formed at 7:45 P.M. and the Lodge, preceded by the Three Great Lights, repaired to the Banquet Hall for the purpose of holding a Table Lodge dedicated to the Past Masters of Corinthian Lodge .... Suitable toasts were proposed by the Master, the District Deputy Grand Master and the Marshal prior to closing .... and R.W. Winslow J. Damon thanked the Master for the fine evening and respect shown towards the Past Masters."
June 14th, 5971 (2479th) -
"It was noted that R.W. Winslow J. Damon (Senior Past Master of Corinthian Lodge) was elected Master of Corinthian Lodge 50 years ago tonight."
An epilogue customarily comes at the end of a play and signifies a conclusion. In that respect, I would suggest that such be considered inappropriate to the history of Corinthian Lodge. Rather than imply that our history ends here, reflect on the thought that we have had a long beginning.
As there was no need to embroider the record of our brethren in this historical outline, there is no point in rephrasing the words of Wor. Will Charles written twenty-five years ago:
"Someone has said that it is a notable faculty of our nature which enables us to connect our thoughts, our sympathies, and our happiness with what is distant in time and space, and looking before and after, to hold communion at once with our ancestors and our posterity. Human and mortal although we are, we are nevertheless not mere insulated beings without relation to the past or the future.
So, Brethren, it is in your hands to continue the high standard that has brought Corinthian Lodge to its present position in the Masonic Fraternity and in the community. Corinthian Lodge has ever been mindful of the tenets of our profession. She has always been prompt to go to the assistance of a distressed Brother, his widow and orphans. She has ever been loyal to the Grand Lodge. She has the name of being a friendly Lodge, of welcoming visitors and encouraging them to come again. You have a charge: to maintain the character of Corinthian Lodge and to see that the next one hundred seventy-five years find Corinthian Lodge still true to the principles of Masonry and to the high esteem it holds today. It is the place and time NOW for the Brethren of Corinthian Lodge to rededicate themselves to this task so that the spirit of our ancestors will still remain a living example for future generations."
MASONIC BALL, MARCH 1857
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XVI, No. 6, March 1857, Page 192:
The Brethren and friends of Corinthian Lodge united in giving a grand Social Ball at Concord, on the 3d of March last. It is said to have been "one of the most pleasant and social assemblies of the season," The W. Master of the Lodge, Bro. L. A. Surette, and Messrs. How, Hosmer, Wilde and Haywood, were the managers, and seem to have acquitted themselves to the great satisfaction of their friends of both sexes.
MASONIC BALL, FEBRUARY 1858
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 5, February 1858, Page 160:
We understand that Corinthian Lodge gave a grand Masonic and civic Ball at the Town Hall, in Concord, on Wednesday evening, Feb. 24th. The hall was handsomely decorated, and the whole thing passed off to the gratification of all present, under the man agement of Messrs. Surrette, (Master of the Lodge,) Howe, Hosmer, Wield and Haywood. The supper was served up at the Middlesex Hotel, and is well spoken of.
GRAND MASTER'S VISIT, APRIL 1865
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIV, No. 7, May 1865, Page 199:
The M. W. Grand Master, with a delegation of his officers, paid an official visit to this ancient Lodge, at Concord, on the 10th of April last, being the fourth visit of the kind made it since its organization in 1797— a fact which perhaps is to be accounted for on the hypothesis that its affairs have ever been so well conducted, and the Deputies for the District have always discharged their duties so faithfully, as to render the immediate presence of the parent body unnecessary. It is one of the few old Lodges in the jurisdiction, that manfully and firmly resisted the torrent of opposition that set with such overwhelming force against the whole Institution in the ever memorable days of antimasonry.
A large number of the members were in attendance, among whom we were gratified to meet several Brethren who had been connected with the Lodge for from thirty to fifty years. The work on the second degree was given by the W. Master, Bro. Louis A. Surette, and his officers, in a very complete and finished manner, affording the highest gratification to all present. At the conclusion of the work, the M. W. Grand Master addressed the Brethren at some length on the satisfactory condition of the Lodge, on its faithfulness in past years, and on the general principles of the Institution, and the duties and obligations of its members. The Lodge was then closed, and the company repaired to the Middlesex House, and together partook of an excellent and bountiful supper, provided by the Lodge. During this interesting part of the ceremonies of the evening, brief speeches were made by the W. M. of the Lodge, by the M. W. Gr. Master, and other officers of the Grand Lodge. As a finale, the company, on the invitation of the W. Master, repaired to his private residence, where they spent an agreeable hour in social chit-chat. The whole affair was admirably well managed, and afforded the highest satisfaction to the visitors from the city. The officers of the Lodge are as follows :—
- Louis A. Surette, W. M.
- L. Willis Bean, S. W.
- Albert E. Wood, J. W.
- Albert Stacy, Treas.
- Benjamin Tolman, Sec.
- Geo. P. Howe, S. D.
- Moses Hobson, J. D.
- Geo. Wheeler, S. S.
- James Garty, J. S.
- Abner Ball, Organist
- Charles E. Snell, Tyler.
HALL DEDICATION, FEBRUARY 1872
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 6, April 1872, Page 169:
Corinthian Lodge of Concord, one of the oldest Lodges in this State, after more than half a century in their old hall, have just obtained a new suit of rooms, with a very spacious and handsome hall, for their future use. Thursday, 29th day of February, was selected fur the dedication, and on that day at half-past five o'clock, the Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge left Boston by the Fitchburg Railroad for Concord. They were met at the depot in that town by a committee from Corinthian Lodge, with carriages, and after a short stop at the residence of a past officer of the Grand Lodge, were conveyed directly to the hall, in the business centre of the village.
The dedicatory services were to be public, and previously to the entrance of the Lodge, the ladies had taken possession of the hall, and decorated it with bouquets of flowers, filling it with their sweet fragrance. Just before the entrance of the Grand Lodge, Mrs. William H. Brown, daughter of the Master of Corinthian Lodge, arose and addressed the W. M. in a neat and appropriate manner, and in behalf of the ladies of the members, presented to the Lodge an elegant set of Working Tools, the cost of which was about one hundred dollars. Owing to a pressure for time, a brief response to the address of the young lady was made by the W. M. Bro. W. F. Hurd, in which he returned the thanks of the Lodge for the timely and appropriate present, and hoped the ladies would never have occasion to regret the confidence which had been expressed in their name, in the character and usefulness of the institution.
The Grand Lodge now entered, and after the usual ceremonies of introduction, proceeded at once with the services as expressed in the ritual.
The members of the Grand Lodge present were:
- Grand Master Nickerson;
- Past Grand Masters Winslow Lewis, John T. Heard and W. D. Coolidge;
- Deputy Grand Master Percival L. Everett;
- Senior Grand Warden Charles Kimball;
- Junior Grand Warden Tracy P. Cheever;
- Grand Treasurer John McClellan;
- Recording Grand Secretary, pro tem. Wm. T. Grammer;
- Corresponding Grand Secretary Charles W. Moore;
- District Deputy Grand Master Charles A. Welch;
- Grand Marshal William H. Chessman;
- Grand Tyler Fred. A. Pierce.
Prayer was offered by Bro. Titus, who officiated as Grand Chaplain for the occasion.
The dedicatory exercises were in the customary form, including a brief address by the architect in surrendering the working tools, examination of the apartments, prayer, reading of the Scriptures, dedication, and pouring out of the corn, wine and oil, with the recitations and grand honors—the whole interspersed with appropriate music and singing by a select choir of ladies and gentlemen. All the exercises were impressive and peculiar and very much interested all who were present. They were performed with promptitude and according to the ancient usages of the craft on similar occasions.
BRO. WHEILDON'S ADDRESS.
At the conclusion of the ceremonies of dedication, an address upon the subject of Masonry and Masonic history, with some special references to the organization and history of Corinthian Lodge, was delivered by R. W. Bro. Wm. W. Wheildon, occupying some three quarters of an hour in the delivery. In hi* exordium, in behalf of Corinthian Lodge, he thanked the Grand Master and the members of the Grand Lodge for their presence and the manner in which they had performed the services of the evening in the dedication of the hall to Freemasonry, to Virtue and to Universal Benevolence. He referred to the Charter of Corinthian Lodge, which was issued in 1797, and bore the signatures of Paul Revere, Isaiah Thomas and John Soley; its first meeting in the Grand Jury room of the County Conrt House, and of its first master, Bro. Isaac Hurd, Grandfather of the present Master of the Lodge. He spoke emphatically of the antiquity of the Institution, and its claims to respect on that score alone, and said if there was nothing to be found in Masonry itself to justify its continuance, its past age and preservation was an evidence at least of the countenance and favor of the great Grand Master of the Universe. But Masons do not rest the character of their institution upon its antiquity, nor yet upon the distinguished names of its patrons and supporters in the past ages and modern history of the order. Masonry is a Christian brotherhood, and in its "universal benevolence" has no compeer among human institutions. A mere Mason is not Masonry any more than a mere Christian man is Christianity: the better mason the better man, or man and mason, a brother.
He spoke of the Great Light in Masonry, to be found on the altar of every Masonic Lodge in the Christian world, the open Bible, as containing the law and the lessons of the fraternity, and referred to its presence at the earliest Masonic gatherings on the Continent, its constant use through the revolutionary war, where Masons were to be found, and the reverence always and everywhere paid to it by Masonic Lodges.
Having thus, as he believed, established the claims of the. Masonic institution to respectability and respect, however unnecessary to the members of the order, he thought they were justified in desiring more suitable and commodious apartments for the holding of their meetings than those they had occupied for more than a half century. He congratulated the members of Corinthian Lodge upon their position and prosperity, which enabled them to secure such admirable rooms for their use, and was glad to know that these had been furnished by the enterprise and public spirit of one of their own members, Past Master James Garty, who had shown himself not less skillful in operative than he was in speculative Masonry.
Bro. Wheildon then again returned the thanks of the Lodge to the Grand Master and his suite, and trusted that Corinthian Lodge, which for three quarters of a century had been able, amid all the vicissitudes of the times, to maintain its character and preserve its charter, would still prosper and never fail to manifest its respect for and interest in the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth.
We have thus given a very incomplete and imperfect sketch of this able address by Bro. Wheildon, which was listened/to with marked attention by the audience and the Grand Officers.
At nine o'clock, at the conclusion of the exercises in the hall, the members of Corinthian Lodge and their guests of the Grand Lodge, and ladies and gentlemen, repaired to the banquet hall. W. M. Hurd presided at the tables, assisted by Bros. Edward C. Damon and Henry F. Smith, Senior and Junior Wardens. The tables were bountifully and elegantly spread and decorated with bouquets of choice flowers. After the generous entertainment had been fully partaken of, the company was called to order by W. M. Hurd, who in a few complimentary words, introduced M. W. Grand Master Nickerson, who briefly expressed his interest in the occasion and in the continued prosperity of one of the oldest lodges in the State. There were present by his invitation in his suite, three of the Past Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge, and a fourth, who had been invited, found himself unable to be present. He then referred to some interesting points in Masonic history and spoke of the patriotic and Masonic services of Paul Revere and Joseph Warren, and complimented the speaker upon the interesting address delivered by him. We regret that we are unable to give a more complete sketch of the appropriate and excellent remarks of the Grand Master.
Past Grand Master Coolidge was next introduced and made an excellent speech concerning Masonry and the deprivations of the brotherhood in the necessary absence of the ladies from the ordinary meetings. His remarks were well received by the fraternity and especially by the ladies, who sympathized with the sufferings of the speaker and the brotherhood!
It was deeply regretted by the company present that time was not at command in which to hear remarks from Brothers Lewis, Heard, Moore, District Deputy Welch, and several others who were present and whom the company were so anxious to hear ; but these gentlemen having other engagements felt compelled to return to Boston by the special train at a quarter before ten o'clock, which they accomplished. The Grand Master and all the members of his suite expressed themselves highly pleased and gratified with their visit and the exercises of the evening. Of the recent Grand Masters, one only, we believe, previous to this occasion, has ever while in office, visited Corinthian Lodge, and that was Past Grand Master John T. Heard, in 1857.
PRESENTATION, JANUARY 1888
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XI, No. 11, February 1888, Page 339:
PRESENTATION IN CORINTHIAN LODGE.
On the 16th day of June, 1797, a Charter was granted by "the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," on the petition of nineteen brethren, who were constituted into a regular Lodge "under the title and designation of Corinthian Lodge," "to convene within the town of Concord, in county of Middlesex and Commonwealth aforesaid."
The ninth name on the list of nineteen is that of John Richardson, who became Treasurer of the Lodge in May, 1798, and was continued in that office three years. The Record does not show where or when he received the degrees, but that he was a man of decision, of great energy of character and correspondingly good business qualities there is ample evidence. His trade was that of a baker, and his name as such was familiar in Concord, Newton, and neighboring towns; his stores increased also, until it was said of him that he could drive from Concord to New Hampshire and sleep every night in his own house. This, however, was in allusion to the fact that he owned something like twenty different hotels in that line of travel. But we are not writing a history of Mr. Richardson. We only want to speak of a jewel. In doing this we shall quote from a letter written to us by M. W. William F. Bunting, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick, dated at St. John, N. B., Nov. 28, 1887.
"John Richardson was one of the Charter Members of Corinthian Lodge, organized at Concord, Mass., A. D. 1797, and was also the second Treasurer of that Body.
"His son, the late Colonel George W. Richardson, at one time Mayor of Worcester, was a resident of St. John from A. D. 1878 until his death, which took place June 15, 1886, in the 78th year of his age.
"In 1881 he presented me a jewel which formerly belonged to his father. It is a Lodge Secretary's jewel, apparently of ancient workmanship, and of solid silver. Possibly it rnav have been worn by John Richardson as an officer of the Lodge to which he belonged previous to the formation of Corinthian At all events, I feel that the proper place for its keeping is iu Corinthian Lodge. With that object in view I take the liberty of requesting you to take charge of it, and hand it (if you conveniently can) to the Worshipful Master of Corinthian Lodge, of Concord, Mass., to be laid up with the Records in the Archives of the Lodge, as a memorial of the early membership of one of its founders.
"The dates and letters engraved on it were done by direction of Colonel Richardson previous to its presentation to me. "J. R., 1783," are the initials of his father, and the date, I think, of his initiation; and "W. F. B., 1881," are my initials and the date of presentation to me.
"Colonel George W. Richardson was not a Freemason.
"The possession of this old jewel will, I judge, be a satisfaction to the brethren of Corinthian Lodge, connecting, as it will, the distant past with the present, and forcibly reminding them of the strange things which occasionally occur in life's pilgrimage. In this instance bringing back to its old home a wanderer which has for many years been hidden from the eyes of the Craft, and possibly a traveller in many and distant places."
In carrying out the wish of Past Grand Master Bunting, Wor. Brother Chapman visited Corinthian Lodge at its regular Communication on Monday evening, January 23, 1888, and executed the commission as requested. The occasion was more than interesting, especially so to the agent of Brother Bunting, who not only presented the jewel, but had opportunity to renew old acquaintances, make new ones, hear reminiscences of John Richardson and his times, and to partake of the hospitality of the Lodge in its handsome banquet hall, and that which was participated in at a later session by a number of the brethren at the house of Wor. Brother J. Alfred Smith, or rather that of his father and mother, where we were cordially entertained during our stay in Concord.
In accepting the jewel Worshipful Master Hosmer expressed his gratification and that of the Lodge, and requested Worshipful Brother Henry F. Smith to speak for the Lodge. The remarks of the latter entered quite fully into historical facts concerning John Richardson, into whose hall in the old Middlesex Hotel (burnt in 1845) the Lodge moved December 17, 1798, he having "engaged to open his Hall free of rent, and furnish refreshments at 'tavern prices.'"
In closing this we are glad to note the fact that the Lodge has a number of old jewels and other relics of by-gone days, all of which are carefully preserved, and help to embellish a Lodge history full of incident and Masonic character.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Charles E. Brown, DDGM, District 11 (Lowell), 1884, 1885; Memorial
- Edward C. Damon, DDGM, District 4 (Cambridge), 1876, 1877; SN
- Winslow Johnson Damon, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1943, 1944; N
- Daniel Davis, DDGM, Boston 1, 1807-1808; SN
- Douglas J. Ellis, DDGM, District 14, 2013, 2014
- Kenneth S. Gendall, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1995, 1996; N
- Warren B. Goddard, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1927, 1928; N
- Charles S. Hart, DDGM, District 11 (Lowell), 1902, 1903; SN
- John H. Hart, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1969, 1970
- Isaac Hurd; Junior Grand Warden 1801-1802; Senior Grand Warden 1803
- Charles A. Lukas, Jr., DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988; Senior Grand Warden 1989
- A. Robert MacLeod, Jr., DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1957, 1958; N
- Lemuel Shattuck, DDGM, District 5, 1830, 1831, 1832; SN
- Charles W. Sylvester, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1919, 1920; Memorial
- Samuel Thatcher, DDGM, Central Maine 10, 1808-1818; Memorial
- William Whiting, DDGM, District 5, 1826, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1834; District 3, 1835; SN
- Asa Brooks, Memorial
- Robert W. Browning, Memorial
- Elmer E. Shattuck, Memorial
- Benjamin Tolman, Memorial