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Location: Lowell

Chartered By: Charles C. Dame

Charter Date: 03/13/1867 VII-155

Precedence Date: 04/23/1866

Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault; merged with William Sewall Gardner Lodge to form William Sewall Gardner-Kilwinning Lodge, 04/13/2007.


  • William S. Gardner, 1866, 1867, 1868
  • Jonathan P. Folsom, 1869, 1870
  • Hocum Hosford, 1871, 1872
  • Solon W. Stevens, 1873, 1874
  • Stephen G. Bailey, 1875
  • Edward Hastings, 1876, 1877
  • Charles F. Young, 1878, 1879
  • Edwin H. Lord, 1880
  • William F. Salmon, 1881, 1882
  • Walter Coburn, 1883, 1884
  • Hermon J. Smith, 1885, 1886
  • George F. Lawton, 1887, 1888
  • Frank L. Weaver, 1889, 1890, 1891; Mem
  • Frank K. Stearns, 1892, 1893, 1895; Mem
  • Frederick W. Way, 1894
  • Joseph Miller, 1896, 1897
  • James F. Savage, 1898, 1899
  • William B. Jackson, 1900, 1901
  • Arthur J. Murkland, 1902, 1903
  • Horace S. Bacon, 1904, 1905; Mem
  • LeDoit E. Kimball, 1906
  • George H. Taylor, 1907, 1908
  • William M. Jones, 1909, 1910; SN
  • Charles E. Bartlett, 1911, 1912
  • Murray H. Pratt, 1913
  • Donald M. Cameron, 1914, 1915; Mem
  • Harry A. Thompson, 1916, 1917
  • Charles E. Cooke, 1918, 1919
  • Harry I. Parkhurst, 1920, 1921
  • Perry D. Thompson, 1922, 1923
  • Alvah H. Weaver, 1924, 1925; N
  • Albert D. Milliken, 1926, 1927
  • Harry L. Woodman, 1928, 1929
  • Frederick S. Harvey, 1930, 1931
  • Edward W. Dooley, 1932, 1933
  • William A. Liddell, 1934, 1935
  • John Perry, 1936, 1937
  • Roy S. Perkins, 1938, 1939
  • Calvin A. Burger, 1940, 1941; N
  • Harry S. Mulno, 1942, 1943
  • Walter B. French, 1944, 1945
  • Hans H.O. Schliebus, 1946, 1947
  • Frank H. Fiske, 1948, 1949
  • H. Irving Benedict, 1950, 1951
  • John Harvey, 1952, 1953; N
  • Charles F. Edhund, 1954, 1955
  • Elwyn I. McMaster, 1956
  • Allyn M. French, 1957, 1958; Mem
  • Ralph H. Clements, 1959, 1960
  • Arnold R. Waterman, 1961
  • Max Ludwig, Jr., 1962; N
  • Harold F. Woodman, 1963, 1964
  • Jack D. Goerke, 1965
  • Royal G. Gardner, 1966, 1967
  • David E. Merrill, 1968
  • Arthur Kosartes, 1969, 1970
  • Stanley E. Lachut, 1971
  • George J. Mamalis, 1972, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982
  • Demetrios Anastasopoulos, 1974, 1975
  • Miles C. Corbin, 1976, 1977
  • Thomas T. Prentis, Jr., 1980
  • Guy N. Whitworth, Jr. 1983, 1984
  • Robert E. Legrow, Jr., 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990
  • John A. Goodwin, 1987, 1988
  • Peter S. Alexis, 1991, 1992; PDDGM
  • Michael E. Alexis, 1993, 1994, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Paul R. Kaknes, 1995, 1996, 2003, 2004
  • Robert P. Ludwig, 1997
  • Donald G. Patch, 1998
  • David D. Patch, 1999, 2000
  • Paul V. Melanson, 2001
  • David R. Simpson, 2002



  • 1916 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1941 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1951 (85th Anniversary)
  • 1966 (Centenary)
  • 1991 (125th Anniversary)




1878 1880 1884 1891 1897 1907 1913 1916 1933 1939 1972 1979 1983 1985 1996 2001


  • 1951 (85th Anniversary History, 1951-222; see below)
  • 1966 (Centenary History, 1966-84; see below)
  • 1991 (125th Anniversary History, 1991-47; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1951-222:

By Worshipful Walter B. French.

In the short permissible time assigned to me at this hour of our eighty-fifth anniversary, it would of course be impossible to outline a proper history of Kilwinning Lodge. But since it has been a custom on certain key anniversaries to have a history delivered in response to the toast "To the health and prosperity of Kilwinning Lodge," it seemed only possible to divide the past into significant "Eras" so-called. In selecting and applying names to such eras, it is very probable and entirely possible that specific mention will not be made of many Past Masters of Kilwinning Lodge, all of whom have been outstanding and devoted to the highest ideals of Masonry.

This selection then, entirely my own, has been difficult and embarrassing. Of those selected to head up "Eras," only a few of the recent were known to me personally — I can only be guided by the records and what was written in the records, and in the old days records were not kept as completely as they are today.


Brother Gardner, a native State-of-Mainer, was made a Mason at the age of twenty-five in Ancient York Lodge at Lowell in 1882, the same year he was admitted to the bar in Middlesex County. He became Worshipful Master of Ancient York Lodge in 1856-57, dimitting to become a charter member of Kilwinning Lodge, of which he was the first Worshipful Master in 1866-1868. He subsequently received all the grades in both the York and Scottish Rites.

M.W. William S. Gardner served as Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts during 1869-70-71, at the age of forty-two years. After serving as Eminent Commander of Pilgrim Commandery, Knights Templar, at Lowell in 1861, he became Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1863-64, at the age of thirty-six, and Most Eminent Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States from 1868-71 at the age of forty-one years. He was a charter member of the several bodies of the Scottish Rite established in Lowell, Sovereign Prince of the Council of Princes of Jerusalem, and the first Commander-in-chief of Massachusetts Consistory, then located at Lowell, serving from 1860-1864 at the age of thirty-three years.

He was crowned an active member of the Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States of America in 1861 and served as Deputy for Massachusetts from 1861 to 1867 at the age of thirty-four years. He was appointed an Associate Justice of the Superior Court in 1875 at the age of forty-eight years; and in 1885, three years before his death at Newton, Massachusetts, in 1888, he was promoted to a seat on the bench of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Here is certainly the most outstanding, shining and perfect example of the often heard expression "Masonic Giant." His rapid progress throughout all branches of Masonry indicates that he must have been, in an age ofgreat Masonic leaders, an outstanding Mason. He was our first Worshipful Master and it is said that he was responsible for the creation and adoption of the ritual in regular use in our second degree, as well as that used at the Feast of Saint Andrew.


R.W. Bro. Stevens was Worshipful Master in 1873-1874, an orator, perhaps as great an orator as ever lived, certainly as great as any that ever belonged to this Lodge. He had a magnetic personality and was richly endowed with all the abilities necessary to his outstanding success in civic life and Masonry.


R.W. Bro. Weaver was Worshipful Master in 1889-90-91; R.W. Bro. Stearns was Worshipful Master in 1892-93-95. These two Past Masters played a strong and vigorous part in the then twenty-or-more-year old Kilwinning Lodge in a formative and strengthening period. Kilwinning Lodge needed and received much from the guidance and counsel of these two well-and-favorably-known Freemasons. It is significant to observe that the Masonic enthusiasm and services of the Weaver family have come down through his family by his son, R.W. Alvah H. Weaver, present chairman of the Committee on the Feast of Saint Andrew, and his grandson, Wor. Frank H. Fiske, our junior Past Master.


R.W. Bro. Jones was Worshipful Master in 1909-1910. He was a highly regarded doctor, beloved by all as a very exceptional man, citizen and Mason. His diction and deliverance of ritual were masterpieces of beauty and long to be remembered by those who knew him.


Wor. Bro. Cameron was Master in 1914-1915; Wor. Bro. Thompson was Master in 1916-1917. These men both occupy unique positions in the memory of all Kilwinning members. It was in their days that the fortunes of the Lodge were at their financial peak. Their feasts, and their mementoes presented to each attendant and guest, are still talked of by all who were present. It can probably be truly stated that never again will conditions ever exist which will warrant such lavish entertainment and hospitality.


R. W. Charles E. Cooke was raised as a Master Mason on February 9, 19C6. He was twenty-three years of age at the time, and was immediately appointed Inside Sentinel of the Lodge. He served through the various stations in the Lodge and became Worshipful Master in November 1917 and served through November 1919. Some of his candidates are present tonight, and I myself am one of them.

R.W. Charles E. Cooke served the Lodge as Trustee of the Permanent Fund, as Proxy to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, as a member of the Board of Trustees for Kilwinning Lodge; the latter two positions he filled at the time of his death.

He was an outstanding Freemason, beloved in his own Lodge, and in all the other many Masonic bodies in which he held office. He was a wise counselor, a steadfast worker, and a tower of strength on all levels and in all activities in the craft. He was a brilliant and inspiring speaker on both civic and Masonic subjects, an accurate ritualist and accomplished actor. His wide experience enabled him to speak authoritatively and pleasingly upon any matter of interest to our members and to state as well as nationwide leaders.

In the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, Charles E. Cooke served as Grand Marshal and Senior Grand Warden, receiving his Senior Grand Warden's jewel at the hands of Most Worshipful Arthur Dow Prince, Past Grand Master, in a ceremony held at Kilwinning Lodge on February 28, 1944. He received the Henry Price Medal in November 1941.

He became the presiding officer of Horeb Royal Arch Chapter; of Ahasuerous Council, Royal & Select Masters, of Pilgrim Commandery, No. 9, Knights Templar, of Lowell Lodge of Perfection and of Mount Calvary Chapter of Rose Croix, all of Lowell. He later became Deputy Grand High Priest in the Grand Chapter, Grand Master of Ceremonies in the Grand Council, Grand Warder in the Grand Commandery. He was active in Massachusetts Consistory and took prominent parts

in the serious and colorful degrees exemplified in that body. He was an active member and regular attendant at Aleppo Temple.

Illustrious Brother Cooke was coroneted an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, 33°, in 1941, and in 1944 he was crowned an Active Member for Massachusetts, and became Grand Keeper of the Archives for the Supreme Council until his death. Some of his finest services to Masonry were performed as a member of the Committee on Rituals, on which he was very active.

He became First Lieutenant Commander of the Massachusetts" Council of Deliberation of Boston, Massachusetts. He was a member of Massachusetts College Societas Rosicrucians in Civitatibus Foederatis; a member of Bloomsburg Chapter of Red Cross of Constantine; and of the Past Masters' Association of Lowell. He was a devoted family man, and at the time of his death he was survived by his wife, two married daughters and two sons, as well as several grandchildren. He was a regular attendant and active worker at the Grace Universalist Church.

In business life he was a banker, Secretary and Assistant Treasurer of Saco Lowell Shops, Vice-President and Director of Appleton Company, Treasurer and Director of the Pawtucket Spinning Ring Company of Rhode Island. During his life he held memberships in the Rotary Club, Highland Club, of which he was President, Vesper Country Club, Mt. Pleasant Gold Club, and Yorick Club of Lowell, the City Club in Boston, and he had served as an active member in the Chamber of Commerce at Lowell and Boston.

This bare summary of the activities, positions and offices held and ably performed by R.W. Charles E. Cooke during his all too brief lifetime, for he was only sixty-seven when he passed away, will indicate to all present why it has been deemed proper at this eighty-fifth anniversary of Kilwinning Lodge to end our summarized history by eras, by dwelling longer on this, the Charles E. Cooke Era.

Think of the time and effort he put into all branches of Masonry: tireless in his search for the influences and truths of the past; industrious in applying the wisdom thus acquired in the affairs of the times; and constantly planning for a better and more inspired Masonic leadership in the future.

This great man and Mason was truly an inspiration to all who came in contact with him, and the memory of his services and accomplishments should long serve to stimulate the present and future members and officers to greater efforts and loftier ideals.

We may all be certain that R.W. Charles E. Cooke was ever confident that in the shining and clear-cut principles taught in Freemasonry could always be found the beacon lights so necessary, now as never before, in the affairs of our fair City, Commonwealth, and National Government.

The principles of Freemasonry are the principles of good government.


Wor. Perry D. Thompson was Worshipful Master in 1922-1923; R.W. Alvah H. Weaver was Worshipful Master in 1924-1925.

Wor. Bro. Thompson as a young man was a loved student and follower of R. W. Solon W. Stevens and others. He, with the possible exception of R.W. Charles E. Cooke, was and is the best-looking Past Master of Kilwinning Lodge. It was early decided that Perry's future was going to be bright, and that he must be developed and ultimately become the spokesman for the fraternity on all special occasions. This he became and there are none who are within hearing of my voice who will disagree with me on this point, even though they don't think I picked the most important eras or the most outstanding Past Masters.

R.W. Alvah H. Weaver had a rich tradition to carry on. The works and trail of his illustrious father, Frank L. Weaver, of whom I have spoken briefly, left no path open for Alvah except upward and onward. His many accomplishments and honors, as well as his present and past services as Chairman of the Committee for the Feast of Saint Andrew, are too well-known and recent enough to call for any reminder on my part. No history of Kilwinning Lodge, however short, would be complete without mention of our very distinguished list of Chaplains and Past Chaplains. Such men as Reverend Theodore Edson, Rev. Dr. A. St. John Chambre, Reverend Caleb D. Fisher, Reverend Appleton Grannis, Reverend Simson E. Cozad, Reverend Father Gogul, Reverend Maurice L. Bullock, Reverend Lawrence H. Blackburn, Reverend Joseph Giunta, have served or still are serving. Our Lodge has always been very fortunate in having such spiritual leaders as our Chaplains. They have contributed in no small measure to the accomplishments of the past and the constructive efforts of the present.

This short history is already becoming too long, and we can only end by saying that each Past Master of Kilwinning Lodge has created an ERA of his own. Each strived to accomplish the greatest advancement possible at the time, and it can be truthfully stated that each and every one did.

No mention has been made of any Past Master who has held office since 1925, as all but two since are still living and are relatively young men. It will remain for some other more able historian to record at our 100th anniversary the feeling at that time as to who created special eras or delivered special services since 1925.


From Proceedings, Page 1966-84:

By Worshipful Charles F. Edlund.

The first Masonic Lodge in what is now Lowell was established in 1807 in what was then East Chelmsford, when a Charter was granted to Pentucket Lodge when Timothy Bigelow was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. The first meeting place of any Lowell Masonic body was the Hall attached to the tavern of Phineas Whiting which stood at the corner of School and Pawtucket Sts. where the Franco-American Orphanage and school now stands.

The growth of Masonry in Lowell, rapidly becoming a large manufacturing center, brought about demands for a new Blue Lodge, and as a result Ancient York Lodge was instituted in 1852. This did not fully meet the demands of the growing Masonic fraternity in Lowell, and as a result a move was initiated to create a third Blue Lodge.

Early in 1866 a group of Masons presented a petition, to which Pentucket and Ancient York gave their approval, requesting a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to start a new Lodge to be known as Kilwinning. This dispensation was granted and dated April 23, 1866 — just 100 years ago today.

After the usual trial period under dispensation a Charter was granted to Kilwinning signed by the Grand Master, M. W. Charles C. Dame, and specifying its date of precedence to be April 23, 1866. The names of the 31 petitioners are listed on the Charter, a copy of which is included in the Appendix. These 31 men constitute the Charter members of Kilwinning with the exception of Reuben W. Drew, who, when the Lodge was organized under the Charter, failed to sign the By-laws and never actually became a member of the new group.

Of the 31 names on the Charter, 12 were members of Pentucket Lodge, 12 of Ancient York, and 7 were raised or affiliated while the Lodge worked its first year under dispensation.

This group of Charter members included some of the highest caliber men in Masonry and community affairs. There were two former mayors of Lowell, doctors, merchants, farmers, attorneys and mill executives. The civic activities of some of Kilwinning's early members is attested to by the meeting of April 8, 1881, when, in reporting the death of Wor. Hocum Hosford, a past master of Kilwinning and a former mayor of Lowell, the Worshipful Master appointed a committee to prepare resolutions to be spread upon the record. It consisted of Bro. Frederic T. Greenhalge, then mayor of Lowell, and Wor. Jonathan P. Folsom and Bro. Charles A. Stott, both former mayors of Lowell. Bro. Greenhalge went on to become Governor of the State to which reference will be made later. To date there have been nine mayors of Lowell who were members of Kilwinning, two rather recently.

Kilwinning's first quarters were in a building still standing on John Street nearly opposite the end of Lee Street. This building was erected by Mr. John Nesmith and built to the specifications of Pentucket, Ancient York and Mt. Horeb Royal Arch Chapter, in the year 1853. It was known as Masonic Hall and was the first home of Kilwinning Lodge upon its joining the Lowell Masonic Association which operated the quarters on behalf of the member bodies.

The growth of the new Lodge was slow at first although this may have been deliberate. In 1872 Most Worshipful William Sewall Gardner, in his dedicatory speech at the new Masonic Temple in the Hosford building on Merrimack Street, gave the figures for membership in the Lowell Lodges as follows: Kilwinning - 43 ; Pentucket - 265; Ancient York - 196; and William North -111. The latter Lodge was formed only one year after Kilwinning. The total number of Masons in Lowell in 1872 was 615.

Unfortunately the records of the first six years of Kilwinning cannot be located, the first available having the date of Oct. 31, 1873. In these we find a motion passed in 1876 to recopy the first book of records "due to its imperfect condition" and the first three officers and the Secretary were appointed a committee to have it done. This committee never reported to the Lodge and it is possible the first book of records was misplaced at that time or found to be irretrievably "imperfect."

However, much of the first year of operating under dispensation was covered in a published speech by M.W. William Sewell Gardner, and the By-laws record the names of new members.

The first Worshipful Master of Kilwinning Lodge was William Sewall Gardner, a Past Master of Ancient York Lodge, who demitted to join in petitioning the Grand Lodge to institute Kilwinning Lodge. He was probably the moving spirit behind the entire group of Charter members although this can only be inferred. He served three years as Master in 1866-67-68 and dominated, without doubt, the policies and activities of the early years. His influence in Kilwinning would have been greater and longer had he not moved on almost immediately to unbelievable Masonic accomplishments in other areas of the Craft.

Making use of material prepared by Wor. Walter B. French and given at the 85th anniversary of Kilwinning, Wor. Bro. Gardner moved almost directly from being Master of Kilwinning to be the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1869-70-71. He was 42 years old at the time.

Active in the York Rite of Masonry he was Eminent Commander of Pilgrim Commandery in 1861, Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Mass. and R.I. in 1863-64 and while Master of Kilwinning and then Grand Master he was the Most Eminent Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States having jurisdiction over all Knight Templars in the country (1868-1871). In the Scottish Rite he was head of the Princes of Jerusalem in Lowell and was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Massachusetts Consistory (then located in Lowell) serving from 1860 to 1864 at the age of only 33. He was an active member of the Supreme Council, A.A.S.R., Northern Jurisdiction, and Deputy for Massachusetts from 1861 to 1867.

No less arduous were his civic accomplishments. A lawyer by profession, at 48 years of age he was appointed a Justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts and in 1885 elevated to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Many of the early traditions, some still enduring, were said to be due to our first Worshipful Master. The following paragraphs will try to trace some of the better known which have marked Kilwinning as "different" from some other Lodges.


Perhaps the best known tradition said to have been due to our first Master is the so-called long form of the Second or Fellow Craft Degree. While conforming to the ritual as required by the Grand Lodge, it embellishes it with elaborate scenery, the use of two halls and additions patterned after English Masonic practice dating from the writings of William Preston in the late 1700's.

While the Lodge was still under dispensation the Grand Master and other Grand Officers paid Kilwinning a fraternal visit on Feb. IS, 1887 to watch the work and "although in his official position he could not give it his approval, yet it made such a pleasing impression upon his mind and brought out the beauties of the ritual so fully, that he declined to disapprove of it and did not order its discontinuence" (Quoted from an address by M. W. William Sewell Gardner in 1872).

When properly publicized and done this unusual piece of Masonic practice has attracted hundreds of visitors from far and near to Kilwinning over the years. The author has personally seen (1951) over 400 members and visitors attend this event.


Another early tradition that set the Lodge apart was the famous Kid Glove" Lodge tradition. The first By-laws provided in their special regulations Every member is expected to appear at all meetings of the Lodge in a black suit and white gloves." This By-law remained in effect until the general review of the By-laws in 1939. It became customary for members to store their gloves in a special closet at the Lodge rooms and the famous Pollard fire of 1926 destroyed them all. The custom of kid gloves fell into disuse, perhaps because of the use of temporary quarters following the fire, the heavy financial demands necessary to erect a new Temple, and the strain of the depression of the thirties. In any case, the tradition had stopped before the By-laws were revised. Traditions, however, die hard. The author hears a move is under way to revive this 100 year old custom as part of Kilwinning's Centennial year.


A third tradition of Kilwinning is its famous Feast of Saint Andrew observed each year on Nov. 30, Saint Andrew's Day. It is also the annual meeting of Kilwinning and marks its fiscal year. The Feast has been celebrated every year since the Lodge started and is the high point of Kilwinning's year. The ritual known as table Masonry, and over 100 years old when the Lodge was started, is still used in the various toasts proposed on this occasion. The author has heard stories that in more prosperous times Champagne was used for the toasts, |tut can find no record of it. In fact in 1911 at the request of Bro. Dudley L. Page, our caterer for nearly 50 years, a mail survey was conducted of members asking whether they would approve of wine at the Feast which indicates it was not true up to that time. Out of 260 cards sent out the results were 94 in favor, 63 opposed and 103 not voting. What action was taken is not recorded.

It has become the custom over the years for the Grand Master and the Deputy Grand Master to take turns in being the guest of honor between the Lodge of St. Andrew, which also observes this Feast day, and Kilwinning. Prior to the firm establishment of this custom, important members of the Grand Lodge including many presiding Grand Masters were guests of honor at the Feasts.

Until 1927 the Feast was free to members of the Lodge and even in the early days cost the Lodge hundreds of dollars. Declining financial fortunes, discussed later, forced a small charge at that time which still continues. At that time the expense of the Feast had mounted with rising prices to $800. -$900. and something had to be done to put the financial house in order.

The Feast has provided Kilwinning with many long observed customs and procedures. The menu is always Roast Tenderloin of Beef except during the depression of the thirties and rationing of the war years that followed. During this period beef gave way to chicken, duckling and even scallops.

Another interesting "tradition" is the fact that R. W. Frank L. Weaver was appointed Chairman of the Feast Committee in the 1890's and served as Chairman till 1932. After a gap of one year R. W. Alvah H. Weaver, his son, was appointed and served till he was succeeded by his nephew, Wor. Frank H. Fiske, in 1951. This makes nearly 70 years that the Feast has been in charge of the same family.

Shortly after the turn of the century the practice arose of having the Senior Warden present the presiding Master with his Past Master's jewel and considerably later on with his Past Master's apron at the conclusion of his second year in office. Earlier the P.M. jewel was presented in the Lodge room at almost any time and for over fifty years Past Masters aprons were not presented by the Lodge at all. Another custom that started in the early 1900's was having the Junior Warden give his maiden speech to the entire Lodge at the Feast.

Another observation on the Feast was the fact that it started at 5:00 P.M. and, in the early days, rarely closed "with its accustomed mysteries" until 11:00 or 11:30 P.M. Once they even closed at midnight. It was not until relatively recent times that the length of meeting began to shorten to its present closing of a little after nine. The chief reason is probably the decline in the art of oratory or the inclination to listen to it. Four or five speeches were normal in the early days. They also had for several decades the official visit of the District Deputy Grand Master at that meeting, had to read aloud the By-laws to the members (required by the By-laws at the time), hear the annual reports, elect officers, transact routine business, receive distinguished visitors and before the Feast concluded, call the roll of every member of the Lodge. If he could not be there he was supposed to explain in writing to the Master before the Feast and the excuse was read at roll call and recorded in the records. The wonder is that they finished so early during most of this period.

When the membership got over 100, the roll call was gradually dropped. The By-laws were amended so they didn't have to read them and the District Deputy never schedules his official visit at that time.

During the early 1900's several, presumably wealthy, Masters used to present a souvenir of the occasion to every member present, some quite expensive, out of his own pocket. This story has not lost any of its luster with the retelling, but the records show it was restricted to a few Masters and only a few occasions.

The author has also heard stories of the Master "picking up the tab" for Feast deficits, but, according to the records the regular cost has been paid each year out of Lodge funds. It is possible, or even probable, that in two or three years the Master paid extra for a particularly lavish Feast as will be discussed later.

Generally speaking the attendance ran around 50-60 per cent of membership in the first half century. Today, even though it is not free, attendance runs around 25-30 per cent in a normal year.


The Masters following William Sewall Gardner were: Wor. Jonathan P. Folsom (1869-70); Wor. Hocum Hosford (1871-72); and R. W. Solon W. Stevens (1873-74). The first two were former mayors of Lowell. R.W. Bro. Stevens later was Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge. These men, together with R. W. William F. Salmon (1881-82), may be said to have shaped the policies and guided Kilwinning through its first twenty or more years of existence. Their advice was sought and their word appeared to be more or less final on almost all matters. This selection of leaders does not in any way disparage the tremendous contribution of such able brothers and Worshipful Masters as Stephen G. Bailey, Edward Hastings and Charles F. Young of the same period. Worshipful Brother Hastings was plagued by illness and died at the age of 35, but on two occasions he bailed the Lodge out of financial difficulties by loaning it money to pay its bills, once to the then sizable amount of $500. Worshipful Brother Young was a tireless Masonic worker and on his death set up funds for the various Masonic bodies with which he was associated so that his name is still familiar to the present generation of Masons. Worshipful Brother Bailey was one of the most active workers on committees and in ritual down into the present century. The first four Masters listed, however, seemed on the record to be the guiding hands of this quarter of a century.

R. W. Bro. Salmon was a Past Master of Ancient York Lodge and Charter member of Kilwinning and later became Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge. Wor. Bro. Hosford was a Charter member of Kilwinning and a well known Lowell merchant who was succeeded in his retail business by a man famous in Lowell Masonry, A.G. Pollard. Wor. Bro. Hosford built the Hosford building on Merrimack Street in 1871 and 1872 especially for the Masonic bodies of Lowell which had outgrown their John Street quarters. He was Wor. Master of Kilwinning and Eminent Commander of Pilgrim Commandery at the time he built it. His name still stands out in stone relief on the facade of the building. These quarters filled the needs of the Lowell Masons until they were burnt out in the famous Pollard fire (adjacent building) of June 1926.

R. W. Solon W. Stevens was one of the most renowned orators in New England if not in the nation. He never lost his interest in Kilwinning or Masonry and in his declining years was practically kidnapped by the 50th Anniversary Committee to give the historical address as will develop later in the report of the 50th Anniversary.

Pentucket's 100th Anniversary book gives one of his historical addresses in full and the author learned much from it. The writer remarks that he spoke for one hour and ten minutes and people never realized the passing of time and it is easy to believe. Of all men after William Sewell Gardner he may be said to have done more for Kilwinning the first forty years of its existence than any other single man. He died two years after giving his 50-year address.

As mentioned, the first available record of a meeting was Oct. 31, 1873. Accustomed as we are to the third Friday of each month as a regular meeting night, the date may be a bit puzzling to younger Masons. Originally, Kilwinning was a moon lodge." The By-laws provided that its Stated Communications "shall be held Fridays, on, or next preceding, each full of the moon." Therefore regular meetings could and did come at any time of the month. This practice once quite common in Masonic Lodges has almost died out. The By-laws were amended to "the third Friday of the month" on Dec. 17. 1915.

The record of that October 31st meeting lists 11 officers and 4 brethren present out of a total membership of 50 or about 30 percent. This was not a special occasion as there were no visitors or important business and only one candidate was worked on the First Degree. The presiding Master was Wor. Solon W. Stevens. The attendance was rather typical of routine meetings for the next few decades. On special occasions SO percent or more might turn out. These meetings, however, had a special feature that Kilwinning cannot match today. They were preceded or followed by a sumptuous banquet complete with cigars and some sort of entertainment, all at no charge to the members. The financial records indicate this was a heavy drain on the income of the Lodge and one of the reasons they were usually in debt.

To take a specific year, for example 1878, the annual report listed income from dues, fees and borrowing of $1,500 (approx.) and expenses are listed specifically for rent, Tyler, Grand Lodge, charity and the rest ($770.) are put down to incidentals. Later Treasurers reported in more detail showing that "incidentals" meant food and entertainment.

Just the year before this meeting, the Lodge, as mentioned, moved into its second home, the Masonic Temple on Merrimack Street, built by Hocum Hosford. A description of these quarters, which they occupied for 54 years, may be of interest.

The street floor was devoted to business establishments, the second floor was largely leased to the City of Lowell as the home of the Lowell City Library. The main Lodge room was located on the third floor together with the Armory of the Commandery which extended out in an ell over the alley which runs between and parallel to Middle and Merrimack Streets. The banquet hall was on the fourth floor. When the Temple was burnt out in the Pollard fire of 1926 the top floor was not replaced.

In referring to the financial astuteness of our predecessors I would like to give them at least one compliment. The first time that an item appears on the annual report for insurance was in 1925 when $225. was spent for that purpose.

The growth of the Lodge was slow during this period but that was quite possibly deliberate. The original By-laws limited the number of members of Kilwinning to 75 men and they were presumably quite selective in their admission policy. This restriction was removed in 1878. From the 43 men mentioned before as being the membership in 1872 the Lodge grew to 77 men in 1880 and 115 in 1890.

The first Feast of St. Andrew reported in the available records was Nov. 29, 1873 when the Most Worshipful Sereno D. Nickerson was the guest of honor. The roll of members was called and out of 50 members 13 were absent, of which two, according to the Master, had no valid excuse. (Nothing was ever done about this, of course). The Feast closed at 11:30 P.M.

During this period Kilwinning stood out, not only in Lowell, but throughout the State, for the excellence of its ritual and its liberal hospitality. It was not unusual for the Lodge to have more visitors than members at its meetings, particularly its famous working of the Fellow Craft Degree. Two of its Masters already mentioned went on to become Senior Grand Wardens and both members and the Masters were prominent in other branches of Masonry and civic affairs. There was, however, a sobering note if we look at the financial side.

Kilwinning was usually known as a rich Lodge, but while some individual members may have been wealthy, the Lodge, as such, was not, nor is now, "rich" except in tradition and excellence. The dues during the first forty years of its existence were $5.00, much higher, in terms of purchasing power, than they are now. The fee for initiation was, for the first twenty years $75., higher than it is now without even allowing for the value of the dollar. Many of its members were individually wealthy and the Lodge with sound budgeting could have built a secure financial base for the future.

Largely because of its liberal hospitality to members and visitors alike, the Lodge during the first few decades rarely had an annual balance of more than a few dollars and just as often a deficit. One year the treasurer reported unpaid bills of about $35., and was appointed a committee of one to raise the money to pay them. He finally reported back, that the best he could do was to pay them himself.

In 1878 the Lodge voted to borrow $500 from the Charity Fund in order to pay its bills and at the same time reduced the initiation fee to $50. In 1879 their financial troubles increased. The Grand Lodge put a "capitation tax" on each member to liquidate the Grand Lodge debt, payable each year for 15 years or $10 in a lump sum to clear the entire assessment. The members promptly voted to have the Lodge pay the entire sum. R. W. Bro. Salmon moved to put the initiation fee back to $75. It was finally decided to assess each member the $10 due the Grand Lodge and to add the assessment indefinitely to each initiation fee. Although the initiation fee remained at $50 in the By-laws the actual cost was $60 and this arrangement continued until the By-laws were changed in 1897 to formalize the fee of $60. Incidentally, from 1866 until the By-law revision of 1884 every candidate or affiliate signing the By-laws had to pay a "membership fee" of one dollar.

In 1880 the Lodge was again compelled to borrow from the Charity Fund to pay its bills. This borrowing from the Charity Fund is not as heartless as it sounds because the great majority of calls for relief were taken out of the general funds of the Lodge anyway and anytime the Lodge had a substantial surplus they put a large part of it in the Charity Fund. This year they appointed a "Committee to Cancel the Deficit" and it reported back the following year that it had raised $695 and the Lodge was now out of debt.

Although it did not affect this period, the stage was set for Kilwinning's greatest financial headache in the years to come. On June 19, 1891 the Lodge voted to make all members paying dues for twenty-five years exempt from further payment. This did not appear to have much effect for some years but as the average age of members increased more and more members became what we now call Life Members and years later when it became necessary to raise the dues, fewer and fewer men were paying the expenses of the Lodge. It would be extremely difficult to figure out from the records how many were life members, but it was certainly one-third and probably nearer one-half. Beginning in the early 1900's and particularly in the depression years of the 1930's the burden on the dues paying members became almost intolerable. Even today the mention of life membership causes Kilwinning men to shudder.

However, a Life Membership in Kilwinning is quite a different thing today and is sometimes confused with the old 25-year exemption. The By-laws now require a payment for Life membership at any age of 25 times the annual dues in a lump sum which is put into a Fund, the interest from which is used for the running expenses of the Lodge. A little figuring will show that this is not a bad deal either for a younger member, or the Lodge, but few, if any, are purchased due to the financial error made in 1891 and the resulting debacle which left a strong prejudice against even the word in Kilwinning circles.

On the brighter side for Kilwinning during this period, we might mention the impressive public display of the growing Masonic fraternity of Lowell when Kilwinning joined with the other Masonic Lodges in providing an escort for the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Samuel Wells, on the occasion of his visit to Lowell to lay the corner-stone of the new Lowell City Hall (the present City Hall) on Oct. 11, 1890. It was an impressive display, widely reported, and enhanced the reputation of the Fraternity. Just before Kilwinning was instituted the Grand Master also laid the corner-stone of the Ladd-Whitney Monument in front of the present City Hall.

Kilwinning is given credit during this period for two "firsts" by R. W. William F. Salmon. On the occasion of Kilwinning Lodge's presentation to him of a Past Senior Grand Warden's jewel, he stated that Kilwinning was the first Lodge in the State to present a Past Grand Master's jewel (to William Sewall Gardner) and had now become the first Lodge to present a Past Senior Grand Warden's jewel.

Kilwinning continued to attract many visitors to see the quality of its work including many of the highest personages in Masonry. Almost all Grand Masters paid one or more visits to the Lodge including the Grand Master of New Hampshire. On important occasions, it was quite common to have four or five Grand Lodge Officers in attendance.

The election of Frank L. Weaver as Master in 1889 immediately followed by Frank K. Stearns may be said to herald a new period as the Lodge turned into the 20th century. These two men both served as Master for three years at the insistence of their brethren. They were the real wheel-horses of the second twenty-five years and had a large share, not only in performing the necessary work, but in their influence on the Lodge members and the shaping of policy. They were both honored by the Grand Lodge by being made District Deputy Grand Masters for the Lowell Masonic District. Their leadership lasted till World War I and beyond, but was most marked from the 1890's to 1914. In a sense they were badly needed because of the gap left by the deaths of three of the first period's leaders: William F. Salmon, Jonathan P. Folsom and Hocum Hosford. It is sometimes difficult to single a few men out for eminence when they have so many and active helpers. In passing we cannot overlook the many contributions of R.W. Horace S. Bacon, who became a Grand Lodge Officer and was rarely missing when needed or R. W. William M. Jones, who was a real source of strength to Kilwinning in this era, as well as the solid but quiet force of Wor. Charles E. Bartlett.


In order to gain a perspective on this and subsequent periods, let us examine the sudden spurt in membership at this time and subsequent fluctuations. As mentioned, the membership roll of the Lodge was 115 in 1890. In 1900 it was 169 and in 1910 stood at 263. This spurt in membership was almost made essential by the increasing problem of the previously mentioned Life Members. By 1920 the Lodge had grown to 367 and in 1927 it reached the highest peak in Kilwinning's history at 435. By 1929 it had declined to 420, as the depression of the thirties got under way.

Unfortunately, the Grand Lodge returns for the years 1929 to 1937 are mislaid or missing and the Secretary of the time never gave membership figures in his annual reports, but there is no doubt that the depression and subsequent war years took a heavy toll. The first figure available to the author is that for 1938 when the Lodge reported 332 members, a loss of 88 during the depression. Surprisingly enough this was not primarily caused as you might expect by demits due to the financial hardships of the times, as the Lodge followed a very lenient policy in its dues collection, remitted many dues and gave liberally to relieve the distressed. The decline, although suspensions for non-payment of dues played a part, was mainly due to the lack of candidates for initiation, as a glance at the yearly classes in the Appendix will show. The loss was mostly due to the excess of deaths over new members. Then the call for young men to go into the armed services began to be felt and there was a further drop to 286 in 1943, the lowest since 1914. Since 1943 the membership has climbed back to 381 in 1955 and on the Grand Lodge Returns of Sept. 1, 1965 stood at 356. At the moment it is slightly higher.

With these figures as a background let us consider the problems and the triumphs of these years.

One of the more spectacular events occurred early in the period. It was the centennial celebration of the dedication of the Joseph Warren Monument whose erection far preceded the famous Bunker Hill Monument (whose corner-stone was also laid by the Grand Lodge). Joseph Warren was one of our first Grand Masters and was killed in the battle of Bunker Hill. As an outstanding public appearance of Masonry, the details, as taken from a newspaper account in the records, are worth retelling. Kilwinning, with the other Masonic bodies of Lowell, assembled in the Temple at 8:00 A.M., June 17, 1895. They wore dark clothes, black shoes, silk hats, white gloves and lambskin aprons. There were 35 from Kilwinning and 75 from all other bodies combined. They marched to the railroad station and took a special train to Boston, where they breakfasted at the Union Station. They reformed on Causeway Street with Masons from other areas of the State and received the Governor of Massachusetts, Frederic T. Greenhalge (a member of Kilwinning) and led by the Governor, escorted the Grand Master, M .W. Edwin B. Holmes, to City Square in Charles-town. At noon they marched to Bunker Hill where the rededi-cation took place. There were 60 Lodges taking part and 5,000 Masons in line. They then marched to the Navy Yard for lunch and an inspection tour. The Lodge closed at 3:45 P. M.

A set of revised By-laws was published in 1897 and that trouble with dilatory committees is not confined to the present was shown when R. W. Bro. Weaver moved to discharge the committee and appoint a new one. It was so voted.

The coming of great technological changes was also felt around the turn of the century. In 1890 Kilwinning was assessed $25.00 by the Lowell Masonic Association so they could put in electric lights. In 1897 it was voted to photograph the Charter and have it certified by the Grand Lodge so the original could be better preserved, and in 1901 the Lodge requested the Lowell Masonic Association to put in a telephone for the convenience of the members. The changing times are also shown in deciding to give the Organist $2 a night instead of the traditional $1.

On Feb. 17, 1905 the first Past Masters' night (in Kilwinning) was held with R. W. Bro. Stevens acting as Master. They worked the entire degree on five candidates, each Past Master raising one candidate. This innovation attracted a large group of members and visitors but for some reason was not repeated for several years. It is now, of course, a yearly event in almost every Lodge.

In 1907 the By-laws were revised again and published for the benefit of the members. The dues of $5 and the 25-year exemption were retained although it was evident that the Lodge was going to have financial trouble in the future. This realization was evidenced by the strong fight that was waged to raise the dues and the initiation fee.

The second Past Masters' Night was held in 1911. This year was notable for the establishment of what came to be a standard feature for all Lodges: a Ladies Night. Apparently R. W. Bro. Weaver was responsible for this new (to Kilwinning at least) feature. Dinner was served at the Temple to members and their ladies, after which they adjourned to Colonial Hall to enjoy vaudeville and dancing till midnight. Attendance was 285 and in his report the Secretary described it as "an intense success."

In 1912 Solon W. Stevens was elected an Honorary Member of Kilwinning Lodge. Our regular notice at present lists men from other Lodges who are made Honorary Members but fails to list the three men from Kilwinning who were so honored by their own Lodge. They are M. W. William Sewall Gardner, Bro. Rev. Theodore Edson, our first Chaplain, and R. W. Bro. Stevens.

The financial condition of the Lodge was again shown when the Masonic Association levied an assessment of #1,000 to buy furnishings. It was again necessary to take it out of the Charity Fund.

In 1913 the Lodge took stock of its financial situation and voted to raise the dues from $5 to $7. The author's curiosity has been aroused by several entries in the annual report of income for 1914 and 1915. For the first time there is an entry of "from all other sources" showing $2,000 in 1914 and $1,600 in 1915. This income was probably a gift and one can speculate that it was given by Wor. Donald M. Cameron, Master in those years, in order to support a more lavish spread at the Feast and throughout the year while holding reported expenses for those purposes to normal levels. By all reports of the few surviving members of that period the food and entertainment were on a lavish scale never before or since equalled in Kilwinning.

The 50th Anniversary of Kilwinning was held on Monday, April 24. At 5:00 P.M. the members and guests with their ladies were received by the Officers and their ladies and M. W. Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master, and his lady. After an address of welcome by the Master, Harry A. Thompson, and a response by the Grand Master, R.W. Solon W. Stevens gave his historical address. As mentioned earlier he was practically kidnapped by the Committee in charge. He was 80 years old at the time and living in New York City with his daughter. He was under medical care for a severe case of neuritis and at first declined the invitation to come pleading that he had no records and his medical difficulties. The Committee then sent an emissary to New York with the records and later escorted him back to Lowell in spite of his protests.

His remarks were taken down by a public stenographer and a copy placed in a safe deposit box. The author has been unable to locate this document which to Kilwinning men would be almost priceless. It certainly would have made this paper much better (and much easier) as he was not only a great orator but had experienced the entire 50 years himself; in fact, he was responsible for much of it.

An elaborate musical program accompanied the dinner and entertained the group afterwards. The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (six pieces), the Copley Male Quartet from Boston and a famous soprano and violinist showed the scale on which this affair was run. The Committee, however, voted against publishing an historical summary due to the rising costs of printing. The deficit on this celebration was easily handled. They appointed "The Committee on the Deficit," who solicited the Past Masters and Officers and came back with $485., wiping out the deficit and giving the Lodge a profit of $5.


At this stage the task of the Historian becomes a little more difficult even though the Secretary of the Lodge for the first quarter of the 20th century retired. His handwriting, while rather attractive, was the most illegible of all the Secretaries. From World War I on there are many people still living and, I hope, my friends who have lived through much of this period and are in a position to pick out errors and omissions and in particular, it becomes difficult for the author to make one man the leader of an era at the expense of others who might even be sitting next to me at this celebration.

Following the lavish tome of activities of the Donald M. Cameron and Harry A. Thompson era before the first war, the men who set the pace for the next fifteen years or so seem to have been R. W. Charles E. Cooke, Past Senior Grand Warden, Wor. Perry D. Thompson, four times mayor of Lowell and R. W. Alvah H. Weaver. Their continuing activities in behalf of the Lodge and their guidance and leadership continued in some way, down to relatively recent times.

World War I, being quite short, did not affect the membership adversely. In fact, the large classes of returning veterans after the war greatly increased the membership as it did after the second world war. Kilwinning's all time high in membership was reached when it soared to 435 in 1927. But in spite of larger membership the Lodge was in budgetary difficulties again after the first war. A committee appointed to study the matter recommended increasing the initiation fee to $120, but retained the dues at $7 and the 25-year exemption clause, probably the cause of all the trouble. As finally passed, the initiation fee was set at $100, but the dues remained at $7, and the 25-year clause was left intact. Many Masons who joined in the thirties were under the impression that the level of the fee for joining was because of the cost of building the new Temple, but this change in fees, in Kilwinning at least, was made in 1920 six years before the old Temple was destroyed by fire. It remained at that level until the By-law revision of 1939.

A glance at the balance sheet for 1920 shows the cost of the Feast to be over $800, and "Banquets and Cigars" nearly $900, which means they took up nearly 40 percent of the income. With the large number of Life Members the burden was becoming too much. During 1922 they first made a charge for the monthly banquets of $1 (about half the cost), but still had a large deficit for the year. In 1926 the Temple burnt down and it heralded new woes and the worst years in Kilwinning's history. The fire occurred June 3, 1926 and the June 18 meeting of Kilwinning was held at Wamesit Lodge in Tewksbury. It then secured temporary quarters in the First Universalist Church, which then stood on Gorham Street on the site of the present Court House. All meetings were held there for nearly three years until just before the dedication of the new Temple on Dutton Street, where we now celebrate this Anniversary, when it was again held in Wamesit Lodge.

The records give only one hint of the heavy financial demands made upon every Mason in Lowell to assist in building this beautiful structure. The entire fund raising campaign and plans for the Temple were in charge of the Lowell Masonic Association. The record referred to above was when the Master at the first meeting in the new quarters called for the payment of over $6,500 in pledges still unpaid and owing to the Masonic Association.

It was originally planned to erect the building without a mortgage but complications in the construction finally resulted in a small mortgage. The depression which burst in full force shortly after the new Temple was dedicated, complicated matters further for the Lowell Lodges.

Before the dedication Kilwinning carried on as though nothing had happened, on the record at least. Unpaid bills of nearly $700 were reported at the annual meeting in 1927. This gave rise to the end of a sixty-year old tradition of making no charge for the Feast of Saint Andrew. A relatively small charge was made which had to be reduced even further during the depression.

On Sept. 8, 1928 the corner-stone of the new Temple was laid by Grand Master, M. W. Frank L. Simpson, assisted by the Grand Lodge Officers. They opened a Grand Lodge at the Yorick Club and proceeded by automobile to the Assembly point of the parade at the First Universalist Church and St. Paul's Church opposite it. Led by Knight Templars in full uniform they marched, 2,500 strong, to the site of the ceremony. It was at this time that the new Blue Lodge in Lowell (the fifth), William Sewall Gardner, after our first Worshipful Master, made its first public appearance.

On Oct. 8, 1929 the new Temple on Dutton Street was dedicated by the Grand Master, M. W. Herbert W. Dean. Dedicatory speeches and a musical program were held in Grecian Hall and a banquet followed attended by over 600 Masons.

Kilwinning's first meeting in the new Temple was Oct. 18, 1929. With the depression, the financial sacrifices to build the new Temple, a weak financial structure due to the 25-year clause, lack of candidates to give inspiration to the officers in their work (in two of those years only one man was raised), little if any sound budgeting and a debt from what could have been the prosperous years in the past, Kilwinning faced a bleak future. As shown before, they lost relatively few members during this period, the decline being due to the excess of deaths over candidates. It speaks highly of the courage and devotion of the brethren to Kilwinning and their determination to hold on to their Masonic ties.

As the Lodge struggled out of the depression the By-laws were revised in 1939 and are generally the same as we now operate under except for several raises in the dues and minor adjustments in the fees. From its errors and omissions Kilwinning had learned to put its house in order and the record since that time shows sound financial management and a steady growth, and we can look forward to another 100 years of service to the Craft and the Masonic ideal of brotherhood.

1940 TO 1965

The last twenty-five years of this history are difficult, if not impossible, for the author to do justice. Many of the major points have already been covered in the previous material of this paper. Most of the men involved are present on this occasion or at least will glance at this booklet. My tour of duty occurred only 12 years ago. Above all knowing a person as a friend and a Brother Mason makes it difficult to judge their accomplishments objectively.

All the Masters since 1940 have been active in the affairs o! the Lodge, faithful in their discharge of their duties and always ready to help to further the welfare and prosperity of our Masonic fraternity in general and Kilwinning in particular. As a hint to future historians I suggest that they examine well the work and Masonic accomplishments of two of the more active of our Past Masters. R. W. Calvin A. Burger (1940-41) and Wor. Walter B. French (1944-45) and judge whether they or somei ne else may be objectively judged to be the key voice and leaders of this period.

1 he first 100 years, despite hard times and occasional difficulties, have been successful and established Kilwinning as a strong voice in Masonic circles. I have not hesitated to indicate its problems and mistakes, believing they will be of value to the members in guiding Kilwinning to new heights of Masonic and brotherly accomplishment.

May the Grand Architect of the Universe watch over and approve Kilwinning's progress in the years to come.


From Proceedings, Page 1991-47:

125 Years of Kilwinning Lodge, A. F. & A. M.

By 1860 two of our sister Lodges here in Lowell were not only well established but also growing so much so that by 1866 the propriety of establishing a third Lodge was considered and a petition was prepared with the approval of Pentucket and Ancient York Lodges. Consequently a dispensation was issued by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts dated April 23, 1866. The name Kilwinning was selected as representing the earliest history of Scotch Masonry since Ancient York did that of the English Craft. We in Massachusetts take pride in our Masonic lineage.

The work of this Lodge was intended to strictly adhere to our Grand Lodge requirements, however, it was embellished with many additions to make the lessons of the grades both interesting and instructive. In the Second Degree two halls were used with great effect. The Middle Chamber and its approaches were arranged to carry out what is usually represented pictorially. The Grand Master witnessed the entire work on February 15, 1867. In his official position he could not give it his approval, however the impression it made upon his mind was so pleasing and brought out the ritual so fully that he declined to disapprove of it. A charter was granted on March 13, 1867 and Grand Master Dame, attended by a full corps of Grand Officers, constituted the Lodge and installed its Officers on March 26, 1867. After the services were concluded, a Table Lodge was opened in the Armory of the Commandery and was conducted in strict conformity with a ritual translated from the French which has been in use for more than a century prior to that time.

The Lodges met in Masonic Hall on John Street (opposite Lee Street, presently occupied by a well-known bank) erected by John Nesmith in 1853 and built to specifications of Pentucket, Ancient York and Mount Horeb Royal Arch Chapter.

Of the 31 names on the Charter, 12 were members of Pentucket Lodge, 12 of Ancient York Lodge and 7 were raised or affiliated while the Lodge worked its first year under dispensation. The growth of the new Lodge was slow at first. Most Worshipful William Sewall Gardner, a lawyer, was the Worshipful Master during our first three years (1866-1868). He was probably the prime mover behind the Charter members and dominated the policies and activities of those early years. The following year at the age of 42, he was elected Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and served in that capacity for three years (1869 - 1871). He was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Massachusetts Consistory, then located in Lowell, as well as being very active in the York Rite too.

Another early tradition that set Kilwinning Lodge apart from others was the "Kid Glove" Lodge tradition. The first By-Laws stipulated that "Every member is expected to appear at all meetings of the Lodge in a black suit and white gloves". This remained in effect until a general review of the By-Laws was made in 1939.

In 1872 Masonic activities moved into new quarters in the Hosford Building on Merrimack Street (south side, up from John Street) which were provided by the third Worshipful Master of Kilwinning Lodge, the Worshipful Hocum Hosford, a local businessman and one-time mayor of Lowell. Meetings were held there until the June 3, 1926 Pollard Store fire. This fire also destroyed the white gloves after which the custom of kid gloves fell into disuse. The use of temporary quarters, the depression, and the financial demands necessary to erect a new Temple also contributed to their abandonment for non-officers.

A third tradition was the Feast of Saint Andrew. This is observed each year on November 30th which is also the annual meeting of Kilwinning Lodge. The ritual known as Table Masonry was over 100 years old when the Lodge was started and is still used in the various toasts proposed on this occasion. It has become the custom over the years for the Grand Master and the Deputy Grand Master to take turns in being the guest of honor between the Lodge of St. Andrew, which also observes this Feast day, and Kilwinning. It is interesting to note that the Feast was in charge of the members of one family for nearly 70 years.

Originally Kilwinning was a "Moon Lodge". The By-Laws provided that its Stated Communications "shall be held Fridays on, or next preceding each full of the moon". As a consequence meetings could, and did, come at any time of the month. The By-Laws were amended to "the third Friday of the month" on December 17, 1915.

Original By-Laws limited the number of members to seventy-five (75). This restriction was removed in 1878.

The first Regular Communication of Kilwinning after the fire was held at Wamesit Lodge in Tewksbury, thereafter in the First Universalist Church on Hurd Street (opposite St. Paul's) The corner stone of the new Temple was laid on September 8, 1928. The building was dedicated on October 8, 1929 by Most Worshipful Herbert W. Dean with over 600 in attendance. Kilwinning's first meeting in this building was on October 18, 1929.

Several installations of officers and raising of candidates to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason have been enhanced by such groups of the Kilted Craft, The Kilwinning Club, the DeMolay Advisors' Degree Team, Regional Trade School Degree Team (Worcester), Dracut Square and Compass Club, the Raytheon Square and Compass Club, and the Hellenic Square and Compass Club, etc.

Cooperation among our sister Lodges in degree work as well as in other areas such as blood drives, Christmas parties for the children, the Rainbow/DeMolay Father's Day Breakfast, etc. is outstanding. Kilwinning performed courtesy work of Second and Third Degree work for Mercedes Lodge #1010, Mercedes, Texas in 1968 on a Brother who was in the military service.

Masonic funeral services were relatively few and far between over the past 25-years. We have lost quite a few members due to death as old age creeps up on us.

To name only a few:

  • Brother Lester R. Griffin, Secretary for 38 years
  • Right Worshipful Calvin A. Burger, a Past Master and Past Senior Grand Warden. Very active in Masonry. He was Clerk of Courts.
  • Bro. Frederick A. Flather - Mill owner
  • Bro. Stanley E. Qua - Judge
  • Right Worshipful Walter B. French - Grand Lodge
  • Wor. Allyn M. French, his son - DeMolay Advisor
  • Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins - Past Grand Master, a Banker
  • Bro. William R. Pepin - Dentist
  • Bro. Samuel A. Dibbins - Surgeon
  • Wor. Charles F. Edlund - Past Master, Ritualist superb. Educator
  • Bro. Arthur Peters - Architect for Wamesit's Temple

On the brighter side we have had two Worshipful Masters who were able to raise their respective sons to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason — a very inspiring privilege. They were Wor. George Mamalis - son John; and Right Worshipful Max Ludwig, Jr. - son Robert.

In 1968 a Service Committee was set up with a Chairman. There was an appeal for two sub-chairmen, a secretary, 5 assistants and 25 associates. The record does not show any further information thereon. I wonder if it was successful. It was an ambitious plan anyway.

It is interesting to note that all of the Rectors of St. Anne's Episcopal Church have been Chaplains of Kilwinning, starting with the Reverend Theodore Edson, a Charter Member of Kilwinning Lodge. So far there have been only six rectors.

In 1972 the Lodge dues were raised from $ 11.00 to $15.00 per year and then again in 1983 they were increased to $20.00 per year. In 1979 the Initiation Fee was raised to $75.00 of which $5.00 was for Grand Lodge, $5.00 for the George Washington Memorial in Alexandria, VA, $5.00 for the Masonic Home and $60.00 for Kilwinning.

A reception was held by the Lodge when Right Worshipful Calvin A. Burger was elected Senior Grand Warden of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Similarly, a reception was held for Right Worshipful Max Ludwig, Jr., when our Brother was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Lowell 12th Masonic District. At the conclusion of his two-year term a recognition dinner was held for Max at which time he was presented a lapel pin and a picture album representing his two years of service.

Many of our Brethren have been active in Scottish Rite and York Rite Masonry and are also active in the Shrine.

In 1969 a donation of $ 1,000.00 was given to the Masonic Home for infirmary furniture. Another donation was made through the Masonic Service Association that went to our Kilwinning Brother, Roland "Tutt" Robbins, a missionary in Mexico.

Some of our Past Masters have also served as Officers of the 32nd Lodge of Instruction, most recently, Wor. Miles C. Corbin.

Our ladies were not forgotten over the years. Several Ladies Nights have been held at the Acacia Club in Dracut or at the Speare House that involved a good dinner and some form of entertainment. One evening the Chelmsford Players performed "The Moon Is Blue"; another evening had a hypnotist; others had dancing.

For the past few years we have remembered the widows of our departed Brethren in this area with a Christmas fruit basket, which have been well received.

Attendance has generally been somewhat discouraging over the years. The Masters have arranged for both Masonic and non-Masonic special speakers or events to enhance their meetings and to encourage attendance with varying degrees of success, however one must try. Several outings have been arranged to attend a Red Sox ball game that have proven successful.

Kilwinning was fortunate to have Brother Michael Alexis represent us at the 32nd Lodge of Instruction contest on "The Tenets of your Profession" contest that ended up in a tie.

Wor. Robert Legrow, Sr., established the Starr Fiske Award for outstanding performance for Kilwinning Lodge. He also has issued Certificates of Appreciation for extra efforts for our Lodge. He also initiated a special 25-year lapel pin.

Currently we have a younger group of Officers, some with DeMolay experience and background, that have a great team spirit with a lot of up-and-go. They are a real inspiration to those of us who have struggeled in the past and I am sure that they^ill lead Kilwinning Lodge to greater things in our Masonic Community.

Worshipful John A. Goodwin


  • 1938 (Reduction of fees; 1938-261)



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVI, No. 6, April 1867, Page 189:

This is the appropriate historical name of the new Lodge at Lowell, constituted by the M.W. Grand Lodge on the 26th March, ultimo. The ceremonies of constitution need not be described. They wore performed by the Grand Master in his usual dignified and impressive manner. The music was admirable, and such as is rarely equalled on such occasions. The choir are entitled to great credit, both for the execution and the good taste displayed in the selection for this part of the services.

At the conclusion of the constitution of the Lodge and the installation of its officers, the brethren repaired to the banqueting-hall, where a "Table Lodge" of the olden time was opened by the W. Master in due and ancient form. The 'ceremony was now to most of the brethren present, and was, therefore, the more highly enjoyed by them. The tables were bountifully furnished and well served, as they always are when our brethren in Lowell undertake to have them so. On the removal of the cloth, the first regular toast was announced, according to the table ritual, and the speaking began, and was kept up until the hour of separation arrived. Among the speakers were the Master of the new Lodge, Grand Master Dame, P. G. Master Lewis, Moore, Deputy Grand Master Thompson, Mulliken, (S. G. W.) North, Sutton, Dean, Salmon, Hosford, Sargeant, and others. The speaking was interspersed with music selected for the occasion.

Among the incidents of the evening was the presentation of a rich and beautiful set of collars and jewels for the officers, by R.W. Br. Sutton. The jewels were designed by Br. L. L. Tarbell, and, with the collars, were manufactured under his direction. The latter were handsomely wrought with silver lace, and are not, we think, surpassed by any similar regalia in the jurisdiction. A rich Bible was also presented by Br. Wheeler, the Treasurer of the Lodge, and a square and compass by Brs. Salmon and Bradt, the Deacons.

The Lodge, as will be seen by the list of officers below, is in excellent and safe hands, and can hardly fail to hereafter hold, as it does at present, a position in the foremost rank of the Lodges in the jurisdiction. It has our best wishes for its future sucsess. The officers are as follows : —

  • Appointments.
    • Brs. William F. Salmon, Joseph G. Bradt, Deacons.
    • Brs. John M. Percy, J. W. B. Shaw, Stewards.
    • Rev. Theodore Edson, Chaplain.
    • Br. Henry II. Wilder, Marshal.
    • Br. Eby W. Hoyt, Sentinel.
    • Br. E. B. Howe, Organist.
  • Elected.
    • William S. Gardner, W. M.
    • Charles Morrill, S. W.
    • Hocum Hosford, J. W.
    • Albert Wheeler, Treasurer.
    • Charles A. Kendall, Secretary.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVI, No. 8, June 1867, Page 250:

Kilwinning Lodge, Lowell, Mass., April.

At the first regular communication of Kilwinning Lodge, the following resolutions, reported by a committee, were unanimously adopted : —

  • Whereas, in the boundless generosity of his heart, and with the magnanimity characteristic of his nature, R.W. Br. William Sutton has presented to Kilwinning Lodge a complete and magnificent set of officers' Jewels; and,
  • Whereas, by this munificent act the brethren of Kilwinning Lodge arc placed under a debt of gratitude which they are deeply sensible can repaid, therefore, —
  • Resolved, That the unanimous and sincere thanks of the members of Kilwinning Lodge are hereby most cordially tendered to R.W. Br. Sutton for these elegant, appropriate, and useful gifts ; and that it is by them considered a special honor that these, tokens of personal regard should come from one so distinguished for masonic acquirements and private worth, for eminent services and fidelity to the craft, and for the constant and unwearied exemplification of Masonic interest.
  • Resolved, That we will ever hold him in grateful memory whose sympathies in our behalf, and whose earnest wishes for our success, have been thus signally manifested; and that, while we are constantly reminded by these beautiful emblems of the peculiar duties of our positions in the Lodge, we will all gather fresh incentives to faithful exertion in labor, both as Masons and men, by cherishing, in perpetual remembrance, the liberal donor of these valuable mementos of esteem, typical as they at once become, both of friendship and Masonic duty.
  • Resolved, That while we shall continually endeavor to lay the corner-stone of our spiritual building with the Gauge and the Gavel of Truth, to erect its walls in accordance with the Plumb, the Level, and the Square, and to connect the whole by the bonds of Brotherly Love, we will never cease to hope and pray that, upon our friend, brother, and benefactor, the richest of Heaven's blessings may daily be bestowed, and that, as years gather upon him, they may bring continual happiness and honor, until, at the appointed time, he shall be called from labor to peaceful rest by the summons of the Grand Master above.

S. W. Stevens,
H. Hosford,
B. C. Sargeant,


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. X, No. 1, April 1886, Page 28:

On the evening of March 29th, 1885, the third degree was conferred in Kilwinning Lodge on Brother Henry Bartlett, son of W. Bro. C. E. A. Bartlett, Fast Master of a sister lodge, and grandson of W. Bro. Isaac Cooper, of another sister lodge, but all of the city of Lowell. The work was performed by W. Hiram J. Smith, Master and his associates of Kilwinning Lodge in a very impressive manner, and was witnessed by a large number of brethren, who felt more than a passing interest in the occasion. The father and grandfather had achieved a good reputation in Freemasonry, and in many ways have shown it their attachment. The son has had the best educational advantages, and begins his Masonic life with rare privileges. One of the speakers of the evening, Rev. Bro. Seward, happily referred to the event as illustrating "Youth, Manhood, and Age," and thereupon he spoke in his highly acceptable manner. It is quietly known that this lodge guards its business very closely, but this knowledge having come to the ears of the Liberal Freemason, is now carefully told to the readers thereof. We do most heartily congratulate the father and grand father who were present, and the son for the good fortune of his youth.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. X, No. 9, December 1886, Page 283:

Let it be understood that the lodge here referred to is Kilwinning, of Lowell, under the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The name is so eminently historic in the annals of Masonry, that it is always a popular one among Freemasons; and in this instance we can speak from personal observation and say that membership and name each complements the other. This lodge avoids publicity to such an extent that we shall be careful not to exceed its practice in this direction, and this will prevent personal references in this notice.

Its observance of St. Andrew's Day is a custom, and on Nov. 30th last about one hundred brethren participated. At six o'clock in the afternoon the lodge was formally opened for the transaction of business, after which it opened as a Lodge of Entered Apprentices. At seven o'clock a procession was formed and marched to the banquet hall, where a hot dinner was served, in courses, the tables meanwhile being under the care of volunteer serving brethren. The Master and invited guests occupied the head table, the brethren taking places in line on the columns of the West and South, under the senior and junior wardens respectively. During the evening toasts were drank after a ritualistic form, peculiar to the lodge, and the speakers were introduced by the Master, who might call on one or several under any general toast. Altogether it was the most unique Masonic banquet we have attended; we have seen similar services, but none so fully carried out. The lodge was opened during all the services, and when it was closed the feast ended. We are under obligations to Master and members for a very enjoyable and truly masonic occasion.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 4, January 1908, Page 140:

Kilwinning Lodge, Lowell, Mass., observed St. Andrew's Night November 30, in accordance with its usual custom, by a banquet. Several distinguished Masons were present as guests. The unique and impressive table program was carried out in the customary manner. Among the speakers were: Wor. Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Marshal, who Spoke for the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; Rev. Bro. Caleb E. Fisher, Chaplain, who responded to the sentiment, "St. Andrew"; R. W. Frederick W. Sawyer, D. G. M. of the grand lodge of New Hampshire; R. W. Harvey N. Shepard, past D. G. M. of the Grand Lodge of Mass.; Wor. Frederick W. Farnham, mayor of Lowell; Wor. and Rev. Josiah L. Seward, honorary member of Kilwinning Lodge; and Charles E. Bartlett, Junior Warden of the lodge whose remarks were especially appreciated as indicative of the high quality of the brethren who have the interest of the lodge in charge. Brother William M. Jones, Senior Warden, presented to the Master of the lodge, Wor. Bro. George H. Taylor, a past master's jewel, which was received with words of graceful appreciation.

It is customary at these banquets to call the roll of till the members, including those who have passed away during the year. Alter the roll call. R. W. Solon W. Stevens, who has performed the duty many years, spoke of those who have gone on. in terms of loving regard. There were 165 at the banquet and each menu was lettered in colors with the name of the guest or member for whom it was intended. It is interesting to note that out of six charier members, four were present: Brothers Charles A. Stott, Solon W. Stevens, Julian V. Keyes and Charles H. Coburn. R. W. Arthur G. Pollard, honorary member, was present, as were the following worshipful brethren: Harry G. Pollard, Wor. Master of Ancient York Lodge: Amos F. Hill, Wor. Master of William North Lodge: Frank W. Hall, Wor. Master of Pentucket Lodge; William H. Glover, Wor. Master of Phoenician Lodge and Charles A. Bodwell, Wor. Master of Saggahew Lodge. Brother Lucius A. Derby was also seated as a guest. The committee in charge was: Wor. Brothers Frank L. Weaver, Horace S. Bacon and Edward Ellingwood. Altogether it was pronounced the most successful of the 41 annual feasts of St. Andrew's by Kilwinning. We may add in conclusion that no one can ever appreciate the full enjoyment of these feasts who has not been a participant.




1867: District 7 (Lowell)

1883: District 11 (Lowell)

1911: District 12 (Lowell)

1927: District 12 (Lowell)

2003: District 12


Massachusetts Lodges