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Original dispensation as United Lodge; changed name to Huntington before chartering.

Location: Huntington; Russell (1955)

Chartered By: Charles C. Dame

Charter Date: 12/11/1867 VII-192

Precedence Date: 11/30/1866

Current Status: merged with Federal Lodge to form Huntington-Federal Lodge, 09/27/1995.


  • Alfred M. Copeland, 1868, 1869, 1871
  • B. H. Kagwin, 1870
  • Edward Pease, 1872, 1873, 1878
  • Charles Fay, 1874, 1875
  • Myron L. Church, 1876, 1877
  • James Phillips, 1879
  • Edward Albert Allen, 1880-1883, 1887
  • Austin Hancock, 1884, 1885, 1889
  • Benjamin H. Ellis, 1886
  • Samuel K. Lyman, 1888, 1890-1892
  • James H. Dickinson, 1893-1895, 1897, 1898
  • Jabez Matthews, 1896
  • Fred Bliss, 1899
  • Leonard F. Hardy, 1900, 1901
  • Forest C. Patterson, 1902, 1903
  • John P. Gould, 1904, 1905
  • Charles H. Mack, 1906
  • Charles E. Hamblin, 1907
  • Lyle G. Mambert, 1908; SN
  • Charles E. Crafts, 1909
  • Joseph G. Oliver, 1910, 1911
  • Albert H. Stanton, 1912, 1913
  • Walter B. Cady, 1914, 1915
  • Irving L. Pomeroy, 1916, 1917
  • Martin G. Goehring, 1918
  • Frederick J. Heine, 1919
  • Archie A. Goudreau, 1920
  • Joseph P. Cross, 1921
  • Joseph G. Davidson, 1922
  • Charles Davidson, Jr., 1923
  • Fred E. May, 1924
  • Clayton H. Kyle, 1925
  • Almon G. Knox, 1926
  • Norman W Byron, 1927
  • Charles Edward Higgins, 1928
  • William F. Schultz, 1929, 1946
  • David M. Dalrymple, 1930
  • Vernon A. Shattuck, 1931, 1947, 1948
  • S. Ira Lindsey, 1932
  • Harold W. Walkinshaw, 1933; SN
  • Percival P. Goulding, 1934
  • Henry C. Johnson, 1935; N
  • James B. Hoerner, 1936, 1937
  • Merwin F. Packard, 1938
  • Clarence Stout, 1939
  • Harold Hendrickson, 1940
  • Norman A. Walkinshaw, 1941
  • Carl D. Meredith, 1942
  • Maynard D. Ellis, 1943
  • Roy H. Packard, 1944
  • Ralph S. Harden, 1945
  • Frederick A. Schultz, 1946
  • Harold A. Pomeroy, 1949
  • Kenneth F. Liegerot, 1950
  • A. Peter Huffmire, 1951
  • Earl F. Maxwell, 1952
  • Gustave Sell, 1953
  • George E. Fox, 1954
  • Harold Balin, 1955
  • Harold J. Rubideau, 1956
  • Donald W. Bush, 1957; SN
  • Stanley C. Markey, 1958; N
  • Gordon W. Warden, 1959
  • Warren H. Smith, 1960
  • Floyd E. Fountain, Jr., 1961
  • Robert Ellershaw, 1962, 1967
  • Warren H. Russell, 1963
  • Robert L. Strickland, 1964
  • Frederick N. Stiteler, Jr., 1965, 1970; N
  • Gordon Craig, 1966
  • Hollis McCready, 1968
  • Milton C. Shepard, 1969
  • Alexander W. Reduker, Jr., 1971, 1978
  • Eugene H. Pike, Jr., 1972, 1977, 1981
  • Richard Ray Russell, 1973
  • Peter H. McCready, 1974, 1976
  • Dwain G. Poulin, 1975
  • James R. Hitchcock, 1979, 1980
  • A. Bruce Gage, 1982, 1983
  • Donald Sidney Dorrington, 1984, 1985
  • Robert A. Goewey, III, 1986, 1995; PDDGM
  • James T. Harrelson, 1987, 1990
  • Stephen D. Miller, 1988, 1989
  • Kenneth V. Ellsworth, 1991
  • Craig T. Vermes, 1992, 1993
  • Thomas F. Boyer, 1994

Continued with Huntington-Federal Lodge.


  • 1864 (Petition for Dispensation as United Lodge, 07/14; changed name to Huntington before chartering)
  • 1865 (Return of Dispensation, lodge dissolved)
  • 1866 (Petition for Dispensation as Huntington Lodge, 11/13: VII-138)
  • 1867 (Petition for Charter, 12/11: VII-193; granted)
  • 1885 (Petition for Charter to replace an original charter destroyed by fire, 09/09: 1885-81; granted)
  • 1955 (Petition to amend Charter to remove from Huntington to Russell, 06/08: 1955-151; granted)
  • 1995 (Petition for Charter with Federal, as Huntington-Federal, 03/08: 1995-38; granted)
  • 1995 (Consolidation with Federal Lodge, 09/27: 1995-363)


  • 1941 (75th Anniversary, 10/22: 1941-302)
  • 1966 (100th Anniversary, 11/19: 1966-370)


  • 1883 (Lawrence; 10/16: 1883-232)
    • Quote: "the journey of 238 miles, going and returning, which, however, I did not begrudge."
  • 1883 (Lawrence; remarks on commutation, 11/14: 1883-232)
  • 1928 (Simpson; 05/25: 1928-304)
  • 1941 (Schaefer; 75th Anniversary, 10/22: 1941-237; Special Communication)
  • 1959 (Jenkins; Dedication of Masonic Temple and mortgage burning, 05/02: 1959-89; Special Communication)
  • 1966 (Booth; Centenary of Huntington Lodge, 11/19: 1966-273; Special Communication)
  • 1990 (Darling; 06/20: 1990-150)
  • 1995 (Lovering; Consolidation with Federal Lodge as Huntington-Federal, 09/27: 1995-228; Special Communication)


1876 1878 1884 1895 1898 1912 1914 1920 1921 1923 1925 1926 1927 1931 1932 1937 1942 1949 1951 1957 1961 1962 1973 1976 1990 1992 1994


  • 1915 (Notes at Constitution of Federal Lodge, 1915-10; see below)
  • 1941 (75th Anniversary History, 1941-237; see below)
  • 1966 (Centenary History, 1966-276; see below)


From Grand Master's Address, Proceedings, Page 1915-10:

The first Masonic meeting ever held in Chester, the actual date of which can be definitely established, was an informal meeting of Masons from Russell, Huntington, and Chester held at Chester, May 31, 1864, to consult concerning the formation of a new Masonic Lodge for the better accommodation of the Masons in said towns. Rev. Joseph Hutchinson of Russell was chosen President and D. B. Judd of Chester was chosen as Secretary. A committee of five was appointed to carry out the general design of the Brethren present in such preliminary steps as should be deemed advisable, and it was voted that the name of the new Lodge should be "United Lodge." On motion, the meeting adjourned to Huntington, Mass., June 11, 1864. At this latter date the committee previously chosen were authorized to prepare a petition to be presented to Mount Moriah Lodge asking consent for the establishment of a new Lodge at Huntington, and to obtain signatures to said petition and take proper action concerning securing a hall. Rev. Brother Hutchinson, of Russell, was chosen by acclamation as the first Master; Bro. Benjamin F. Field, of Chester, was chosen as Senior Warden, and Bro. E. H. Lathrop, of Huntington, as Junior Warden. They met again on July 9, 1864, and again on November 10th of the same year. The records of this last named meeting begin as follows:

"After a long interregnum a call was issued by the W. M., summoning the Brethren to meet at Huntington at 7 p. m. November 10th. For months we had waited and waited for our Dispensation from the Grand Master. At length, wearied by what seemed to us an unnecessarily long delay, a letter was sent to the Grand Master enquiring the Why & the Wherefore. By return mail came a reply that a "Dispensation" had been issued and forwarded to us, bearing date: July 20th, 1864 — A.L. 5864. On being assured that no such Dispensation had ever reached us, a new "Dispensation" bearing Date September 1st, 1864 — A.L. 5864 was sent us. Under this Dispensation the M.W. Bro. J. Hutchinson summoned us to convene and prepare for action."

The Grand Master's Address on December 27, 1864, states that on July 14th of that year he granted a Dispensation to United Lodge of Huntington, eighteen Brethren being named therein. This original Dispensation I herewith exhibit. (1864 Mass. 88.) It seems that this Dispensation by a mistake was missent (1864 Mass. 108). A new Dispensation was issued under date of September 4, 1864, and that also I herewith exhibit for your information. Under this Dispensation the Brethren held their first regular communication on November 22, 1864, at which an application was received. On December 13, 1864, By-laws were adopted. From then on, meetings were held regularly until March 15, 1865, when all the Lodge property was destroyed by fire. An Emergent Communication held on March 21, 1865, concluded that the loss to the Lodge amounted to $350. Mount Moriah Lodge, of Westfield, kindly offered the use of its hall and regalia. The Brethren became discouraged, but nevertheless continued to hold meetings, that of May, 1865, being held in the office of the Junior Warden. In June they met and worked on the 16th in the quarters of Mount Moriah Lodge, of Westfield. No meeting was then held until September 5, 1865, when they again met in the office of Bro. E. H. Lathrop, Junior Warden, in Huntington. The Lodge was found to be in debt $167.78, and the question of discontinuing the Lodge was discussed, but the sentiment at the time was in favor of going forward. Apparently, however, no further meeting was held. November 9, 1865, the Records and Proceedings of the Lodge, together with the Dispensation, were returned to the Most Worshipful Grand Master, who stated in his Address that, "United Lodge at Huntington, having lost their all by fire, are discouraged, and will probably return their Dispensation" (1865 Mass. 37).

The District Deputy Grand Master in his report to the Grand Master for the year 1865 states as follows: "United Lodge, which has been under Dispensation at Huntington, had its Lodge-room and entire contents burned early in the year, and after careful consideration, decided, in view of the circumstances, — several changes having taken place since the Dispensation was issued, — that it was not advisable to go on, and so returned its Dispensation." (1865 Mass. 77). Seven candidates received their degrees during Dispensation, one was rejected, and the application of one was returned for lack of release from another Lodge. The only candidate from Chester who received his Degrees was Bro. B. B. Eastman, a mechanic. I am unable to learn how many of the Brethren named in the Dispensation were residents of Chester, but have brought Brother Eastman's original application, the two Dispensations, the records of the Lodge while under Dispensation, and its By-laws, for their historical interest upon this occasion. This was United Lodge.


From Proceedings, Page 1941-237:

By Worshipful Joseph G. Oliver

In compiling a history of Huntington Lodge covering the seventy-five years of its existence, your historian has been much handicapped by the loss of all Masonic records prior to 1885, when the building in which they were kept was burned. However, through the kindness of Right Worshipful Brother Frank H. Hilton, our present Grand Secretary, I have been furnished with the necessary dates that locate the beginning of the Lodge. I have been through the records since 1885 and have picked out, and herein present to you, some of the principal events that have become a part of the life of the Lodge. I may have overlooked some things that would have impressed some members, and may have incorporated others that could have been omitted, but as many of the present members are descendants of Masons of long standing, I have tried to recall happenings that would be of interest to the majority of persons.

Sometime in 1866, sixteen members of our ancient and beloved order, realizing that Mount Moriah in Westfield was the nearest Lodge, and undoubtedly finding that the twelve mile trip by team was quite an effort, decided to petition the Grand Lodge for a charter to establish a Lodge in Huntington. A dispensation was granted November 13, 1866, and the charter was granted December 13, 1867. It was signed by Charles C. Dame, Grand Master, and by Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary. The date of dispensation, or precedence as it is called, is the beginning of a Lodge. Therefore, Huntington Lodge was started seventy-five years ago next month.

The following are the Charter Members and their affiliations at that time:

The Lodge was constituted December 21, 1867, by Most Worshipful Charles C. Dame, Grand Master, who installed the first corps of officers. Records, however, fail to show who those officers were. The first knowledge of the officers was in the return to the Grand Lodge August 31, 1868, and shows the rollowing in the chairs at that time:

  • A. M. Copeland, Worshipful Master
W. A. Little
, Senior Warden
  • W. D. Kites, Junior Warden
  • E. G. Munson, Treasurer
  • J. D. Parks, Secretary
  • B. H. Kagwin, Senior Deacon
  • F. Goodhind,
 Junior Deacon
  • E. Pease, Chaplain
  • H. Heath, Marshal
  • H. D. Hatch, Senior Steward
  • Frank Smith, Junior Steward
  • W. S. Tinker, Tyler

No mention was made of I. S. or Organist.

Another record in the list of Lodges under date of 1870 gives Nov. 30, 1866, as the date of dispensation, and Dec. 30, 1867, as the date of the charter. Possibly the difference in dates may be explained by one date being when the vote was taken and the other when the vote was fulfilled and the legal papers made out. The following are the Districts in which the Lodge was located during the seventy-five years. The changes probably were necessary owing to the increase of new Lodges which overloaded a particular district.

No record can be found where meetings were held during the first few years, but from inquiries made among some of the oldest inhabitants, it is presumed the meetings were held in a building which was located between the river and the railroad at the Main Street bridge. That was the bridge which crossed the river at the Cross Drug Store, and the one which was removed in 1938 when the large Robert Packer Cross Bridge, which spans the river and railroad directly behind our Masonic Temple, was erected. Grand Lodge records tell us that rooms were dedicated Feb. 28, 1871, by a full corps of District Deputy Grand Officers, and probably were located in the same building owned by Worshipful Brother Myron L. Church, the fifth Master, who had a general store on the first floor of the building. This was the building burned in 1885 and was undoubtedly where the Lodge met from its beginning until the building was destroyed.

It was on Sunday morning, August 9, 1885, that the fire occurred and all records and regalia of the Lodge were lost, with the exception of the Junior Warden's jewel, which happened at that time to be in some member's home for repairs.

August 14, 1885, Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Grand Master, by a special dispensation, empowered the Lodge to convene in a suitable place, which might be available for such purposes, within the Town of Huntington and until otherwise directed.

At a regular meeting held Aug. 19, 1885, it was voted that a committee be appointed to petition the Grand Lodge for a certified copy of the charter. The committee consisted of Worshipful Master Austin T. Hancock, Worshipful Brother E. A. Allen and Brother Lyman T. Ring. A committee was also appointed to negotiate for the use of the Town Hall for meetings. It was evident that Hampden Lodge loaned our Lodge some jewels and presented them with collars, as a vote of thanks was extended at this meeting.

A report to the Grand Lodge on Aug. 31, 1885, showed a total of one hundred and nine members.

On Oct. 16, 1883, the records show that the Lodge was honored by a fraternal visit from Grand Master Samuel C. Lawrence. On Nov. 14, 1883, Grand Master Lawrence made another visit with reference to the financing of the Masonic Temple in Boston. Aug. 26, 1886, by special dispensation, Huntington Lodge convened in Jerusalem Lodge in Northampton and assisted the Grand Lodge in the laying of the corner stone for the new Court House.

Much effort and time was spent in securing new lodge-rooms after the fire, until the problem was solved when Worshipful Brother Edward Pease built on the site of the burned building. In it were provided rooms large enough and suitable for meetings. The rooms were dedicated Nov. 16, 1887, by (a) District Deputy Grand Master Lodge, which convened there for that purpose. After the dedication, the Lodge was closed in form ind all repaired to the hotel, where they partook of a "most toothsome spread." As the Grand Officers had to wait several hours for their train, and finding that there was a candidate in waiting, all went back to the lodge-room, and opening on the Entered Apprentice Degree, conferred that degree on William M. Cooper of Chester. In view of the fact that more than one meeting cannot be held on the same day, the midnight hour must have struck before the second meeting was opened. It seems worth while to say, at this time and date, that fifty attended the spread and the bill was $11.00!!

It was in those rooms that meetings were held until we purchased this building in 1920 from the Second Congregational Society, when they united with the Baptist Society into the Federated Church.

At a meeting June 8, 1892, an invitation was received to lay the corner stone of the new Murrayfield School. As there were no records of a meeting to that end, the Lodge probably did not do so, but the members attended only as individuals.

May 25, 1904, Hampden Lodge made a fraternal visit, presenting our Lodge with a handsome gavel, suitably inscribed, which has been used ever since, and which at this moment rests on the pedestal in front of the Worshipful Master. Hampden Lodge has been ever watchful of us.

It was on Oct. 31, 1917, that we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary. A committee of five had been appointed and consisted of Worshipful Brother Charles E. Hamblin as Chairman and Worshipful Brothers A. H. Stanton and T. A. McCrea and Brothers H. T. Boynton and Finley Bower. Right Worshipful L. G. Mambert presented the Lodge's history. Worshipful Master I. L. Pomeroy welcomed the Brethren and Worshipful Brother Edward Pease, oldest living Charter Member, responded. Worshipful Brother Clarence A. Brodeur gave the address of the evening.

In the early 1920s our membership was two hundred and eight, but through the various episodes of life and with the long economic depression of the recently passed years, it has been reduced to one hundred and thirty. On May 25, 1928, Grand Master Frank L. Simpson and suite made a fraternal visit to a joint meeting of Federal and Huntington Lodges in Huntington. At that time honor medals were given to Brothers O. Scott Pomeroy and Homer H. Smith of Huntington Lodge and Brother John Rainville of Federal Lodge. Since Brother E. H. Cross was unable to be present, his medal was delivered to him by his son, Worshipful Brother Joseph P. Cross.

To the Past Masters we must give a great deal of credit for the success of the Lodge. The support they have given with their continued attendance at meetings down through the years, following their leadership in the East, has left its mark. Without them discouragement might have taken root among the younger members when the load seemed too heavy to bear. The spirit of Brotherly Love, rightly placed, always brings achievement. In the early years of the Lodge, Masters sometimes served several years, some going out of office and later called to serve again in the East.

There have been only forty-six Masters during the seventy-live years, of whom twenty-nine are now living. From this it is evident that some served more than one year. In fact, two served five years, one four years, three served three years, ten served two years and thirty for one year. The first thirty years of the Lodge were served by only eleven Masters which, in itself, shows their interest in Freemasonry. Since 1906, only five have served two years, all the others serving one year each. One of those who served five years is our oldest Past Master, Worshipful Brother James H. Dickinson. He was Worshipful Master in 1893-94-95 and again in 97 and 98. He is not with us tonight, being unable to come from his home in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. In the Secretary's records of a meeting held Nov. 15, 1899, is the following quotation:

"A vote of thanks and appreciation was extended to Past Master James H. Dickinson for the faithful manner with which he has presided over the Lodge during the five years that he has served as Master."

The list herein recorded tells who these Masters were:


  • Alfred M. Copeland*, 1868, 1869, 1871
  • B. H. Kagwin*, 1870
  • Edward Pease*, 1872, 1873, 1878
  • Charles Fay*, 1874, 1875
  • Myron L. Church*, 1876, 1877
  • James Phillips*, 1879
  • Edward Albert Allen*, 1880-1883, 1887
  • Austin Hancock*, 1884, 1885, 1889
  • Benjamin H. Ellis*, 1886
  • Samuel K. Lyman*, 1888, 1890-1892
  • James H. Dickinson, 1893-1895, 1897, 1898
  • Jabez Matthews*, 1896
  • Fred Bliss*, 1899
  • Leonard F. Hardy, 1900, 1901
  • Forest C. Patterson*, 1902, 1903
  • John P. Gould, 1904, 1905
  • Charles H. Mack, 1906
  • Charles E. Hamblin, 1907
  • Lyle Guy Mambert*, 1908
  • Charles E. Crafts*, 1909
  • Joseph G. Oliver, 1910, 1911
  • Albert H. Stanton*, 1912, 1913
  • Walter B. Cady, 1914, 1915
  • Irving L. Pomeroy, 1916, 1917
  • Martin G. Goehring, 1918
  • Frederick J. Heine*, 1919
  • Archie A. Goudreau, 1920
  • Joseph P. Cross, 1921
  • Joseph G. Davidson, 1922
  • Charles Davidson, Jr., 1923
  • Fred E. May, 1924
  • Clayton H. Kyle, 1925
  • Almon G. Knox, 1926
  • Norman W. Byron, 1927
  • Charles E. Higgins, 1928
  • William F. Schultz, 1929
  • David M. Dalrymple, 1930
  • Vernon A. Shattuck, 1931
  • S. Ira Lindsey, 1932
  • Harold W. Walkinshaw, 1933
  • Percival P. Goulding, 1934
  • Henry C. Johnson, 1935
  • James B. Hoerner, 1936, 1937
  • Merwin F. Packard, 1938
  • Clarence Stout, 1939
  • Harold Hendrickson, 1940
 * Deceased.

Our Lodge has been honored by the appointment of two District Deputy Grand Masters. One was our late Right Worshipful Brother Lyle Guy Mambert; the other is the present official representative of the Grand Lodge, Right Worshipful Brother Henry Chester Johnson, who is with us here tonight.

Our oldest living member is Brother Homer H. Smith of Chester. Brother Smith was raised in Huntington Lodge Sept. 10, 1873, and therefore is a Mason of sixty-eight years standing. Brother Fred A. Clapp has been a member for sixty-two years, having been raised Feb. 5, 1879, and Brother Munroe Todd a member for fifty-seven years, having been raised Sept. 24, 1884.

Like most Lodges that attempted to own their own buildings, especially where the building has been exclusively used by the Lodge, it has been a financial problem. After taking over the present building, it was necessary to make alterations, the better to fit it for the Fraternity's use, which caused a mortgage to be placed thereon. This has been a great handicap, and on account of a small membership we have been unable to pay it off.

Probably our Lodge suffered its worst defeat when Federal Lodge was started in our neighboring town of Chester. At that time we had twenty-two members from that town. Many continued to hold dual membership, but in time twenty of them left us, and today we have only two that still belong to Huntington Lodge. Yet what is our loss is Chester's gain, and the fraternal friendship and individual fondness we have for the members of Federal Lodge typifies the cement of brotherly love and affection that is taught us in our ritual.

To us this cloud of doubt and despair has broken and disclosed the promised silver lining. It was while trying to find a solution to our troubles that one of our Past Masters, through his love for our Ancient and Honorable Fraternity, and in keeping with that generosity and goodness that has made him an outstanding citizen of our town and a credit to our Fraternity, gave us the glimpse of the silver lining. The mortgage of $2,900.00 was ever before us. It was here that Worshipful Brother Charles Earle Hamblin said, and I quote, "If you raise the $900.00, I will give $2000.00." We all know what that means and so tonight we are burning the only mortgage that is or ever was recorded against our Temple.

In conclusion, may I say that through the efforts and assistance of many of the Brethren the required amount has been raised, and tonight Huntington Lodge enters a new era that should stimulate Masonry in the heart of every member. So mote it be.


From Proceedings, Page 1966-276:

by Wor. Robert L. Strickland In response to a petition to Grand Lodge made by 16 of our ancient brethren who were residents of Huntington and surrounding towns, a dispensation was granted on Nov. 13, 1866 that authorized the founding of Huntington Lodge. Subsequent meetings were held and steps were taken to organize and equip the Lodge, and a charter was granted on Nov. 30, 1867. Our charter bears the names of 16 brethren who were the original charter members of Huntington Lodge. The following brethren were recorded as charter members:

  • William D. Kites, Hampden Lodge, Springfield
  • Alfred Minot Copeland, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Benjamin Blair Eastman, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Henry Heath, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Berijah Hulbert Kagwin, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Frederick Goodhind, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Hiram Duane Hatch, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Edward Howard Lathrop, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Charles Morris Lindsey, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • William Andrews Little, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Atherton Jabez Stanton, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Franklin C. Knox, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Nelson David Parks, Mount Moriah, Westfield
  • Edward Pease, Washington Lodge #22, Alexandria, Va.
  • E. G. Munson, no record of membership
  • J. W. Gibbs, no record of membership; note: received degrees in United (Huntington) U. D., June 1865, and joined Mount Moriah, Westfield in May 1866.

We find that Huntington Lodge was formally constituted on December 21, 1867 by Most Worshipful Grand Master, Charles C. Dame, who also installed our first suite of officers at the time of his visit. For some reason the identity of our first corps of officers is not recorded, and we find that the first recorded suite of officers listed for the year 1868 as recorded in the annual returns to Grand Lodge made on August 31, 1868.

It will be interesting for us to digress briefly to look into the Masonic and Historical background of the area at this period. Historically, the great War between the states had just ended and undoubtedly many of our early members were returned veterans. The railroad had very recently come to Westfield River Valley area, and with it a tremendous change in the way of life for many of its people. History tells us that prior to the 1840's, none of our towns even existed in their present locations. The Town of Russell, although incorporated in 1792, was located almost entirely on Russell Mountain in the general area of the present Woronoake Lake. With the coming of the railroad the population gradually moved into the valley near the river and the railroad. In Huntington, which was incorporated in 1862, the same was true. The pre-railroad location of the settlement was on Chester Hill where the hamlet of Murrayfield was situated, and on Norwich Hill where the village of Norwich existed. These two hamlets became Huntington, which was soon to become a lively industrial town and a hub for the surrounding hill towns because of its location on the railroad. The railroad, the war, and the rapid industrialization of the nation all combined to make the valley area hum with small industries of many types, and brought about rapid increases in population. It changed the pattern of life of its citizens from a basic simple farm life, to becoming skilled craftsmen, industrial workers, storekeepers, and owners of small businesses, etc.

Masonically, we find a rich and perhaps not generally known background in our area. We learn that a Masonic Lodge was granted a charter by Grand Lodge on Dec. 10, 1792 to function in Blandford and Chester. This was Federal Lodge, the namesake of our present good neighbor Lodge in Chester, and records show that this Lodge worked from its founding in 1792 until 1835, after which records give no further evidence of its existence. This shows that Masonry was active in our immediate area at an early date, and that the old Federal Lodge undoubtedly was responsible for a background and interest in our Ancient Craft among our citizens.

Our good neighbors, Mount Moriah, were granted a charter from Grand Lodge on December 12, 1856, and they enjoyed a rapid and active growth and made many Masons in the towns of Russell, Huntington, Chester and Blandford. It is interesting to note that members of Hampden Lodge who were residents of Westfield were responsible for forming Mount Moriah Lodge, and then a few short years later members of Mount Moriah Lodge that were residents of Huntington and Russell were responsible for founding Huntington Lodge. In addition to the above Masonic background, it is also interesting to note that a Masonic Lodge existed and worked in Huntington just prior to the organization of our own Huntington Lodge. This was United Lodge, which came into being as the result of a meeting held by interested Masons from Chester, Russell and Huntington, on May 31, 1864 in Chester. Several meetings were held, officers were elected and a petition was sent both to Mount Moriah Lodge in Westfield requesting their comment to the establishment of a new Lodge and to Grand Lodge for dispensations to work and form a new Lodge in Huntington. Records indicate that Grand Lodge promptly granted said dispensation but it became lost and was never received by United Lodge. Not receiving the requested Grand Lodge dispensation or a reply to their request proved to be most upsetting to the founding brethren of United Lodge, and eventually another communication was dispatched to Grand Lodge. This brought a prompt reply and the receipt by the Lodge of a second Grand Lodge dispensation issued September 4, 1864. The first meeting of United Lodge was held on November 22, 1864 in Huntington, with Rev. Bro. Joseph Hutchinson of Russell serving as Master, Bro. Benjamin F. Field of Chester, Senior Warden, and Bro. E. H. Lathrop of Huntington, Junior Warden. Regular meetings of United Lodge were held until March IS, 1865, when all Lodge property was destroyed by fire. This proved to be a most severe blow to the newly organized Lodge, but several meetings were held and work done in Westfield where Mount Moriah Lodge graciously offered their hall, regalia, etc. The last recorded meeting of United Lodge was held on September S, 1865 in the office of E. H. Lathrop, Junior Warden, of Huntington. At this meeting the Lodge voted to continue meetings, but apparently this was not possible. On November 9, 1865 the records and returns together with the Grand Lodge dispensation were returned. This action marked the end of United Lodge of Huntington, which enjoyed a short and difficult lifetime. Seven new brethren received their degrees during the existence of United Lodge, and beyond this, it is an unquestionable fact that the roots that it put down in Huntington never died, but soon started giving lifeblood to the new Huntington Lodge, the founding and prospering of which was inevitable when we learn of the deep rooted Masonic heritage that was transmitted to the Lodge. Records specifically show that Bro. E. H. Lathrop of Huntington, Junior Warden of United Lodge, was one of the original charter members of Huntington Lodge, and in all probability there were others who followed in his footsteps at a later date.

It is believed that Huntington Lodge had quarters in the center of the village located over the General Store of Wor. Bro. Myron Church, one of the early Masters of our Lodge. This building was located at the eastern end of the old town bridge beside the railroad, where part of the old foundations are still visible along the riverbank.

Available records indicate that the Lodge rooms were dedicated on February 28, 1871 by Grand Lodge officers, and these rooms served as quarters for the Lodge from its foundation until the building was destroyed by fire in 1885. It was on Sunday morning August 9, 1885 that fire completely destroyed the building with all the Lodge property, regalia, etc. Our official Charter from Grand Lodge was destroyed in this fire, and this necessitated the issuing of a duplicate Charter by Grand Lodge. An examination of our Charter shows that it was re-issued in 1885 to replace the original that was issued in 1867. This tragic fire resulted in considerable hardship to the Lodge, both because of the loss of property and regalia, but also because of no suitable place to hold meetings. For a period of better than two years the Lodge probably met in the Town Hall to perform their work, and in various suitable places that could be obtained for regular meetings. During this period we find that our long time faithful brethren of Hampden Lodge were most helpful through the loan to the Lodge of officers' jewels and the gift of officers' collars. We also find that Huntington Lodge assisted Jerusalem Lodge of Northampton in performing cornerstone laying ceremonies at the County Courthouse in Northampton on August 26, 1886.

The problem of a suitable meeting place was finally solved when Wor. Bro. Edward Pease erected a new building on the site of the former Myron Church building. This building contained suitable room for Lodge quarters, and it served as our Temple from its erection until 1920. The new Lodge quarters were dedicated on November 16, 1887 by the District Deputy Grand Master and a suite of officers. The Lodge enjoyed a healthy growth during its early years, and we find a total of 109 members registered in the 1885 annual returns to Grand Lodge. We note that throughout the life of our Lodge, membership has remained between 150 and 200 members, the high being in the early 1920's when membership passed the 200 mark to the early 1940's when we dropped to a membership of 130.

In an effort to briefly point out some of the highlights in the life of the Lodge from 1885 to the 1920's, the following are worthy of mention. In 1892 Huntington Lodge was invited to lay the corner-stone of the old Murrayfield School in Huntington, and although no records are available to document the fact, it is assumed that the Lodge participated in this event. On May 25, 1904, on a fraternal visitation to Huntington Lodge, the faithful brethren of Hampden Lodge presented the Lodge with a beautiful and suitably inscribed gavel. This gavel is a most prized possession of Huntington Lodge and has been used by a succession of Masters to preside over labors of the Lodge and is tonight resting on the Master's pedestal in the East.

In 1915 a number of our brethren who were residents of Chester founded Federal Lodge of that town, which was constituted by the Most Worshipful Grand Master on Feb. 17, 1915. Many of the Charter Members of Federal Lodge were active members of Huntington Lodge, and their loss was very keenly felt. Records of this period tell us that brethren from Chester were able to get down to meetings in Huntington on the trolleys, but that getting back home after meetings was very difficult. Very frequently our up river brethren had to hook a ride home on a freight train or make the long slow trip with horse and buggy. Such conditions were certainly not conducive to regular Lodge attendance or attracting new members into the fraternity. Despite the fact that the loss of this segment of our membership was a serious blow at the time, it resulted in the spreading and strengthening of Masonry in our area. The coming into being of Federal Lodge marked the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial Masonic and neighborly relationship between our Lodges. For this fact we are humbly thankful and will be eternally grateful to the farsightedness of our brethren of this period for instituting a move that has resulted in both Lodges becoming stronger and allowed Masonry to exert greater influence in this area.

On October 31, 1917 Huntington Lodge observed its 50th anniversary. A most capable committee was assigned to arrange this event and a history of the first 50 years of our Lodge's life was presented by R. W. L. G. Mambert. The writer has made every possible effort to find a copy of this history, but none could be obtained. Many important items in the early life of Huntington Lodge certainly are contained in this record. It is most unfortunate that our brethren of this period did not see fit to invite the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge officers to this event so that this 50-year history could have been included in the Grand Lodge records, as was fortunately the case of our 75th anniversary celebration.

Due to the fact that membership in the Lodge had increased and along with it interest in Lodge work and activities, a need for larger and more adequate quarters for the Lodge had long been felt. As a consequence of this need, a Masonic Building Association was formed from the brethren of Huntington Lodge, and this association announced in 1920 the purchase of the recently vacated Second Congregational Church building in Huntington for use as a Masonic Temple. Many of the brethren of the Lodge made generous contributions to the building association and a substantial sum of money was raised which allowed for the purchase of the building along with needed repairs and renovations. This building was very large and required a considerable amount of maintenance to keep it up and proved to be a substantial and continuing load for the Lodge. Available information tells us that the brethren moved the property, furniture, and regalia of the Lodge from the old meeting place to the new Masonic Temple one evening in December after a regular Lodge meeting. We also learned that two of our members, Wor. Vernon A. Shattuck and Bro. Lawrence W. Shattuck, own the unique distinction of being the first brethren to be raised as Master Masons in the new Temple. After having been entered and crafted in the old quarters, they were both raised as Master Masons in the new Temple on Feb. 4, 1920. The new quarters must have done something to increase the interest in Lodge work, for the record shows that in the years from 1920-1924 a total of 63 new members were received into the Lodge, a yearly average of better than 12 new members, which is more than twice the average number of new members taken by the Lodge over the years. In 1925, an amendment was made to the by-laws which increased the initiation fee for new members from $30 to $75, of which $25 was to be paid by the Lodge to the building association. This move reflected the heavy and continuing expense of operating and maintaining the new Temple, and proved to be an unwise one in that it sharply reduced the number of applicants for degrees. We find that in the years 1926-1929 the Lodge took only 11 new members for an annual average of less than 3 candidates. The great depression of the 1930's then came along and further reduced the number of new candidates as well as to reduce the number of regular members through their inability to meet financial obligations of maintaining Lodge membership. This combination of hard times and heavy operating expenses of the Temple subjected the Lodge to considerable burden that remained for the duration of the period of ownership of the Temple in Huntington.

In 1933 the by-laws were again revised to reduce initiation fees from $75.00 to $50.00 in an effort to encourage new members. Another change in by-laws occurred in a Lodge action on April 21, 1937 where the date of the regular meeting of the Lodge was changed to a fixed night, specifically the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Previous to this action, our regular meeting night had been defined as the Wednesday before or after the full of the moon every month. It would seem that it would be difficult to work out and maintain a meeting schedule that was defined by the moon's stages, particularly in our present day when about the only place one can find a calendar with the moon's phases on it is in the Old Farmers' Almanac or some similar place.

The continuing high cost of maintaining the Temple, the decline in the number of candidates coming into the Lodge, and general prevailing economic conditions in the area presented serious financial problems to the Lodge. We find several financial deficits recorded in annual Lodge reports presented in the late 1930's. Apparently the Lodge was financially unable to pay regular rent to the building association during this difficult period, a fact which compounded the problem of keeping up the expenses of the Temple. It was a regular practice of the Lodge during the late 1920's and the 1930's to annually appoint an entertainment committee. In addition to sponsoring the Washington Ball and the Christmas Party held annually for families of the brethren, this committee organized minstrel shows, amateur plays, etc., that were presented in the community. Reports indicate that the annual minstrel shows were of excellent quality and very well received and looked forward to by the public. They also served to present a favorable image in the public eye for Huntington Lodge, but more important, brought in much needed revenue to benefit the long suffering coffers of the Masonic Building Association. The hurricane and flood of 1938 added further to the Lodge's problems by damaging the Temple and necessitated a request for permission from Grand Lodge to hold meetings in Red Men's hall in Russell until May of 1939.

The coming of the 1940's, in addition to bringing further trials and tribulations to the brethren in the form of World War II, also brought the 75th anniversary of the founding of Huntington Lodge. A committee was appointed to plan this 75th anniversary celebration and a determined drive was launched to raise funds for the Building Association so that the mortgage on the Temple could be burned. Many of the faithful brethren again made financial contributions and were able to come within $2000 of the amount needed to pay off the mortgage. Our late Wor. Bro. Charles E. Hamblin came forward with the required amount that enabled the Temple to become debt free for our 75th anniversary celebration, after a period of over 20 years of financial struggle. On Oct. 22, 1941 an impressive anniversary celebration was held at Masonic Temple in Huntington with M. W. Grand Master Albert A. Schaefer and a full corps of Grand Lodge officers attending. An excellent history covering 75 years of the life of Huntington Lodge was presented by Wor. Bro. Joseph G. Oliver, the same having been fortunately recorded in the Grand Lodge proceedings of that year. Following the presentation of the history, Huntington Lodge's own Rt. Wor. Henry C. Johnson, assisted by 22 Past Masters of Huntington Lodge, conducted an impressive mortgage burning ceremony. We should take special notice of the fact that 22 out of a total living Past Masters whose service covered a period of 48 years were present at this important event. This is typical of the faithful and devoted service the Past Masters have rendered to the Lodge down through the years, a tradition that a long line of Past Masters has upheld in the past and continues to uphold in our present time.

The problems brought about by World War II in fuel and gasoline rationing, many of our brethren going into the military, excessive demands of business and community being made upon the members not serving directly in the war effort, all combined to present serious problems to the Lodge. Fuel rationing and the continuing problem of heating the Temple made the holding of regular meetings difficult. The Lodge voted on Oct. 21, 1942 to seek more suitable quarters for meetings during the winter, and meetings were held in the Strathmore Community Building in Woronoco from October to May in the winters of 1942 and 1943. In the winters of 1944 and 1945 meetings were held in Red Men's Hall, Russell. The Town Hall in Russell served as a Lodge meeting place during the winters of 1945 and 1946. In the spring of 1946 the Temple in Huntington was sold to Highland Grange. This move was a very difficult one for the Lodge to make and was unpopular with many of our members, but there seemed to be no other solution to the problem. The Temple had proved itself to be too large, too obsolete structurally and too expensive and difficult to heat for the Lodge to maintain. Many of the brethren had made frequent and generous contributions toward the operation and improvement of the building, but there was always a need for more work and money to maintain operations. A new heating plant was installed and other structural modifications were made to the building by the Grange, and Huntington Lodge rented meeting quarters in the old Temple from Sept. 1946 to June 1947.

Starting in September 1947, Lodge meetings were held in the old Russell Red Men's Hall which had recently been purchased by the newly organized General Knox Post Veterans of Foreign Wars. This proved to be a more compact and more comfortable meeting hall and a mutually satisfactory rental arrangement was worked out. The Lodge continued to hold regular meetings here during the 1940's and the 1950's. The V. H. W. Post ran into financial problems in meeting payments on the building in the mid 19S0's, and eventually became unable to continue to retain title to the building. It came to the attention of the brethren of the Lodge that the building was soon to be sold, and a special meeting of the Lodge was called by Wor. Bro. Vernon Shattuck to consider possible ways and means for the Lodge to purchase the building. This meeting was very well attended and a Masonic Building Association was formed, with Wor. Bro. Maynard Ellis being elected president. This meeting voted to proceed at once to purchase the building for a Masonic Temple for Huntington Lodge. Voluntary financial contributions were requested at this meeting, and a total of $3000 was pledged. Wor. Bro. Charles Hamblin made a gift of $2000 to the Masonic Building Association, which made a total of $5000 immediately available. Negotiations for purchase of the building were successfully carried out and in April 1956 the building was purchased by the Building Association. Additional pledges were made by Lodge members that allowed for the negotiation of a suitable mortgage to pay for the building as well as to make money available for materials and supplies needed to renovate and repair the new Temple.

The work that followed on the building was an outstanding example of what can be accomplished by brethren working together in harmony to promote a worthy cause. Under the able direction of Wor. Bro. Shattuck a complete program of repainting and renovating was accomplished entirely by voluntary labor furnished by many of our brethren, both young and old, skilled craftsmen and unskilled apprentices alike. Complete new wiring and plumbing was installed, a complete modern and fully equipped kitchen was provided, the heating plant was completely remodeled and a banquet hall made in the downstairs area. A very beautiful and well appointed Lodge Room and suitable ante-room was provided upstairs. The work continued all summer as spare time was available, and the new Temple and newly appointed quarters was ready for Lodge use at the start of the Lodge year in September 1956. The work of the Lodge prospered as the result of having our own Temple through increased interest and attendance and more candidates for degrees. Members continued to make contributions to the Building Association, so that it was possible to retire all of the indebtedness against the Temple in a little over two years from the date of purchase.

A Special Communication of Huntington Lodge was held on May 2, 1959 for the purpose of officially dedicating the Temple and burning the mortgage. Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and a full corps of Grand Lodge Officers were present for this important event. The Most Worshipful Grand Master and the Grand Lodge Officers conducted the traditional and impressive ceremony of dedication of the Temple. Following the dedication, Wor. Bro. Charles Hamblin, oldest living Past Master of Huntington Lodge, presided over the mortgage burning ceremony. Participating in this service were Wor. Bro. Hamblin, symbolizing the long line of faithful brethren of Huntington Lodge, Wor. Bro. Maynard Ellis, President of the Masonic Building Association, symbolizing the Lodge of the present, and Bro. Carl Meissner, newest Master Mason, symbolizing Huntington Lodge of the future. In this very symbolic and historic event the mortgage was held by M.W. Grand Master, Brother Jenkins, and Wor. Bro. Hamblin and was ignited by burning papers held by Wor. Bro. Ellis and Bro. Meissner.

A recent improvement to our Temple took place in 1963 when elevated platforms were installed around the outside perimeter of the hall, and suitable pews installed on them as seats for the brethren in attendance at meetings. This improvement was a gift of Bro. Laurence Shattuck and Wor. Bro. Vernon Shattuck. A further improvement took place in 1965 when the entire Lodge Room was completely carpeted. This addition contributes greatly to a proper decor of the Lodge apartments and makes the work much more impressive both to perform and to witness. This improvement was made possible by a generous gift from Bro. Laurence Shattuck and a bequest from the will of our late Wor. Bro. Charles Hamblin.

During the 100 years of its existence Huntington Lodge has been served by a total of 76 faithful and distinguished men as Master. Many of them served for more than one year, as indicated in the list of Past Masters of the Lodge. We have also been honored by the appointment of four of our members to serve as District Deputy Grand Masters. Included in this distinguished group are R. W. Lyle G. Mambert, R. W. Henry C. Johnson, R. W. Harold Walkinshaw, and R. W. Donald W. Bush. It is noteworthy to observe that at the time of our 50th anniversary celebration observance R. W. Lyle G. Mambert was serving as D. D. G. M. of our district; at the time of our 75th anniversary celebration R. W. Henry C. Johnson was presiding D. D. G. M.; and now at our 100th anniversary observance, we are honored to have R. W. Donald W. Bush as presiding D. D. G. M. of our district. We of Huntington Lodge are justly proud of these distinguished brethren and for the honor and distinction that they have brought to Huntington Lodge, and we are also grateful to have men from our Lodge who are capable and gifted enough to make this most important contribution to Masonry.

Our Lodge has had many distinguished members that have left their mark upon many with whom they have come in contact, both within the Lodge and in home, church and community life. Among them special mention is due our late Wor. Bro. Charles Hamblin and Wor. Bro. Vernon Shattuck. Wor. Bro. Hamblin was a very distinguished Mason, being a Past Master of Huntington Lodge, holder of the Joseph Warren Medal, the 50-year medal, the 50-year Past Master's jewel, to mention a few. He was a leader in his community and his church throughout his lifetime, having held many important Town, civic, and church offices. He was a most generous benefactor to Huntington Lodge throughout the years, having made generous contributions toward the purchase of both the old and the present Masonic Temples, made large contributions to enable the Lodge to retire the mortgages on both the old and the present Temples, and finally made a generous bequest to the Lodge in the terms of his will. Those of us who knew him were privileged, and the memory of this great man and Mason should long be cherished.

Wor. Bro. Shattuck served the Lodge as Master for two separated terms, both occurring during most difficult times in our Lodge's history. He has been a leader in Town and Community affairs for many years and is greatly respected by both Masons and non-Masons alike. He is particularly distinguished by the outstanding job that he did and is still doing in connection with overseeing the details and problems connected with the operation and maintaining of our Lodge home. He has contributed countless hours of his time in the rebuilding and repairing of the Temple and is truly deserving of being distinguished as one truly faithful to the Craft.

As we enter the second century of life as a Masonic Lodge it is well for us to reflect briefly upon the precious heritage that is ours as members of Huntington Lodge. All through the year our Lodge has enjoyed an excellent reputation throughout the area. We are not a large Lodge, nor will we ever be, but we maintain a reputation for good work and ritualistic accuracy. Our Lodge has always been warm and friendly to any and all of our visiting brethren and we have always been enthusiastically welcomed wherever we go to visit, either as a group or as individuals. The Lodge has always maintained a favorable image in the community and has attracted the leaders in civic, professional and business life into its membership. Because of the high standards that have been established and maintained through the years, we enter our second century of Masonic life as a Lodge filled with pride in our heritage from the past and confident in our ability to successfully meet our future. May God see fit to challenge us in our labors here together as we endeavor to erect our temporal building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Supreme Grand Master on the Trestle Board of Life, and may He ever sustain us along the way through the assurance of receiving us one day in that house not made by hands, eternal in the Heavens.




From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, February 1868, Page 102:

This new Lodge was constituted by the Grand Lodge, on December 21, in due and ancient form. It has been at work the past year with considerable success, and though located in a small village in the mountains of Hampshire, the members feel encouraged that they shall be able to make it a strong and healthy Lodge. Their present hall is not suitable for their purpose, it being the town hall; but measures are on foot to supply this deficiency by the erection of a new one. The brethren are zealous, and we wish them the success they deserve.




1867: District 9 (Pittsfield)

1873: District 10 (Springfield)

1883: District 15 (Pittsfield)

1907: District 16 (Springfield)

1911: District 18 (Springfield)

1927: District 18 (Springfield)