MERIDIAN SUN LODGE
Location: North Brookfield
Chartered By: Otis E. Weld
Charter Date: 12/12/1894 1894-138
Precedence Date: 12/28/1893
- Sumner Holmes, 1894, 1895
- J. W. D. Fifield, 1896
- H. P. Bartlett, 1897, 1898
- Clarence E. Brown, 1899, 1900
- Harry S. Lytle, 1901, 1902
- Ernest D. Corbin, 1903
- William O. Edwards, 1904, 1905
- Herbert T. Maynard, 1906, 1907
- George O. Rollins, 1908, 1909
- Alfred Curtis Stoddard, 1910, 1911
- George H. Edwards, 1912, 1913
- Allen B. Edwards, 1914, 1915
- Ethan A. Harwood, 1916, 1917
- Herbert E. Cummings, 1918, 1919
- Windsor Smith, 1920, 1921
- Jay C. Griffith, 1922
- Clarence E. Sibley, 1923
- Colby H. Johnson, 1924, 1925
- Roy C. Varnum, 1926, 1927
- Norman S. Chadwick, 1928
- Russell H. Smith, 1929
- Ira D. Taylor, 1930
- Charles B. Thompson, 1931, 1932
- Harry B. Feldman, 1933, 1934
- Willard G. Bemis, 1935, 1936
- Alvin L. Newman, 1937, 1938
- Douglas S. Rutherford, 1939
- Donald C. Walker, 1940
- William R. Raymore, 1941, 1942
- Clarence W. Kenerson, 1943, 1944
- Raymond H. King, 1945
- Carl M. Kingsbury, 1946
- Gordon H. Bishop, 1947
- Franklin D. Hayes, 1948; SN
- Ellis E. Ingram, 1949
- Ralph E. Green, 1950
- William C. Smith, 1951
- Frank G. Spooner, 1952
- Ira W. Moulton, Jr., 1953
- Walter J. King, 1954
- Earl R. Varnum, 1955
- Clarence J. Brown, 1956
- Irving A. Nicoll, 1957
- Andrew J. Loux, Sr., 1958
- Leroy E. Canada, 1959
- Carl R. Littlefield, 1960
- Walter W. Maki, 1961
- Arthur E. Reed, 1962, 1978; N
- W. Douglas Crandall, 1963, 1977
- Stanley F. Hanson, 1964, 1982, 1983
- Lawrence S. Gordon, 1965
- Charles R. Wilson, 1966, 1967
- Oren H. Howard, 1968, 1969
- David Goddard, 1970
- Robert E. Borelli, 1971, 1972
- William L. Parsons, 1973, 1976
- Robert W. Bishop, 1974
- Wayne A. Granat, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1988
- Bruce DeMaine, 1979
- Robert R. Tremblay, 1986, 1987
- Wayne W. Burkhardt, 1989
- Leo D. Forget, 1990, 1993-1995
- Paul A. Gendreau, 1991, 1992
- John A. Scarlett, 2000
- Edward E. Wilkins, Jr., 1996-1999, 2001-2003
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Dispensation: 1894
- Petition for Charter: 1894
- Consolidation Petition (with Spencer and Hayden Lodges): 2002
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1895 (Holmes; Constitution of Lodge and installation; Special Communication)
- 1907 (Blake; see below)
- 1937 (Allen; presentations)
- 1943 (Schaefer; 50th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1973 (Vose; Corner stone laying; Special Communication)
- 1981 (Berquist; Hall dedication; Special Communication)
- 1993 (Lovering; Centenary; Special Communication)
- 2003 (Hicks; Consolidation)
- 1943 (50th Anniversary History, 1943-259; see below)
50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, DECEMBER 1943
From Proceedings, Page 1943-259:
By Worshipful George O. Rollins.
One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1793, the original Charter of the old Meridian Sun Lodge was granted and the Lodge constituted. This Lodge remained in active operation for many years. There developed, however, much opposition to Masonry among outsiders. Finally, after the Morgan Episode, the Charter was surrendered to the Grand Lodge.
There were many famous members in the original Lodge. Among the best known were General Rufus Putnam, who lived in North Brookfield for about twenty years, on what is known as Putnam Hill; Major Peter Harwood, who was Officer of the Day at the execution of Major Andre; Rufus Dodge, great-grandfather of Past Master Willard Bemis of the present Meridian Sun Lodge; Honorable Bonum Nye, who was for the last two years of his life the oldest living Mason in the United States.
In 1863 the Masons of this district petitioned for and were granted a Charter and the Lodge was located in Brookfield under the name of Hayden Lodge. Hayden Lodge is the Mother Lodge of the present Meridian Sun Lodge.
Just one hundred years after the founding of the first Meridian Sun Lodge, in 1793, forty-two Masons in North Brookfield, feeling that Hayden Lodge was too far away to reach conveniently, petitioned the Grand Lodge for a Charter and chose the name of the original Lodge of this District, Meridian Sun. Meridian Sun Lodge was constituted in 1893, with Worshipful Sumner Holmes as the first Master. This Lodge, like many others, had fat and lean years, but prospered just the same.
In 1904 a strong effort was made to have the Grand Lodge return the old Charter of the original Meridian Sun Lodge to us and our efforts were about to be rewarded when the fire in the Temple in Boston destroyed this Charter among many other relics of Masonry. Had we been granted that Charter, it would have been one of the oldest in Massachusetts.
One of the highlights of the Lodge was the joining, by dimit, of Brother Ralph Lovely, who was raised in South Africa and left that country at the outbreak of the Boer War. His diploma was very elaborate and interesting; it was signed both by King Edward of England and President Oom Paul Kruger of the Republic of South Africa.
In 1908 the Master was notified by a man in New Hampshire that he had found in an old book a Diploma issued by the original Meridian Sun Lodge to Major Peter Harwood and was asked if there were any Harwoods living in North Brookfield. There was one Harwood living here at that time, Brother Allen Harwood. He was a member of Meridian Sun Lodge and later became Master of the Lodge. The diploma was given to Brother Harwood and he was going to give it to the Lodge, but he died before passing it over and now it cannot be found.
In the 1920s several people from the North of Ireland came to town to work in the Linen Mill, and some of them were Masons. They told many interesting tales of their experiences in their own country.
Another highlight was in 1937 when the Lodge was willed the George F. Upham Fund. This enabled the Lodge to render very substantial aid to the needy.
In 1939 the Grand Master and Suite visited the Lodge and presented sixteen Past Masters with jewels.
In 1942 we lost our oldest member, Brother L. Emerson Barnes, who died at the age of one hundred years.
This is our fiftieth anniversary and of the forty-two Charter members, only two are still with us, Brother Samuel Ham of Athol and Worshipful Brother Ernest D. Corbin of North Brookfield. In the fifty years of our Lodge's life, we have had thirty Masters and nineteen of them are still living. It is interesting to note that the first Brother to be raised in the present Lodge is still with us, Brother Frank W. Foster.
We have seven members in the present war, all of them officers. Among these officers, two are Lieutenant Colonels and one is a Major.
We all hope that the next fifty years will be prosperous ones for the Lodge and that many of our present members will be here to celebrate the centennial anniversary.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Franklin D. Hayes, DDGM, District 21 (Brookfield), 1950, 1951; SN
- Arthur E. Reed, DDGM, District 21 (Brookfield), 1972, 1973; N
GRAND MASTER VISIT, MAY 1907
From New England Craftsman, Vol. II, No. 8, May 1907, Page 311:
The brethren of Meridian Sun Lodge, North Brookfield, Mass., turned out in full force at the last meeting of the lodge, Wednesday, May 1st, to welcome Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, who made a fraternal visit to the lodge on that date.
The grand master was accompanied by Wor. Warren B. Ellis, acting Junior Grand Warden, Rt. Wor. George J. Dudley, District Deputy Grand Master of the Eighteenth Masonic District, Wor. Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Marshal, Wor. Edward B. Dolliver, Wor. George H. Coolidge and Wor. Thomas T. Booth, past District Deputy Grand Masters of the 18th District. The Grand Master was cordially welcomed by Wor. Herbert T. Maynard, Master of the lodge. At the close of the meeting, which was of much interest, a banquet was served. The Most Wor. Grand Master delivered an address which was largely devoted to the subject of establishing a Masonic Home in Massachusetts. His words were accepted wilb expressions of approval and cordial interest. Other addresses were msde by Rt. Wor. George J. Dudley, Wor. Warren B. Ellis, Wor. Melvin M. Johnson, Rev. Brother William L. Walsh and by members of the lodge. In all of the addresses approval of the plan of the Grand Master for the establishment of a Masonic home was expressed.