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IONIC LODGE (Easthampton)

Location: Easthampton

Chartered By: Charles C. Dame

Charter Date: 09/09/1868 VII-247

Precedence Date: 08/23/1867

Current Status: unknown; merged with Jerusalem Lodge, 04/12/2005.

living Past Masters plus GL officers only; need complete list

  • Lafayette Clapp, 1868-1871
  • William E. Bassett, 1872
  • Joseph W. Wilson, 1873
  • George B. Drury, 1874-1876
  • William E. Spooner, 1877-1879
  • Emory Munyan, 1880-1882; SN
  • Clarence E. Ware, 1883, 1884
  • Joseph Bassett, 1885
  • Albert E. Abbott, 1886
  • Albert F. Totman, 1887, 1888
  • Horace L. Clark, 1889, 1890
  • Charles H. Upson, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894
  • Oren C. Burt, 1895, 1896
  • George M. Rich, 1897, 1898
  • Alonzo S. King, 1899, 1900
  • Frank C. Bruce, 1901, 1902
  • Charles J. Keene, 1903, 1904
  • Edward L. Shaw, 1905
  • L. Munroe Preston, 1906, 1907
  • Winfred M. Gaylord, 1908, 1909
  • Eugene L. Sheldon, 1910, 1911; SN
  • John Leitch, 1912
  • John L. Lyman, 1913
  • James Rogerson, 1914
  • William A. Walker, 1915, 1916; SN
  • Traugott W. Vetterling, 1917
  • Charles W. Rust, 1918
  • Jesse A. Hall, 1919
  • Fletcher Smith, 1920
  • Milo H. Buzzee, 1921
  • Robert D. Campbell, 1922
  • Wallace E. Riedel, 1923
  • Raymond A. White, 1924
  • James A. Toole, 1925
  • Arthur MacDonald, 1926
  • William C. Smith, 1927
  • Thomas MacBean, 1928
  • Ben H. Grange, 1929
  • Archibald L. Bass, 1930
  • Axel Madsen, 1931
  • Ernest S. Emery, 1932
  • Kenneth E. Hutchinson, 1933
  • William H. Turner, 1934
  • Robert Cunningham, 1935
  • Jesse D. Emery, 1936
  • Chester P. Miller, 1937
  • Albion A. Ward, 1938
  • William Mochesky, 1939
  • William H. Bray, 1940, 1941; N
  • John W. Emery, 1942
  • Alfred E. Sholl, 1943
  • Edmund B. Mitchell, 1944
  • Deane P. Martin, 1945
  • Robert Diggle, 1946
  • Samuel H. Bryson, 1947
  • Clyde C. Connor, 1948
  • J. Russell Adams, 1949
  • Wesley J. Esser, 1950
  • John R. Leadbeater, 1951
  • Hugh C. Scott, 1952
  • Joseph I. Gaskill, Jr., 1953; N
  • Elmer H. Witt, 1954
  • Wilmot S. Babcock, 1955
  • Emil J. Marciniak, 1956
  • Burton E. Randall, 1957
  • Ellsworth S. Greenwood, 1958
  • Frank W. Putnam, 1959
  • Edward H. Sattler, 1960
  • Robert A. Jackson, 1961
  • Harold O. Congdon, 1962
  • Ernest C. Robinson, 1963
  • Herbert N. Root, Sr., 1964
  • Robert O. Irmischer, 1965
  • Dana F. Thayer, 1966
  • Jack E. Colby, 1967
  • Aaron H. Brown, 1968, 1969
  • Russell L. Ulm, 1970
  • Charles B. Brewer, 1971
  • William E. Press, Jr., 1972, 1973
  • Leon Gauger, 1974
  • Roland L. Lussier, 1975
  • Norman P. Miller, 1976, 1977
  • Ronald H. Nadeau, 1978
  • John M. Gauger, 1979; PDDGM
  • Richard A. Barnaby, 1980
  • Donat J. Fournier, 1981
  • Kevin H. Fournier, Sr., 1982, 1983
  • George R. Dion, 1984; PDDGM
  • Mark H. Fournier, 1985
  • Armand H. Lamour, Jr., 1986
  • Dennis T. Biggins, 1987
  • Donat J. Fournier, Jr., 1988
  • Donat J. Fournier, Jr., 1989
  • John J. Loftus, Jr., 1990
  • Edward W. Rickey, Sr., 1991
  • William L. Johnston, 1992
  • Joseph B. Sokoloski, 1993, 1994; PDDGM
  • Paul D. Gluck, 1995
  • Thomas E. Sokoloski, 1996
  • Stephen Ferraro, 1997
  • Brian E. Paige, 1998, 2000
  • Charles F. Perry, 1999
  • Thomas F. Labrie Moffett, 2002, 2005


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1867
  • Petition for Charter: 1867
  • Consolidation Petition (with Jerusalem Lodge): 2004


  • 1947 (80th Anniversary)
  • 1967 (Centenary)



1871 1873 1877 1880 1884 1886 1912 1913 1931 1940 1944 1968 1976 1981


  • 1914 (Historical address at dedication of hall, 1914-296)
  • 1947 (Anniversary Address, 1947-303; see below)
  • 1967 (Centenary Address, 1967-434; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1947-303:

By Right Worshupful William A. Walker.

On the evening of June 17, 1867, eighty years ago, fifteen Master Masons met in the office of Brother William G. Bassett for the purpose of instituting a Masonic Lodge in Easthampton. Twelve of these Brethren were members of Jerusalem Lodge of Northampton, so that Jerusalem can rightfully claim to being the foster-mother, and subsequent events show, has always had a keen and kindly interest in Ionic Lodge.

A petition to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was drawn that night, in which these Brothers were named the first three officers: Lafayette Clapp, Worshipful Master; William G. Bassett, Senior Warden; and Joseph W. Wilson, Junior Warden. The dispensation was granted on August 23rd of the same year, and after the usual probationary period, a charter was granted to Ionic Lodge — a worthy and symbolic name.

The Charter of Ionic Lodge was presented with fitting ceremony by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Charles C. Dame, followed by a dinner in the Town Hall, at which 250 covers were laid. The membership during the year of dispensation had increased to fifty-three.

Soon after receiving its Charter, the Lodge obtained quarters in the building just then completed by Brother John Mayher, a charter member. The contractor who built the building which had been named Ionic Block was Brother E. R. Bosworth. The building is now owned and occupied by the Easthampton Savings Bank.

The Lodge, having the entire third floor, the memories of associations formed and friendships made in these old lodge-rooms are kindly cherished by a few of the Brethren. The men who made up the membership of Ionic Lodge in those early days not only contributed greatly to the success of the Fraternity, but did their duty nobly and well in the community.

The twenty-fifth anniversary of Ionic Lodge was held August 23, 1892, with Worshipful Charles H. Upson as Master. A supper was served in the Town Hall and the procession was formed in the following order: Ionic Lodge, Hampshire Lodge, Jerusalem Lodge, Past Masters and visiting Brethren from down the river. After the supper, remarks were made by R. W. Charles C. Spellman; Bro. David Remington; Wor. Jasper E. Lambie; R. W. John E. Bronson, District Deputy Grand Master; R. W. Horace W. Gaylord, P. D. D. G. M.; David Crafts and others.

During the four years our late Worshipful Brother Upson was Master, the average number of meetings was thirty and the membership at this period, 1894, was 134.

In 1895, a rather curious incident occurred relating to the annual communication which the Lodge had to petition for special dispensation to hold. The petition set forth: "Whereas the by-laws of Ionic Lodge provides that the annual communication shall be held on a Monday of or next preceding the full moon in November, and whereas no Monday occurs on or before the full moon of the present month of November, therefore dispensation is requested that the annual communication shall be held November 18th."

In 1907 the lodge-rooms were thoroughly renovated and new furniture purchased. But a desire for larger quarters which was talked of in 1903 and not recommended at that time was taken up again in 1914. The committee appointed took definite action and recommended the purchase of "The White Block." To do this it was necessary to form a corporation and the following Brethren were the petitioners for incorporation: John Leitch, Horace L. Clark, Winfred M. Gaylord, L. Monroe Preston, Charles H. Upson, George A. Ayer, Edward L. Shaw, Charles H. Hastings and George J. Lang. The certificate of authority bears the date of February 3, 1914. The first officers of the Association were: John Leitch, President; L. Monroe Preston, Vice-President; Horace L. Clark, Treasurer; and Winfred M. Gaylord, Secretary. The work of remodeling the second and third floors was left with a committee and Brothers Fred S. Knott and W. I. Moore completed the plans approved by the directors of the Association. The purchase price and cost of changes exceeded $25,000.

The next important event in which the Lodge was deeply interested was the institution of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. The charter members were for the most part Brethren of Ionic Lodge, and the Lodge extended every possible assistance to the new Chapter, named James Rogerson Chapter in commemoration of the splendid service their departed Companion had rendered Ionic Lodge and the Masonic Building Association. Its first High Priest was Right Worshipful William A. Walker, and this year the High Priest and our Worshipful Master are the same — Worshipful Samuel H. Bryson.

The yaar 1927 was of interest for we observed our 60th anniversary on September 17 and 18. Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, Grand Master, was present with his Suite, and during the evening, presented six Veteran's Medals to members of Ionic Lodge. Dinner was served in the Parish House of the Easthampton Congregational Church by Doric Chapter, O.E.S., and the Toastmaster was Right Worshipful Eugene L. Sheldon.

Ionic Lodge has been honored by the appointment of three of its members as District Deputy Grand Masters — Eugene L. Sheldon, William A. Walker and William H. Bray.

The exemplification,of the work and lectures of our ritual for the 17th Masonic District was held for the first time in Ionic Lodge April 29, 1929.

Many of our members have passed on and many new members admitted. On October 8, 1944, Worshipful Deane P. Martin was elected Master and served until his death January 14, 1945, and Brother Robert Diggle, then Senior Warden, completed the year as Acting Master.

Twenty years ago Past Master Thomas MacBean wrote the history of this Lodge on the occasion of our 60th anniversary. The celebration of our 50th anniversary was postponed on account of the first World War, and in 1942, our 75th anniversary was omitted due to World War II.

As we observe our 80th anniversary on September 20 and 21, 1947, let us remember the good deeds of those who have preceded us, and may those who follow us contribute their best efforts for the success of an institution whose chief purpose is to make mankind better and happier.


From Proceedings, Page 1967-437:

By Wor. Jack E. Colby.


Ionic Lodge, Easthampton, Massachusetts, received its start on June 17, 1867. On this date, fifteen Master Masons, residents of Easthampton, met in the office of one of their number, W. G. Bassett, for the purpose of discussing the formation of a Masonic Lodge in Easthampton. Their reasons offered are interesting: first, the distance from Jerusalem Lodge in Northampton; second, the fact that the town population was increasing; third, that a new, suitable Lodge Room was available. This new Lodge Room was in what became known as The Ionic Building, owned by John Mayher, who was one of the following Original Committee of Fifteen:

  • J. W. Wilson, Mount Tom Lodge, Holyoke (Jerusalem Lodge)
  • L. F. Clapp, Jerusalem Lodge
  • J. W. Winslow, Bethel Lodge, Enfield, Mass.
  • W. G. Bassett, St. Mark's Lodge, Tarriffville, Conn.
  • G. S. Clark, Jerusalem Lodge (Chairman)
  • G. H. Bardwell, Jerusalem Lodge
  • L. H. Perkins, Not known
  • G. L. Manchester, Jerusalem Lodge
  • A. Miller, Jerusalem Lodge
  • G. M. Fillebrown, Not known
  • H. F. Pomeroy, Jerusalem Lodge
  • J. E. Lambie, Jerusalem Lodge
  • J. Mayher, Jerusalem Lodge
  • F. A. Rust, Jerusalem Lodge
  • G. A. Clark, Jerusalem Lodge

During this first meeting, a petition to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was drawn up to be endorsed by Jerusalem Lodge of Northampton and the D. D. G. M., D. W. Crafts. Following is a list of the eighteen petitioners:

  • G. S. Clark, Jerusalem Lodge
  • J. W. Wilson, Mt. Tom Lodge, Holyoke
  • F. A. Rust, Jerusalem Lodge
  • J. Mayer, Jerusalem Lodge
  • J. H. Bardwell, Jerusalem Lodge
  • E. T. Sawyer, John T. Willard, National Lodge, N. Y.
  • L. F. Clapp, Jerusalem Lodge
  • G. M. Fillebrown, Not known
  • A. S. Newton
, Hampden Lodge, Springfield
  • E. F. Ward, Bethel Lodge, Enfield
  • J. W. Winslow, Bethel Lodge, Enfield
  • B. W. Hutchinson
, Hampden Lodge, Springfield
  • G. L. Manchester, Jerusalem Lodge
H. F. Pomeroy
, Jerusalem Lodge
  • W. G. Bassett, St. Mark's Lodge, Tarriffville, Conn.
  • L. H. Perkins, Not known
  • J. E. Lambie, Jerusalem Lodge
  • G. A. Clark, Jerusalem Lodge

By vote of the committee the first officers of the Lodge were elected: W. M., LaFayette Clapp; S.W., W. G. Bassett; J.W., J. W. Wilson.

On August twenty-third, 1867, a dispensation was granted by the Grand Master, permitting Ionic Lodge to operate with all the rights of a Masonic Lodge until the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge in September, 1868. At this time a report of the year's activities and the By-Laws of the Lodge were to be submitted for approval.

This year of probation was a busy time. During this period, the Lodge held sixty-two meetings and admitted thirty-three candidates.

The building housing the first Lodge Rooms was built by E. R. Bosworth, who became a member of Ionic Lodge in 1868.

Originally, Brother Mayher had planned a building of only two stones, but a third story was added to be used by Ionic Lodge. From the beginning this building was called the Ionic Block. It was at one time the home of the Easthampton Savings Bank. The Charter was granted with the date of September 9, 1868, with the Lodge to take precedence from the date of the Dispensation, August 23, 1867. Following is a list of the twenty-three Charter Members:

  • LaFayette Clapp, Jerusalem Lodge
  • Edwin F. Ward, Bethel Lodge
  • Gilbert A. Clark, Jerusalem Lodge
  • George L. Manchester, Jerusalem Lodge
  • Wm. G. Bassett, St. Mark's Lodge, Tarriffville, Conn.
  • J. H. Bardwell, Jerusalem Lodge
  • Henry F. Pomeroy, Jerusalem Lodge
  • F. A. Rust, Jerusalem Lodge

* Joseph W. Wilson, Mt. Tom Lodge

E. Thomas Sawyer, John T. Willard, National Lodge, N. Y.
  • J. E. Lambie, Jerusalem Lodge
  • G. M. Fillebrown
, Not known
  • Geo. S. Clark
, Jerusalem Lodge
  • Alvah Miller
, Jerusalem Lodge
  • B. W. Hutchinson

, Hampden Lodge
  • Geo. H. Sprague
, Jerusalem Lodge
  • J. W. Winslow, Bethel Lodge

  • J. L. Campbell
, Jerusalem Lodge
  • Albert S. Newton

, Hampden Lodge
  • William Stratton
, Jerusalem Lodge
  • John Mayher
, Jerusalem Lodge
  • Emory Munyon
, Jerusalem Lodge
  • Leonard H. Perkins, Not known

The last of these twenty-three Charter Members, W. G. Bassett, died in 1923.

The dedication of the hall, the presentation of the Charter and the Installation of the Officers took place on September 25, 1868 with the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Charles C. Dame, in charge of the ceremonies. After the public installation of officers, the group retired to Pomeroy Hall where a dinner for two hundred was provided.

The officers' jewels now in use in Ionic Lodge were presented by Jerusalem Lodge on September 22, 1868 at a Regular Communication of Jerusalem Lodge.

It is rather interesting to note that on December 18, 1867, another Ionic Lodge was constituted in Taunton, Massachusetts.

A number of the "first" major events in the history of the Lodge seem worthy of mention.

The first Communication under the terms of the dispensation was held on September 8, 1867. At this time, it was voted to borrow $600.00 to furnish the Lodge Room; to draft a Constitution and By-Laws; and to negotiate a lease for ten years of the Lodge Room in Ionic Block.

The first lease was for $175.00 a year. This was reduced ten years later to $125.00 a year, and in 1887 a lease for ten years was signed for $100.00 a year.

The first By-Laws were adopted September 30, 1867. They were examined and approved by the Grand Master, Charles C. Dame, in Boston under date of September 24, 1868. The original By-Laws call for a total expense of $35.00 for the three degrees.

The first Master Masons were raised on February 21, 1868 with the ceremony carried out by Roswell Lee Lodge of Springfield. The first three Master Masons were R. M. Lambie, J. H. Buckley and J. Sutherland.

The first Master Mason raised by Ionic Lodge was J. A. Pulsifer. This took place on March 30, 1868.

At the Annual Communication in 1869 is found the first report on the number of Communications and members. Forty Communications had been held during this year. There had been a total of twenty-nine candidates, of whom sixteen were accepted and thirteen rejected. The total membership at this time was seventy-eight.

The first death of a member is mentioned in the minutes of March 14, 1870. This was L. W. Hannum, who had signed the By-Laws on January 3, 1870.

On December 23, 1870 the first public installation of officers was held, not counting that of 1868. At this time occurred the first mention of D. H. Spear, Inside Sentinel.

According to the first By-Laws, the Regular Communication was to be held "on the Monday evening of, or next preceding, the full moon in each month." This produced the effect of two meetings in the month of January, 1870 and no meeting in the month of February. This natural result occurred several times, and in 1913 the By-Laws were changed to the system of holding the Regular Communication on the second Tuesday of each month.

On June 26, 1871 at the Regular Communication, no officers were present and no meeting was held.

On July 24, 1871 was held the first Masonic funeral, that of C. R. Fay. Seventy-nine Masons were present. During these first years a Masonic funeral was apparently carried out entirely by the Lodge, with no mention of a clergyman. The first death of a Charter Member took place in December, 1873. This was W. Stratton, who although a Charter Member was not one of the Petitioners. He had been raised in Jerusalem Lodge.

It can be observed from the list of Masters and Wardens during these twenty years that the Chairs were not looked upon as training places for the next offices above. In voting for officers, sometimes as many as six to eight ballots were necessary before election, and very often this did not result in a steady progression from Chair to Chair.

It is not until 1875 that a count of those present at the Communications is given, and even then it was not always given. For the year 1875, with the attendance for nine regular communications given, the average was 41. When we consider the size of the Lodge at that time, something better than 80,

this is a remarkable number. The attendance when the District Deputy Grand Master was present was always high, 63 in 1881 and 118 in 1882.

Until 1883, the Senior and Junior Deacons had been elected each year. On October 15, 1883 the By-Laws were amended to provide for the appointment of these officers by the Master.

It was voted in November, 1883, to ask that Ionic Lodge be made a member of the 16th District. Previous to this it had been a member of the 13th District. This change was made in January, 1884.

In January, 1887, E. Munyan was appointed the first D. D. G. M. from Ionic Lodge. Ionic Lodge has had 5 D. D. G. M.'s through the years.

The marble tops of our pedestals apparently date from 1887. It was voted to buy such articles on September 26, 1887.

At the Annual Meeting on November 28, 1887, is the first complete report of the Secretary and Treasurer. The total membership for that year was 136. Thirty Communications were held, with an average attendance of 35. At this meeting, it was voted that Doric Chapter of Eastern Star should pay rent of $100.00.


The first twenty years of Ionic Lodge was a period of great activity. At the end of the Masonic year in 1887, the membership was 136, but the number of Communications and average attendance were as high or higher than in the next twenty years, when the membership rose to 182. During this first period the Lodge was apparently a social center for the members. Each year there were usually at least two "sociables," as they were called, staged by the Lodge.

In the ensuing twenty years this feature was dropped and the Lodge began to take on its present character with Regular Communications and Special Communications for carrying out initiations. The high point during this period was the annual visit of the District Deputy Grand Master. At this Communication in 1907, the attendance was 205. It might be generalized that the number of Communications averaged 30 and the average attendance was 30. During all of this time, the Lodge was holding Communications in every month of the year.

In 1888, A. Miller died. He was one of the original fifteen and at the time of his death he was the oldest member of Ionic Lodge and also the oldest resident of Easthampton, 91 years of age. He was originally a member of Jerusalem Lodge and had been raised in 1827.

On September 17, 1888, a committee was formed to investigate the purchase of a safe. There seems to be no mention of the actual purchase in the next twenty years, although the committee is mentioned several times. On January 14, 1889, it was voted to obtain a duplicate Charter to be hung in the Lodge room.

A special dispensation was issued the Lodge in February, 1889, granting permission to participate in the laying of the corner-stone of the Post Office in Springfield.

During these years, the Northampton Chapter of Royal Arch Masons was granted the free use of the Ionic Lodge Room for the purpose of conferring Chapter degrees.

The first mention of the Masonic Temple in Washington (Alexandria, Virginia) was made at the Communication on April 28, 1890. At the June Communication of that year, a contribution of $5.00 was voted for the Washington Temple.

The first mention of cigars in the Lodge was made at the Annual Communication of November 9, 1891. It was here voted that "the first three officers of the Lodge provide cigars for next Monday." This "next Monday" was the private installation of the officers for the next year. Interestingly enough, it is difficult to know when the cigars were used, as the only mention of them is the following: "George M. Rich (J.W.) having announced that the cigars were duly provided, the Lodge was closed in form." Apparently they were not used during the Communication.

LaFayette Clapp, the first Master of Ionic Lodge, died in Tyron, N. C., on February 25, 1892.

The great event of these twenty years was the celebration on August 23, 1892 of the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the Lodge. At the Regular Communication on May 9, 1892, it was voted "a committee of five be appointed to have charge of the celebrating of our 25th Anniversary. Voted the committee consist of Past Masters. The Committee appointed consisted of E. Munyan, A. F. Totman, W. E. Spooner, J. Bassett and J. W. Wilson." From the minutes of Ionic Lodge:

Special Communication Twenty-Fifth Anniversary

A Master Mason Lodge opened in Form. Officers present: Wor. C. H. Upson, Master; Bro. 0. C. Burt, Senior Warden; Bro. George M. Rich, Junior Warden; Bro. F. C. Greene, Treasurer; Bro. E. Munyan, Sec, Pro. Tern.; Bro. A. F. Totman, Senior Deacon; Bro. George A. Hill, Junior Deacon; Bro. L. N. Baldwin, Tyler.

After opening, a procession was formed and the Brethren marched to Town Hall in the following order: Ionic Lodge, Hampden Lodge, Jerusalem Lodge, Past Masters and visiting Brethren from down the river.

Supper was served in the lower Hall by the Woman's Relief Corps. After supper remarks were made by Brothers C. C. Spellman, David Remington; P. M. J. E. Lambie; and D. D. G. M. J. E. Bronson.

Closed in Form.
E. Munyan, Sec. Pro. Tem.
Attendance 280.

After the supper, the meeting resumed in the upper Town Hall, which was apparently filled with friends of the Lodge. There were more speeches, including an historical address by Capt. Hill.

In the Fall of that year, Ionic Lodge received a special invitation from the Grand Master to take part in the laying of the corner-stone of the Masonic Temple in Springfield. This was accepted and 56 members of Ionic Lodge participated. Travel was by train. A year later, on October 24th, Ionic Lodge took part in the dedication of the Springfield Temple with 56 members again present.

It is rather interesting to note that during these years the Treasurer's report indicate a growth in funds year by year until in 1907 the amount was $1,628.00.

In 1895 a rather curious incident occurred relating to the Annual Communication, which the Lodge had to petition for Special Dispensation to hold. The petition set forth /'Whereas the By-Laws of Ionic Lodge provide that the Annual Communication shall be held on a Monday of or next preceding the full moon in November, and whereas no Monday occurs on or before the full moon of the present month of November, therefore dispensation is requested that the Annual Communication shall be held November 18th." (60 year history by T. MacBean from minutes of Ionic Lodge on November 18, 1895.)

In the minutes for January 3, 1898 is the first example of a printed dispensation from the Grand Lodge. Previously the dispensations had apparently been written.

On May 27, 1898 is the first mention of travel by trolley. This trip was to attend Mount Tom Lodge.

The District Deputy Grand Master issued permission to Ionic Lodge to join in a public procession to participate in the dedication of the Jerusalem Temple and the celebration of the 101st anniversary of the founding of Jerusalem Lodge. Brother S. E. Bridgman presented Jerusalem Lodge with a gavel made of three varieties of wood from Palestine and a rough ashler from a quarry in Palestine. This took place on June 13, 1898.

A Special Dispensation was received from the Grand Master to hold a public procession for the purpose of attending divine worship on Sunday, June 23, 1901. This is the first mention of a service for St. John's Sunday.

At the Regular Communication on January 20, 1902, it Was voted to form a Committee to formulate plans for a Masonic Home in the western part of the state. Nothing more is heard about this until April 22, 1907 when the matter of a Masonic Home was presented by the District Deputy Grand Master and at the next Communication it was voted to be in favor of this matter.

On March 3, 1903, a committee of six, consisting of the first three officers plus three others, was appointed to consider the desirability of changing the location of the Lodge Room. Nothing more is mentioned in the minutes and on July 22, 1907, it was voted to renew the lease for ten years. There was a discussion about having the Lodge Room wired for electricity (gas had been used previously) but the suggestion was tabled.


The period from 1907 to 1927 might be called the period of maturity. By 1926 the Lodge had reached a membership of 355. This was also the period of the largest attendance. From 1919 to 1927 the average attendance was 51. In 1920 the Installation was attended by 310 persons.

At" this time, the Lodge also functioned as a social organization. There is frequent mention of the holding of "sociables", dances and yearly banquets, the latter not being held on Past Masters' nights.

Brother G. W. Phelps died on July 10, 1911. By the terms of his will he left the Lodge $100.00 to be used to furnish cigars for use at the Annual Communication for the election of officers. Even more important, the Lodge received from his estate the sum of $1,500.00, which was used in the purchase of the present home of Ionic Lodge.

In 1911 the Lodge began to think of new quarters, although the lease of the old hall was to run until 1917. On October 2, 1911 a committee was appointed to look into the purchase of a building. On January 1, 1912, it was voted to form a Masonic Association for the purchase of the White Block. This is the building in which the Lodge is presently located. The deed to the property was in the hands of the Building Committee on October 21, 1912. On December 9, 1913, the Lodge voted to accept the plans of the Building Committee for remodeling the building as offered on this date. The first officers of the Building Association were: John Leitch, President; L. Monroe Preston, Vice-President; Horace L. Clark, Treasurer; and Winfred M. Gaylord, Secretary.

The work of remodeling the second and third floors of this building was left entirely with a committee consisting of Brothers John Leitch, L. Munroe Preston and George A. Ayers, who contracted with Brothers F. S. Knott and W. I. Moore, Contractors, for the completion according to plans approved by the Directors of the Association. These called for extensive changes in the interior and a general strengthening of the entire building. The purchase price and cost of changes exceeded $25,000.00. (Taken from Thomas MacBean's History of Ionic Lodge in 1927.)

Work was immediately commenced and the new Temple was dedicated October thirty-first, 1914, by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts, Most Worshipful Melville Maynard Johnson, assisted by other members of the Grand Lodge. Brother James Rogerson was Master of the Lodge at this time.

The following extracts from the Secretary's Annual Report for 1918 are of particular interest: "For the first time in the history of this Lodge the District Deputy Grand Master on his official visitation was received informally and not in open Lodge. This condition was created by the severe and widespread epidemic of Spanish influenza, 1,343 cases of this disease being reported to the Board of Health and local physicians in four weeks . . . This is the "50" Annual Communication of Ionic Lodge. Organized in 1867 when the memories of the Civil War were fresh in the minds of our brothers of that time, we meet tonight, this "50" Anniversary, on the eve of the greatest day of centuries. Four years of warfare such as the world had never seen, the anxiety, suffering, sacrifices untold. It has happened in the still watches of the night that the Angel of Peace has passed over us, leaving behind a wonderful message of comfort for a war-weary world. Today, calm and joy that the right has triumphed; tomorrow, the beginning of the reconstruction of the world when Freedom, Justice and Brotherly Love shall become the corner-stones of the structure."

The next important event in which the Lodge was deeply interested was the institution of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. The Charter members were, for the most part, brethren of Ionic Lodge and the Lodge extended every possible assistance to the new Chapter, which had, by the unanimous approval of the Companions, been named James Rogerson Chapter, in commemoration of the splendid service their departed Companion had rendered Ionic Lodge and the Masonic Building Association. (Taken from Thomas MacBean's History of Ionic Lodge in 1927.)

The James Rogerson Chapter of Royal Arch Masons was instituted in 1921.

A change in the By-Laws was made in April, 1913, specifying that the Regular Communication should be held on the second Tuesday of each month. It was later voted, in March of 1916, to hold the Regular Communication on the second Monday of the month, as is now the case.

The first mention of Past Masters' Jewels occurred on February 26, 1912. The first one was awarded to Eugene L. Sheldon, who was Master in 1910, 1911. The Past Masters' Jewel was also presented to H. L. Clark, C. H. Lyman and A. S. King that same year, these men apparently being very active at this time.

On August 25, 1914, Wallace I. Moore was raised in the new Lodge Room. The last Communication in the old Lodge Room was on August 18, 1914. This Lodge Room had been used for 47 years.

The new Lodge Room was furnished in part from the old Room. There is a notation of buying five chairs from the Knights of Honor, who met in the same hall with Ionic Lodge, and in June of 1911, four new chairs had been bought from M. F. Taintor. There seems to be no record of the ownership of the present settees.

In February, 1912, the Past Masters raised two candidates. This was not spoken of as a Past Masters' Night. The first Communication definitely called Past Masters' Night was held on September 30, 1913.

On July 17, 1915, the Lodge assisted in laying the cornerstone of the Methodist Church in Southampton, under a Special Dispensation from the Grand Lodge. This Church is now the Grange Hall.

On September 11, 1916, it was voted to form a committee of five, consisting of the first three Officers of the Lodge and Worshipful Brother J. Rogerson and Right Worshipful Brother E. L. Sheldon, to "consider and report on a fitting celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lodge." On July 9, 1917, it was voted to postpone the celebration until after the war.

Nineteen members of Ionic Lodge were on the Honor Roll for service in World War I.

On September 11, 1920, the Lodge took part in a public procession to assist in the laying of the corner-stone of the Masonic Temple in Holyoke, under dispensation from Grand Lodge. 4,270 Masons took part and Ionic Lodge was represented by 109 members.

On September 13, 1920, it was voted to make the fees for the degrees a toal of $65.00; Life Membership, $65.00; and for Annual dues, $5.00.

By August 8, 1921, the Lodge had contributed $307.00 as its share for the George Washington Memorial Fund. On June 21, 1922, this was acknowledged with thanks by the Grand Master of Massachusetts, M.W. Arthur D. Prince. In July, 1922, $672.00 was raised to decorate the Lodge Room. There were contributions of $155.50 each from Doric Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, James Rogerson, Royal Arch Chapter, Ionic Lodge, and $50.00 from the Masonic Club.

In February of 1923, there began a discussion about the possible purchase of the First Church (Congregational) property for Lodge purposes. On February 11, 1924, it was voted to buy the property at a proposed figure of $8,000.00. There apparently were no buyers for the Ionic Block, and on September 8, 1924, it was voted not to buy the property. The First Church property later burned.

The August Communication in 1924 was omitted by announcement of the Master, but it was not voted by the Lodge. It was not until 1929 that the custom of omitting the July and August communications began.

In June, 1925, the present safe was purchased at a cost of $493.78. The money was raised by contributions and public entertainments.

On February 8, 1926, it was voted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of Ionic Lodge. A committee of seven was appointed, consisting of Worshipful Brothers A. MacDonald, C. H. Upson, R. D. Campbell, W. M. Gaylord, W. A. Walker and Brothers W. C. Smith, and T. McBean.

The booklet published at the time of the celebration, giving the program and a history of the Lodge up to this time, is the only record remaining of this event. The minutes of the Lodge for this period have all been cut out of the book, with no explanation of the reason. There is a separate account of the receipts and expenditures signed by W. A. Walker, Chairman of the Committee. There was a deficit of $142.57 from the celebration.


The fourth period of Ionic history was one of declining prosperity, as it was everywhere else in the United States, from an economic point of view. There simply wasn't money available for new members to pay for initiation, and in many cases, for old members to continue the payment of dues. In 1929, there was a total of 363 members, and by 1945 this number had decreased to 210. The average attendance also declined to a low point of nineteen in 1944. There then began a gradual increase in both membership and attendance.

In 1929 began the omission of Communications during the months of July and August. This has continued to the present time, with an occasional Special Communication in July for the purpose of initiations.

In 1929, the Lodge received a #500.00 bequest from Mrs. Benjamin W. Hutchinson in memory of her husband, who was a former member of Ionic Lodge. It was voted to place this bequest in the Charity Fund.

A Special Communication was held on January 29, 1931 to honor Charles H. Upson, who had been a member of Ionic Lodge since 1882. He served the Lodge as Master for four years, from 1891-1894 and for eighteen years preceding 1931 had acted as Chaplain. Over 120 members attended this Communication at which time the portrait of Worshipful Brother Upson, which now hangs in the entrance hall, was unveiled. On November 28, 1932 Brother Upson was awarded the Joseph Warren Medal for Distinguished Service. He was the fourth Mason to receive this honor. Worshipful Brother Upson continued as Chaplain until his death in 1933. There were 108 Brethren present at his burial service on July 9, 1933.

At the Regular Communication in June of 1931, it was voted to increase the Lodge dues from $5.00 to $8.00. At this time it was also voted that all initiation fees should be placed in the Charity Fund. Previously, such monies had been used to defray operating expenses.

In 1939, it was voted to require a payment of $200.00 for a Life Membership. In 1940 the By-Laws were changed to require an initiation fee of $45.00 rather than the previous amount of $65.00. It was also voted to change the time of the Annual Meeting to the second Monday in September.

Of some interest during the war years was the cancellation, because of gas rationing, of a Communication scheduled for January 11, 1943. The suggestion was also made to have Special Communications held on Friday and Saturday evenings, because gas was used on these evenings to go shopping.

On December 13, 1943, it was again voted to change the time of the Annual Meeting; this time to the second Monday in October with the new officers to be installed on or before the Regular Communication in November. Worshipful Master, D. P. Martin, died suddenly on January 14, 1945. Senior Warden, R. Diggle, acted as Master until October, 1945, when he was elected Master.

In 1946, there was an increase in the number of applications for membership and the average attendance began to increase.

In January 1947, it was voted to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Lodge. The celebration was held on Saturday, September 20, 1947, with 115 guests present at the dinner. There was a Church Service at St. Philip's Episcopal Church on the morning of the 21st. The observance of this Anniversary has been duly noted in a pamphlet published at that time.


This last twenty-year period started with a membership of 225 and an average attendance of 38. The membership grew steadily until 1958 when there were 278 members. The average attendance for that year was 35 and during the first eleven years of this period, it was 39. From this point the membership has decreased, until in 1966 it was 255, with an average attendance for eight years of 32.

Rt. Wor. W. A. Walker was presented the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal on February 8, 1954, by Rt. Wor. Ledyard A. Southard, D. D. G. M. and he was presented his 50-year Medal on September 10, 1956 by Rt. Wor. E. G. Thompson, D. D. G. M. Brother Walker died in June of the following year, having been Secretary of Ionic Lodge for 36 years.

On September 14, 1957, Worshipful Brother R. Cunningham passed away. He had been Treasurer for 16 years. On August 22, 1958, Brother M. Lederer died. He had been Tyler for 8 years.

An Evergreen Service was held on June 4, 1962 for Wor. Bro. J. R. Leadbeater.

In 1960, two Regular Communications were cancelled due to the weather. On September 12th there was a hurricane, and on December 12th, the Communication was cancelled due to a snowstorm.

There have been a number of officers, aside from the first three in the Lodge, who have put in many faithful years of service, and they should not go unmentioned.

  • Treasurer
    • Bro. F. C. Greene, 1870-1899
    • Bro. H. L. Clark, 1900-1913
    • Bro. J. Nicol , 1918-1941
    • Wor. R. Cunningham, 1941-1957
    • Bro. Edward Stone, 1958-present
  • Secretary
    • Bro. H. A. Goodenough, 1883-1896
    • Bro. L. A. Baldwin, 1898-1907
    • Wor. A. S. King, 1908-1919
    • Bro. W. A. Walker, 1919-1955
    • Bro. Wesley J. Esser, 1955-present
  • Chaplain
    • Bro. C. A. Upson, 1910-1933
  • Marshal
    • Bro. W. H. Chipman, 1923-1930
    • Bro. M. J. Loomis, Jr., 1942-1966
  • Tyler
  • Bro. S. Crews, 1924-1935
  • Bro. R. Mungall, 1935-1949

Bro. M. Lederer, 1950-1958

In May of 1964 a beginning was made to consider the redecorating of the entire Lodge Room. This was finally completed in 1966 with the laying of a beautiful new carpet and repainting of the walls. This was all done at a cost of $3,178.39.

On June 14, 1966, a group consisting of Jack E. Colby, S. W., Dana F. Thayer, W. M., Past Masters Frank W. Putnam, Robert Diggle, Ernest C. Robinson, Archibald L. Bass, Harold O. Congdon and Treas. Edward R. Stone, met to discuss plans for celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Ionic Lodge in 1967. Wor. Frank W. Putnam, Past Master, was appointed to serve as historian. The date for the 100-year celebration was set for November 14, 1967, with the Anniversary Committees appointed by Wor. Jack E. Colby, Master.


  • 1940 (Reduction of fees approved, 1940-266)



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1, November 1868, Page 8:

This is the name of a new Lodge, which for the past year has been working under a Dispensation at East Hampton, one of the most beautiful and thriving villages on the Connecticut river; and which also has the honor of containing one of the largest, most commodious, and best regulated Classical Seminaries for boys, in this State.

The Lodge was constituted by the M.W. Grand Lodge, on the evening of the 25th of September; at which time its new and convenient Hall was dedicated, and the officers of the Lodge, for the current year, were installed: the latter in the presence of the ladies of the members. On the conclusion of these ceremonies, the company repaired to the new Town Hall, where an excellent banquet was served up for their refreshment.

The exercises of the evening were all well and appropriately performed, and are believed to have left a favorable impression, and perhaps modified the opinions of parties present, who were not supposed to be generally favorable to the Order.

The Lodge is composed of gentlemen, whose social relations are such as can hardly fail to command the respect and confidence that are necessary to insure its permanent prosperity. It has done an unusually large amount of work the past year, but it is believed not to have done any that it will hereafter have occasion to regret having done. The Officers installed are as follows :—

  • La Fayette Clapp, Worshipful Master.
  • William G. Bassett, Senior Warden.
  • Joseph W. Wilson, Junior Warden.
  • Joseph W. Winslow, Treasurer.
  • George S. Clark, Secretary.
  • Fordyce A. Rust, Senior Deacon.
  • George L. Manchester, Junior Deacon.
  • Jasper E. Lambie, Senior Steward.
  • B. W. Hutchinson, Junior Steward.
  • J. D. Campbell, Marshal.
  • Alvah Miller, Chaplain.
  • Emory E. Munyan, Organist.
  • E. T. Sawyer, Inside Sentinel.
  • John Webber, Tyler.

Large delegations were present from the Lodges at Westfield, Springfield, and Northampton. The latter (Jerusalem Lodge) presented the new Lodge with a rich and elegant set of Jewels and Collars, manufactured by Messrs. Guild and Delano, of this city.



1867: District 10 (Springfield)

1883: District 13 (Greenfield)

1886: District 16 (Chicopee)

1911: District 17 (Holyoke)

1927: District 17 (Holyoke)

2003: District 27


Massachusetts Lodges