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  • 12/27/1866: VII-138; Hall dedication reported in the Grand Master's Address at the Feast of St. John. (held 05/30/1866; see description below).
  • 12/11/1872: 1872-205; Hall dedication reported in the Grand Master's Address at the December Quarterly. (held 05/31/1872; see below).



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVI, No. 8, May 1857, Page 242:

During the last year, the Brethren of St. Paul's Lodge, in conjunction with the Gate of the Temple Lodge, have made extensive alterations in the above building, refitting and decorating it with exquisite taste.

The most noticeable features, are the canopy and fresco work. The canopy is made of rich crimson velvet of tasteful design and drapery, with the proper insignia embroidered in gold. The whole fabric is graceful and elegant, arid hangs from the ceiling to the floor; at the back of the structure is a finely executed rising sun, blended with soft clouds, the whole forming a beautiful and appropriate design.

The ceiling is laid out in panels of subdued and harmonious colors, with artistical designs, judiciously placed. The walls are paneled in blue — as appropriate for Master's Lodges.

The four explanatory pictures used in a particular Degree, are of magnitude, and painted directly on the walls, occupying the space from ceiling to floor. The first picture, the Temple and Porch, is executed in encaustic, and displays great taste and judgment in design and coloring. Indeed it is rarely, if ever, a picture of such merit and finish can be seen out of a gilt frame.

The majestic building, with its columns and pilasters, is seen in the distance; its colossal dome — gilded by the rays of a setting sun, and in bold relief to a warm oriental sky. The tesselated pavement, and the brazen pillars in the foreground, with their highly ornamented chapiters and pommels, are skillfully drawn and carefully shaded, with taste and correctness.

The next picture covers 150 square feet, and is a most difficult and successful piece of drawing in linear perspective. It represents a Masonic Chamber near the vestibule of the Temple, — the well known winding steps leading up almost to the top of the audience apartment. Each step is a study by itself.

The Orders of Architecture most revered by Masons, stand free in the foreground; the lights and shades of these architectural beauties cannot be excelled. So cunningly arranged is this composition, and so artful the combination of colors, that the most careful and steady gaze is required in the visitor to decide whether it is a real chamber, or produced by the deceptive brush of the Artist.

The next picture is an outside door of full size, and one can hardly refrain attempting to push it open. The fourth and last of the series — the subject is understood by all Masons - is a masterly design and well executed. The management of the light and perspective, the treatment of the whole subject, and the facility by which a candidate can recognize the 'work' as he proceeds, are apparent.

Whether viewed from six feet, or twenty, the effect is the same. Unlike the ordinary frescos, it does not require "distance to lend enchantment," but more like a parlour picture, than a frescoed wall.

The whole of the decorations reflect much credit on the committee, but more especially Bro. William Shiitz — a member of Gate of the Temple Lodge, — whose designs and artistic skill have stamped him as an artist of the highest order.

The Brethren of both Lodges testify to his character as an upright man, and a good Mason. It is doubtful whether another Lodge under this jurisdiction, can display such designs for magnitude, correctness, and beauty, as are to be found in the above Lodge-room.

Both Lodges are in a healthy state, under the government of Wor. Brothers Eichard M. Barker and Thos. Hill, Jr.

Country Lodges, who meditate decorating their Halls, will find in Bro. Shiitz a true artist, and a gentleman, and his suggestions will be found valuable with reference to Masonic appropriateness and designs. His taste and education in colors, have secured for him the adornment of our city library, which is to be enriched in encaustic, by his pencil.

W. J. R.


From Masonic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 6, April 1864, Page 285:

The geographical situation of our Brethren in South Boston strongly tends to build them up into a distinct Masonic community. Their peninsular position separates them from the city of Boston proper, and the consequence is the development of a community of interests between those two thriving lodges, Gate of the Temple, and St. Paul's, which is greatly strengthened by their Chapter organization. The Order in South Boston has greatly increased numerically within late years, and it has become a necessity of the membership resident in that portion of the city, to demand larger and more appropriate accommodations. This want led to the origination of an enterprise which promises to erect at an early day, for the use of our South Boston Brethren, a Masonic Temple, which for proportions and beauty shall prove no disgrace to them, but on the contrary their honor and pride. The requisite funds . were subscribed, and the site purchased some months ago. The structure will be raised on the spot occupied by St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, on Broadway. Operations are to commence early in the coming Spring.

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXV, No. 9, July 1866, Page 281:


Our enterprising and zealous brethren at South Boston, composing St. Paul's, Gate-of-the-Temple, and Adelphi Lodges, to which have recently been added St. Matthew's Chapter and St. Omer Encampment, having recently fitted up for their mutual accommodation one of the most beautiful and convenient Halls in the State, the ceremony of dedication was performed by the M. W. Grand Lodge on Wednesday evening, the 30th of May last, in the presence of as large a number of the brethren of these different bodies as the Hall could accommodate. The officers of the Grand Lodge were escorted into the Hall by a committee under the marshalship of Fast Master Richard M. Barker, and were handsomely received by W. Br. Charles H. White, Master of St. Paul's Lodge, who had been invited by the associate Lodges to preside on the occasion, the duties of which appointment he discharged with admirable tact and ability. The ceremonies were in accordance with the ritual, and were performed by M. W. Grand Master Charles C. Dame with his usual good taste, and in an impressive manner. The music, on which much of the effec tiveness of the ceremony depends, was of the very highest order; the solos especially were delivered in a surpassingly beautiful and effective style. The lessons were read by the Rev. Br. Dadmun, one of the Chaplains of the Grand Lodge.

At the conclusion of the services in the Hall, the officers of the several bodies, with the Grand Lodge and invited guests, were escorted to the banqueting room, where they spent a very agreeable hour. Short speeches were made by the presiding Master, the M. W. Grand Master, Past Grand Master Dr. Lewis, Brothers Moore, Sutton, Dadmun, Cheney, Apollonio, and others.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVI, No. 8, May 1872, Page 274:

The Grand Lodge held a special communication at South Boston on Friday the 31st of May, for the purpose of dedicating the new Masonic apartments of St. Paul's, Gate-of-the-Temple, Adelphi, and Rabboni Lodges. "We were personally prevented being present, but learn that the ceremonies were performed by M. W. Grand Master Nickerson with his usual good taste and impressiveness, in which he was assisted by a full delegation of the Officers of the Grand Lodge.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies the company were invited to the banqueting hall, and sat down to a bountiful and elegantly spread banquet prepared by our most popular caterer, Bro. J. B. Smith. The viands having been disposed of, brief speeches were made by Bros. Nickerson, Everett, Cheever, Parkman, Titus, Dean, Wright - and Thompson, of the Grand Lodge, and others.

The building in which the halls are, is pleasantly and conveniently located, and the apartments are all tastefully finished and ornamented, and are admirably well adapted to the purposes for which they are to be used. We congratulate our Brethren of South Boston on their new accommodations, and their present flourishing condition.