EveningStar

From MasonicGenealogy
Jump to: navigation, search

EVENING STAR LODGE

Location: Lenox; Lee (1849)

Chartered By: Paul Revere

Charter Date: 06/08/1795 II-75

Precedence Date: 06/08/1795

Current Status: Active

ø Charter surrendered 06/11/1834; restored 06/13/1849


NOTES

MEMBER LIST, 1802

From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 15:

  • R. W. Caleb Hyde, M.
  • W. Oliver Beldin, Jr., S. W.
  • John Willard, J. W.
  • Elijah Northu, Tr.
  • Azariah Egtuton, Sec.
  • Phinehas Pease, S. D.
  • Levi Beldin, Jr., J. D.
  • Otis Walker, Steward.
  • Enos Stone, Steward.
  • Ebenezer Williams, Tiler.

No. of Members, 44.


PAST MASTERS

  • William Walker, 1795-1801; Bio Bio
  • Caleb Hyde, 1802; SN
  • Eldad Lewis, ?
  • Joseph Tucker, ?; SN
  • James Whiton, 1821
  • David Osborne, 1825
  • Jared Bradley, 1826-1855
  • Eli Bradley, 1856
  • John T. Fenn, 1857
  • George F. Bradley, 1858
  • Benjamin A. Morey, 1859, 1860
  • Eliphalet Wright, 1861-1865, 1870-1872
  • William Demming, 1866
  • Robert McAlpine, 1867, 1879
  • Timothy D. Thatcher, 1868
  • Charles S. Osborne, 1869
  • Alonzo Bradley, 1873, 1875, 1878, 1887; SN
  • Edward L. Melius, 1874
  • Dorvil M. Wilcox, 1876, 1877, 1880-1882
  • Charles F. Smith, 1883
  • Edwin H. Phinney, 1884, 1885
  • Henry F. Smith, 1886
  • Jared Bradley, Jr., 1888, 1889, 1895
  • John W. Cooney, 1890, 1891, 1894
  • Edward J. Norman, 1892
  • William G. Clifford, 1893
  • Frank M. Pease, 1896
  • James O. Clifford, 1897
  • Carl Wurtzbach, 1898, 1899; SN
  • Charles E. Tucker, 1900
  • Harvey W. Fenn, 1901
  • Frank J. Barrett, 1902, 1903
  • George W. Ferguson, 1904
  • Victor W. Bradley, 1905
  • Robert C. Lyon, 1906
  • Alfred J. Loveless, 1907
  • Charles H. Marsh, 1908
  • Harry E. Kendall, 1909
  • Alfred H. Wingett, 1910
  • Thomas Proctor, 1911
  • James A. Rice, 1912
  • Thomas Page, 1913
  • Henry W. Jones, 1914
  • William Cameron, 1915
  • Thomas M. Kerr, 1916
  • Charles A. Markham, 1917
  • Manton R. Sedgwick, 1918
  • Henry Heeremans, 1919
  • Harry E. Farrar, 1920
  • Edmund Spencer, 1921
  • Charles H. McCarthy, 1922
  • William H. Prowse, 1923
  • Elmer C. Newton, 1924
  • William B. Connor, 1925
  • Oliver B. Humes, 1926
  • Adelbert I. Newton, 1927
  • Edward A. Sitzer, 1928; N
  • Walter J. Bryans, 1929
  • William Bower, 1930
  • George G. Woodin, 1931
  • Earl W. Dowd, 1932
  • Roscoe L. Spofford, 1933
  • Herbert Hobday, 1934
  • George A. Graves, 1935
  • Albert T. Phelps, 1936
  • Floyd E. Graves, 1937
  • Owen F. Kelly, 1938
  • Henry Sohl, 1939
  • Albert N. Nettleton, 1940; N
  • Warren A. Turner, 1941
  • Bernard G. Graves, 1942
  • R. Harry Barnes, 1943
  • Maurice J. Letner, 1944
  • Franklin T. Kelly, 1945, 1946
  • Frederick C. Holmes, 1947
  • Charles E. Slater, 1948
  • Frederick A. Judd, 1949
  • George E. Burleigh, 1950
  • Raymond C. Pecon, 1951
  • Almon H. Griffin, 1952
  • John A. MacGregor, 1953
  • Marshall L. Barnard, 1954, 1955
  • Stewart D. Seedman, 1956
  • Richard P. Davis, 1957
  • P. Roy Wheeler, 1958
  • Henry N. LePrevost, 1959
  • Joseph Liss, 1960; PDDGM
  • William N. Demos, 1961
  • Edward N. Decker, 1962
  • Donald I. Fillio, 1963
  • Richard E. Sitzer, 1964
  • Robert C. Dunn, 1965
  • William A. Hosmer, 1966
  • Ernest A. Lowry, 1967
  • Robert S. Bierwith, 1968
  • Harry J. Szewczak, 1969
  • Hugh C. Pecon, 1970
  • Edwin R. Grady, 1971
  • Keith M. Raftery, 1972; PDDGM
  • John G. Kelly, 1973
  • Harold E. Soules, 1974
  • Kenneth L. Berry, 1975
  • Gordon G. VanOrman, Sr., 1976, 2002
  • Gordon E. Leeman, 1977
  • John G. Kastrinakis, 1978
  • Charles M. Tacy, 1979
  • Donald R. Hart, 1980
  • M. James Shaw, 1981
  • Rainsford B. Morehouse, Jr., 1982
  • Donald B. Hale, 1983
  • Merrill E. Morehouse, 1984
  • John B. Egee, Jr., 1985
  • Frederick E. Warden, III, 1986
  • Gordon D. Bailey, 1987
  • Rainsford B. Morehouse, 1988
  • Ralph A. Packard, 1989
  • Gordon G. VanOrman, Jr., 1990, 1991, 2004; DDGM
  • Myron J. Shaw, 1992
  • Merrill E. Morehouse, 1993
  • Gerald E. Strock, 1994-1996
  • Ralph Alden Packard, 1997
  • Thomas Butcher Thorn, 1998
  • Donald R. Hart, 1999-2001
  • Blake O. Middleton, 2003
  • John E. Arnold, 2005-2007
  • Thomas P. Morawiec, 2008, 2009
  • Thomas L. Fennelly 2010-2012

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Charter: 1795
  • Petition for Restoration: 1849 (Lodge removed to Lee)

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1895 (Centenary)
  • 1945 (150th Anniversary)
  • 1971 (175th Anniversary)
  • 1995 (200th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1858 1932 1950 1955 1956 1963 1968 1976 1977 1985 2000

HISTORY

  • 1895 (Centenary Address by Grand Master, 1895-86; see below)
  • 1895 (Centenary Historical Address, 1895-88; see below)
  • 1895 (Centenary History, 1895-98; note that a Centennial Volume exists in print)
  • 1945 (150th Anniversary History, 1945-210; see below)
  • 1971 (175th Anniversary History, 1971-254)
  • 1995 (200th Anniversary History, 1995-200; see below)

NOTES IN GRAND MASTER'S CENTENARY ADDRESS, JUNE 1895

From Proceedings, Page 1895-86:

March 9, 1795, a petition from Simon Learned and others was received and read in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, M. W. Paul Revere occupying the East as Grand Master. The petition was referred to a Committee, Isaiah Thomas, Chairman, which reported June 8, 1795, as follows: The Committee appointed on the petition of Simon Learned and others, praying to be erected into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the name, title, and designation of Evening Star Lodge, to meet at Lenox, County of Berkshire, reported that the prayer of the petitioners be granted." The report was accepted and Evening Star appeared above the horizon.

In 1796 W. Wm. Dennison was proxy for the Lodge, and in 1803 R. W. William Little.

In 1804 the Lodges of the State were first divided into Masonic Districts. Evening Star Lodge was placed in the Eighth District, and one of its members, R. W. Caleb Hyde, was appointed the first District Deputy Grand Master of the District.

In 1813 Elijah Northrop, Caleb Hyde, and others petitioned the Grand Lodge, explaining the peculiar situation of the Lodge from 1805 to 1813, and the difficulties under which it labored. Dec. 27, 1819, another member of Evening Star Lodge, R.W. Joseph Tucker, was appointed District Deputy Grand Master, and the following year R. W. Bro. Caleb Hyde was proxy for the Lodge. Soon after, came those years of social disturbance, when the lights on so many of our altars were extinguished. Evening Star Lodge, as did many others, closed its doors, but when the fury was past, relit the altar fires and resumed work.

June 13, 1849, a Committee of the Grand Lodge reported upon a petition signed by Lemuel Bassett, Richard Hunt, Elisha Freeman, Seth Barlow, David Baker, Elijah Thomas, George I-I. Phelps, James Landers, Eli Bradley, and Jared Bradley, in behalf of Evening Star Lodge, asking for a return of its charter and for leave to remove the Lodge to Lee.

The Committee reported that the Charter be returned and that permission be granted to remove the Lodge to Lee. The Grand Lodge accepted the report of the Committee and the recommendations were duly carried out. It is a matter of regret that the Lodge has not in its possession the original charter. It certainly bore the name of Paul Revere, Grand Master. That Lodge is fortunate that possesses the autograph of this eminent Brother. Probably the name of no Revolutionary patriot of Massachusetts is so familiar to our ears, General Warren perhaps excepted; and no man holds a warmer place in the true American heart.

HISTORICAL ADDRESS, JUNE 1895

From Proceedings, Page 1895-88:

We are privileged to-day to celebrate the centennial of the existence in this community of a great fraternal and charitable society. The period is short indeed when compared with the mighty reach of time since time began, yet covering a nineteenth part of the world's best era, all of which this society has witnessed, has been a part of. Is it asked: "What is Freemasonry?" The answer comes: It is not a secret society. Its objects, methods, and history, are known of all men. It can scarcely be classed as a private society, for its doors are open to all who are willing to comply with certain reasonable requirements, and are found worthy. Answering to instinctive, uplifting yearnings of humanity, it is rather a great charitable brotherhood — charitable in the broadest and fullest sense, a brotherhood of men, a patron of, a pattern for, all the fraternal associations for good yet devised. Without claiming to be a religious system, it is ever ready to join the grand chorus that saith unto Zion, "Thy God reigneth;" and if it has certain peculiar requirements, ceremonies, and forms of recognition, these can certainly be pardoned in view of what it has wrought for our race.

At the eastern end of the Mediterranean there lies a region scarcely equal in area to one of our smaller States; a region chiefly of rock, mountain and desert, though fertile in spots, even to the vine and olive, and all ever wondrously fertile in wars and religions, battle-fields and temples. More than Egypt or Persia, — more than Greece or Italy, — it has filled History. Its chief city, with little advantage of situation and culture, has, more than Athens or Rome, left its imprint on the ages. Here was built a temple, a palace to the unknown God. Here wrought workmen with the best training and skill of Egypt and Persia, under leadership inspired. Their product, after leaving the quarries, needed no further finish. Its acc uacy and beauty were the marvel of both the Pagan and Christian world, then and now. They wrought in marble so clear and white that in sheets it served them for windows. They used cement proving to-day to be firmer and harder than the stone it binds. These men had a right to found a Craft; and if, while chronicling the mystic orders of ancient Paganism, and the social bands that represented the best side of Islamism, the cold criticism of secular history questions the origin, it cannot deny beauty to the legend, that links Freemasonry with the glory and splendor of the temple at Jerusalem, a glory and splendor now and ever to be as living, notwithstanding captures and destructions, as when operative masonry there completed its work.

It is one of the fixed laws of nature that all successful growth proceeds from a minute beginning. Causation and consequence are universal. Darwin and Herbert Spencer could have chosen no more fitting illustration of their doctrine of evolution than the origin and career of our Society. Here is certainly the "Drawing of one thing out of another," a continuous "Descent with modifications," lasting through centuries. Beginning with two degrees of simple aim and method, — in due time adding another, afterwards still others, and finally many others, with higher aims and grander methods, — growing with the growth, strengthening with the strength of human intelligence, till it stands before the world one grand harmonious, symmetrical structure. At first assembling in deep vales or on high hills, afterwards in places of greater convenience and safety. Now always in comfortable halls, and often in palatial temples that are rivalled only by the great churches and cathedrals. At first sharing a frugal meal under a lowly roof with a known Brother, afterwards giving liberally in full fraternal sympathy to a tried Craftsman. Now dispensing to worthy Brothers, their widows and orphans, the income of millions invested in great libraries, colleges and homes. At first admitting only those of kindred hand, now welcoming all of kindred heart.

On the continent of Europe, Masonry seems to have flourished in Germany from very early times. The builders' corporations were largely composed of, and controlled by operative masons, and the transition in the eighteenth century to speculative Masonry, as now known, was easy and effectual. Frederick the Great became a Mason in 1738, and immediately thereafter ascended the throne of Prussia, and became an active patron of the Craft. A century later the then Crown Prince, the late Emperor William III., assumed a like position, and the Society has prospered socially and morally in every part of the nation. In France the Society has existed with varying success, and under different forms, but with most brilliant results, under the first Napoleon, whose brother was a Grand Master. In Italy the Society owes its best success to Garibaldi.

But it is to England and Scotland that we owe the greatest debt of gratitude. For centuries the fires of Freemasonry have never been allowed to slacken on British altars. Most worthy Nobles and Princes, men of letters and men of science, have vied with each other in guiding, improving and protecting the Craft. Men like Sir Christopher Wren, who could see the beauty in architecture, could see the beauty in humanity; and the monuments of such men could be seen around them during life as well as after burial. The British mind first grasped the full meaning of the word "Fraternity." Hence to every portion of the English-speaking world have been carried the best spirit and form of Masonry.

MASONRY IN AMERICA

Masonry appears to have left its first trace in America, near Annapolis, Nova Scotia, in 1606, the same year that the gallant Smith planted the Saxon race in Virginia, and fourteen years before the Puritan made of Plymouth Rock his stepping-stone to empire. In 1733 and 1735, Lodges were established under English jurisdiction in Massachusetts and in Georgia, and soon after, in 1750, Lodges were similarly established in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas. Masonry kept abreast of emigration and settlement. The first commission to a Provincial Grand Master seems to have been issued by the Grand Master of England to Daniel Coxe, of New Jersey, in June, 1730, giving him authority over New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. No evidence, however, is found of action under this authority. The commission issued from the same source in April, 1733, to Henry Price, of Boston, giving him authority over New England and its dominions, which authority was afterwards extended over all America, and recognized by Benjamin Franklin, as Grand Master of Pennsylvania, is entitled to the credit of being the first high Masonic authority in this country. The Body over which Price presided was known as St. John's Grand Lodge.

In 1769, a commission was issued from the Grand Master of Scotland, appointing a Grand Master of Masons in Boston, New England, and within one hundred miles of the same. In 1772 this authority was extended over the continent of America. The appointee under this commission was Joseph Warren, the Body over which he presided was known as the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, and one of its officers was Paul Revere — Joseph Warren and Paul Revere, two names destined to remain illustrious, until history forgets to record that men once had to struggle for liberty, in this country., Warren fell at Bunker Hill; the Records of his Grand Lodge, have this note: "Memo, April 19th, 1775, hostilities commenced between the troops of G. Britain and America in Lexington Battle, in consequence of which the town was blockaded, no Lodge held till Dec, 1776" — a silence most eloquent.

MASONRY IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

At the meeting of December, 1776, Col. Paul Revere was present as Senior Grand Warden. He seems to have been always present and active at the meetings of the Grand Lodge, especially active in urging measures looking towards a union of the two Grand Lodges. In 1792, the union took place and the new Body became "The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." At the time of the Union the Records show that there were in existence in this Commonwealth twenty Lodges, of which the tenth in seniority was Berkshire Lodge, of Stock-bridge, chartered March 8, 1777, and the sixteenth, Friendship, of Williamstown, chartered July 23, 1785, both chartered by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. A special meeting of the Grand Lodge was called "To hear the petition of Seth Deane and others praying to have a charter, to erect and hold a Lodge in the town of Stockbridge, Berkshire County." This Lodge afterwards appears from the Records of the Grand Lodge to have reported from Great Barrington. In this Lodge some of the charter members of our Lodge may have been initiated. One of these members, Eldad Lewis, was in correspondence with the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in 1788, at that time a young-man, and he could have received his degrees nowhere else so conveniently. But the particular entry of the Grand Lodge Records before the Union, which most interests us, is the following:

Special Meeting of Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
Oct. 6, 1779.

The petition of John Peirce and others praying this Grand Lodge, would grant a charter for holding a Travelling Lodge, having nominated General John Paterson, Master, Col. Benj. Tupper, S. W., and Maj. Wm. Hull, J. W.

Voted a charter be granted them for holding regular Lodges, — make Masons, —pass and raise in this State, or in any of the United States, of America, where no other Grand Master presides, but in any other State where there is a Grand Master constituted by the Brethren of the United States, they are to inform him, and receive his sanction.

This must have been the Lodge called Washington Lodge, reported in the Records, as an army or travelling Lodge.

At this point our interest increases. John Paterson, in 1774, was in Lenox, a lawyer, — thirty years of age, in successful practice, and popular; over six feet in height, a graduate of Yale College, with much military taste and some training. His ancestry were of New England's best. To say that he early espoused the patriot cause is needless. He was sent as a delegate from his town to the Stockbridge convention, where was adopted "a solemn league and covenant," one of the richest gifts of Berkshire to the war. He was also sent as a delegate to the Provincial Congress at Salem. Relieving the war inevitable, he raised and organized a regiment, —became its Colonel, and within less than a day from the time when news of Lexington and Concord reached Lenox, marched with his regiment for Cambridge. He served through the war and was in many of its most prominent battles. He was at Princeton, at Valley Forge, was made a Brigadier-General, and afterwards a Major-General; he was at Monmouth he crossed the Delaware with Washington, was ' sent to the relief of the patriot army in Canada, served on several courts-martial — notably that of Major Andre, — was in close relations to Washington, and is so represented on the historic monument erected by the State of New Jersey. The first name on the roll of the Cincinnati is Washington's, the second Paterson's. His remains rest in the churchyard and his monument stands in the public square at Lenox. There is no written record that Washington, himself a Mason, ever was present at the meetings of Paterson's Lodge, but there is a well-authenticated tradition to that effect, and to think otherwise does violence to our belief in the high-born sympathy of patriots. Serving in Paterson's regiment were two of the founders of this Lodge.

After the union, the first charter granted to a Lodge in Berkshire was issued, June 9, 1794, to Joseph Jarvis and others for a Lodge, to be known as Franklin Lodge, with authority to sit in Cheshire and Lanesborough, alternately six months in each.

In December, 1794, Paul Revere was chosen Grand Master, and although he held this high office but three years, he signed more charters for Lodges which became permanent than had any of his predecessors. At the nest quarterly Grand Lodge Meeting, in March, 1795, a petition was presented from Simon Lamed and others asking; to be erected into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons; under the name and title of "Evening Star Lodge," to meet at Lenox, County of Berkshire. The petition was referred to a committee of which Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, was chairman, the committee reported favorably, — the report was accepted and the charter granted, and this is the origin of our Lodge. Who besides Simon. Lamed were the charter members the Grand Lodge Records fail to show, and the early Records of this Lodge are beyond recognition. It is known that William Walker was the first Master, Azariah Egleston one of the early Secretaries, and Eldad Lewis an officer. At this time Lenox was not only the County seat, but also very much the capital of the County, 'both socially and politically; the courts met there, met frequently and had long sessions, notwithstanding the authority and jurisdiction of the courts was quite uncertain.

BIOGRAPHY: SIMON LARNED

Simon Larned, though a resident of Pittsfield, was much in Lenox, he was sheriff of the County, active in many business enterprises, a corporator and a director of the Berkshire Bank, an institution quite too enterprising when, with a capital of $50,000, it loaned to a single customer $200,000, who found it inconvenient to pay. He seems to have attained many of the honors prevalent in his day, he represented his town in the General Court, was sent to jail at Lenox, for the Bank debts, afterwards to Congress for two terms, and finally was appointed a Brigadier-General in the national army.

BIOGRAPHY: WILLIAM WALKER

WilliamWalker.jpg

William Walker, of Lenox, the first Master of the Evening Star Lodge, was a flue specimen of that class of men who have made this country, ' strong and great. Beginning life a teacher, modest, intelligent, able and patriotic, he left behind .him a reputation, treasured not only by his honored descendants, but by the region where he dwelt. He was in Paterson's regiment from the first; marched at the Lexington alarm, was employed in the building of Fort No. 3, within the limits of Charlestown, the first fort built on the lines around Boston, and helped to man the fort on the day of the battle at Bunker Hill. At the expiration of his first term of service, he reenlisted, served in the Canada expedition, took part at the battle of the Cedars, was at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, was sent to Pennsylvania, crossed the Delaware with Washington and saw the surrender of Burgoyne. In the fall of 1777, he retired from the army, and was appointed to a financial position of great responsibility under the government. He was for many years, and until his death, Judge of the Probate Court for this County. He was the first and long time President of the Berkshire Bible Society. He was also the first District Deputy Grand Master of this Masonic District, and the esteem in which he was held by his Brethren is well illustrated by a letter received by him in 1803, from the Grand Master of the State, which is as follows, viz. :

Worcester, April 13, 1803.

Right Worshipful Wm. Walker, Esqr.

My Good Brother: I find my predecessor, the late Grand Master of the Fraternity in this Commonwealth, appointed you District Deputy Grand Master in the County of Berkshire.

I have not the happiness of a personal acquaintance with you, but have often heard of the very respectable character you bear, and the esteem in which you are held by the Brethren of our Order. It will, therefore, give me great pleasure to re-appoint you to the dignified office you have so lately held, if agreeable to you to accept it, and I am confident it will give much satisfaction to the Brethren in your District.

Be so obliging as to favor me with a letter on the reception of this. I beg you will not refuse it, if you can by any means serve.
I am with esteem and Masonic affection,
your Brother and friend,
Isaiah Thomas.

BIOGRAPHY: AZARIAH EGLESTON

Azariah Egleston was also a soldier of the Revolution — served in all the battles in which Paterson's regiment was engaged, crossed the Delaware on that dreadful Christmas night, and upon the promotion of Paterson to a Generalship became his Aide and a Colonel. At the close of the war he returned to Lenox, engaged in active business, and for years was the foremost and most enterprising citizen of the town.

BIOGRAPHY: ELDAD LEWIS

Eldad Lewis was a graduate of Yale, of scholarly attainments, and an eminent physician. His Addresses delivered before Masonic Bodies, notably his elaborate poem delivered before this Lodge, June 24, 1814, attest, his admiration of our Order.

BIOGRAPHY: CALEB HYDE, JOSEPH TUCKER

Caleb Hyde, of Lenox, another prominent Mason, may have been a charter member, but we are unable to determine, and so also Joseph Tucker, who was born in Stockbridge in 1772, and was employed in the store of his cousin, Azirah Egleston, prior to 1795. "Squire" Tucker was a member of the Berkshire Bar. He was a man widely known, intelligent, active, and of the highest character for fidelity and integrity. In 1801 he was elected Registrar of Deeds for the Middle District of this County and held the office until his death in 1847. In 1813 he was also elected Treasurer of the County, which office he also held until his death, and this office has been held by his descendants continuously since. Brothers Hyde and Tucker also both held the office of District Deputy, and represented the Grand Lodge not only generally, but on special occasions, like the institution of Lodges. Wisdom Lodge, at West Stockbridge, was instituted March 14, 1803, Caleb Hyde representing the Grand Master, and the places of the other Grand Officers were mostly filled by members of Evening Star Lodge. May 27, 1804, a Lodge was instituted at Sheffield, — the record of the proceedings there, characteristic of the man who made it, is this:

SHEFFIELD LODGE

Assembled at the house of Brother Aaron Kellogg to constitute Sheffield Lodge, by direction of the Most Worshipful Isaiah Thomas, Grand Master.

PRESENT:

  • R. W. Caleb Hyde, D .D. G. M. in the chair.
  • R. W. Walter Deane , Deputy G.M. pro tem.
  • R. W. Daniel Chappell, S. G. W.
  • R. W. Oliver Belden, Jr., J. G. W.
  • R. W. Elisha Northrup, G. Tr.
  • R. W. Joseph Tucker, G. Sec'y
  • R. W. Samuel Barstow, S. G. Dea.
  • R. W. Asa Hiller, Jr.. J. G. Dea.
  • R. W. Ephraim A. Judson , 1st Gd. Steward.
  • R. W. Samuel Rossiter, 2d Gd. Steward.
  • R. W. Andrew Robinson, Gd. Tyler.

The Brethren of Sheffield Lodge being assembled at the place aforesaid, after the usual ceremonies, formed a procession and moved to the meeting-house, preceded by a band of music. The exercises were publicly performed. A sermon well adapted to the occasion was preached by the Rev. Ephraim Judson, there was occasional solemn and cheerful music during the performance, both vocal and instrumental, consecration took place in Masonic order and regular installation of the officers of Sheffield Lodge. They returned in Masonic arrangement and partook of a generous entertainment at the expense of Sheffield Lodge. The Grand Lodge then retired and closed in due form.

Pleasure and innocence closed the day.

Attest: Joseph Tucker,
Gr. Sec. pro tem.

FESTIVALS

It is proper to note that the office of District Deputy was held in the olden time by many other prominent Berkshire men, such as Gen. John Whiting, of Great Barrington, Judge Daniel N. Dewey, of Williamstown, and Edward F. Ensign, of Sheffield. During the early part of the century the annual festivals of St. John the Baptist were celebrated quite frequently, some one of the Lodges of the county, or one of the Lodges in the towns on the New York border, entertaining their Brethren nearly every year. This Lodge held such a celebration in 1801, as appears by a notice issued from the Lodge signed by Azariah Egleston, Secretary; Cincinnatus and Franklin Lodges being specially invited and all other Brethren generally. In 1814 there was another celebration at which Dr. Lewis delivered his address, before alluded to, and in 1819 there was another celebration.

In 1825 occurred the last St. John's day celebration by Evening Star Lodge in Lenox, of which we have found any notice, when a sermon was delivered in the Congregational Meeting House, before the members of Evening Star Lodge, and several other associated Lodges, by Rev. Aaron Humphrey, Rector of St. Luke's Church, Lanesborough, and Trinity Church, Lenox.

ANTIMASONRY

In 1825 Masonry was at its greatest apparent prosperity, the last war had been almost forgotten, an era of good feeling prevailed, the country was prospering through emigration. European conditions were watched with curiosity, more than anxiety. The visit of Lafayette to this country had added popularity to the Society, — many Lodges had been organized, and a great many new members were admitted. In September, 1826, however, an event occurred, which for the next twenty years, not only stifled all prosperity, but nearly terminated the life of the Society in this country. William Morgan, of Bata-via, New York, had announced that he was about to publish a book divulging Masonic secrets. Certain indiscreet members of the Order, with a zeal that had little acquaintance with the knowledge or spirit of Masonry, took upon themselves the task of, in some way, preventing the publication. They were charged with committing -a heinous crime. The charges may not have been fully proven, but the public believed them and many Masons believed them, and the effect on the Society was the same as if fully proven. Brethren withdrew from Lodges; Lodges were given up, charters surrendered, and Masonry most decidedly was under a cloud. Anti-Masonic newspapers were established, over two hundred of them in the country, one of them called the Berkshire Herald being started in Lenox. Certain shrewd and able politicians, who had been for some time looking around for an issue, — who had in fact become hungry for an issue with which to arouse the people, — seized the opportunity. Thurlow Weed, a man of great ability, was indefatigable in his efforts to discredit Masonry. When confronted with positive evidence that a body found in Niagara river was not Morgan's, Weed declared that "It was a good enough Morgan .until after election," an expression that became a permanent phrase in the language of the country, while Weed became a permanent power in the management of political parties.

In vain was the influence of men like De Witt Clinton, then Governor, of New York, Lewis Cass in Michigan, James Buchanan in Pennsylvania, General Jackson in Tennessee, Henry Clay in Kentucky, and Rev. Samuel Osgood, of Springfield, in this State, who was then, an officer in our Grand Lodge. It was charged that Masons sought to introduce royalty in the country; that there were in their Orders officers denominated Kings, Priests, and Scribes; some so-called. divines charged that Masonry denied the Mosaic account of creation, and taught that the world was. in reality more than 6,000 years old. This was accounted positive and dangerous infidelity. But what would those divines have thought of the statement of Dr. McCosh that the age of the world is certainly more than 200,000,000 years. The issue was up, and it was kept up by the party styling itself anti-Masonic, with such excess of zeal, however, that there soon arose a counteracting party whose members were called "Jack Masons." The contest between these two parties was viewed with equanimity by the Fraternity. It was well that the end should come. It may have been hastened in this way.

Thoughtful Brethren believed, (and it was true), that there had been many serious mistakes in the conduct of Masons towards their fellows who were not Masons, and they did not. hesitate to condemn such .conduct, but they still believed that such a noble society, with noble aims, should continue,, and it has continued. The angel of Masonry, like the fabled Goddess of Fortune, when she came to earth, had folded her wings in token that she came to stay.

In 1822 Mr. Jared Bradley of Lee, the father of our present Master, became a member of this Lodge, and in 1826 he became its Master, and so continued for nearly thirty years, and to his Masonic loyalty is due the fact that for the round century Evening Star Lodge, with a single exception, at the time of the fire, never missed a regularly appointed Communication. Under his supervision its place of meeting and property were removed from its rooms in the Coffee House at Lenox, first to the house of Brother Northrup, thence to the house of Brother Enos Smith, on the northern border of Stockbridge, and finally to the Master's own house in Lee, where for more than twenty years meetings were regularly held, though not much work was done. Here gathered a faithful few — men like Eli Bradley, a cousin of the Master, Lemuel Bassett, David and John Baker, Elisha Freeman, Augustus Hurlbert, David Thompson, Caleb Belden, Geo. H. Phelps, James Landers, and James and Lyman Whiton. Edwin Sturgis, who had taken the degrees in Connecticut, joined them here. These were a band of Brothers most surely, every one of them a full man in belief and purpose, all men of influence in their community.- Of that faithful band, all save one has passed to the other side. Our Brother, the venerable Edwin Sturgis, for sixty-seven years a Mason, for many years an officer in this Lodge, and many years an honored and trusted officer in this town, is the only one with us to-day, and may his pride and joy in this day be as great as is ours in his presence, thus linking us through days of darkness to grand beginnings.

RETURN OF THE CHARTER

Prior to 1848 Masonic prospects in the country had very much brightened, and on September 13 of that year Lemuel Bassett, Richard Hunt, Elisha Freeman, Seth Barlow, David Baker, Elijah Thomas, Geo. H. Phelps, James Landers, Eli Bradley and Jared Bradley, in behalf of Evening Star Lodge in Lenox, petitioned the Grand Lodge for a return of' the charter of said Lodge, and for leave to remove their Lodge to Lee, and on June 13, 1849, the petition was granted. The return of the charter was purely technical, as it had never been out of the custody of the proper officers of the Lodge. The removal to Lee thus formally took place, but it was not until 1852 that the Lodge established itself in permanent quarters. On February 26, of that year, Lodge rooms in the Church & Sedgwick block, which stood on a portion of the site of the present Northrup block, were formally dedicated. At that time an Address was delivered in the Methodist Episcopal Church by Rev. J. Z. Nichols. From 1852 onward, the Lodge apparently prospered until, on the 23d of January, 1857, the most disastrous fire occurred which Lee has ever known, destroying the Church & Sedgwick block, as well as many other business blocks, and the church and, chapel standing where this edifice now stands. All the property of the Lodge was burned, including its charter and records. That charter issued over the signature of one of our nation's heroes! Those records made by men some of whom had been companions of Washington and Lafayette!

Immediately after the fire the proper petition, signed by Caleb Belden, Jared Bradley, John T. Fenn, Geo. Bradley, Richard Evans, Joseph B. Whiting, C. C. Holcombe, Geo. H. Phelps, Samuel S. Rogers, Edward S. May, Caleb Benton, and James H. Collin, was made to the Grand Lodge, asking that a duplicate of their charter be furnished Evening Star Lodge. The petition was at once granted and a charter issued.

The Lodge occupied rooms temporarily in Wallace's hotel, which then stood where Memorial Hall now stands; afterwards, when the present Northrup block was completed, occupying, in connection with and by the courtesy of the Odd Fellows, the present Lodge rooms, and finally coming to a full occupancy on the surrender of their rights by the Odd Fellows. Since 1857 the Lodge has been prosperous, and this day closes a century of its existence, — and what a century! Since 1795, what problems have been wrought out! What rights secured to men! What charities and philanthropies created! What material resources developed! What opinions modified! yes, — and what duties yet remain, to a world living, not under the darkness of Paganism, or the dimness of Judaism, but under the brightness of resplendent Christianity! Shall-not the world be urged onward and upward till every race has read the story of the Cross, in a literature its own? And may this society do its part. Do clouds of trouble arise, — may it strive to line those clouds with silver, — make life a poem rather than a contest,— its highest enjoyment to go about doing good.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1945

From Proceedings, Page 1945-210:

By Right Worshipful Carl Wurtzbach.

"Our fathers' God! from out whose hand
The centuries fall like grains of sand,
We meet today, united, free,
And loyal to our land and thee,
To thank thee for the era done,
And trust thee for the opening one."

We are met on this memorable occasion to celebrate a great and important event — the 150th anniversary of the institution of Evening Star Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons — an event important enough in itself to warrant holding this celebration. But we would lose the valuable lessons this anniversary should impart if that were all. I am sure our minds will dwell on matters of far greater significance as we turn memory's pages to once more pay loving tribute to the men who were instrumental in bringing this branch of our great fraternal order into being. Yes, and even more than these two combined, we are gathered here with reverent and humble hearts to reaffirm our faith in and devotion to those eternal verities on which our order is founded — truths and principles derived from God's Holy Word. It is these, not men nor years, although both are necessary and important, that constitute our great heritage and insure the perpetuity of Freemasonry until time shall be no more.

It is a great privilege, my Brothers, to be members of an organization that so intimately links time and eternity. One hundred fifty years of physical being is a long span for finite minds to comprehend, but we need to be reminded that the Psalmist in his quest to fathom the reaches of eternity was forced to declare, "A thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is passed. As a watch in the night."

On a similar occasion, also a 150th anniversary, I said: "I am sure you will agree with me that an occasion like this demands more of an historian than simply reciting the record of transpired events. It requires some interpretation of the spirit and genius of the institution and allows perhaps some expression of hope for its future."

This thought comes to me with increasing force tonight and accounts for the foregoing and of much of that which is to follow. Brother Thomas Post employed this idea in his historical address at the 100th anniversary, producing one of the finest historical sketches ever written. It will be necessary to refer to and quote from this address and the brief sketch given at our 125th anniversary, because the events therein recorded have such a vital bearing on what has transpired during the past twenty-five years, as well as all that has preceded.

First of all I want to emphasize with all the force I have that the men of the period when our Lodge was chartered, molded in the crucible of sacrificial devotion to the cause of founding a free nation, were men whose lofty idealism, patriotic ardor and Christian statesmanship never has been equalled in the history of any people. In the national field, Washington, Warren, Revere, Jefferson, the Adamses, Franklin, Von Steuben, Lafayette and others locally, but nearly all associated with the former. Paterson, Walker, Lewis, Hyde, Tucker, Larned, Egleston — what names to conjure with. It is exceedingly appropriate that we gather tonight close to the rooms in the old Berkshire Coffee House, site of the present Curtis Hotel, where these men met to arrange for forming a Lodge and where the first meetings of Evening Star Lodge were held. May we be inspired by the hovering spirits of the illustrious men whose names I have mentioned.

"Gone? In a grander form they rise
Dead? We may clasp their hands in ours
And catch the light of their clearer eyes
And wreathe their brows with immortal flowers
Wherever a noble deed is done —
'Tis the pulse of a hero's heart is stirred
Wherever right has triumph won
There are the heroes' voices heard."

In 1795, although Lenox was the shire town of Berkshire County, Stockbridge was its principal one, while Williamstown, far north, also was very important.

The year 1792 brought about the union of the two Grand Lodges — St. John's, with Henry Price as Grand Master, and Massachusetts, with Joseph Warren, Grand Master — a union brought about largely through the efforts of Paul Revere, that personification of the truth that patriotism and Masonry are synonymous. Among the twenty Lodges then existing in Massachusetts, the tenth was Berkshire Lodge of Stockbridge, chartered March 8, 1777, followed by Friendship Lodge of Williamstown, chartered July 25, 1785. These constitute the senior Lodges of Berkshire County and both were chartered by Massachusetts Grand Lodge. It is highly probable that the Charter Members of Evening Star received their degrees in one of these Lodges.

It is of great interest and historic import to record that at a special meeting of Massachusetts Grand Lodge held October 6, 1779, a petition of John Pierce and others praying for a charter for holding a Traveling Lodge was granted in the usual form and John Paterson of Lenox was appointed Master, thus linking the grand work performed by our order in the camps and barracks of the Revolutionary Army with that which kept alive the flames on the altars of our home Lodges.

Paterson was one of the great men of his time. Always close to Washington, he was with him on several memorable occasions, as when crossing the Delaware and others. He was a prominent lawyer, graduate of Yale University, and a proponent of "A Solemn league and covenant." He was present at all the principal battles of the Revolution, becoming a Major General. His remains rest in the beautiful cemetery on yonder hilltop; his monument, erected by a grateful posterity, stands on the green opposite our meeting place. Although Paterson was not a member of Evening Star Lodge, we may be confident that he encouraged its interests. It is very probable he was not in Lenox at the time the Lodge was chartered. William Walker and Caleb Hyde, two of his close associates and members of his Lenox Regiment, were among our Charter Members.

The name given this Traveling Lodge was most appropriate — "Washington Lodge"—and it seems certain the immortal George attended some of its meetings. It is fascinating to linger among the activities of these glorious and momentous years, but history must ever move on.

In December, 1794, Paul Revere was elected Grand Master of the now one Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The first charter after the union, granted before Paul Revere was Grand Master to a Lodge in Berkshire County, was to Franklin Lodge on June 9, 1794, to sit in Cheshire and Lanesborough six months alternately. Franklin Lodge was the progenitor of Mystic, 1810, of Pittsfield.

The next charter granted to a Berkshire Lodge was to Evening Star of Lenox, on petition of Simon Larned of Pittsfield — Banker, Industrialist, High Sheriff, Congressman. This petition was presented to the quarterly meeting of the Grand Lodge in March, 1795, which indicates that our charter was probably the first granted by Paul Revere. Unfortunately, the records fail to show who Larned's associates were on the petition, but we do know that William Walker was our first Master. He was one of Berkshire's most prominent men — was in Paterson's regiment from the beginning; crossed the Delaware with Washington; saw Burgoyne surrender and held many prominent offices, local, State and Federal, after the Revolution.

William Walker was the first District Deputy Grand Master of the newly formed district. Appointed by Paul Revere (Note: Actually appointed by Samuel Dunn), he was reappointed by Isaiah Thomas, Revere's successor. It is a great tribute to the characters of the men who formed this lodge that beside Walker, Caleb Hyde and Joseph Tucker were appointed District Deputies, while Azariah Egleston and Eldad Lewis held high Masonic offices, as well as others, bestowed by their fellowmen.

In the formation of Lodges such as Wisdom of West Stockbridge, 1803, and Sheffield, 1804, the Grand Master was represented by Caleb Hyde and the other Grand Officers were members of Evening Star at these institutions. Right Worshipful Joseph Tucker was Grand Secretary pro tem. It is worthy of note that all these men were deeply religious; all were prominent in Church as well as State. They were leaders in all Church activities.

During the period 1795-1825, all Lodges prospered. Much attention was given to celebrations, especially those of Saint John's Day. This seems particularly true of Evening Star for on one occasion, in 1809, Eldad Lewis read an original poem which required an hour to read. Large throngs attended these celebrations, for such was the interest in Masonry at the time, in 1825, and the Masonic star was so high in the firmament of public opinion that it seemed impossible that any cloud could appear to obscure its splendor, when suddenly, in 1826, came the total eclipse caused by the Morgan episode. From the zenith of popularity and esteem, Masonry was plunged to the nadir of near oblivion. So hostile was the feeling for the next twenty years that the "Know Nothing Party" almost elected a President on an Anti-Masonic platform. To the glory of being built on God's eternal truths and the secure foundations laid by our fathers, even so serious a setback could not keep long submerged the exemplification of those truly Masonic ornaments, "Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth." The needs of suffering humanity then and now are too great to allow any man-made conditions to interfere with meeting these needs. Even the devilish attempt of the arch fiend of the ages to destroy our altar in another part of the world must fail because Truth crushed to earth will rise again to sway the hearts of living men in ways of peace and love. How wisely and securely our fathers built is beautifully expressed by the poet:

"Father's lodge thought nothing of it, 'mid their labors and their cares,
Those old Masons learned to love it, that fraternity of theirs.
What's a bit of stormy weather, when a little down the road
Men are gathering together, helping bear each others' load?

"Father's lodge had made a village; men of father's sturdy brawn
Turned a wilderness to tillage, seized the flag and carried on.
Made a village, built a city, shaped a county, formed a State,
Simple men both wise and witty, humble men, and yet how great!

"Father's lodge had caught the gleaming of the great Masonic past;
Thinking, toiling, daring, dreaming, they were builders to the last.
Quiet men, not rich but clever, with the tools they found at hand
Building for the great forever, first a village then a land.

"Father's lodge no temple builded, shaped of steel and carved of stone;
Marble columns, ceilings gilded, father's lodge has never known.
But a heritage of glory they have left, the humble ones —-
They have left their mighty story in the keeping of their sons."

During this dark period the destiny of Evening Star Lodge was in the keeping of another group of men like unto its founders. With equal reverent honor we mention Eli Bradley, Lemuel Bassett, David and John Baker, Elisha Freeman, Augustus Hurlburt, David Thompson, Caleb Belden, George H. Phelps, James Landers, James and Lyman Whiton. These were joined by Edwin Sturgis, who came from Connecticut and was already a Mason. Sturdy, fearless, freemen were these men of Evening Star. To their everlasting credit they, secretly to be sure, kept alive the flame on our altar by holding regular stated sessions during the entire period, meeting in the homes of the faithful, mainly at the house of Jared Bradley in Lee, which house is still standing. Jared Bradley, among the staunchest, was the father of Jared, Master during our Centennial year. Edwin Sturgis, remembered by us older ones, was in the nineties, and in 1895, had been sixty-seven years a Mason. We have no one to claim such honors today.

One important item was omitted by Brother Post, our just pride in being the Mother of Occidental Lodge, chartered in 1870. Many of our members became charter members of Occidental.

By 1848 the Masonic star again appeared above the horizon and has risen rapidly ever since. In September of that year, a group of members composed mainly of those already mentioned, petitioned the Grand Lodge for a return of the charter and permission to move their Lodge to Lee. Both were granted; the former was a mere technicality, as the charter never had been surrendered.

A great calamity befell our Lodge in 1857. All our records, belongings and our precious charter, signed by Paul Revere, were burned. So the records of all important events occurring during the first sixty-two years of our existence are forever lost.

Events connected with the moving, finding quarters and other details are fully covered in Brother Post's admirable history, as are the proceedings of the Centennial exercises. A few facts connected with this, our greatest celebration, are important enough to repeat here.

By common consent, it was the biggest day Lee ever had. Preparations for the great event had been in process for several years. Committees on arrangements, finance, decorations, music and reception had been appointed long before. As early as 1888 Worshipful Brother Alonzo Bradley was appointed a historical committee. Later Brother Thomas Post was added to this committee. In 1892, $100.00 from the Lodge treasury was placed in the Lee Savings Bank as a nucleus for the Centennial fund, which eventually amounted to over $1200. The committees named above comprised forty members, and of these, but two remain — Brother Charles M. Sears and the writer. Of the officers, the writer, who was Secretary of the Lodge at the time, is the sole survivor.

For the public, the two outstanding features were the decorations and the parade. The former never has been equalled anywhere. Under the guidance of Brother Henry Horton, a genius, our streets presented a scene of entrancing beauty. The parade, led by Worshipful J. W. Cooney, Chief Marshal, on a white charger, was composed of thirteen Lodges in the two Berkshire districts. (Huntington Lodge is now in another district.) Two neighboring Connecticut Lodges and six brass bands, aggregrating 129 pieces, followed by the officers of the Grand Lodge, in carriages, extended nearly the entire length of Main Street. By actual count there were 682 Masons in line. At least 200 of the older men did not join in the long walk. Those on foot, plus those in carriages, and 129 musicians, aggregated some 875 men directly in the parade.

The address of welcome by Brother Wellington Smith, response by Most Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes and the post prandial exercises are printed in full in the history of the proceedings. The former were held in the Congregational Church; the latter in a tent on Franklin Street, where over 1000 were fed at one time. Special music was provided at both places by a large chorus under the direction of Brother Monroe, a gifted musician. All were Lodge members. The waiters were Lenox and Lee's fairest — wives and daughters of members. After the speaking in the tent, a procession was formed and Evening Star Lodge escorted the Grand Officers and visiting Lodges to the new Gleaner Block where the Grand Lodge was closed in ample form, thence to the Railway Station to say farewell, midst resounding huzzahs. Thus ended in glorious splendor the first one hundred years of our existence — a day never to be forgotten by those privileged to share in it, and one whose influence will continue so long as time endures.

Our 125th anniversary was celebrated by holding Divine services in the Lee Congregational Church on Sunday afternoon, June 6, 1920, at 4 p.m. The exercises consisted of special music and an appropriate sermon by Rev. Brother Charles M. Calderwood, Pastor, using for his text: I Kings 6:7, which refers to the building of King Solomon's Temple, familiar to all of us. The sermon was listened to by a large throng. The lessons taught by the similarity of those silent influences that emanate from Godly lives and the silence attending the building of the most beautiful structure ever erected by human hands were most inspiring.

On the evening of June 7th, our lodge-room was filled to capacity. Here amid beautiful flowers, special music again regaled us. A rather short historical address was delivered by Right Worshipful Carl Wurtzbach. Both sermon and address were printed and bound in pamphlet form. Among the more prominent events mentioned were the regular observance of St. John's Day by the Lodge attending Divine service — an observance initiated by Evening Star.

Twice we were honored by visits of the Grand Master and his Suite. Most Worshipful Everett C. Benton and his Suite made a fraternal visit on June 8th, 1912, presenting at that time a gavel made from timber and prepared in the Forests of Lebanon, a close link with material used in building the Temple. Later Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson came to witness the conferring of the Third Degree under circumstances perhaps never duplicated. The degree was conferred with such dignity and reverence it is frequently spoken of today. The Master's Chair was occupied by Worshipful Eliphalet Wright, age 90; the Senior Warden's by Worshipful Edward Melius, age 88; the Junior Warden's by R. W. Alonzo Bradley, District Deputy Grand Master, age 76. Following the work, the Lodge adjourned to the Greenock Inn where a bountiful repast was served and where Most Worshipful Brother Johnson gave us one of his beautiful, inspiring addresses.

During this period, several members received Veteran's Medals — Brother Gideon Culverhouse, the oldest, had been a Mason some seventy years. The address closed by referring to the stupendous changes wrought for betterment of social and economic conditions during the 125 years past—changes in which our order had a prominent part.

And so we come to the closing twenty-five years of our 150 years existence, years for the most part uneventful up to the outbreak of World War II, but again noted for vast world upheavals tending to improve social and economic conditions for everyone. In the grand scheme of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, there is no place for class distinction. At the beginning of the last twenty-five years, the wounds caused by the great world war were beginning to heal, only to be reopened with greater violence as we come to the close of this period. The intervening years brought prosperity and happiness to our order. The great work we did during that struggle attracted many to join our ranks. Today we are stronger than ever, fulfilling for suffering humanity every duty that justice and mercy require and again demonstrating to the world that the golden chain of sincere affection that bound our founders into a devoted band of friends and Brothers has added link by link, each succeeding generation, until today, indissoluble and unbreakable, it binds us in the bonds of friendship with all that has gone before. Friendship, that most beautiful complement to the emotions of the soul of man was almost divinely expressed by one of America's greatest, Daniel Webster, and is so appropriate to this occasion I want to read it:

"If stores of dry and learned lore we gain,
We keep them in the memory of the brain.
Names, things, and facts, — what'er we knowledge call, —
There is a common ledger for them all;
And images on this cold surface traced
Make slight impression and are soon effaced,
But we've a page, more glowing and more bright,
On which our friendship and our love to write;
That these may never from the soul depart,
We trust them to the memory of the heart.
There is no dimming, nor effacement there;
Each new pulsation keeps the record clear;
Warm, golden letters all the tablet fill.
Nor lose their luster till the heart stands still."

The participation of members in the Revolutionary War has been already referred to. Although our records were destroyed, we feel confident that equal service of distinction was rendered in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. Our older members will recall the pride we felt in the large number who went through the Civil War, several of whom are numbered among our Past Masters. We had nineteen members of World War I, all of whom, in the providence of Almighty God, came back alive. In the present World conflict, we have fourteen members, in addition to twenty-eight sons of members, a total of forty-two. Among the latter there are two gold stars. All this constitutes a glorious record, but how much more glorious it would be had men everywhere and at all times been motivated by the principles of our order, thus making war impossible.

"A happy bit home this auld world would be
If men, when they're here, could make shift to agree,
An 'ilk said to his neighbor, in cottage an ha;
Come gie me your hand, — we are brethren a'."

During this period, a long contemplated event took place on November 3, 1934, when there was instituted Morning Star Chapter of the O.E.S., which was constituted on May 3, 1935. This Chapter, with a large and virile membership, has added much to the social activities of our Lodge.

Early in 1940 unusual preparations were made for our annual Past Master's night. The lodge-room was filled to capacity. Several District Deputy Grand Masters and delegations from other Lodges attended, among them one from Mount Holyoke Lodge, led by Right Worshipful Ronald Astley of the 17th District, who was so impressed by the work done that he chose three of our members to officiate in his unique idea called "1600 years of Masonry." He selected Right Worshipful Carl Wurtzbach to preside as Worshipful Master, Worshipful William Bower to give the first lecture, and Worshipful William Cameron to give the emblems — a great honor to our Lodge. This convocation was held in the beautiful Temple at Holyoke on June 1, 1940. An immense throng attended, the ages of those filling the chairs and officially taking part were from 68 to 93, the aggregate being 1603 years, average 76 l/3 years. So meritorious and dignified was the work and so significant the occasion that the Grand Lodge made special mention of the event by recording a complimentary reference in their proceedings, emphasizing that the dignity of the occasion could not have been supplied by younger men.

In June, 1941, another unique event in Massachusetts Masonry was the conferring of the Third Degree on a candidate who became the youngest Mason in the state and who received the degree from his grandfather, a Past District Deputy Grand Master, now Chaplain of Evening Star. Forsaking modesty to conform with the records, the recipient was Edward Curtis Ambler, now a First Lieutenant in the U. S. Naval Reserve, the bestower, Right Worshipful Carl Wurtzbach, assisted by Right Worshipfuls Ronald Astley of Mount Holyoke Lodge, South Hadley Falls, Matthew Herbert of Mount Tom Lodge, Holyoke, and John P. Palmer of Occidental Lodge, Stockbridge. Brother Ambler, his father, grandfather and great grandfather were all members of Evening Star, the three former now in active membership. (Incidentally, Brother Ambler is Treasurer of The Sojourners Club in London, whose members are Masons serving as officers in the U. S. Armed Forces.)

During 1940 and 1941, there was a great renaissance in the fraternal relations of neighboring Lodges, due to the efforts of Right Worshipful Ronald Astley of the 17th District and Right Worshipful John P. Palmer of our 16th District, resulting in greatly strengthening the ties of friendship throughout Western Massachusetts and stimulating much interest among our entire membership. We honored ourselves by electing Right Worshipful Ronald Astley of Mount Holyoke Lodge and John P. Palmer of Occidental Lodge "to Honorary Membership, reserving special chairs in the East for their use. Right Worshipful Carl Wurtzbach of our Lodge was elected to similar membership in Occidental Lodge of Stockbridge. Friendship above all ties does bind the heart; And faith in friendship is the noblest part."

A few statistics are of interest now and important for future reference. Our aggregate membership approximates 1200-1300; 380 have joined the past fifty years; about 2000 meetings have been held; the number who have been honored by being elected Master is seventy-three, of whom thirty-three are living; the oldest in years is Worshipful Brother William Cameron, in length of service, Right Worshipful Brother Carl Wurtzbach. Our membership in 1895 was 146, at present, 195; the largest was 204; bur three oldest living members, Brothers William Cameron, Wilson D. Clark and George H. Thompson, are each eighty-five years old.

The Grand Lodge has honored us by the appointment of seven or eight members as District Deputy Grand Master. Of these, two are living and with us tonight — Right Worshipful Carl Wurtzbach, Historian of the Lodge, and Right Worshipful Edward A. Sitzer, General Chairman of all arrangements for this celebration. I think mention should also be made of the meritorious services of Worshipful Brother William Bower, for more than thirty years an officer of this Lodge.

There are now living ten who were members fifty years ago. Of the officers fifty years ago, but one survives — Carl Wurtzbach, who was Secretary in 1894, 1895 and 1896.

There has been disbursed from our treasury at least $125,000. Financially, our Lodge is in satisfactory condition. In addition to our regular funds, we have a sizable Charity fund, the Alonzo Bradley Fund, and the James O. Clifford Memorial Fund. Our weakness is in our Building Fund, to which there never has been appropriate response. I recommend this as a worthy post war project. We now are in a strong condition to consider such an undertaking.

In this review we have properly emphasized and given prominence to outstanding events, but we should never forget that the warrant for our existence consists of the individual faithfulness of our members in daily exemplification of fraternal relations with our fellow men and the unostentatious contributions of real charities which are among the underlying principles of our Order — those silent influences and unheralded ministrations to humanity's needs which alone can fulfill our destiny.

Tonight as we come to this important milestone for us and for our Lodge, the book on whose pages are writ the events of the past 150 years is forever closed. As we reverently and gratefully review our glorious heritage, the question must inevitably arise, what should this mean to me and to our Lodge. God forbid that we should so glory in past achievements as to make us unmindful of the duties and responsibilities which are part of that heritage. The past is secure, the future depends largely on what we bequeath it. Shall we not therefore here highly resolve to be so true to our obligations in spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection, so devoted to our Masonic tenets, that we may feel assured of making a large contribution to that glad time when the message sung by the Herald Angels two thousand years ago, "Peace on Earth, Goodwill among men," for which consummation the Prince of Peace died on Calvary's Cross, becomes regnant in the hearts of all men everywhere. Thus we shall assure for posterity no setting of our "Evening Star," but a final merging with that "Bright and Morning Star" whose rays shall be forever for the healing of the Nations. Twenty-five years ago I said what is even more appropriate for today. "Tonight closes for us one hundred and twenty-five years of history. What stupendous changes for social and economic betterment has been wrought in every department of human activity; what advance in freedom of thought and religious expression! Yet nations have gone to decay and empires have crumbled in the dust, but human progress marches on. The light on yonder altar shines brighter and brighter, revealing ever more glorious truths destined by the irrevocable promise of Almighty God to continue until the whole race shall be made free."

In closing this history, I can do no better than by reading the beautiful poem, at once an acknowledgment of God's loving care, a prayer, prophecy and a benediction, written for and read by our now venerable, beloved Worshipful Brother, Dr. A. W, Sylvester, at the official visitation to our Lodge on October 27, 1914. Dr. Sylvester was a member of my Suite.

THE EVENING STAR
"On that first day, when heaven and earth were made,
And all foundations of the world were laid;
And earth lay formless in chaotic sleep,
While darkness yet remained upon the deep —
God's spirit moved the waters in His might,
And God commanded: 'Let there now be light!'

"God saw the light and saw that it was good,
And called it 'day.' Yet well he understood
The needs of man — knew day would bring its night —
So, on the fourth day, God prepared 'More Light.'

"The Greater Light He made to rule the day;
He made the moon for night, the milky way
He stretched across the firmament of blue—
Made planets, comets, constellations, too,
And myriad other lights, in many ways
To be for signs and seasons, years and days.

"Yet 'Further Light' must be proclaimed, to meet
The needs of man, and make the work complete;
And so, to guide the pilgrim from afar,
God did His best, and made the Evening Star.

"And since that day, down through the countless years,
When twilight comes, this noble star appears,
Hung high in western skies — the first fair light
To marshal in the glories of the night.

"When shadows come to dim the homeward trail
And for a space the well-known landmarks pale,
The shepherd and the ploughman, seeking rest,
The weary pilgrim, traveling East or West,
Will hail with joy this beacon from afar
And bless the day God made the Evening Star.

"O, Evening Star! thou brightly glittering gem,
The fairest yet in Nature's diadem!
Shine on! Shine on! And shed thy mellow rays
That erring children find again God's ways.
That pruning-hooks and ploughshares may be made,
And sickles take the place of gory blade;
And mayst thou from thy eminence above
See hate replaced by fellowship and love.

"And here's to thee, O Evening Star of Lee:
May thy fair name an inspiration be
To shed thy rays to guide the steps aright
Of weary pilgrims seeking Further Light.
As in the past, you've borne unblemished name,
So in the future may it be the same."

175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1971

From Proceedings, Page 1971-254:

By Brother Harry McLain Keating.

The history of the Evening Star Lodge from its organization in 1795 to its 150th Anniversary in 1945 has been very well covered in considerable detail on the occasions of the 100th, the 125th and the 150th Anniversary celebrations. For any of our members interested in the detailed activities of those earlier years, reference is made to the Centennial Booklet printed in 1895, in which Bro. Thomas Post presented an excellent historical review, and to the historical reports of our 125th and 150th Anniversaries in booklet form, both prepared by R. W. Carl Wurtzbach, a longtime officer of this Lodge.

For the sake of brevity it seems desirable in this report to make note of the outstanding events of those first 150 years and pass on to the last 25 year period. We acknowledge borrowing from those previous histories for most of the important events of the earlier years.

REVIEW OF EARLIER YEARS

The records show that Simon Larned "and others" presented a petition in 1795 to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a Masonic Lodge under the title of Evening Star Lodge to meet in Lenox. Simon Larned was a prominent Pittsfield business man and Sheriff of Berkshire County. Lenox was then the County Seat, as well as a Social and business center. The petition was granted, and the Charter signed on the 9th of June, 1795 by Paul Revere, who had just been elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts a few months earlier. Ours was only the second Charter signed by Paul Revere. At the time there were about 25 Lodges in the entire State.

William Walker of Lenox became the first Master of Evening Star Lodge. A very modest, intelligent, able and patriotic individual, he left behind him an enviable reputation. He served in General John Patterson's regiment at Lexington, Charles-town and Bunker Hill. He took part in the battle of the Cedars, was at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, crossed the Delaware with General Washington, and saw the surrender of Burgoyne. For many years, until his death, he served as Judge of Probate Court for Berkshire County. He was the first District Deputy Grand Master for Western Massachusetts. His Past Master's Certificate, dated 1804, signed by M. W. Isaiah Thomas, Grand Master, has been framed and hangs in our Lodge room.

The Lodge met in the Berkshire Coffee House which stood in Lenox where the Curtis Hotel now stands. Many prominent business and professional men from Lenox and Lee became members. In 1826 Bro. Jared Bradley of Lee became Master. This was the year when the so-called "Morgan Episode" put Masonry under a cloud throughout the East for over 20 years. Many Lodges disbanded. However, Wor. Jared Bradley managed to hold the Evening Star Lodge together, remaining Master for 29 years. He held regular meetings in his home, which still stands in Lee at the junction of East and Bradley Streets. Around 1848 Masonic prospects throughout the country had begun to brighten. On September 13th of that year, Wor. Bradley and a dozen members of Evening Star Lodge petitioned the Grand Lodge for permission to move to Lee. Permission was granted on June 13, 1849, but it was not until 1852 that permanent quarters were established in the Church and Sedgwick block which stood on Main Street on a portion of the site of the present Central Block (formerly the Northrup Block). The Lodge prospered until 1857 when a disastrous fire swept Lee and the Church and Sedgwick Block was completely destroyed, along with all of the Lodge records and property. The loss of the cherished Charter, signed by the famous patriot and Mason, Paul Revere, in 1795 was a bitter one for our brethren.

Temporary quarters were found until the Northrup Block was completed the following year. There on the third floor, the Evening Star Lodge made its home for 106 years until the completion of this Temple in 1964.

THE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

Perhaps the most outstanding event in the first hundred years of the life of Evening Star Lodge was the Centennial Celebration in 1895. (1895 Mass. 79-107) For well over a year preparations were being made by several committees for a gala occasion in Lee.

By June 6th of that year, Main Street had been decorated with a 50' arch and members throughout the town had placed symbolic Masonic displays on their lawns. Officers from the Grand Lodge arrived from Boston and delegations from 14 Lodges in Berkshire County were assembled with six bands for music and marching. Nearly a thousand Masons were in the parade that sunny morning.

After the parade, the crowd assembled in the Lee Congregational Church for a welcoming address by Hon. Wellington Smith, a reply by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Edwin B. Holmes, brief remarks by Most Worshipful H. O. Warner, Grand Master of Connecticut, and the historical address by Brother Thomas Post. At noon-time, over eleven hundred repaired to a huge tent on lower Franklin Street for a bountiful dinner and more speeches.

It apparently was a stimulating occasion and all the detail is set forth in the Centennial Brochure. It is interesting to note that Brother Jared Bradley, Jr., son of the faithful Jared Bradley, who had held the Lodge together for 30 years in the difficult period a generation earlier, was Master at the time.

The 125th Anniversary was celebrated by holding divine services in the Lee Congregational Church on Sunday, June 6, 1920 at 4 P.M. and in the evening of the 7th further special exercises were held in the Masonic Hall when Right Worshipful Carl Wurtzbach read a short historical address.

On the occasion of our 150th Anniversary, the Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg, Grand Master, made a special visitation to Evening Star Lodge with his Suite, and again Right Worshipful Carl Wurtzbach was historian. (1945 Mass. 208-225) Printings have been made of the proceedings at both Anniversaries.

THE PAST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS

The most outstanding event of the last 25 years is without doubt the raising of funds for, and the erection of, our new Temple. This undertaking had been on the minds of some members for many years. But it was not until 1958 when the continued wretched and deteriorating condition of our former quarters broke the camel's back and brought constructive action. Wor. P. Roy Wheeler, then Master of the Lodge, appointed a committee to solicit pledges for a new Temple. Our Building Fund grew slowly and by 1962 there was but $5,800. in the treasury. But on July 13th of that year, when Wor. Edward N. Decker was Master of the Lodge, $3,500. of the fund was used to purchase 7 1/4 acres of land from Brother R. Floyd Weir. It was then that a Building Committee was formed and an architect engaged to draw up plans for a new Temple. By 1963, with Wor. Donald I. Fillio as Master, attractive brochures of the proposed building were circulated at a fund raising dinner. The response was most encouraging and by late summer about $20,000. had been collected and a mortgage of $40,000. secured from a local bank. On July 10, 1963, ground was broken for our new Temple. During its construction, Wor. Richard E. Sitzer was Master of the Lodge and he also presided at both the Cornerstone Laying and the Dedication. The Architect was Norman G. A. Day of Lenox; the contractor, Brother Leonard Forrish of Westfield and Chairman of the Building Committee, Brother Charles R. Pierce.

This modern colonial, well proportioned, brick veneer structure is of one story with a basement opening out on a sloping ground area at the rear. A one thousand pound plaque of white Vermont marble, four feet square, with Evening Star Lodge, A. F. & A. M. and the Masonic Emblem carved on it, a gift of Brother Edward A. Thomas, our present Organist, is set in the peak of the front wall.

The valuable old officers' chairs, altar and many of the other furnishings from the old rooms were installed in the new Temple. With white walls and blue carpeting the Lodge room is a very beautiful and inspiring meeting place.

The cornerstone was placed February 9, 1964 with Rt. Wor. Charles P. Hooker, III, District Deputy Grand Master of the Pittsfield 16th Masonic District presiding. Dedication of the Temple was held May 9, 1964 under the direction of Most Worshipful A. Neill Osgood, Grand Master, and his Suite of officers from the Grand Lodge. (1964 Mass. 135-137) Preceding the ceremony, a dinner was served in our banquet hall. A printed program was provided including the names of the Grand Lodge Officers, current officers and Past Masters of Evening Star Lodge. The ceremony will be one long remembered by the members of Evening Star Lodge. The Lodge room was filled to capacity for the occasion, and there were no chairs available for many of those present. Congratulations are due those who have contributed so generously of time and money toward a fine and adequate Temple. It is hoped that those members responsible for the success of this project will have received some measure of satisfaction from this culminating dedication ceremony. We older Masons appreciate to the utmost the peace within these walls, after climbing up two long flights of creaky stairs for 106 years to Lodge rooms that were going steadily down hill.

Our $40,000. mortgage has steadily gone down hill, too, and has now been reduced to $17,700. It is hoped that this our 175th Anniversary Celebration will prove to be the impetus needed to wipe out our entire indebtedness in the not too distant future. A supporting auxiliary to Evening Star Lodge is Morning Star Chapter No. 217, Order of the Eastern Star, instituted May 3, 193S. Its membership has added much to the social activities of the Lodge during the past years.

During the first 150 years of our Lodge's existence, it had the honor of having at least six of its Past Masters appointed District Deputy Grand Masters by the Grand Master. They are as follows: Rt. Wor. William Walker, 1st Master of the Lodge; Rt. Wor. Caleb Hyde, 2nd Master of the Lodge; Rt. Wor. Joseph Tucker, 4th Master of the Lodge; Rt. Wor. Alonzo Bradley, 17th Master of the Lodge; Rt. Wor. Carl Wurtzbach, 29th Master of the Lodge; and Rt. Wor. Edward A. Sitzer, 57th Master of the Lodge.

During the past 25 years these last two distinguished Masons passed on to the Celestial Lodge above. Rt. Wor. Carl Wurtzbach died on August 30, 1947 at the age of 83 and Rt. Wor. Edward A. Sitzer on December 19, 1961 at the age of 67. These two outstanding Masons were active and faithful members of Evening Star Lodge throughout their Masonic years. During these last 25 years, we have had the unusual high honor of having had two Past Masters appointed as District Deputy Grand Masters of the Pittsfield Sixteenth Masonic District. Rt. Wor. Albert N. Nettleton served in 1949 and 1950 and Rt. Wor. Joseph Liss served in 1967 and 1968. We are all proud to have had these two worthy Masons selected from our Lodge for this high honor. Both were suitably congratulated at special dinner meetings by members of Evening Star Lodge. Rt. Wor. Albert N. Nettleton was honored further in 1958 by being appointed by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts to serve as Grand Pursuivant to the Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, Rt. Wor. Walter N. Cooper, an honorary member of Evening Star Lodge. In 1968 Brother Nettleton was presented the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal, both distinctive honors for any member of any Masonic Lodge.

This current year, Wor. Hugh C. Pecon was appointed Senior Chairman of a committee appointed to explore the possibility of purchasing a much needed organ for the Lodge, even though there was only $200. in a special fund for that purchase. On his death, the James D. Cameron Memorial Fund was created to honor his memory. The response from our members and his many friends was dramatic. In a short time the Lodge was able to purchase from this fund a new organ, new Officers' aprons and a dozen tables for our banquet hall. This was a very fitting example of the high esteem in which Brother Cameron was held.

We have an honor roll of 19 Masons from Evening Star Lodge who served their country during World War I and about an equal number saw service in World War II. In World War II, Brother and Captain James M. Burt was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman, for heroic action in the Aachen Gap near Wurselen, Germany, in October 1944.

LENOX BICENTENNIAL

In 1967 the Town of Lenox was making plans to celebrate their Bicentennial, and Brother and Captain Charles F. House, Chairman of their Bicentennial Committee suggested that Evening Star Lodge should be represented in the parade which would climax the celebration, in view of the fact that our Lodge was started in that Town. Brother House further suggested that the Lodge engage the services of Miss Florence E. Brooks, of Lenox, to write out a reconstruction of our Charter, signed by Paul Revere, but lost in the fire of January 23, 1857. This reconstructed Charter was to be carried in the parade. Miss Brooks carried out her appointed task, and the reconstructed Charter and the banner of Evening Star Lodge were displayed in a float in the parade. In the float were: Brother House, dressed as Paul Revere; Rt. Wor. Joseph Liss, District Deputy Grand Master of the Pittsfield 16th Masonic District; Wor. Ernest A. Lowry, Master of Evening Star Lodge and Brother William G. Clifford, of Lenox, also a member of our Lodge.

It should be duly noted that Miss Brooks was able to write out a reconstruction of our Charter only through the generous brotherly assistance of the members of Cincinnatus Lodge, Great Barrington. Rt. Wor. John M. Watson, the present District Deputy of the Pittsfield 16th Masonic District, brought their Charter, issued in 1795 and signed by Paul Revere, to Lee where it was kept in a bank vault. Miss Brooks came to that Town to carry out her work. The written out reconstruction of our Charter now hangs in our Lodge, an excellent example of Miss Brooks' fine work and the brotherly spirit of the members of Cincinnatus Lodge.

OTHER LODGE ACTIVITIES

For the past ten or more years the Lodge has put on, with the assistance of several experienced Brothers from Cincinnatus Lodge, an old fashioned clam bake, to which members and their friends are invited. For several years these were held at Wor. Brother Harry Szewczak's Grove on Pleasant Street. Now that we have plenty of land of our own, these well attended events are held on the Temple grounds.

Also, for the past few years our active members have served suppers once a month, on a night other than when the Lodge meets, aptly called "Fellowship Night." Masons from other Lodges, members of the Knights of Columbus, as well as other non-Masons, have enjoyed breaking bread with us and we with them. Any funds left after paying expenses are used to reduce the mortgage on the Lodge or to purchase equipment for the kitchen.

The Temple has also been used, free of charge, by local and civic and charitable groups.

Our Lodge has an active group which each year takes time out of their busy schedule to provide transportation and all necessary expenses for a large group of underprivileged children from Lee and surrounding towns to attend the Annual Melha Shrine Circus in Springfield. This, too, has brought much good will to our Lodge and much satisfaction to the members involved.

Although the Blood Program has been kept in the minds of our Brothers, we are not proud of the record set by our Lodge. Actually, many of our members are doing their part in contributing blood, but it is generally given in the name of the large corporations where our Brothers are employed rather than the Lodge.

Tremendous changes have taken place in the last twenty-five years, not only in technology, but in the entire social and political aspects of our country. Admittedly there are many difficult problems to be solved in the next quarter century. Men of sound intellect and strong convictions will come forward to shape the future. This is a challenge to Masons and to Masonry as serious as that which faced our Brethren in the 1770's. We will not be found wanting.

HISTORY AT HALL DEDICATION, MAY 1964

From Proceedings, Page 1964-137:

By R. W. Albert N. Nettleton.

Evening Star Lodge, A. F. & A. M., the oldest existing Lodge in Berkshire County, was chartered in Lenox, Massachusetts, on June 9, 1795. Its Charter was signed by the illustrious patriot and Mason, M. W. Paul Revere.

The first Master of the Lodge was William Walker of Lenox, who later became the first District Deputy Grand Master of Berkshire County. Brother Walker served in the Revolutionary War under Brigadier General John Patterson, also of Lenox, and saw action at Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, the Battle of the Cedars, Ticonderoga and Crown Point, crossed the Delaware with General George Washington, and was present at the surrender of General John Burgoyne. After Brother Walker retired from the Army, he served until his death as Judge of Probate of Berkshire County.

The first meeting place of Evening Star Lodge was the Berkshire Coffee House in Lenox, now the site of the Curtis Hotel. In 1849 the Lodge moved to Lee but did not find permanent quarters until 1852.

In 1857 one of Lee's most disastrous fires destroyed the Lodge quarters and most of its records, including the Charter signed by Paul Revere. From 1857 until October 1963 the Lodge met in the Northrup Block on Main Street.

The present Temple was erected under the supervision of Norman G. A. Day, Architect. Brother Charles R. Pierce was Chairman of the Building Committee and Worshipful Richard E. Sitzer, Master.

The Laying of the Cornerstone took place on February 9, 1964 under the direction of Right Worshipful Charles P. Hooker, District Deputy Grand Master of the Pittsfield 16th Masonic District.

200TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, SEPTEMBER 1995

From Proceedings, Page 1995-200:

Evening Star Lodge published a centennial book which described not only its celebration held in 1895 but gave a lodge history. For its bicenennial in 1995, Evening Star Lodge is reprinting the earlier history, in slightly modified form. Long paragraphs are broken into shorter ones for easier reading. A few minor spelling errors in the text are corrected. To-day is rendered the more modern usage "today." Simon Larned's name is sometimes spelled "Learned" in the earlier book but is consistently printed "Larned" here. Subsequent history has been culled from other lodge histories. R.W. Carl Wurtzbach provided reports for the 125th and 150th anniversaries. Evening Star Lodge issued a commemorative history booklet for the May 9,1964, dedication of the temple, and a booklet was published in 1970 on the lodge's 175th anniversary with material compiled by Bro. Harry McLain Keating. The story of thelast twenty-five years, including plans for the 1995 celebration, was provided by Wor. M. James Shaw. The dedication below is adapted from one of 100 years ago: To All Our Masonic Brethren, To All Friends of Freemasonry, To The Happy Memories of the Two Centuries Past To The Bright Hopes of the Century Coming, These Pages Are Dedicated Centenary of Evening Star Lodge, Lee, Mass. Attention having been called to the fact that Evening Star Lodge was chartered in June 1795, the first action toward appropriately celebrating its completed century was taken May 22, 1888, when the lodge voted to instruct its proper officers to deposit one hundred dollars in the Lee Savings Bank as a nucleus for a Centennial celebration fund, and that Alonzo Bradley be appointed a historical committee. No further action was taken until November 1, 1892, when the lodge voted that Thomas Post be added to the historical committee and appointed to deliver the historical address. Still further action was omitted until February 19,1895, when the lodge voted to celebrate its Centennial anniversary on the following June 6th, and appointed various committees as follows: Jared Bradley Frank M. Pease Frank J. Barrett Willard G.Clifford Moses H. Pease Henry C. Phelps Louis E. Smith Henry Stevens Graham E. C. Root James A Rice William Griffin Alfred Wingett George W. Ferguson John E. Bosworth John T.Parsons Ralph Gorham Charles M. Sears Eliphalet Wright James O. Clifford Henry M. Smith W.L. Nye Robert F. Graham COMMITTEE ON ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE ON FINANCE COMMITTEE ON DECORATIONS MUSIC COMMITTEE RECEPTION COMMITTEE Alonzo Bradley John W. Cooney Edward J Norman Edward McDonald James Clifford William B Bull C.C. Holcombe William Weston M.J. Cheney F.C. Kates T.J. Gray Henry A. Belden William C. Orchard Carl Wurtzbach Edward F. Strong Harvey B. Fenn John E. Bosworth Eugene S. Thatcher The Finance Committee commenced to solicit subscriptions for the celebration fund and met with hearty support, and in a short time sufficient funds were pledged. The Committee of Arrangements then proceeded to the discharge of its duties. Invitations to attend the celebration were extended to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; to every lodge in the Fifteenth Masonic District of Massachusetts; to Lafayette Lodge of Adams; to Berkshire Lodge of North Adams; to Upton Lodge of Cheshire; to Williams Lodge of William-stown; to Greylock Lodge of North Adams; to Montgomery Lodge of Lakeville, Conn., and to St. Peter's Lodge, of New Milford, Conn., all of which accepted the invitation. By the courtesy of the Congregational society of Lee the use of the Congregational Church was tendered to the Lodge for the literary exercises. The lawn of Mr. John Bottomley, at the corner of Franklin and High Streets, was secured for the erection of a large tent under which to serve dinner. Hon. Wellington Smith was requested to make the address of welcome to the Grand Lodge and the visiting brethren, and John W. Cooney was designated to act as Marshal for the parade. The morning of June 6 opened bright and clear-presaging a day in every way worthy of the region and of the occasion. The fine New England town was in gala-day attire. Its citizens had spared no effort to make the day a grand success. The plans and preparations of many weeks and the busy and faithful work of the entertainment committee resulted in a display which fittingly marked the passing of the one hundredth milestone of the oldest Masonic Lodge in Western Massachusetts. The principal streets and buildings were gay with streamers, flags, flowers, garlands, festoons and emblematic signs. The central and most prominent feature of the decorations was the Royal Arch, 50 feet wide and 26 feet high, supported on pillars thirteen feet high, with globes at the top, and spanning Main Street from the curb on the easterly side to the curb in front of the entrance to Masonic hall. On it were the words "Evening" and "Lodge" with a five pointed star between the words; also the years 1795 and 1895. Underneath was suspended a square and compass and the letter "G". The ends of the arch from the tops of the pillars were connected by a broad band on which, worked in large letters, on a frame work of wire, was the word "Welcome," expressing the town's greeting to its guests. Small arches, each of twelve feet span, crossed over the sidewalks. The whole structure had a background of evergreens dotted with flowers. The residences of DeWitt Smith and Frank Hollister, the Lee National Bank, the Morgan House, Smith & Hawk's store, and Turner's Market were handsomely decorated by a Springfield professional decorator. The Reliance Hook & Ladder Company's rooms in Park block were made very attractive. On the lawn of Wellington Smith were two pillars, the porch, the winding stairs of three, five and seven steps leading to the Middle Chamber of King Solomon's Temple. On the lawn of Augustus R. Smith was a square and compass ten feet in height, trimmed with evergreens and flowers. Masonic emblem decorations were displayed by many residents; by Daniel R. Hill, a bee hive; by Francis M. Pease, a star, square and compass; Thomas Moat, an anchor; Robert F. Graham, a square and compass; David Dresser, an hourglass, scythe and sheaf of wheat; James A. Rice, an all-seeing eye; George H. Heath, a harp; Moses H. Pease, square, level and plumb; S.V. Halsey, stars; The Gleaner office, a very large square and compass, an hour glass, heart and sword; W.H. Tucker, square and compass; Judge P. H. Casey, the three great lights; L.F. Hurd, a square and compass; H.W. Stevens, the 47th problem of Euclid; G.T. Gillmor, a canopy of flags, and by T.J. Gray, a pot of incense. The decorations by S.K. Saunders, on the second story of Morey's block, included the apron and other Masonic emblems, and were especially admired. Very fine displays were also made by E.B. Ramsdell, A.C. Sparks, J.J. McDermott, John Craughwell, and Chamberlain & Johnson. At the northerly end of Main Street, John H. Casey, C.E. & W.B. Hull, and J.P. Quigley united in a huge shield and eagles head, from which streamers covered their entire block. The stores of John Cormick, M.J. Kelley, Thomas Norton, and J.W. Ferry were decorated with flags and bunting, and the veteran Freemason, Dr. Eliphalet Wright,made a rich display of flags and Masonic emblems on his grounds. More than thirty of the residences on Main, Park, High, and Franklin Streets were tastefully and appropriately decorated. The fine suites of rooms in the second story of the Gleaner block were set apart for the use of the Grand Lodge, and the Grand Lodge colors of purple floated from the flag staff of the block. Memorial hall was occupied by the various bands, and the selectmen's room was used by the several committees. The use of the rooms of the Father Mathew society were most courteously tendered to Evening Star Lodge. The officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts were driven in carriages from Pittsfield through Lenox, arriving in Lee about ten o'clock, and went at once to their rooms where the Grand Lodge was opened in ample form, the following-named officers being present, viz M W. Edwin B. Holmes Grand Master R.W. George F. Walker Senior Grand Warden R.W. Henrv I. Mills Junior Grand Warden RW. Lorenzo H. Gamwell Past Grand Warden R W. Daniel Upton Past Grand Warden R.W. Henry G. Fay Past Grand Warden R.W. Charles C Spellman Past Grand Warden RW. Samuel B. Spooner Past Grand Warden R W. Sereno D. Nickerson Recording Grand Secretary RW Robert N. Richmond D.D.G. Master 14th Dist RW. William P. Wood DD. G. Master, 15th Dist. W. Rev. John F. Clymer as Grand Chaplain W. Charles E. Phipps Grand Marshal W. Chauncey E Peck Grand Lecturer W. Charles C. Dame JuniorGrand Deacon W. Henry K Dunton Grand Sword Bearer W. George M. Rice 2nd Grand Pursuivant The visiting lodges came by regular and special trains, arriving shortly after ten o'clock, and were at once escorted to their assigned stations on Main Street. At half-past ten o'clock, the officers of the Grand Lodge were escorted by a committee of Past Masters to Evening Star lodge, where they were formally received and welcomed in behalf of the lodge, by W.M. Jared Bradley. At eleven o'clock the line of march was formed on Main street under the lead of Brother John W. Cooney as grand marshal, with Brothers Charles M. Sears, Edward Hoag, and George W. Ferguson as aides. The arrangement of the line was in the order of age-the youngest lodge in front, with Evening Star Lodge, though ante-dated by two of its visiting lodges, assigned the position of honor in the rear. The following was the order, with date of organization of each lodge: Lenox Comet Band, 25 pieces, Crescent Lodge of Pitisfield, 1873, Grey-lock Lodge of North Adams, 1871, Wiltiams Lodge of Williamstown, 1871, Stockbridge Band, 18 pieces, Occidental Lodge of Stockbridge, 1870, Upton Lodge of Cheshire, 1869, Globe Lodge of Hinsdale, 1869, Huntington Lodge of Huntington, 1866, Clapp's Band of North Adams, 25 pieces, Berkshire Lodge of North Adams, 1857 Lafayette Lodge of Adams, 1847 Gartland's 10th Regiment Band of Albany, 25 pieces Mystic Lodge of Pittsfield, 1810 Great Barrington Band, 18 pieces, Cincinnatus Lodge of Great Barrington, 1795 Montgomery Lodge of Lakeville, Conn., 1792 New Milford Band, 18pieces St. Peter's Lodge of New Milford Conn, 1783 Evening Star Lodge of Lee, 1795 The officers of Massachusetts Grand Lodge in carriages. The line of march was along Main Street to Park Street, thence to High Street, thence to Franklin Street, thence to Orchard Street, thence to Park Street, thence to High Street, thence to Center Street, thence to Main Street and thence to the church. Nearly one thousand Masonic brethren were in line and, with their bands of music, formed a splendid procession, observed and admired by citizens of Lee and vicinity and strangers who thronged the streets. The body of the church was occupied by the brethren; citizens of Lee and adjacent towns filled the galleries. The Master of Evening Star Lodge, Worshipful Brother Jared Bradley, presided at the exercises. Brother Jasper Munroe acted as organist. The singing was by a choir of the lodge, consisting John T. Parsons, Ralph Gorham, Henry A. Belden, William C. Orchard, Charles M. Sears, William G. Clifford, Frank J. Barrett, L. McKean Rowland, Alfred L. Peters, Edward J. Norman, William Cameron, James A. Rice, and Harry Clifford, under the lead of Brother Munroe. The exercises began with an organ prelude, and Chaplain E. Wright introduced Rev. Bro. John F. Clymer, of Pittsfield who offered prayer. The choir rendered "Who is a Patriot?", and interspersed the program with "The Light, The Truth, The Way," "Laus Deo," and "Pleyels Hymn." Address of Welcome By Hon. Wellington Smith Most Worshipful Sir, and Associates of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Brother Masons and Guests: Evening Star Lodge of Lee was granted a charter to organize a Lodge of "Free and Accepted Masons" one hundred years ago. This charter was signed by Paul Revere, of historic and honored memory, as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, in 1795. It was thought most fitting by the local Lodge to celebrate this centennial of their organization. We are now assembled for that purpose, and to one and all I bid a cordial and hearty welcome. Another will fittingly address you on the history of Evening Star Lodge, but it may be well for a moment to consider the growth of our Fraternity, throughout the country and the world, for the past one hundred years. From the best authorities obtainable, it is estimated that there were in 179513 Grand Lodges, 345 Lodges, with about 18,000 members in the United States. Now there are 50 Grand Lodges, 12,000 Lodges, and 750,000 affiliated members in our country. In England, 2,100 Lodges with a membership of 300,000. Under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, 355 Lodges with 40,000 members; Ireland and the various British Provinces and Colonies, 1,200 Lodges and 60,000 members. In Germany there are 8 Grand Lodges, 500 Lodges, and 45,000 members. They make a total of 16,155 Lodges with 1,195,000 members. These figures would be largely increased by statistics from other countries, but I have been unable to obtain them. Enough facts, however, have been secured to show that the membership of Masonic Lodges during the past century has increased three times faster than the population. The Town of Lee and the County of Berkshire, to which we welcome you today, were the same in their natural beauty a hundred years ago as now; their population has increased ten-fold, and in their homes and industries great changes have taken place. Then, a trip to Boston and return, allowing but a day there, took a week of tedious traveling; now, one can go to Boston and return, having three hours there for business, and be absent form home only fifteen hours, traveling over three hundred and twenty miles; while the fastest trains of our great railways will take a person more than a thousand miles in twenty-four hours. In 1795, there was not a cotton or woolen mill with a power loom in the country; not a cooking stove, or a wagon with springs; no railroad or telegraph, sewing machine, or reaper; not even a common match. Our ancestors, of cherished memory, worshipped God in churches without stoves or furnaces during the severe Berkshire winters. It is well for us at times to pause and notice these changes, and consider if we, with al I these great advantages and comforts, are doing as much to elevate and improve ourselves, our town, and our country, as did our fathers, with the limited advantages at their command. Other wonders of modern civilization, the telephone, the roll printing press, the great daily newspaper, enlarged educational advantages, improved methods in manufacturing, and hundreds of similar changes in nearly all departments of our daily life will occur to you all; but enough have been named to show in what an age we are living, compared with the life and times of the founders of Evening Star Lodge. Again, we welcome you to this anniversary, and I also give to you all a cordial invitation to attend the two hundredth celebration, which will occur in 1995. Response By M.W. Edwin B. Holmes Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Worshipful Master and Brethren of Evening Star Lodge: As Grand Master, representing the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, I greet you upon this centennial anniversary. Accept, Sir and Brethren, for your cordial welcome, the thanks of the officers of the Grand Lodge present, who have come to share with you the pleasures of this occasion. We congratulate you upon the advent of this centennial anniversary. I also bring to you the fraternal congratulations of thirty-five thousand brethren in our Commonwealth. The heart and the tongue join in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoicing in each other's prosperity. The past, with its sunlight and clouds, is gone forever. The century since Evening Star Lodge received its first charter, with all its victories and defeats, its joys and sorrows, is completed. The past we cannot change; the future lies before us. Cherish the memories of the days that are fled, rather as lessons to teach wisdom, and inspiration to nobler deeds. The future, full of promise, beckons us to win a Masonic prosperity and permanence hitherto unknown. I have taken occasion to have the Grand Lodge Records examined, that I might learn the history of your Lodge. In those days when the spirit and letter were obeyed, it was not customary to write or print an extended record. Hence, the histories of all our early Lodges, as collated from the Grand Lodge Records, are very brief. I will read to you a short sketch of what is found upon our Records. March 9,1795, a petition from Simon Lamed and others was received and read in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, M.W. Paul Revere occupying the East as Grand Master. The petition was referred to a Committee, Isaiah Thomas, chairman, which reported June 8, 1795, as follows: "The Committee appointed on the petition of Simon Larned and others, praying to be erected into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the name, title, and designation of Evening Star Lodge, to meet at Lenox, County of Berkshire, reported that the prayer of the petitioners be granted." The report was accepted and Evening Star appeared above the horizon. In 1796 W. Wm. Dennison was proxy for the Lodge and in 1803 R.W. William Little. In 1804, the Lodges of the State were first divided into Masonic Districts. Evening Star Lodge was placed in the Eighth District, and one of its members, R.W. Caleb Hyde, was appointed the first District Deputy Grand Master of the District. In 1813 Elijah Northrop, Caleb Hyde, and others, petitioned the Grand Lodge, explaining the peculiar situation of the Lodge from 1805 to 1813, and the difficulties under which it labored. December 27, 1819, another member of Evening Star Lodge, R.W. Joseph Tucker, was appointed District Deputy Grand Master, and the following year, R.W. Bro. Caleb Hyde was proxy for the Lodge. Soon after came those years of social disturbance, when the lights on so many of our altars were extinguished. Evening Star Lodge, as did many others, closed its doors, but when the fury was past, re-lit the altar fires and resumed work. June 13, 1849, a Committee of the Grand Lodge reported upon a petition signed by Lemuel Bassett, Richard Hunt, Elisha Freeman, Seth Barlow, David Baker, Elijah Thomas, George H. Phelps, James Landers, Eli Bradley, and Oared Bradley, in behalf of Evening Star Lodge, asking for a return of its charter and for leave to remove the Lodge to Lee. The Committee reported that the Charter be returned and that permission be granted to remove the Lodge to Lee. The Grand Lodge accepted the report of the Committee and the recommendations were duly carried out. It is a matter of regret that the Lodge has not in its possession the original charter. It certainly bore the name of Paul Revere, Grand Master. That Lodge is fortunate that possesses the autograph of this eminent Brother. Probably the name of no Revolutionary patriot of Massachusetts is so familiar to our ears, General Warren, perhaps excepted; and no man holds a warmer place in the true American heart. It is evident that Evening Star Lodge has not had a hundred years of clear skies and smooth seas. It has been buffeted by storms, tossed by waves. Another fact is evident: there have been some faithful ones in Lenox and vicinity in each generation of the past century. The fire on the altar has been smothered, but not extinguished. The Evening Star did not sink below the horizon to rise no more. The steadfastness of those venerable Brethren, who are now gathered in the celestial lodge, is worthy of praise and emulation. Their loyalty to Masonry and their adherence to its principles make possible this Centennial Anniversary. Strive, Brethren, to imitate them and bring to the altar your best effort to strengthen and perpetuate this Lodge. Be steadfast in upholding it by your presence, your means, your work. With vivid memories of what your fathers did, of their toil, their sacrifice, their fidelity,-be inspired to new endeavor, and may even a greater success attend you! Be assured of the abiding interest of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in the welfare of Evening Star Lodge. It is one of the Masonic family in our Commonwealth. In the strength, health and prosperity of each, every other Lodge is interested. May the dawning century be one of continued prosperity, permanent peace and fraternal concourse in Evening Star Lodge. Historical Address By Thomas Post We are privileged today to celebrate the centennial of the existence in this community of a great fraternal and charitable society. The period is short indeed when compared with the mighty reach of time since time began, yet covering a nineteenth part of the world's best era, all of which this society has witnessed, has been a part of. Is it asked: "What is Freemasonry?" The answer comes: It is not a secret society. Its objects, methods, and history, are known of all men. It can scarcely be classed as a private society, for its doors are open to all who are willing to comply with certain reasonable requirements, and are found worthy. Answering to instinctive, uplifting yearnings of humanity it is rather a great charitable brotherhoodcharitable in the broadest and fullest sense; a brotherhood of men, a patron of, a pattern for, all the fraternal associations for good yet devised. Without claiming to be a religious system, it is ever ready to join the grand chorus that saith unto Zion, "Thy God reigneth;" and if it has certain peculiar requirements, ceremonies, and forms of recognition, these can certainly be pardoned in view of what it has wrought for our race. At the eastern end of the Mediterranean, there lies a region scarcely equal in area to one of our smaller states; a region chiefly of rock, mountain and desert, though fertile in spots even to the vine and olive, and all ever won-drously fertile in wars and religions, battlefields and temples. More than Egypt or Persia, more than Greece or Italy, it has filled history. Its chief city, with little advantage of situation and culture, has, more than Athens or Rome, left its imprint on the ages. Here was built a temple, a palace to the unknown God. Here wrought workmen with the best training and skill of Egypt and Persia, under leadership inspired. Their product, after leaving the quarries, needed no further finish. Its accuracy and beauty were the marvel of both the Pagan and Christian world, then and now. They wrought in marble so clear and white that in sheets it served them for windows. They used cement proving today to be firmer and harder than the stone it binds. These men had a right to found a Craft; and if, while chronicling the mystic orders of ancient Paganism, and the social bands that represented the best side of Islamism, the cold criticism of secular history questions the origin, it cannot deny beauty to the legend that links Freemasonry with the glory and splendor of the temple at Jerusalem, a glory and splendor now and ever to be as living, notwithstanding captures and destructions, as when operative masonry there completed its work. It is one of the fixed laws of nature that all successful growth proceeds from a minute beginning. Causation and consequence are universal. Darwin and Herbert Spencer could have chosen no more fitting illustration of their doctrine of evolution than the origin and career of our society. Here is certainly the "Drawing of one thing out of another," a continuous "Descent with modifications," lasting through centuries. Beginning with two degrees of simple aim and method, in due time adding another, afterwards still others, and finally many others, with higher aims and grander methods, growing with their growth, strengthening with the strength of human intelligence, still it stands before the world one grand harmonious, symmetrical structure. At first assembling in deep vales or on high hills; afterwards in places of greater convenience and safety. Now always in comfortable halls, and often in palatial temples that are rivaled only by the great churches and cathedrals. At first sharing a frugal meal under a low roof with a known Brother; afterwards giving liberally in full fraternal sympathy to a tried Craftsman. Now dispensing to worthy Brothers, their widows and orphans, the income of millions invested in great libraries, colleges and homes. At first admitting only those of kindred hand; now welcoming all of kindred heart. On the continent of Europe, Masonry seems to have flourished in Germany from very early times. The builders' corporations were largely composed of, and controlled by, operative masons, and the transition in the eighteenth century to speculative Masonry, as now known, was easy and effectual. Frederick the Great became a Mason in 1738, and immediately thereafter ascended the throne of Prussia, and became an active patron of the Craft. A century later then, then Crown Prince, the late Emperor William III., assumed a like position, and the society has prospered socially and morally in every part of the nation. In France, the Society has existed with varying success, and under different forms, but with most brilliant results, under the first Napoleon, whose brother was a Grand Master. In Italy the Society owes its best success to Garibaldi. But it is to England and Scotland that we owe the greatest debt of gratitude. For centuries, the fires of Freemasonry have never been allowed to slacken on British altars. Most worthy Nobles and Princes, men of letters and men of science, have vied with each other in guiding, improving and protecting the Craft. Men like Sir Christopher Wren, who could see the beauty in architecture, could see the beauty in humanity; and the monuments of such men could be seen around them during life as well as after burial. The British mind first grasped the full meaning of the word "Fraternity." Hence, to every portion of the English-speaking world have been carried the best spirit and form of Masonry. Masonry appears to have left its first trace in America, near Annapolis, Nova Scotia, in 1606, the same year that the gallant Smith planted the Saxon race in Virginia, and fourteen years before the Puritan made of Plymouth Rock his stepping-stone to empire. In 1733 and 1735, Lodges were established under English jurisdiction in Massachusetts and in Georgia, and soon after, in 1750, Lodges were similarly established in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carol inas. Masonry kept abreast of emigration and settlement. The first commission to a Provincial Grand Master seems to have been issued by the Grand Master of England to Daniel Coxe of New Jersey, in June 1730, giving him authority over New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. No evidence, however, is found of action under this authority. The commission issued from the same source in April, 1733, to Henry Price of Boston, giving him authority over New England and its dominions, which authority was afterwards extended over all America, and recognized by Benjamin Franklin, as Grand Master of Pennsylvania, is entitled to the credit of being the first high Masonic authority in this country. The Body over which Price presided was known as St. John's Grand Lodge. In 1769, a commission was issued from the Grand Master of Scotland, appointing a Grand Master of Masons in Boston, New England, and within one hundred miles of the same. In 1772, this authority was extended over the continent of America. The appointee under this commission was Joseph Warren, the Body over which he presided was known as the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, and one of its officers was Paul Revere-Joseph Warren and Paul Revere two names destined to remain illustrious until history forgets to record that men once had to struggle for liberty in this country. Warren fell at Bunker Hill; the Records of his Grand Lodge have this note: "Memo, April 19th, 1775, hostilities commenced between the troops of G. Britain and America in Lexington Battle, in consequence of which the town was blockaded, no Lodge held till Dec. 1776"-a silence most eloquent. At the meeting of December 1776, Col. Paul Revere was present as Senior Grand Warden. He seems to have been always present and active at the meetings of the Grand Lodge; especially active in urging measures looking towards a union of the two Grand Lodges. In 1792, the union took place and the new body became "The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." At the time of the Union, the records show that there were in existence in this Commonwealth twenty Lodges, of which the tenth in seniority was Berkshire Lodge of Stockbridge, chartered March 8, 1777, and the sixteenth, Friendship of Williamstown, chartered July 23, 1785, both chartered by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. A special meeting of the Grand Lodge was called "To hear the petitions of Seth Dean and others praying to have a charter, to erect and hold a Lodge in the town of Stockbridge, Berkshire County." This Lodge afterwards appears from the Records of the Grand Lodge to have reported from Great Barrington. In this Lodge, some of the charter members of our Lodge may have been initiated. One of these members, Eldad Lewis, was in correspondence with the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in 1788, at that time a young man, and he could have received his degrees nowhere else so conveniently. But the particular entry of the Grand Lodge Records before the Unions which most interests us, is the following. SPECIAL MEETING OF MASSACHUSETTS GRAND LODGE Oct. 6,1779 The petition of John Peirce and others preying this Grand Lodge, would grant a charter for holding a Traveling Lodge, having nominated General John Paterson, Master, Col. Benj. Tupper, S.W., and Maj. Wm. Hull, J.W. Voted a charter be granted them for holding regular Lodges,-make Ma-sons,-pass and raise in this State, or in any of the United States of America, where no other Grand Master presides, but in any other state where there is a Grand Master constituted by the Brethren of the United States, they are to inform him, and receive his sanction. This must have been the Lodge called Washington Lodge, reported in the Records as an army or traveling Lodge. At this point our interest increases. John Paterson, in 1774, was in Lenox, a lawyer,thirty years of age, in successful practice, and popular; over six feet in height, a graduate of Yale College, with much military taste and some training. His ancestry was of New England's best. To say that he early espoused the patriot cause is needless. He was sent as a delegate from his town to the Stockbridge convention, where was adopted "a solemn league and covenant," one of the richest gifts of Berkshire to the war. He was also sent as a delegate to the Provincial Congress at Salem. Believing the war inevitable, he raised and organized a regiment, became its Colonel, and within less than a day from the time when news of Lexington and Concord reached Lenox, marched with his regiment for Cambridge. He served through the war and was in many of its most prominent battles. He was at Princeton, at Valley Forge, was made a Brigadier General, and afterwards a Major General; he was at Monmouth, he crossed the Delaware with Washington, was sent to the relief of the patriot army in Canada, served on several courts-martial, notably that of Major Andre, was in close relations to Washington, and is so represented on the historic monument erected by the State of New Jersey. The first name on the roll of the Cincinnati is Washington's, the eleventh Paterson's. His remains rest in the churchyard, and his monument stands in the public square at Lenox. There is no written record that Washington, himself a Mason, ever was present at the meetings of Paterson's lodge, but there is a well-authenticated tradition to that effect, and to think otherwise does violence to our belief in the high-born sympathy of patriots. Serving in Paterson's regiment were two of the founders of this Lodge. After the union, the first charter granted to a Lodge in Berkshire was issued, June 9, 1794, to Joseph Jarvis and others for a Lodge, to be known as Franklin Lodge, with authority to sit in Cheshire and Lanesborough, alternately six months in each. In December 1794, Paul Revere was chosen Grand Master, and although he held this high office but three years, he signed more charters for Lodges which became permanent than had any of his predecessors. At the next quarterly Grand Lodge Meeting in March 1795, a petition was presented from Simon Larned and others asking to be erected into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the name and title of "Evening Star Lodge," to meet at Lenox, County of Berkshire. The petition was referred to a committee of which Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, was chairman. The committee reported favorably, the report was accepted and the charter granted, and this is the origin of our Lodge. Who besides Simon Larned were the charter members the Grand Lodge Records fail to show, and the early Records of this Lodge are beyond recognition. It is known that William Walker was the first Master, Azariah Egleston one of the early Secretaries, and Eldad Lewis an officer. At this time, Lenox was not only the County seat, but also very much the capital of the County, both socially and politically; the courts met there, met frequently and had long sessions, notwithstanding, the authority and jurisdiction of the courts was quite uncertain. Simon Larned, though a resident of Pittsfield, was much in Lenox. He was sheriff of the County, active in many business enterprises, a corporator and a director of the Berkshire Bank, an institution quite too enterprising when, with a capital of $50,000, it loaned to a single customer $200,000, who found it inconvenient to pay. He seems to have attained many of the honors prevalent in his day. He represented his town in the General Court, was sent to jail at Lenox for Bank debts, afterwards to Congress for two terms, and finally was appointed Brigadier-General in the national army. William Walker, of Lenox, the first Master of Evening Star Lodge, was a fine specimen of that class of men who have made this country strong and great. Beginning life a teacher, modest, intelligent, able and patriotic, he left behind him a reputation treasured not only by his honored descendants, but by the region where he dwelt. He was in Paterson's regiment from the first; marched at the Lexington alarm; was employed in the building of Fort No. 3 within the limits of Charlestown, the first fort built on the lines around Boston, and helped to man the fort on the day of the battle of Bunker Hill. At the expiration of his first term of service, he reenlisted, served in the Canada expedition, took part at the battle of the Cedars, was at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, was sent to Pennsylvania, crossed the Delaware with Washington, and saw the surrender of Burgoyne. In the fall of 1877, he retired from the army and was appointed to a financial position of great responsibility under the government. He was for many years, and until his death, Judge of the Probate Court for this County. He was the first and long-time President of the Berkshire Bible Society. He was also the first District Deputy Grand Master of this Masonic District, and the esteem in which he was held by his Brethren is well illustrated by a letter received by him in 1803 from the Grand Master of the State, which is as follows, viz: Worcester, April 13,1803 MY GOOD BROTHER: I find my predecessor, the late Grand Maser of the fraternity in this Commonwealth, appointed you District Deputy Grand Master in the County of Berkshire. I have not the happiness of a personal acquaintance with you, but have often heard of the very respectable character you bear, and the esteem in which you are held by the Brethren of our Order. It will, therefore, give me great pleasure to re-appoint you to the dignified office you have so lately held, if agreeable to you to accept it, and I am confident it will give much satisfaction to the Brethren in your District. Be so obliging as to favor me with a letter on the reception of this. F beg you not to refuse it, if you can by any means serve. I am with esteem and Masonic affection, your Brother and friend. ISAIAH THOMAS Right Worshipful WM.X WALKER, ESQR. Azariah Egleston was also a soldier of the Revolution, served in all the battles in which Paterson's regiment was engaged, crossed the Delaware on that dreadful Christmas night, and upon the promotion of Paterson to a Generalship, became his Aide and a Colonel. At the close of the war he returned to Lenox, engaged in active business, and for years was the foremost and most enterprising citizen of the town. Eldad Lewis was a graduate of Yale, of scholarly attainments, and an eminent physician. His addresses delivered before Masonic Bodies, notably his elaborate poem delivered before this Lodge, June 24, 1814, attest his admiration of our Order. Caleb Hyde, of Lenox, another prominent Mason, may have been a charter member, but we are unable to determine; and so also Joseph Tucker, who was born in Stockbridge in 1772, and was employed in the store of his cousin, Azariah Egleston, prior to 1795. "Squire" Tucker was a member of the Berkshire Bar. He was a man widely known, intelligent, active, and of the highest character for fidelity and integrity. In 1801 he was elected Register of Deeds for the Middle District of this county, and held the office until his death in 1847. In 1813, he was also elected Treasurer of the county, which office he held until his death, and this office has been held by his descendants continuously since. Isaiah Thomas was a well known printer and publisher of a newspaper in Boston. His fierce opposition to the stamp act and to the Colonial Governor Hutchinson caused great alarm to his friends, so much so, that just before the battle of Lexington, he was persuaded by John Hancock, Samuel Adams and others, who feared that his life was in danger, to remove to Worcester, which he did, taking them his newspaper, the Massachusetts Spy to be thereafter, and to these days, published as the Worcester Spy. In Worcester he became one of the foremost, most public spirited and generous citizens. He was Grand Master in 1803, 1804, 1805 and 1809. Brothers Hyde and Tucker also both held the office of District Deputy, and represented the Grand Lodge not only generally, but on special occasions, like the institution of Lodges. Wisdom Lodge, at West Stockbridge, was instituted March 14,1803, Caleb Hyde representing the Grand Master, and the places of the other Grand Officers were mostly filled by members of Evening Star Lodge. May 27, 1804, a lodge was instituted at Sheffield. The record of the proceedings there, characteristic of the man who made it, is this: Assembled at the house of Brother Aaron Kellogg to constitute Sheffield Lodge, by direction of the Most Worshipful Isaiah Thomas, Grand Master. PRESENT R.W. Caleb Hyde D.D.G.M. in the chairpro tern RW. Walter Deane Deputy G.M.pro tem RW. Daruel Chapped S.G W.pro tem RW. Oliver Belden, Jr J.G. W.pro tern RW. Elisha Northrup G. Tr.pro tem RW. Joseph Tucker G. Sec'ypro tem RW. Samuel Baxstow S.G. Dea.pro tem R.W. Asa Miller, Jr. J.G. Dea.pro tem RW. Ephraim A. Judson 1st. Gd. Stewardpro tem RW. Samuel Rossiter, 2nd. pro tem RW. Andrew Robinson Gd. Tylerpro tem The Brethren of Sheffield Lodge being assembled at the place aforesaid, after the usual ceremonies, formed a procession and moved to the meeting house, preceded by a band of music. The exercises were publicly performed. A sermon well adapted to the occasion was preached by the Rev. Ephraim A. Judson. There was occasional solemn and cheerful music during the performance, both vocal and instrumental. Consecration took place in Masonic order and regular installation of the officers of Sheffield Lodge. They returned in Masonic arrangement. Unit partook of a generous entertainment at the expense of Sheffield Lodge. The Grand Lodge then retired and closed in due form. Pleasure and innocence closed the day. Attest JOSEPH TUCKER Gd Sec protem. It is proper to note that the office of District Deputy was held in the olden time by many other prominent Berkshire men, such as Gen. John Whiting of Great Barrington; Judge Daniel N. Dewey of Williamstown and Edward F. Ensign of Sheffield. During the early part of the century, the annual festivals of St. John the Baptist were celebrated quite frequently, some one of the Lodges of the County, or one of the Lodge in the towns on the New York border, entertaining their Brethren nearly every year. This Lodge held such a celebration in 1801, as appears by a notice issued from the Lodge signed by Azariah Egleston, Secretary; Cincinnatus and Franklin Lodges being specially invited and all other Brethren generally. In 1814, there was another celebration at which Dr. Lewis delivered his address, before alluded to, and in 1819 there was another celebration. In 1825 occurred the last St. John's day celebration by Evening Star Lodge >n Lenox, of which we have found any notice, when a sermon was delivered m the Congregational Meeting House before the members of Evening Star Lodge, and several other associated Lodges, by Rev. Aaron Humphrey, Rector °f St. Luke's Church, Lanesborough, and Trinity Church, Lenox. In 1825, Masonry was at its greatest apparent prosperity. The late war had been almost forgotten, an era of good-feeling prevailed, and the country was prospering through immigration. European conditions were watched with curiosity, more than anxiety. The visit of Lafayette to this country had added popularity to the Society; many lodges had been organized, and a great many new members were admitted. In September, 1826, however, an event occurred, which for the next twenty years not only stifled all prosperity, but nearly terminated the life of the society in this country. William Morgan of Batavia, New York, announced that he was about to publish a book divulging Masonic secrets. Certain indiscreet members of the order, with a zeal that had little acquaintance with the knowledge or spirit of Masonry, took upon themselves the task of, in some way, preventing the publication. They were charged with committing a heinous crime. The charges may not have been fully proven, but the public believed them, and many Masons believed them, and the effect on the society was the same as if fully proven. Brethren withdrew from Lodges, Lodges were given up, charters surrendered, and Masonry most decidedly was under a cloud. Anti-Masonic newspapers were established, over two hundred of them in the country; one of them, called the Berkskire Herald, being started in Lenox. Certain shrewd and able politicians, who had been for some time looking around for an issue,who had in fact become hungry for an issue with which to arouse the people, seized the opportunity. Thurlow Weed, a man of great ability, was indefatigable in his efforts to discredit Masonry. When confronted with positive evidence that a body found in Niagara river was not Morgan's, Weed declared that, "It was a good enough Morgan until after election," an expression that became a permanent phrase in the language of the country, while Weed became a permanent Power in the management of political Parties. In vain was the influence of men like DeWitt Clinton, then Governor of New York, Lewis Cass in Michigan, James Buchanan in Pennsylvania, General Jackson in Tennessee, Henry Clay in Kentucky, and Rev. Samuel Osgood, of Springfield in this State, who was then an officer in our Grand Lodge. It was charged that Masons sought to introduce royalty in the country; that there were in their Orders officers denominated Kings, Priests, and Scribes; some so-called divines charged that Masonry denied the Mosaic account of creation and taught that the world was in reality more than 6,000 years old. This was accounted Positive and dangerous infidelity. But what would those divines have thought of the statement of Dr. McCosh that the age of the world is certainly more than 200,000,000 years? The issue was up, and it was kept up by the Party styling itself anti-Masonic, with such excess of zeal, however, that there soon arose a counter-acting party whose members were called "Jack Masons." The contest between these two parties was viewed with equanimity by the Fraternity. It was well that the end should come. It may have been hastened in this way. Thoughtful Brethren believed, and it was true that there had been many serious mistakes in the conduct of Masons toward their fellows who were not Masons, and they did not hesitate to condemn such conduct, but they still believed that such a noble society with noble aims should continue, and it has continued. The angel of Masonry, like the fabled Goddess of Fortune when she came to earth, had folded her wings in token that she came to stay. In 1822, Mr. Jared Bradley of Lee, the father of our present Master, became a member of this Lodge, and in 1826 he became its Master, and so continued for nearly thirty years, and to his Masonic loyalty is due the fact that for the round century Evening Star Lodge, with a single exception at the time of the fire, never missed a regularly appointed Communication. Under his supervision its place of meeting and property were removed from its rooms in the Coffee House in Lenox, first to the house of Brother Northrup, thence to the house of Brother Enos Smith on the northern border of Stockbridge, and, finally, to the Master's own house in Lee, where for more than twenty years meetings were regularly held, though not much work was done. Here gathered a faithful few men like Eli Bradley, a cousin of the Master, Lemuel Bassett, David and John Baker, Elisha Freeman, Augustus Hurlburt, David Thompson, Caleb Belden, Geo. H. Phelps, James Landers, Ed James and Lyman Whiton. Edwin Sturgis, who had taken the degrees in Connecticut, joined them here. These were a band of Brothers most surely, every one of them a full man in belief and purpose, and all men of influence in their community. Of that faithful band, all save one have passed to the other side. Our Brother, the venerable Edwin Sturgis, for sixty-seven years a Mason, for many years an officer in this Lodge, and many years an honored and trusted officer in this town, is the only one with us today, and may his pride and joy in this day be as great as ours in his presence, thus linking us through days of darkness to grand beginnings. Prior to 1848, Masonic prospects in the country had very much brightened, and on September 13 of that year Lemuel Bassett, Richard Hunt, Elisha Freeman, Seth Barlow, David Baker, Elijah Thomas, Geo. H. Phelps, James Landers, Eli Bradley and Jared Bradley, in behalf of Evening Star Lodge in Lenox, petitioned the Grand Lodge for a return of the charter of said Lodge, and for leave to remove their Lodge to Lee, and on June 13, 1849, the petition was granted. influential in state and national government, and from Boston to the Pacific, and even in the Old World, among the most successful in business and among those who are doing a good deal to better the condition of their brothers and the world, will be found those who first received masonic light from the Evening Star Lodge. The children of the lodge are our pride, and most justly so. "We believe that the same steadfast spirit of loyal to the order, and our most respected mother, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, found in our staunch forefathers is with us today, and that it will carry Evening Star Lodge upward and onward so that she will shine and with still greater brightness and lustre through the coming years, and as it has diffused light steadily month by month for a hundred years, we are confident that it will continue to shine constantly for the century to come, and may no member of this lodge ever betray the confidence reposed in him, or by word or action detract ever so slightly from the high reputation of our Mother Lodge." H.O. Warner, M.W.G.M., (Conn.) The next speaker introduced was the Most Worshipful Grand Master H.O. Warner of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut. He said: "It gives me great pleasure to be with you on this anniversary day and in behalf of St. Peter's lodge of New Milford, and of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, I most heartily congratulate Evening Star Lodge on her past, and on the success of this celebration. "Masonry binds men more strongly in brotherhood than any other organization and is of great good to Country and State, because it is founded upon great moral principles, devoid of sectarianism or politics. "It enriches the minds of men and elevates them to a higher standard of morality. It teaches us to honor the Supreme Architect of the Universe, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to avoid intemperance and excess. To care for the needy arid distressed brother, widow and orphan is a duty incumbent upon us as Masons, and this duty is carried out, not as an oppression, but as a pleasure by all true Masons. "Homes have been provided for such in many of our Grand Jurisdictions, and many more are raising funds for the accomplishment of others. While we do not claim Masonry is religion, yet it is the handmaid of religion, and the stepping stone to the same, an institution where all are equal, the right man and the poor man all meet upon the same level and enjoy the same privileges, no costly pews for the one, or free seats for the other, but all are free and alike to all, and the right hand of fellowship is freely extended, and freely grasped by all. "It is not sectional in the least degree but universal throughout the whole civilized world, and Brother meets Brother as such in every country and clime. Assistance in many ways is rendered by the craft to strangers in foreign lands that would be utterly impossible to obtain in other ways, and finally my Brethren, let us all abide by the teachings of our mystic art and the world will be brighter, more conducive of good to us all and at last we may receive that welcome invitation, 'Come ye blessed, enter into the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." S.D. Nickerson, G.S. S.D. Nickerson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, spoke briefly as follows: "We have the best of reasons, brothers, for claiming that the liberty which we now enjoy, and which we won in the days of the Revolution, was due greatly to the bond of Masonry. Old records establish the fact beyond all doubt and you and I are proud of the fact, as proud as we are of this celebration of your centennial. "The historical address we listened to this morning brings us back many years into the dim past, and it throws light on many subjects which we are glad to learn about." Mr. Nickerson further spoke of the large accessions to the ranks of the nobility and gentry in England a number of years ago, and, in closing, congratulated the members of Evening Star on the enviable record of their lodge. George French Brother George French of North Adams, who was introduced as a "Lee Boy," a child of Evening Star Lodge, now the Chaplain of Greylock Lodge of North Adams, spoke as follows: "It gives me great pleasure to be present at this the Centennial Anniversary of my Mother Lodge. I went out from your associations in 1859. In the past 36 years of my life, I have found much pleasure, and an educational benefit because of my being a Mason, also always finding through my relation to Masonry, pleasant acquaintances in traveling, and I believe that my Masonry has been helpful to a better life. "I am very glad to welcome the Grand Lodge to Berkshire, and I hope the Grand Lodge by this visit will recognize that in Western Massachusetts, Masonry has its interests. "Brothers, the gray heads of so many of us present, remind us that we are fast passing in life, all of us will not meet again here, let us honor our principles for they will help us toward a meeting in life beyond. "In a world where all are equal, we are hastening to it fast, We shalt meet upon the Level then, when the gates of death are passed, We shall stand before the Orient, and our Master will be there, To try the blocks we offer with his "In December 1800, ninety-four years last December, the records of Cincinnatus Lodge show the Evening Star Lodge was invited to participate with Cincinnatus in the celebration of this festival at Great Barrington. Six months later, 94 years ago this month, it is recorded that Cincinnatus received a similar invitation from Evening Star to join with them at Lee in this festival. The invitation was accepted by formal vote and that the two Lodges met together on that occasion at Lee. From that time to the present, the records give constant evidence of the intimate relationship existing between these two pioneer Lodges. "It might be predicted that in so long a career of near neighborship, the records would disclose sometime, somewhere, some indication of jealousy or friction between the two Lodges, or the members of these two Lodges. The records disclose by most careful scrutiny, no such thing, and the white-haired members of Cincinnatus, who have inherited the traditions of the fathers, assert that there has been no such thing, either in record or in remembrance, in tradition or in fact. "This fact of 100 years of existence, it is natural for us to dwell upon with pride. But this is not a thing of our own accomplishment; and if it is merely a matter of idle or curious sentiment with us for today, it is a poor thing. Should not this glorious inheritance of ours, commemorated by this magnificent celebration, impress forever upon our minds the true value of this brotherly love, which in a world of hatred, selfishness and contention, it is the high mission of Freemasonry to cherish, adorn and sustain?" John F. Noxon John F. Noxon, Master of Crescent Lodge of Pittsfield, the last speaker introduced, said: "I extend congratulations in behalf of Crescent Lodge to Evening Star Lodge on this successful celebration of its Centennial. You have honored yourselves and honored Masonry by this grand celebration your cordial welcome-the beautiful decorations of your town, and the impressive services of the day." Letter Rev. Merrick E. Ketcham of Cincinnati, Ohio, unable to be present at the Centennial exercises, wrote as follows: "I desire to congratulate Evening Star Lodge on its wonderful record of a hundred years. The founders of our Lodge have gone to 'that borne from which no traveler returns.' They laid wisely and well the foundations of our Lodge, and while none of them remain to celebrate this day with us, we hold them in grateful remembrance in the immortality of a sacred fellowship. "1 congratulate you, brethren on belonging to the oldest and grandest of secret orders, whose history reaches into the misty ages of the past, whose traditions whisper to you of other lands and strange surroundings. To an order that in dark ages stood firmly by the light of divine truth in the days when efforts were made to hide it from the people, a light that we still honor and to which we point every neophyte-the Holy Bible. "Our Order has stood for the worth of man, for the brotherhood of the race and the fatherhood of God. With an unwasting youth, we kept step with time, and like Israel's great leader, we 'move forth, bathed in the dew of the morning, with eye undimmed, with form erect, with natural force unabated destined to run a race with time." At the conclusion of the speaking in the tent, a procession was again formed, and Evening Star Lodge escorted the Grand Lodge and the visiting Lodges first to the Gleaner Blocks where the Grand Lodge was closed in due form, and thence to the railroad station. This concluded a celebration long to be remembered by the fraternity and the people of the region, and worthy, we trust, of the fathers who built upon broad foundations and sustained with unflinching courage and untiring zeal, an association that has lived and labored to uplift and purify men and community for a century. William L Weston Edward J. Stevens George M. Durant James E. Seacord William J. Heebner Charles A. Markham George W. Fitch George R Bull Patricius H. Casey Halford L. Bull Richard E. Bennett James A Rice Henry M. Smith William L Nye Lewis T. Markham John S. Spencer Charles M. Sears Augustus R. Smith Frank P. Claris William Y. Jack Lyman McK. Rowland George M.Beach Thomas Martin Frank M.R Pease Thomas F. Rolf Henry B. Parsons William Cameron Harvey W. Fenn William A Phelps This list is necessarily somewhat incomplete. Dedication of the Temple May 9, 1964 Evening Star Lodge published a small booklet on the occasion of the dedication of its new lodge building. The following is excerpted from a brief history : "The present Temple was erected under the supervision of Norman G.A. Day, architect. Brother Charles R. Pierce was chairman of the Building Committee and Worshipful Richard E. Sitzer, Master. "The laying of the cornerstone took place on February 9,1964, under the direction of Right Worshipful Charles P. Hooker, District Deputy Grand Master of the Pittsfield 16th Masonic District. Officers of Evening Star Lodge for 1963-64 Master Senior Warden Junior Warden Treasurer Secretary Chaplain Marshal Senior Deacon Junior Deacon Senior Steward Junior Steward Inside Sentinel Organist Tyler Richard E. Sitzer Robert C Dunn William A. Hosnier Maurice I. Lemer Frederick AS. Judd Raymond C. Pecon Joseph Liss Francis A. Phillips Herbert M Trimm Robert S. Bierwith Harry J.Szewczak Huch C. Pecon James D. Cameron Warren A. Briggs Program Saturday, May 9,1964 Evening Star Lodge opening, Lodge Room, 5:30p.m. Recess for Dinner in Banquet Hall, 6 p.m. Reconvene Lodge, 7:30 p.m. Grand Lodge operiing, 7:45 p. m. Reception of Grand Master and Grand Lodge Officers, 8 p.m. Lodge Dedication Ceremony Sunday, May 10,1964 Annual District Church Service First Congregational Church of Lee Preceded by Breakfast, Temple Dining Room Evening Star Lodge 1965-95 When the mortgage was paid off, Evening Star Lodge settled down to a restful routine. For many years, we held our annual Fellowship Clam Bake at Harry Szewczak's grove on Pleasant Street in Lee. Then the Lodge built an open-air pavilion on its property on Laurel Street, and now the clam bake is held there. This is always a well-attended event, held on the last Sunday of July. Evening Star Lodge participated in the Town of Lenox's Bicentennial Parade in 1967, as the lodge was formed there. Florence E. Brooks of Lenox was engaged to write out a Construction of our Charter, to be carried in the parade. As Bro. Harry McLain Keating told in the 175th Anniversary booklet, the original charter had been lost in the fire in 1857 and Cincinnatus Lodge in Great Barrington loaned its Paul Revere charter for her to work from. It was kept in a bank vault during her efforts. Brother Charles F. House rode on the Parade float dressed as Paul Revere. In 1979, R.W. Keith M. Raftery became District Deputy Grand Master for the 16th Masonic District. His officers consisted of the following Past Masters from Evening Star Lodge: Senior Warden Wor. John G. Kelly Junior Warden Wor Kenneth L. Berry Secretary Wor. Frederick A. Judd Treasurer Wor. Gordon E. Leeman Marshal Wor. Ernest A. Lowry Their work was done faithfully and was well received and appreciated throughout the district. The death of Wor. Frederick A. Judd was a great loss to the brethren. He faithfully served as secretary of the lodge for 35 years. After twenty-six years as treasurer, Wor. Maurice I. Lerner retired. His dedication to the craft has been greatly missed. Each month, Evening Star Lodge members put on a Fellowship Dinner. The first cook was Wor. Harry Szewczak, and now Wor. Gordon Leeman wears the chef's hat. The Lodge owes a great debt to these people who donate so much time and effort. Evening Star Lodge Officers J 995 Master Wor. Gerald E. Strock SeniorWarden Wor. Ralph H. Packard Junior Warden Wor. Rainsford B. Morehouse Treasurer Bro. Thomas Van Alstyne Secretary Bro. Shaun Smith Chaplain Wor. Donald Hart Marshal R.W. Keith M. Raftery Senior Deacon Wor. Merrill E. Morehouse Junior Deacon Bro. Steven Schmitter Senior Steward Wor. M. Barnes Shaw Junior Steward Bro. Thomas Morawiec Inside Sentinel Wor. Charles F. Slater Tyler Wor. Kenneth L Berry Music Chairman Bro. Franklin Sturgis Bicentennial Events Evening Star & Cincinnatus Lodges In 1995 we are celebrating our 200th Anniversary, as is Cincinnatus Lodge of Great Barrington, whose charter was issued just six months after ours. The Lodges will celebrate together, and great plans are being made. The Grand Master has been invited, and he will dedicate a marker at the site of our first meeting hall. Brother Arnold Hale of Tyringham will receive his 70-year medal. A medal has been designed by Wor. J. James Shaw and struck to commemorate this anniversary: Following is a program of activities. Thursday, September 21, 1995 200th Anniversary Golf Tournament, Hyantenuck Country Club, Great Barrington; register 10 a.m. to noon; shotgun start, 12:30; social hour, 5:30p.m.; dinner 7p.m. Friday, September 22, 1995 Tours and recreation for out-of-town guests; Buffet dinner, Monument Mountain Regional High School, Great Barrington, 6:30p.m. "18th Century Lifestyles and Fashions " program for ladies, put on by " Distaff Side" of the Colonial Craftsmen's Club, 7:30 p.m., Monument Mountain Regional High School 'On the Square 1775, " re-enactment by American Union Colonial Degree Team of Colonial Craftsmen's Club, Tyled Lodge, 7:30 p.m., Monument Mountain Regional High School Saturday, September 23, 1995 Open Evening Star Lodge, Lee, 9:30 a.m. Receive Grand Master and Suite; Presentation of Anniversary Medal, 10 a.m.; Dedication of historical marker, Lenox, II a.m. Lunch, noon Open Cincinnatus Lodge, Great Barrington, 1:30p. Receive Grand Master and Suite Presentation of Anniversary Medal, 2 p.m. Dedication of historical marker, New Marlborough, 3 p.m. Social hour, Hilton Hotel, Pittsfield, 5:30p.m. Rreception of Grand Master and Suite, 6:30 p.m. Dinner, addresses and remarks, dancing and socializing, 9 p.m.

OTHER

  • 1813 (Granting of petition to work under the "old charter")
  • 1820 (Note on delinquency; III-283)
  • 1821 (Note on delinquency; III-341)
  • 1822 (Note on delinquency; III-428)
  • 1824 (Note on delinquency; III-525)
  • 1825 (Exoneration from charges for the year; III-560)
  • 1828 (Note on delinquency; IV-146)
  • 1829 (Note on delinquency; IV-170)
  • 1857 (Petition for a replacement charter destroyed by fire; VI-95)
  • 1896 (Participation in the centennial celebration of Cincinnatus Lodge; 1896-196)

EVENTS

PAST MASTER'S NIGHT, APRIL 1907

From New England Craftsman, Vol. II, No. 8, May 1907, Page 310:

The last meeting of Evening Star Lodge, Lee, Mass., Tuesday April 30, was a notable event in the history of that lodge. It was past masters night and great preparation had been made for the occasion.

Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was present and was received by Worshipful Master Alfred J. Loveless with the honor due his station. The Most Worshipful Grand Master was accompanied from Boston by Wor. Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Marshal and by Wor. Warren B. Ellis Others who joined his suite were: Wor. Frank E. Pierson, Junior Grand Warden, Rt. Wor. Charles H. Copper, District Deputy Grand Master of the Fifteenth District and by several other past Deputy Grand Masters of the same district among whom were: Wor. Allen T. Treadway, Wor. S. Charles Lyon, Wor. Alonzo Bradley, Wor. O. C. Bidwell and Wor. Brothers John T. Merrill, Frank E. Pear and others. The principal interest of the evening was in the organization of Past Masters who filled the officers' chairs. Dr. Eliphalet Wright occupied the Master's chair. This brother is more than 90 years old. He was made a Mason in 1853 and served the lodge as Master for 15 years. He has been Chaplain during the past 25 years. Hardly less remarkable than the presiding officer's age was the fact that Past Master E. C Melius. aged 87, filled the office of Senior Warden and Past Master Alonzo Bradley, aged 75, that of Junior Warden.


The work of the evening was conducted with remarkable smoothness and accuracy by the venerable officers. Following the work a banquet was served at the Greenock Inn, at which more than 200 Masons were present.

card00872_fr.jpg
The Greenock Inn, Lee

Among those present were Past Dif Deputy Henry T. Robbins of Great Barrington, who was made a Mason in 1857 by Dr. Wright.

The Grand Master and the brethren from Boston were the recipients of most cordial attention from the moment they arrived at Pittsfield, where they were met by Rt. Wor. Frank E. Pierson, Junior Grand Warden, who, with a number of past District Deputies, went to Stockbridge where all were entertained at the Red Lion Inn in the afternoon by Past District Deputy Allen T. Treadway.

125TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, JUNE 1920

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XV, No. 9, June 1920, Page 279:

Evening Star Lodge of Masons of Lee, Mass.. celebrated the 125th anniversary of its organization, June 7. The charter, bearing the date of June 7, 1795, was signed by Paul Revere, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The observance took the form of an official visitation from District. Deputy Walter B. Sanford and staff of Great Barrington, who have jurisdiction over the 16th Masonic District.

Present officers of Evening Star Lodge, wnich has 181 members and is the oldest Masonic organization in Berkshire County, are Master. Harry K. Farrar; Senior Warden, Edmund Spencer of Lenox; Junior Warden, Charles H. McCarthy; Treasurer, William Bower; Chaplain, Rev. Charles E. Freeman; Marshal, William B. Connor; Senior Deacon, William H. Prouse; Junior Deacon, Elmer C. Newton; Senior Steward, Owen Kelly; Junior Steward, William H. Clifford; Inside Sentinel, Charles W. Kilmer; Organist, James B. Cameron; Tyler, Klass Beeltje.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


DISTRICTS

1803: District 8 (Berkshires)

1821: District 8

1835: District 9

1849: District 9

1867: District 9 (Pittsfield)

1883: District 15 (Pittsfield)

1911: District 16 (Pittsfield)

1927: District 16 (Pittsfield)

2003: District 31


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges