Harmony

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HARMONY LODGE

Location: Northfield; Warwick (1814); Northfield (); Montague ( )

Chartered By: Paul Revere

Charter Date: 06/15/1796 II-85

Precedence Date: 06/15/1796

Current Status: Active

Bay State and Mechanics' Lodges merged here, 11/17/2004.


NOTES

MEMBER LIST, 1802

From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 18:

  • R. W. Joseph Proctor, M.
  • W. Benjamin Mayo, S. W.
  • W. Joseph Pond, J. W.
  • Obadiah Dickinson, Tr.
  • Samuel Prentice, Sec.
  • Nathaniel G. Stevens, S. D.
  • Amos Woodward, J. D.
  • Samuel Smith, Steward.
  • Noah Munn, Steward.
  • Moses Howe, Tiler.

No. of Members, 60.

  • Bunker Gay
  • Jonathan Carver
  • Eldad Wright
  • Edward Houghton
  • Solomon Vose
  • Joseph D. Lyman
  • Charles Bowen
  • Elisha Hothitec
  • Ebenezer Janes
  • Josiah Proctor

PAST MASTERS

  • Solomon Vose, 1796-1800; SN
  • Joseph Proctor, 1801-1803
  • Amos Woodward, 1804, 1805, 1807, 1809, 1810
  • Obadiah Dickinson, 1806
  • Nathaniel G. Stevens, 1808, 1811, 1812, 1815
  • Ashbel Ward, 1813, 1814
  • Franklin Ripley, 1816
  • Thomas Power, 1817
  • Richard Colton, 1818-1821
  • Willard Arms, 1822-1824
  • Horatio G. Whitcomb, 1825-1827; SN
  • Jonathan Belcher, 1828, 1829
  • Richard Colton, 1830-1856
  • Elijah Stratton, 1857
  • William H. Bass, 1858, 1863, 1867
  • George Alexander, 1859-1862, 1864
  • William S. Severance, 1865
  • Walter Field, 1866
  • Harry Evans, 1868, 1870, 1871, 1876, 1880
  • Daniel R. Davis, 1869-1874
  • George F. Alexander, 1872, 1873, 1875
  • George W. Page, 1877, 1885
  • Josiah M. Morrill, 1878, 1879, 1889
  • George N. Richards, 1881, 1882
  • Sumner G. Titus, 1883, 1890
  • Hiland G. Stockwell, 1884
  • George J. Bacon, 1886-1888
  • Frank E. Stimpson, 1891, 1892
  • Rollin C. Ward, 1893, 1894; SN
  • David May, 1895
  • Edward S. Bardwell, 1896, 1897
  • Thomas R. Callender, 1898, 1899
  • Ernest C. Field, 1900, 1901
  • Edwin A. Pratt, 1902, 1903
  • Benjamin F. Field, 1904, 1905
  • Fred W. Doane, 1906, 1907
  • Charles H. Webster, 1908, 1909
  • Nelson D. Alexander, 1910
  • Henry W. Russell, 1911, 1912
  • Henry A. Smith, 1913, 1914
  • Norman P. Wood, 1915, 1916
  • Henry H. Mason, 1917, 1918
  • Leon R. Alexander, 1919, 1920
  • Elmer F. Howard, 1921, 1922; Mem
  • Richard G. Holton, 1923, 1924; N
  • Robert B. Thomas, 1925
  • Leon P. Lilly, 1926, 1927
  • Merritt C. Skilton, 1928, 1929
  • Theodore F. Darby, 1930, 1931
  • Clarence M. Steadler, 1932
  • Walter W. Hyde, 1933, 1934
  • Ralph M. Forsaith, 1935, 1936, 1944; N
  • Martin E. Vorce, 1937
  • Willis K. Parker, 1938
  • Charles L. Johnson, 1939
  • Edgar J. Livingston, 1940
  • Harold F. Bigelow, 1941
  • Vernal G. Hurlbut, 1942
  • George McEwan, 1943
  • Horace W. Bolton, 1945, 1946
  • Ralph S. Livernoise, 1947
  • George M. Leonard, 1948
  • George H. Sheldon, 1949, 1950; SN
  • Roy J. Fish, 1951
  • Philip M. Mann, Jr., 1952
  • Joseph G. Morgan, 1953, 1954
  • Marshall R. Lanphear, 1955
  • Harry R. Johnson, Jr., 1956
  • Hubert J. Eastman, 1957
  • Harry W. Snow, 1958
  • Donald Q. McCollester, 1959, 1974, 1975, 1983, 1992, 1996; PDDGM
  • Herbert H. Maynard, 1960, 1976; SN
  • Paul J. Doaldson, 1961
  • G. Gilman Abar, Jr., 1962
  • Robert P. Barnes, 1963
  • Delmar P. Magoon, 1964
  • Perry A. Barber, 1965, 1977
  • James H. Morgan, 1966, 1967
  • Edward B. Snow, 1968
  • James A. DeCarteret, 1969
  • John H. Thayer, 1970
  • Daniel F. Morgan, 1971
  • Francis B. Reed, 1972, 1973
  • Norman B. Phelps, 1978, 1979
  • Lester A. Black, 1980, 1981, 1995; PDDGM
  • Daniel F. Morgan, 1982, 1999, 2000
  • Herbert H. Maynard, 1984, 1994
  • William J. Black, 1985, 1986
  • Charles P. Tranfield, 1987, 1988
  • Curtis D. Shepard, 1989-1991
  • Owen A. Jones, 1993
  • Raymond R. Leonard, 1997
  • Perry A. Barber, 1998
  • Donald R. Black, 2001-2004
  • Richard J. Podlenski, 2005, 2006
  • Donald T. Campbell, 2007-2009
  • Zachery T. Billings, 2010-2012

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1896 (Centenary)
  • 1946 (150th Anniversary)
  • 1971 (175th Anniversary)
  • 1996 (200th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1872 1879 1905 1926 1942 1949 1950 1951 1956 1960 1961 1962 1966 1967 1970 1977 1996 1997 2005 2006 2008 2014

HISTORY

  • 1896 (Centennial Historical Address, 1896-149; see below)
  • 1934 (Notes in History of Early Masonic Activity in Orange and Vicinity at the 75th Anniversary of Orange Lodge, 1934-141; see below)
  • 1946 (150th Anniversary History, 1946-228; see below)
  • 1971 (175th Anniversary History, 1971-284)

CENTENNIAL HISTORICAL ADDRESS, JUNE 1896

Presented at the Centennial Celebration, June 17 1896, by Wor. and Dr. Rollin C. Ward, beginning on Page 1896-155:

On the fifth of May, 1796, fifteen of tlie Brethren, from Northfield, Winchester and Hinsdale, met in Edward Houghton's Hall (now the Loveland House, standing on the opposite corner), and decided to form a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in Northfield under two special agreements: first, that one-half of the festivals should be held in Northfield; second, when the Brothers from Winchester shall wish to form a Lodge in their town they shall have the free and hearty consent of this Lodge. Solomon Vose was elected chairman and Dr. Samuel Prentice secretary of this meeting. They voted to petition the Grand Lodge for a charter; named the Lodge Harmony; and appointed committees to wait on Republican Lodge, of Greenfield, and Jerusalem Lodge, of Westmoreland, for certificates of approbation. They cliose Solomon Vose to present the petition to the Grand Lodge, and voted that each subscriber to the petition should pay to "Samuel Brewer the sum of one dollar at the next meeting.

Solomon Vose was elected Master; Stephen Hawkins, Senior Warden; and Noadiah Kellogg, Junior Warden. Meetings were held on the third Wednesday of each month. At the meeting held June 29, they elected the remainder of the officers, appointed committees to frame a code of by-laws and to procure jewels, aprons, etc., for the Lodge. Voted: That each subscriber pay. to-the Treasurer $5 in one week from this time to pay for charter, jewels, etc., and to allow 12£ per cent, to any Brother who would loan the money to the Lodge. Voted: To allow the Tyler 50 cents for each evening's attendance, and he be excluded from every expense.

August 17, a committee was chosen to.secure a minister to preach the installation sermon, (the word installation being used as we now use Constitution), and it was voted to install the second Thursday of October, the tickets to be $1.25. At 10 o'clock in the forenoon, Oct, 13, 1796, they met in Edward Houghton's Hall for the purpose of installation. "The reverend gentlemen of the clergy " were requested to join in the procession. Isaiah Thomas, Senior Grand Warden, acting Grand Master, took the chair and informed the Brethren that he was ready to install the Lodge. "The procession was formed and , in Masonic .order proceeded to the meeting-house, preceded by a band of music." The ceremonies of the day were introduced by a prayer from Rev. Ezra Conant; an appropriate hymn was then sung, accompanied by instruments. A sermon, suited to the occasion, was delivered by Rev. Samuel C. Allen. A spirited charge by Isaiah Thomas was given, after which the officers of Harmony Lodge were invested with the badges of their several offices, and the Lodge was constituted in due form. Music then closed the ceremonies, and the procession returned to the Hall, where an elegant dinner had been provided.

After dinner a number of Masonic toasts being drank, the reverend gentlemen of the clergy retired and the Lodge resumed its business. A committee was chosen to wait on Right Worshipful Brother Isaiah Thomas, and the other Brethren who officiated as officers of the Grand Lodge and return them the thanks of Harmony Lodge for their services this day, requesting Brother Thomas to accept compensation for the same. They replied they were amply repaid by the satisfaction they had received in our company. Happy will Harmony Lodge be if her future historian can write the same for to-day.

The festival of St. John the Evangelist was held in Winchester, Dec. 26, 1796. Sermon by Rev. Brother Bunker Gay. An elegant dinner was served at Noadiah Kellogg's, after which a number of Masonic toasts were drank. June 27, 1797, the festival of St. John the Baptist was held in Northfield, introduced by prayer' from Rev. Samuel C. Allen. Sermon by. Rev. Samuel Reed. An elegant dinner was provided, after which a number of Masonic toasts were drank, the reverend gentlemen of the clergy then retired, and the Lodge resumed its business.

It is noticeable that the reverend gentlemen of the clergy did not retire until the toasts were reverently cared for. The agreement that one-half of the festivals should be held in Northfield is now properly explained. Prohibition in those days was not, and is not to-day, one of the tenets of Freemasonry; but intemperance was then, and is now, considered disreputable by our Institution, and by all true Masons.

In consequence of the anti-Masonic excitement the Lodge did not meet after May 5, 1830, until February 17, 1836. The District Deputy Grand Master called for the charter and regalia. The Master, Richard Colton, told him that the Lodge had violated no requirement of the Grand Constitutions, or any of the ancient Masonic usages, and declined to give it up until a meeting of the Lodge could be called. The Lodge, at a meeting held Feb. 17, 1836, voted not to surrender the charter unless peremptorily ordered so to do by the Grand Lodge.

I hold in my hand that charter. It has always remained in the custody of Harmony Lodge. It is the most valuable instrument we have connecting us with the Grand Lodge of one hundred years ago, through our revered Past Grand Master, Paul Revere. On its margin stands his name in bold and honest letters. It was written with a pen made from a quill drawn from the pinion of an American goose. This pen would have been presented to us with the charter had not Republican Lodge, of Greenfield, claimed the priceless quill by reason of her seniority. We learn from Masonic tradition as well as from profane history that she returned this pen to the Grand Lodge at the same time she surrendered her charter.

No meeting of the Lodge' was held after the 17th day of February, 1836, until the 20th clay of February, 1850, . when the Lodge convened and unanimously voted to hold regular Communications thereafter, which has been done. So intense was the anti-Masonic feeling that the Master, Brother Colton, fearing the charter might be stolen, secreted it in the hollow of an oak tree then standing at the south end of our beautiful street.

This magnificent oak, whose widespreading branches sheltered the untutored . red man from the scorching rays of the noon-day sun, long before the foot of white man pressed the virgin soil of NorthSeld, was the first meetinghouse in this town, for under this tree was the first sermon preached by Elder William Jones. It had still another noble mission to perform. In after years it served as a safe repository for this valuable and venerated paper against depredation or surrender.

The charter members numbered twenty-two: Solomon Vose, Stephen Hawkins, Noadiah Kellogg, Edward Houghton, Samuel Brewer, Samuel Prentice, Jonathan Carver, Eliphaz Alexander, George Farrington, Samuel Smith, Moses Howe, Philip Goss, Jr., Elisha Knapp, Jr., Lyman Taft, Levi Ripley, Reuben Alexander, Jr., Joseph Proctor, Obadiah Dickinson, Nathaniel Stone, Noadiah Pease, Elijah Butler and Samuel Hunt. Afterward members were admitted from all the surrounding towns, also from Guilford, Wardsboro, Windham, Newfane and Grafton, Vt., Oakham, Petersham, Sunderland, Whately and Northampton, Mass. I am indebted to our Secretary, Brother Stearns, for the biographical sketches that follow.

  • Solomon Vose was a lawyer; graduated from Harvard College, 1787. Was first postmaster in Northfield. At that time the mail was brought from Worcester by stage once a week, and usually contained five or six letters and three or four Boston papers. He was one of the incorporators of the Northfield Aqueduct Company, also of the fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company. Was first Master of Harmony Lodge. District Deputy Grand Master in 1802, since which time we have had no D.D.G.M. Removed to Augusta, Me., where he. died in 1809. While in Northfield he lived in the house now occupied by C. Linsley.
  • Stephen Hawkins was an innkeeper in Winchester, and was a charter member of Philesian Lodge, June 13, 1822.
  • Noadiah Kellogg was an innkeeper in Winchester.
  • Edward Houghton came from Hinsdale in 1793. He drove a stage from Worcester. After the turnpike was built he bought the corner lot and built a hotel where the Loveland House now stands.
  • Samuel Brewer kept a store and distillery. He went to Boston in 1797; was town treasurer 1794-7.
  • Samuel Prentice, M.D., served as surgeon in his father's regiment in the Revolutionary war. He settled in Worcester and afterward removed to Northfield in 1786. He died Dec. 3, 1818.
  • Samuel Smith, captain, settled in Winchester 1801. He gave an organ to the church Sept. 4, 1801. Died Jan. 20, 1823. March 5, 1798, the town voted to purchase a bell of between six hundred and seven hundred pounds. This bell was cast by Paul Revere and hung in the same church.
  • Moses How was an innkeeper in Vernon, Vt.
  • Lyman Taft was a farmer in Montague: died July 24, 1833. Joseph Proctor was a lawyer living in Orange, Master of the Lodge from 1800 to 1803.
  • Obadiah Dickinson, graduate of Yale College in 1778, a prominent man in town affairs; owned one of the first chaises that came to Northfield; was Master of the Lodge 1805; died March 9, 1844.
  • Samuel Hunt was one of the largest landowners in Northfield. Was selectman for many years. In 1796 or 1797 Lawyer Barrett built a good, two-story house, now occupied by Captain Duncan. Captain Hunt built one on the corner south of our present school-house, a little better than Mr. Barrett's. Competition, stimulated by pride, added another story to each of these houses, without adding to beauty or comfort. The Captain Hunt place was sold to the Northfield Academy corporation for school purposes, and was so used till 1843, when it was' occupied as a temperance hotel.
  • Timothy Swan was a composer of music in addition to his trade as hatter. He was the author of China, Poland, and other sacred music, and published the New England Harmony in 1801. One of his compositions was written one night wrhen his child was dying. China was written in the sand with his finger, on Beer's Plain. He had a great love for the poplar and lilac, and with these his house was hidden from view. These trees were a favorite resort for blackbirds, which were his pets, and which lie zealously guarded. It is said of him that he was a "fine-looking old gentleman, suffering much, but always looking on the bright side." A niece says: "My personal recollections of him are always pleasant." He died in Northfield, July 23, 1842.
  • Thomas Power was born in Boston, Oct. 8, 1786; graduated from Brown University in 1808; came to Northfield in 1812; founded the Northfield Social Library in 1813, which in 1878 became the Northfield public library. Our street is largely indebted to him for its beautiful shade- trees, many of which he set out himself in 1815. He studied law with Judge Charles Jackson, and was admitted to the Suffolk Bar in 1811. He returned to Boston in 1815; served for seven years on the School Committee; in 1822, when Boston became a city, he was .appointed Clerk of the Police Court, a position which he held for about thirty-five years, until obliged to relinquish it on account of ill health. He delivered the oration before the city authorities on the fourth of July, 1840. He served as Recording Grand Secretary from 1820 to 1833 inclusive, and as Junior Grand Warden in 1844. He delivered an oration before Monitor Lodge, of Waltham, June 25, 1821, which was printed; published a poem entitled Secrecy in 1832, and a volume of Masonic Melodies in 1844. He was an accomplished musician, one of the earliest members of the Handel and Haydn Society, of Boston, musical critic of the Boston Atlas for many years. "A shrewd lawyer and remarkable skater." He removed to South Framingham in 1860, where he died Sept. 9, 1868. He was buried in Duxbury, Mass.
  • Maj.-Gen. John Nevers, of the 15th division of Massachusetts militia, was a lawyer, high sheriff for Franklin County sixteen years, district attorney in 1811, representative for three years; died March 30, 1847.
  • Richard Colton was a surveyor and deputy sheriff. He was the third captain of the Northfield artillery company, organized in 1811. He was Master of the Lodge from 1817 to 1821, and from 1829 to 1856; representative in 1827, and selectman for several years; died Aug. 8, 1872.

Horatio G. Newcomb, William A. Prentiss, Jonathan Belcher, Daniel Callender and many others, worthy of special mention, must be omitted, as Time raises his warning finger. When agriculture was the chief pursuit of the inhabitants in the Connecticut valley, Northfield excelled the surrounding towns in her products of the soil. She produced and exported corn, wine and oil; emblems of health, plenty and peace. Within her limits lived talented lawyers, ministers and doctors. She had men of extraordinary muscular power, and daughters whose feminine qualities wrere unexcelled in the world. Thus she represented wisdom, strength and beauty. Commerce, which rose in the East, has spread to the West. The great arteries, through which courses the business of our New England, have been changed from rivers to railroads which lie without our borders. We are thus deprived of some of our revenue. We have left to us three grand supports, however, — the reverend gentlemen of the clergy, the gentler sex, whose feminine graces still remain unexcelled, and Harmony Lodge, which starts on her second century with a steadfast determination to adhere to the noble principles of Free and Accepted Masonry.

NOTES AT 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF ORANGE LODGE, SEPTEMBER 1934

From Proceedings, Page 1934-141:

Harmony Lodge may well be called the Mother of Masonry here, for on its rolls are the names of many Orange, Athol, and Warwick Brothers—in fact at one time, in 1814, it actually proposed to remove to Warwick that it might be more centrallv located for its membership and the Grand Lodge approved of this move.

I am told by a Brother who has been a member of Harmony Lodge for fifty-five years, that the inside story of this attempted removal was that there were a number of active Masons in Warwick while the Northfield Brothers did not take any great active interest in their Lodge. The Warwick Brothers had no idea that the Lodge could be moved advantageously to this town, but they did feel it was best to throw a scare into the Northfield contingent, therefore they packed the meeting and put this vote through. This put the Northfield Brothers on their mettle and resulted in much more activitiy in that town.

Its third Master was Amos Woodward, of Orange, a Charter member of old Orange Lodge and for a few years Orange citizens were active participants in its ceremonies. In 1801 with true missionary zeal Harmony Lodge proposed to Republican Lodge and Mt. Zion Lodge that the Festival of St. John the Baptist be held at Athol. This proposition was accepted by both the sister Lodges and on June 24, 1801, the unenlightened of Athol and all the towns around beheld the first Masonic demonstration hereabouts. Meeting at Crosby's Tavern and preceded by a band they marched a mile and a half to the meeting house where Rev. (later Rt. Wor.) Bro. Ezekiel G. Bascom, of Gerry (Phillipston), delivered the address. Benjamin Mayo, of Orange, was Junior Warden of Harmony Lodge and participated in this demonstration. Mr. Mayo lived where Rollin O. White now resides, a prominent citizen of your town. He has a descendant now living in Greenville, South Carolina. Athol citizens were at once fired with Masonic zeal and forthwith applied for a Charter for a Lodge and Harris Lodge was speedily organized. This Lodge moved after a few years to Phillipston and from there to Templeton where it died during the anti-Masonic excitement. Its records were taken to the Masonic Temple so we have no list of its members. We know of a few men from Orange active in its early years, but most of the Orange Masons remained loyal to Harmony Lodge.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1946

From Proceedings, Page 1946-228:

On the 5th of May, 1796, fifteen of the Brethren of Northfield, Winchester, New Hampshire, and Hinsdale, New Hampshire met in Edward Houghton's Hall and decided to form a Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons in Northfield under two special agreements: first, that one half of the festivals should be held in Northfield; second, that when the Brothers of Winchester shall wish to form a Lodge in their Town, they shall have the free and hearty consent of this Lodge. Solomon Vose was elected Chairman and Dr. Samuel Prentice, Secretary of this meeting.

They voted to petition the Grand Lodge for a charter; named the Lodge Harmony; and appointed committees to wait upon Republican Lodge of Greenfield and Jerusalem Lodge of Westmoreland for certificates of approbation. Solomon Vose was chosen to present the petition to the Grand Lodge, and it was voted that each subscriber to the petition should pay to Samuel Brewer, at the next meeting, the sum of one dollar.

The charter was granted, signed by Paul Revere, June 13, 1796. He was then Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. His portrait appears in this room above the chair of the Senior Warden in the West. The charter of Harmony Lodge ranks second oldest in the Fourteenth Masonic District. Greenfield had procured her charter one year earlier.

Samuel Vose was elected Worshipful Master; Stephen Hawkins, Senior Warden; Noadiah Kellogg, Junior Warden, and meetings were to be held on the third Wednesday of each month. At a subsequent meeting they elected the remainder of the officers, appointed committees to frame a code of by-laws, and to procure jewels, aprons, etc. It was voted that each subscriber pay to the Treasurer five dollars in one week from this time to pay for the charter, jewels, etc. It was also voted to allow the Tyler fifty cents for each evening's attendance, and he be excluded from every expense.

On October 13, 1796, the officers were installed by Isaiah Thomas, Senior Grand Warden, as Acting Grand Master. The ceremonies of the day took place in the Meeting House and consisted of opening prayer, an appropriate hymn, a sermon suited to the occasion, delivered by Rev. Samuel C. Allen, a spirited charge given by Isaiah Thomas, and investment of the officers with the badges of their several offices. Harmony Lodge was constituted in due form. Music closed the ceremonies, and forming a procession, they went to Edward Houghton's Hall, where a dinner had been provided.

During the years 1814 and 1815, there seems to have been considerable agitation for the proposition of holding the Lodge meetings alternately in Northfield and Warwick, and indeed, for the removal of the Lodge to Warwick. In the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, under date of March 13, 1815, is the following recorded item:

"The Committee to whom was recommitted the petition of Harmony Lodge for removal to Warwick, having attended to the duty assigned them, and after hearing the parties upon said petition, ask leave to report, namely: That they are of the opinion that the vote of the Grand Lodge authorizing the removal of Harmony Lodge from the town of Northfield to the town of Warwick ought to be reconsidered, and that said Lodge be placed in the same situation it was previous to the petition for said removal."

We find, under date of June 14, 1820, in a report of Grand Master Oliver, the following item: "Harmony Lodge at Northfield has paid all its dues to the Grand Lodge, is possessed of accumulating funds, and its members are highly respectable."

Just prior to 1830 there appeared the Anti-Masonic excitement, which was destined to affect most of the Lodges in the country. In consequence, Harmony Lodge did not meet after May 5, 1830, until February 17, 1836. The District Deputy Grand Master called for the charter and regalia. The Master, Richard Colton,told him that the Lodge had violated no requirement of the Grand Constitution or any of the Ancient Masonic usages, and declined to give it up until a meeting of the Lodge could be called. A meeting was held on February 17,1836, and it was voted not to surrender the charter unless peremptorily ordered to do so by the Grand Lodge.

This charter, showing definite signs of age, has for many years been preserved in safe keeping in a vault in Greenfield. It has always remained in our possession. On its margin stands the name of Paul Revere, in bold and honest letters. It was written with a pen made from a quill drawn from an American goose. This pen would have been presented to us with the charter had not Greenfield claimed the priceless quill by reason of her seniority. We learn from Masonic tradition that she returned this pen to the Grand Lodge at the same time she surrendered her charter. On the south wall of this room hangs our working charter, which for several decades has acted as proxy for the original document.

No meeting was held after the 17th of February, 1836, until the 20th of February, 1850, when the Lodge convened and unanimously voted to hold regular communications thereafter, thus again resuming its place as an important institution of the town. So intense was the Anti-Masonic feeling, even then, that the Master, Worshipful Richard Colton, grandfather of our present Brother Joseph Colton, fearing the charter might be stolen, secreted it in the hollow of an oak tree then standing at the south end of the Main Street in Northfield. The charter members numbered twenty-two:

  • Solomon Vose
  • Stephen Hawkins
  • Noadiah Kellogg
  • Edward Houghton
  • Samuel Brewer
  • Samuel Prentice
  • Jonathan Carver
  • Eliphaz Alexander
  • George Farrington
  • Samuel Smith
  • Moses Howe
  • Philip Goss, Jr.
  • Elisha Knapp, Jr.
  • Lyman Taft
  • Levi Ripley
  • Reuben Alexander, Jr.
  • Joseph Proctor
  • Obadiah Dickinson
  • Nathaniel Stone
  • Noadiah Pease
  • Elijah Butler
  • Samuel Hunt

Afterwards members were admitted from all the surrounding towns; also from Guilford, Wardsboro, Windham, Newfane and Grafton, Vermont; Oakham, Petersham, Sunderland and Northampton, Massachusetts.

Solomon Vose was a lawyer, graduated from Harvard College in 1787. He was the first postmaster in Northfield. At that time the mail was brought from Worcester by stage once a week, and usually contained five or six letters and three or four Boston papers. He was one of the incorporators of the Northfield Aqueduct Company, also of the fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company. He was raised to the Sublime Degree in Masonry in Republican Lodge, Greenfield. He removed to Augusta, Maine, where he died in 1809.

Stephen Hawkins and Noadiah Kellogg were innkeepers in Winchester.

Edward Houghton came from Hinsdale in 1793. He drove a stage from Worcester. After the turnpike was built, he bought the corner lot and built a hotel, where the Proctor Block now stands.

Samuel Brewer kept a store and distillery and was Town Treasurer for three years. He removed to Boston in 1797.

Samuel Prentice, M.D., served as surgeon in his father's regiment in the Revolutionary War. He settled in Worcester and afterwards removed to Northfield.

Samuel Smith, Captain, settled in Winchester in 1801. He gave an organ to the church in September of that year. On March 5, 1798, the town voted to purchase a bell of between six and seven hundred pounds. This bell was cast by Paul Revere and hung in the same church.

Moses Howe was an innkeeper in Vernon, Vermont.

Lyman Taft was a farmer in Montague.

Joseph Proctor was a lawyer living in Orange, Massachusetts. He was Worshipful Master of the Lodge from 1800 to 1803.

Obadiah Dickinson graduated from Yale in 1778 and was a prominent man in town affairs. He owned one of the first chaises that came to Northfield. He was Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1805.

Samuel Hunt was one of the largest land owners in Northfield and was selectman for many years. He built the large house now known as the Bronson Inn. The Captain Hunt place was sold to the Northfield Academy Corporation for school purposes and was so used until 1843, when it was occupied as a temperance hotel.

Among many others, Thomas Powers and Richard Colton were outstanding. Brother Powers was graduated from Brown University in 1808. He founded the Northfield Social Library in 1813, which, in 1878, became the Northfield Public Library. Our streets are largely indebted to him for the beautiful shade trees, many of which were set out by him in 1815.

Worshipful Brother Richard Colton was a surveyor and Deputy Sheriff. He was third captain of the Northfield Artillery Co., organized in 1811. He was Worshipful Master of the Lodge from 1817 to 1821, and from 1829 to 1856. He was Representative in 1827 and also Selectman for several years. Cn Wednesday morning, June 17, 1896, Harmony Lodge met in special communication at Masonic Hall Northfield, at ten o'clock for the purpose of celebrating tfye 100th anniversary of the founding of the Lodge. The number of Brethren present was 75. Representatives of the Grand Lodge were received and escorted to the East, after which a procession was formed and marched to the Unitarian Church, escorted by the Northfield Brass Band. The following program was earnestly listened to by all present:

  • Organ Prelude: Frank Linsley of North Dana
  • Prayer: Rev. E. F. Blanchard of Warwick
  • Singing: Temple Quarter, Springfield
  • Address of Welcome: Worshipful Master, E. S. Bardwell
  • Response: Most Worshipful Grand Master, Edwin B. Holmes
  • Singing: Temple Quartet
  • Historical Address: Worshipful Brother R. C. Ward
  • Singing: Temple Quartet
  • Benediction: Rev. E. F. Blanchard

The closing paragraph of Worshipful Brother Ward's address is here quoted in full:

"When agriculture was the chief pursuit of the inhabitants in the Connecticut Valley, Northfield excelled the surrounding towns in her products of the soil. She produced and exported corn, wine and oil — emblems of health, plenty and peace. Within her limits lived talented lawyers, ministers and doctors. She had men of extraordinary muscular power, and daughters whose feminine qualities were unexcelled in the world. Thus she represented wisdom, strength and beauty. Commerce which rose in the east has spread to the west. The great arteries through which courses the business of our New England have been changed from rivers to railroads which lie without our borders. We are thus deprived of some of our revenue. We have left to us three grand supports, however—the reverend gentlemen of the clergy, the gentler sex whose feminine graces still remain unexcelled, and Harmony Lodge, which starts on her second century with a steadfast determination to adhere to the noble principles of Free and Accepted Masonry."

Upon conclusion of the exercises in the church, the Brethren repaired to the Town Hall, where a sumptuous dinner, prepared by Past Master Frank E. Stimpson, was served to about 200 Masons, after which two hours were spent in listening to interesting speeches from the Grand Officers and many visiting Brethren.

At the turn of the century — a century destined to fairly burst with problems and wonders — our Lodge began its second one hundred years of existence, and was to witness a series of developments undreamed of in the days of its inception. Trains hauled by steam locomotives were already speeding over iron rails stretched from coast to coast, replacing the stage coach and the pony express. The development of the telephone was to create immense communication lines linking practically every home with the outside world. The automobile was to become a family necessity. Radio was to bring us the latest news every hour of the day and night. Airplanes, like giant birds, were to wend their unimpeded way above our heads.

Soon television will be among our common experiences. And we are now rather slowly becoming aware of atomic energy which has possibilities almost beyond human comprehension.

Our Lodge lays no claim to spectacular history in these past years. Rather have our energies, our thoughts, been aimed for the continuance of these abiding foundation principles of Masonry which are taken to be the rule and guide of our lives. Several items taken from the Secretary's records are presented here:

  • March 11, 1908. E. A. Pratt presented the Lodge a gavel made by Brother W. D. Morgan, Chico, Calif.
  • October 27, 1909. A vote of thanks was extended the Worshipful Master for cleaning the coat room.
  • Nov. 1, 1911. Voted to see the selectmen in regard to storing Lodge records in the Town vault.
  • Mar. 27, 1912. It was reported that a safe had been purchased.
  • Apr. 8, 1914. Voted thanks to Dr. N. P. Wood for sprigs of acacia sent from California.
  • June 24, 1917. A special communication held in the Unitarian Church to celebrate the Bi-centennial of the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, June 24, 1717.
  • Feb. 12, 1919. Memorial service for Brother Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Mar. 12, 1919. A change in by-laws adopted whereby membership dues were raised from $2 to $4 per year.
  • Mar. 31, 1920. Resolutions offered on the death of Brother Robert E. Peary, North Pole explorer.
  • Dec. 7, 1920. Observance of Tercentenary of Landing of the Pilgrims.
  • Dec. 27, 1922. Resolved that the period of office for Worshipful Master and Wardens shall be only one year.
  • Mar. 8, 1923. Worshipful Master was appointed to act on a committee to have charge of two episodes in the forthcoming pageant celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Town of Northfield.
  • June 5, 1923. A medal presented to Brother Clinton A. Ware upon the completion of 30 years of continuous service as Treasurer of of our Lodge.
  • Nov. 9, 1927. Radiogram received from Brother Martin E. Vorce, who was with McMillan's Expedition in Labrador and North Greenland.
  • May 15, 1946. Resolutions read upon the death of Brother C. C. Stearns, an outstanding member of the Lodge for over half a century, who had served his Lodge faithfully and well in many capacities, especially as its Secretary for a long period of time.

The Secretary tells me that in the past fifty years our Lodge has raised or taken in by affiliation 299 members. The following Harmony members have served as District Deputy Grand Masters:

  • Samuel Vose, 1802-05
  • Dr. R. C. Ward, 1897-98
  • E. F. Howard, 1925-26
  • Dr. R. G. Holton, 1931
  • R. M. Forsaith, 1942-43

Records are not available of members who were in the service of their country previous to the last conflict. In World War II the following names constitute the Honor Roll:

  • Leslie H. Campbell
  • Richard A. Cobb
  • Joseph D. Costague
  • Langsford S. Duley
  • Roy J. Fish
  • Vernal G. Hurlbut
  • Leonard C. Johnson
  • Everett W. Jones
  • Wm. M. Marshall
  • John P. Miner
  • Herbert G. Schnieder
  • Clarence M. Steadler

During Dr. N. P. Wood's term as Worshipful Master (1915-16), Lieut. Governor Calvin Coolidge came to Northfield and gave a historical address at a Masonic banquet held in his honor. Not being a Mason himself, he was entertained in the Wood home while the Lodge opened its meeting, transacted its necessary business and appointed a committee to escort him to the banquet hall. Rumor has it that Mrs. Wood had considerable difficulty in her attempts to entertain her distinguished guest.

About 1915, and probably for some time before that date, there seems to have been some intention on the part of the Lodge to secure a better home for itself. In the early days, meetings were held in various places about town. In 1865 the upper story of the Center School house, which for nearly a half century had been used for all manner of purposes, under the name of Union Hall, was purchased and Harmony established herself there, to remain in as complete possession as was the School District underneath. About 1880, this building was removed to the rear of the lot, when a new school house was built on the site facing Main Street. This was just north of the present Bronson Inn. It is assumed that Harmony Lodge at that time took full possession of the lower story of the old building and remodelled it for a banquet hall. This provided a home until 1918, when Red Men's Hall on Parker Avenue, the building in which we are gathered tonight, was purchased. On September 18th of that year the first meeting was held in the new home, Henry H. Mason then being Worshipful Master. The Hall was fittingly dedicated on October 10, 1919. In 1930 the old building was sold to the Town and torn down.

Tonight we look back over the one hundred and fifty years of our history with admiration for those sturdy men of the Puritan Outpost and their successors down to the present time. And as we stand at the threshold of a fourth fifty year period, looking on ahead, may we say with the poet: "Let us then be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait."

Note: When plans for the 150th Anniversary were being laid last year, Brother C. C. Stearns, 83 years of age, and Secretary of our Lodge for a long period of time, consented to write a history of the Lodge. His death, early in May of this year, following a serious operation in Springfield, Massachusetts, made it necessary to secure someone else for the task. The foregoing sketch is not intended, in any way, to be a complete history. The writer reluctantly took over, and the results are obvious.

Three sources have been contributory to the writing of this paper: Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, which was freely used in preparing the first part of the work; Records of Harmony Lodge; Older members of the Lodge, who furnished many pertinent items.

175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1971

From Proceedings, Page 1971-284:

From 1946 to 1971
By Worshipful Hubert J. Eastman

(A detailed history of Harmony Lodge for the period from 1796 to 1946 by Brother Grove W. Deming may be found in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge for 1946 — pages 228-236, inclusive.)

During the past twenty-five years, since the 150th anniversary celebration of the Lodge, there have been few events that would make history. During the late '50's and early '60's we began to take in several new members from our neighboring town of Bernardston, several of whom became Worshipful Masters, and added much to the honor of the Lodge. In looking over the roster of the Lodge, we do not find any of the old familiar names. They have been replaced by Barber (Julian, Leland, Perry, Louie, Luman), Bolton (Clifford, Edward, Fred, Horace), Morgan (Joseph, Miles, Edmund, James, Daniel, Melvurn), Parker (Ernest, Seth, Willis, Walter) and many others. Our members live in all of the New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, California, Oregon and several others; also the Canal Zone and the Philippines.

We have visited many surrounding Lodges and have put on degree work, and they have returned the visits. Among the most noted visits were the ones from Social Friends of Keene, N. H., Westover Square Club of Westover Field, Mass., and of Bradford, Vt. Visiting other Lodges is something that we should always encourage.

Our Lodge calendar form has changed a great deal, going from the post card type to a three fold one. Rt. Wor. Parke F. Weeks, member of Philesian Lodge, Winchester, N.H., was our printer for over 50 years. He served us very well and will always be remembered. Since the passing of Bro. Weeks, our calendars have been printed in Keene, N.H. In looking up material on our history, I find that Bro. William Prentice, our present printer, is a relative of one of our charter members, Dr. Samuel Prentice.

Our Lodge hall has been improved over the past few years with the help of the many brethren. The rooms have been painted, new lights installed, insulation of the attic, kitchen equipped and repairs in general.

Our installation Ceremony has become public by invitation during the past few years. One of the most impressive ones being that of Brother Herbert H. Maynard, who was installed as Master of Harmony Lodge by his father, Rt. Wor. Ernest Maynard, Past District Deputy Grand Master. This was the second time Bro. Maynard had been installed by his father, the first time being in 1953 in Republican Lodge, Greenfield. Now he is Rt. Wor. Herbert H. Maynard, our present District Deputy Grand Master of the Greenfield 14th District.

Tonight we look back over one hundred and seventy-five years of our history with admiration for those sturdy men of the Puritan Outpost and their successors down to the present time. And as we stand at the threshold of a new period, looking on ahead, may we say with the poet:

"Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."

OTHER

  • 1812 (Petition to meet alternately in Northfield and Warwick, II-512)
  • 1813 (Petition to meet alternately in Northfield and Warwick refused, II-560; removal to Warwick, II-570)
  • 1814 (Petition to remove to Warwick, II-584, II-593; report on insolvency, II-604; irregularities, II-606)
  • 1815 (Petition on reconsideration of removal, II-620)
  • 1836 (Petition on remittal of dues, IV-397)
  • 1878 (Jurisdictional dispute, 1878-83)
  • 1879 (Jurisdictional dispute, 1879=9)
  • 1882 (Jurisdictional dispute, 1882-40)

EVENTS

200TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, AUGUST 1996

From TROWEL, Winter 1996, Page 17:

Harmony Lodge Celebrates 200th Anniversary

Harmony1_1996.jpg
R. W. Armond J. LaBelle, Jr., D. D. G. M. Greenfield 14th District; R. W. Donald Q. McCollester, Master; and M. W. Arthur E. Johnson, Grand Master.

Harmony2_1996.jpg
Front row: M. W. Edgar W. Darling, P. G. M.; R.W. Armond J. LaBelle, Jr., D.D.G.M. Greenfield 14th District; R. W. Donald Q. McCollester, Master; M. W. Arthur E. Johnson, Grand Master; R. W. Roger W. Pageau, Deputy Grand Master; R. W. Robert F. Doherty, Junior Grand Warden and R. W. Louis Harmon, Grand Marshal.
Second Row: R. W. Donald B. Scott, Grand Lecturer; Wor. John A. Smith, Grand Standard Bearer; Wor. William F. Morrissey, Grand Pursuivant; and Wor. Albert Welch, Grand Chaplain.

On Saturday evening. August 31, 1996, the members of Harmony Lodge of Northfield celebrated their 200th Anniversary. A public band concert was held at Pioneer Valley Regional School by the Melha Shrine Military Band. A banquet followed at the Trinity Congregational Church with 120 members and guests attending including M. W. Arthur E. Johnson, Grand Master, and a distinguished suite.

The Charter of the Lodge, signed on June 15, 1796, by Bro. Paul Revere, was presented to R.W. Donald Q. McCollester. Master, in a reenactment of that event, by Bro. John Thayer. The Lodge presented a flag to the town as part of the celebration. A birthday cake was enjoyed by all following the meeting.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS


DISTRICTS

1803: District 7 (North Central Massachusetts)

1821: District 7

1835: District 9

1849: District 9

1854: District 10

1867: District 8 (Greenfield)

1883: District 13 (Greenfield)

1911: District 14 (Greenfield)

1927: District 14 (Greenfield)

2003: District 26


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges