Merrimack

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MERRIMACK LODGE

Location: Haverhill

Chartered By: Samuel Dunn

Charter Date: 06/15/1802 II-199

Precedence Date: 06/15/1802

Current Status: Active; charter inactive from 1831 to 1851


NOTES

MEMBER LIST, 1802

From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 37:

  • R. W. Ebenezer Carleton, M.
  • W. Moses Brickett, S. W.
  • W. Asaph Kendal, J. W.
  • David Morse, Tr.
  • Ruel Holden, Sec.

No. of Members, 24.

  • Michael Carlton
  • Samuel Holyoke
  • Timothy D. Burnham
  • Moses Emery
  • John Smiley
  • Thomas Cogswell
  • Nehemiah Emerson
  • William Greenleaf
  • Samuel Bartlett
  • Charles Spafford
  • Charles White
  • Samuel Hildrith

PAST MASTERS

  • Ebenezer Carleton, 1802-1803
  • Moses Brickett, 1804-1805
  • Ebenezer Gage, 1806-1812
  • Moses Wingate, 1813-1814
  • Charles White, 1815
  • David How Jr., 1816-1817
  • Rufus Longley, 1818-1827, 1842-1854
  • Daniel P. Hannon, 1827-1841
  • Elbridge G. Eaton, 1855-1857
  • Rufus Slocomb, 1858-1860
  • David B. Tenney, 1861-1863
  • Francis I. Stevens, 1864-1865
  • John J. Poor, 1866-1867
  • Edward M. Hines, 1868-1869
  • Henry O. Burr, 1870-1872
  • Joshua M. Stover, 1873-1874
  • Hazen K. Swasey, 1875-1876
  • George V. Ladd, 1877-1878
  • Dana J. Flanders, 1879-1880
  • Augustine M. Allen, 1881-1883
  • Charles M. Heath, 1884-1885
  • Edward B. George, 1886-1887; Mem
  • Charles B. Wright, 1888-1889
  • James H. Osgood, 1890-1891
  • Frank P. Stevens, 1892-1893
  • Lester B. LeGro, 1894-1895
  • William W. Roberts, 1896-1897
  • Charles H. Grover, 1898-1899
  • Nelson J. Hunt, 1900-1901 RW
  • Charles E. Durant, 1902-1903
  • Franklin Woodman, 1904-1905
  • Willie A. Trow, 1906-1907
  • Frank H. Sawyer, 1908-1910 Mem
  • Albert B. Hale, 1910-1911
  • George F. Ridgeway, 1912-1913
  • Homer L. Conner, 1914-1916
  • Edmund C. Wentworth, 1917; SN
  • Daniel C. Hunt, 1918; N
  • Evelyn L. Durkee, 1919-1920
  • Arthur H. Veasey, 1921-1922
  • Abner B. Hoyt, 1923-1924
  • Harland F. Hussey, 1925-1926
  • John A. Busfield, 1927-1928
  • Bernard L. Durgin, 1929-1930
  • Frederick S. Marshall, 1931
  • Theodore Goodrich, 1932
  • Frank A. Griffin, 1933-1934
  • Norman P. Wentworth, 1935-1936
  • Carroll E. Haseltine, 1937-1938
  • Otto R. Snow, 1939
  • W. Albert Jermyn, 1940
  • Clifford L. Bartlett, 1941-1942
  • Carroll L. Dunn, 1943-1945; N
  • Earl C. Appleby, 1946-1947
  • James R. Page, 1948
  • Carleton K. Marshall, 1949
  • Raymond H. Tefft, 1950
  • Richard S. Phillips, 1951
  • Philip E. Taylor, 1952
  • Richard W. Chase, 1953
  • Benjamin H. White, 1954
  • Wesley L. Shaw, 1955
  • John O. Widder, 1956
  • Edward L. Mitchell, 1957
  • Clifford S. Gordon, 1958
  • Sidney F. Hicks, 1959
  • Charles H. Anthony, 1960
  • Frederick R. Radcliff, 1961
  • W. Arthur Teed, 1962
  • Ralph M. Woodcock, 1963; N
  • Kingdon H. Hamilton, 1964
  • Harold L. Smith, 1965
  • Robert Eben Hudson, 1966
  • H. Louis Farmer Jr., 1967
  • Hartford H. Field, 1968
  • Henry M. Bryant, 1969
  • Charles W. Durgin, 1970
  • Frank B. Kimball, 1971
  • Charles D. Batchelder, Jr., 1972; N
  • Fred L. Hubley, 1973
  • Robert E. Andrews, 1974
  • Donald E. MacQuarrie, 1975
  • Henry L. Farmer, III, 1976
  • Gordon B. Moran, 1977
  • Richard A. Jensen, 1978
  • William J. Workman, 1979
  • David F. MacKinnon, Sr., 1980, 2004
  • Stephen L. Woodcock, 1981
  • Boris W. Migliori, 1982
  • Robert L. Atwood, 1983
  • Donald B. Culbert, 1984
  • Edwin A. Cassano, 1985
  • Charles I. Alexander IV, 1986
  • Richard A. Wildes, 1987
  • Charles E. Bergeron, 1988
  • Charles A. O’Wril Jr., 1989
  • Charles I. Alexander, IV, 1990
  • Edwin A. Cassano, 1991
  • Joseph W. Willman, 1992
  • Charles A. O’Wril, III, 1993
  • John W. Morgan, 1994
  • John J. Demmer III, 1995-1996
  • Leon K. Wendell, 1997
  • Stephen A. Sanborn, 1998
  • Bradley M. Andrews, 1999-2000
  • Robert E. Barney, 2001
  • Mark R. Boucher, 2002. 2005
  • David H. Beebe, 2003
  • Dana A. Wildes, 2006, 2011
  • Peter R. Brown, 2007-2008
  • Richard W. Pettingill, 2009
  • Neil E. Cook, 2010
  • Peter J. Greelish, 2012
  • Peter Fountas, 2013
  • Edward A. Wilkins, III, 2014
  • Adam J. Puchalski, 2015
  • Daniel J. Pierce, 2016
  • Richard J. Poor, 2017

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Charter: 1802
  • Petition for Restoration of Charter: 1851 (see note on restoration below)

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1902 (Centenary)
  • 1927 (125th Anniversary)
  • 1952 (150th Anniversary)
  • 1977 (175th Anniversary)
  • 2002 (200th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1857 1871 1873 1875 1879 1888 1894 1900 1912 1913 1917 1919 1933 1934 1944 1952 1956 1957 1958 1959 1963 1967 1968 1973 1976 1987 1988 2005 2006 2010 2012 2013

HISTORY

  • 1902 (Centenary historical address, 1902-86; not reproduced in Proceedings)
  • 1927 (125th Anniversary History, 1927-160; see below)
  • 1952 (150th Anniversary History, 1952-148; see below)
  • 1977 (175th Anniversary; Grand Master's Address)
  • 2002 (200th Anniversary Historical Address, 2002-57; not reproduced in Proceedings)

125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1927

From Proceedings, Page 1927-160:

By Bro. Forrest V. Smith.

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths,
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart throbs.

With this thought in mind I would have you go back with me in the early days in the history of Merrimack Lodge, to the days when our city was a small New England village on the banks of the Merrimack from which we took our name.

O river winding to the sea,
We call the old time back to thee;
From forest paths and water ways,
The century woven veil we raise.

The close of the Revolution found Haverhill terribly impoverished with her former industries completely prostrated. The depreciation of the currency made the price of the necessities of life exceedingly high, but the word discouragement was not spoken. By 1790 affairs had assumed a more prosperous appearance and in 1797 Haverhill was again a thriving village. Ship building was renewed with great energy, and several of our merchants were direct importers and exporters between New England, England, and the West Indies. Again the wharfs of Haverhill, with the coming and going of vessels, presented an animated spectacle. The sharp whistle of the steam tug was unknown, but vessels were towed up and down the river by horses, a tow path having been constructed on the North bank from Haverhill to Newburyport.

In other respects there were changes. Sumptuous dwellings were being built and the swine, whose meanderings about the street hud hitherto given the village a rustic air, were henceforth debarred that privilege. The great bridge across the river was completed in 1794 and considered a marvel of skill. The stage coach ran to Boston and Concord twice a week regularly. In 1802 mails were received once each day from Boston, seven hours distant, by stage route. The principal streets of out community were Water, Main, and Front, now Merrimack, with the outlying parish roads. Only two churches were established, the First Parish, on what is now known as G. A. R. Park, and the First Baptist, which occupied the site of the Academy of Music Building.

The population of the town was less than 3,000 people.

On November 4th, 1789, George Washington, President Of the United States and a Mason, visited Haverhill and took up his headquarters at Harrod's Tavern, the sign of which was a painting representing Freemason's Arms. On December 14th. 1799, he died. What could he more natural than thai those members of the Fraternity who founded Merrimack Lodge should meet in Harrod's Tavern, hallowed in their eyes by the visit of the beloved Washington, under whom many of them had served in the Revolution, and that the brotherly love and friendship which we now enjoy, the desire to perpetuate the great truths of Masonry to those who should come after, and the wish to keep fresh in their minds the knowledge of the ritual should have been born in this place. We learn that the members of the Fraternity met together frequently under the name of the Masonic Society, but that no minutes were kept of any of these meetings until June 10, 1802 when it is recorded that a vote was passed to petition the Grand Lodge for a Charter. This was granted on June 16th, 1802, and Merrimack Lodge was constituted June 9th, 1803, in the Rev. Mr. Abbott's Meeting House.

The twelve original petitioners arc as follows: Ebenezer Carlton, the First Master of the Lodge, was a resident of Bradford. Received his degrees in Winnsboro Lodge, Winnsboro, S. C. in 1793. He spent his life on the farm in Bradford. dying September 21, 1835, and is buried in the old Cemetery, but has no stone to mark his last resting place.

  • Moses Brickett, the First Senior Warden and Master in 1804 and 1806, was born in Haverhill, the son of Dr. James and Ednah Merrill Brickett. Dr. Brickett as he was called by the townspeople is better known in the history of New England as General James Brickett, who was also a member of Merrimack Lodge and died December 14, 1818.
  • Asaph Kendall, the First Junior Warden, was a resident of Haverhill and a tavern keeper, his tavern having the distinction of being the place in which the First Universalist Society in Haverhill and its vicinity was formed in 1823. No record of where he received his degrees.
  • William Greenleaf, the First Senior Deacon, was a resident of Haverhill, enlisting as a private in 1776 in the Continental Army, commissioned a Lieutenant, and returned to his home in 1783. He was at the battles of Governor's Island, Harlem Heights, the surrender of Burgoyne, and the retreat from Long Island. He also kept a tavern on Merrimack Street where the Chase Block now stands. No record of degrees.
  • John Smiley, the First Junior Deacon, was born in Dracut. February 8, 1773, his family later moving to Haverhill; he married Priscilla Chase April 19, 1814. No record of degrees.
  • I have been unable to find anything about Michael Carlton, the first Tyler, or about Ruel Holden, the First Secretary.
  • David Morse, the First Treasurer, was a resident of Haverhill and one of those who marched on the alarm April 19, 1775. No record of degrees.
  • Nehemiah Emerson received his degrees in Washington Lodge No. 10, an Army Lodge, and was Treasurer in 1803. He also marched on the alarm April 19, 1775 as a private and rose to the rank of Captain. He was at Hunker Hill. Valley Forge, at Burgoyne's surrender, and was one of the guards at the execution of André. He lived on the South side of Winter Street nearly opposite the Free Will Baptist church. Died December 11, 1832.
  • Francis Carr marched on the memorable morning of April 19, is spoken of in Chase's History as Captain Francis Carr, was on the first committee to inspect schools. Representative in the General Court 1802 and 1803.
  • Samuel Bartlett I think was a resident of Bradford, often times called Captain.
  • I can find nothing relating to Charles Spofford.

We are exceedingly fortunate in having the original records of the Lodge in a wonderful slate of preservation, and upon examination we find the Lodge passed a vote of thanks to Brother David Morse for his kindness in advancing the money for the Charier. We started in very humble circumstances. The Secretary was allotted $10.00 annually for his services and his nightly fees, but in the following July it was voted to purchase three tickets in the Rhode Island Masonic Hail Lottery for the benefit of the Lodge. There is no record of any benefit received. This was in 1803 when eighteen candidates were raised. The regular meeting night was the Thursday preceding the full moon, but should the moon full on Thursday that was to be considered as the regular night.

By-Laws were adopted which have been altered From time to time bb we grew and conditions changed.

The first candidates were Charles White and Thomas Cogswell, both of whom were accepted.

On Saturday, May 23, 1807, a brig was launched in one of the yards in the village and a party of men employed in the yard assisted in getting it down the river. They were returning the next day in a scow and when a short distance above Rocks Bridge, in the midst of one of the most violent New England storms ever known, the boat ran under and capsized. Six out of the eleven men were drowned, among them being Benjamin Cole, the first member of Merrimack Lodge to pass to that undiscovered country. He was buried on Sunday. May 25th, with Masonic honors.

During the years 1807 to the beginning of the war of 1812 the number of candidates admitted was few. On two evenings there not being a sufficient number present to transact business the Master closed the Lodge and on the evening of June 18th so few Brothers were present that the Master did not open.

In 1813 and 1814 twenty-two members were admitted and during these two years appear the only items that refer to the war with England These were the raising of Lieutenant Aaron Lewis and a letter received by the Master inquiring about the welfare of George Gilliard, a prisoner of war on parole in Andover.

During the year 1815 twelve white leather aprons were purchased and in the same year it was voted to notify Dr. Daniel Brickett that the hall could not be used after June, as the Lodge was to meet iii the hall over the Merrimack Bank, at the Junction of Water Street and Colby's Lane, now Stage Street, but that all glass broken in Dr. Brickell's Hall would be put in repair. From this we are led to believe thai the first meeting .place of the Lodge was in Assembly Hall, on the northerly aide of Water Street at its junction with what is now known as Lindel Street, as this was the property of Dr. Brickett and the site of the Brickett Homestead. From 1815 to 1818 we occupied the hall over the bank, at a yearly rental of $30.00, later returning to Assembly Hall, which was occupied until about 1886. That the members were not content with their meeting place is manifested by the number of Committees appointed to examine other halls, all unsuccessful in their quest.

On June 24th, 1814, was the first meeting for the pur
pose of celebrating the Festival of St. John the Evangel
ist. There were eleven officers and twenty-seven members 
present, together with a respectable number of visiting
 Brothers, too numerous, as the Secretary says, to record. The Lodge was opened at eleven o'clock in the forenoon. The Marshal formed a procession in Masonic order, which proceeded, with solemn music, to the Rev. Mr. Dodge's Meeting House. The desk was decorated with evergreen and in front was the word Charity in large letters made from white roses. The services opened with an anthem, then the Throne of Grace was addressed in a solemn and pathetic manner by the Rev. Bro. William Batchelder, a psalm was read, after which an appropriate discourse was delivered by the Rev. Bro. Hubbard in the presence of a very crowded house. The Throne of Grace was again addressed by the Rev. Bro. Hale in an able and interesting prayer after which a psalm was sung and the benediction pronounced. The Marshal again formed the procession and returned to the hall. At half past two o'clock
 in the afternoon the profession again formed and proceeded to a bower erected for the occasion on the training field, now the Common, where the Brethren of the Craft, about one hundred in number, and a number of the Clergy partook of an excellent entertainment. At five o'clock they returned to the hall. St. John's Day has continued to be observed by the different Masonic bodies down through the years, varying only in the form of its observance.

On June 3, 1819, it was voted to procure a set of candle sticks which were used for the first time in the following October. In that month twenty-five linen aprons were purchased as was also the furniture proper for the Lodge.

On February 14, 1822, a petition was received from certain Brethren of Andover asking the approbation of the Lodge to enable them to secure a Charter. Approval was granted and St. Matthew's Lodge was duly chartered December 11th, 1822. Of the twenty-six charter members eighteen were made Masons in Merrimack Lodge.

On January 28th, 1823, the Lodge received the thanks of Warren Lodge, of Amesbury, for recommending them to the Grand Lodge, through which means the obtained a Charter.

On August 23, 1825, a petition was received from several Brethren in Methuen asking us to recommend them to the Grand Lodge for a Charter. The petition was at once granted and on December 14th, 1825, Grecian Lodge, now of Lawrence, was chartered at Methuen. At least three of its Charter members received their degrees in Merrimack Lodge, We pursued the even tenor of our way until the year 1828 when there broke upon the Nation what is known as the Anti-Masonic Period with which you are all more or less familiar. In 1827 we admitted ten 
members, in 1828 one, and Eben Bradley, in 1829, was the
 last member until after the reorganization.

I am going to quote from the historical address of the Rev. Oliver S. Butler, delivered at the twenty-fifth an adversary of Charles C. Dame Lodge, of Georgetown, in 1892.

"This was the must perilous epoch in the history of Freemasonry in New England, and right well did our Brethren suffer and succeed. It may be Interesting to the younger members of the Craft to know that the Masons of Georgetown and vicinity shared in the conflict and triumphs of that stormy crusade. In 1828, when the storm was at its height, a call was issued to all Masons in this vicinity inviting them to meet for mutual consultation at the house of Mr. Sewell Spofford, who received his degree in Merrimack Lodge in 1813. This was in main respects the must important meeting Masonry ever held in this vicinity and lint few of the most daring of OUT Brethren responded, finding their way to the house singly and by circuitous routes under cover of the darkness. The meeting continued all night and was deeply interesting. The following Master Masons were present: Dr. Longley, Master of Merrimack Lodge, of Haverhill; Dr. Johnson, Master of St. Mark's Lodge, of Newburyport ; David Gray, Master of St. Matthew's Lodge, of Andover; Judge Marston, of Newburyport, and about thirty others whose names we have been unable to obtain, some of them Coming from Danvers and Salem. At this session I new degree was instituted sailed the Rebound Degree by which these Brethren bound themselves together by solemn vows, that after every other secret vow and right had been surrendered to their enemies, this one should remain sacred and inviolate."

On October 8th, 1828, R. W. John Cook, D. D. G. M. visited Merrimack Lodge, but on Nov. 17th, 1830 at a special meeting called for the purpose of receiving a visit from the D. D. G. M. agreeable to his appointment, he could not be found in the town.

On March 15th, 1832, a committee of three was ap
pointed to see if we could not be better accommodated with
 a room in which to hold our meetings. The Committee re
ported that a room could be had over the bank for $30.00 per year. After some debate the Lodge voted the same committee power to give $25.00 per year and report its doings at the next meeting.

Charles White was been in Haverhill Nov. 12, 1770. He was for many years a notable figure in local affairs, serving as Colonel in the Militia, Representative to the General Court, and as the local magistrate. He owned the building now standing at White's Corner, which is named after him. He was an officer in the Lodge for a period of twenty-three years, being its Master in 1815. He died December 30, 1853, and was buried in Pentucket Cemetery. The annual mooting In October, 1825, was held at Mr. Charles White's office.

January 28, 1836, a committee of five was chosen to take into consideration the expediency of dividing the funds of the Lodge and in October of the same year the Committee made the following report :—

"That owing to the standing of the order of Freemasonry at the present time in consequence of the violent and abusive measures put in operation against it for several years by numerous portions of the community your committee is of the opinion that it is expedient that the funds of the Lodge be disposed of in the following man
ner: —

First — That one half of said funds be distributed in charity by a committee to be chosen for that purpose to such Brothers, widows or orphans as said Committee shall deem most needy and worthy.

Second - That the remainder of said funds be divided equally among the present members of said Lodge.

Third —That the division and distribution shall be made as soon as the amount of the funds can be conveniently ascertained."

January 1842, it was voted that the jewels and badges of the Lodge be given to the respective officers – that the three chairs of the Lodge be given one to each of the following officers - Charles White, Rufus Longley, and Samuel Johnson —Lodge Bible to Rufus Slocomb, the three large brass candlesticks to he kept by Samuel .Johnson, and a committee was appointed to dispose of the furniture. December 13, 1843, at a meeting at the home of David P. Harmon it was voted that Merrimaek Lodge be dissolved and that the Charter lie returned to the Grand Lodge.

Rufus Longley was made a Mason in the Lodge in 1815 and was its Master from 1817 to 1826, also from its reorganization in 1852 until his death in 1854. He was educated at Lawrence Academy, Groton, Harvard Collage for two years, graduating from the Medical School at Dartmouth in 1812. He became one of the leading practitioners in this vicinity. He was a public spirited man, whose interest in the affairs of the town was always active 
and whose sympathy and counsel were wise and stimulat
ing. He was President of the Merrimack Bank for man
y years. His home was at the corner of Water and Green Streets, where he died March 12, 1854, and was buried in
 Pentucket Cemetery with Masonic honors, the Lodge being assisted by members of St. John's and Grecian Lodges A page is dedicated to his memory on the records of St. John's Lodge.

Albert L. Bartlett, in his book Some Memories of Old Haverhill, speaks of Rufus Slocomb, who was Master of Merrimack Lodge from 1859 to 1861, in the following manner: "Old Sloe" who earlier kept a tavern on Merrimack Street a short distance West of Main Street and who before the coming of the railroad was a freighter of goods to and from Boston, began business in 1818 and in 1835 kept forty horses and two yoke of oxen constantly employed in his business and his large covered wagons literally lined the road from Haverhill to Boston. In his old age he could dance like a cotillion master and he had a shrill, raucous voice, which like that of Whitefield the apostle of Methodism, could be heard a mile. Small, thin, he was full of intensity and activity, and with a grim sense of humor and unfearing determination be played no trifling part in the history of the town.

David Porter Harmon was Master of Merrimack Lodge from 1827 to 1852. He was one of the pioneer shoe manufacturers of the City: an ardent abolitionist, man of deep convictions and of great courage.

We had had no candidates for fourteen years, yet our ancient Brethren continued to meet, to listen to the lectures, and observe the ancient Landmarks and customs of the order; they had borne the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, they had passed through the period that had sifted the chaff from the wheat, and now as a matter of expediency were obliged to lay down their working tools and dim their lights, hut they did not extinguish them, for there burnt within the heart of each of those honorable gentlemen a light which only death can extinguish and which I am pleased to think sent its rays across the short space of eight years and revealed that structure of which they and those who followed are the builders and which will endure till time shall be no more.

In 1851 a petition praying for the restoration of the Charter of the Lodge was laid before the Grand Lodge, being signed by the following Brethren:

  • Rufus Longley
  • Elbridge B. Eaton
  • John Brickett
  • Timothy J. Goodrich
  • Isaac Harding
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Nathaniel Currier
  • Rufus Slocomb
  • James Ayer
  • John Ayer

  • Charles White

The petition was at once granted and the Charter restored on November 9th, 1851. A year from that date the first meeting was held and Rufus Longley was elected Worshipful Master. On March 16th, 1853, he was installed with the other officers by David Porter Harmon. The meeting place was in a hall, afterwards known as Odd Fellows Hall, over the vestry of the Centre Church on Vestry Street. It was occupied for about five years. Within a year twelve members were admitted and from that time on the Lodge has made honorable and steady 
progress. The meeting night was changed from Thurs
day to Wednesday and on Jan. 20th, 1853, the services of the Grand Lecturer were engaged and the entire evening
 spent on perfecting the ritual of the first and second
 degrees. Each year brought more members to us and
 an air of achievement and prosperity is noted. Suits 
were purchased for the candidates, costing $7.65, a musical instrument and suitable regalia were bought, the money being raised by subscription. A portrait of Washington was presented to the Lodge by Bro. Ward B. Haseltine, whose father was a member in 1803. It was painted by the grandson of William Haseltine and now hangs in the committee room of Masonic Temple.

In 1857 we were again attacked with growing pains and a committee was appointed to lease and prepare Masonic Hall on the west side of Fleet Street. it being the building now occupied by the Twentieth Century Bakery. The alley on the North side is still known as Masonic Court. A willingness on the part of the members to do any part of the work is manifest from the records and on the evening of November 28th, 1858, the officers were installed in the new hall by R. W. William North, D. D. G. M. for the Third Masonic District who spoke of how fortunate we were in having a pleasant a place for Masonic use. He was followed by Bro. George E. Chase who alluded to the long and faithful service of some of the past officers, particularly mentioning Worshipful Brother Elbridge G. Eaton, who had been for thirty-one years in one of the principal stations of the Lodge always being found promptly and faithfully at his post and Bro. John Edwards, forty-three rears s Mason, forty-one years an officer in this Lodge, sixteen of then as Secretary. A tribute of respect and gratitude was paid to several Brothers, the youngest of whom had been true to his Masonic trust for twenty-nine years, more than a quarter of a century, and not one of whom had faltered when the fires of persecution swept like a blasting simoon across the Masonic horizon.

In 1859 Elbridge G. Eaton was presented with a Master's Jewel. I think this was the beginning of that custom which has meant so much to the Masters and members of the Lodge. In the same year we learn from the Secretary's report that in the seven years since reorganization but one member had died, five members had withdrawn their membership, two on account of advancing age and three because they were going to leave the jurisdiction. He estimated that the expenses the coming year would be $277, that the minimum probable income would 
approximate $805, leaving a surplus of $28.00.


It is unfortunate that there is no record of our members who served in the Civil War and that archives reveal only the names of those who at the time of their application gave their occupation as "soldier."

Many instances are given wherein the Lodge received Dispensation to receive, craft, and raise a candidate upon one and the same evening. On August 11th. 1862, the Lodge met for the purpose of attending the funeral of Brother Watson S, Williams who died from wounds received at the Battle of Antietam.

We were invited to unite with the citizens at the reception of the 5th Regiment, the local company of which was commanded by Captain Carlos P. Messer, afterwards Colonel of the 50th Regiment, who joined the Lodge in 1862.

Tuesday, August 11th, 1863, I find the following entry in the diary of David B. Tenney who was Master from 1861 in 1864:

"Heard from the 50th Regiment several times this day. In the evening a procession was formed consisting of the Fire Department and band and went to the depot. At 9:30 the train arrived, having on board Companies F, G, and K, just returned from Port Hudson. A great deal of enthusiasm was manifested but no procession was formed and the soldiers went to their homes quietly with their friends.

"On the evening of August 19th, went to a special meeting of the Lodge. Members of the 50th Regiment who were present were as follows; Brothers Poor, Roberts, Tuck, Tozier, Stover, Sargent, Wallace, and Johnson."

A seal belonging to Mt. Moriah Lodge, of Port Hudson, was presented to the Lodge for safe keeping by Brother Henry H. Johnson.

On September 2nd, 1863, we find the following at the close of the Secretary's report : "After an hour of friendly and social intercourse with our returned Brethren from the Army, we dispersed in peace and harmony."

I quote from the report of the finance committee for the same year, "in behalf of ourselves and the Lodge, we would express the most devout thankfulness to the Great First Cause for our freedom from sickness and although a large number of our members have been exposed to the hardships of war, only one has been taken."

A bright spot in the midst of the dark and trying days of the war was the visit of Brother Chas. H. Stratton, General Tom Thumb, on the evening of September 24th, 1863. He was probably the smallest Mason the world has ever known and possessed a complete regalia for the Lodge, Chapter, and Commandery. W..M. Tenney says: "I rode over to the hotel in the hack with him. He invlted me to go in and have something but I didn't."

On December 3rd, 1868, George B. Collins, age 24, occupation soldier, was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. June 18th, 1864, he was killed at the Battle of Petersburg and the following April a letter was received from his mother requesting the assistance of the Lodge in recovering the body of her son that he might be interred in his native place.

We received many applications for waivers thai citizens within the jurisdiction of the Lodge absent in the service of their country might receive their degrees in Army Lodges or in Lodges in the places of occupation of the Northern Armies, On the page dedicated to the Memory of William H. Turner, who became a member of the Lodge in 1865, a note appears that be received his degrees in an Army Lodge, the first two in a Rebel Lodge-room. He was the first Chief of the Fire Department after Haverhill had become a City and it is most fitting that the present chief should also be a member of Merrimack Lodge. On October 14th, 1864, we attended the Laying of the corner-stone of the Masonic Temple at Boston with fifty-two members of the Lodge, fifty-two members of the Encampment as escort, and the Haverhill Cornet Band of seventeen pieces.

Thai we may continue the assurance and perhaps the inspiration to keep the standard of the work of Merrimack Lodge at a point of efficiency that is worthy of Its past, it is well to remember that during the last year of the war M. W. William Parkman, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, who happened to be in town, visited us informally, complimenting the officers on the work of the third degree and the manner in which it was performed.

i)n January 4th, 1865, a petition was received signed by twenty-seven members of Merrimack Lodge requesting dimits for the purpose of forming a new Lodge in Haverhill, to be known as Saggahew Lodge. The request was granted and on December 13th, 1865, Saggahew received her Charter. May we always walk along the level of time shoulder to shoulder, striving for the same goal in peace and harmony.

On April 19th of the same year the following appears in the Secretary's records, "Special Communication of Merrimack Lodge met in the Armory. On account of the death of our President, Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated. no work was done."

On February 6th, 1867, the following petition was received from the Brethren of Georgetown. "We, the undersigned free and accepted Masons in Georgetown and vicinity, respectfully apply to the Master. Wardens and members of Merrimack Lodge of Haverhill for permission to work the degrees in Georgetown." Permission was at once granted and on April 5th, 1867 a Dispensation was granted by Charles C. Dame, Grand Master, after whom the Lodge was named. The Charter is dated December 26, 1867. The three chairs for the first three officers of the Lodge were presented to Charles C. Dame Lodge by the members of Merrimack Lodge. Of the thirty-four petitioners for Charles C. Dame Lodge, fifteen received their degrees in Merrimack Lodge.

The years that followed saw the first and only meeting for the benefit of aged Brothers, the dedication of the Soldiers Monument in which the Masons played an important part, and for the third and perhaps the last time a renewed agitation for new quarters. On October 25, 1869, with the city decorated in holiday attire and the public schools closed between the hours of two and three P. M. Moses Wingate was escorted to Masonic Hall, where a reception was tendered in his honor, it being the one hundredth anniversary
 of his birth. On the same evening his son, The Rev.
 Charles Wingate, himself more than fifty years old. was 
initiated in the Lodge and probably for the first time in the history of the world was a past Master one hundred
 years old sitting in the East and witnessing the initiation
 of his own son. At this meeting two hundred and fifty members were present, twenty Lodges represented, and Masons from four or five different states.

The record expresses the feelings and attitude of our brothers— "For several years our members have been somewhat dissatisfied with the situation and surroundings of our present hall, being literally surrounded by stables, liquor saloons and other objectionable features." On June 24, 1873, the corner-stone of the present Masonic Temple was laid by the Grand Lodge in simple and imposing form. The box deposited under the corner-stone contained matters of civic and Masonic interest and the trowel used by Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Master, is in possession of the Lodge. The first meeting of the Lodge in the new Temple took place March 3rd, 1874, in the small hall, the large hall being used a few weeks later on April 14th.

The first convention of Lodges in this district and exemplification of the work was held March 5th. 1874.

Merrimack Lodge continues to grow steadily and its history, with a few exceptions, might be the history of any Masonic Lodge.

Many of the priceless relies which we cherish were returned to the Lodge or given it by its members.

In 1898 Charles H. Grover was elected Master and he has the distinct ion of raising thirty-eight candidates in one year, the largest in our history to that date, and of establishing what is known as the Permanent Fund of Merrimack Lodge. Starting with a little over $500.00 it has grown to over $17.000.00. The principal of this fund can only be invested in Massachusetts Savings Banks, the income to be used for charitable purposes only.

Jane 18th, 1902, was celebrated the Hundredth Anniversary of the Lodge, with W. Nelson James Hunt as Master. M. W. Charles T. Gallagher, Grand Master, and the officers of the Grand Lodge were received at Masonic Temple in the morning at which time W. Fred D, McGregor, of Saggahew Lodge, presented Merrimack Lodge a punch bowl and solid silver ladle, closing his remarks with the Following— "May brotherly love always prevail and may the going down of the sun never find discord among the Masons of Haverhill," to which W. Brother Hunt replied "May the maternal care of Merrimack Lodge and the reciprocal love and affection of Saggahew Lodge which now exists Iast till time shall be do more." The quartette then sang "Fill Up the Bowl" and the suggestion was Immediately acted upon.

In the afternoon the Masons and their ladies were entertained at the First Universalist Church by the Boston Symphony Orchestra Players, assisted by Brother James W. Hill, whose memory is dear to many of us, and the Schubert Quartette. An historical address was delivered by W Charles E. Durant, M. D., who was Followed by Reverend Brother Edward A. Horton, of Boston. In the evening a banquet was served in the City Hall at which Wor. Chas. A. Grover acted as Toastmaster and I will leave the resy to your own imagination. At that time it was the plan to publish a book containing a full account of the proceedings and a history of the Lodge, but the material still remains in the sale at Masonic Temple.

The next quarter century is within the memory of many who are present this evening. We have been honored by the election to the highest office within the gift of the Fraternity in Massachusetts of Dana Judson Flanders as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, who became a member of Merrimack Lodge in 1875, was its Senior Warden in 1877 and Worshipful Master in 1879, and who has frequently honored us by his presence and his continued interest in the Lodge.

Three District Deputies have been appointed from the Lodge—

  • R. W. Edward B. George, Master from 1886, to 1888 District Deputy Grand Master in 1896 and 1897.
  • R. W. Nelson James Hunt. Master from 1900 to 1902, District Deputy Grand Master in 1908 and 1909.
  • R. W. Edmund C. Wentworth. Master in 1916. District Deputy Grand Master in 1921 and L922.

From September 1st, 1915, to Nov. 1st. 1916, we met at the Elks Home and on November 22 the first meeting in the remodeled Lodge Room was held at which time we were honored by a visitation by our friend and neighbor the late Benjamin Butler Gilman, District Deputy Grand Master for the Tenth Masonic District.

December 4th, 1916, at a joint meeting of both Lodges, the Lodge-rooms were formally dedicated to Freemasonry to Virtue and Universal Benevolence bv M. W. Melvin Maynard Johnson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

Ai this meeting Past Master Joanna St Stover and James W. P. Smith, of Merrimack Lodge, and Edward G. Frothingham and Oliver S. Hubbard, of Saggahew Lodge, were preaentcd by the Grand Master with the Henry Price Medal in the presence of five hundred Brothers.

During the World War we were unusually active as were other Lodges is the State. Dispensations were granted to facilitate the raising of those who were entering the service of the nation and to those who enlisted or who were drafted dues were remitted from November 1st, 1917, to continue until the war was ended.

We lost two of our members during this period, Albert Basil Jerard, born in Lowell November 21, 1889, raised March 8, 1914, died at Le Treport, France. December 17. 1918, and Lieutenant Glen Gordon Hall, the only commissioned officer to make the supreme sacrifice from this city, born in Newton September 8, 1891, raised May 11, 1917, killed July 18th, 1918, at Soissons and buried with Masonic honors by the officers and members of Merrimack Lodge May 15, 1921. To us he will always typify the spirit of youth and of America. The advancing years bring old aye and decay — he ever remains in the flower of his manhood.

Our roll of Honor numbered forty-nine Brothers.

Saturday, November 15, 1919, witnessed, in the presence of M. W. Leon Martin Abbott and probably the largest gathering of Masons in out history, the dedication of the Monument at Elmwood Cemetery given to the Masonic Fraternity by Mrs. William Orin Tasker in memory of her husband.

During the years that Wor. Evelyn W. L. Durkee served Merrimack Lodge as Master ninety-six candidates were raised, a record which probably never will be equalled.

The Brothers who have served the Lodge for more than twenty consecutive years are W. Charles White, Brothers Levi C. Wadleigh and Albert G. Harding as Treasurers; W. Daniel C. Sunt as Secretary, and E. Frank Horne as Tyler.

Our most distinguished member is M. W. Dana Judson Flanders. He is dean of the permanent members of the Grand Lodge, its Senior Past Grand Master, and the oldest living Past Master of Merrimack Lodge.

We have forty-six Honorary Members, the last and most distinguished being M. W. Arthur Dow Prince, Past Grand Master, Past Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, and Past Must Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council, and worthy of all the honors thai have been or may be bestowed upon him in the future. We have learned to love him as a man and a Mason.

Our oldest member in point of membership is Raymond Noyes.

Our oldest member in point of years is John B. Caverly.

Our youngest member is Paul Merryman Hunt, following in the footsteps of his father.

The number of members initiated previous to 1843 was two hundred and nine, our present membership is seven hundred sixty-four.

On the evening of October 27th, 1926, with Harland Fred Hussey as Master the Lodge was singly honored by being visited not only by the Most Wor, Grand Master, Frank L. Simpson, who was pleased to present tin* Masonic Veteran's Medal upon the following:

  • M. W. Dana Judson Flanders
  • Raymond Noyes
  • Charles K. Mansur
  • James M. Taylor
  • James A. Griffin
  • Charles F. Elden
  • Clinton R. Thom

but also by his Excellency, Brother Alvan T. Fuller, Governor of the Commonwealth oi Massachusetts and the Honorable Brother A. Piatt Andrews, Congressman from his district.

Tonight we are celebrating the One Hundred Twenty Fifth Anniversary of Merrimack Lodge. With a very humble spirit we look back upon the years that are gone, upon the labors of those sterling Masons who laid the foundation of our Lodge, of those loyal and faithful Brothers who continued the building and our heartfelt prayer to the Supreme Architect of the Universe is, that under His guidance, we too may continue the building, making our lives as living stones shaped and polished by the Master of all good work . To many a brother, this is Father's Lodge.

Father's Lodge, l well remember, wasn't large as Lodges go.
There was trouble in December getting to it through the snow.
But he seldom missed a meeting; drifts or blossoms in the lane,
Still the Tyler heard his greeting, winter ice or summer rain.

Father's Lodge thought nothing of it, mid their labors and their cares
Those old Masons learned to love it, that fraternity of theirs.
What's a bit of stormy weather, when a little down the road
Men are gathering together, helping bear each other's load.

Father's Lodge has made a village; men of Father's sturdy brawn
Turned a wilderness to tillage, seized the flag and carried on.
Made a village, built a city, shaped a county, formed a state,
Simple men, not wise nor witty—humble men and yet how great.

Father's Lodge had caught the gleaming of the great Masonic past;
Thinking, toiling, daring, dreaming, they were builders to the last.
Quiet men, not rich nor clever, with the tools they found at hand
Building for the great forever, first a village, then a Iand.

Father's Lodge no temple builded shaped of steel and carved of stone;
Marble columns, ceilings gilded, father's Lodge has never known.
But a heritage of glory they have left, the humble ones
They have left their mighty story in the keeping of their sons.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1952

From Proceedings, Page 1952-148:

B'y Worshipful Bernard L. Durgin.

At the turn of the 19th century Haverhill was a most attractive New England village of three thousand inhabitants. There was a stone pound for stray animals down here on Main Street where the First National Super Market is; the First Parish meeting house was located on the common; Harrod's Tavern was on the site of the present City Hall. The first bridge had been built across the river in 1794. There were two active shipyards, eight vessels having been launched in 1801. This was the local setting when twelve Masons petitioned the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a charter. Several of them were revolutionary veterans and had received Masonic degrees in Army Lodges. One of them had been with Washington at Valley Forge and had witnessed the execution of Major Andre. Their petition was granted on June 15, 1802.

The Lodge was named for the river which played such a vital part in their lives. The village owed its existence to the river, for in 1640, Rev. John Ward and his little company had sailed upon it from the sea until they came to a grove of buttonwood trees below the present Mill Street and had chosen that site for a settlement. The Merrimack of 1802 abounded in salmon, sturgeon and shad. Fed by a thousand springs and tributaries in the New Hampshire hills, it flowed unceasingly to the sea, a symbol of power and of constancy, a happy selection surely for the name of our Lodge.

The first meeting place was in a small assembly hall on Water Street. The meeting night was on the Thursday nearest the full moon. They adopted a pay-as-you-go policy, each member paying twelve and one-half cents dues each meeting night. The records show eighteen candidates raised in 1803 and regular growth until 1808, when interest seemed to wane through 1812; but in 1813 and 1814, twenty-two members were admitted, and in 1815, the Lodge moved from the first meeting place to a hall over the new Merrimack Bank, at the corner of Water Street and Colby Lane, later renamed Stage Street.

Merrimack Lodge, of course, felt the force of the anti-Masonic feeling that spread over the country in the late 1820's. Whereas ten new members were admitted in 1827, there was only one in 1828; and then there was no one admitted until the Lodge was reorganized in 1852. On December 13, 1843, it was voted to dissolve the Lodge and return the charter to Grand Lodge. In the meantime, great changes had been taking place in the town. The population, which had increased only slightly between 1790 and 1820, practically doubled itself by 1840, from 3,070 to 5,877. Combs and hats were manufactured and shoe-making, which had begun in 1812, had increased to such an extent that there were forty-two manufacturers in 1837. In 1836 Rufus Slocumb was using forty-one horses and eight oxen to transport freight to Boston. The Boston & Maine was extended from Andover to Bradford in 1837. Following the panic of 1837, business increased slowly until gold was discovered in California, which increased the westward migration and opened up new markets for manufactured goods.

Merrimack Lodge as a regularly constituted Masonic body was dormant for eight years, but the pure principles of Masonry have ever been safely deposited in the repository of faithful breasts; and on December 11, 1851, a group of Brethren laid a petition before Grand Lodge for the restoration of the charter, and the first meeting was held nearly a year later. The year 1853 marked an important innovation in the town's shoe-making, for it was in that year that the first sewing machine for stitching uppers was put into use. The meeting night was changed to Wednesday and the place to the Masonic Block on Fleet Street, the present location of 20th Century Baking Company. Then began a long steady growth, apparently not interrupted too greatly by the Civil War.

Over the years Merrimack Lodge had evidenced an interest in new Lodges. As early as 1822 Brethren from Andover had sent a petition asking Merrimack Lodge to help them secure' a charter. Approval was granted and Saint Matthew's Lodge was chartered, with eighteen of the original twenty-six members having been raised in our Lodge. In 1823, Warren Lodge of Amesbury extended their thanks for the assistance given in obtaining their charter. Assistance was also given to Brethren in Methuen and Lawrence, and in 1867, to Charles C. Dame Lodge of Georgetown. In December of 1864, several members of Merrimack Lodge met and voted to send back to the Lodge a petition asking for a charter for a second Lodge in Haverhill. I quote from that petition: "It is not intended by this movement to have so much a separation as a division for increased facilities, for harmonious action and labor, in which the officers and members of one lodge can freely visit and mingle with the officers and members of the other and cooperate in all practicable ways as heretofore." It would seem that these were inspired words, for no two Lodges anywhere are more closely knit than Merrimack and Saggahew. Arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder our two Lodges march through the years together, rejoicing in each other's prosperity and each sympathizing with the other in adversity.

MosesWingate.jpg
Moses Wingate, the Oldest Mason Living
Image courtesy of DeYoung Museum, San Francisco

The Lodge has had many important meetings, but none more noteworthy than the one held on October 25, 1869. On that day Moses Wingate, Master of the Lodge from 1813-1815, celebrated his one hundredth birthday. The city was decorated in holiday attire and the Public Schools were closed for the occasion. In the afternoon he was escorted to Masonic Hall, where a reception was tendered in his honor. In the evening his son, the Rev. Charles Wingate, himself more than fifty years old, was initiated into the Lodge. This was probably the first time in the history of Masonry that a Past Master, one hundred years old, sat in the East and witnessed the initiation of his own son.

There was great industrial activity beginning in the early 1870's. Haverhill was establishing itself as the slipper city of the world. Merrimack Lodge grew with the community. The corner stone of the present temple was laid on June 24, 1873. The record of the next forty years is one of great Masonic activity. Except for the brief Spanish War, we were at peace. How serene life was compared to present day turmoil! The temple was remodeled in 1916, being rededicated on December 4 of that year. Those of us who were present will never forget the address of Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson on that occasion.

No sketch of Merrimack Lodge's history, however brief, can be complete unless it notes the manner in which the one hundredth anniversary was celebrated on June 18, 1902. Fortunately, the account of every committee meeting that planned that magnificent affair, written by the hand of R. W. Daniel C. Hunt, is a part of the Lodge's permanent record. To read the speech of M. W. Charles T. Gallagher, the oration of Rev. Edward A. Horton and the toasts given at the banquet is a thrilling experience. With nostalgic interest we read that rooms were engaged at the Eagle House for the ten members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Schubert Male Quartet and that transportation was furnished by six hacks from Ballard and Boynton's stable.

In the last generation we have passed through two world wars and a worldwide depression. The principles of Masonry, however, remain unchanged and in good times and bad the officers and members of Merrimack Lodge have gone on initiating, crafting and raising men of good report into our time-honored institution.

Throughout the long years, the Lodge has ever been the handmaid of the church in Haverhill. Many, many active laymen and ministers have been numbered among its members and in this partnership have endeavored to point the way to a better life, at the same time reaching out a helping hand in countless instances of brotherly love and affection.

So, for 150 years the Holy Bible supporting the Square and Compasses has been open upon the altar of Merrimack Lodge and hundreds of us have knelt before it to take upon ourselves our Masonic obligations. God grant that the influence of Merrimack Lodge may spread in ever widening circles down the avenues of time, and when the time comes for each one of us to transfer his membership to the Celestial Lodge above, may he be able to say with St. Paul: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."

OTHER

  • 1831 (Conveyance of lodge property)

EVENTS

OFFICER LIST, FEBRUARY 1830

From Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. I, No. 34, February 1830, Page 266:

  • Bro. David P. Harmon, M.
  • Bro. Elbridge G. Eaton, S. W.
  • Bro. Samuel Johnson, J. W.
  • Bro. Charles White, Treas.
  • Bro. John Edwards, Sec.
  • Bro. Moses Ross, S. D.
  • Bro. Nath. Currier, J. D.
  • Bro. William Edwards, S. S.
  • Bro. Jacob Emerson, J. S.
  • Bro. & Elder Ebr. Robinson, Chap.
  • Bro. William Foss, Tyler.

RESTORATION OF CHARTER, NOVEMBER 1852

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XII, No. 2, December 1852, Page 61:

Haverhill, Mass., Nov. 17, 1852.

Bro. Moore:—Merrimack Lodge, Haverhill, in this State, having petitioned the Grand Lodge to restore them their charter, which was given np in the "time that tried men's souls," have had the same restored to them, and met on Tuesday evening last, and organized by the choice of:

  • Dr. Rufus Longley, Master
  • Elbridge J. Eaton, S. W.
  • Timothy J. Goodrich, J. W.
  • Isaac Harding, Treasurer
  • John Edwards, Secretary
  • Rufus T. Slocomb, S. D.
  • Eben, D. Bailey, J. D.
  • Barzilla Davis, S. S.
  • Andrew Johnson, J. S.

Their charter bears date 1802—and for many years, was one of the best working Lodges in the State. With the help of a few Apprentices, and with their own endeavors, they are determined to make it as useful and influential as in its palmiest days.

Yours, Fraternally, C. O. E.

PRESENTATION, FEBRUARY 1862

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXI, No. 4, February, 1862, Page 61:

At a meeting of Merrimack Lodge of F. and A. Masons, at Haverhill, held on Wednesday evening, Jan. 1, R. T. Slocomb, Esq., was presented with a "Past Master's Jewel", as a New Year'a Gift, by the members of the Lodge. The presentation (says a Haverhill paper) was made by Rev. C. H. Seymour, in a speech of much eloquence and beauty, and was appropriately responded lo by Brother Slocomb in his usual off-hand and ready manner. Brother Slocomb has presided as Master of Merrimack Lodge for the last three years, with dignity and. ability; and this token of the esteem of his Brethren is a well-deserved tribute to his fidelity and skill in the science of Freemasonry.

50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF OLIVER A. ROBERTS, MARCH 1912


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


DISTRICTS

1803: District 2 (Newburyport and North Shore)

1821: District 2

1835: District 2

1849: District 2

1854: District 3

1867: District 6 (Newburyport)

1883: District 10 (Lawrence)

1911: District 10 (Newburyport)

1927: District 10 (Newburyport)

2003: District 11


LINKS

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Massachusetts Lodges