- 1 MOUNT TOM LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.4.1 MASONRY IN HOLYOKE, SEPTEMBER 1920
- 2.4.2 75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1925
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.7 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.8 DISTRICTS
- 2.9 LINKS
MOUNT TOM LODGE
Chartered By: Edward A. Raymond
Charter Date: 12/11/1850 V-305
Precedence Date: 03/14/1850
Current Status: Active
- Samuel K. Hutchinson, 1850, 1851
- Nathaniel W. Quint, 1852-1854
- William B. C. Pearsons, 1855-1857, 1862
- Arba C. Slater, 1858, 1859; SN
- E. B. Wheeler, 1860
- Thomas C. Page, 1861, 1863
- B. S. Bucklin, 1864, 1865
- Henry Wheeler, 1866
- Quartus Lovering, 1867
- William Grover, 1868, 1869
- Marden W. Prentiss, 1870, 1871
- Alvin C. Pratt, 1872, 1873
- Charles H. Prentiss, 1874, 1875
- Henry J. Sawtelle, 1876, 1877
- William Orrell, 1878-1880
- Lewis M. Richards, 1881, 1882
- Charles C. Hunter, 1883-1885
- John E. Bronson, 1886-1890; SN
- Jarvis U. Woods, 1893, 1894
- Eli W. Beech, 1895, 1896
- Frederick N. Ricker, 1897
- Dennie L. Farr, 1898
- James Auld, 1899, 1900
- John J. Morton, 1901
- Archibald A. Brooks, 1902, 1903; N
- Wilbur H. Stedman, 1904, 1905
- William H. Morehouse, 1906
- Abraham Davis, 1907, 1908
- Albert E. Webster, 1909
- Louis Strauss, 1910
- Edward T. Newton, 1911
- Charles E. Alderman, 1912
- Oliver W. Adams, 1913
- Robert Gillette, 1914
- Daniel W. Williamson, 1915
- Raymond W. Gero, 1916
- Herbert G. Rose, 1917
- Andrew Purves, 1918
- George Barnett, 1919
- Robert W. Hunter, 1920
- David Coutts, 1921
- Harry L. Simard, 1922
- David M. Thomson, 1923
- George H. Sinclair, 1924
- Stuart D. Coward, 1925
- William Graham, 1926
- Alexander D. Pratt, 1927
- Edgar L. Renner, 1928
- Harrington B. Fay, 1929
- John Partington, 1930
- James G. Sinclair, 1931; N
- Allen S. Hunter, 1932
- Robert M. Hunter, 1933
- Joseph A. Waugh, 1934
- William F. Putnam, 1935
- John F. Foster, 1936
- William B. Hogg, 1937
- Ernest A. Stache, 1938
- Claude W. R. Thomson, 1939
- F. Ray Green, 1940
- James B. Tiffany, 1941
- Charles M. Gillette, 1942; N
- Walter Uhlman, 1943
- Joseph A. Wood, 1944; N
- Robert B. Clapp, 1945
- Emory V. Easteling, 1946
- Arnod L. Smernoff, 1947
- James R. Smith, 1948
- James W. M. Bryden, 1949
- Robert H. Aitken, 1950
- William J. Pead, 1951
- John T. Henderson, 1952
- Frederick O. Pampel, 1953
- Joseph D. Kalicka, 1954
- Edward S. Wilson, 1955
- William C. Johnson, 1956
- Walter A. Gowinner, 1957, 1967, 1974
- John T. Dubuc, 1958
- William T. Miles, 1959, 1968, 1984; N
- Charles W. Sherritt, 1960
- Donald W. McLane, 1961, 1965
- Clarence T. Miles, 1962
- Bernard B. Shaw, 1963
- Clarence D. Miles, 1964; N
- William C. Hogg, 1965
- Robert H. Trachy, Jr., 1966
- George B. Johnston, 1969
- Hans G. Boehm, 1970
- William Hyte, 1971, 1972
- Neil D. McElwey, 1973, 1980, 2002, 2012; PDDGM
- James G. Cartwright, 1975
- James R. Chadwell, Jr., 1976
- Billy J. Hickman, 1977
- Donald R. Paradis, 1978
- Norman R. Gray, 1979
- Richard A. Poudner, 1981, 1983, 1992
- Harry L. Chandler, 1982
- German M. Tetreault, 1986
- John T. Greaves, 1987
- Lester A. Tenney, 1988
- Chester J. Janek, 1989
- Louis R. Redfern, 1990
- Louie Owens, Sr., 1991, 1999
- Michael Lenart, 1993
- James R. Smith, Jr., 1994-1996
- Jessie Lee Monson, Jr., 1997
- John Francis Greaves, Sr., 1998
- Wayne O. Stowell, 2000, 2001
- Robert J. O'Neill, 2003, 2010, 2011
- Philip Lesser, 2004
- John F. Greaves, Sr., 2005, 2006
- Scott A. Ryer, 2007
- John D. Pierce, II, 2008
- John M. Gauger, 2009; PDDGM
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1850 (Raymond; Constitution of Lodge)
- 1881 (Lawrence)
- 1882 (Lawrence)
- 1892 (Wells)
- 1921 (Prince; Hall Dedication; Special Communication)
- 1925 (Ferrell; 75th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1935 (Allen)
- 1939 (Perry)
- 1940 (Perry)
- 1950 (Keith; Centenary; Special Communication)
- 1973 (Vose); installation)
- 1976 (Maxwell); 125th Anniversary, Special Communcation)
- 1990 (Darling)
- 2009 (Pageau)
- 1920 (Historical Address at Corner Stone Laying, 1920-284)
- 1925 (75th Anniversary History, 1925-98; see below)
MASONRY IN HOLYOKE, SEPTEMBER 1920
From Proceedings, Page 1920-284:
By Worshipful Archibald A. Brooks.
Today, as we stand upon the threshold of a new era in our Masonic history, it is well, perhaps, that we look backward across the gulf of time to a period nearly halfway back to the Declaration of Independence and recall the merits and honor the memory of the Brethren who founded, carried on, and handed down the glorious heritage which is ours. By so doing we shall be enabled, perhaps, to catch some inspiration which may be an incentive to emulate their noble and sterling qualities and so, long after we of the present generation shall have passed on through life, some may rise up to bless the hearts and hands that founded and carried on our organization.
Although the records in our possession are silent on the matter we may safely conclude that the Brethren in Ireland Village or Depot, at that time still a part of West Springfield, during the winter of 1849 met at various times, in their homes, perhaps, and discussed the advisability of forming a Masonic Lodge, and having a firm belief in the words of the Psalmist,
"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity,
resolved to unite themselves into a society of friends and brothers, binding themselves more closely together, allow them to meet in fraternal friendship, strengthen one another in all the relations of life and make friendship unalloyed, unselfish, and pure.
Acting on this resolution eight good men and true petitioned the Grand Lodge for a "Warrant or Dispensation, empowering them to carry out their plan. This was granted and was dated March 14, 1850. By a curious coincidence we find that in the State Legislature "An Act to establish the Town of Holyoke was passed, approved, and became a law on March 14th, 1850." Thus the town of Holyoke came into existence the same day. According to our records the first Communication under Dispensation was held on April 5, 1850, of which the following is a copy:
"Mount Tom Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons met at their Hall.
Opened on the 1st Degree of Masonry. Present
- Master, S. K. Hutchinson.
- S. Warden, H. Hutching.
- J. Warden, B. T. Buss.
- Secretary, Wm. Withey.
- S. Deacon, N. W. Quint.
- J. Deacon, B. Withey.
- Brother S. Flinn. Brother C. Mason.
- Tyler, M. Palmer."
(The Treasurer's chair was vacant — the reason perhaps is obvious) "Received the petitions of Charles P. Ingalls, Daniel E. Emerson, Wm. W. Giddings.
Voted to accept the petitions and refer them to a Committee of Investigation.
Voted that the three first officers of the Lodge be that Committee.
Lecture on the First Degree of Masonry. Lodge closed in due form.
W. Withey, Secretary."
Wor. Brother Hutchinson evidently took a deep interest in the new Lodge, for at the next Communication he offered to furnish funds to the amount of one hundred dollars to defray expenses and wait until the Lodge could refund the amount.
May 3, the Lodge worked for the first time, C. F. Ingalls, D. E. Emerson, and William W. Giddings being initiated into the E. A. Degree. June 7, a code of By-Laws was read and adopted. July 26, the M. M. Degree was worked for the first time, Brother C. F. Ingalls being the first candidate Raised in the Lodge. December 6, it was voted to apply for a Charter, which was granted on Dec. 12, 1850, and was signed by Edward A. Raymond, Grand Master, Thomas M. Vinson, Senior Grand Warden, Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary, the date of precedence being March 14 as previously stated.
The Charter Members were S. K. Hutchinson, Hezekiah Hutchins, Robert T. Buss, Nathaniel W. Quint, Samuel B. Oliver, Samuel Flinn, Charles Mason, and William P. Gevat. The last survivor of the Charter Members was Wor. Bro. Nathaniel W. Quint, the second Master of the Lodge and for many years afterward active in its affairs, being Tyler for many years until near the time of his death, which occurred May 20, 1897. He was buried with Masonic honors. The Lodge has in its possession Wor. Brother Quint's lambskin, also his Chapter and Council aprons, presented by his daughters. The original Charter is in the possession of the Lodge and is well preserved. We hope it will be passed on to future generations untarnished and without blot or stain. During the first year of its existence twenty-four meetings were held and eight candidates were raised. On January 9, 1851, the Lodge was duly Consecrated. This was the first public function held and the event is recorded as follows:
Holyoke, Jan. 9th, 1851, A.D., 5851 A.L.
Agreeably to the appointment of the District Deputy Grand Master, Franklin Weston, the officers and Brethren of Mount Tom Lodge in Holyoke met at the Lodge-room on High St., where the usual ceremonies were performed prior to forming the procession. The procession formed and marched to Exchange Hall under the Marshaling of Bro. James Crooks, the Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master, acting as Grand Marshal. In the hall the usual ceremonies of music, prayer, etc., were performed, the oration being delivered by Rev'd Bro. Cook of North Adams.
Bro. S. K. Hutchinson was presented to the Grand Master as the Master Elect, after which the Lodge was Consecrated with the usual and appropriate ceremonies. Bro. Hutchinson was then duly installed Master of the Lodge, Bro. Hezekiah Hutchins Senior Warden, Bro. Samuel Flinn Junior Warden, Bro. D. C. Emerson Treasurer, Bro. W. B. C. Pearsons Secretary, Bra. Nathaniel W. Quint Senior Deacon, Bro. Charles H. Ingalls Junior Deacon, and Bro. W. W. Giddings Tyler. After the Brethren received their charge the Grand Marshal proclaimed the new Lodge by the name of Mount Tom Lodge to be Constituted, Consecrated, and the officers duly installed. The benediction was then pronounced, and the Brethren forming in procession returned to the Lodge-room where the usual ceremonies were performed, after which the Brethren present, with certain strangers, partook of an elegant and palate-satisfying supper at the "Samosett House."
The proceedings were in a remarkable degree harmonious and had an obvious tendency to allay the prejudices existing against our Ancient and Honorable Institution, and of reconciling all persons to the truthfulness of its purposes.
W. B. C. Pearsons, Sec'y.
This briefly is the history of the first year of Masonry in Holyoke, which is practically the history of Mount Tom Lodge, because for a period of nearly sixty years, with the exception of Mount Holyoke Royal Arch Chapter and Holyoke Council of Royal and Select Masters, no other Masonic body was formed in the city.
Wor. Brother Hutchinson, who was evidently employed at the construction of the Holyoke dam which had just been completed, left Holyoke soon after, much to the regret of the Brethren.
The following extract from the early records is worthy of mention and is perhaps characteristic of the Secretary, Brother Pearsons.
Holyoke, July 4th, 1851, A.D., 5851 A.L.
It being the anniversary of our National Independence and the members of this Lodge, excited by patriotic emotions, in view of the great blessings which we enjoy — being absent — there was no Communication held by this Lodge.
W. B. C. Pearsons, Secretary.
The first place of meeting evidently was in a hall rented from Holyoke Lodge of Odd Fellows in Peck's Building, which stood on the lot adjoining the present Holyoke National Bank, and which was destroyed by fire on Aug. 18, 1852. All the property of the Lodge was lost, except the Book of Records and By-Laws, which for some reason were not in the building at the time, and for which we are thankful. The loss amounted to about two hundred dollars and no insurance.
The Regular Communications of September and October of that year were held in Chapin's Building on the lot further north.
The next location was in the building known later as Carter's Block, but which at that time was owned by Bro. A. 0. Colby, and here the Lodge met continuously until 1895, several alterations being made in the meantime; the most important of which was in 1869 and is referred to by the District Deputy Grand Master, D. W. Crafts, in his report to the Grand Master, as follows:
"Mount Tom Lodge has materially improved its hall, and is now one of the best in the District, and very handsomely furnished, which reflects great credit upon its members.
During the late seventies considerable agitation was on foot toward securing new quarters, several propositions being considered, one of which was the then new Craft's Building, now owned by the Holyoke Caledonian Club. The building was undoubtedly intended for Masonic occupancy. On the copestone we can see what was intended to represent the All Seeing Eye, but alas, the craftsman was not particularly well skilled in sculpture. No action resulted, however, except more improvements, which are mentioned in the records of March 10, 1880.
The next move was to our present location, originally the Hubbard and Taber Block. The Lodge-room was Dedicated on Dec. 27, 1895, by Right Worshipful Samuel B. Spooner, by virtue of a Warrant from Most Worshipful Grand Master Edwin B. Holmes. The new quarters were a great improvement over the old and the facilities for social enjoyment, being greatly increased, were taken advantage of to the fullest extent, resulting in greater prosperity than ever before.
Except at funerals the public appearances of the Fraternity have been comparatively few in number. On Oct. 21, 1892, the members to the number of one hundred and eighteen, escorted by the Holyoke members of Springfield Commandery, Knights Templars, journeyed to Springfield for the laying of the corner-stone of the Temple in that city. On the same evening the Lodge was honored by the presence of Most Worshipful Grand Master Samuel Wells, it being the occasion of the official visit of District Deputy Grand Master John E. Bronson.
On Oct. 10, 1903, the corner-stone of St. Paul's Episcopal Church was laid by Right Worshipful Charles C. Spellman and suite by virtue of a Warrant from Most Worshipful Grand Master Baalis Sanford, one hundred and fifty of the Brethren taking part. Springfield Commandery, Knights Templars, was present, making a total in line of about three hundred and fifty.
The Fraternity in Holyoke have been honored by the Grand Lodge in the selection of District Deputy Grand Masters on three occasions, viz.: Right Worshipful W. B. C. Pearsons in 1856, Right Worshipful John E. Bronson in 1891, and Right Worshipful Abraham Davis in 1910.
- Right Worshipful Brother Bronson was Worshipful Master in 1886, 1887, and 1888, and was Secretary for many years. We are proud to say that he is present today and is still active in Masonic affairs; long may he be spared to the Brotherhood he loves and has served so long.
- Right Worshipful Brother Davis was Worshipful Master of Mount Tom Lodge in 1907 and 1908, and was the first Master of William Whiting Lodge. He was active in the best interests of the Fraternity, but was cut down in the midst of his usefulness. He died on June 22, 1917, and was buried with Masonic honors.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master has honored us by visits on several occasions, viz.:
- Most Worshipful Grand Master John T. Heard on Aug. 11, 1857, addressed the members on "Duties and Obligations of Members of the Fraternity.
- Most Worshipful Grand Master Samuel C. Lawrence and suite on Dec. 1, 1882.
- Most Worshipful Grand Master Samuel Wells on Oct. 21, 1892, as previously mentioned.
- Most Worshipful Grand Master Arthur D. Prince on Jan. 16, 1920, upon the occasion of starting the drive for funds to erect the Temple.
From its beginning our Fraternity has included among its members men who were closely identified with the social, industrial, and political life of our town and city, ever seeking to promote its welfare and prosperity.
In this brief sketch of our history it is not possible to mention all of the worthy members who were prominent in our early years. A few seem to shine forth among their fellows with brilliant luster.
Wor. Brother S. K. Hutchinson was born in Pembroke, N. H., Oct. 23, 1804. He was a brick mason by trade. In 1864 he superintended the erection of the Masonic Temple in Boston. He was Raised in Pentucket Lodge, Lowell, in 1826. He was the first Master of Mount Tom in 1851. His sojourn in Holyoke was brief,, as the following extract from the records will show.
A Communication frcm Franklin Weston, District Deputy Grand Master, Ninth Masonic District:
I very much regret that Brother Hutchinson is to leave you and this District. May he find as true hearted Brethren and friends in the Third District as I am sure he will leave behind. As he leaves the West and travels to the East in search of more Light, may he be blest in all his undertakings and continue to be a bright light to his Brethren and an ornament to the Craft.
Franklin Weston, District Deputy Grand Master, Ninth Masonic District.
Right Worshipful Brother Weston's words were indeed prophetic. Returning to Lowell he continued on what was a brilliant Masonic career. He became a Charter member and Worshipful Master of Ancient York Lodge, presided over Mount Horeb Royal Arch Chapter, 1853, 1854, and 1855, was elected Thrice Illustrious Master of Ahasuerus Council, Royal and Select Masters, in 1861 and annually thereafter until 1867. He received the Orders of Knighthood in Boston Commandery, became a Charter member of Pilgrim Commandery in Lowell in 1855, and was its first Eminent Commander until 1859. He received the Scottish Rite degrees in 1861 and was Thrice Potent Grand Master of Lowell Lodge of Perfection from 1864 to 1867. In 1867 he was elected Commander-in-Chief of Massachusetts Consistory and continued in office until 1871. On May 22, 1863, he was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d degree and Honorary Member of the Supreme Council. His son Charles Carroll Hutchinson, who was a youth of eighteen when he left Holyoke, was made a Mason in Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, and after a career as brilliant as his distinguished father's was elected to the highest position in our gift, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts 1897, 1898, and 1899 and filled that exalted office with distinction. During his term of office the present Temple was built. Right Worshipful Brother Hutchinson died August 1, 1877.
Today we are again honored by the presence of another distinguished Mason from the city of Lowell in the person of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Arthur D. Prince. Truly can it be said that the Masons from Lowell are Master Builders indeed.
Worshipful Brother W. B. C. Pearsons was one of the earliest members of Mount Tom Lodge, being Raised in 1850, and was its first Secretary under the Charter and was its third Master in 1855, 1856, 1857, and 1862. He was eminently conspicuous in the social and political life of the town and city and was the first Mayor of the city of Holyoke in 1874 and for many years Judge in the Police Court.
Worshipful Brother William Grover was Master in 1868 and 1869 and was the first High Priest of Mount Holyoke Royal Arch Chapter under the Charter and held that office during 1866, 1867, 1868, 1871, 1872, and 1873. He was also the first Thrice Illustrious Master of Holyoke Council, Royal and Select Masters, and from what I have been able to glean from some of the older members Worshipful Brother Grover was an immense power for the upbuilding of the Fraternity, and I cannot do better than read an extract from the resolutions adopted at the time of his death, which occurred June 18, 1889.
"Mount Tom Lodge desires to express its sincere affection and respect for one of its most prominent and efficient members, who has so freely given of his time, ability, and means for the good of the Craft and the upbuilding of our Lodge.
That we cherish the memory of our deeply lamented Brother in the light of his many Masonic virtues and that we emulate the high example of his life, character, and sterling integrity; kind, courteous, affectionate, and sympathetic as a man and friend, conscientious and charitable as a Brother Mason, the Craft and this community loses an honored, faithful, and beloved Brother and citizen."
Perhaps no member of our Craft is remembered by the present generation with greater love and respect than Bro. Lewis M. Richards, who was made a Master Mason on April 25, 1873. He was elected Master in 1880 and served for two years, was High Priest of Mount Holyoke Royal Arch Chapter and Thrice Illustrious Master of Holyoke Council, Royal and Select Masters, for several years. He was active and untiring in Masonic affairs as long as he lived. A strong love for the Order and great ability in rendering the ritual whenever called upon to do so were his characteristics. For forty years he was a strong supporting pillar and a shining light, and the Fraternity owes him a lasting debt of gratitude. A fitting and lasting tribute to his memory will be placed in the Temple on its completion. He died on Dec. 10, 1917, and was buried with Masonic honors, the service being held in the Skinner Memorial Chapel and largely attended by the Brethren.
Three Lodges have gone forth from the parent Lodge, viz.: Mount Holyoke Lodge, of South Hadley Falls, in 1869, William Whiting Lodge in 1909, and Mount Nonotuck Lodge in 1920, and all four are bound together in closest friendship, let us hope as firm and enduring as the everlasting hills whose names they bear. William Whiting Lodge was, of course, named after our distinguished Brother and citizen of that name, a name synonymous with all that is great and good for the welfare and prosperity of our city. But on the Mount Tom range there is a peak called Whiting Peak; let us think of it too, as part of our hill system, and there is still another which we as Masons can call our own, it is called "Goat Peak."
The history of the last twenty years is so well known that it needs but a brief summary. They have been years of increasing prosperity; the high standard of efficiency set by our forefathers has been faithfully maintained, and the reputation of the various bodies for good work fully sustained, our numerical growth has been phenomenal and the existence of our two younger Lodges is fully justified. And so down through the years our Fraternity has maintained a healthy growth, carrying out the duties and obligations imposed by our Charters, meeting regularly in harmonious fellowship; not unmindful of the call of want, and never turning a deaf ear to the wail of sorrow; suffer era from fire, flood, or earthquake have been generously aided; and I am fully convinced that many charitable acts have never been a matter of record. During the dark days of the Civil War many of our Brethren, overflowing with patriotic fervor, responded to their country's call, some never to return: and again in later, recent years, their Brethren and successors, one hundred and .eleven of them, responded with equal fervor to humanity's call, some of them among the first of the American Expeditionary Force to set foot on the soil of France. Two, alas, did not return. Two of our youngest members, stricken down in the flush of manhood, full of the joyous, unconquerable spirit of youth, meeting, death unflinchingly and unafraid, for the sake of a great ideal, and for the welfare and freedom of generations yet to come.
And with the flame of their bright youth unspent
Went shouting up the pathway to the sun,
O Valiant dead, take comfort where you lie,
So sweet to live ? Magnificent to die!
- Sergt. Raymond B. Thompson, killed in action Sept. 12, 1917.
- Lieut. Charles R. Wilber, killed in action Sept. 29, 1917.
I trust that a fitting and lasting tribute to their memory will be placed in our Temple.
STATISTICS: MOUNT TOM LODGE
- The oldest living Past Master is Wor. Brother Harden W. Prentiss who was Raised May 12, 1865, and presided during the years 1870 and 1871 and who we are proud to say is with us today.
- The oldest member is Brother Edward W. Chapin, who was Raised Sept. 2, 1864, and is taking part in the ceremonies of today.
- There have been forty-one Masters, twenty-one of whom are living.
- One thousand three hundred and ninety-four members have signed the By-Laws.
- The Lodge has a membership of seven hundred and twenty-seven.
STATISTICS: WILLIAM WHITING LODGE
- The Lodge has had eleven Masters, ten of whom survive.
- Five hundred and twenty-six members have signed the By-Laws.
- The Lodge has a membership of four hundred and seventy-three.
STATISTICS: MOUNT NONOTUCK LODGE, U. D.
- The first Master of Mount Nonotuck Lodge, U. D., is Wor. Brother Bobert Gillette, Past Master of Mount Tom Lodge.
- The Lodge has a membership of forty-eight.
STATISTICS: CAPITULAR MASONRY
Capitular Masonry was established in Holyoke when Mount Holyoke Royal Arch Chapter was organized on June 13, 1865, the Charter being dated Sept. 29, 1865. The first High Priest under Dispensation being Bradford S. Bucklin, William Grover was the first High Priest under the Charter and held the office for six years.
The Chapter has had a successful career. It has always maintained a high standard of efficiency in the exemplification of the Capitular degrees and has proved to be a valuable agency in promoting the welfare and prosperity of the Fraternity in the city.
The Chapter was publicly Constituted and the officers installed in St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Maple Street by the Most Excellent Grand High Priest, Solon B. Thornton. A banquet followed at the Holyoke House which is described as follows: "No one had reason to complain, for the tables fairly groaned under the weight of luxuries, presenting a most inviting appearance, and a display of taste in all its arrangements probably never excelled in this town. Owing to the lateness of the hour, speeches were not called for, although there were some choice initiates in the business of table spouting, as we all know. A number of Companions from Northampton Chapter were present. At twelve o'clock the Companions returned to their homes."
- At the present time the Chapter is honored, inasmuch as one of its Past High Priests, Right Excellent Albert E. "Webster, is Grand Scribe of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter.
- The present membership is four hundred and eighty-five.
- The senior living Past High Priest is Right Excellent Enoch G. Best, 1877 and 1878.
- The senior living member is Companion Marden W. Prentiss, exalted in 1868.
STATISTICS: CRYPTIC RITE
Holyoke Council Royal and Select Masters was organized May 27, 1873. The Charter was dated January 9, 1874. Companion George Herbert Smith was the first Thrice Illustrious Master.
- The present membership is two hundred and twenty-nine.
- The senior living Thrice Illustrious Master is Illustrious Companion Henry E. Gaylord.
STATISTICS: ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR
Although not a Masonic organization, the Order is closely related to the Fraternity and is entitled to its support and protection. Eobert Morris Chapter No. 51 was Instituted May 7, 1896. The membership is three hundred.
HOLYOKE MASONIC ASSOCIATION
The Holyoke Masonic Association Incorporated was formed May 9, 1910. The following is an extract from the Articles of Incorporation. "The Corporation is constituted for the purpose of procuring and maintaining suitable rooms and quarters for the various Societies and Organizations of the Masonic Fraternity and similar organizations of like character and nature at Holyoke, Hampden Co., Mass., to maintain suitable reading and social rooms for said Organizations, to maintain a home for indigent Masons, to promote social intercourse between the members of said Organizations and to do any and all things essential to the carrying out of said purpose."
A code of By-Laws was adopted.
The following were elected officers of the Association:
- President, Arthur M. French.
- Vice-President, Samuel R. Whiting.
- Treasurer, A. F. Hitchcock.
- Clerk, A. H. Lavalle.
- Auditor, L. A. Williston.
- One Year — A. M. French, H. H. Alderman, S. R. Whiting.
- Two Years — L. A. Williston, W. C. Wharfield, F. N. Rieker.
- Three Years — A. Davis, L. Strauss, A. E. Webster.
May 6, 1915: Voted to take over the lease of Rooms from Mount Tom Lodge.
Jan. 11, 1916: Voted to purchase furniture, etc., from Mount Tom Lodge.
In 1915 the lot on which we are building the Temple was bought, the money being raised by the sale of stock. After much delay and discussion it was finally decided to build, and a drive to raise the funds was inaugurated. After a lively two weeks' drive one hundred thousand dollars was pledged.
During the past ten years there have been many changes in the Board of Officers and Directors and all are entitled to the thanks of the Fraternity.
This is an eventful day in our history, the hopes which we have cherished for years are being realized, upon the corner-stone which has this day been laid Math the ceremonies of our time-honored Institution will rise the structure which we hope will be the home of our Fraternity for many generations yet to come. Here our Brethren will meet in Brotherly love and friendship; may we and they strive to uphold the traditions of the past and to promote to the utmost of our power the great fundamental principles of our Institution.
We honor the memory of the worthy Brethren who have lived, labored, and gone to their rest; may we, in our day and generation, so live and act that when we too shall be gathered into the land where our fathers have gone before us, we may depart with the satisfaction of having faithfully discharged our duties as men and Masons and of having earned the commendation of the Brethren who in their turn shall follow us.
75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1925
From Proceedings, Page 1925-98:
by R. W. Archibald A. Brooks.
Seventy-five years, according to the Psalmist, is about the allotted span of life given to human beings, but in an Institution such as ours, which has come to us out of the myths of ancient times, shedding its light and disseminating its glorious principles (principles so broad as to embrace in its philanthropy the whole human family), seventy-five years is but a brief period. In our own State of Massachusetts, the birthplace of duly constituted Masonry in North America, Lodges have been in existence for nearly two hundred years; there being six Lodges more than one hundred and fifty years old, and many well over one hundred. In a total of three hundred and eleven, Mount Tom ranks seventy-first. And yet, today having reached our seventy-fifth birthday, we show no signs of decrepitude; no sere or yellow leaves flutter around us. Time but gives us renewed strength and vigor; and looking backward we are animated by the lives and deeds of the Brethren who have gone before and who by the zeal and devotion they have displayed inspire within us a desire to emulate their good works and to realize that the value of our existence as a Lodge lies not in the number of years that we have lived but in what we have done and are doing.
After reviewing the records one can freely testify to the fact that the years have been filled with deeds of true beneficence and of a large measure of service; our real mission and truly worthy of our commemoration and honor. Previous to the year 1850 what is now known as Holyoke was a part of the town of West Springfield and known as Ireland Parish or Depot and for a long time consisted only of the "street" on what is now Northampton Street extending for about two miles from the Northampton line to Baptist Village, now Elm-wood. About a mile to the eastward, toward the rising of the sun, a new settlement had sprung up. Where the waters of the "long river" were tumbling over the rocks and rushing unhindered to the great sea, things had happened; men with vision had come on the scene, men with plans to harness the great water power; a great dam had been built and swept away, another larger and different from anything in the world had taken its place, great mills and homes for the workers had been erected, a system of canals intended to supply unlimited power had been designed, and plans of a city which it was hoped would be the greatest manufacturing city in New England were drawn.
A petition to the Legislature to grant a Charter for a new town had been presented, and on March 14, 1850, this was granted and the town of Holyoke came into existence, and with the new town came Mount Tom Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; for on the same day, at the request of Brothers Samuel Knox Hutchinson, Hezekiah Hutchins, Robert T. Buss, Nathaniel W. Quint, Samuel B. Oliver, Samuel Flinn, Charles Mason, and William P. Gevat the Grand Master granted a Warrant for the formation of our Mother Lodge.
Brothers S. K. Hutchinson, Hezekiah Hutchins, and Robert T. Buss were appointed Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden, respectively.
The first Communication was held on April 5, and three petitions were received, viz.: Charles P. Ingalls, Daniel E. Emerson, and William W. Giddings.
On May 3 the Lodge worked for the first time, when the above named received the Entered Apprentice degree. On July 26 the Master Mason's degree was worked for the first time, when Brother Charles F. Ingalls was the first candidate raised.
On December 6 the Lodge voted to apply for a Charter, which was granted on December 12, 1850.
On January 9, 1851, the Lodge was duly Constituted in public, the ceremonies being held in Exchange Hall and conducted by D. D. G. M. Franklin Weston, who also installed the officers, as follows: Worshipful Master, Samuel Knox Hutchinson; Senior Warden, Hezekiah Hutchins; Junior Warden. Samuel Flinn; Treasurer, Daniel E. Emerson; Secretary, William B. C. Pearsons; Sengor Deacon, Nathaniel W. Quint; Junior Deacon, Charles H. Ingalls; Tyler, William W. Giddings. To quote from the records: "The Grand Marshal proclaimed the new Lodge by the name of Mount Tom Lodge to be Constituted, Consecrated, and the officers duly installed. After which the Brethren present with certain strangers partook of an elegant and palate satisfying supper at the Samosett House. The proceedings were in a remarkable degree harmonious and had an obvious tendency to allay the prejudices existing against our Ancient and Honorable Institution, and of reconciling all persons to the truthfulness of its purposes."
During the year, Under Dispensation, twenty-four Communications were held and eight candidates were raised. Unfortunately we have no record of any of the meetings held previous to petitioning for Dispensation, nor any reference to the selection of a name, but we may very easily imagine that our Brethren considered old Mount Tom,
"Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,"
a fitting name for a branch of that ancient Institution founded on the eternal principles of Truth.
The first meeting place was in a hall rented from Holyoke Lodge of Odd Fellows in Peck's Building, standing on the lot adjoining the present Holyoke National Bank. which was destroyed by fire August 18, 1852. All the property of the Lodge was lost except the Charter, records, and Treasurer's book, which were not in the building, for which we are truly thankful. These documents are all in good condition today.
The Regular Communications of September and October of that year were held in Chapin's Building, High Street, on the lot farther north.
Our next location was in the building known later as Carter's Block, but which at that time was owned by Brother A. O. Colby, and here the Lodge met continuously until 1895, the building undergoing alterations and improvements at various times, the most important being in 1869 and is referred to by D. D. G. M. D. W. Crafts, of Jerusalem Lodge, in his report to the Grand Master: "Mount Tom Lodge has materially improved its hall and is now one of the best in the District, and very handsomely furnished, which reflects great credit upon its members."
During the late seventies considerable agitation was on foot towards securing a new hall, several propositions being considered, among them, the then new Craft's Building, now owned by the Holyoke Caledonian Club. It is evident that the building was intended for Masonic purposes, as on the front a Masonic emblem may be seen. The plans miscarried, however, and Carter's Block was our home until 1895 at a yearly rental of four hundred dollars during the last ten years. In 1895 we moved into the Hubbard & Taber Block, 280 High Street, at a rental of eight hundred fifty dollars. The rooms were Dedicated on December 27, 1895, by R. W. Samuel B. Spooner, by virtue of a warrant from M.W. Edwin B. Holmes, Grand Master. Twenty-five years were spent in this location and were years of prosperity and much social enjoyment.
On May 6, 1915, the Lodge, which had controlled the renting of Masonic apartments up to that time, relinquished its control in favor of the Holyoke Masonic Association, incorporated in 1910. "for the purpose of securing and maintaining suitable rooms and quarters for the various organizations of the Masonic Fraternity."
On August 5, 1921, the Lodge met for the first time in the building where we are tonight.
On October 22, 1921, the Masonic Temple was Dedicated, the Grand Officers being received in Mount Tom Lodge. It is impossible in the space at my disposal to mention all who were faithful and zealous in the service of the Lodge in the years gone by.
The Brother most prominent in the formation of our Lodge was Samuel Knox Hutchinson, who was a mason and contractor from Lowell and engaged in the construction of the first mills in Holyoke. He was born in Pembroke, N. H, in 1804. After leaving Holyoke in 1852, he returned to Lowell and entered on a long and brilliant Masonic career. He was a Charter member and first Worshipful Master of Ancient York Lodge and presided over all the other Masonic bodies. In 1855 he was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge. In 1864 he superintended the building of the Masonic Temple in Boston. R. W. Brother Hutchinson died August 1, 1877.
His son, Charles Carroll Hutchinson, a youth of eighteen when he left Holyoke, was a student in Ireland Academy here and after a career as brilliant as his father's was elected Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, 1897 to 1899, and laid the corner-stone of the present Temple. Space permits only brief mention of a few of the many who by their ability and character shed luster not only on our Fraternity, but on our town and city.
R. W. W. B. C. Pearsons, one of our earliest members and first Secretary under the Charter /and Worshipful Master four years, and the first mayor of Holyoke; Worshipful William Grover, Worshipful Charles C. Hunter, Worshipful Jarvis U. Woods, Worshipful Lewis M. Richards, Worshipful Cyrus B. Wolcott, Worshipful Dennie L. Farr, and Worshipful Abraham Davis arc a few, who by their zeal and loyalty have enshrined their memories in our hearts.
The Lodge has been fortunate in its .Secretaries, as we have complete records of the doings of the Lodge during its existence; they have been thirty in number and only seven in the last forty-five years; R.W. John B. Bronson having served for eighteen years in that office. Future historians will find the records of the last fifteen years models of excellence.
Brother George S. Bassett was Treasurer for thirty years, from 1870 until 1899.
Brother William Whiting was Treasurer for one year, 18(i6. and his account in the Treasurer's book is a remarkable example of neatness in bookkeeping.
Our oldest living Past Master is Worshipful Brother Marden W. Prentiss, 1870 and 1871, who is also our oldest member.
Mount Tom has been honored in the appointment of District Deputy Grand Masters on five occasions, viz.: R. W. W. B. C. Pearsons in 1856; R. W. John E. Bronson in 1891; R. W. Abraham Davis in 1910; R. W. Archibald A. Brooks in 1920; R. W. Robert Gillette in 1924.
Our growth through the years has been steady. In 1875 our membership was one hundred ninety-seven; in 1900, four hundred eight, and today it is seven hundred forty-two.
The total number who have signed the By-Laws is one thousand five hundred ten.
Our contributions to Masonic and charitable purposes have been generous:
- War Relief Fund of the Grand Lodge, $1,194,00
- George Washington Memorial Fund, 726.00
The call of want has never gone unheeded, sufferers by fire, famine, and flood have been generously aided, and the writer knows of much good done that was never a matter of record.
Much of interest could be culled from our records; such as fraternal courtesies received and hospitalities extended to the various Lodges in our district; appearances in public, which were few and far between, as it is the policy of the Fraternity to appear only on important occasions and not merely for the purpose of show.
The history of later years we will leave for the future historian. They have been years of prosperity and usefulness; our growth has been healthy; the duties imposed by our Charter we have earnestly endeavored to fulfill. May the records of our Lodge continue in the future as in the past to testify our prosperity, our unity, and the practice of all the Masonic virtues.
- 1852 (Petition for remission of dues, V-405)
- 1856 (Jurisdictional dispute, VI-8)
- 1886 (Dispensation for meeting place, 1886-129)
- 1920 (Participation in Holyoke Temple cornerstone laying, 1920-280)
- 1924 (Participation in Springfield Temple cornerstone laying, 1924-335)
- 1936 (Reduction of fees approved, 1936-130)
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- William R. Barnett, DDGM, District 19 (Palmer), 1998, 1999; Biography
- John E. Bronson, DDGM, District 16 (Chicopee), 1892, 1893, 1894; SN
- Archibald A. Brooks, DDGM, District 17 (Holyoke), 1921, 1922; N
- John M. Gauger, DDGM, District 17 (Holyoke), 1993, 1994
- Charles M. Gillette, DDGM, District 17 (Holyoke), 1943, 1944; N
- Neil D. McElwey, DDGM, District 17 (Holyoke), 1985, 1986
- Clarence D. Miles, DDGM, District 17 (Holyoke), 1991, 1992; N
- William T. Miles, DDGM, District 17 (Holyoke), 1975, 1976, 1978; N
- Tyler W. Seavey, DDGM, District 27, 2017-2019
- James G. Sinclair, DDGM, District 17 (Holyoke), 1933, 1934; N
- Arba C. Slater, DDGM, District 12 (Milford), 1880, 1881, 1882; SN
- Joseph A. Wood, DDGM, District 17 (Holyoke), 1965, 1966; N