Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM LODGE

Location: South Hadley; Northampton (1802); Williamsburg (1807); Northampton (1817).

Chartered By: Paul Revere

Charter Date: 06/12/1797 II-100

Precedence Date: 06/12/1797

Current Status: Active


NOTES

Ionic (Easthampton) Lodge merged here, 04/12/2005.

Meetings suspended between 1829 and 1845, but charter not surrendered.

MEMBER LIST, 1802

From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 20:

  • R. W. Daniel Stebbins, M.
  • W. Hezekiah Alvord, S. W.
  • W. Nathaniel Fobes, J. W.
  • John Bennet, Sec.
  • Samuel Alvord, Tr.
  • Justin Alvord, Deacon.
  • Wm. B. Watson, Deacon.
  • Ezrac Day, Steward.
  • Asa Clark, Steward.
  • Levi Judd, Tiler.

No. of Members, 40.

  • Joseph White
  • Elihu Dwight, P. M.
  • Hezekiah Russell
  • Robert B. Orr
  • Aaron Wright
  • Jesse Stebbins
  • Samuel Flower
  • Hon. Jonathan Smith
  • Amos Worthington
  • Gad Warriner
  • Lewis Warriner
  • Erastus Root
  • Thomas White
  • Aaron Bartlett
  • Lewis Smith
  • Levi Lyman
  • Azriel Warner
  • Ephraim Barrett
  • Lemuel Lamb, Jr.
  • Joseph Forward
  • Robert Boyd
  • Dimond Colton
  • Samuel White

PAST MASTERS

  • Simeon Goodman, 1797, 1798
  • John Smith, 1799
  • Elihu Dwight, 1800
  • Daniel Stebbins, 1801-1804, 1806; SN
  • Hervey Frink, 1805
  • Phineas Ashmun, 1806, 1807
  • Isaac C. Bates, 1808, 1819
  • Southworth Jenkins, 1809, 1810, 1815, 1816
  • Edmund Taylor, 1811-1814
  • Joseph H. Flint, 1817, 1818
  • Charles E. Forbes, 1820, 1821, 1823; SN
  • Levi Lyman, 1822; SN
  • Christopher Clarke, 1824, 1825, 1831
  • James Hutchison, 1826
  • William W. Partridge, 1827, 1828, 1845-1847; SN
  • Nelson Palmer, 1829
  • IN RECESS 1830-1844
  • Benjamin E. Cook, 1848, 1849, 1852
  • Ebenezer Hancock, 1850, 1851, 1853
  • Samuel N. Bosworth, 1854
  • George F. Wright, 1855, 1856
  • David W. Crafts, 1857-1859
  • Henry Childs, 1860
  • William H. Jones, 1861
  • William D. Axtell, 1862-1864
  • Josiah H. Prindle, 1865
  • Joseph C. Williams, 1866, 1867
  • William C. Pomeroy, 1868, 1869
  • Stephen B. Fuller, 1870
  • H. W. Morgan, 1871, 1872
  • Calvin L. Bartlett, 1873, 1874
  • Samuel A. Phelps, 1875, 1876
  • William C. Robinson, 1877, 1878; Mem
  • Carlos Humphrey, 1879, 1880
  • John A. Sullivan, 1881, 1882
  • Frank L. Clapp, 1883, 1884
  • Henry Jones, 1885, 1886
  • Charles H. Boyden, 1887, 1888
  • David T. Remington, 1889, 1890
  • Lemuel B. Field, 1891, 1892
  • Frank R. Mantor, 1893, 1894
  • John F. Lambie, 1895, 1896
  • Aubrey B. Munyan, 1897, 1898
  • Charles E. Crittenden, 1899, 1900
  • Henry R. Chase, 1901, 1902
  • Frederick C. Ely, 1903, 1904
  • Arthur H. Spear, 1905, 1906
  • David C. Crafts, 1907
  • Louis L. Campbell, 1908; SN
  • Fred M. Crittenden, 1909
  • Chester W. French, 1910
  • Noah H. Lee, 1911; SN
  • Rupert E. Dickinson, 1912
  • Charles W. Whiting, 1913
  • John J. Clark, 1914
  • John A. Crosier, 1915
  • George E. Douglass, 1916
  • George A. Ely, 1917
  • William A. Brownell, 1918
  • Will N. Doane, 1919, 1920
  • Claude E. Douglas, 1921
  • Clarence E. Park, 1922
  • Roy S. Armstrong, 1923
  • Ralph C. Nuttelman, 1924
  • Harold L. Ames, 1925
  • Eugene L. Richards, 1926
  • Roscoe K. Noble, 1927
  • Hubert M. Canning, 1928; SN
  • P. Joseph King, 1929
  • Leroy L. Ames, 1930
  • Charles H. Addis, 1931
  • Harold Y. Beastall, 1932
  • Sylvester E. Hoxie, 1933
  • LeRoy W. Jones, 1934
  • Harold I. Grousbeck, 1935
  • Lothrop Sawin, 1936
  • Raymond D. Newell, 1937
  • Paul F. Lyman, 1938
  • George B. Fischer, 1939
  • William A. Maginnis, 1940
  • Ira B. Dickinson, 1941
  • Elton C. Holmes, 1942
  • Clarence W. Hodges, 1943
  • William H. Wilson, 1944
  • Percival B. Amatt, 1945
  • Walter F. Rudy, 1946
  • Gordon W. Harlow, 1947
  • James H. Saltzgiver, 1948
  • J(oseph). George August, 1949; SN
  • Ernest C. Driver, 1950
  • Wiliam L. Osterhout, 1951
  • Raymond D. Newell, Jr., 1952
  • Ernest T. Otto, 1953; N
  • Robert R. Askew, 1954; N
  • Justin B. Stone, 1955
  • Robert M. Scott, Jr., 1956
  • James E. Harrop, 1957, 1958
  • Charles L. Blanchard, 1959
  • Anthony W. Minohay, 1960
  • Joseph F. Brackett, 1961
  • Leonard Budgar, 1962
  • Francis M. O'Connor, 1963
  • Charles D. DeBruler, 1964
  • Richard S. Hale, 1965
  • Roger K. Swanson, 1966
  • Ivol M. Corwin, 1967
  • Ernest A. Smith, 1968, 1976
  • Harry A. Culver, 1969
  • Alexander F. Kulas, 1970, 1983, 1990, 1991
  • L. P. Nations, 1971
  • Peter A. Jones, 1972, 1975
  • Perry Smith, 1973, 1974
  • Walter F. Rudy, 1977
  • Robert Smith, 1978, 1979
  • Lyman R. Merriam, 1980, 1981
  • Rodney L. Merriam, 1982
  • Jesse A. Rydenski, Jr., 1984, 1985, 1994, 1995
  • George R. Dion, 1986, 1989; PDDGM
  • Robert L. Benson, 1987
  • David E. Hentz, Sr., 1988
  • Alexander F. Kulas, 1991
  • Leo A. Provost, 1992, 1993
  • Clifford Bennett, 1996, 1997
  • Bharat J. Trivedi, 1998
  • Donald L. Grise, 1999, 2006
  • Arthur W. Wright, 2000, 2001
  • Mark A. Cohen, 2002
  • David A. Cohen, 2003
  • Clayton T. Meglarz, 2004, 2005
  • William W. Gibb, Jr., 2007, 2008, 2011
  • David E. Hentz, Jr., 2009
  • Brian E. Paige, 2010
  • Erik C. Fawell, 2012
  • Mark Stevens, 2013

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Charter: 1797
  • Consolidation Petition (with Ionic Lodge): 2004

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1898 (Centenary)
  • 1912 (115th Anniversary)
  • 1922 (125th Anniversary)
  • 1947 (150th Anniversary)
  • 1972 (175th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1876 1878 1882 1888 1889 1899 1904 1909 1911 1912 1913 1917 1919 1924 1926 1927 1928 1929 1931 1948 1950 1952 1953 1955 1956 1974 1977 1978 1982 2003 2004 2009 2012

HISTORY

  • 1898 (Centenary History, 1898-73; see below)
  • 1922 (125th Anniversary History, 1922-138; see below)
  • 1947 (150th Anniversary History, 1947-145; see below)
  • 1959 (History at Hall Dedication, 1959-270; see below)
  • 1972 (175th Anniversary History, 1972-151; see below)

CENTENARY HISTORICAL ADDRESS, JUNE 1898

From Proceedings, Page 1898-73:

By Bro. William H. Riley.

Most Worshipful Grand Master, Worshipful Master and Brethren: A haze of uncertainty surrounds the natal day of Jerusalem Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and the faithful historian must delve among the debris of tradition to find the foundation .stones upon which the noble temple of this great and evergrowing Order was constructed. While we know but little of the birth of this branch of the great body of Masonry, which has had such a far-reaching influence in the social, moral, intellectual and material welfare of this community, we know much of what followed. The records tell us of its chilly reception in a suspicious atmosphere when a mere lad; how it was dwarfed by the Morgan fiasco; its quick recovery later on, and then its healthy and vigorous growth to the full and honored manhood of the Order we find it to-night. Next to the church it is the oldest organization in this county and city, and no other society outside the church has had such an uplifting power in the community. Members of Jerusalem Lodge of Masons have ever been among, the leaders in everything that goes to make life worth the living.

Scientists tell us that the silent forces in nature are much more powerful than those attended by great noise and disturbance, so we can with pleasure refer to the fact that no brass-band auxiliary was connected with the early life of Masonry in this section. Its work was quietly and efficiently done, and as far as we can learn there was no friction among the founders of this Lodge; no apple of discord came between any of the Brethren. All faithfully labored to bring forward the eternal principles upon which this Order is founded.

As we are joyfully celebrating the Centennial of Jerusalem Lodge, let us not flatter ourselves that Masonry first saw light here through this Lodge. As early as 1784, more than thirteen years before this Lodge was started, a few faithful spirits established Hampshire Lodge of Masons. Yet we know absolutely nothing of its work; its history is buried in oblivion; to us its life is a closed book. It is fair to surmise, however, that some of its members were among the founders of Jerusalem Lodge.

We have tangible evidence of the organization of Jerusalem Lodge in the original charter, dated June 13th, 1797, which was' preserved and sacredly kept when so many, were demanded and given up in the period of intolerance and bigotry. Twelve men, "good and true," asked for the charter from the Grand Lodge, of which the famous Paul Revere was Grand Master. This Grand Lodge reposed "special trust and confidence in the prudence and fidelity of our beloved Brethren above named," as the charter reads, and we have no evidence that there was a Judas in the original twelve who were designated to spread abroad the gospel of Masonry. Were it in our power, there are but two words in this charter which we would rather have different. Our satisfaction would be complete if in place of the words South Hadley" the word Northampton" could have been substituted. But history tells us that Jerusalem Lodge was established in South Hadley, by South Hadley men, and this fact we cannot change. Indeed, it was not until Sept. 8, 1817, that Jerusalem — fair daughter of Masonry — settled in Northampton and made here her permanent home. Prior to that date the Lodge led a sort of nomadic life, and like the Arab would meet at one place, then silently fold its tent and steal away. First the charter established the Lodge at South Hadley, then on March 8, 1802, we find an endorsement on the charter giving the Lodge the privilege of removing to Northampton. Again, on Sept. 14, 1807, the Grand Lodge gives the members authority to remove the Lodge to Williamsburg, and finally we find this endorsement: "Grand Lodge of Massachusetts at a Quarterly Communication held at Boston, Sept. 8, A.L. 5817, on petition of the officers and members of Jerusalem Lodge, leave was granted for the removal of said Lodge from the town of Williamsburg, to the town of Northampton, where in future their meetings are to be held." That record has never been changed.

Why the Lodge moved about in its early life is not definitely known. The records are silent upon the motives for these frequent changes of base, as upon other topics. A theory, not
likely to be disputed, in the absence of anything better, is that
it was because the members could not get about as quickly and
conveniently as in these days of steam and electric railroads.
So the meetings were passed around, as it were, for the con
venience of the members.

In this connection it should be mentioned that the meetings were usually held at two o'clock in the afternoon, and on the day of the month when there was a full moon. But some of the earlier records reveal the fact that the meetings were held for some years at nine o'clock in the morning. This hardly ' gave the farmers time to milk their cows, so we find this vote in one of the Secretary's reports: "It was voted that our next meeting be called at precisely two o'clock in the afternoon." It is of interest to note that although the meetings were held at what would seem to us very inconvenient hours, the average attendance in proportion to the membership compared very favorably with our records of to-day.

All we know about the Lodge-rooms at South Hadley is that the preliminary meetings were held at Bro. Simeon Goodman's house, and at Williamsburg the records tell us that the session's were held at Brother Hubbard's house. Now Brother Hubbard kept the old brick tavern in that town, and that is where Masons were made in those days. The following incident is vouched for by good authority: One night when a man was to be initiated, he was in waiting in the bar-room. When he was wanted the Brother opened what he supposed was the door to the bar-room, but instead it was the kitchen, so he jokingly called out: "Heat the gridirons red hot to-night." When the man heard those words he rushed from the bar-room and was never initiated in Jerusalem Lodge. In early years our Brethren met in taverns because it was more convenient and Halls were not plenty. But about 1815 a Hall was specially fitted up for the Order in what was known as the Colonnade Building, which stood near the site of the present Edwards Church.

When the town was a seaport and a canal ran through what is now State street, a few meetings were held in what was known as the "Bed Tavern," which stood where the Catholic Church now stands. Then for a short time sessions of the Lodge were held in a Hall in a building for a long time occupied by Silas M. Smith, in the rear of the Court House. This Hall was on the third floor of the building, and was subsequently occupied by Chauncy Colton as a workshop.

It was not until 1822 that the Lodge secured a Hall specially for its own use. About that time Capt. Isaac Damon erected the old Masonic Building on the corner of Main and Masonic streets, with the idea that the Masons would ultimately own the structure. When the Brethren renewed their strength after the Morgan troubles, meetings were held in the Odd Fellows Hall, which was then over what is now the Davis drug-store. Soon after, the Wright family came into possession of the old Masonic Hall, and it was handsomely fitted up by these Brethren and turned over to the Lodge. After the Wright failure the First National Bank secured the building, and the Masons were not able to make satisfactory arrangements about the rent, and again they moved. On Nov. 24, 1885, the commodious quarters in the Dickinson Block were formally dedicated, and there for twelve years the Brethren got along very happily together.

In 1894 a movement was inaugurated to secure, land for a modern Masonic Hall, and on Feb. 28, 1895, the land on which this structure stands was conveyed. to the Masonic Building Association, and in 1896 a corporation was formed to erect a building, As a result of the energetic and untiring efforts of the building committee, and the generous and hearty cooperation of the Brethren generally, the Masonic Bodies were able on February 1st of the present year to take formal possession of these magnificent quarters. In architectural beauty and modern appointments for everything for which it is designed, this building is beyond question the finest in western Massachusetts. Let every member resolve to-night to hold up the-hands of those who are carrying on this great financial enterprise, to the end that all our obligations may be kept, and that the building may ever be held sacred for the noble cause to which it will be so impressively dedicated at this time.

Much might be said about the men of South Hadley and Williamsburg who did so much to keep the Order intact in the days when it cost more, socially and politically, to be a Mason than it does to-day. They were the kind of men who had the brains and pluck to overcome all obstacles and give to New England a record of which the whole' country will ever be proud. But space will only allow a few words about those of old Northampton.

When the Lodge returned permanently to Northampton, the records tell us that the first meeting was held at Asahel Pomeroy's house. This Pomeroy was a man Of marked personal and mental qualities. He was a valiant soldier of the Revolutionary war, and after its'close, in 1794, he returned to this place and built what was subsequently known as the Warner House, which stood from that time until 1870, when it was destroyed by fire, on the site now occupied by the present Mansion House. The tavern or inn of "ye olden time" was a decided institution of a town, and the old Warner House was no exception. Pomeroy was a genial host, and the weary traveller, ushered into town with the blast of the horn and the crack of the driver's whip, was always glad to reach the Warner House, with its well-supplied larder and good beds. Pomeroy was of the "old-school" gentleman type, with strong likes and dislikes. In politics, as in everything else, he was not afraid to let his light shine; so when he offered his house for sale it was not a surprise to his friends to read oh the poster, "No Democrats need apply." It was in this house, in June, 1802, that were cradled and nurtured the timid Masons who had voted to remove the Lodge from South Hadley to Northampton. With such a sturdy New Englander as Asahel Pomeroy for its guardian angel, it is no wonder that the Lodge steadily grew in strength and vigor. Soon after this, Pomeroy gave up running a hotel and built a house on exactly the spot where this fine temple now stands. Thus it is very appropriate that we should return and build upon' the land waieh was once owned by our father in the faith.

Many and prominent were the men who held membership in the Lodge during its early life. They were found among the leaders in the political, mercantile and professional life, of the valley. Just take a glance at a few of the Worshipful Masters during the early years of its existence. Isaac C. Bates, a United States Senator, and otherwise prominent in professional and civil life; Charles E. Forbes, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts and founder of the Forbes Library; Joseph H. Flint and Daniel Stebbins, eminent in the medical profession; while the members who were leading business men could be named by the score. We find in the list a dozen ministers, a long line of doctors, two sheriffs, and last, for us all, two undertakers.

We are particularly fortunate in having with us a connect: ing link with the distant past in the person of Gen. B. E. Cook, who to-day is still hale and hearty, and who is without a doubt the oldest living Mason of this Lodge and the Connecticut Valley, if not in the State. Though nearly 95 years old, he enjoys to-day recalling the incidents of his early life. He was an active Mason long before the majority in this Hall to-night had seen the light of day.

Ten years after Jerusalem Lodge selected Northampton for its permanent home General Cook became a member. It was in 1827, or 71 years ago, that he entered the Lodge. This was just before the Morgan excitement, which he recalls very vividly. He remembers that during this season of discouragement a few of the faithful ones kept up their work and would not renounce their Masonic vows. He told me, only a few days ago, that two Brethren drove down from Greenfield and sat upon the timber which was being used to build the first railroad station here, for hours rehearsing the work of the different degrees with W. W. Partridge, himself and others. This was done on several different occasions, as they were determined not to give up the ship. There was a silver lining to the cloud which hung over Masonry for sixteen years, and when the. reorganization took place in 1845, the General was elected.Senior Warden. Subsequently he was chosen Worshipful Master, an office which he filled in a dignified and impressive manner for several years.

But this venerable man is not the only veteran Mason in our midst. John W. Woodward, who joined Jan. 6, 1852, is now nearly eighty-five years old and still a happy and contented Mason; David W. Crafts, seventy-seven years of age, who joined June 1, 1852, is yet among the young boys with us and never fails to do his full Masonic duty at all times. These two "boys " attend meetings very regularly and the enjoyment between young and old is mutual. John "Rus" Hillman, faithful Tyler for twenty-five years, joined in 1854 and is as prompt and efficient as ever. Samuel W. Lee joined in 1857. His father was early made a Master Mason here and a Royal Arch Mason at Baltimore in 1829. His two sons, A. B. Lee and S. W. Lee, Jr., are active with us, and the latter is the third generation of Samuel W. Lees to join Jerusalem Lodge.

During this century of Masonic life how many men do you think have been raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason? According to the records there have been just one thousand. This is an average of ten each year. High-water mark was reached in 1860, when thirty-eight joined, and the low tide was met in 1881, when but three entered the ranks. Perhaps the best continuous record for five years was just after the Civil War, when one hundred and forty-five were registered from 1865 to 1869 inclusive, an average of twenty-nine each year. Last year twenty-two joined, which is the highest number for twenty-nine years. Of the one thousand men who have been united in the bonds of Masonic fraternity since Jerusalem Lodge first saw the light of day, just about half are now living and are faithfully observing their vows here or elsewhere.

Judging from the number who have already sent in their applications, the year 1898 is to be the jubilee year in membership as in everything else. When we recall the fact that there are more than one hundred social, literary, commercial, temperance and other organizations of kindred type in Northampton to-day, the Masonic Lodge is standing well the test of time.

In connection with this subject the fact that two fair daughters have gone out from the mother Lodge, Jerusalem, should be mentioned. On Aug. 23, 1867, sixteen members organized Ionic Lodge, of Easthampton, and on March 2, 1871, twenty-seven members started Hampshire Lodge, at Haydenville. Both these daughters are in healthy condition and doing well.

Then again, other Masonic branches have sprung up and are flourishing. A Royal Arch Chapter of Masons was organized June 23, 1825, with thirteen charter members. The Chapter now has a membership of two hundred and five, which is an average of three a year since-its organization-seventy-three years ago. Northampton Commandery of Knights Templars was instituted on Oct. 28, 1870, with a membership of thirty, and there are now one hundred and fifty-eight Knights in the Commandery. Then, at last, comes the William Parsons Council of Royal and Select Masters, which was formally organized on July 26, 1895, with sixty members, and since that time twenty more have been added, so that the average for the three years of its life has been twenty-six, which is the best showing of any of the branches of Masonry with us.

Your historian has no desire to go outside of the life and good works of Jerusalem Lodge, but it may not be out of place to speak of the beautiful and inspiring degrees which some of the Brethren have been permitted to attain through the sound and reliable foundation laid by the fraternal mother of us all — faithful and ever-ennobling Jerusalem.

Perhaps I can best convey to you ray thought by an illustration. Take the letter Y. Let the main stem of the letter represent the Blue Lodge, and upon this stem or foundation the branches forming the Y must rest. Now, the right-hand branch of this Y stands for the York Rite of Masonry, and the left for the Scottish Rite. Blue Lodge Masons are the only ones who can go up either branch. In other words, you must crawl up the trunk to get to either branch, or you can come down the one and go up the other, but no advancement whatever can be made except by way of the main Body, or the Blue Lodge. Here in Northampton we have the Chapter, Council and Commandery, which have been developed along the right branch, or the York Rite, but that is as high as the members can go along that line. If a member of the Blue Lodge wishes to go higher he must take the left-hand branch and go up the Scottish Rite line. Upon this branch are the. Lodges of Perfection, the Councils of Princes of Jerusalem and the Chapters of Rose Croix. This Scottish Rite branch has never been cultivated equally with the development of the Blue Lodge here, just why we do not know. About a dozen Brethren, however, have attained these degrees elsewhere. Going still higher, we reach the Consistory, or the thirty-second degree, and but five Brethren have reached this sublime height, including the veteran D. W. Crafts, L. L. Campbell, H. R. Chase, Frank E. Davis, and Prof. W. H. Daniel. How impressive the thought that the foundation for all that is Masonic in our lives has never failed, and that our Blue Lodge is as eternal as the Heavens!

Something should be said about the night of Masonry — that era when the enemies of the Order, under the guise of the Morgan excitement, were, in the ascendant, and contumely and insults were heaped upon our members. Incidentally let me say that the storm of the Morgan excitement centred right here in Hampshire County, and that some of the leading agitators resided at Belchertown. Two lawyers, Mark Doolittle and Myron Lawrence, who resided in that town, were especially severe and vindictive in their anti-Masonic crusade. They lectured against Masonry, and went so far as to appear in the courts and object to the allowing of Masons to act as jurors. It was no uncommon thing for these and others to picture a Mason as capable of committing any crime, even that of murder. As a result of all this our Brethren were especially selected for the hot shells of criticism and insult. This persecution has been fitly characterized by a well-known writer as the most unreasonable and malicious persecution that ever disgraced the annals of any nation." On account of this attack Jerusalem Lodge was practically closed from 1829 till 1845. But a goodly number clung tenaciously and unfalteringly to their charge, and while the light of Masonry was under cover temporarily it was not snuffed out. As far as can be learned, with one exception all who did so much to sustain life in the straggling Lodge in those days of adversity have passed "beneath that low green tent whose curtain never outward swings."

Had it not been for the courage and perseverance of our late Brother William Parsons our charter would long ago have gone the way of all the earth. When a demand was made for its surrender, with true Yankee grit he refused, and after packing it with the jewels, regalia and other property of the Lodge, he locked it in the old blue trunk and hid it in the garret of his house on South street; and there it remained safe and well preserved until the Lodge was revived, on July 22, 1845. Some of the Grand Officers came up from Boston to get possession of the charter, because it was feared that the anti-Masonic bigots would get hold of it and parade it as evidence in some of their savage attacks. But Parsons would not let either party have the treasures, and so we proudly point to them to-day as sacred emblems handed down to us to be religiously cared for and protected at all times.

There are a number of the older Brethren here now, who will recall with pleasure the conspicuous figure of good Brother Parsons, and how comforting it was to him in his old age that he was enabled to save the charter for his Lodge. Nor was this all that Brother Parsons did for the Lodge he loved so well. He had a cheery and charitable disposition, and wanted to see everything possible done for "the relief of poor and distressed Brethren, their widows and children." To his wisdom we are indebted for the establishment of the Parsons Charity Fund. During his life he gave a goodly sum as the nucleus of this Fund, and the good seed he thus sowed has yielded fruit a hundred-fold. D. W. Crafts has been the faithful treasurer of the Fund since 1878. Many indigent Masons, their widows and children, have been relieved of distress by this Fund, and the treasurer now has on hand over $2,000.

When the era of darkness had passed away, we find that several of the Brethren signed a document asking for the revival of Jerusalem Lodge and pledging themselves to pay its bills. There are two striking coincidences in this paper and the original' charter: each was signed by twelve men and each in the month of June. The first twelve should be known as the founders and the latter as the saviors of this Lodge. These were the founders: Samuel Alvord, Thomas White, Frederick Miller, Joseph White, Justin Alvord, Eleazer Goodman, Jr., Adonijah Nash, Joseph Kellogg, Jr., John Bennitt, Bezaliel Alvord, Elihu Dwight and Simeon Goodman. These were the saviors: W. W. Partridge, Michael Williams, William Parsons, William Weatherell, William Wilson, Amasa D. Wade, George Shepard, S. W. Lee, Erastus Slate, B. E. Cook, L. Kingsley and Eben Hancock. If it would not be out of place allow me to suggest that it would be a very fitting testimonial to their worth if we, their Masonic descendants, should have these twenty-four names, representing the founders and saviors of Jerusalem Lodge, inscribed on marble tablets and placed upon the walls of this beautiful Lodge-room. Such a happy outgrowth of this Centennial would be productive of much good.

It is the universal testimony of those who are conversant with the true record of Masonry that it stimulates its members to live a high-minded and unselfish life. This has been well exemplified in the history of our Lodge. Often it has been ahead of the church in prompting men to lead moral lives, while it has ever been hand in hand with that institution in every good work. There are members here to-night who can recall the time when the regular meetings were held on Friday nights, and when it was suggested at a Lodge meeting that church prayer meetings were held on that night the time was promptly changed to Tuesday nights.

Early in the present century it was no uncommon thing for the minister to take a social glass with the members of his flock, so it is not strange that the Lodge records show that money was frequently expended for liquor. Sometimes, when meetings were held at a tavern, it was voted that each member pay for his own drink at the bar. This un-Masonic conduct was not continued without a sharp reprimand, and be it said to the credit of the Lodge that at a meeting held in September, 1822, it was voted, "That the practice of using ardent spirits in the Lodge shall in future be abolished, it being highly derogatory to the truly Masonic character." Nor is it surprising that we find upon the early records a vote to the effect that a committee be appointed to buy lottery tickets with the Lodge funds, the proceeds, if any, going to charitable purposes. A considerable sum was invested in this way, which went to aid in building the canal at South Hadley.

And now, my Brethren, we must draw this imperfect history to a close. As I have been talking, our eyes have been turned to catch a passing picture of what has been wrought by our Masonic Brethren in the days gone by. While they are not with us in the body they are in the spirit, and their works surely have followed them. It is not in our power, should we so desire, to change, by the crossing of a T or the dotting of an I, what has been done by those who have passed on through the gates into the celestial Lodge above. Their work is done, and well done. Messages come from the past, personal messages perhaps, which should be beneficial to us. Some of these messages tell of the courage, perseverance, faith and stability of those who can no longer speak to us. 'We may not have the trials and temptations of our early Brethren. We have, however, greater opportunities for promulgating the tenets of Masonry, and with these enlarged opportunities come greater responsibilities. Let us not grasp the one without cheerfully assuming the other. What our eyes have seen and our hearts have felt this day is an evidence that our Masonic ancestors builded better than they knew. Cheerfully we turn from the setting to the rising sun. The present is here; the future, like an unopened book, is before us. Like our 'ancestors, we too are making history. It is for us to decide what that history shall be.

Let us always cherish the thought that this Lodge stands for liberty, fraternity, equality. While it is charitable in its work, ours is not primarily a charitable organization. The young man who is made a Mason to-day does not find himself with a golden spoon in his mouth. Masonry stands for the truth — that truth which makes all men free; for the highest freedom — liberty regulated by law.

125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1922

From Proceedings, Page 1922-138:

That the Fraternity has existed for centuries and grown stronger with the passing years is sufficient to enlist the admiration and. commendation of the unprejudiced public. Added to this it is doubtful if any organization outside the Christian Church has exerted a greater moral or humanitarian influence upon its members than has the order of Masons.

We are met tonight to celebrate the passing of an important milestone in the existence of Jerusalem Lodge, the local branch of this great Fraternity. Many obstacles are met with when one attempts to write a history of an organization that has been in existence one hundred and twenty-five years.

A century or two ago the matter of making records even of important events was apparently considered of little importance. In many of our towns it is found that the records of vital statistics for the past century are incomplete, and other records of important affairs very brief and meager. It is not surprising, therefore, to find. that the records of what occurred in Masonic circles one hundred and twenty-five years ago are insufficient to enable one to compile a complete history of those events. It is known, however, that the first Masonic Lodge located in Northampton was Hampshire Lodge, chartered in 1784, the year following the close of the Revolutionary War. Who were its founders, how long it flourished, and when it ceased to exist, we have been unable to discover.

Practically the only authentic information is gleaned from the notations that appear on the records of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. In addition to the records of the granting of its Charter, we note that Hampshire Lodge was represented in the Grand Lodge in 1785 by Worshipful Brother General Benjamin Tappen and in 1786 by Elisha Porter. The records show that Hampshire Lodge was represented in the Grand Lodge at a total of nine regular sessions.

In the record of 1792, the last mention is made of the Lodge in question. Under date of September 7, 1787, we find this interesting entry in the Grand Lodge records :

"Hampshire Lodge has passed a vote that the names of Daniel Shays, Luke Day and Elijah Day who are members of that Lodge, to be transmitted to the Grand Lodge to be recorded with infamy, in consequence of their conduct in the late Rebellion."

Daniel Shays was the chief leader in the insurrection against the Government after the Revolutionary War known as Shays' Rebellion. The action of old Hampshire Lodge more than a century ago proves that in all ages Masonic principles demand of its members loyalty to government and obedience to law.

Jerusalem Lodge was chartered June 13, 1797. AII the petitioners for the Charter resided in South Hadley and there its sessions were held for several years. The jurisdiction of the Lodge evidently covered a considerable number of towns, Northampton being one, and it is assumed that in those days there was not as much difference in the size of the places as later. The members of Jerusalem Lodge are justly proud of the fact that their Charter was signed by Paul Revere of Revolutionary fame, he being Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts at that time. The first meeting of the Lodge of which there is any record was held at the house of Simeon Goodman on the third Wednesday of July (July 19), 1797. At that meeting the following officers were elected:

  • Simeon Goodman, Worshipful Master
  • Frederick Miller, Senior Warden
  • Bezalial Alvord, Junior Warden
  • Elihu Dwight, Secretary
  • Samuel Alvord, Treasurer
  • Adonijah Nash, Senior Deacon
  • Eleazer Goodman, Junior Deacon
  • Joseph White Senior Steward

At this first meeting it was also voted that "AII members present pay to the treasurer the sum of one dollar, to procure the necessaries for the Lodge." The records state that with one exception this was promptly done. One Brother was under the apparent necessity of deferring his payment.

Thus the first treasurer of Jerusalem Lodge became the custodian of the Lodge funds which amounted to nine dollars. Little did Treasurer Alvord dream that when one hundred and twenty-five years should have elapsed his successors in office would have disbursed thousands of dollars to distressed worthy Brothers, their widows and orphans, and that the nine dollars in his possession was the nucleus of the large sums which the succeeding treasurers of Jerusalem Lodge should handle.

Though Hampshire Lodge was established in Northampton prior to the institution of Jerusalem Lodge in South Hadley it evidently passed out of existence before the latter had been long at work, for at the regular meeting of Jerusalem Lodge in February, 1798, a proposition was received from some of the Masons of Northampton to ascertain if they were willing to have their Charter annulled and unite with them at Northampton and take out a new Charter. The Lodge appointed a committee to confer with the Brethren at Northampton. Among the conferees was the late venerable Dr. Daniel Stebbins, whose portrait now hangs in the Tyler's room. Little was accomplished at the conference, however, although many plans and suggestions were offered. The sessions of Jerusalem Lodge continued to be held at South Hadley and many additions were made to its membership from Northampton and other towns. In February, 1802, however, it was voted, "for the good of Masonry," to remove the Lodge from South Hadley. A committee was chosen and it was finally decided upon authority of the Grand Lodge to locate Jerusalem Lodge in Northampton. Consequently, the Lodge voted to meet on the first Monday of June (June 7), 1802, at the home of "Brother Asahel Pomeroy in Northampton at two o'clock p.m."

Thus Jerusalem Lodge was established in Northampton. But, alas, not permanently, for about five years later, in March, 1807, for some unknown reason it was voted "That this Lodge be moved from Northampton. "In October of the same year it was "Voted to hoid the next meeting at Brother Hubbard's in Williamsburg." The records give no reason for this action of the Lodge. However, Williamsburg continued to be the home of Jerusalem Lodge for about ten years, when we find in the records under date of September, 1817, this entry: "Voted, that a petition be forwarded to the Grand Lodge, praying that this Lodge be removed to Northampton." Accordingty, the meeting of November 18, 1817, was held at the house of Levi Lyman in Northampton. In reference to the last removal the records leave us as much in the dark as in the previous instances. We only know that "for the good of Masonry" Jerusalem Lodge has been thrice removed.

To recapitulate; Jerusalem Lodge has held its meetings for the one hundred and twenty-five years of its existence as follows: five years at South Hadley, the next five at Northampton, the following ten at Wiliiamsburg, and. the last one hundred and five at Northampton. As has been stated, the real reasons for these several migrations are unknown at the present day and are largely a matter of conjecture. Of course, in those early days there were few, if any, regular Lodge-rooms and no public halls. The dining rooms of the taverns were about the only places sufficiently large for Lodge purposes and it is understood that most meetings were held in such rooms: At that period there was more or less hostility to Masonry and it is quite possible that a change of tavern proprietors, from one who was a Mason to one who was unfriendly, may have made it almost necessary to find a more congenial location. Again, it may have been that the increased number of members from some town or towns within the jurisdiction of the Lodge made it possible for that section to outvote other factions of the Lodge, and so the location may have been changed to meet the desires of the more influential or larger group. But the more probable reason would seem to have been for the better accommodation of the Brethren for at least a term of years. As the jurisdiction was large and travel difficult, distance meant more to the members than in these days of automobiles and paved roads. Horseback or the "one hoss shay,' was the conventional method of travel in the year 1800.

When Jerusalem Lodge was located for the second time in Northampton, in the year 1817, we find the following persons acting as officers:

  • Joseph Flint, Worshipful Master
  • Isaac O. Bates, Senior Warden
  • Abner Bryant, Junior Warden
  • Marshall Flagg, Senior Deacon
  • Nahum Flagg, Junior Deacon
  • Levi Lyman, Treasurer
  • Christopher Clarke, Secretary
  • Sidney P. Brewster, Steward
  • Noadiah Pease, Tyler

Unlike most of the older Lodges, the continuity of Jerusalem Lodge was not broken during the so-called Morgan excitement. It did not surrender its charter as most Lodges did. The Grand Lodge, because of the anti-Masonic wave passing over the country, deeming it wise to suspend work for a time, requested Lodges within its jurisdiction to surrender their Charters. Evidently the relationship between the Grand Lodge and the subordinate Lodges was not so close in those days as at present for Jerusalem Lodge did not.comply. It did, however, discontinue its meetings, but the Charter was secreted by Major Wm. Parsons and but few members of the Lodge even knew where. (It is said, upon apparently good authority, that Major Parsons bricked up the Charter in a hole made for that purpose in the great chimney of his house. When the messenger of the Grand Lodge demanded it he said that he remembered having seen such a document, but he had not seen it for a long time. Important business elsewhere prevented his making search at that time, but if the messenger would go to the house, perhaps the women-folks could find it. He himself had not seen it recently. Needless to say "the women-folks" could not find it.) From about 1829 to 1845 no regular meetings of Jerusalem Lodge were held. After that date meetings were resumed under the original Charter.

The members of Jerusalem Lodge may well be proud of the honorable and distinguished names to be found among those who have signed its by-laws. The list of Past Masters of the Lodge embrace United States. Senators, army generals, judges, professional men, and many others who have honorably served the state and nation in military and civil life. There are sixteen Past Masters living, three of whom have served as District Deputy Grand Master. We are proud of the fact that our two oldest Past Masters wear the Henry Price Medal.

It is, of course, gratifying to members of the Masonic Fraternity to realize the change in public sentiment concerning the Order during the past century.

In the early years of Jerusalem Lodge, the uninitiated not only looked askance at a man said to be or known to be a Mason, but much reproach was heaped upon the Order. Particularly among the clergy did this anti-Masonic prejudice exist, and from many a pulpit have tirades against Freemasonry been launched. How changed the public attitude toward Masonry today! At the present time, to say of a man "he is a Mason " is equivalent to have given him a credential which entitles him to the full confidence and respect of his fellow men; and as for the clergy, a large percent of Protestant ministers are at present active members of our Order, and Masonry is held in high esteem by most of those who have not yet applied for admission. To those of us to whom the tenets of Masonry are so familiar, this change of public sentiment is not surprising. Masonry teaches the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. It requires of its members loyalty to state and nation. It pledges itself to care for the aged, the widow, and the fatherIess. Its principles demand honesty, integrity, and uprightness of its members. As these facts have become better known by the people, the changed sentiment is but a natural result.

Jerusalem Lodge has today a membership of over five hundred. A large number of its members have advanced through the York Rite degrees of the Royal Arch Chapter, the Council of Royal and Select Masters, and the Commandery of Knights Templars. Until recently only a few members have taken the Scottish Rite degrees, but within the past year, over one hundred have advanced through some of the Ancient and Accepted bodies of this Rite, and quite a number have attained the 32d degree. The membership of Jerusalem Lodge is growing rapidly in common with other Masonic Lodges at the present time. An idea of how fast the number of Masons in Massachusetts is increasing can be gained from the following figures: Ten years ago there were about sixty thousand Masons in this Commonwealth, today there are about one hundred and ten thousand. Two-fifths of our entire membership has been added during the last decade.

Since Jerusalem Lodge was finally established in Northampton, its meetings have been held in a number of different locations. Sessions were held for a time in the so-called "Red Tavern" which stood about on the site of St. Mary's Church. The Lodge also occupied for a time rooms in what was known as the Colonnade Building, located. on the site of Edwards Church. About 1822 Captain Isaac Damon erected the brick building at the corner of Main and Masonic Streets, in which Beckmann's store is located, and expected that ultimately the Lodge would take over the building, and for a time it was called "Masonic Building."

About that time Masonic Street was formally laid out and the name adopted because of the building on the corner. In this building Jerusalem Lodge occupied the first rooms especially fitted up for Lodge purposes. It is understood that the Lodge was located in these rooms until its meetings were suspended in 1829. When its sessions were resumed in 1845 for some reason it occupied rooms in the building in which Ruder's store is now located. Later, they returned to the so-called Masonic Building at the corner of Main and Masonic Streets and that building was the home of the Lodge until 1885, when it moved to Dickinson Block on lower Main Street. For about thirteen years Jerusalem Lodge occupied the latter rooms when it moved into its present apartments.

In 1897 the Masonic Temple was erected with apartments of course especially designed and equipped for Lodge purposes, together with club rooms, a dining hall, and an armory for the use of the Commandery of Knights Templars. The Temple was dedicated on June 13, 1898, which was the one hundred and first anniversary of Jerusalem Lodge. That was a gala day for Masonry in Northampton. The dedication ceremony by the Grand Lodge, the monster parade of many western Massachusetts Lodges with the Commandery acting as escort, the grand. banquet with speeches and a historical address in the evening, made it a day that will long be remembered by the Masons who were present.

And so we find Jerusalem Lodge today occupying its commodious suite of ten. rooms in the Masonic Temple, strong numerically, strong financially, and strong fraternally; its full membership, we believe, striving in their daily lives to exemplify the tenets of their profession.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1947

From Proceedings, Page 1947-145:

By Right Worshipful Louis L. Campbell and Brother Ernest C. Driver.

In the realm of human affairs, institutions of ancient origin seldom fail to command universal interest and respect. The ability to endure, abide and continue through long periods in any particular line of effort compels the approbation of thinking men. Firms and corporations, after long years of continued activity, justly point with pride to the early date of their establishment. No human institution can compare in length of service with the Order of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. Entirely aside from its beneficent character, the fact alone that the Masonic Fraternity has existed for centuries and grown stronger with the passing years is sufficient to enlist the admiration and commendation of the unprejudiced public. Added to this it is doubtful if any organization outside the Christian Church has exerted a greater moral or humanitarian influence upon its members than has the order of Masons.

We are met tonight to celebrate the passing of an important milestone in the existence of Jerusalem Lodge — the local branch of this great Fraternity.

Many obstacles are met with when one attempts to write a history of an organization that has been in existence one hundred and fifty years.

A century or two ago the matter of making records even of important events was apparently considered of little importance. In many of our towns it is found that the records of vital statistics for the past century are incomplete, and other records of important affairs very brief and meager. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that the records of what occurred in Masonic circles one hundred and fifty years ago are insufficient to enable one to compile a complete history of those events. It is known, however, that the first Masonic Lodge located in Northampton was Hampshire Lodge, chartered in 1784, the year following the close of the Revolutionary War. Who were its founders, how long it flourished, and when it ceased to exist, we have been unable to discover.

Practically the only authentic information is gleaned from the notations that appear on the records of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. In addition to the records of the granting of its Charter, we note that Hampshire Lodge was represented in the Grand Lodge in 1785 by Worshipful Brother General Benjamin Tappen, and in 1786, by Elisha Porter. The records show that Hampshire Lodge was represented in the Grand Lodge at a total of nine regular sessions. In the record of 1792, the last mention is made of the Lodge in question. Under date of September 7, 1787, we find this interesting entry in the Grand Lodge records: "Hampshire Lodge has passed a vote that the names of Daniel Shays, Luke Day and Elijah Day who are members of that Lodge, to be transmitted to the Grand Lodge to be recorded with infamy, in consequence of their conduct in the late Rebellion." Daniel Shays was the chief leader in the insurrection against the Government after the Revolutionary War known as "Shays' Rebellion." The action of old Hampshire Lodge more than a century ago proves that in all ages Masonic principles demand of its members loyalty to government and obedience to law.

Jerusalem Lodge was chartered June 13, 1797. All the petitioners for the Charter resided in South Hadley and there its sessions were held for several years. The jurisdiction of the Lodge evidently covered a considerable number of towns, Northampton being one, and it is assumed that in those days there was not as much difference in the size of the places as later.

For many years, Jerusalem Lodge met on the Tuesday before the full moon, reminding us of the days when one traveled by foot or horseback.

The members of Jerusalem Lodge are justly proud of the fact that their Charter was signed by Paul Revere of Revolutionary fame, he being Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts at that time.

PAUL REVERE AS A MASON

St. Andrew's Lodge, Boston, organized November, 1756, received its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland on September 4, 1760, and that same evening commenced work under it "by receiving Paul Revere, a goldsmith and engraver as Entered Apprentice."

In 1769 he was elected Secretary, and in 1770, was elected Master, succeeding Joseph Warren. (From this Lodge the patriots are reported to have started the "Boston Tea Party" in 1773. Colonel Warren used it, the Green Dragon Tavern owned by St. Andrew's Lodge, as a meeting place for the patriots until his death at the Battle of Bunker Hill, 1776.) Paul Revere was again elected Master, 1777-79 and 1780-82.

In 1769 Joseph Warren was commissioned "Grand Master of Masons in Boston, Massachusetts, and within one hundred miles of the same." Paul Revere became Senior Grand Deacon.

In 1783 St. Andrew's Lodge split on the question of whether to place themselves under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge or remain under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Twenty-nine members voted to remain; the minority (twenty-three) led by Paul Revere, withdrew from St. Andrew's and organized Rising States Lodge, under Charter from Massachusetts Grand Lodge. Paul Revere was elected Master, and his son, Paul, Junior Deacon.

From 1794-1797, Paul Revere was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. During this time he wrote the charges for the installation of officers, most of which we still use.

JERUSALEM LODGE

The first meeting of Jerusalem Lodge of which there is any record was held at the house of Simeon Goodman on the third Wednesday of July (July 19), 1797. At that meeting the following officers were elected:

  • Simeon Goodman, Worshipful Master
  • Frederick Miller, Senior Warden
  • Bezalial Alvord, Junior Warden
  • Elihu Dwight, Secretary
  • Samuel Alvord, Treasurer
  • Adonijah Nash, Senior Deacon
  • Eleazer Goodman, Junior Deacon
  • Joseph White Senior Steward

At this first meeting it was also voted that "All members present pay to the treasurer the sum of one dollar, to procure the necessaries for the Lodge." The records state that with one exception this was promptly done. One Brother was under the apparent necessity of deferring his payment. Thus the first treasurer of Jerusalem Lodge became the custodian of the Lodge funds which amounted to nine dollars. Little did Treasurer Alvord dream that when one hundred and fifty years should have elapsed his successors in office would have disbursed thousands of dollars to distressed worthy Brothers, their widows and orphans, and that the nine dollars in his possession was the nucleus of the large sums which the succeeding treasurers of Jerusalem Lodge should handle.

Though Hampshire Lodge was established in Northampton prior to the institution of Jerusalem Lodge in South Hadley, it evidently passed out of existence before the latter had been long at work, for at the regular meeting of Jerusalem Lodge in February, 1798, a proposition was received from some of the Masons of Northampton to ascertain if they were willing to have their Charter annulled and unite with them at Northampton and take out a new Charter. The Lodge appointed a committee to confer with the Brethren at Northampton. Among the conferees was the late venerable Dr. Daniel Stebbins, whose portrait now hangs in the Tyler's room. Little was accomplished at the conference, however, although many plans and suggestions were offered. The sessions of Jerusalem Lodge continued to be held at South Hadley and many additions were made to its membership from Northampton and other towns. In February, 1802, however, it was voted, "for the good of Masonry" to remove the Lodge from South Hadley. A committee was chosen and it was finally decided, upon authority of the Grand Lodge, to locate Jerusalem Lodge in Northampton. Consequently, the Lodge voted to meet on the first Monday of June (June 7), 1802, at the home of "Brother Asahel Pomeroy in Northampton at two o'clock P.M."

Thus Jerusalem Lodge was established in Northampton. But, alas, not permanently, for about five years later, in March, 1807, for some unknown reason, it was voted "That this Lodge be moved from Northampton." In October of the same year it was "Voted to hold the next meeting at Brother Hubbard's in Williamsburg." The records give no reason for this action of the Lodge. However, Williamsburg continued to be the home of Jerusalem Lodge for about ten years, when we find in the records under date of September, 1817, this entry: "Voted that a petition be forwarded to the Grand Lodge, praying that this Lodge be removed to Northampton."

While Jerusalem Lodge was located in Williamsburg, three members served as Masters:

  • (Captain) Southworth Jenkins, 1808-9 and 1814-5; Proprietor of Grocery Store and Cotton Mill. Led the Williamsburg militia to Boston in answer to Gov. Strong's call for the defense of Boston.
  • Edmund Taylor, 1810-13; Proprietor of Cotton Mill and Grist Mill, both of which flourished greatly during the war time.
  • Joseph H. Flint, 1816-17

The first two were influential men living in Williamsburg at a time when its industries were expanding rapidly. As the postwar depression came on, the industries there declined. In 1818 Isaac Bates was re-elected Master and the Lodge returned to Northampton.

Accordingly, the meeting of November 18, 1817, was held at the house of Levi Lyman in Northampton. In reference to the last removal, the records leave us as much in the dark as in the previous instances. We only know that "for the good of Masonry" Jerusalem Lodge has been thrice removed.

To recapitulate — Jerusalem Lodge has held its meetings for the one hundred and fifty years of its existence as follows: five years at South Hadley, the next five years at Northampton, the following ten at Williamsburg, and the last one hundred and thirty at Northampton. As has been stated, the real reasons for these several migrations are unknown at the present day and are largely a matter of conjecture. Of course in those days there were few, if any, regular lodge-rooms and no public halls. The dining rooms of the taverns were about the only places sufficiently large for Lodge purposes and it is understood that most meetings were held in such rooms. At that period there was more or less hostility to Masonry and it is quite possible that a change of tavern proprietors, from one who was a Mason to one who was unfriendly, may have made it almost necessary to find a more congenial location. Again, it may have been that the increased number of members from some town or towns within the jurisdiction of the Lodge made it possible for that section to outvote other factions of the Lodge, and so the location may have been changed to meet the desires of the more influential or larger group. But the more probable reason would seem to have been for the better accommodation of the Brethren for at least a term of years. As the jurisdiction was large and travel difficult, distance meant more to the members than in these days of automobiles and paved roads. Horseback or the "one hoss shay" was the conventional method of travel in the year 1800. When Jerusalem Lodge was located for the second time in Northampton, in the year 1817, we find the following persons acting as officers:

  • Joseph Flint, Worshipful Master
  • Isaac O. Bates, Senior Warden
  • Abner Bryant, Junior Warden
  • Marshall Flagg, Senior Deacon
  • Nahum Flagg, Junior Deacon
  • Levi Lyman, Treasurer
  • Christopher Clarke, Secretary
  • Sidney P. Brewster, Steward
  • Noadiah Pease, Tyler

Unlike most of the older Lodges, the continuity of Jerusalem Lodge was not broken during the so-called Morgan excitement.

It did not surrender its Charter as most Lodges did. The Grand Lodge, because of the anti-Masonic wave passing over the country, deeming it wise to suspend work for a time, requested Lodges within its jurisdiction to surrender their Charters. Evidently the relationship between the Grand Lodge and the subordinate Lodges was not so close in those days as at present for Jerusalem Lodge did not comply. It did, however, discontinue its meetings, but the Charter was secreted by Major William Parsons and but few members of the Lodge even knew where. From about 1829 to 1845 no regular meetings of Jerusalem Lodge were held. After that date, meetings were resumed under the original Charter. It is said, upon apparently good authority, that Major Parsons bricked up the Charter in a hole made for that purpose in the great chimney of his house. When the messenger of the Grand Lodge demanded it, he said that he remembered having seen such a document, but he had not seen it for a long time. Important business elsewhere prevented his making search at that time, but if the messenger would go to the house, perhaps the women-folks could find it. He himself had not seen it recently. Needless to say, "the women-folks" could not find it.

The members of Jerusalem Lodge may well be proud of the honorable and distinguished names to be found among those who have signed its by-laws. The list of Past Masters of the Lodge embrace United States senators, army generals, judges, professional men, and many others who have honorably served the state and nation in military and civil life. There are many Past Masters living, two of whom have served as District Deputy Grand Master. We are proud of the fact that several of our members wear the Henry Price or the Joseph Warren Medal.

It is of course gratifying to members of the Masonic Fraternity to realize the change in public sentiment concerning the Order during the past century.

In the early years of Jerusalem Lodge, the uninitiated not only looked askance at a man said to be, or known to be, a Mason, but much reproach was heaped upon the Order. Particularly among the clergy did this anti-Masonic prejudice exist, and from many a pulpit have tirades against Freemasonry been launched. How changed the public attitude toward Masonry today! At the present time, to say of a man "He is a Mason" is equivalent to have given him a credential which entitles him to the full confidence and respect of his fellow-men; and as for the clergy, a large percent of Protestant ministers are at present active members of the Fraternity, and Masonry is held in high esteem by most of those who have not yet applied for admission. To those of us to whom the tenets of Masonry are so familiar, this change of public sentiment is not surprising. Masonry teaches the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. It requires of its members loyalty to state and union. It pledges itself to care for the aged, the widow, and the fatherless. Its principles demand honesty, integrity, and uprightness of its members. As these facts have become better known by the people, the changed sentiment is but a natural result.

Jerusalem Lodge has today a membership of three hundred sixty. A large number of its members have advanced through the York Rite degrees of the Royal Arch Chapter, the Council of Royal and Select Masters, and the Commandery of Knights Templar. Until recently only a few members have taken the Scottish Rite degrees, but within the past twenty-five years, many have advanced through some of the Ancient and Accepted bodies of this Rite, and quite a number have attained the 32nd degree. The membership of Jerusalem Lodge is growing rapidly in common with other Masonic Lodges at the present time.

Since Jerusalem Lodge was finally established in Northampton its meetings have been held in a number of different locations. Sessions were held for a time in the so-called "Red Tavern," which stood about on the site of St. Mary's Church. The Lodge also occupied for a time rooms in what was known as the Colonnade Building, located on the site of Edwards Church. About 1822 Captain Isaac Damon erected the brick building at the east corner of Main and Masonic Streets, and expected that ultimately the Lodge would take over the building, and for a time it was called "Masonic Building." About that time Masonic Street was formally laid out and the name adopted because of the building on the corner. In this building, Jerusalem Lodge occupied the first rooms especially fitted up for Lodge purposes. It is understood that the Lodge was located in these rooms until its meetings were suspended in 1829. When its sessions were resumed in 1845, for some reason it occupied rooms in the building in which Dickinson's drug store is now located. Later, they returned to the so-called Masonic Building at the corner of Main and Masonic Streets and that building was the home of the Lodge until 1885, when it moved to Dickinson Block on lower Main Street. For about thirteen years Jerusalem Lodge occupied the latter rdoms when it moved into its present apartments.

In 1897 the Masonic Temple was erected with apartments of course especially designed and equipped for Lodge purposes, together with club rooms, a dining hall, and an armory for the use of the Commandery of Knights Templar. The Temple was dedicated on June 13, 1898, which was the one hundred and first anniversary of Jerusalem Lodge. That was a gala day for Masonry in Northampton. The dedication ceremony by the Grand Lodge, the monster parade of many western Massachusetts Lodges with the Commandery acting as escort, the grand banquet, with speeches and an historical address in the evening, made it a day that will long be remembered by the Masons who were present. The two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington was appropriately observed by Jerusalem Lodge on February 29, 1932.

A banquet was served in the main dining room of Hotel Northampton with a large number of members in attendance. Among the distinguished guests were Most Worshipful Curtis Chipman, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, with a very full representation of Grand Lodge Officers and Past Grand Officers, together with a number of District Deputy Grand Masters and Masters of contiguous Lodges, and the Mayor of Northampton. There were a number of excellent addresses appropriate to the occasion. Worshipful Master Harold Y. Beastall presided and altogether it was a very memorable affair. And so we find Jerusalem Lodge today occupying its commodious suite of ten rooms in the Masonic Temple, strong numerically, strong financially, and strong fraternally; its full membership, we believe, striving in their daily lives to exemplify the tenets of their profession.

HISTORY AT HALL DEDICATION, DECEMBER 1959

From Proceedings, Page 1959-270:

By Wor. Ernest C. Driver.

Jerusalem Lodge, the oldest in this area, was chartered on June 13, 1797, and the original charter, signed by Paul Revere as Grand Master, has been carefully preserved to this day.

Jerusalem Lodge originally served a wide area, and held its meetings in South Hadley. In less than a year after its founding, a discussion arose as to the advisability of moving to Northampton or holding half its meetings in South Hadley and half in Northampton, but no action was taken at that time. Four years later, in February 1802, it was voted to move to Northampton, and the consent of the Grand Lodge was obtained. For the next six years, Jerusalem Lodge held regular meetings at Asahel Pomeroy's tavern, in the center of Main Street. An indication of the difficulties of travel in those days may be gained from the fact that the meetings were held at the time of the full moon, and that the Lodge often opened at two o'clock, adjourned for supper in the tavern dining-room below, and continued its meeting well into the night.

In 1807 the Lodge moved to Williamsburg. No reasons are given in the records, but several factors may have entered into the decision. Jerusalem Lodge was still serving most of the northwestern part of the state, and Williamsburg was probably more easily reached by the Brothers from the western highlands. Belchertown was attempting to organize a Lodge, so possibly the move was to encourage their efforts. In 1817, after ten years and possibly with the decline of the two cotton mills which had flourished in Williamsburg with the War of 1812 and two of whose owners had served as Master of the Lodge for several years, the Lodge made its third move, returning to Northampton permanently.

In 1829 began the dark days of the Morgan affair, when membership in the Lodge became a political issue and many Lodges surrendered their charters. No record exists of the meetings of Jerusalem Lodge from May 12, 1828, to July 23, 1845, but we assume that, hidden from cowans and eavesdroppers, the Brethren continued to meet. We know that the charter was carefully preserved, and for a while was hidden in a writing box in the big central chimney in the home of William Parsons, who, at the time of the resumption of recorded meetings, held the office of Senior Deacon. This writing box is now preserved with other relics in the lodge-rooms.

In the early years the Lodge met in taverns, probably the only places with sufficiently commodious rooms. It is not surprising, therefore, to find alcoholic beverages listed among the expenses of the Lodge, and an occasional mention of the Lodge reprimanding an intemperate Brother. In 1822, when heavy drinking was common, Jerusalem Lodge voted to abolish the use of "ardent spirits" in the Lodge.

The first rooms expressly fitted for the use of Jerusalem Lodge were obtained in 1822, in the large building put up by Isaac Damon at the intersection of Main Street and what has ever since been called Masonic Street. After the Morgan episode the owners of the building refitted it for Masonic uses, but after a number of years, the business failure and bankruptcy of the owners forced the Lodge to seek new quarters. In 1885 new lodge-rooms were fitted up in the Dickinson Block on lower Main Street and served the Lodge for twelve years. The Lodge prospered and in 1895 a Masonic Building Association purchased land on the opposite side of the street and erected a commodious Masonic Temple. By an odd coincidence, this was the site of the home of Asahel Pomeroy. in whose tavern the Lodge had started its original Northampton meetings almost a century before.

All went well for many years, but in the depression which followed the first World War, title to the Temple was lost and, under the impact of a succession of absentee landlords and constantly increasing rent, conditions became more and more unsatisfactory and the building more and more dilapidated. Finally, in 1952, Jerusalem Lodge reluctantly left the building which had been its home for half a century and moved into temporary quarters in the building formerly owned by the Odd Fellows. Continual efforts were made to find a new home, numerous possibilities were explored, and finally the substantial brick building vacated by the Telephone Company became available. A building fund had already been started, and many generous contributions enabled us to turn our dream into a reality. Appropriately enough, the Moses who had, as Master of the Lodge, led us from the old Temple now, as Chairman of the Building Association, led the work which has resulted in our entrance into our new home. We refer, of course, to Wor. Raymond D. Newell, Jr., to whom the Lodge owes a tremendous debt of gratitude. Once again Jerusalem Lodge has a home of which it may be proud and which we hope will serve it for many years to come.

While the many contributions of Jerusalem Lodge to the welfare of the community must, by the principles of the order, remain un-publicized, we can at least point with pride to our honor roll of the ninety-six men who have been Masters of Jerusalem Lodge and to eleven who have gone to work in wider fields to promulgate the principles of Masonry in Massachusetts. We salute the following:

  • Wor. Benjamin Willard, Grand Chaplain 1829-1833
  • R. W. David W. Crafts, District Deputy Grand Master 1865-1869 
and Senior Grand Warden 1871
  • R. W. Wendell Thornton Davis, Senior Grand Warden 1865
  • R. W. John Albert Sullivan, District Deputy Grand Master 1889-1890 and Junior Grand Warden 1923
  • R. W. David T. Remington, District Deputy Grand Master 1893-1894 
and Junior Grand Warden 1901
  • R. W. Louis L. Campbell, District Deputy Grand Master 1911-1912
  • Wor. John Charles Breaker, Grand Chaplain 1923-1941
  • R. W. Noah Henry Lee, District Deputy Grand Master 1919-1920
  • R. W. Hubert Miles Canning, District Deputy Grand Master 1931-1932
  • R. W. J. George August, District Deputy Grand Master 1951-1952
  • R. W. Robert R. Askew, District Deputy Grand Master 1957-1958 
and Grand Pursuivant 1959

175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1972

From Proceedings, Page 1972-151:

Historical Sketch of Jerusalem Lodge
By Worshipful LeRoy L. Ames

(More detailed histories of Jerusalem Lodge for the earlier periods may be found in the Proceedings of The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as follows: 1898, pages 73 — 88; 1922, pages 138-148; 1947, pages 145-154)

Jerusalem Lodge was started by twelve Masons from South Hadley, all having been raised in regular Lodges, who petitioned the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a Charter. This Charter, issued to them on June 13, 1797, was signed by Most Worshipful Paul Revere, Grand Master at the time. It is still being carefully preserved today, and is unique in being one of few original Charters of that period still in existence.

For the first five years, meetings were held in South Hadley, after which the Lodge requested and received permission from Grand Lodge to remove to Northampton "for the good of Masonry", as noted on an endorsement to the Charter. Meetings were here held for five years, after which the Lodge was moved again, this time to Williamsburg for ten years. In 1817, the Lodge returned to Northampton, where it remains to this day.

The first meetings in Northampton were held at the Red Tavern, which was located on the present site of St. Mary's Church. Lodge meetings then moved across the street to the Colonnade Building, which was on or about the present site of Edwards Church. Subsequently, a new brick Lodge building was erected at the corner of Main and Masonic Streets, where meetings were held for several years. For a time, the Lodge then met in a hall over the present Dickinson Drug Store before moving in 1885 to lower Main Street in the Dickinson Block.

In 1895, the Lodge decided to build a home of its own, across the street, and in 1 897 moved into an elaborate new Temple, generally conceded to be the finest building in Western Massachusetts at the time. This building was dedicated on June 13, 1898 by the Grand Master, following a parade through the city, (1898 Mass. 71-92) which was described by one contemporary Masonic historian as "monstrous". This occasion was unquestionably an important one for Northampton, for many of the most influential men in town belonged to the Lodge. However, the building eventually created financial difficulties for the Building Association, eventually forcing its sale. The Lodge then moved to the Odd Fellows Building on Center Street, after that organization moved to Amherst. Meetings were held there for many years.

The present Masonic Temple has been in use for twelve years. Before its purchase by the Lodge Building Association, this edifice housed the operations offices of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company in Northampton. This building, when it was erected by the Telephone Company, was built to last. Its graceful colonial lines cloak a solidity and security which make it an ideal Masonic meeting place. It was dedicated in 1959 by Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins. (1959 Mass. 267-273)

In olden times, meetings were held early in the day. An old hand-written Lodge notice which has been preserved from the early 19th century announces a "communication" (quotation marks in the original) at two o'clock in the afternoon. On other occasions, Lodge has opened as early as nine o'clock in the morning. The By-Laws set the meeting dates for Regular Communications during the time of the full moon, so that men travelling considerable distances by horse or on foot would have the benefit of moonlight on their journey homeward.

The Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts has been the guest of the Lodge on several occasions. In 1878, the Grand Master and his Suite came from Boston to lay the corner-stone of the Hampshire County Courthouse. They came at the invitation of the County Commissioners, who may all have been Lodge members. The Grand Master then came in 1898 to dedicate the first Masonic Temple, on the one hundred first anniversary of the Lodge. In 1921, Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott paid a Fraternal Visit to the Lodge. In 1932, the Lodge celebrated the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth in the new Hotel Northampton, with Most Worshipful Curtis Chipman as speaker. In 1947, Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg came to Northampton to assist in the celebration of our 150th Anniversary. In 1959, when the present Temple was dedicated, a banquet was held there with Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins as the Speaker.

Masonry in Northampton is second only to the church in age. Like the church, it has its ups and downs. During the first 100 years of its history, one thousand men joined the Lodge, of whom 65 joined in one year following the Civil War. Recentiy, however, many of the men who might have become Masons years ago have found other uses for their leisure time. Not quite as many sons of Masons have followed in their fathers' footsteps.

Despite the decline in numbers, however, Jerusalem Lodge remains financially sound, fraternally strong, and determined to meet the challenge of the next twenty-five years.


OTHER


EVENTS

ELECTION OF OFFICERS, NOVEMBER 1830

From Boston Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. 2, No. 27, January 1, 1831, Page 210:

Officers of Jerusalem Lodge, holden at Northampton, Elected November, 1830:

  • Christopher Clarke, Master
  • Charles P. Huntington, Senior Warden
  • Charles Walker, Junior Warden
  • Joseph Muencher, Chaplain
  • Charles C. Nichols, Proxy in the G. Lodge
  • Edward Dickinson, Secretary
  • William Parsons, Treasurer
  • George Plumb, Senior Deacon.
  • George Shepard, Junior Deacon
  • Alfred Robinson, Senior Steward
  • Stephen F. Knight, Junior Steward
  • Michael Williams, Tyler

OFFICER LIST, NOVEMBER 1831

From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, New Series, Vol. III, No. 24, December 1831, Page 186:’’

Officers of Jerusalem Lodge, holden at Northampton, Elected November, A. L. 5831:

  • Charles P. Huntington, Esq., M.
  • Samuel Phelps, S. W.
  • Charles Walker, J. W.
  • Edward Dickinson, S.
  • William Parsons, T.
  • Rev. Benjamin Willard, Chaplain.
  • Charles C. Nichols, Proxy.
  • George Plumb, S. D.
  • Stephen F. Knight, S. S.
  • Hiram Ferry, J. S.
  • Reuben S. Munger, Tyler.

GRAND MASTER VISIT, APRIL 1917

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XII, No. 8, May 1917, Page 280:

The annual dinner of Jerusalem Lodge, Northampton, Mass., is an occasion of especial interest to the members of the lodge as something fine is always provided for the refreshment of the mind as well as for the body. The event was observed this year, Tuesday, April 24, a large number of brethren participating, including the following Grand Lodge officers: Leon M. Abbott, Most Worshipful Grand Master; William M. Farrington, right worshipful senior grand warden; Frederick W. Hamilton, DD,LL D, right worshipful grand secretary; Edward N. West, grand marshal, and with them, Samuel F. Hubbard, past grand high priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter.

DraperHotel.jpg
Hotel Draper

The Grand Lodge party was met by a committee from Jerusalem Lodge and conducted to Hotel Draper, where they were entertained until the time for their visit to the lodge room, where they were received by Worshipful Master George A. Ely with words of cordial welcome. A portion of the afternoon was occupied by the work of the Second Degree.

The special interest of the meeting was the banquet, and the intellectual treat with which it was attended. This feature was of a high order and great interest. Speeches were made by each of the Grand Lodge party and bv Marion. L. Burton, president of Smith College.


MEMORIALS

ELIHU DWIGHT 1763-1854

From Elihu Dwight Papers at Mount Holyoke College:

Elihu Dwight was born on October 22, 1763 in Belchertown, Massachusetts to Justus Dwight and Sarah Lamb Dwight. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1790, he studied medicine with Dr. Ebenezer Hunt in Northampton, Massachusetts. Dwight became one of the first physicians to establish a medical practice in South Hadley, Massachusetts. On October 7, 1801, he married Lydia White of Springfield, Massachusetts. They had four daughters and four sons together. He became a successful businessperson and acquired a good deal of property in the local area. He also made a substantial donation towards the establishment of the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. At ninety, he died in his South Hadley home on June 1, 1854.

Dwight is listed as a charter member of Jerusalem Lodge, and was raised there U.D. 07/24/1797. He is a P.M. in the Register.

JAMES H. WETHERILL d. 1864

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXIII, No. 10, August 1864, Page 318:

Northampton, Mass., June 26, 1864.

At a meeting of Jerusalem Lodge, F. and A. M., held at Northampton, on Sunday afternoon, June 26, after the funeral of Capt. Wetherill, the following resolutions were adopted ;—

  • Whereas, by the death of our late Brother, Capt James H. Weatherill, (whose remains we have just consigned to their final rest, this Lodge has lost one of its living jewels; our country a faithful soldier and brave officer; our aged Brother his only son—his prop and stay : a fond wife the husband of her youth and the father of her children.
  • Resolved, That we tender to his family our deepest sympathy for their loss; and while we make our record bear testimony to our regard for him as a Brother, and our reverence for his memory as another of the " martyred dead " taken from this Lodge, we renew to each other the vow that binds us together by the "mystic tie," and by that "tie" ever bear in mind that his widow is a Mason's widow, and his orphans are a Mason's orphans, to be cherished and succored (if need be) by each and every member of our hallowed Institution.
  • Voted, That the foregoing Resolutions be entered upon the record of this Lodge, and that the Secretary be instructed to send a copy thereof to the family of our deceased Brother, and offer a copy for publication to each of the local papers, and to the Freemasons' Magazine, Boston.

Attest, Ira H. Stevens, Sec. pro tem.

FREDERICK C. WRIGHT 1839-1864

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXIII, No. 10, August 1864, Page 319:

Northampton, July 12, 1864.

This Bro., a member of Jerusalem Lodge, Northampton, died at Washington in June, of a wound received on the 5th of that month, while on duty in front of the enemy. He was attached to Company C. of the 10th Massachusetts Regiment.— His body was brought home and buried with Masonic honors. The Northampton Courier, in speaking of him, says :—

"He had shared the fortunes of the regiment through all its eventful experience, and when wounded was on duty in the very face of the enemy, with the little handful of his comrades still remaining. He was a noble type of the citizen soldier, never evading duty or shirking responsibility, always prompt, faithful and true. The surgeon of the regiment, writing soon after he was shot, expressed the opinion that the wound would prove fatal, and spoke of him in terms of the highest praise.

At a meeting of Jerusalem Lodge, Northampton, Mass., held Tuesday evening, July 12, the following Preamble and Resolutions on the death of Lt. Frederick C. Wright, were passed :—

  • Whereas, it has pleased God in His infinite wisdom to again afflict our already sorrowing Lodge, in removing by death our Brother beloved, Lieut. Frederick C. Wright —
  • Resolved, That we extend to his bereaved family our heartfelt sympathies, and commend them most tenderly to Him who never errs; who does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. Resolved, That while we sincerely deplore the death of our Brother, we rejoice in the record which he leaves behind; in heroic acts, in noble deeds, in courage, in constancy, in devotion to his country.
  • Resolved, That we cherish his memory and emulate the loyalty and patriotism of one who has placed before us the example of a noble life, and a heroic death.
  • Resolved, That the foregoing Resolutions be placed on the Records of the Lodge, and a copy sent to the family of the deceased, and that the Secretary be instructed to forward a copy of the same to each of our local papers, and the Freemasons' Magazine, for publication.

Attest, Ira H. Stevens, Sec. pro tem.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


DISTRICTS

1803: District 7 (North Central Massachusetts)

1821: District 10

1835: District 9

1849: District 9

1854: District 10

1867: District 10 (Springfield)

1883: District 13 (Greenfield)

1911: District 14 (Greenfield)

1914: District 17 (Holyoke)

1927: District 17 (Holyoke)

2003: District 27


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges