HydePark

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HYDE PARK LODGE

Location: Hyde Park

Chartered By: Charles C. Dame

Charter Date: 12/13/1866 VII-109

Precedence Date: 02/01/1866

Current Status: merged with Eliot Lodge to form Eliot-Hyde Park Lodge, 09/04/1986. Now a part of Celestial Lodge.


PAST MASTERS

  • Enoch P. Davis, 1866, 1867
  • Charles F. Gerry, 1868, 1869
  • William H. Jordan, 1870, 1871
  • Henry S. Bunton, 1872, 1873; Mem
  • Fergus A. Eastern, 1874, 1875
  • William H. Ingersoll, 1876, 1877
  • Charles H. Colby, 1878, 1879
  • John R. Ross, 1880, 1881
  • Stephen B. Balkam, 1882, 1883
  • Henry N. Bates, 1884, 1885
  • James F. Mooar, 1886, 1887
  • Henry F. Howard, 1888
  • Albert E. Bradley, 1889, 1890; Mem
  • Robert Scott, Jr., 1891, 1892
  • Asa J. Adams, 1893, 1894
  • Joseph King Knight, 1895
  • Daniel E. Cluff, 1896, 1897
  • George H. Rausch, 1898, 1899
  • Henry F. Arnold, 1900, 1901
  • William H. Barritt, 1902, 1903
  • Prince W. Taylor, 1904, 1905
  • Edward J. Ellis, 1906, 1907; Mem
  • Wallace M. Rhodes, 1908, 1909
  • George E. Leason, 1910, 1911
  • Emerseon Rice, 1912, 1913
  • Frederick G. Katzmann, 1914, 1915; N
  • Edward K. Ellis, 1916, 1917
  • Horace E. Ayres, 1918, 1919
  • Charles B. House, 1920, 1921
  • Alden B. Hefler, 1922, 1923; Mem
  • Arthur E. Campbell, 1924, 1925
  • John S. Stressenger, 1926, 1927
  • George M. King, 1928
  • Howard F. Cluff, 1929, 1930; N
  • Harold V. Eldredge, 1931, 1932
  • Walter E. Carlton, 1933, 1934
  • Merton L. Briggs, 1935, 1936
  • F. Henry Caffin, 1937
  • Hartley A. Hurlbert, 1938, 1939
  • Kirke E. Walker, 1940, 1941
  • Rufus L. Briggs, 1942
  • Walter E. Hawley, 1943, 1944; SN
  • G. George Larsson, 1945, 1946
  • Carlton T. MacLellan, 1947, 1948
  • Wendell S. Parker, 1949
  • Archibald S. Hicks, 1950
  • Herbert R. Dimmick, 1951
  • Gordon W. Weddleton, 1952; N
  • Charles F. Carroll, 1953
  • George M. Bailey, 1954, 1955
  • Walter F. Nicholson, 1956
  • George I. Towner, 1957
  • George E. Dowling, 1958
  • David J. Puccio, 1959, 1961
  • Wendell A. Derry, 1960
  • Edgar Brenc, 1962, 1981
  • Walter A. Keppler, 1963
  • Arthur L. MacDonald, Jr., 1964
  • Hartley G. Batchelder, Jr., 1965
  • George Ktona, 1966
  • Thomas B. Cochrane, 1967
  • James P. Mills, 1968; SN
  • William A. Kells, Jr., 1969
  • Robert O. Rittenberg, 1970
  • Richard Ogilvie, 1971, 1978; PDDGM
  • Raymond W. Mello, Jr., 1972
  • Donald B. Pettersen, 1973, 1980
  • Raynard Braverman, 1974; SN
  • Charles M. Myers, 1975
  • George R. Kerr, Jr., 1976, 1979
  • Alan Markovitz, 1977, 1984
  • Dieter H. Klohn, 1982, 1983
  • Sidney E. Shuman, 1985, 1986

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Dispensation: 1866
  • Petition for Charter: 1866
  • Consolidation Petition (with Eliot Lodge): 1986

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1941 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1966 (Centenary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1871 1872 1874 1879 1887 1908 1917 1921 1922 1926 1927 1936 1942 1951 1958 1965 1967 1968 1970 1975

HISTORY

  • 1941 (75th Anniversary History, 1941-19; see below)
  • 1966 (Centenary History, 1966-149; see below)
  • 1991 (History, at 125th Anniversary of Eliot-Hyde Park Lodge, 1991-43; see below)

75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, FEBRUARY 1941

From Proceedings, Page 1941-17:

By Wor. Kirke W. Walker:

Soon after the close of the Civil War, twenty-one Masons who resided in the vicinity of Hyde Park Village, Dorchester, conceived the idea of establishing a Masonic Lodge in Hyde Park. Some of them visited Union Lodge of Dorchester to "ascertain what objections, if any, said Lodge had to the formation of a Lodge in Hyde Park." Union Lodge had no objection, so the Brethren called on Most Worshipful Charles C. Dame, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, who with pleasure issued a Dispensation stating that "he thought the Lodge had a good territory in which to work."

An organization meeting was held on February 8th, 1866, at which time many plans were made, including choosing a meeting night which was to be the third Thursday in the month and it has continued to be the third Thursday ever since. The fifteen Charter members were:

  • Enoch P. Davis
  • Charles F. Gerry
  • Charles F. Jordan
  • Samuel A. Bradbury
  • William W. Colburn
  • William U. Fairbairn
  • N. Hebard
  • James L. Vialle
  • David S. Hill
  • Timothy Phelps
  • William A. Bullard
  • Robert Campbell
  • Francis H. Caffin
  • Waldo E. Ward
  • A. B. Galucia

The first regular communication was held in a small hall on River Street and was the only meeting held there. The second home was in a building at the corner of Fairmount Avenue and Nott Street, almost across the street from our present Temple, and "owing to the objection that the addition of a building thereto had made the deliberations of the Lodge liable to discovery by cowans and eavesdroppers," it was found necessary to move.

The Lodge next moved to a building at the corner of Harvard Avenue and River Street, until recently known as Liberty Hall. The first meeting in this hall was held October 18th, 1866, and it was dedicated December 21, 1866, by Most Worshipful Charles C. Dame, Grand Master, and the Officers of the Grand Lodge. At this meeting the Grand Master presented to the Worshipful Master of Hyde Park Lodge the Charter which was dated February 1, 1866, giving Hyde Park Lodge precedence as of that date. Previous to this time the Lodge had been operating under Dispensation.

The regular communication of January 17, 1867, had to be postponed on account of a snowstorm and to quote from the records, "was just such a snowstorm as our grand folks tell us happened every other day some eighty years before, but not such a snowstorm as we of the present day are called on to witness." The only members who arrived at the building that evening were the Master and Tyler who, finding a snowdrift higher than the door, decided it would be better to go back to their homes than to try to shovel away the drift. The above quotation is interesting because we still hear of the severe winters we had years ago. It proves that either our winters are becoming successively less severe or that the climate here has not changed much in the last two hundred years.

The first annual report of the Executive Committee and address of Worshipful Enoch P. Davis was very interesting and closed with these words, "May a long career of prosperity here await us and may our children's children set beneath this Vine which we have planted, may Brotherly Love prevail and every Moral and Social Virtue cement.us."

The first procession in which Hyde Park Lodge participated was St. John's Day, June 24, 1867, when they journeyed to Boston to assist in the dedication of a new Masonic Temple, and at which time they displayed a new banner which had been purchased, after much discussion as to whether or not the Lodge was financially able to make the purchase. The Lodge met at the Lodge-rooms and marched to the Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad Station (the present Fairmount Station) where they boarded a special car which had been tastefully decorated with American flags and evergreens by Brother George Tucker, conductor of the train, at his own expense. This was a notable celebration in which some 12,000 Masons were in line. The parade took two hours to pass a given point.

On Sunday, October 22, 1871, a special communication was held to attend the funeral of Brother William Frederic Cole, a young man twenty-eight years old. They escorted the body from his home to the Baptist Church and marched to Mount Hope Cemetery, where the Masonic services were performed, and then marched back to the Lodge Hall, a distance of about two and a half miles each way. Besides the officers, there were sixty-seven Brethren present. The meeting opened at 1:00 o'clock p.m. and closed at 6:30. Those were stalwart Brethren. In those days, special communications were held on the evening before a funeral, at which time they appointed a resolutions committee and bearers, and when necessary, made provision for assistance to the widow and family. These resolutions were spread in full upon the records and in some cases a hand drawn Memorial was made and placed in the Record Book.

SylvanusCobb.jpg
Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.

At the annual communication December 19, 1872, the Executive Committee reported the Lodge free from debt for the first time. Up to that time the Treasurer, William J. Stewart, had "taken up and borne the debts of the Lodge on his shoulders." These at times amounted to as much as $200. January 15, 1874, Brother Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., a member of Hyde Park Lodge and Past Master of Oxford Lodge No. 18 of Norway, Maine, approached the East and presented a Past Master's Jewel to the retiring Master, Worshipful Brother Henry S. Bunton. After Wor. Brother Bunton had made a speech of acceptance, Wor. Brother Cobb arose again and called attention to the fact that he had procured another Jewel, a duplicate of the one presented Wor. Brother Bunton and proceeded to affix it to the lapel of his own coat, remarking in a humorous manner that his old Lodge over which he had presided as Master, never loosened its purse strings sufficiently to bestow a Past Master's Jewel on him, and whereas he had received pecuniary consideration from Hyde Park Lodge for two years' service as Secretary, he had seen fit to apply it to the purchase of a Jewel, which he would consider a reward for Masonic service. Brother Cobb was a nationally known author. It is said that during the thirty years which he wrote, his writings would fill over a hundred volumes.

About nine o'clock oil the morning of March 8th, 1883, the Town Hall Building (the upper part of which was occupied by Hyde Park Lodge) was found to be on fire. The building, together with all the property of the Masonic Fraternity contained in the building, was totally destroyed. Wor. Brother Henry S. Bunton succeeded in saving the Bible, Square and Compasses and the Charter. The loss was about $3000, the Lodge carrying $2000 insurance. The March, April and May communications of that year were held in the rooms of Constellation Lodge in Dedham, Massachusetts, by dispensation of the Grand Master. Communications of September, October, November and December of 1887 and January 1888 were held in Neponset Hall, which was located in what is now Logan Square.

On February 21, 1881, the first meeting was held in the new Masonic Hall which was built for, but not owned, by Hyde Park Lodge and was located on River Street on the lot adjacent to Christ Episcopal Church.

At a special communication held February 16, 1885, that Hall was dedicated by Most Worshipful Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Grand Master, and the officers of the Grand Lodge. This was an open meeting at which ladies were present.

The 22nd Anniversary of Hyde Park Lodge was celebrated February 1, 1888. There was an entertainment which included
mascc, recitations and an address by Rev. George Hill on "The
 Historic Surroundings of the Masonic Order." After the enter
tainment the audience divided, some going to the Masonic banquet hall and some to the G. A. R. Hall, where in both places
 most excellent banquets were served. Later the party returned
 to the lodge-rooms "where an hour or more was devoted
 to social development and listening to well-rendered organ
 music by C. A. Norris. There were 234 Brethren and ladies 
present.

An interesting notice from the Grand Lodge was read in the Lodge December 20, 1894, stating that any Mason in this Jurisdiction who shall print, cause to be printed, buy or sell, cause to be bought or sold or who shall use or circulate any so-called cipher book shall be liable for expulsion.

An unofficial visit was made to the Lodge November 21, 1895, by Most Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

February 16, 1899, a Committee was appointed to investigate an offer of Brother French to rebuild his block on Fairmount Avenue to accommodate Hyde Park Lodge. The Committee reported in March, and after much discussion, it was voted not to accept Brother French's offer. It is interesting to note that the building we are now occupying is the building referred to. During the summer of 1899 extensive alterations and renovation of the Lodge apartments were made at a cost of $1500.

About the turn of the century there seemed to be considerable trouble with clandestine Lodges in this Jurisdiction. September 18, 1902, a communication from the Grand Lodge stating that a clandestine Lodge bearing the name of "Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 1" was operating in Boston and that a resident of Hyde Park and a man residing in Waltham had been expelled from the rights and privileges of Masonry for their connection with this so-called Lodge. The Hyde Park man had never been a member of Hyde Park Lodge. On the flyleaf of Record Book, Volume V, is a list of 32 spurious concerns calling themselves Masonic Lodges, operating in Boston and vicinity. This list was dated August 30, 1904.

In August 1907 a fire broke out in the kitchen of the Lodge Apartments, but by prompt work of the Fire Department, it was practically confined to one room. An adjustment was made with the Insurance Company for $671.50. The records stated the fire was a blessing in disguise for it enabled the Lodge to enlarge the kitchen and closets, making them more convenient.

On October 16, 1913, Brother Olstin M. Higgins, who had been appointed a member of a Building Committee, placed before the Lodge a set of plans of a building which could be erected for $30,000, with an additional $5000 for land. The report was accepted by the Lodge and it was voted that the Committee continue until such time as they should be discharged. Brother Alden B. Hefler reported on December 18, 1913, that a circular letter had been sent to all members of the Lodge stating the plans for raising money and asked those members who could, to make pledges. He stated that less than 33% of the members replied and that only $2392 had been pledged. The Committee was of the opinion that it was not a favorable time for the erection of a building. The report was accepted and the Committee discharged.

This, however, did not end the matter for on March 18, 1915, Brother Hugh J. Stockford, in a well worded address, informed the Lodge that the property known as French's Opera House could be purchased for the low price of $20,000, and with the expenditure of about $5,000, it could be transformed into an ideal home for the use of the Masonic Bodies. The sense of this meeting was that the buying of French's Opera House could be financed by a Building Association. Stock in the Building Association at $100 a share, bearing 4% interest, was sold to Masons and Masonic Bodies occupying the building. The dues of the Lodge were raised from $6.00 to $8.00 and the extra $2.00 was used to buy up stock of the Association so that eventually all the stock would be owned by Hyde Park Lodge. At various times since, Brothers have presented some of their stock to the Lodge.

The first meeting in our new home was November 18, 1915. The Temple was dedicated December 10, 1915, by Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson and the Officers of the Grand Lodge. Hyde Park Lodge at last had a home of its own. Sixteen years previous we had considered the idea of using this building and only two years before the Lodge members did not show enough interest to procure a home of our own, yet when what seemed to be the right proposition presented itself, there was no difficulty no procuring the necessary funds.

A service flag showing 53 stars, one being a gold star, was untried in the Lodge December 19, 1918. A dinner and reception wis given Nov. 14, 1919, to the men who served our country, after which there was an entertainment.

The years 1919, 1920 and 1921 were the busiest years of Hyde Park Lodge. In 1919 there were 10 regular and 22 special communications, during which time 42 candidates were raised and two joined the Lodge by affiliation. In 1920, besides the 10 regular communications there were 31 special communications; 60 candidates were raised and 5 members were added by affiliation. In 1921 there were 22 special communications in addition to the 10 regular; 50 candidates were raised and 2 members affiliated.

During the height of a howling blizzard on the night of March 12, 1924, a fire broke out in our building, which put out of service all parts of the building except the Lodge-room, which was used until May, when workmen had to dismantle it to make the necessary repairs to the Temple. The June meetings were held in Pythian Hall. With $17,128 received from the Insurance Companies, many improvements were made and the building was then in better shape than ever before.

During the summer of 1927 a fine Skinner Organ was installed in the Lodge-room from funds raised by the Brethren and the Masonic Bodies using the building, together with an appropriation from the treasury of the Lodge. The new organ was dedicated on October 11, 1927, to the members of Hyde Park Lodge who had served our Country in times of war.

February 14, 1928, a fire broke out in the elevator shaft of the Temple, causing damage to the kitchen. Brother Edward J. Ellis in his records referred to it as a successful fire because it enabled us to remodel the kitchen, make several improvements there and have the walls and ceiling of the lodge-room refinished. At our regular communication on February 16, 1928, letters were read from the Current Events Club and the Knights of Columbus offering Hyde Park Lodge the use of their quarters until our building could again be used, but as the damage was slight, our Secretary was instructed to "return our profuse thanks for their generosity and good fellowship and inform them that it would not be necessary to hold our meetings outside of our own building."

During 1936, in order to escape certain income taxes, the Lodge voted to buy all the outstanding stock in Hyde Park Masonic Association. The action gave the Lodge complete ownership in our building.

Since 1872, except for a few years after the Town Hall fire, this Lodge has been clear of debt and nearly every year some addition has been made to the General and Charity Funds, so that now in addition to owning our own building, we have substantial amounts in both of these funds.

During the years our membership has been as follows:

Commencing with fifteen Charter members in 1866, at the end of

  • 1867, 1 year, 52 members
  • 1871, 5 years, 90 members
  • 1876, 10 years, 113 members
  • 1886, 20 years, 145 members
  • 1891, 25 years, 167 members
  • 1896, 30 years, 201 members
  • 1916, 50 years, 382 members
  • 1926, 60 years, 638 members
  • 1936, 70 years, 491 members
  • 1941, 75 years, 423 members

The peak was reached in 1929 when we had 653 members.

Hyde Park Lodge has been honored by having six of its members appointed District Deputies. They were as follows:

  • Rt. Worshipful Henry S. Bunton, 1882 and 1883
  • Rt. Worshipful Albert E. Bradley, 1894 and 1895
  • Rt. Worshipful Edward J. Ellis, 1913 and 1914
  • Rt. Worshipful Frederick G. Katzmann, 1917 and 1918
  • Rt. Worshipful Alden B. Hefler, 1929 and 1930
  • Rt. Worshipful Howard E. Cluff, 1935 and 1936

This is the history of the first 75 years of Hyde Park Lodge. No better ending can be made than to quote again the words of our first Worshipful Master in his first annual report. "May a long career of prosperity await us and may our children's children sit beneath this Vine which we have planted, may Brotherly Love prevail and every Moral and Social Virtue cement us."

We are those children's children that our Worshipful Brother referred to and may we all do our part in carrying on this program so that our children's children may have the advantage of the splendid virtues which have been nurtured here.

CENTENARY HISTORY, MAY 1966

From Proceedings, Page 1966-134:

By Worshipful Walter A. Keppler.

In preparing this history of Hyde Park Lodge, I find myself greatly indebted to that written by Worshipful Kirke W. Walker on the occasion of our 75th anniversary, particularly with regard to the first year of our existence. To quote, in part, from his work, "An organization meeting was held on February 8, 1866 at which time plans were made, including choosing a meeting night which was to be the third Thursday in the month and it has continued to be the third Thursday ever since."

The earliest copy of the Lodge notices in our records lists twenty-one Masons to be balloted on for membership.

According to Worshipful Brother Walker, the first communication was held in a small hall on River Street, the only meeting to be held there. The second, and an unknown number of succeeding meetings were held in a building on the corner of Fairmount Avenue and Nott Street. It is in this building that history must record that on April 3, 1866, the Lodge voted to spend the enormous sum of $6. for spittoons. The next move was to a building at the corner of Harvard Avenue and River Street, known at one time as Liberty Hall. In the interest of accuracy, what is now known as Harvard Avenue, was, at that time Hyde Park Avenue. This hall was first used on October 18, 1866 and was dedicated on December 21, 1866 by Most Worshipful Charles C. Dame, Grand Master, and the officers of Grand Lodge. At this communication, the Grand Master presented Hyde Park Lodge with the Charter, which was dated February 1, 1866. At this same meeting, the Lodge was consecrated by the Grand Master. Following these ceremonies, the first regular line of officers was installed. They were: Enoch P. Davis, W. M.; Charles F. Gerry, S. W.; William U. Coburn, J. W.; Samuel A. Bradbury, Treasurer; Charles A. Jordan, Secretary; D. S. Hill, S. D.; W. U. Fairbairn, J. D.; A. D. Galucia, Marshal; N. Hebard, I. S.; and F. H. Caffin, Tyler.

As is to be expected, most of these men were Charter Members. The list of Charter Members, fifteen in all, is as follows: Enoch P. Davis, Charles F. Gerry, Charles F. Jordan, Samuel A. Bradbury, William U. Coburn, William U. Fairbairn, N. Hebard, David S. Hill, Timothy Phelps, William A. Bullard, Robert Campbell, Francis H. Caffin, Waldo W. Ward and James L. Vialle.

To quote from the secretary's report of this installation meeting, "It having been decided by the Committee to have the installation of Officers public to invited guests, an intermission was now had of half an hour to allow Brethren to wait upon their ladies to the hall. At eight o'clock the meeting was once more called to order and the hall then presented a most beautiful appearance for with the splendid regalia and sparkling jewels of our Order rivalled by the sparkling eyes and happy faces of our lady friends, a scene was presented which can never be forgotten by the members of our infant Lodge, and which proclaimed aloud to all present the success of Hyde Park Lodge."

The Bible now on our altar was originally placed there on June 16, 1870, the funds for its purchase having been raised by subscription among the brethren. The original Bible, which had been used from the formation of Hyde Park Lodge until this time, was the personal property of Brother William U. Fairbairn. This was returned to him with thanks, by vote of the Lodge.

In going through the Lodge notices, I note with interest that, until February 19, 1880, the name of the Worshipful Master does not appear on the Lodge notices. Is it possible that our predecessors felt that the Secretary was of greater importance? Another item I found interesting was that the 26th regular notice dated May 21, 1868 is the first one headed Hyde Park Lodge, Hyde Park. All previous notices read Hyde Park Lodge, Dorchester.

I find in our records a letter addressed to the Brethren referring to a special communication "held in our new hall, corner of River Street and Gordon Avenue on October 18, 1869." This building is apparently the one referred to in Worshipful Brother Walker's history, where he makes mention of the Town Hall Building being totally destroyed at "about nine o'clock the morning of March 8, 1883." This fire destroyed all of our possessions, with the exception of the Great Lights and the Charter, which were saved by Worshipful Henry S. Bunton. The three succeeding meetings of Hyde Park Lodge, March, April and May 1883, were held in rooms of Constellation Lodge, Dedham, by Dispensation of the Grand Master, the May meeting listed as the 179th regular communication.

The Lodge was apparentiy in recess during June, July and August of 1883, as the 180th regular communication appears in the records as being held in Neponset Hall, in what is now Logan Square. The 185th regular meeting, February 21, 1884, appears in the records as "the first communication in the new hall." This is the one referred to in Worshipful Brother Walker's history as the "new Masonic Hall which was built for, but not owned by Hyde Park Lodge, and was located on River Street on the lot adjacent to Christ Episcopal Church."

At a special communication a year later, on February 16, 1885, this hall was dedicated by Most Worshipful Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Grand Master, and the officers of Grand Lodge. This was an open meeting at which time ladies were present.

The 214th regular communication of Hyde Park Lodge was held in Knights of Honor Hall, Neponset Block on January 20, 1887. (Why this is so, I leave to more competent historians to discover.) This notation in the notices continues through the 216th regular communication. The 217th notice merely says "Masonic Hall."

At the 301st regular communication on November 21, 1895, Hyde Park Lodge was honored by a "fraternal and unofficial visit" by the Most Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes, Grand Master, and his suite of ten Grand Lodge officers. There were also present at this time 107 members and 168 visitors, a total of 285 Masons. This included men from every state in New England, California, New Jersey, Florida, Canada, Nebraska. New York and Scotland.

The first meeting in our present Temple was held on November 18, 1915 and the Hall was dedicated on December 10, 1915. A note found on the notice of a Special Communication dated November 5, 1874 reads, "A room has been furnished in Inger-soll's Block, as a suitable place to impart instruction, which will be open every evening to members of the Lodge, and competent members will be appointed to be present on Monday and Thursday evenings for that purpose." This is a precedent that we might well follow to our own benefit today.

In reference to a subject that will be of interest to all Past Masters and Secretaries, I find first mention of dues in the notice of the 96th regular communication dated January 21, 1875 as an extract from the By-Laws, as follows: "The dues of this Lodge shall be #4.00 per annum, payable in advance at each annual communication," and in the notice for the 98th regular Communication: "Those men in arrears for dues will have an opportunity to shake hands with the Secretary."

Hyde Park Lodge, in its one hundred years of existence, has lived through at least five fires; the first, which has already been mentioned, was the Town Hall fire. The second was in August of 1907 and was described as a "blessing in disguise," as it enabled us to enlarge the kitchen and closets, making them more convenient. The third, on March 12, 1924 occurred "during a howling blizzard" and "put out of service all parts of the building except the Lodge Room which was used until May. when workmen had to dismantle it to make necessary repairs to the Temple." The June meetings were held in Pythian Hall.

With $17,128 received from the Insurance Companies, many improvements were made and the building was then "in better shape than ever before." The fourth was on February 14, 1928, when a fire broke out in the elevator shaft and resulted in damage to the kitchen. This fire is referred to in the records as a "successful fire", as it made possible the remodeling of the kitchen, as well as having the walls and ceiling of the Lodge Room refinished.

The building in which we now meet was originally French's Opera House, and considerable evidence of its former occupants was uncovered in the form of scenery, footlights and stage props when, at long last, 1964 to be exact, the stage was finally cleared out and boarded up.

Under the direction of Worshipful Brother David Puccio, the Lodge held its first Children's Christmas Party on December 17, 1960. This party met with such enthusiasm that it has become an annual affair.

After some 45 years of Masonic service, the rug on our Lodge Room floor finally gave up the ghost and in 1961 was replaced by a beautiful blue rug. It was supplied, incidentally, by the same firm which had installed the old one.

During Worshipful Brother Edgar Brenc's term of office, 1961. 1962, negotiations were concluded with the City of Boston which resulted in tax reassessment of our building, and a very substantial reduction in our yearly real estate tax.

Hyde Park Lodge has, for some time, shared its apartments with Hyde Park Council of Royal and Select Masters, Norfolk Royal Arch Chapter, Cypress Commandery, Blue Hill Chapter of Eastern Star and the Order of Amaranth. In June 1962, we welcomed Keystone Chapter No. 18, Order of the Eastern Star and in September 1963, Loyalty Lodge, A. F. & A. M., formerly of Jamaica Plain.

To bring our history up to date, we must record that, during the summer of 1965, our old heating boilers were replaced with a modern gas-fired boiler, which, we are sure, will not only be less troublesome, but also more economical than the old one. In order to keep abreast of the constantly increasing cost of living in our modern society it was found necessary to raise our initiation fees from $75 to $100 per candidate.

As of August, 1965, Hyde Park Lodge has a membership of 418.

The officers serving our Lodge during our anniversary year are as follows: George Ktona, W. M.; Thomas B. Cochrane, S. W.; James P. Mills, J. W.; Wor. Walter E. Carlton, Treasurer; Wor. F. Henry Caffin, Secretary; Lewis F. Galer, Chaplain; Wor. Hartley G. Batchelder, Jr., Marshal; William A. Kells, Jr., S.D .; Robert O. Rittenberg, J. D.; Richard Ogilvie. S. S.; Conrad H. Michel, J. S.; and Thomas H. Sloane, Tyler.

Any history is, in essence, merely a record of events. The character of the people involved shapes these events. Hyde Park Lodge has been blessed with many sincere and dedicated brethren. Among our Past Masters, we find eight who have been appointed District Deputy Grand Masters: R. W. Henry S. Bunton, R. W. Albert E. Bradley, R. W. Edward J. Ellis. R. W. Frederick G. Katzmann, R. W. Alden B. Hefler, R. W. Howard F. Cluff, R. W. Walter E. Hawley and R. W. Gordon W. Weddleton.

To mention only a few of our distinguished members, for example, there is our oldest living Past Master, Worshipful Walter E. Carlton, who for the last 18 years has been our Treasurer and who was appointed by the Grand Master in 1959 to be the first Master of a new Lodge in Sharon, where he now serves as Treasurer and Ritualist. He has also served for 12 years as Ritualist in Hyde Park Lodge, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hyde Park Masonic Trust.

Our present Secretary, Worshipful F. Henry Caffin, in addition to his many other Masonic honors, is also our only member who is a 33rd Degree Mason.

Our Chaplain, Brother Lewis F. Galer, has served Hyde Park Lodge in this capacity for 20 years; our organist. Brother Henry E. Rodg-ers, for 24 years.

Brother Charles E. Secord served Hyde Park Lodge with unswerving devotion for many years. He so enshrined himself in the hearts of his brethren that, when he passed away just before he was to be installed as Worshipful Master, it was unanimously decided to have his name included on the notice among our Past Masters, as Master-Elect. To my knowledge, this is the first time any man has been given this honor.

Mere length of services does not mean too much, but the regular attendance and untiring efforts these men displayed are a shining example to all of us.

At the 121st regular communication, Hyde Park Lodge dated May 17, 1877, Henry Nichols Bates was proposed as a candidate for membership. At the 185th, Henry N. Bates appears as Worshipful Master. Tonight, his grandson, Brother William A. Kells, Jr., is serving as our Senior Deacon.

Thus are the excellent tenets of our institution transmitted from one generation to another. This is but one instance. The number of sons and grandsons of Hyde Park Lodge members who have followed in the footsteps of their fathers is too great to be listed here. By such men as these is the history of Hyde Park Lodge truly written.

During the last twenty-five years, many important events have occurred in our world: notably World War II, which began in 1941 and ended in 1945; the bombing of Hiroshima with the first atomic bomb; the Korean conflict 1950 to 1953; the formation of the United Nations Organization in 1945; the admission of two new states, Alaska and Hawaii, to the United States and the flight of Alan B. Shepard, the first American in space, on May 5, 1961.

Such great changes in the world must tend to change our thinking and living habits, yet, Freemasonry continues, as always, to be a stabilizing and wholesome factor in society. Our fervent prayer is that it may always be so.

125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1991

From Proceedings, Page 1991-43:

For the first 116 years of its existence, the Masonic Fabric of Hyde Park Lodge was woven in and around the Town of Hyde Park, which was annexed to Boston in May, 1911 and became Ward 18 of the city.

The Lodge's 26th regular notice dated May 21, 1868 is the first one headed Hyde Park Lodge, Hyde Park. All previous notices read Hyde Park Lodge, Dorchester.

The earliest copy of a Lodge notice in our records lists 21 Masons to be balloted on for membership.

The history of Hyde Park Lodge prepared by Worshipful Walter A. Keppler for our 100th anniversary in May, 1966, lists eight meeting places and the accounts of at least five fires up until the time of the destruction of our Masonic Temple on Fair-mount Avenue, which we had occupied for 67-years, and that sixth fire forced us to find a meeting facility outside of Hyde Park.

The first fire mentioned in Hyde Park Lodge's history was in March, 1883 and destroyed the Town Hall building where the Lodge met. After a series of temporary meetings held at Constellation Lodge in Dedham, the Lodge moved into a new Masonic hall, which was built for but not owned by them and was located on River Street next to the Episcopal Church.

The second fire occurred in that building in 1907 and was described in the Lodge records as a blessing in disguise, as it enabled us to enlarge the kitchen and closets, making them more convenient.

The third fire was in our Fairmount Avenue Temple and improvements were made with the insurance proceeds that "left the building in better shape than ever before".

The fourth fire was in February, 1928 and this fire was referred to on the records as a successful fire as it made possible the remodeling of the kitchen as well as the refinishing of the walls and ceiling of the Lodge room.

A fifth fire paid for improvements to the commercial space on the first floor of the building.

Since the fire destroyed our Lodge Hall in 1982, Hyde Park Lodge has met at Orient Lodge in Norwood, then Constellation Lodge in Dedham, then Blue Hill Lodge in Canton and, finally, Constellation Lodge in Dedham again, where we have been since January 1986; leading to our merger with Eliot Lodge in September, 1986.

Any history is merely a record of events. The character of the people involved shape those events. Both Eliot and Hyde Park Lodge are blessed with many sincere and dedicated members. Together we will realize our common dream. Pooling our resources of a structure and land, that Eliot Lodge had purchased and the proceeds of the fire that destroyed Hyde Park Lodge's Temple with the combined talents and aspirations of the members of the merged Eliot Hyde Park Lodge, we will erect a temple for the use of the Brethren, signifying the endurance of Freemasonry to the glory of God.

OTHER

  • 1911 (Petition on jurisdiction; 1911-222)
  • 1912 (Petition on jurisdiction; 1912-36)
  • 1919 (Petition on release of jurisdiction; 1919-197)
  • 1937 (Petition on reduction of fees; 1937-149)

EVENTS

CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, DECEMBER 1866

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVI, No. 6, April 1867, Page 174:

By some mistake or oversight, a notice we had prepared of the constituting of this Lodge at the proper time, failed to get into our pages. The ceremony took place on the evening of the 31st December last, in the presence of a large number of brethren. The ladies were admitted to witness the ceremony of installation; at the conclusion of which, the company were escorted to an adjacent hall, and partook of a handsomely spread collation.

The Lodge has a fine hall, neatly fitted up and furnished, and it is in the bands of enterprising and zealous brethren. Its roll of membership is large for a young Lodge, and bears the names of many of the most respectable and active men of the beautiful village in which it is located. The officers for the present year are as follows : —

  • E. P. Davis, W. M.
  • C. F. Gerry, S. W.
  • William W. Colburn, J. W.
  • S. A. Bradbury, Treasurer.
  • Charles A. Jordan, Secretary.
  • D. S. Hill, S. D.
  • William U. Fairbairn, J. D.
  • William A. Bullard, S. S.
  • James L. Viallo, J. S.
  • C. C. Bradbury, Chaplain.
  • A. B. Galucia, Marshal.
  • N. Hebard, I. S.
  • Francis H. Caffin, Tyler.

INSTALLATION, JANUARY 1868

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, February 1868, Page 128:

Hyde Park Lodge, at Hyde Park, had a public installation of its officers on the 2nd of January, when the retiring Master, E. P. Davis, was presented with a Past Master's Jewel, in gold, and of exquisite workmanship, Charles F. Gerry was installed Master for 1868. The prospects of the Lodge are exceedingly flattering.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS, DECEMBER 1878

From Liberal Freemason, Vol. II, No. 10, January 1879, Page 316:

The annual election of officers of Hyde Park Lodge of F. & A. M. took place December 3d, with the following result: Charles H. Colby, W. M.; John F. Ross, S. W.; Henry B. Terry, J. W.; Henry S. Bunton, Secretary; William J. Stuart, Treasurer; Joel F. Goodwin, Treasurer of charity fund; J. M. Weld, Secretary of charity fund.

INSTALLATION, JANUARY 1881

From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IV, No. 11, February 1881, Page 348:

The recently elected officers of Hyde Park Lodge were publicly installed in Masonic Hall on Monday evening, January 24, before a large gathering of members of the lodge, their lady friends and invited guests. The following officers were installed in their several positions: W. M., John F. Ross; S. W., Stephen B. Balkam; J. W., Warren W. Hilton; Treasurer, Henry S. Bunton; Secretary, William H. Harlow; Chaplain, John M. Williams, M. R. P. Mosely; S. D., Henry N. Bates; J. D., Charles M. Tilley; Organist. Charles Sturtevant; S. S., Josiah B. Richardson; J. S., Lyman Rhodes; I. S., G. C. Haynes; Tyler, David A. McDonald.

The installing officer was P. G. M. Charles A. Welch of Waltham, assisted by Hon. F. D. Ely of Dedham as Marshal; P. D. G. M. A. H. Howland, Jr., New Bedford, and P. G. M. William Parkman of Boston. There were also present as invited guests, M. W. Samuel S. C. Lawrence, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Charles L. Woodbury of Boston, P. D. G. M.; Charles J. Noyes, Master of Adelphi Lodge of South Boston, and Alfred F. Chapman of Boston. The Mendelssohn Quartette of Boston sang several excellent pieces, which were received with great favor by the audience. At about nine o'clock the banquet hall was sought, and after an hour was spent in discussing the repast, postprandial speeches were made by Grand Master Lawrence, Past Grand Master Welch, Chas. Levi Woodbury, J. D. G. M. A reverend Brother whose name escaped us, W. Alfred F. Chapman, A. H. Howland, Jr., P. D. G. M., and W. Chas. J. Noyes.

The Lodge Room has been refitted and furnished, and is now among the most inviting in the Jurisdiction, and in addition to which, the cost, something over $800, has been paid in full by the brethren interested.

REPORT ON HALL FIRE, APRIL 1883

From Liberal Freemason, Vol. VII, No. 1, April 1883, Page 13:

The Norfolk County Gazette published a full account of the fire in March last, which destroyed the town hall, in the upper stories of which the several Masonic bodies located in Hyde Park held their meetings, and where they had elegant accommodations, somewhat recently refitted. In a subsequent issue of March 31st, the same paper discoursed as follows: —

In view of the recent destruction by fire of Free Masons' Hall and the property of the several bodies meeting therein, a brief history of those bodies may be of interest to the readers of the Gazette, Before the incorporation of the town of Hyde Park a Masonic Lodge was considered requisite as a local institution. A dispensation was therefore procured from the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. and the first communication was held February 8th, 1866, in the hall on Fairmount Avenue since occupied by the Advent Society. Here the Lodge held its meetings until the following winter, when a ball was leased and fitted up in the Music Hall building, corner of River street and Hyde Park avenue. The same was dedicated and the Lodge was constituted by Grand Master Charles C. Dame and the officers of the Grand Lodge, Dec. 21, 1866. In 1869, the fraternity again folded their tents and occupied apartments in Gordon Hall building, which was purchased by the town in 1870. The following persons have successively held the office of Worshipful Master since the organization of the Lodge, each for a term of service of two years:— Enoch P. Davis, Charles F. Gerry, William H. Jordan, Henry S. Bunton, Fergus A. Easton, Wm. H. Ingersoll, Charles H. Colby, John F. Ross, Stephen B. Balkam.

During the occupancy of the last mentioned hall a chapter, council and commandery have been organized. The dates of organization are herewith given, together with the names of presiding officers in the order of succession :

  • Norfolk Royal Arch Chapter, May 18, 1870, High Priests: Gamaliel Hodges, Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., Henry S. Bunton, Charles C. Nichols, Win. H. Ingersoll, Henry C. Chamberlain, Chas. L. Farnsworth, Moses N. Gage.
  • Hyde Park Council Royal and Select Masters, Dec. 21st, 1872, Thrice Illustrious Masters: Gamaliel Hodges, Fergus A. Easton, Henry S. Bunton, John F. Ross, Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., Chas. M. Til ley, Henry N. Bates.
  • Cyprus Commandery, Knights Templars, October 31st, 1873, Eminent Commanders, Gamaliel Hodges, Henry C. Chamberlain, Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., Henry S. Bunton, George F. Lincoln.

During the years which have intervened, the history of each of the above bodies has been one of uninterrupted prosperity. The present calamity will, for a time at least, materially affect their active work, as there is no hall in the town which is considered suitable for Masonic purposes. Tenders of apartments and paraphernalia were promptly made by Adelphi Lodge, South Boston; Orient Lodge, Norwood, and Constellation Lodge, Dedham.

Hyde Park Lodge, by special dispensation from the Grand Master, held its Regular Communication, Thursday evening, 15th inst., in the Constellation Lodge room, which, for the present, will be its East. The members of Norfolk Chapter are considering the expediency of a permanent removal of that body to Norwood. It is claimed that a division of the bodies between the two towns would bring about more of a mutual interest than now exists, and eventually be of great advantage to each.

The insurance has been adjusted, and the following is the amount realized by each Masonic body: Hyde Park Lodge, $2,000; Norfolk Chapter, $750; Hyde Park Council, $500; Cyprus Conimandery, (including individual regalia of members) $2,000.

Cyprus Commandery will hold its Regular Conclave, next Thursday evening, in Neponset Hall, and a full attendance of its members is desired and anticipated.

PAST MASTERS' NIGHT, MARCH 1909

From New England Craftsman, Vol. IV, No. 7, April 1909, Page 257:

Hyde Park lodge of Hyde Park, Mass., called on its past masters to fill the officers' chairs at its March meeting, held Thursday the 18th. A large number were attracted to the meeting, there being nearly 400 present of whom about 150 were visitors from other lodges. The Past Masters filling the chairs and the dates of their service are as follows: Worshipful Master. Fergus A. Easton of Worcester, 1874-5; Senior Warden, Henry S. Bunton, 1872-3; Junior Warden. Henry N. Bates, 1884-5; Treasurer, John F. Ross, 1880-1; all the other chairs being occupied by Past Masters. The presence of past masters Easton and Bunton was especially appreciated. The lodge room was attractively decorated with plants and palms and a Masonic quartet contributed largely to the interest of the occasion by their line singing.

Among those who occupied seats of honor were William U. Fairbairn, Douglas Easton, brother of the acting Worshipful Master, and David Perkins. The latter name is mentioned with pleasant reminiscences of the past as it was this brother, a member of Mt. Lebanon Lodge, who, in 1864, proposed the editor of this publication for the degrees of Freemasonry. An excellent banquet closed the exercises of the evening at which speeches were made by Worshipful Brothers Easton and Bunton and Past Masters Dolliver and Booth of Worcester, who were special guests of the lodge. Worshipful Brother Easton received a great ovation from his old friends and in his address he referred feelingly to his early career in Masonry, in this town and of many of the order who have joined the great majority.

HALL DEDICATION, DECEMBER 1915

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XI, No. 4, January 1916, Page 136:

A new Masonic Temple was dedicated at Hyde Park, Massachusetts, Friday, December 10th.

In the early evening there was a banquet, after which the Temple was dedicated with full ceremonies of the Grand Lodge, Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson being assisted by Deputy Grand Master Roscoe Pound, Senior Grand Warden George C. Thacher, Junior Grand Warden William H. H. Soule and other grand officers. There was speaking by the grand master, Frederick G. Katzmann, and Emerson Rice, past master of Hyde Park Lodge.

Hyde Park Lodge is forty-nine years old and started with fifteen charter members, only one of whom, William U. Fairbairn, was present, though others survive. The total membership is 360.

Recently the lodge purchased French's Opera House Block, which contained a theatre, several officers and a number of stores. The interior has been completely renovated. The Masons will occupy the entire building with the exception of the ground floor stores.

The present officers of the lodge are: Worshipful Master, Frederick G. Katzmann; Senior Warden, Edward K. Ellis; junior warden, Horace E. Ayers; Treasurer, Henry S. Bunton; Secretary, Frank T. Brackett; Chaplain, George E. Leason; Marshal, Emerson Rice; Senior Deacon, Charles B. House; Junior Deacon, Francis J. Coogins; Senior Steward, Alden B. Hefler; Junior Steward, Arthur E. Campbell; Inside Sentinel, John S. Stressenger; Organist, Ralph G. Kilmer; Tyler, William H. Barritt.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


DISTRICTS

1866: District 12

1867: District 13 (Taunton)

1877: District 13 (Dedham)

1883: District 22 (Hyde Park)

1911: District 25 (Hyde Park)

1927: District 25 (Hyde Park)


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges