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- 1 FELLOWSHIP LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.9 DISTRICTS
- 2.10 LINKS
Chartered By: Paul Revere
Charter Date: 06/12/1797 II-100
Precedence Date: 06/12/1797
Current Status: Active
According to the 125th Anniversary history, meetings were suspended for 10 years, but the charter was never surrendered. See Proceedings Page 1922-245.
MEMBER LIST, 1802
From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 22:
- R. W. Hector Orr, M.
- W. Isaac Lazell, S. W.
- W. Enoch Perkins, J. W.
- Nathan Lazell, Tr.
- Nathan Mitchell, Sec.
- Zenas Crocker, S. D.
- Simeon Packard, J. D.
- Noah Fearing, Steward.
- Edward Mitchell, Steward.
- Daniel Ripley, Tiler.
No. of Members, 25.
- Hector Orr, 1797, 1801-1803, 1805, 1809; Mem; SN
- Simeon Dunbar, 1798-1800
- Noah Fearing, 1804
- Nahum Mitchell, 1806-1808
- Jeremiah Washburn, 1810, 1811
- John Edson, 1812, 1813, 1853; SN
- Zenas Crooker, 1814
- Joel Talbot, 1815
- Rufus Perkins, 1816, 1817
- Artemas Hale, 1818, 1819; Mem
- Jonathan Ames, 1823
- Bernard Whitman, 1824, 1825
- Samuel D. Hayward, 1826-1828
- Silas Warren, 1829-1842
- Simeon Perkins, 1843, 1844
- Jarvis D. Burrill, 1845-1852, 1854
- Isaac Howard, 1855, 1856
- Lucius W. Lovell, 1857, 1858
- Franklin Leach, 1859-1861
- Fielder A. Sprague, 1862-1864
- Warren K. Churchill, 1865, 1866
- Lloyd Parsons, 1867, 1868
- Frederick S. Strong, 1869, 1870
- Frederick Stetson Churchill, 1871
- Hosea Kingman, 1872-1874; SN
- Isaac Damon, 1875-1877
- Edward Sawyer, 1878-1881; SN
- Joseph W. Ferguson, 1882, 1883
- Charles T. Hall, Jr., 1884-1886
- J. Gardner Bassett, 1887
- George Mitchell Hooper, 1888, 1889
- Austin Turner, 1890, 1891
- Henry Lovell Crane, 1892, 1893
- John Gardner Braman, 1894
- Arthur Clark Boyden, 1895, 1896; Mem
- Nathaniel Fisher Wilcox, 1897, 1898
- Lyman Austin Pratt, 1899, 1900
- Louistone Herman Dyke, 1901-1903
- Robert Grant Wylie, 1904, 1905
- Charles Hunter Bixby, 1906, 1907
- Charles Joel Mercer, 1908, 1909
- Charles Pope Lewis, 1910, 1911
- Frederick Alton McNeeland, 1912, 1913
- George Henry Covington, 1914
- Arthur Hayden Willis, 1915, 1916
- Brenelle Hunt, 1917, 1918; N
- Albert Thomas Churbuck, 1919, 1920
- Edward Abbott MacMaster, 1921, 1922
- Walter Goodnough Hastings, 1923, 1924
- William John Turnbull, 1925, 1926
- Herbert K. Pratt, 1927, 1928; N
- Joseph W. Keith, 1929, 1930; N
- Leo Frank Nourse, 1931, 1932
- George Carlton Richmond, 1933, 1934
- Converse Dufferine Killiam, 1935, 1936
- Wayne Franklin Scheffler, 1937, 1938
- Harold David Hunt, 1939
- Frank Wadsworth Burrill, 1940, 1941
- Frederick Parker Turner, 1942, 1943
- Luther Leonard Hayden, Jr., 1944, 1945
- Ivan Frank Nourse, 1946, 1947
- William Carpenter Prophett, 1948, 1949, 1971
- Robert Alton McNeeland, 1950, 1951
- John D. Dorr, 1952, 1953, 1972; N
- Charles Alfred MacKinnon, 1954, 1955
- Lawrence Wentworth Grover, 1956, 1957
- Edward Metcalf Adams, 1958
- Arnold Whilhelm Ahlborg, 1960, 1961
- David Ernest Chaffee, 1962, 1963; PDDGM
- James Robert Donnelly, 1964, 1965
- Charles Fredrick Axtell, 1966
- Roland C. Garrison, 1967, 1968
- David Arthur Davis, 1969, 1970
- Ovila Howard Worsham, 1973, 1974
- Stephen Howard Prophett, 1975, 1976
- Paul Henry Gowey, 1977, 1978
- Allen Robert Blanchard, 1979, 1980, 1985
- William Kendrick Bowling, 1981, 1982
- Peter Delmar Dorr, 1983, 1984, 1993, 2009; PDDGM
- Ronald Stanley Gould, 1986
- Neal Marvin Quinton, 1987, 1988
- William P. Renny, 1989-1991, 2008
- Stephen Ryerson Chapman, 1992
- Leslie Hutchison, 1994, 1995
- Richard Michael DePina, 1996, 1997
- David Richardson Moore, 1998, 1999
- Philip Rodney Chaffee, 2000, 2001
- Stephen F. Pedro, 2002, 2003
- Brian McDonough, 2004, 2005
- Randal Erie Damon, 2007, 2008
- Edward Ambrose Buckland, 2010-2012
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Charter: 1797
- 1897 (Centenary)
- 1922 (125th Anniversary)
- 1942 (145th Anniversary)
- 1947 (150th Anniversary)
- 1972 (175th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1872 (Nickerson; Hall dedication and installation)
- 1880 (Welch)
- 1881 (Lawrence)
- 1897 (Hutchinson; Centenary; Special Communication)
- 1922 (Deputy Grand Master H. Dean; 125th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1928 (Simpson; Veterans' Night)
- 1934 (Chipman; Veterans' Night)
- 1942 (Schaefer; 145th Anniversary)
- 1947 (Wragg; 150th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1948 (Keith; Joseph W. Keith Night)
- 1950 (Keith; Reception for Senior Grand Warden Joseph W. Keith)
- 1953 (Roy; Veterans' Night)
- 1967 (Booth; Cornerstone laying)
- 1972 (Vose; 2 visits, including 175th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1982 (Berquist; installation)
- 2012 (Stewart)
- 1897 (Centenary Address, 1897-120; see below)
- 1922 (125th Anniversary History, 1922-244; see below)
- 1947 (150th Anniversary History, 1947-233; see below)
- 1972 (175th Anniversary History, 1972-210; see below)
CENTENARY HISTORICAL ADDRESS, JUNE 1897
From Proceedings, Page 1897-120:
HISTORICAL ADDRESS BY W. WARREN K. CHURCHILL.
The first record of any movement toward the formation of the Lodge bears the date of October, 1796. At this time the Masons residing in the old town of Bridgewater, desirous of having a place of meeting at, or near, their locality, appointed a committee to present a petition to the nearest Lodge. This petition was submitted to Old Colony Lodge, of Hingham, asking for a recommendation to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge that it grant them a Charter for a Lodge in Bridgewater, to be called Fellowship Lodge.
The first meeting of Fellowship Lodge of which we have a record was held at the house, (still standing), of Right Worshipful Brother Orr, in the East Parish, on the 30th of June, 1797, R.W. Brother Orr in the chair; but we find no record of the choice of officers, or any authority by which they held their seats, until the second day of October, when the following-named Brethren were elected or appointed:
- R.W. Bro. Hector Orr, Master
- Nathan Lazell, Treasurer
- Charles Angier, S. W.
- Noah Fearing, J. W.
- Simeon Dunbar, S.D.
- Isaac Lazell, J.D.
- Martin Howard, S.S.
- John Burr, J.S.
- Nahum Mitchell, Secretary
- Daniel Ripley, Tyler
On Sept. 4, 1797, it was voted that Bros. Daniel Howard, Nathan Lazell, and Worshipful Brother Orr be a committee to finish and furnish a room in Brother Orr's house, as they might think suitable for the use of the Lodge at present.
September 18, it was voted that the 13th of October be the day for the installation of the officers of the Lodge, and that Rev. Mr. Angier be first applied to to deliver a sermon on that occasion, and if he decline Mr. Sanger be next appointed;. should he also decline, Rev. Brother Harris, of Dorchester, be finally appealed to. It was also voted that Wor. Brother Orr deliver an oration on that occasion, said ceremonies to be held at the meeting-house in the East Parish. Voted, — That Bros. Orr, Nahum Mitchell, and Daniel Howard be a committee to make application to the ministers. Voted, That Brothers Sylvanus Lazell, Nathan Lazell and Joseph Lazell be a committee to provide refreshments at Brother Lazell's Hall, the price of tickets to be $1.00; to provide for sixty.
For some unexplained reason, the date of the meeting was afterwards changed, and on November 3 we find that the Lodge was opened at Brother Lazell's, that the Grand Officers were duly received, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge opened, a procession formed in clue Masonic Order, and the Lodge escorted the Grand Lodge to the church of the Rev. Samuel Angier, where a sermon was delivered by Rev. Bro. Thaddeus Mason Harris, and an oration given by Wor. Brother Orr, Master-elect. Fellowship Lodge was then and there consecrated and constituted by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Paul Revere, and its officers, elected and appointed, were duly installed after which the Brethren returned to the Hall and partook of an "elegant dinner."
The Grand Officers present on this occasion were:
- M.W. Paul Revere, Grand Master
- R.W. Samuel Dunn, Deputy Grand Master
- R.W. William Shaw, Senior Grand Warden
- R.W. Benjamin Whitman, Junior Grand Warden
- R.W. Allen Crocker, Grand Treasurer
- R.W. John Holmes, Grand Secretary
- W. Seth King, Senior Grand Deacon
- W. Timothy Bigelow, Junior Grand Deacon
- W. John Jackson, Grand Standard-Bearer
- W. Thomas Lord, Grand Marshal
The petitioners for the Charter were Brothers Hector Orr, Charles Angier, Josiah Otis, Noah Fearing, Isaac Lazell, Nathan Lazell and Joseph Lazell. The Charter bears the following signatures: Paul Revere, Grand Master; Isaiah Thomas, Senior Grand Warden; Joseph Laughton, Junior Grand Warden; Daniel Oliver, Grand Secretary.
A few items of interest have been selected from the Records in order to trace the various movements of the Lodge during its early years.
- Dec. 17, 1798, the Lodge recommended the petition for a Charter of Brethren in Randolph.
- July 15, 1798, it was voted to meet in Brother Daniel Ripley's Hall, in the West Parish.
- Sept. 1, 1800, the Lodge moved to the South Parish and held its meetings in the Old Academy Hall until April 10, 1809, when it again moved to the West Parish, where it remained until October, 1813, and then removed to Pratt's Hall, in .the South Parish.
- November, 1800, it was voted that Brother N. Gilbert take charge of the Tools, etc., of the Craft. Some idea of the facilities for travel may be gathered from the fact that in December, 1804, a bill of $2.50 was paid to Bro. N. Mitchell for a. journey to Taunton.
- Dec. 10, 1804, Brother Noah Fearing was elected Master.
- From December, 1805, to December, 1806, the Lodge met but once, and from the latter date to March, 1809, we find no record.
- Feb. 24, 1812, we find an inventory of the furniture belonging to the Lodge placed in the hands of Brother Asa Briggs, for removal to Brother Daniel Howard's Hall, in the West Parish, consisting of two chairs, two pedestals, two tables, two wood-horses, three large candlesticks, ten jewels, eighteen aprons, three gavels, square and compass, two carpets, two waiters, fourteen wine-glasses.
In 1818 the Lodge returned to the South Parish and held its meetings in the Academy Hall until February, 1822, when that building was destroyed by fire, and the Lodge removed to the East Parish, where its meetings were held at different places until 1826, when it was again removed to Bridgewater — the different Parishes having formed the towns of East, North, and West Bridgewater, leaving to the South Parish the original name.
In 1835 the Lodge voted to remove to Brother. Jonathan Ames' house, (still standing), in West Bridgewater, and to suspend regular meetings, this being the time of the anti- Masonic excitement. To Brothers Ames, Burrill, Crooker, Harden, Warren, Rust, and a few other fearless and well tried Brethren, is Fellowship Lodge beholden for retaining its Charter in those years of fanaticism and folly. During the period from. 1835 to 1840 but one petition for initiation was received, that of Horace G. Barrows on January 16, 1837. He received his degrees at the house of Bro. Ames on the 23d of January, 1837. On the 15th of October, 1856, he delivered a lecture to the Lodge.
Feb. 7, 1840, a committee was appointed to ascertain how many of the members would obligate themselves to meet three times a year, but we find no report of that committee.
Occasional meetings of the Lodge were held from 1840 to September, 1845, when the regular meetings were resumed in West Bridgewater. Since that time the Lodge has been removed to Bridgewater, again to West Bridgewater, and a second time to Bridgewater, where it has since remained.
In 1869 the building it now occupies was purchased, but it was not until April, 1872, that it was voted to add a third story and fit up rooms for the permanent use of the Lodge. This was completed in the Fall of the same year, and on November 8 the apartments were duly dedicated to the purposes of Freemasonry by M.W. Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Master, W. Fred S. Churchill being Master of the Lodge.
- Nov. 6, 1882, the Lodge commuted the Grand Lodge tax.
- February, 1883, we received a visit from R.W. Rob Morris, Past Grand Master of Kentucky.
- April 16, 1884, the store on the first floor of our building was badly damaged by fire and the Lodge rooms suffered considerably from smoke and water, necessitating a partial refitting.
- Sept. 9, 1889, a committee was appointed to consider the matter of re-furnishing the entire upper story of the building.
- Aug. 7, 1891, that committee reported that they had completed the work at an expense of about two thousand dollars, and the Lodge voted to accept the report.
During the later years the Lodge has kept steadily on its way, making its fair proportion of good and true Masons and enjoying a season of Masonic harmony and good-fellowship.
Dr. Hector Orr, the first Master of Fellowship Lodge, was a son of Col. Robert Orr in command at Springfield armory, a grandson of Hon. Hugh Orr, who was active in casting cannon for the Revolutionary War. He graduated from Harvard College in 1792 and became a practising physician. He took the Masonic degrees before graduation. In 1796 Dr. Orr was commissioned surgeon in the American navy and went on a voyage to India. During his entire life he was active in the Massachusetts Medical Society, also was of special repute as adjutant of the third Regiment. Several orations delivered by him on public occasions were published; they were dignified and scholarly. He died April 29, 1855, at the age of 85 years.
Dr. Simeon Dunbar, of West Bridgewater, was born in a house on South street, on the road to Titicut, in 1752. He graduated from Harvard College in 1772, and died in 1810. He instructed many students in medicine, among whom Dr. Noah Whitman was a conspicuous example. He was thoroughly devoted to his profession.
Dr. Noah Fearing was a son of Gen. Israel Fearing, of Wareham. He graduated from Harvard College in 1791, and lived in the house at the corner of South and Mt. Prospect streets during twenty-nine years of practice as a physician. He was an active participant in the incorporation of the Academy. "In domestic life he displayed virtues which are calculated to make affection pure and enduring."
Nahum Mitchell, Esq., was a son of Capt. Nathan Mitchell, and lived in the house now occupied by Robert Breck. He was actively interested in iron manufacturing with the Lazells and others. A man of keen business insight, he was a leader till late in life, exceptionally skilled in clerical work. He was Justice of the Peace for many years, and was one of the first to be buried in Mt. Prospect Cemetery.
Jeremiah Washburn was born and lived on Conant Street. Having learned the trade of a gunsmith, he was a skilled and valued mechanic during the War of 1812.
John Edson was a very zealous leader in the Protestant Episcopal church known as Trinity Church, situated on Main Street near the Iron Works. As one of the wardens of the church, he carefully preserved all its records and papers. He was interested in the introduction of cotton gins in the South.
Zenas Crooker was an anchor maker, connected with the Lazells in the iron business for many years, and was regarded as a man of marked mechanical genius. The Crooker house is 'situated on Main street.
Artemas Hale lived from 1783 to 1882,. and was Master of Fellowship Lodge for five years. In his early years as a teacher in Hingham he was a witness of the battle between the Chesapeake and Shannon in 1813. He served as clerk in the Lazell, Perkins & Co. office and later in the Carver Cotton Gin Company. For eight years he was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, serving in both houses, and in 1846 was elected to Congress as a Whig. He was active in town affairs and a leading supporter of the establishment of a State Normal School in this town during the sharp competition of Plymouth, Middleboro and Bridgewater. He was a man of attractive personality and of strong friendships, retaining his faculties to the end of a long life, as is shown by the remarkable history of the Lodge written by him and hereto annexed.
Jonathan Ames was an ideal country farmer of the last century. He was the father of Hon. Ellis Ames, one of the ablest lawyers of Massachusetts. In the anti-Masonic times a few of the Brethren quietly kept together and for a number of years met at his house in West Bridgewater, on the road to Scotland. Some degrees were conferred there. with the assistance of Brothers from Taunton. Brother Ames in these and other ways showed his great regard and affection for the Fraternity.
Silas Warren was associated with George Hooker in the manufacture of paper at Prattown under the firm name of Hooker & Warren. He was Master of Fellowship Lodge for fourteen years, during the anti-Masonic troubles, when the Lodge was held together and the Charter and records were hidden in the walls of various friendly houses.
Simeon Perkins was by trade a stone-mason and builder of furnaces, in demand as a master workman in the various iron works of the county. He represented the town in the General Court as a Democrat.
Jarvis D. Burrell, known as Major Burrell from his connection with the Massachusetts militia, was born in Randolph, but moved to West Bridgewater in 1826, joining Fellowship Lodge November 13 of that year. His business was that of a merchant, and for nearly twenty years he ranked as Past Master. He was an earnest supporter of the Fraternity throughout the years that tried the Brethren, and held official connection with the Lodge for eighteen years. He retained his love and reverence for the principles of Freemasonry to the close of life, passing away at the age of eighty-eight years, and was buried with Masonic honors.
At the age of ninety-five years and ten months Bro. Artemas Hale prepared a sketch, of the history of the Lodge, most of which is here presented in his own words.
ARTEMAS HALE'S HISTORY
"The Lodge was started under the most favorable auspices, having among its members, many of the most influential citizens of the three parishes, East, West, and South. In the East, Dr. Orr, who was ardently devoted to the Institution of Freemasonry, and for many years was one of the most active members of the Lodge, occupying the chair several years, and holding other offices occasionally. He was a man of superior abilities, and was universally esteemed as a Mason, physician, legislator and private citizen. Also in the East, Judge Nahum Mitchell, Gen. Sylvanus Lazell; in the West, Charles Angier, a distinguished lawyer, Judge Daniel Howard, Dr. Simeon Dunbar; in the South, Dr. Noah Fearing, Isaac and Nathan Lazell, Nathan and Daniel Mitchell.
"From that time until 1806 the Lodge held its regular Communications and received numerous additions to its membership. From December, 1806, to March, 1809, it does not appear by the records that there was any meeting of the Lodge. No cause is given for the omission.
"On the 3d of March, 1809, there was an informal meeting of several members, and it was voted that the officers last chosen should officiate in their respective offices for the present. Soon after a regular Lodge was holden at East Bridgewater, and no interruption to the usual Communications occurred until 1832, when the "tidal wave" of anti-Masonry swept over this part of the country and caused a general stagnation of all Masonic work for several years. Fellowship Lodge, however, held occasional meetings, but no work was done until 1845. From that time to the present I am not aware that there has been any interruption to the regular Communications.
"June 24, 1814, the Festival of St. John the Baptist was celebrated by the Lodge, and an oration was delivered by Rev. Bro. John Pipon, of Taunton. The record says that "after partaking of refreshments and making proper arrangements, the Brethren formed a procession, followed by the female connections of the Brethren, and proceeded to Dr. Sanger's meeting-house where a very appropriate and interesting address was delivered by Bro. John Pipon, together with vocal and instrumental music. The procession then returned to Captain Pratt's and partook of a suitable dinner."
"In 1828 the Festival of St. John the Baptist was celebrated by Fellowship Lodge. An address was delivered by Rev. Bro. Huntoon, of Canton, after which the members of the Lodge and visitors partook of a well provided dinner.
"At this time anti-Masonry had become quite prevalent in this section and the celebration seemed to give additional zeal to the agitators.
"It became known in the Fall of 1826 that one William Morgan, of Batavia, New York, a bricklayer in indigent circumstances, was preparing a work for publication revealing the obligations, secret signs and ceremonies of Freemasonry. This fact, as might well be supposed, occasioned quite a commotion among the Masons in the vicinity, and various measures were resorted to to prevent it. Persuasion and advice had no avail, and a scheme was then planned to get Morgan out of the way. To effect this he was arrested for a debt of small amount and lodged in the jail in Canandaigua, where he remained a few days, when he was induced by a person who paid the debt to leave the jail with him. Arrangements having been made for the purpose, he was taken into a carriage, (whether voluntarily or otherwise does not appear), and carried in the night to Niagara and put into a room in the fort there which had been prepared for his reception. It is said that he was taken across the river to the Canada side and brought back, but this is uncertain. His lodgment in the fort at Niagara is the last that has ever been publicly known of Morgan.
"It was generally believed at the time by most people that he was either secreted somewhere in the State or carried out of the country. This ill-advised and reprehensible transaction seems to have been the work of not a large number of individuals, and it does not appear from any of the investigations that it received the approval of any Lodge or other Body of Freemasons.
"The transaction, as was to be expected, produced quite a sensation in that section, and if it had been limited to the detection and punishment of those concerned in it, would have been highly proper and commendable, but instead of this a pretext was made of it for waging a war of the most virulent kind against the Institution of Freemasonry and the persecution and proscription of its members. No pains were spared by the agitators to spread the excitement and it soon found its way into all parts of the country, but more particularly in the Northern States, and became a regularly organized political anti-Masonic party.
"In New York the Legislature authorized the appointment of commissioners or agents to investigate the matter and assist in the prosecution of the guilty parties. The courts were occupied a good while in prosecuting individuals, and I believe some three or four were convicted and suffered imprisonment. Judge Spencer, the agent, made a very elaborate report in which he gave an account of Morgan's abduction, similar to the one I have before given, and in allusion to the intensity of feeling in the community, he says: The irritation produced by this state of things has become most disastrous to the peace and happiness of society in that part of the State. It has mingled with business and all the relations of life, and has affected almost every question of a public nature.
"In Massachusetts the Fraternity were assailed with all the malignity that party zeal could adopt. Conventions were held at which inflammatory speeches were made, and resolutions adopted and circulated through the community charging the Institution of Freemasonry as being subversive of civil government, imputing to it principles and practices of the most corrupt and infamous character, and proscribing all members of the Fraternity, without regard to character, as being unworthy of trust or of holding any office either State, or municipal, or even of having their names in the jury boxes. The party was thoroughly organized in this State and had its separate candidates for all public offices.
"At the State election in 1832 the Whig candidate had 33,128 votes; anti-Masonic, 14,703; Democratic, 14,386. The Legislature passed an Act to prevent the taking of extra judicial oaths, which was aimed particularly at the Masons, and an attempt was made to raise a committee to investigate the proceedings of the Grand Lodge, but was defeated.
"I could go more into detail as to the motives and proceedings of the anti-Masonic party, but as they appear more fully in the report of the Rhode Island committee, I will refer to that.
"In October, 1831, the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island, in compliance with the memorials of anti-Masons, appointed a committee of five leading men of the State, none of them Masons, to fully investigate and inquire into the causes, grounds, and extent of the charges and accusations brought against Freemasonry and Masons in this State.
"The committee entered into their labors with a determination to faithfully perform their duty, and after spending a great many days, during which they examined more than one hundred witnesses, both anti-Masons and Masons, and hearing the statements and arguments of all parties,. made a very elaborate report.
"In the introduction of their report they state that the charges to be inquired into were, most of them, of a general, irresponsible character, imputing motives, designs, principles, and practices adverse to religion and morality, subversive of civil government and incompatible with all the social and civil virtues and duties; and that, these charges were to be gathered from various printed addresses, memorials, reports of meetings and committees, and from numerous pamphlets and newspapers.
"The committee were most thorough in their investigation, spending ten days in Providence and seventeen in Newport in examining witnesses and hearing arguments. After proceeding several days in the investigation it became evident to the 'antis' that the result would be unfavorable to them. They then endeavored to frustrate the object of the investigation in various ways. The report of the committee is very voluminous, and it would be quite interesting to make further extracts from their proceedings in the investigation, but it will be sufficient for my purpose to confine myself to their result.
"After a very long statement of the particular charges against the Institution, as to its principles and the various acts of criminality of the Fraternity, they say that with respect to the Institution itself, it was originally good, and that as it is still understood and practised in this State cannot be called bad, much less criminal. Upon the whole we must come to the conclusion that in the genuine original principles of Masonry there is nothing objectionable. But its principles have in some places become corrupted, and the Institution abused to an alarming degree.
They then proceed to give their opinion of the charges and their authors. They say, There have been a number of highly criminal and scandalous charges aimed at the characters of a large class of the most respectable citizens of the State, published and republished in newspapers, pamphlets, and handbills and unceasingly propagated with declarations that the propagators held themselves to establish them, all of which when fully examined, although every effort has been made to sustain them, have turned out to be totally false.
"They ask, Who are they that have done this work, and what has been their object? They then proceed to give a full account of the manner by which the party was got up and the manner in which it had been conducted, and sum it up by saying that the actual perpetrators of the murder of Morgan they concerned themselves but little about, and only made use of it for coupling with them and implicating in their guilt the whole Masonic Fraternity, and believing their plans were sufficiently matured to receive the finishing stroke they began to explain that the only way to reach their enemies, the Masons, was to vote against them, to vote them down, not only the Masons, but all others who would join with them.
"I have referred to this case for the purpose of showing that after the most thorough investigation of the charges alleged against the Masonic Fraternity by a highly respectable committee, they were pronounced entirely false, and the propagators severely censured.
"A National Convention was held at Baltimore in September, 1831, for nominating a candidate for President, which sat two days. William Wirt was the nominee, who, in his letter of acceptance, after referring to the statements that had been made, said that the Masonic society had become a tremendous political engine, with powers and a disposition to set the laws of the land at defiance, to mark and sacrifice its victims at pleasure with impunity, and silence all individual opposition by the mysterious terrors which it diffuses through the community. This shows the character of the convention.
"Companion Livingston, at his installation as General Grand High Priest at Washington, said: It does not indeed, as in other countries, incarcerate our bodies, strain them on the wheel, or consume them in the flames of the inquisition; but its attacks are, to our honorable minds, as unjustifiable. It assails our reputation with the blackest of calumnies, strives by the most absurd inventions to deprive us of the confidence of our fellow-citizens, belies the principles of our Order, and represents us as bound together by obligations subversive to civil order and hostile to religion.
"Rev. Bernard Whitman, in his Address at the dedication of the Masonic Temple, says: Morgan was abducted, perhaps murdered. His neighbors were aroused by the nefarious transaction. They sounded the alarm far and wide. They adopted energetic measures for the detection and punishment of the violators of human and divine laws. Thus far everything was praiseworthy. But alas for the degeneracy of mankind! Selfish and ambitious individuals took advantage of the salutary excitement. They converted it into an engine for political and personal aggrandizement. By their artful addresses and inflammatory appeals, by their exaggerated accounts and false statements, they enlisted a multitude of worthy freemen. They poured upon the Masonic Body a torrent of unmeasured abuse and obloquy and condemnation. They charged us with the most dangerous principles, the most horrid practices, the most abominable crimes. They raised a flood of party spirit which in some places swept away almost every vestige of domestic harmony, social enjoyment, and religious communion.
"In October 1812 I was initiated as an Entered Apprentice, in Charity Lodge, in Fitzwilliam, in the State of New Hampshire. In November I was passed to the degree of Fellow Craft, and in January following was raised to the degree of Master Mason. I then resided in Winchendon, in this State, and in a few weeks after having taken my degrees I removed to Hingham, and have never had an opportunity of visiting Charity Lodge since.
"Having a desire to know something of the history and present condition of the Lodge, I wrote to the Secretary a few months since requesting him to give me the names of the officers of the Lodge at the time of my initiation and at the present time, and such other facts in relation to the Lodge as might be interesting, and have received a very prompt reply. He states that the Lodge is now located in East Jaffrey and is in quite a flourishing condition, but could not give me the names of the officers at my initiation, from the fact that about two years since the building in which the Lodge was held was burned and they lost all their effects, records, Charter, regalia, etc. They had got well fitted up again and were nearly out of debt and growing prosperously. He gave me the names of the present officers of the Lodge, and such facts of its previous history as he could give from recollection.
"The Lodge was publicly instituted and its officers installed Oct. 17, 1807, arid he adds, The day was beautiful, and upwards of one hundred of the Fraternity were present, together with the largest concourse of people ever assembled in Fitzwilliam. And what is rather a singular circumstance, I was in the place on other business, and heard the Address at the church on the occasion, without a thought that I should ever become connected with the Lodge.
"During my residence in Hingham, (about two years), I was connected with Old Colony Lodge in that place, which was then in a very prosperous condition, having recently been instructed by a distinguished lecturer in the work and lectures of the first three degrees of Masonry. Being a recent initiate, and taking quite an interest in the matter, I acquired a pretty thorough knowledge of the work and lectures. The Old Colony Lodge has, I believe, ever sustained a very respectable standing.
"I came to Bridgewater in the Fall of 1816, and my first visit to Fellowship Lodge was in September, 1817. The Lodge was then located in West Bridgewater. At the annual meeting in December, 1817, I was appointed Secretary, and in the year following was chosen Master, and served in that capacity for the five succeeding years. I was afterwards appointed Secretary for two or three years, and Treasurer one or more.
"About the year 1830 I received the appointment of D.D.G. Master, but as it was during the anti-Masonic excitement I never officiated as such.
"I have ever considered the Institution of Freemasonry as of the highest importance, and calculated to produce the most salutary effects upon the lives and characters of all who become members of it.
"My intercourse with Fellowship Lodge has always been of a very friendly and agreeable character, and it is quite gratifying to know that it is so well conducted, and in so prosperous a condition. Long may it so continue!
"The congratulations and expressions of regard so cordially and so feelingly tendered on my ninety-fifth birthday anniversary by the members of the Lodge will ever be most gratefully remembered."
125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1922
by Right Worshipful Arthur C. Boyden
It is my purpose to mention only a few of the milestones in the history of Fellowship Lodge, in order to give to the members the striking points of interest in our development during the last one hundred and twenty-five years. The history of the Lodge divides itself roughly into four periods of thirty, forty, thirty, and twenty-five years respectively.
The first record of any movement toward the formation of a Lodge bears the date of October, 1796. At this time the Masons residing in the old town of Bridgewater, desirous of having a place of meeting at or near their place of residence, appointed a committee to present a petition to the nearest Lodge. This petition was presented to Orphan's Hope Lodge, of Weymouth, asking for a recommendation to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts that it grant them a Charter for a Lodge in Bridgewater, to be called Fellowship Lodge.
The first meeting of Fellowship Lodge was held at the house of Hector Orr, of East Bridgewater, on June 30, 1797. In September a room in this house was finished and furnished suitably for the use of the Lodge. On October second the officers were elected. On November third the Grand Lodge came to Bridgewater, and Fellowship Lodge was then and there consecrated and constituted by the Grand Master, Paul Revere, and its officers were installed. The Charter of Fellowship Lodge bears the date of June 15, 1797.
This was a period of great national activity. George Washington, the eminent Mason, had completed his second term and retired to Mount Vernon with honors. The country had entered on a period of prosperity. The experiment of a new self-governing nation was successful. The political, financial, and foreign policies of the new republic were established.
It was also a period of great Masonic activity. In the year 1797 Paul Revere signed the Charters for nine new Lodges. In September, 1800, the Lodge removed to the South Parish, again removed to the West Parish in 1809, and in 1813 removed to Pratt's Hall in the South Parish. In 1818 its meetings were held in Academy Hall, which continued until 1822, when that building was destroyed by fire. The Lodge then removed to the East Parish, where its meetings were held in different places until 1826, when it again removed to Bridgewater.
The second period began about 1826, at the time of the agitation over William Morgan. The first part of this period was one of bitter opposition, as manifested by the development of the Anti-Masonic Party. For ten years the meetings of the Lodge were suspended, but the Charter was never surrendered. It was hidden in the walls at the house of John Ames, of West Bridgewater. Meetings were resumed in 1845, and the Lodge moved from town to town, according to the accommodations that could be obtained. From 1828 to 1851 only ten members were admitted. After this time the Lodge began to grow again rapidly, and by 1868 one hundred and forty-five new members had been added to the rolls, including the names of many prominent business and professional men of the town.
The third period might be considered to begin in 1869, when a purchase of the building the Lodge now occupies was made, but it was not until 1872 that a vote was taken to add a third story to the building and fit up rooms for the permanent use of the Lodge. This was completed in the fall of the same year, and on November eighth was appropriately dedicated by Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Master of the Masons of the State.
On April 16, 1884, the store on the first floor of the building was badly damaged by fire, and the Lodge-rooms suffered considerably from smoke and water, compelling a partial refitting.
In 1889 a committee was appointed to consider the matter of refurnishing the entire upper story of the building. This work was completed in 1891. Since that time the Lodge has kept steadily on with its work, enjoying a season of Masonic harmony and good fellowship.
On June 15, 1897, the One Hundredth Anniversary of the establishment of the Lodge was celebrated. Grand Master Charles C. Hutchinson and other members of the Grand Lodge were present on this occasion. The Old Colony Commandery of Abington and the Bay State Commandery of Brockton were guests of the Lodge. The public meeting was held in Agricultural Hall. The Master, Arthur C. Boyden, delivered the address of welcome, to which the Grand Master responded. The historical address was given by Worshipful Brother Warren K. Churchill, who became a member of the Lodge in 1859. The address of the occasion was given by Dr. George C. Lorimer, who at that time was minister at Tremont Temple. After the general meeting a banquet was held in the lower hall of the Agricultural Building. This was attended by over eight hundred people. Various toasts were responded to by prominent members of the Fraternity.
The subject of Dr. Lorimer's wonderful address was the relation of Masonry to our national life. In his introduction he made reference to Washington laying the corner-stone of the Capitol during his administration as President, thus symbolizing the relation of Masonry to the development of American patriotism. He referred to the important influence of large numbers of the Fraternity at the time of the Declaration of Independence, during the Revolutionary War, and at the Constitutional Convention over which Washington presided. His main thesis was based upon the toast given at the close of the war to Washington in his home Lodge on the Temple of Liberty, as representing the spirit of Masonry, but emphasizing the fact that Masonry has been, and is, the nursery of patriots.
The Centennial Celebration was brought to a successful conclusion by a social gathering in the evening at the Town Hall. On this day Old Bridgewater was in its holiday attire, and everything seemed to be given up to the celebration of the Anniversary. All along the line of march dwellings and public buildings were tastefully decorated with flags, bunting, and Masonic emblems.
During the last period of twenty-five years there has been a wonderful growth in the membership of our Lodge, especially of the young men. The Chapter which links the Blue Lodge with the higher organizations also developed very rapidly. The Past Masters' Association for this section of the State has been of great value in building up the efficiency of the different Lodges, and the latest movement has been that of the organization of the ladies in a Chapter of the Eastern Star. The possibilities of inter-communication, due first to the trolley car and later to the automobile, have greatly enlarged the influence and acquaintance among members of this section of the State, and thus increased the solidarity of the Organization.
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1947
From Proceedings, Page 1947-233:
By Right Worshipful Herbert K. Pratt.
One of the customs of many years which we continue in Fellowship Lodge is holding the regular meetings of the Lodge on the Monday on or before the full of the moon, by whose light in years gone by our ancient Brethren were guided on their homeward way.
And perhaps, if we could go back to an unwritten record of a century and a half ago, we would find that the first idea of a Masonic Lodge in the old town of Bridgewater took form on a moonlight night, when our ancient Brethren were returning from some meeting of Old Colony Lodge in Hingham, which was then the nearest seat of constituted Masonic activity. As a result of the desire of the Masons in Bridgewater to meet regularly within their own borders, a petition was presented to Old Colony Lodge asking for a recommendation to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge that it grant a charter for a Lodge in our town. At the communication of the Grand Lodge held in Boston on June 12, 1797, a charter bearing the name of Fellowship was granted to Brothers Hector Orr, Charles Angier, Josiah Otis, Noah Fearing, Isaac Lazell, Nathan Lazell and Joseph Lazell. The charter, bearing date of June 15, 1797, bears the signatures of Paul Revere, Grand Master, whose fame as a Revolutionary Patriot and Mason needs no retelling here; Isaiah Thomas, Senior Grand Warden; Joseph Laughton, Junior Grand Warden; and Daniel Oliver, Grand Secretary.
The first officers of Fellowship Lodge were:
- Wor. Hector Orr, Master
- Bro. Charles Angier, Senior Warden
- Bro. Noah Fearing, Junior Warden
- Bro. Nathan Lazell, Treasurer
- Bro. Nahum Mitchell, Secretary
- Bro. Simeon Dunbar, Senior Deacon
- Bro. Isaac Lazell, Junior Deacon
- Bro. Martin Howard, Senior Steward
- Bro. John Burr, Junior Steward
- Bro. Daniel Ripley, Tyler
The first recorded meeting is that of June 30, 1797, when the Fellow Craft Degree was conferred.
The Lodge was consecrated on the third of the following November, the exercises being held in the meeting house of the East Parish, with the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in attendance, and included a sermon by the Rev. Thaddeus M. Harris of Dorchester, and an oration by Worshipful Hector Orr, Master-elect.
Tradition informs us that following the ceremonies an "elegant dinner" was served, of which all partook heartily, a custom which has continuously found favor in our Lodge even up to the present hour.
Our first Worshipful Master, Dr. Hector Orr, is described as being "an apt scholar, read rapidly and remembered what he read. He was a man of sparkling wit and possessed a fund of anecdotes which were ever at hand, and if occasion offered readily delivered." He was graduated from Harvard College in 1792, receiving his Masonic degrees in King Solomon's Lodge in Charlestown in 1791 and 1792. He served as surgeon on the USS Frigate Essex under Commodore Preble, and returning to the East Parish, began the practice of medicine in 1796. Would that he might be sitting with us tonight and enliven this history with a story or two!
During the years from 1798 to 1835, the Lodge moved in succession between the east, west and south parishes as occasion required, meeting generally in the homes of Dr. Orr or other members and apparently enjoying in those years a period of reasonable prosperity.
In 1835, as public feeling against Masonry mounted through the Morgan episode, the Lodge voted to remove to Brother Jonathan Ames' house, still standing on South Street in West Bridgewater, and to suspend regular meetings. We learn from tradition that during much of the anti-Masonic period our charter was hidden within the walls of Worshipful Brother Ames' home. When he was a very old man, Worshipful Jonathan Ames was elected an Honorary Member in Fellowship Lodge, and in accepting this honor, Brother Ames, in a letter still retained in our records, related that so bitter was the feeling against our Fraternity that the vast majority were inclined to surrender the charter and disband the Lodge. A small minority, a mere handful, including Brother Ames, insisted that the charter should be retained. As we recall tonight that our charter has never since 1797 been outside the limits of our jurisdiction, let us remember with gratitude the loyalty of "this ever faithful few."
During the period from 1835 to 1840, but one candidate was elected to receive the degrees. Occasional meetings of the Lodge were held from 1840 to September, 1845, when regular meetings resumed in West Bridgewater, the period of Masonic disfavor having spent itself.
After moving again between the towns of West Bridgewater and Bridgewater, the Lodge purchased the building we now occupy in 1869. In 1872 a third story was added and dedicated on November 8th to Masonic purposes by Most Worshipful Sereno D. Nickerson. Substantial improvement and redecoration of the property has been made in 1884, 1891 and 1945, which depreciation and disaster made necessary.
During the closing quarter of the nineteenth century, the Lodge, at rest in its newly acquired home, increased steadily in membership, and included in its leadership many of the town's outstanding citizens.
On June 15, 1897, Fellowship Lodge fittingly celebrated her 100th Anniversary, Dame Nature and the whole population of Bridgewater cooperating, with residences and places of business along the line of march decorated with bunting and Masonic emblems. The Lodge entertained as its guests Old Colony Commandery, K. T., of Abington and Bay State Commandery, K. T., of Brockton, who, each with its band, escorted the Lodge and Grand Lodge through the main streets of the town, ending at the Old Fair Grounds on Broad Street. Here the address of welcome was delivered by the Worshipful Master, Arthur C. Boyden, with a response by Most Worshipful Charles C. Hutchinson, Grand Master. The history of the Lodge was given by Worshipful Warren K. Churchill, followed by an address by Dr. George C. Lorimer of Tremont Temple, Boston. As usual, the commemorative exercises were followed by a banquet in Agricultural Hall, with toasts appropriate to the occasion, to which the distinguished guests responded.
During the years since June 15, 1897, Fellowship Lodge has again gone forward, drawing interest and enthusiasm from our younger members, to its leadership, men of unusual ability and uniting its members in the bonds of Masonic harmony and good fellowship.
The Lodge has consistently supported the Grand Lodge in its expanding activities, both financially, in the raising of funds for the Home, Hospital and War Activities, and by active service in the Educational and Service programs.
On June 15, 1922, the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the Lodge was observed, with Right Worshipful Herbert W. Dean, Deputy Grand Master, and other Grand Officers in attendance and with a historical address by Right Worshipful Arthur C. Boyden. Other features of the celebration included a church service at the First Congregational Church (Unitarian) and a ladies' night at the Town Hall.
Perhaps one of the most tangible evidences of the high regard in which membership in Fellowship Lodge is held by our members is shown by the financial gifts with which the Lodge is being frequently remembered. Two bequests received within very recent years are in such substantial amounts and will perhaps have such a far-reaching effect on the Lodge's future, that particular mention here seems necessary.
- First — The "Elmer Edson Kimball Fund," representing the entire estate of the late Brother Elmer E. Kimball and received by the Lodge in 1941. Wisely placed in the hands of the Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company for investment, the income from this fund will help solve the financial problems of the Lodge for years to come.
- Second — The fine colonial residence at 197 Main Street, Bridgewater, given by Mr. Paul Revere of our town, a direct descendant of the illustrious Patriot, who, as Grand Master, signed our charter, as a permanent future home for Fellowship Lodge in 1944. While not a member, Mr. Revere has long entertained a favorable opinion of the Fraternity as his gift bears evidence.
While time does not permit the mention individually of each one within and without the Fraternity who has so benefitted Fellowship Lodge, may we here, on this occasion, express our gratitude for the confidence in ourselves and those to follow us, which these gifts express.
In order to give variety to our Lodge of Instruction programs, the Fellowship Players were organized in 1936. Teaching the story of Masonic brotherhood in dramatic form, this group have regularly produced a Masonic play from the pen of Most Worshipful Carl H. Claudy, accepting invitations to present its offerings in an ever widening circle of localities. Members of Fellowship Lodge have responded promptly to fill the ranks in each of our nation's wars. While our war record is not complete, a memorial in the lodge-room honors those who served in the first World War, including two who made the supreme sacrifice. In the last war, twenty of our members served in the Armed Forces, and at least seventy-one sons, daughters and brothers of our members were also in the Service. All of our members returned home safely, but some members of their families were not so fortunate.
Fourteen issues of the "Letter from Home," full of news from the home town, were sent out during the war's duration, and all on our mailing list were remembered each Christmas and on other occasions. The enthusiasm with which these young G.I.s have come into the Lodge during the war and since its close has proved to us that our interest in them was very much worthwhile, and will pay dividends in years to come.
Fellowship Lodge has been honored by having eleven of its members appointed District Deputy Grand Masters, and one, Right Worshipful Lucius W. Lovell, was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1875. Thus far he has been the only member to sit permanently in Grand Lodge. The Lodge has furnished two Masters and one Instructor for our Lodge of Instruction, and its members have assumed other district responsibilities when called upon.
Probably the record for continuous service to the Lodge was held by our late Brother Harry Whitney Bragdon, who passed on June 4th, and who served as Treasurer from 1905 to 1946, a period of forty-one years.
Perhaps we can find no more fitting sentiment with which to close this one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of our Lodge than the words of Worshipful Master Arthur C. Boyden on presenting our ancient charter to Most Worshipful Grand Master Hutchinson fifty years ago today:
"This charter is signed by the names of brothers who are honored in our national history. It is an old document with no mark of surrender upon it. During days of prosperity or bitter adversity it has been carefully guarded and honored. In your hands we place it, with feelings of justified pride in its history. May its future be as rich in good to the fraternity as its past has been to Fellowship Lodge."
"Know ye our World — what it shall be
This day — a hundred years
A garden sweet with loyalty,
Or stained with wrong and tears
Whose is the task? — All eyes may see
Though sign and word appears
Yea, — dare I think — on you and me
Depends what our loved World will be
This day — a hundred years."
175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1972
From Proceedings, Page 1972-210:
Historical Highlights of Fellowship Lodge
By Worshipful Luther L. Hayden, Jr.
(Detailed histories of Fellowship Lodge for the earlier periods may be found in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as follows: 1897, pages 120-138; 1922, pages 244-248)
The first record of any movement toward the formation of the Lodge bears the date of October 1, 1796. At that time a group of Masons of the old town of Bridgewater, desirous of having a meetingplace at or near their place of abode, appointed a committee to present a petition to the nearest Lodge. The petition was signed by Hector Orr, Charles Angier, Josiah Otis, Noah Fearing, Isaac Lazell, Nathan Lazell, and Joseph Lazell. It was presented to Orphan's Hope Lodge of Weymouth, asking for a recommendation to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge that it grant a charter for a Lodge in Bridgewater, to be called Fellowship Lodge.
The first meeting of which we have a record was held at the home of Brother Hector Orr, in the East Parish of Bridgewater on June 30, 1797. On October 2, officers of The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts came to Bridgewater, and at that time Most Worshipful Paul Revere consecrated and constituted Fellowship Lodge.
The Charter of Fellowship Lodge is dated June 15, 1797 and is worthy of special mention. It is signed by Most Worshipful Paul Revere. During his term of office, twenty-three new Lodges were formed, and several of these have their original charter. Fellowship Lodge is one of these.
In order to appreciate the period in which Fellowship Lodge was formed, it would be well to note what was happening in our country in 1797. George Washington had just completed his second term, and in March, 1797, John Adams, second President of the United States, had been inaugurated. The cornerstone of the first Capitol building in Washington had just been laid with elaborate Masonic ceremonies, in which George Washington took part. The Town of Bridgewater was composed of what is now Brockton, West Bridgewater, East Bridgewater and Bridgewater.
In 1835, due to the strong anti-Masonic feeling which prevailed throughout this nation, the Lodge voted to suspend its regular meetings. From 1833-1845, only one candidate received the degrees. The Charter was never surrendered during this time. Tradition informs us that it was concealed in the eaves of the Jonathan Ames house on South Street in West Bridgewater.
Regular meetings were resumed in September, 1845, and a period of lively Masonic activity took place. By 1868, 140 new members had been added to the rolls.
In 1869, Fellowship Lodge purchased its first permanent home, located on the site of the present Temple. In 1872, a third story was added to form the lodge room which many of us came to know so well.
On June 15, 1897, the 100th Anniversary was observed. (1897 Mass. 113-144) Apparently the whole town participated, for a newspaper list of decorated buildings includes practically all public and commercial buildings, as well as many homes. The Most Worshipful Grand Master, Most Worshipful Charles G. Hutchinson, and many members of Grand Lodge were in attendance. After an hour-long parade, an anniversary meeting was held, followed by a banquet. The Reverend Dr. George C. Lorimer, Minister of Tremont Temple, delivered the principal address. One report states that over 800 attended.
In 1922, the 125th Anniversary was observed with a church service, ladies night and a commemorative communication. (1922 Mass. 241-248) The Grand Lodge was represented by the Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden.
In 1936, according to Right Worshipful Herbert K. Pratt, "the Lodge was swept with a wave of dramatic fervor." The Fellowship Players were organized, and for several years a different play by Worshipful Carl H. Claudy was produced annually. Invitations were received from far and wide and the Players traveled from Provincetown to Boston, appearing before an estimated ten thousand Masons. During World War II, the Players submerged, but every now and then they surface, upon request, to reenact their perennial favorite, "A Rose On The Altar."
On June 15, 1947, the Lodge celebrated its 1 50th Anniversary with church services and a Special Communication. Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg, Grand Master, and several other Grand Lodge Officers were our guests. (1947 Mass. 233-238) The observance ended with a banquet at the Albert Gardner Boyden Gymnasium.
At the February 24, 1964 meeting of the Lodge, a committee was appointed to look into the advisability of either remodeling the lodge building or erecting a new Temple. For a number of years it had become increasingly apparent that extensive repairs would have to be made to the old structure, which had been the home of Fellowship Lodge for nearly 100 years. The building was structurally weak and the lodge room on the third floor was a potential fire-trap. After considerable study, by this committee and others that followed, at the May 2, 1966 meeting, erection of a new building on the same site was recommended and it was voted to proceed with the project. The building committee then set to work in earnest. A brochure was prepared showing plans for the proposed new Temple, and at the June 6th communication a drive for funds was initiated, with Brother Thomas Carroll, our oldest member, making the first contribution. Arrangements were made for the Lodge to meet in the quarters of Satucket Lodge in East Bridgewater. Late in July, demolition of the old building was begun. Construction proceeded with few interruptions, and by the Fall of 1967 the building was ready for occupancy.
September 6, 1967 was a Red Letter Day in the history of Fellowship Lodge. On that day, officers of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts came to Bridgewater and Most Worshipful Thomas A. Booth, Grand Master, presided over the laying of the cornerstone and dedication of the new Temple. (1967 Mass. 310—312) Masons from far and near taxed the capacity of the lodge room to participate in the traditional Masonic ceremonies. Then, on April 8, 1968, a mortgage-burning ceremony proclaimed the Lodge's freedom from encumbrances. Thus, the hopes and plans of Fellowship Lodge came to fruition, and another page added to the story of Masonry in Bridgewater.
No account of the building of the Temple would be complete without credit being given to those whose efforts and contributions made it possible. First, to the Building Committee, who labored so tirelessly for a period of more than two years, studying, planning and finally supervising the building construction. Secondly, to all of those who subscribed so generously to the drive for funds. Thirdly, to the memory of those whose gifts and bequests were largely responsible for our being able to build without incurring indebtedness: namely, Brothers Elmer Edson Kimball and John Gardner Braman; Paul Revere, great-grandson of the signer of our Charter; Mrs. Flora T. Little, widow of Brother Walter S. Little and Mrs. Eleanor G. Reynolds, daughter of Brother Harry H. Bragdon, Lodge Treasurer for thirty-nine years. To these, and many others, Fellowship Lodge owes a debt of undying gratitude.
For 175 years, Fellowship Lodge has survived through wars, depressions and the anti-Masonic period, and has prospered. It has become a recognized and respected influence for good in the community. As a unit of a great Fraternity, international in its scope, we should like to feel that it has played its part in the promotion of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth to all men "wherever dispersed over the face of this earth." May God grant that its future be as bright as its past.
- 1811 (Petition for remission, II-506)
- 1820 (Notes on delinquency, III-290; III-294)
- 1821 (Notes on delinquency, III-341; III-368)
- 1862 (Petition regarding jurisdictional boundaries, VI-408)
OFFICER LIST, JANUARY 1827
From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. III, No. 5, January 1827, Page 34:
At a regular communication of Fellowship Lodge, Bridgewater, Mass., Jan. 8, 1827, the following officers were duly installed, viz.:
- Bro. A. Hayward, W. M.
- Bro. J. D. Burrill, S. W.
- Bro. A. Packard, J. W.
- Bro. N. Leonard, T.
- Bro. A. Hale, S.
- Bro. G. W. Perkins, Jun., S. D.
- Bro. S. Perkins, Jun., J. D.
- Bros. N. Monroe and F Whitman, Stewards.
- Bro. D. Tyler, Tyler.
- Bro. W. Rust, Marshal.
OFFICER LIST, FEBRUARY 1832
From Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. III, No. 33, February 1832, Page 259:’’
- Silas Hayward, M.
- Simeon Perkins, S. W.
- Philander Dean, J. W.
- Artemas Hale, Treasurer.
- A. Hayward, Secretary.
- Jonathan Ames, Jr., S. D.
- Jabez Harden, J. D.
- Daniel Tyler, Tyler.
OFFICER LIST, FEBRUARY 1860
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XIX, No. 5, March 1860, Page 151:
West Bridgewater, Feb. 10th, 1860.
C. W. Moore, Esq., R. G. S.
Dear Sir and Bro.— Fellowship Lodge has the last year expended about $400, in furnishing their Hall anew — and have initiated from Sept. 5855 to Jan. 5860, 21—out of some of the best men in its jurisdiction. It was never in so flourishing a situation as at the present time. There is one thing that speaks well for the cause, and that is this: Our old members are constantly on band at all the stated and special meetings of the Lodge. I believe three of them have been members of the Institution about fifty years, and are just as zealous as ever. At one of our meetings last fall, these three Brothers filled the three first offices in the Lodge, for the evening. Eleven of the members are members of the R. A. C.
I am Fraternally your Brother and Companion, J. D. B.
The officers for the current year are as follows:
- Franklin Leach, W. M.
- William F. Perkins, S. W.
- Lewis Holmes, J. W.
- Philip D. Kingman, Treas.
- Jarvis D. Burrell, Sec.
- Warren K. Churchill, S. D.
- Waterman Sprague, J. D.
- Charles T. Hall, S. Steward
- Hiram H. Erskine, J. Steward
- Rev. Joseph H. Phipps, Chaplain
- Lucius W. Lovell, Marshal
- Samuel Hawes, Tyler.
INSTALLATION, SEPTEMBER 1864
At the stated meeting of Fellowship Lodge, Bridgewater, Mass., held on the 12th ult., the following were elected and appointed officers for the ensuing Masonic year:
- F. A. Sprague, W. M.;
- W. K. Churchill, S. W.;
- L. Parsons, J. W.;
- C. Hobart, Treas.
- L. W. Lovell, Sec.;
- H. H. White, S. D.;
- S. Harlow, J. D.;
- C. Washburn, S. S.;
- W. H. Reiser, J. S.;
- J. D. Burrill, Mar.;
- Samuel Hawes, T.
Fellowship Lodge is the oldest in the district, its charter being dated 1797. It is the only lodge in the county that retained its charter through the dark ages. It has now 101 names on its rolls, and is in a healthy condition.
OFFICER LIST, OCTOBER 1864
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXIII, No. 12, October 1864, Page 384:
Bridgewater, Mass. Sept. 20, 1864.
Br. Moore — I forward the names of the officers of Fellowship Lodge for the ensuing Masonic year:
- F. A. Sprague, M.
- W. K. Churchill, S. W.
- L. Parsons, J. W.
- C. Hobart, Treas.
- L. W. Lovell, Sec.
- H. H. White, S. D.
- S. Hurlow, J. D.
- C. Washburn, S. S.
- W. H: Reisen, J. S.
- J. D. Burrell, Marshal.
- Sam'l Howes, Tyler.
Fellowship Lodge is in a healthy condition, and all is peace and harmony within its walls. We now number 101 names on the mil of the Lodge. Have initiated 12 the past year, and rejected, I think, 9. We are determined to do all in our power to keep Masonry pure, and not admit too many to share its favors.
I hope to see this and all other Lodges Well represented on the 14th. L.
ELECTIONS, NOVEMBER 1868
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1, November 1868, Page 30:
Annual Meeting of Fellowship Lodge, Bridgewater.
L. Parsons, M.; F. S. Strong, S.W.; F. S. Churchill, J.W.; Caleb Hobart, Treas.; W. R. Churchill, Sec. All re-elections, except the Secretary, E. W. Lovell, who has held the office of Secretary for eight years, declining to serve longer. There were present at the meeting, three Past Masters of over thirty years standing; one of whom, Br. Artemas Hale, was Master of the Lodge fifty years ago. Br. L. W. Lovell has been an active member of the Lodge for sixteen years, fifteen of which he has held office in the Lodge, and has seen the degrees' conferred on one hundred and one members, during that time ; the Lodge now numbers one hundred and twelve.
As a token of the feeling of the Lodge towards Br. Lovell, he was presented with a valuable watch and chain by the members of the Lodge.
HALL DEDICATION, NOVEMBER 1872
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXXII, No. 1, November 1872, Page 24:
The new Masonic Hall recently erected by Fellowship Lodge of Bridgewater, was dedicated by the M. W. Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth on the 8th of November, last, in the presence of a large assemblage of Brethren and their ladies. The ceremony was performed by M. W. Grand Master Nickerson in his usual concise and felicitous manner. He was assisted on this occasion by:
- R. W. William Parkman, as Deputy Grand Master;
- R. W. Wm. D. Coolidge as Senior Grand Warden;
- R. W. Tracy P. Cheever, Junior Grand Warden;
- R. W. Bradford L. Wales as Treasurer;
- R. W. Charles H. Titus, R. G. Grand Secretary;
- R. W. Charles W. Moore, Cor. Grand Secretary;
- W. W. H. Chessman, Grand Marshal;
- Bros. James H. Bouvé and Frank Morton as Grand Stewards;
- Bros. Lucius Holmes as Grand Sword Bearer; and
- Bro. Fred. A. Pierce, Grand Tyler.
At the conclusion of the dedicatory ceremonies the Officers of the Lodge were installed into their places as follows:—
- Hosea Kingman, W. M.
- Isaac Damon, S. W.
- Francis M. Kingman, J. W.
- Isaac R. Alden, Treas.
- Warren K. Churchill, Sec.
- Benj. T. Crooker, S. D.
- Alexander Dove, Jr., J. D.
- Joseph L. Hathaway, S. S.
- Leonard L. Gammons, J. S.
- Wm. H. Reiser, Tyler.
- Rev. Joseph Hutchinson, Chaplain.
- George H. Burt, Organist.
- Southworth Harlow, Inside Sentinel.
On the completion of the Installation, the company present were addressed by the M. W. Grand Master, R. W. Bros. Parkman, Coolidge and Cheever, and an interesting sketch of the history of the Lodge was read by W. Bro. E. H. Keith. The Grand Lodge then retired; whereafter the presentation of a Past Master's jewel to the retiring Master, Bro. Fred. G. Churchill, the Brethren with their ladies repaired to the banquet hall to supper, where brief speeches were made by several brethren, and an interesting poem was read by Rev. Bro. John Wills, a copy of which we have given in another page.
The new hall is a very commodious one, and is fitted up and furnished in excellent taste. The Lodge itself is one of the oldest in the jurisdiction, and one of the few in the Commonwealth which sustained their integrity and kept up their meetings through the anti-masonic persecutions. It is now in a flourishing and prosperous condition, and we heartily congratulate the Brethren on the encouraging prospects before them.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Jonathan Ames, DDGM, District 13, 1833-1834; District 7, 1835-1842; SN
- Chandos L. Bailey, III, DDGM, District 17, 2009, 2010; Biography
- Arthur C. Boyden, DDGM, District 24 (Brockton), 1902, 1903; Memorial
- David T. Carleton, DDGM, District 29 (Brockton), 1973, 1974; Biography
- David E. Chaffee, DDGM, District 29 (Brockton), 1969, 1970
- Paul S. Chase, DDGM, District 29 (Brockton), 1989, 1990; N
- John D. Dorr, DDGM, District 29 (Brockton), 1955, 1956; Junior Grand Warden 1982; N
- Peter D. Dorr, DDGM, District 17, 2011, 2012
- John Edson, DDGM, District 7, 1856; SN
- Artemas Hale, DDGM, District 13, 1832; Memorial
- Brenelle Hunt, DDGM, District 29 (Brockton), 1925, 1926; N
- Joseph W. Keith, DDGM, District 29 (Brockton), 1941, 1942; Senior Grand Warden 1950; N
- Hosea Kingman, DDGM, District 16 (Plymouth), 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878; SN
- Lucius W. Lovell, DDGM, District 7, 1865; Junior Grand Warden 1875
- Abraham T. Lowe, Senior Grand Deacon 1849-1851, Deputy Grand Master 1855, 1856
- Hector Orr, DDGM, District 3 (South Shore and Cape Cod), 1806, 1807, 1817, 1818; Memorial; SN; Memorial
- Herbert K. Pratt, DDGM, District 29 (Brockton), 1933, 1934; N
- Edward Sawyer, DDGM, District 24 (Brockton), 1886, 1887, 1888; SN
- Daniel G. West, DDGM, District 17, 2017, 2018