- 1 MOUNT ZION LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.9 DISTRICTS
- 2.10 LINKS
MOUNT ZION LODGE
Chartered By: Samuel Dunn
Charter Date: 03/10/1800 II-166
Precedence Date: 03/10/1800
Current Status: Active
MEMBER LIST, 1802
From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 30:
- R. W. Calvin Eaton, M.
- W. William Stone, S. W.
- W. James Lawton, J. W.
- Peter Blackmer, S. D.
- Timothy Billings, J. D.
- Elias Hall, Tr.
- Luke Brown, Sec.
- Moses Lawrence, Steward.
- Daniel Thomas, Steward.
- Amiel Weeks, Tiler.
No. of Members, 100.
- Luke Brown
- Samuel Beals
- Thomas Wheeler, Jr.
- Jonathan Danforth
- Abel Thayer
- Southworth Jenkins, Jr.
- Wm. Stosel
- Chiron Penniman
- Daniel Ruggles
- Edward Ruggles
- Lemuel Willis
- Benjamin Page, Jr.
- Calvin Eaton, 1800-1802, 1805
- James Lawton, 1803 (died as WM)
- Samuel Beals, 1803, 1804
- Asaph Newcomb, 1805
- Asa Walker, 1806
- Argalus Thomas, 1807-1809, 1813
- Joseph W. Hamilton, 1810
- James W. Jenkins, Sr., 1811
- Benjamin Jenkins, 1812
- Peleg Aldrich, 1814
- Samuel Mixter, 1815, 1816
- Warren P. Wing, 1817
- Luther Spaulding, 1818
- Apolos Johnson, 1819, 1820
- John Warner, 1821, 1822
- Gardner Ruggles, 1823, 1824, 1827, 1829, 1841, 1842, 1848, 1849; SN
- Samuel Lee, 1825; Bio
- Lucius R. Paige, 1826
- James J. Thompson, 1828
- Dennison A. Robinson, 1830, 1831, 1843, 1844
- Joshua Flagg, 1832-1834, 1836-1840
- George Washburn, 1846, 1847
- John Winslow, 1854
- William A. Fuller, 1855
- George J. Sanger, 1856-1858
- James Holland, 1859-1862, 1864
- Chauncey C. Hemenway, 1863
- George M. Buttrick, 1865
- Joseph Foster Snow, 1866-1868, 1870
- John W. Rice, 1869, 1874
- Sewall Underwood, 1871, 1872
- Charles E. Newton, 1873, 1893
- George L. Brown, 1875
- H. W. Hubbard, 1876
- Joseph D. Wadsworth, 1877
- Willie H. Osgood, 1878, 1879, 1883, 1887; SN
- W. W. Stacy, 1880, 1881
- Israel T. Hinckley, 1882
- Harding Jenkins, 1884, 1885
- Alvin T. Bailey, 1886, 1889, 1890; SN
- C. H. Osgood, 1888
- George R. Simonds, 1891, 1892
- George Desper, 1894, 1895
- Sumner Stockwell, 1896-1898
- William R. Spooner, 1899, 1900
- Ernest E. Rice, 1901, 1902, 1912, 1913
- Willis D. Geer, 1903, 1904
- John A. Coburn, 1905-1908; Mem
- John L. Smith, 1909, 1910
- Henry L. Pierce, 1911
- William M. Cochran, 1914, 1915
- Cameron E. Wood, 1916
- Arthur J. Hillman, 1917, 1918
- Milton J. Neily, 1919, 1920; N
- William E. Weeks, 1921
- Martin M. Smith, 1922; N
- Charles H. Carr, 1923
- Earle C. Parker, 1924; N
- Tillman A. Taylor, 1925; N
- Walter O. Babcock, 1926
- Wallace S. Freeman, 1927
- Harold B. Mott, 1928
- Edward B. Blanchard, 1929
- William Gawthrop, 1930
- Orton O. Butler, 1931
- Roger F. Langley, 1932
- George W. Dean, 1933
- Anton G. Simenson, 1934
- William A. Hagan, 1935
- Kenneth K. Dennis, 1936
- Stephen E. Rich, 1937
- George N. Peck, 1938
- Donald R. Brown, 1939
- Fritz H. Johnsen, 1940
- Burton F. Curtis, 1941
- William N. Tothill, 1942
- Richard G. Riley, 1943
- Charles R. Dean, 1944; N
- Joseph R. Gallant, 1945
- Walter Hindley, 1946
- Warner F. Smith, 1947
- F. William McQueston, 1948
- William R. Bentley, 1949
- Oliver W. L. Wilkins, 1950
- George O. Upham, 1951
- Edward M. Loughman, 1952
- Clarence H. Clark, 1953
- John C. Ozenbaugh, 1954
- Ralph H. Rogers, 1955
- Alan E. Macintosh, 1956
- Walter E. Flister, 1957
- Herbert Hudson, 1958
- Harold S. Goldsmith, 1959
- Gardner A. Allen, 1960
- Quentin H. Greene, 1961
- Roy E. Handy, Jr., 1962, 1982; N
- Stanley P. Ericson, 1963
- George J. Mennard, 1964
- Harold A. Dennis, 1965
- Merton B. Baker, 1966, 1978
- Raymond C. Valley, 1967
- Ronald W. Rich, Sr., 1968
- Earl R. Miller, 1969
- William R. Bentley, II, 1970
- Ralph A. Hinkley, 1971
- Neil E. Mattson, 1972
- Jordan A. Dean, 1973
- Ronald W. Wilkins, 1974
- Julius T. Benedict, 1975
- William L. Charpentier, 1976
- Melbourne A. Shepard, 1977
- Robert A. Lindquist, 1979
- Charles L. Paquin, Jr., 1980
- Brian A. Handy, 1981, 1986; PDDGM
- Wayne R. Handy, 1983
- John D. Whitmore, 1984
- Anthony A. Castellani, Sr., 1985
- Walter D. Handy, 1987, 1993
- Vance L. Butterfield, 1988
- Peter B. Guilbault, 1989
- Perham S. Parker, 1990
- Nathan C. Locke, 1991
- Thomas J. Mennard, 1992, 1994, 1995
- Paul F. Hunt, 1996
- Ralph H. Rogers, Jr., 1997
- Mark L. Valis, 1998, 2005
- Alan J. Charland, 1999
- John A. Fritscher, 2000, 2004, 2008; DDGM
- Arthur E. Mitchell, 2001
- Walter R. Guertin, Jr., 2002
- William H. Holmes, 2003, 2007
- Mark L. Valis, 2005, 2011, 2012
- R. Clifford Lupien, 2006; PDDGM
- Craig S. Reed, 2009, 2010
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 1900 (Centenary)
- 1925 (125th Anniversary)
- 1950 (150th Anniversary)
- 1975 (175th Anniversary)
- 2000 (200th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1858 (Heard; hall dedication (12/30/1857), Special Communication; see below)
- 1882 (Lawrence)
- 1900 (Gallagher; Centenary, Special Communication)
- 1925 (Ferrell; 125th Anniversary, Special Communication)
- 1928 (Simpson; Hall dedication, Special Communication)
- 1938 (Perry)
- 1950 (Keith; 150th Anniversary, Special Communication)
- 1961 (Eaton); Hall dedication, Special Communication)
- 1975 (Maxwell; 175th Anniversary, Special Communication)
- 1983 (Berquist; mortgage burning)
- 2000 (Bauer; 200th Anniversary, Special Communication)
- 2003 (Hicks)
- 1900 (Centennial Historical Address, 1900-145; see below)
- 1925 (125th Anniversary History, 1925-108; see below)
- 1950 (150th Anniversary History, 1950-48; see below)
- 1975 (175th Anniversary History, 1975-44; see below)
- 2000 (200th Anniversary History, 2000-48; see below)
CENTENARY HISTORICAL ADDRESS, OCTOBER 1900
From Proceedings, Page 1900-145:
by Rev. Alvin F. Bailey. Past Master and Chaplain.
"Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed."
This unscriptural beatitude is apropos to the Address. It is impossible to present a satisfactory account of the doings of Mount Zion Lodge during one hundred years in thirty minutes, even by omitting all details of the blood-curdling experiences of candidates for the degrees in Masonry. Expect no startling revelations from within the veil; for every anti-Mason knows that Masons are bound by fearful oaths never, never to tell what the uninitiated most wish to know. It must not be revealed whether or not the traditional hot shovel is still prepared for the waiting applicant for Masonic honors. This much shall be told, though the speaker share the fate of Morgan: the Entered Apprentice rides the same goat that the first victim of our first Master, Calvin Eaton, bestrode in 1800. The eye of that goat is not dim, nor is his natural strength abated. It would appear from the records of the Lodge that Mount Zion is a Masonic Melchizedek, — "without beginning of days," as we hope it may be without "end of life." They refer to no preliminary action toward its formation, and make no mention of its charter or institution. It was full-fledged and ready for business on March 26, 1800, the date of its first meeting.
Some years since a paper came into the Secretary's hands, purporting to be the original draft of an application to the Grand Lodge for a Lodge to be established in Hardwick, to be known as "Rising Star." It was from Greenwich, dated 1798. No names are attached. Whether as the result of that application, or of another, Mount Zion Lodge was chartered March 11, 1800, and established in Hardwick. The Charter members were Calvin Eaton, Wm. Stone, James Lawton, John Shaw, 2d, Abijah Powers, Clark Powers, Asaph Newcomb, Rufus King, Roger West, Bradford Newcomb, James Stone, Thomas Powers, Jr., Seth Hinkley, Daniel Ruggles, Daniel Billings, Jr., Luke Brown, Nathan Freeman, Edward Ruggles, Peter Blackmer, Jr., Sylvanus Thompson, Samuel Heals, Daniel Thomas, 2d, Samuel French, Thomas Wheeler, Jr., and Elias Hall.
The membership was divided about equally between Ilardwick and Greenwich, (which included the present town of Enfield), with a few from neighboring towns. The founders were representative citizens: merchants, fanners, innholders and one lawyer. Seven of the Hardwick men had been soldiers of the Revolution; three served against Shays' rebellion; six were militia officers. Three served the town as selectmen, two as assessors, one as treasurer, and one as Justice of the Peace. There was a deputy sheriff and coroner, and a graduate of Harvard College. Brethren from other towns were, presumably, of a similar type.
There is no reference to a place of meeting before Jan. 20, 1802, when a committee was chosen "to provide a hall for next Lodge." Records of the third Wednesday in September, 1805, state that "the Lodge met at Mason's Hall, in Hard-wick." Paige, in his History of Hardwick, names, as the first place of meeting, " a spacious hall in Willis' Tavern, on the turnpike." It is doubtful if this was the " Mason's Hall" of the records. It is recorded that on Oct. 18, 1809, "the Lodge formed in procession and proceeded to the meeting house, where a well-adapted discourse was delivered by the R. W. Brother Thompson, and the officers installed; after which the Lodge removed to Bro. D. Ruggles' Hall, and the hall was dedicated" (sic). Dr. Thompson was paid $5 for his discourse, and dinners were furnished for "3 clergy and 10 musitions" (sic). The Ruggles' Hall was the meeting place while the Lodge remained in Hardwick, except on special occasions, as on St. John's day, 1811, when the Lodge furniture was conveyed to Rutland, and the Lodge was opened in Robinson's tavern.
The question of removal to Barre was agitated in 1821, and unanimously negatived, and again in 1828 by a vote of 20 to 11. In 1832 it was voted "not to move to Greenwich village."
There is no record of meetings from Dec. 18, 1850, until June 7, 1854, when the Lodge met in Barre, and continued to do so, without written authority apparently, until March 21, 1855. A letter bearing that date, signed by Horace Chenery, D. D. G. M. of the Sixth Masonic District, to W.M. John Winslow, informs him that "the Grand Lodge grants the prayer of your petition, that you have leave to move Mount Zion Lodge from Hardwick to Barre."
The Lodge at that time was working without its Charter, which was restored June 7, 1855, when its officers were duly installed.
It is said that this and earlier meetings were held "in a hall in Rice's Tavern" — the present Massasoit House. In July, 1855, the Lodge removed to Odd Fellows Hall. In 1856 the hall of A. and H. Rice in the Massasoit House was secured, and in December, 1857, the Lodge was transferred to the Upper Town Hall. On that occasion D. D. G. M. William Flint delivered an address in the Town Hall and the Grand Lodge dedicated the Lodge-room " To Freemasonry, Virtue, and General Benevolence." In 1866 the Lodge removed to its present and permanent abode.
Paige (History of Hardwick) names Mount Zion Lodge "An Association for intellectual and moral improvement," and he knew whereof he affirmed. Its original constituency were no triflers, but good and worthy citizens who led " the strenuous life " in the best sense of the words. The earlier records bear witness to the earnestness and diligence of the Brethren in the business in which they were engaged. The membership was scattered over a territory now occupied by several flourishing Lodges. Many had to traverse magnificent distances over rough and hilly roads to the place of meeting. As late as 1821 members were summoned on important business from Greenwich, Petersham, Barre, New Salem, Dana, Pelham, New Braintree, Oakham, Brookfield, Ware and Weston. The records testify that the Brethren of those times took their Freemasonry seriously; and that it nourished them socially and morally. No obstacle prevented their assemblage. Frequently the meeting was an all-day affair; they held two sessions, with sometimes a third in the evening. Usually the three degrees were worked, and once a belated candidate was accommodated with initiation after all the work had been gone through with. The need of social and fraternal communion was felt more deeply then than in these days of multiplied attractions. Men were drawn to their Lodges as to their churches for similar reasons. The literary and social attractions of the present time were non-existent then. Newspapers did not bring each day's doings to every door, and no rival fraternities divided their interests. The social element in Masonry did much to bring men together upon a common platform, where religious and political differences and social distinctions were ignored absolutely, and where as Brothers they met "on the level" and parted "on the square." Giants of endurance were they, or they could not have done all their Masonic work, and then listened, as they did, to long addresses on " the principles of Masonry," (and paid for them), so often. They believed that the principles of Masonry were well worth understanding, and understanding well. Rev. Dr. Thompson, of Barre, was a favorite speaker in the Lodge and on special occasions. At installation, Sept. 30, 1801, a Brother Judson spoke and received $20. St. John's day orators were generously compensated. "Brother Hitchcock requested to deliver a charge at next meeting;" "Bro. James W. Jenkins to deliver a charge;" "Bro. Charles Jenkins to address next meeting unless Brother Hamilton is prepared;" "Bro. Daniel Ruggles to present something for the good of Masonry at next meeting." Such votes are scattered thickly through the records, and the Brethren already named, with Samuel Mixter, John Field, Rev. Brother Bisby, Gardner Ruggles, W. P. Wing, Dr. Marshall S. Perry, Rev. John M. Merrick, Rev. E. L. Bascom, Rev. Wm. A. Fuller and Brother Flagg were heard attentively, thanked always and, (the clerical Brethren at least), usually paid.
The Lodge celebrated St. John's day eleven times from 1805 to 1831; thrice in Hardwick, twice each in Barre, Rutland, and Petersham, once in Greenwich and once in Templeton, usually in association with other Lodges. The celebrations may have been elaborate and were costly certainly, if that of 1815, held with Harris Lodge in Aldrich's Tavern in Petersham, was a fair sample; for Mount Zion's share of the expenses is recorded as $352.39. The custom fell into disuse in the weaker days of Masonry; no celebration is recorded during the last half century. But probably there was one in 1865, for on June 7 a committee reported to the Lodge that arrangements have been made with Rev. T. E. St. John to deliver an address on the twenty-fourth, and "with Bates and Brooks to furnish dinner."
The matter of refreshment caused the Lodge some anxiety in the first half-century. Refreshment had then a technical meaning not now attached to it, being synonymous with vinous and spirituous liquors. This is proved by an entry on the records of a vote that on a specified occasion the Lodge would furnish Brethren "with refreshment and crackers and cheese" at its own expense. Unquestionably refreshment was used freely according to the universal custom of the times; but, in accordance with a cardinal Masonic principle, restraint was early put upon the Brethren, for it was voted (November, 1800) "that no member or Visiting Brother refresh himself unless called to the same by the Master of the Lodge." At a meeting following the dedication of the hall (1809) : "Voted, No refreshment to be given out of the Lodge in future." In 1814, "Voted, That the Brethren refresh after Brother Conkey's funeral." In 1817 the Lodge arranged with Mr. Jason Mister to supply it with refreshments "at Boston prices, adding 67 cents per cwt. for transportation from Boston." Also that the Lodge refresh but once in an afternoon and evening unless by vote of the members present', and that none but the stewards be admitted to the lobby. In December, 1824, Voted, "that no refreshment be taken in the lobby, and none in the Lodge except when in order and by order of the Master." In 1826 a "closet steward" was appointed for the special purpose of furnishing the Lodge with refreshment and taking care of the tumblers, (this may seem a little ambiguous!), and "to see that there be no waste of property belonging to the Lodge at the regular meetings. And that a bill of the several kinds of liquor and sugar be furnished to the Lodge." A bill of Jason Mister in the Archives indicates the amount and character of the usual refreshments:
- 1825 Sept. 22.
- To one gall. W.I. rum, $1.00
- To one gall. Lisbon Wine, 1.25
- To one quart Brandy, .38
- To 2 quarts Lisbon Wine, 1.00
- Oct. 24.
- To 1 gall. W.I. Rum, 1.00
- To 1 gall. H. Gin, 1.00
- 2 qts. Fourth Proof Brandy, .88
- Dec. 21.
- To 2 quarts Lisbon Wine, .63
- 7 lbs. Sugar at 18c., 1.26"
An item in the same bill, of "12 quire of paper for 12 cents," seems an infinitesimal wing of sobriety drifting on a boundless sea of beverage. From such a document it is easy to infer that Masonic Lodges were areas of unrestrained revelry. But the same logic would derive from parish records of the same period the conclusion that ecclesiastical ordinations, installations and the raising of church buildings were scenes of universal intemperance. Either conclusion would falsify the facts, for both Lodges and churches were schools of sobriety, as measured by the temperance standards of the times. The subject seems to have given the Lodge no trouble after December 28, when a committee was appointed "to regulate the manner in which we are to report in Lodge:" though it is of record that a committee was chosen one night seventy years later (1899) "to examine the mugs and report." The report is not recorded, but it is morally certain that the closest scrutiny of the mugs could have revealed nothing stronger than coffee. The modern liquid refreshments of Mount Zion Lodge may promote sleeplessness if indulged in too freely; but careful Brethren and anxious wives and mothers need cherish no other anxiety as to their effect. Changes of public opinion and social custom make the Masonic equally with the ecclesiastical occasion as temperate a scene as a Good Templar's Lodge can afford. It would be invidious to suggest that the removal of the Lodge from Hardwick to Barre is entitled to any credit for the improved conditions.
Mount Zion's period of greatest prosperity as indicated by admissions to the rights and privileges of Masonry was during the first three decades, 1800-1829, during which time two hundred and ninety-nine (299) were raised. The second decade witnessed a season of relative depression; for in it only forty-four (44) were raised as against one hundred and forty-seven (147) in the first decade. This tendeucy was checked in 1823 under the mastership of Gardiner Ruggles, and in 1823-25 seventy-four (74) were raised, eleven (11) more than in the thirteen years next preceding. Fifteen (15) were raised in 1826-27, notwithstanding the excitement caused by the Morgan episode. But not even the superb tact and energy of Gardiner Ruggles could breast successfully the tidal wave of opposition to Masonry which swept across the Continent. Dr. Paige says that Mount Zion Lodge was not seriously affected until about 1832; yet in 1828-30 only two (2) were raised, and in 1831-36, none. Only four (4) were raised during the fourth decade (1830-39); seven (7) in the fifth decade (1840-49), and thirteen (13) in the sixth (1850-59). A renewal of prosperity came in the seventh decade, notably apparent after 1862. This was the period of greatest increase iu the history of the Lodge after the first decade, ninety-seven (97) being the number raised. The figures for the last three decades, are 1870-79, forty-six (46); 1880-89, thirty-five (35); 1890-99, forty-five (45). These figures are approximately correct; some records are missing, and the account is rendered with the qualification, errors excepted. The total membership of the century cannot be determined with absolute accuracy, nor its losses by death and dismission. The wisdom of future ages must be left to determine the right number. This, at least, seemed certain: the Lodge began its work in March, 1800, with twenty-five (25) Charter members. At the end of a century it numbered one hundred and twenty-four (124) members in good standing.
In the darkest hours of its history Mount Zion held a remnant of the faithful who did not falter in their Masonic allegiance ; who did what they could and then followed the apostolic counsel: "Having done all, stand!"
There is a house in a remote corner of Barre in which, as Masonic tradition relates, Daniel Hemenway and a few other Brethren were accustomed to meet and perfect themselves in Masonic lore and discipline without their Charter or authority from the Grand Lodge. It was purely a labor of love, and in due season it was demonstrated that in the ashes of Mount Zion Lodge "lived its wonted fires."
Tradition and history alike accord to Gardiner Ruggles an important part in the preservation of the life of the Lodge in its days of weakness. Nominally for nine (9) years, practically for a much longer time, he was its Master. It may have been due to his influence that the Lodge was continued on the roll of the Grand Lodge during the entire period of its suspended activity. Dr. Paige affirms that his reorganization of this Lodge in 1842 and his judicious nurture of it for several years, as its Master and as a special agent of the Grand Lodge to conserve the interests of Masonry in Western Massachusetts, were "the first-fruits of renewed Masonic prosperity" in that wide region. Mount Zion Lodge holds in reverent regard the memory of Gardiner Ruggles as the chief of its Past Masters, and venerates the Brethren who stood with him and later without him in the "Valley Forge" days of its history. Our Senior surviving Past Master Rev. Geo. J. Sanger may recall an evening in October, 1858, when as Master of the Lodge he eulogized "the old Masons who withstood the tempest." Most of those who heard him then have "gone the way of all the earth," but the survivors still echo his sentiments with all who gather around Mount Zion's consecrated altar of Freemasonry.
Faithful and true Masons have filled the official stations in the Lodge from the beginning. Those of the earlier days have become a memory; but the record of their work remains. Time forbids the mention of many names, for an historical address cannot have the fulness of a chronicle. Forty-four (44) Masters have ruled the Lodge, their terms of office ranging from the brief month of James Lawton, smitten with fatal illness after his service at one meeting, to the nine (or more) years of Gardiner Ruggles' laborious and successful administration. Of these, twenty-nine (29) have followed their fathers into the Unseen Land.
As the son of Sirach wrote of the famous fathers of ancient Israel, so say we of them: "All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times. There be of them that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported. And some there be which have no memorial, who are perished as though they had never been." No memorial remains of our first Master, Calvin Eaton, other than the scanty information which our records afford ; and the same is substantially true of others not prominent in civil or ecclesiastical circles. But there is evidence that the less noted of our Past Masters tried to do their duty. No record of unfaithfulness or malfeasance in office stands against any of them. This is equally true of our living Past Masters, most of whom are here to-day. And from our knowledge of the work of our contemporaries who never have occupied official stations, either civil or ecclesiastical, we may judge of the quality of that of their forerunners who were not prominent in the affairs of church or State. Near the close of the century the Master's chair was twice occupied by farmers for terms respectively of two and three years. No officers have served the Lodge more faithfully, —although their homes were distant, and the hindrances to their attendance numerous, — few, if any, more successfully. While there are obvious reasons for a frequent choice of professional men as Lodge officers, the better service often is rendered by those outside the professions.
The records of other Lodge officials are like those of the Masters, and few of the Brethren have notoriously disgraced their Masonic professions. Only one case of expulsion is noted, while suspensions have been relatively few; usually for nonpayment of dues, and generally followed by restoration. Harmony has been the rule ; the records indicate no serious disagreement. Relations with other Lodges have been pleasant. A long pending question of jurisdiction between Mount Zion and Lodges in Athol was amicably settled some years ago by mutual agreement. Their relations never were seriously disturbed.
Four District Deputy Grand Masters have been appointed from the Lodge, viz.: Rev. James Thompson, D.D., Gardiner Ruggles, W. H. Osgood and Rev. A. F. Bailey.
Masonic charities are secretly bestowed. The records testify to the Lodge's fidelity to our principles in the matter of relief. In the earlier days it was extended somewhat promiscuously, sometimes to non-Masonic agencies and individuals. The Lodge paid thirty ($30) dollars to make Dr. Thompson a life member of the American Bible Society, but subsequently it refused to contribute to the American Colonization Society. Twice it paid liberally to relieve Spanish Brethren stranded on our shores. It has aided generously distressed Brethren, their widows and orphans, both from its treasury and by individual subscriptions, which are not always made matters of record. The Lodge dues are small and there is no charity fund, but just appeals for aid are always heeded.
It may be fairly inferred that there is no necessary antagonism between the Lodge and the churches, from the number of loyal church members of every denomination, including some who were baptized into the Roman Catholic faith, whose names are on our rolls. In Hardwick, in 1819, two deacons were initiated on the same day, an occasion which called out a large attendance. Rev. Dr. Lucius R. Paige, the historian of Cambridge and Hardwick, the author of a Commentary on the New Testament, and other religious works, and a prominent Universalist divine, was Master in 1826, and retained his interest in the Lodge during his life. For several years the Lodge sent him its congratulations on the anniversary of his birth, which were always duly acknowledged. Rev. Dr. James Thompson, our Master in 1828, was for fifty (50) years the pastor of the First Parish in Barre, prominent in town affairs and beloved by his townsmen, parishioners and Masonic Brethren. A Lodge in Rutland was named for him. Revs. William A. Fuller, John D. Beach and Henry R. Smith, former pastors of the First Parish in Barre, were members of the Lodge, as is its present pastor. Rev. R. P. Walker, Methodist, is a member. Rev. G. J. Sanger, Universalist, is our Senior surviving Past Master. Lyman Maynard, C. L. McCurdy, Ebenezer Robinson and Lorenzo Tandy were clerical members, and probably there were others. Hosea Ballou, the great Apostle of Universalism, was an early visitor of the Lodge. So was Rev. Alpheus Harding, of New Salem, with many prominent ministers of various denominations.
Of physicians whose names are on our rolls, Marshall S. Perry, Joseph N. Bates and Lucius P. Billings are prominent among those of blessed memory. Dr. George L. Brown, of Buffalo, N.Y., our Master in 1875, is affectionately remembered both as a Mason and a physician. Ten (10) Doctors of Medicine are members of the Lodge, presumably attracted to Masonry by its marvellous hygienic properties, which were made manifest in the case of our Brother, James Piper, who was made a Mason in Mount Zion Lodge in 1803, and died in 1867, in the one hundred and fifth year of his age. A life led in accordance with the principles of Freemasonry naturally develops a charitable spirit and a clear conscience, which conduce to health and happiness. Commendable alike in our medical Brethren are their good judgment and manifest unselfishness in their devotion to Masonry as a health-fostering agency.
Of the legal profession, Luke Brown, of Hardwick, and I. Martin Gorham, of Barre, were our only members so far as I can discover. Both were graduates of Harvard College.
The strength of Masonry lies chiefly with the men of affairs, busy with the common interests of the communities in which they live. Daniel Ruggles' long and well-performed service as Secretary of the Lodge was not so brilliant as Gardiner Ruggles' presiding and organizing work, but was as essential in its way. The success of the Lodge depended as much on the services of men like Sami el Beals, James W. Jenkins and Benjamin Jenkins, Gen. Samuel Lee and Samuel Mixter, J. F. Snow and Sewell Underwood, as on those of the professional men, — even more. So will it be always. " Out of the heart are the issues of life," for the Mason as for the Christian. If we and our successors are true to the tenets of our Masonic profession as they were true, and faithful as they were faithful, the future of our beloved Lodge is well assured, and the little association founded in Hardwick one hundred years ago " for intellectual and moral improvement," will fulfill the promise of its youth and will present to the Masonic historian of the twentieth century a record that will prove that the sons were worthy of their fathers, because they were true to their highest ideals.
125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, APRIL 1925
From Proceedings, Page 1925-108:
by Rev. Bro. E. B. Blanchard.
Mount Zion Lodge was organized in 1800 in the town of Hardwick. Its Charter was granted by the Grand Lodge on March 11 of that year:
CHARTER OF MOUNT ZION LODGE.
To All the Fraternity:
To whom these presents shall come: The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, send Greeting:
Whereas, A petition has been presented to us by Calvin Eaton, William Stone, James Lawton, John Shaw, 2d, Abijah Powers, Clark Powers, Asaph Newcomb, Rufus King, Roger West, Bradford New-comb, James Stone, Thomas Powers, Jr., Seth Hinckley, Daniel Ruggles, Daniel Billings, Jr., Luke Brown, Nathan Freeman, Edward Ruggles, Peter Blackmer, Jr., Sylvanus Thompson, Samuel Beals, Daniel Thomas, 2d, Samuel French, Thomas Wheeler, Jr., and Elias Hall, all Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, praying that they, with such others as shall hereafter join them, may be erected and constituted a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, which petition appearing to us as tending to the advancement of Masonry and the Good of the Craft:
Know ye, therefore, That We, the Grand Lodge aforesaid, reposing special trust and confidence in the prudence and fidelity of our beloved brethren above named, have constituted and appointed, and by these presents, do constitute and appoint tin in, the said Calvin Eaton, William Stone, James Lawton, John Shaw, 2d, Abijah Powers, Clark Powers, Asaph Newcomb, Rufus King, Roger West, Bradford Newcomb, .lames Stone, Thomas Powers, Jr., Seth Hinckley, Daniel Ruggles, Daniel Billings, Jr., Luke Brown, Nathan Freeman, Edward Ruggles, Peter Blackmer, Jr., Sylvanus Thompson, Samuel Beals, Daniel Thomas, 2d, Samuel French, Thomas Wheeler, Jr., and Elias Hall, a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the title and designation of Mount Zion Lodge, hereby giving and granting unto them and their successors, full power and authority to convene as Masons within the town of Hardwick, in the County of Worcester and Commonwealth aforesaid, to receive and enter apprentices, pass fellow crafts, and raise Master Masons, upon the payment of such moderate compensations for the same as may be determined by the said Lodge; also to make choice of a Master, Wardens, and other office bearers, annually, or otherwise, as they shall see cause; to receive and collect funds for the relief of poor and distressed brethren, their widows or children, and in general to transact all matters relating to Masonry, which may to them appear to be for the good of the craft, according to the ancient usages and customs of Masons.
And we do hereby require the said constituted brethren to attend the Grand Lodge at their Quarterly Communications, and other meetings, by their Master and Wardens, or by Proxies regularly appointed; also to keep a fair and regular record of all their proceedings, and to lay them before the Grand Lodge when required.
And we do enjoin upon our brethren of the said Lodge, that they be punctual in the quarterly payment of such sums as may be assessed for the support of the Grand Lodge; that they behave themselves respectfully and obediently to their Superiors in office, and in all other respects conduct themselves as good Masons.
And we do hereby declare the precedence of the said Lodge in the Grand Lodge and elsewhere, to commence from the eleventh day of March, one thousand eight hundred.
ln Testimony Whereof, We, the Grand Master and Grand Wardens, by virtue of the power and authority to us committed, have hereunto set our hands, and caused the Seal of the Grand Lodge to lie affixed, at Boston, this eleventh day of March, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred, and of Masonry five thousand eight hundred.
- Saml. Dunn, Grand Master.
- Joseph Laughton, Deputy Grand Master.
- John Boyle, Senior Grand Warden.
- Thad. Mason Harris, Junior Grand Warden.
By order of the Grand Lodge.
(Seal) Daniel Oliver, Secretary.
It will be noted that the wording is almost verbatim that now used.
Its membership was then almost exclusively confined to inhabitants of Hardwick and Greenwich. It was rapidly increased by additions from Brookfield, New Braintree, Barre, and Dana, and for twenty-five years it was flourishing. In 1826 the Anti-Masonic movement began its work of obstruction and division of Lodges. The full tide of that hostile force struck Mount Zion Lodge about 1832, and from that year until 1841 few meetings were held and there is no record of any election of officers.
The Charter of the Lodge was never surrendered. During the days of persecution it was preserved by being buried on the farm of the Hemenway family, members of the Lodge and one of them, C. C. Hemenway, later its Worshipful Master.
The Lodge was revived in 1842 by Maj. Gardner Ruggles, who was a special agent of the Grand Lodge to look after the interests of Freemasonry in central and western Massachusetts during the dark days. Under his fostering care, seconded by a faithful few, Mount Zion Lodge slowly regained its prosperity, but it required many years of hard work to replace it upon a substantial basis.
The records show no meetings to have been held from December 18, 1850, when the Lodge was located in Hardwick, until June 7, 1854, at which time a regular communication was held in Barre—the cause of this inactivity being, no doubt, that a large part of the membership resided in Barre, at quite a distance from the place of meeting. It was not until March 14, 1855, that the Grand Lodge formally granted permission to remove the Lodge to Barre.
In Grand Lodge, March 14, 1855, voted, "That Mount Zion Lodge have permission to remove its location from the town of Hardwick to the town of Barre."
Since that time it has maintained itself successfully, the decade ending with 1870, however, showing much larger gains in membership than any similar period in its history, and its future prosperity seems well assured.
Its present membership (January 1, 1903) is one hundred and thirty-three, of which number eighty-five are residents of Barre and adjoining towns, thirty-four reside in other cities and towns in Massachusetts, while fourteen have removed to other states.
Mount Zion Lodge first met in a hall in the Willis Tavern in Hardwick. A new tavern was built in the center of the town in 1809, by Daniel Ruggles, in which a proper hall was fitted for the use of the Lodge, which it occupied from October 18 of that year until its removal to Barre. For several months after its removal meetings were held in the hall of Rice's Tavern (now the Massasoit House) and for two years following Odd Fellows Hall was used, and not until December, 1857, did the Lodge have a hall of its own, when, on the 30th of that month, the rooms upon the upper floor of the Town Hall having been refitted and furnished were publicly dedicated by the Grand Lodge to "Free Masonry, Virtue and Universal Benevolence. This hall was occupied until 1866 when the upper story of Shattuck's Block was leased and fitted up and has since been the home of the Lodge.
October 3, 1900. the Lodge observed its Centennial Anniversary in an appropriate manner, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge and about three hundred Masons being present.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, October 3, 1900.
Over one hundred were present at the opening of the Lodge and also some twenty Grand Officers were present. While convened Bro. George F. Newcomb, of New Haven, Conn., presented a Past Master's pin to Mount Zion Lodge which had been the property of his grandfather, Asaph Newcomb, who was Master of Mount Zion Lodge in 1804. lie was one of the petitioners to the Grand Lodge and a Charter member. The Lodge accepted the pin with thanks.
A procession was formed in front of the Lodge Building and proceeded to Hotel Barre, where the officers of the Grand Lodge were in waiting. From there all marched to the Unitarian Church where the following program was given.
ORDER OF EXERCISES.
- Anthem, "Sing Alleluia Forth", Harvard Quartet of Boston
- Prayer, Rev. Bro. Raymond P. Walker
- Response, Harvard Quartet of Boston
- Address of Welcome, W. Bro. Wm. R. Spooner
- Response, Grand Master of Massachusetts, M. W. Charles T. Gallagher
- Singing, "Praise the Father", Harvard Quartet of Boston
- Historical Address, Rev. Bro. Alvin F. Bailey, Chaplain of Mount Zion Lodge
- Singing, "One Hundred Years Ago", Harvard Quartet of Boston
- Oration, Wor. and Rev. E. A. Horton, Grand Chaplain
- Singing, "Remember now thy Creator", Harvard Quartet of Boston
- Benediction, Rev. Bro. Charles Necklin
After the exercises a procession was again formed and proceeded to the Town Hall where a banquet was served by the proprietor of Hotel Barrie, Bro. George H. Prouty, to over two hundred and fifty persons.
A very interesting account of that celebration may be found in the following local paper, The Barre Gazette. It is very much to be regretted that no copy can be found of the historical address by Rev. Bro. Alvin P. Bailey, which it has been said was replete with the interesting facts of those hundred years. This was due to the fact that as early as January 8, 1896, under Worshipful Master George Desper and Secretary William R. Spooner, it was voted that a committee be chosen consisting of Bros. A. F. Bailey, G. R. Simonds, and W. R. Spooner to make search for, collect, and compile any statistics relative to Mount Zion Lodge not now embraced in the records and all items which may be of historical interest in view of the approaching centennial of the Lodge.
The fraternal fellowship of those days was well illustrated by a vote on March 11, 1896, that the Secretary be instructed to send to our reverend and esteemed Past Master Lucius R. Paige birthday greetings with the best wishes of Mount Zion Lodge over which Brother Paige presided seventy years previously.
On March 13 this letter was received from Cambridgeport:
To the Officers & Members of Mt. Zion Lodge.
I cordially thank you for your kind token of remembrance. I am deeply indebted to Mt. Zion Lodge for kindness to me when I was very young and for remembrance of my old age. I hope I shall not cease to be grateful while I live.
LUCIUS R. PAIGE.
Soon after this he passed to eternal light over ninety-four years of age. Wor. Bro. Paige was a minister and a Doctor of Divinity in the Universalist denomination.
When Bethel Lodge, of Enfield, were to dedicate their new hall after they were burned out it was voted on January 9. 1901, to procure a suitable present to be presented by a delegation at the Dedication of their new Lodge-room, the matter to be left in charge of the Worshipful Master and the Wardens.
In 1911 the Lodge and the Eastern Star fitted up the banquet room on the second floor. In fact ever since the establishment of the Chapter 125, O. E. S., the relations with the Star Sisters have been exceedingly friendly and pleasant. The truth of this statement has been proved during the many occasions when the Order of the Eastern Star has furnished the banquets to the Lodge and their invited guests and it has appeared to us that the invitations to neighboring Lodges to meet with us on special occasions have suggested to them the well-laden tables of the ladies of the Eastern Star, thus explaining the reason for the good fellowship and the crowded Lodge-room.
Besides the regular routine work of the Lodge of inculcating the noble and enduring principles of our Order and cementing our friendship in brotherly love, when we tried to impress upon every candidate the high and lasting ideals for which we stand, we have endeavored to cultivate .stronger social life, and with proper humility it may be .said that several members of the Lodge ably assisted the ladies of the Eastern Star in making their May party two years ago a great success.
Under date of May 8. 1912, a letter was received from Bro. Charles W. Allen, of Concord Junction, presenting to Mount Zion Lodge a chair which was at one time the "Master's Chair" of Mount Zion Lodge. It became the property of Gardner Boggles, who was Master of Mount Zion Lodge for a number of years. Be it was who was commissioned by the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts to look after the interests of Freemasonry in central and western Massachusetts during the dark days from 1832 to 1842. The chair became the property of Bro. Charles W. Allen, who is the grandson of Gardner Ruggles.
It was voted to accept the chair and that the Secretary extend to Brother Allen the thanks of the Lodge.
During the last year under the efficient management of the Room Committee, Wor. Bros. C. E. Wood, W. E. Weeks, and M. M. Smith, the Lodge-room was enlarged, repaired, and much better lighted, adding much to our comfort and convenience.
The last twenty-five years have been \x>ry prosperous years; since 1900 over two hundred and twenty-five have been admitted to membership. During the last eight years over one hundred were admitted. Many have been ushered into the greater Light. Several have dimitted to other Lodges. The present membership is one hundred and ninety-nine.
Three times we have held Past Masters' Night, April 15, 1921, May 29, 1923, and February 25, 1925.
On May 29, 1923, five Past Masters were presented Past Master's jewels, and at the same time Bro. W. S. Bates was conducted to the East and presented with a testimonial in appreciation of his services as Treasurer of Mount Zion Lodge for twenty consecutive years, from September, 1897, to September, 1917, Bro. L. O. Whitman, formerly a resident physician of Barre, took the opportunity to give Dr. Bates a large bouquet of roses.
A historical evening was held on December 29, 1920, when one hundred and sixteen members of Mount Zion Lodge and Cradle Rock Chapter of the O. E. S. and their friends met in the Lodge-room and celebrated the three hundredth anniversary of the Landing of the Pilgrims. W.M. Milton J. Neily presided.
The following program was given:
- Prayer, Rev. E. B. Blanchard
- Address, "Our Heritage from the Pilgrims", Rev. Lester E. Evens
- Reading, "Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness, from Shakespeare's "King Henry VIII", Bro. John R. Needham
- Cantata, "Pilgrims of 1620"
- Director and pianist, Bro. Stephen Rich
- Solos by Dr. L. O. Whitman and Mrs. Bertha Cox, assisted by a chorus of fifteen
- Reading of the Mayflower Compact, Bro. John B. Needham
- Violin solos, Bro. Whitman and George Dean
After the entertainment refreshments were served in the banquet room and then about sixty of the company enjoyed whist. The committee in charge were Bros. M. J. Neily, W. E. Weeks, M. M. Smith, and C. C. Whitney.
Thus each winter season the Lodge has enjoyed social gatherings with the members of the Eastern Star to encourage the good fellowship and pleasant relations.
Would that I might have taken time to enumerate the number of resolutions drawn up of committees of which Rev. Bro. Alvin F. Bailey was chairman, a service for which he had great talent, from 1883 to 1918. also the able service on committees of Brothers Desper, Sumner, Stockwell, George R. Simonds, Dr. Bates. John A. Coburn, John L. Smith, C. E. Wood, W. E. Weeks, M. M. Smith, M. J. Neily, and many, many others.
Mount Zion Lodge has furnished six District Deputy Grand Masters, as follows:
- James Thompson, 1809 to 1813, inc.
- Gardner Ruggles, 1833, 1835 to 1843, inc.
- William H. Osgood, 1889 and 1890
- Alvin F. Bailey, 1899 and 1909
- John A. Coburn, 1913 and 1914
- Milton J. Neily, 1924 and 1925
The Lodge has had fifty-nine Masters, as follows:
- Calvin Eaton, 1800-1-2-5
- James Lawton, 1803
- Samuel Beals, 1804
- Asaph Newcomb, 1805
- Asa Walker, 1806
- Argalus Thomas, 1807-8-9-13
- Joseph W. Hamilton, 1810
- James W. Jenkins, Sr., 1811
- Benjamin Jenkins, 1812
- Peleg Aldrich, 1814
- Samuel Mixter, 1815-1816
- Warren P. Wing, 1817
- Luther Spaulding, 1818
- Apolos Johnson, 1819-1820
- John Warner, 1821-1822
- Gardner Ruggies, 1823-1824-1827, 1829-1841, 1842, 1848-1849
- Samuel Lee, 1825
- Rev. Lucius K. Paige, 1826
- Rev. James Thompson, 1828
- D. A. Robinson, 1830-1831-1843-1844
- Joshua Flagg, 1832-1833-1834, 1836-1838, 1841
- George Washburn, 1846-1847
- John Winslow, 1854
- Rev. William A. Fuller, 1855
- Rev. G. T. Sanger, 1856-1857-1858
- James Holland, 1859-1860-1861-1862-1864
- C. O. Hemenway, 1863
- George M. Buttrick, 1865
- J. F. Snow, 1866-1867-1868-1870
- John W. Rice, 1869-1874
- Sewell Underwood, 1871-1872
- C. E. Newton, 1873, 1893
- George L. Brown, 1875
- H. W. Hubbard, 1876
- J. D. Wadsworth, 1877
- W. H. Osgood, 1878-1879-1883-1887
- W. W. Stacy, 1880-1881
- I. T. Hinckley, 1882
- Harding Jenkins, 1884-1885
- Rev. A. F. Bailey, 1886-1889-1890
- C. H. Osgood, 1888
- George R. Simonds, 1891-1892
- George Desper, 1894-1895
- Sumner Stockwell, 1896-1897-1898
- W. S. Spooner, 1899-1900
- Ernest E. Rice, 1901-1902-1903
- W. D. Geer, 1904-1905
- J. A. Coburn, 1905-1906-1907-1908
- John L. Smith, 1909-1910-1911
- Henry L. Pierce, 1912
- E. E. Rice, 1913-1914
- W. M. Cochran, 1914-1915-1916
- C. E. Wood, 1916-1917
- A. J. Hillman, 1917-1918-1919
- M. J. Neily, 1919-1920
- W. E. Weeks, 1920-1921-1922
- M. M. Smith, 1922-1923
- Charles H. Carr, 1923-1924
- E. C. Parker, 1924-1925
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, APRIL 1950
‘’From Proceedings, Page 1950-148:’’
By Worshipful Joseph R. Gallant.
It is eminently fitting that the members of Mount Zion Lodge, A.F. & A.M., who this day celebrate the 150th anniversary of the granting of our Charter, look back over the many years which have passed. Having been entrusted with the elaboration of this work, I have tried to the best of my ability to discharge the duty assigned to me.
This history is dedicated to all of those faithful Secretaries and Historians who through the last 150 years have recorded for posterity the life of Mount Zion Lodge. Credit should particularly be given to the late Rev. Brother Edward B. Blanchard and R. W. Earle C. Parker, who have contributed much of the material herein recorded.
Mount Zion Lodge was organized in the Town of Hardwick, and its charter was granted by the Grand Lodge on March 11, 1800. The original charter, which is kept well-preserved, bears the signature of Samuel Dunn, who was Grand Master at the time. The first Worshipful Master of Mount Zion Lodge was Wor. Calvin Eaton, who served for the years 1800, 1801, 1802 and 1805.
The Lodge first met in a hall which was part of the Willis Tavern. In 1809 a new tavern was built by Bro. Daniel Ruggles, in which a proper hall was furnished for the use of the Lodge. It was not uncommon in those days for Masons to meet in taverns. The Lodge records show that our Brethren carried on their meetings very much the same then as we do today.
The Lodge flourished from that time until the year 1826, at which time the anti-Masonic movement began its work of obstruction and the division of Lodges. The full force of that hostile act struck Mount Zion Lodge about 1832, and from that year until 1841, few meetings were held.
The Lodge was revived in 1842 by the tremendous efforts of Wor. Brother Gardner Ruggles, a Past Master of the Lodge who was commissioned by the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts as a special agent of the Grand Lodge. He had the great task of looking after the interests of Freemasonry through Central and Western Massachusetts during those dark days. The charter of the Lodge was never surrendered, and during the days of persecution, was preserved by being buried beneath the trunk of an apple tree on the farm of the Hemenway family whose male members were members of the Lodge. The records show no meetings were held from December 18, 1850, when the Lodge was located in Hardwick, until June 7, 1854, at which time a regular communication was held in Barre — the cause of this inactivity being, no doubt, that the majority of the members resided in Barre, which was quite a distance from Hardwick. It was not until March 14, 1855, that the Grand Lodge formally granted permission to move the Lodge to Barre.
For several months after its removal to Barre, meetings were held in the hall of Rice's Tavern, later known as the Massasoit House, and for two years following, Odd Fellow's Hall was used. The Lodge finally secured rooms of its own on the upper floor of the town hall, and on December 30, 1857, these rooms were dedicated by the Grand Lodge to "Freemasonry, Virtue and Universal Benevolence." This hall was occupied until 1866 when the upper story of Shattuck's Block was leased and furnished, and since that time, it has been the home of the Lodge. On October 3, 1900, the Lodge observed its Centennial Anniversary in an appropriate manner, at which time the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge and about three hundred Masons were present. During the meeting of the Lodge, Bro. George F. Newcomb of New Haven, Connecticut, presented a Past Master's pin to the Lodge. This pin had been the property of his grandfather, Asaph Newcomb, who was Master of the Lodge in 1804 and a charter member.
In 1911 the Lodge, together with the members of Cradle Rock Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, fitted out a fine banquet room on the second floor of the building. The social relations between the two organizations have been most pleasant throughout these many years.
In 1924, at the celebration of the Feast of St. John and the installation of the officers of the Grand Lodge, another honor was bestowed upon Mount Zion Lodge. Our own Wor. Brother Milton J. Neily was installed as District Deputy Grand Master of the Palmer 19th Masonic District. He served very successfully in that capacity for two years. He was the sixth District Deputy to be appointed from Mount Zion Lodge, following R. W. John A. Coburn, who served in 1913.
On April 30,1925, the Lodge celebrated its 125th Anniversary. The Lodge was opened by Wor. Earle C. Parker, and a reception was held for R. W. Curtis Chipman, acting Grand Master, and his suite of distinguished Masons. A program suitable to the occasion was carried out, after which the Lodge adjourned to the banquet-hall and enjoyed a delicious dinner which was prepared and served by the ladies of Cradle Rock Chapter, O.E.S. In the evening a concert and ball was held in Williams Hall. As the evening came to a close, so also was the curtain lowered on a century and a quarter of good fellowship and outstanding achievement in the history of our Lodge.
On Saturday evening, October 10, 1925, Wor. Brother Earle C. Parker, Master of the Lodge, called a special meeting for the purpose of receiving Bro. F. Vernon Willey, a member of Pentalpha Lodge No. 914 of Bradford, England, who was the honored guest of the evening. Brother Willey visited Mount Zion Lodge for the purpose of presenting a beautiful altar, which was designed and built by Wor. Brother Cameron E. Wood, a Past Master of Mount Zion Lodge. In his presentation address, Brother Willey congratulated Wor. Brother Wood on the superb workmanship and artistic design of the altar.
During the year 1927, when Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson was Grand Master, most of the Masonic districts were rearranged. The whole state was re-districted, and when the plans were completed, we found that Mount Zion Lodge had been taken from the 19th Masonic District and placed in the 13th District. As Mount Zion was the oldest Lodge in the new district, it has since been known as "The Barre 13th Masonic District." Our first visitation as part of the new district was held September 28, 1927, and R. W. George H. Heywood, a Past Master of Hope Lodge, Gardner, was District Deputy Grand Master.
On January 14, 1927, the Lodge suffered a disastrous fire which destroyed practically everything owned by the Lodge. Our records dating back, to 1800, our charter and a few things in the preparation room were all that were saved. The beautiful altar presented only a short time before, and the old Master's chair, which was more than 127 years old, and which was used by the first Master of Mount Zion Lodge when it met in Hardwick, were not spared. We were fortunate, however, in retrieving from the ashes the silver square and compasses which were of historical value as they were the same ones that were used when the Lodge was organized in 1800. Wor. Brother Walter O. Babcock was Master of the Lodge at the time of the fire, and under his direction, Grange Hall, situated in the town hall, was secured for our meetings until such time as our own quarters were restored.
The Lodge held its meetings in Grange Hall from January 25, 1927, until April 11, 1928, when we returned to our new quarters in the same building where the Lodge met prior to the fire. Due to the fact that our old lodge-room which occupied the entire top floor was completely destroyed, it was voted to take the dining room, which was located on the second floor, and remodel it for a suitable meeting place.
On May 14, 1928, during the year that Wor. Wallace S. Freeman was Master, the lodge-rooms were officially dedicated by M. W. Frank L. Simpson, Grand Master, and his suite of officers. It was at this meeting that the furniture of the Lodge was presented by the various members. The three Great Lights, a set of working tools, a gavel, a letter G, the Deacons' and Stewards' rods, a Marshal's baton, were also presented to the Lodge by all of the Lodges comprising the 19th Masonic District.
In the year 1936, M.W. Claude L. Allen, Grand Master, honored the Lodge by appointing Wor. Earle C. Parker as District Deputy Grand Master for the Barre 13th District. This was the seventh time that our Lodge had been so honored. A few years later, R. W. Brother Parker was elected to serve as Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, and at his reception on March 6, 1941, M. W. Grand Master Albert A. Schaefer presented to him the Henry Price Medal, which is given for outstanding service to Masonry in Massachusetts. Wor. Brother George W. Dean was appointed to serve as Grand Pursuivant of the Grand Lodge at this same time.
On that memorable day of December 7, 1941, as we all remember, the whole world was thrust into a terrible war. Mount Zion Lodge was well represented in this conflict by sixteen members, all of whom returned to again meet with us with one exception — Brother Robert C. Dwelly, Jr., who travelled to that Celestial Lodge above. Previous to his entering the Armed Forces, Brother Dwelly served the Lodge as Junior Steward. A fine memorial plaque, dedicated to the Brothers who served their country, occupies a fitting place in the lodge-room. It was made and presented to the Lodge by Wor. Cameron E. Wood, who has contributed many fine tokens to the Lodge throughout the years.
It is also fitting at this time to review the Masonic record of Wor. Brother William W. Stacy, one of our oldest members. He was born in 1853, and was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on November 1, 1876. At the time of his death on January 17, 1949, he was believed to be the oldest living Past Master in Massachusetts. He served as Master during the years 1880 and 1881, and had been a member of the Lodge for approximately seventy-two years. Previous to his passing, Wor. Brother Stacy presented a beautiful, antique Grandfather's clock to the Lodge. "Uncle Bill," as he was known to the Brethren, was a master mechanic by trade, and the complicated works contained in the clock were made by him. The clock was received with thanks from the Lodge, and placed in the dining room where all may admire it for years to come.
In 1947, at the Feast of St. John and the installation of Grand Lodge officers, Mount Zion Lodge was again honored by the appointment of R. W. Tillman A. Taylor as District Deputy Grand Master for the Barre 13th Masonic District. R. W. Brother Taylor is one of the outstanding Masons in our District, and has served with distinction for two years.
In February, 1949, Mount Zion Lodge lost by death one of its most faithful and distinguished members — R.W. Milton J. Neily, who served the Lodge as Secretary for twenty-seven years. The Lodge was deeply grieved at this parting. He was the so-called right hand of the Masters throughout his many years as Secretary. This history would have been very difficult to write if it were not for the fine way in which he kept the records of our Lodge.
It is fitting at this time to honor our oldest living Past Master, Wor. Brother John Leland Smith, who is with us tonight. Wor. Brother Smith was made a Master Mason in Mount Zion Lodge on May 27, 1891, and served the Lodge as its Worshipful Master during the years 1909 and 1910. He is one of the proud wearers of the Fifty Year Medal presented by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. At the age of ninety, he is enjoying good health, and on occasion, attends the meetings of our Lodge. It is our earnest wish that he will continue to enjoy good health for years to come.
In conclusion, my Brethren, in writing this historical record, I have endeavored to cover the important events of Mount Zion Lodge during the ISO years of its existence. It is regretted that time and space will not permit the mention of all the many Brethren who have rendered valuable and outstanding service to the Craft and Mount Zion Lodge throughout so many years. Therefore, may this record serve to recall to mind the many happy hours spent together in fraternal fellowship. May we strive in the years to come to make our institution an agency for good among men, as our forefathers did before us, so that down through the ages will be transmitted, unimpaired, the most valuable tenets of our institution — Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love — and may God add His blessing to our endeavors.
175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1975
From Proceedings, Page 1975-44:
From 1950 to 1975
By Worshipful Walter E. Flister
(For a more detailed history of Mount Zion Lodge covering the earlier periods, please refer to: 1900 Mass. 145-158; 1925 Mass. 108-119; 1950 Mass. 48-53.)
Throughout the annals of history, men have gathered together in Friendship and in Brotherly Love, to socialize and to help one another in times of adversity. Thus was Masonry born, and thus has Masonry continued from ancient days to the present.
We are gathered together, this evening, to celebrate 175 years of Masonry in Mount Zion Lodge, we honor the deeds of those distinguished Masons who have preceded us. But we shall also challenge the present and future generations of Masons to continue spreading the teachings of Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love throughout all the world.
The history of the first 150 years of Mount Zion Lodge has been chronicled on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary Celebration by Worshipful Joseph R. Gallant, and is printed in its entirety in the Grand Lodge Proceedings of 1950. And so, on Friday, April 21, 1950, Mount Zion Lodge did indeed celebrate 150 years of existence in a manner befitting the glorious achievements of the past, and in eager anticipation of the second 150 years of promoting those excellent tenets of our profession in Barre, in the surrounding communities, and throughout the whole world. Most Worshipful Roger Keith, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and a large and very distinguished suite, together with many invited guests, joined in making this a truly memorable evening for Worshipful William R. Bentley, Worshipful Master, and the officers and members of Mount Zion Lodge. (1950 Mass. 46-53)
The intervening years have been busy ones for Mount Zion Lodge — years of accomplishment — years in which many new Master Masons have joined our ranks — years in which many distinguished and devoted Masons have travelled to that house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens.
We have fond recollections of the evening of October 12, 1951, when Worshipful William E. Weeks was escorted to the East where our beloved Right Worshipful Tillman A. Taylor presented Worshipful Brother Weeks with the love and respect of the Lodge together with a Hamilton watch in deep appreciation from Mount Zion Lodge for his 26 years of faithful service as Tyler.
In March of 1953, with Worshipful Edward M. Loughman as Master, the officers of Mount Zion Lodge were pleased to put on the Master Mason Degree for the Brethren residing at the Masonic Home in Charlton, and also to visit with the fine ladies and Masons there in residence.
Mount Zion Lodge has been privileged over the years to have had that distinguished Mason, Right Worshipful Ronald Astley, Past Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, install its officers. Starting in 1949, and for fifteen times since, Right Worshipful Brother Astley, a member of Mount Holyoke Lodge, assisted on most occasions by his good Chaplain, Worshipful Joseph Lacey, and by his very efficient Marshal, Right Worshipful Edgar G. Thompson, exemplified the ritual of installation in a manner as recorded by our secretary, and I quote: "It is difficult to report adequately the installation ceremony as conducted by Right Worshipful Ronald Astley. His ritual work is excellent and it is beautifully rendered. He inspires each officer with personal words of encouragement." Mount Zion Lodge was pleased to confer on Right Worshipful Brother Astley the first honorary membership in Mount Zion Lodge in its 153 years of existence on June 3, 1953. Right Worshipful Edgar G. Thompson was similarly honored on December 6, 1966. We are proud of them, and we pray they will conduct another sixteen installations of Mount Zion Lodge officers.
In June of 1954, Mount Zion Lodge received the inlaid gavel used by our Worshipful .Masters. This gave] was made by Worshipful Cameron E. Wood, who had made the altar destroyed by fire in 1927.
The records of Mount Zion Lodge include mention of the numerous visits of officers and members to sick or distressed Brethren and their families. We are particularly proud of the great joy received as the result of distributing baskets of goodies and flowers to our senior members, especially at Christmastime. During the 1950's, much activity was directed at acquiring our own quarters. After one hundred and fifty years, Mount Zion Lodge continued to be a tenant. Several pieces of property around town were examined, but subsequently were withdrawn from consideration. We were to wait for several more years to pass before our dream was to be fulfilled.
Being located in a small town, Mount Zion Lodge enjoys many advantages, not the least of which is the absence of a complex existence. However, there are several disadvantages. Consider the evening of February 5, 1958. Mount Zion Lodge had scheduled an Entered Apprentice Degree, and Right Worshipful Cyril E. Brubaker was paying Mount Zion a Fraternal Visitation. The business portion of the work had been completed and the Lodge was at recess prior to the First Section of the First Degree. Suddenly, the wail of the fire siren on the Town House next door came roaring into the Lodge rooms. The Worshipful Master, Walter E. Flister, suddenly found himself without a Senior Warden or Junior Warden as they were both volunteer firemen. Dressed in their tuxedos, Brothers Herbert Hudson and Harold Goldsmith had gone off to fight the conflagration at Stetson Home. Their Lodge stations were filled by Right Worshipful Joseph "Prentiss of Orange Lodge and Worshipful Oliver Wilkins. As our Secretary, Right Worshipful Martin M. Smith, recorded in the minutes: "They did excellent work on one minute's notice."
New officers' aprons were purchased largely through a gift of the Acacia Club, and they were first worn on February 3, 1960.
In the summer of 1960, land was purchased by the Barre Masonic, Charitable and Educational Corporation. Soon afterward, construction was started, and finally on March 1, 1961 even though the building had not been fully completed, Worshipful Gardner A. Allen, Worshipful Master, proudly gavelled to order the first meeting in our new Temple.
On March 11, 1961, Most Worshipful Laurence E. Eaton, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, was present with his Grand Lodge officers and an exceedingly large and distinguished suite. (1961 Mass. 33-34) After the report of the architect of the Temple, Worshipful William R. Bentley, the Most Worshipful Grand Master dedicated the Temple. At last, after one hundred and sixty-one years, Mount Zion Lodge had its own home.
Mount Zion Lodge lays claim to several things we believe are unique. What other Lodge has a member they have never seen? In 1961 we received an application from a soldier in Germany. Robert Porter, a sergeant-major, was elected to Mount Zion Lodge. He received his Degrees in Lodges in Germany, as a courtesy to Mount Zion Lodge. He has never returned to the United States, but he has achieved high honors in Masonry including Master of a Lodge and years of service as Grand Secretary to the United States Lodges in Germany.
And then on December 4, 1968, Brother Charles Reynolds presented a rare sword to the Lodge for use by the Tyler. This sword is authenticated as being one of four known authorized replicas of King Arthur's sword, Excalibur. "The highly stylized mask on the hilt is that of Merlin, Court Magician to King Arthur. The hilt and guard are of a gold alloy. This sword was commissioned to be made in 1511 by Emperor Maximillian the First and Empress Maria of Austria as royal gifts."
Many honors have come to Mount Zion Lodge, but none more richly deserved than when Right Worshipful Tillman A. Taylor received the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal. This was the culmination of a long and exemplary Masonic career for our beloved "Tilly".
The members of Mount Zion Lodge responded magnificently to the Masonic Home Expansion Fund Drive in 1973. Under the Chairmanship of Worshipful George J. Mennard, the committee obtained pledges of $6,700. which was 196$ of the goal set for the Lodge.
Under the direction of Worshipful Clarence H. Clark, the members of Mount Zion Lodge, in conjunction with Cradle Rock Chapter, constructed a float for the Barre Bicentennial Parade in 1974. Their efforts were amply rewarded by much applause along the route of the parade.
And now we are assembled here, in all humility, to commemorate all that has gone on before in our one hundred and seventy-five years. Our Committee under the guidance of Worshipful W. Robert Bentley II, Chairman, Worshipful Master Ronald Wilkins, and the officers and members of Mount Zion Lodge have been joined by Most Worshipful Stanley F. Maxwell, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and our own District Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Charles R. Dean on this most solemn occasion.
May we pray for Divine Guidance from above that will allow us to be worthy of the trust that has been passed on to us by our predecessors. And to Thee shall be all the Praise.
200TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, APRIL 2000
From Proceedings, Page 2000-48:
By Wor. Walter E. Flister, Secretary.
The Year of our Lord 1800 was a unique time in this history of the United States. The colonists had come through a long period of contention and conflict with the so-called "Mother Country".
The fledgling nation was expanding, relationships with other countries were being formed, and, in the small country town of Hardwick as in many cities and towns across the country, men were gathering together to form entities called lodges. These associations promulgated the intellectual and moral improvement that human beings strive for.
The history of the first 175 years of Mount Zion Lodge has been chronicled in the past by such illustrious Masons as Wor. & Rev. E.B. Blanchard, R. W. Earle C. Parker, Wor. Joseph R. Gallant, and Wor. Walter E. Flister. They have been printed in their entirety in the Grand Lodge Proceedings. Only the highlights of their accounts of the glorious past of the Lodge will be included here as a matter of historical interest.
The charter from Grand Lodge bears the date of March 11, 1800, and about half of the twenty-five original members came from Hardwick, and nearly all the others from Greenwich including what became Enfield. The original charter, which has been well preserved, bears the signature of Most Worshipful Samuel Dunn, who was Grand Master at the time.
Its first place of meeting was in a spacious hall in the Willis Tavern. In 1809 Daniel Ruggles erected a new tavern in the center of town, said building is still standing just as you enter the Common in Hardwick Center. There is a plaque attached to the front and, if you look closely, there is an all-seeing eye over the front door. In it he fitted a hall for Masonic purposes, and the Lodge was removed thither on the 18th day of October in that year. A procession was formed at the old hall at 10 o'clock a.m., then proceeded to the meetinghouse, where a discourse was delivered by Rev. James Thompson of Barre, and the officers were publicly installed. The procession was again formed and the assemblage proceeded to what was thenceforth the new home of Mount Zion Lodge until March 14, 1855, when it was removed to Barre.
Since the members had to travel great distances over darkened roads, the meetings were held on the 1st Wednesday after the full moon. Many overnighted at the tavern until the light of day assisted them in getting to their homes.
The Lodge flourished from that time until the year 1826, at which time the anti-Masonic movement began its work of obstruction and the division of Lodges. The full force of that hostile act struck Mount Zion Lodge about 1832, and, from that year until 1841, few meeting were held.
The Lodge was revived in 1842 by the tremendous efforts of Wor. Brother Gardner Ruggles, a Past Master of the Lodge, who was commissioned by the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts as a special agent of Grand Lodge. The charter of the Lodge was never surrendered, and during the days of persecution, it was preserved by being buried beneath the trunk of an apple tree on the farm of the Hemenway family, whose male members were members of the Lodge.
The records show no meetings were held from December 18,1850, when the Lodge was located in Hardwick, until June 7, 1854, at which time a regular communication was held in Barre, the cause of this inactivity being, no doubt, that the majority of members resided in Barre, which was quite a distance from Hardwick.
For several months after its removal to Barre, meetings were held in the hall of Rice's Tavern, later known as the Massasoit House, and for two years following, Odd Fellow's Hall was used.
The Lodge finally secured rooms of its own on the upper floor of the Town Hall, and on December 30, 1857, those rooms were dedicated by the Grand Lodge of "Freemasonry, Virtue and Universal Benevolence". This hall was occupied until 1866 when the upper story of Shattuck's Block was leased and furnished. (Shattuck's Block is the building adjacent to the Town Hall on the Common. Many of us here this evening have fond memories of meeting there.)
On October 3, 1900, the Lodge observed its Centennial Anniversary in an appropriate manner, at which time the Most Worshipful Grand Master and about three hundred Masons were present.
In 1911 the Lodge, together with the members of Cradle Rock Chapter No. 125, Order of the Eastern Star, fitted out a fine banquet room on the second floor of the building. The social relations between the two organizations have been most pleasant throughout these many years.
On April 30, 1925, the Lodge celebrated its 125th Anniversary. The Lodge was opened by Wor. Earle C. Parker and a reception was held for R. W. Curtis Chipman, acting Grand Master, and his suite of distinguished Masons.
On Saturday evening, October 10, 1925, Wor. Earle C. Parker, called a special meeting for the purpose of receiving Bro. F. Vernon Willey, a member of Pentalpha Lodge No. 914 of Bradford, England, who was the proprietor of The Barre Wool Combing Co., Ltd., as the honored guest of the evening. Bro. Willey visited Mount Zion Lodge for the purpose of presenting a beautiful altar, which was designed and built by Wor. Cameron E. Wood, a Past Master of Mount Zion Lodge, and an employee of Bro. Willey. The materials in this altar were collected by Wor. Bro. Wood, his father, and his grandfather from different parts of the world. The materials included were yellow wood, ebony, cocobolo, red cedar, African granadilla, and pearl collected by Bro. Wood's father on the coast of Africa while there on a whaling voyage in 1860.
On January 14, 1927, the Lodge suffered a disastrous fire which destroyed practically everything owned by the Lodge. Our records, dating back to 1800, our charter and a few things in the preparation room were all that were saved. The beautiful altar, presented only a short time before, and the old Master's chair, which was more than 127 years old and which was used by the first Master of the Lodge when it met in Hardwick, were not spared.
During the 1950's, much activity was directed at acquiring our own quarters. After one hundred and fifty years, Mount Zion Lodge continued to be a tenant. Several pieces of property around town were examined, but subsequently were withdrawn from consideration. We were to wait for several more years to pass before our dream was to be fulfilled.
In the summer of 1960, a parcel of land on Pleasant Street was purchased by The Barre Masonic, Charitable and Educational Corporation, and construction of a new Temple was started. Finally on March 1, 1961, even though the building had not been fully completed, Wor. Gardner A. Allen proudly gaveled to order the first meeting in our new Temple.
On March 11, 1961, one hundred and sixty-one years to the day after Mount Zion Lodge received its Constitution, Most Worshipful Laurence E. Eaton, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, was present with his Grand Lodge Officers. After receiving the report of the Architect of the Temple, Wor. William W. Bentley, the Most Worshipful Grand Master dedicated the Temple. At last, after one hundred sixty-one years, Mount Zion Lodge had its own home.
As important as it is to have adequate quarters in which to hold Lodge meetings, it is far more important to have members and officers who practice those cardinal virtues embodied in our lessons. This list of the Past Masters of Mount Zion Lodge is a compilation of men who have stepped forward to lead the Lodge in advancing the principles of Masonry in this area. It is difficult to extol the accomplishments of a few without doing it for all.
Many honors have come to Mount Zion Lodge over the years, but none more richly deserved than when R. W. Tillman A. Taylor, and, much later, R. W. Roy E. Handy, Jr., were awarded the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal.
There have been many families who have contributed to the ongoing success of Mount Zion Lodge over the years. The Ruggles family of Hardwick, the Deans of Oakham, the Bentleys and the Smith/Clark family of Barre, are to name but a few. But the recent glories of the Lodge have been enhanced through the efforts of the Handy's of Hubbardston. R.W. Roy E. Handy, and his sons, Wor. Wayne R. Handy, Wor. Water D. Handy, R.W. Brian A. Handy, and his sons-in-law, Bro. Dick Leo Stasukelus and Bro. Peter L. Studt, and his nephew, Wor. Anthony A. Castellani, Sr. have been the driving forces behind bringing in new members, running our annual chicken barbecue to help swell our treasury, starting the custom of putting on a pancake breakfast at the Grand Masters' Fairs in Charlton, and, in general, serving the Lodge and District with distinction.
The members of Mount Zion Lodge are involved with many aspects of community and civic affairs. Among the many charitable contributions, there is the annual Thanksgiving Dinner that is put on for the senior citizens, our Haunted House at Halloween provides enjoyment for young and old, as well as the donating of the total income from it to a local cancer fund and to the area food bank. Floats in parades, sponsoring Firemen's Musters, road races, and Red Cross Blood Drives are among the additional activities that spread the awareness of Masonry in the community. The line officers, for the most part, are young and enthusiastic. The members work very well together and, what they set out to do, they accomplish.
And so, as we are gathered together on this auspicious occasion to celebrate 200 years of Masonry in Mount Zion Lodge, we honor the deeds of those distinguished Masons who have preceded us. But we must also challenge the present and future generations of Masons to continue spreading the teachings of Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love throughout the world.
- 1829 (Report on delinquency, IV-170)
- 1836 (Petition for remission of dues, IV-397)
- 1854 (Petition to remove to Barre refused, V-532)
- 1855 (Petition to remove to Barre refused, V-561)
- 1857 (Invitation to dedicate hall accepted, VI-154)
- 1938 (Participation in the 25th Anniversary of Rufus Putnam Lodge, 1938-178)
OFFICER LIST, SEPTEMBER 1826
From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. III, No. 5, January 1827, Page 34:’’
Officers of Mount Carmel Lodge, elected Dec. 20, 5826:
- Rev. Bro. Lucius R. Paige, M.
- Bro. John Winslow, S. W.
- Bro. Hollis Tidd, J. W.
- Bro. Apollos Johnson, Treasurer.
- Bro. Ebenezer Perry, Secretary.
- Rev. Bro. James Thompson, Chaplain.
- Bro. Gilbert Warden, S. D.
- Bro. Charles Field, J. D.
- Bro. Denison A. Robertson, S. S.
- Bro. Silas Harwood, J. S.
- Bro. Willard Allen, Marshal.
- Bro. Silas Newton, Tyler.
ADDRESS, JANUARY 1829
From Amaranth, or Masonic Garland, Vol. I, No. 12, March 1829, Page 360:
MASONRY AND CHRISTIANITY.
From a very clever discourse delivered before Mount Zion Lodge, at Hardwick, in this state, on the 14th January last, by the Rev. John M. Merrick.
"Do you not see, that while Masonry was thus bringing together men of every contradictory opinion, and was subduing their passions, and teaching them lessons of charity and good will, and implanting within them a sense of order, justice and rectitude, that it was preparing the way for the kindlier reception of Christianity? If it could remove prejudice, and implant a more expansive benevolence, it thereby laid a foundation for a cordial admission of pure religion. On the other hand, wherever Christianity is best known and practised, there is Masonry in the highest honor. Among its votaries, none are more zealous than those, whose hearts are deeply touched with the power of religion;—for they can see its beauty, and appreciate its true value. Its adaptation to the uncorrupted sentiments of the heart, is not more striking, than its agreement with the fundamental principles of our holy religion:—and therefore, it is not.strange, that, as these two do so harmonize, they should subserve their mutual advancement. It is impossible that it should be otherwise ; for in ail ages, to the latest hour of its existence, those, who are sincerely actuated by the principles and precepts of our order, must be 'virtuous and benevolent,—supporters of order,—worshippers of the Deity,—and useful, or at the least, harmless members of society." In every Lodge are taught and recommended, obedience to the civil powers, industry and economy, temperance and honesty, justice and truth. Every topic, calculated to produce dissension, is carefully avoided, that a spirit of peace, union and harmony, may govern all the members.
"But though we thus speak of the union of Christianity and Masonry, we would not be understood to say that they were of equal value. Far from it. Christianity is a spiritual and supernatural institution;—ours is peculiarly a moral one. It may be defined ' the application of moral precepts and obligations to the conditions of men, to benefit and improve them. Hence to subdue the passions, and to advance in correct moral feeling, is the first lesson impressed on the mind by its authority.' Were our society a religious and exclusively a religions body, it would want one of its principal distinguishing features, that is, its universal extension. It has flourished, not only where religion is best understood, but also where the light of pure, revealed religion never shone, in regions spiritually dark. Considered as a moral society, designed immediately to promote the happiness of men, it would seem that its principles could not, by any perversion, be interpreted in a bad sense;—that they would commend themselves at once, to the best feelings of the heart. But who does not see and lament, that in those places where the religion of the Bible is known, the adoption of some peculiar and arbitrary explanation of its doctrines is too often made the sole condition of participation in its privileges? If this were the case with our society its benefits would be comparatively limited. It could not embrace the human family. The only religious qualification that we demand is a belief in the existence and attributes of God. He who denies this, would as soon find a place at the communion table as at our altar. Dependence on the Deity, and submission to his will, we inculcate as sacred duties;—and he who can pass through the solemnities of our Lodges without feelings of the deepest reverence, has a heart incapable of religious affections, incapable of being touched with any thing that is awful and sublime.
"— Further than this, we interfere with no man's religious opinions.— We do not ask for them. Our door is open for all, who come with honest, upright intentions. Professors of every religion, with every diversity of sentiment, have met on our level, and (for a time, at least) have forgotten their distinctive creeds, and joined in the common worship of one great and common Father. We look upon mankind as bound to each other by natural and indissoluble ties, independently of the artificial distinctions of interest or religion, that exist among them;—and therefore, our inquiry concerning a brother is, Is he worthy? More than this we cannot wish for; and it is on this principle that we account for the unbounded extension of the craft, and its duration for so many ages. Whatever concerns the happiness of men is the object of the association, and consequently, we may not be bound by other restraints, than honesty, truth and moral purity."
ELECTION OF OFFICERS, SEPTEMBER 1830
From Boston Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. 2, No. 12, September 18, 1830, Page 91:
At the annual meeting of Mount Zion Lodge, held at their Hall in Hardwick, Sept. 1st, A. L. 5830, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year:
- R.W. Dennison A. Robinson, of Barre, Master
- W. Joseph Whipple, of Hardwick, S.W.
- W. and Rev. Joshua Flagg, of Dana, J.W.
- Br. Cr(e)ighton Ruggles, of Hardwick, Treas.
- Br. Williard (William) Allen, of Hardwick, Secretary
- Br. Daniel Wheeler, S. D.
- Br. Sardius Sibley, J.D.
- Br. J(ohn). Wadsworth, Jr., S. S.
- Rev. John M. Merrick, Chaplain
- Br. Franklin Ruggles, Marshal
- Br. Silas Newton, Tyler
FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, JUNE 1831
From Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. III, No. 2, July 1831, Page 15:
The anniversary of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist was celebrated by King Hiram's Royal Arch Chapter, joined by Mount Zion Lodge, at Hardwick, Mass., on the 24th ult.
Preceded by an excellent band, the procession, consisting of about 40 ladies and 100 brethren, proceeded from the hall of Br. Ruggles to the meeting house, where the Throne of Grace was addressed in a strain of fervent devotion and eloquence by the Rev. Brother Harding, and the attention of a respectable audience gave testimony of the interest and gratification experienced in listening to the pertinent and ingenious address pronounced by Rev. Br. Bascom, and the forcible and pungent remarks of Rev. Br. Flagg. the performance of several pieces of sacred music by an excellent choir of singers who generously volunteered their services for the occasion added much to the interest of the performances.
After which the procession returned to the hall, and partook of a suitable input for past provided by Br. Ruggles. The following sentiments were announced: –
- 1st. St. John the Baptist, whose nativity we this day celebrate; – may we my brother never be ashamed to own ourselves members of an institution supported by such a man is he was.
- 2nd. The Fraternity: – Uniformly persecuted by the Allied tyrants and bigots of the old world, how can it escape in the new?
- 3rd. Shall we in this country of Liberty, become more abject, than our ancestors of the Babalonian captivity?
- 4th. The Masonic Institution: – as gold is purified by fire, so are the principles of its members by the day of trial.
- 5th. Washington, the Saviour of his country, who on an occasion like this expressed 'his desire ever to be esteemed worthy brother.'
- 6th. Anti-Masons with office political; – 'Tis hard to draw them thence; so sweet is zealous contemplation.'
- 7th. Seceding Masons – 'Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe.'
- 8th. Our departed brethren, Washington, Warren, Franklin, Jefferson and Clinton; – 'Men who make in the and follow malice nourishment, thereby the best.'
- 9th. Our late G.M. I. Thomas: – he has taken his seat in the Grand Lodge above, having a name that shall not perish, and charities that make strong our Temple and gladden the hearts of the desponding.
The following sentiments were reciprocated with the Ladies who dined in an adjoining room.
- The Ladies – whose generous confidence rests chiefly in extrajudicial obligations; – maybe never mourn over broken faith, or seceding affection.
The ladies return:
- Extrajudicial obligations – He who can violate his Masonic trust by us never can be trusted.
- By Myron Lawrence, Esq. – Hon. Richard Rush, tho' an 11th hour laborer in the vineyard of Antiism, he is manifestly aspiring after the choicest fruits and stretching out his hand to put the tempting clusters that adorn the Presidential chair; – may yet be constrained with his worthy brother in the fable to exclaim in despair, "Sour grapes! Ah! Sour grapes!"
- By Daniel Ruggles, Esq. – the clergy, successors of the apostles, those who have succeeded in turn traitors to Masonry; – as they have chosen the apostate Judas for their pattern, may they live is he lived, and die as he died, and go to their own place, as he did
- By Reverend Br. Flagg. Our ancient Grand Master Hiram Abiff, whose love of integrity was stronger than the terrors of wrath; – may every seceder seriously ask, and candidly answer to himself the following question: Am I worthy to represent so good a man?
- By A. Black, Esq. Richard Rush – a name that shall give in indelible stain in every page, when the historian makes truth his guide.
Many excellent sentiments were given, but could not be collected before the company separated. Everything was done decently and in order and manifestly to the satisfaction of all.
HALL DEDICATION, DECEMBER 1857
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVII, No. 4, February 1858, Page 120:
By permission of the M. W. Grand Lodge, the Masonic Lodge formerly located at Hardwick, in Worcester County, Mass., having been removed to the flourishing and pleasant town of Barre, in the same County, the new hall prepared for the use of the Lodge was appropriately dedicated to Masonic use on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 30th, by the M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
The services of dedication were preceded by a public Address, delivered by R. W. Brother Rev. Wm. Flint, of Greenfield, the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge. The public assembly was held in the spacious and convenient Town Hall ot Barre, which at an early hour in the afternoon was filled by a very large and highly respectable audience of ladies and gentlemen of Barre, and towns in the vicinity. There was also a full and effective choir of singers, and a well trained orchestra, in attendance.
At half-past 2 o'clock, the procession of the Grand Lodge, escorted by Mount Zion Lodge, left the Masonic Hall, situated in the tame building, and entered the Town Hall, occupying seats especially reserved for the purpose. The services commenced with an introductory by the Choir, followed by prayer and selections from the Scriptures by Rev. Brother Fuller, of Barre, S. W. of Mount Zion Lodge. After an anthem, sung by the Choir, with great spirit and fine effect, the R. W. Brother Flint delivered an address which enchained the close attention of the audience during the whole period of its delivery. It was about an hour long, and presented the claims of Masonry, on the score of antiquity, devotion, morality and benevolence, with great power and effect. The matter and the manner were most excellent; well adapted to the place and the occasion ; and while the address cheered and gladdened the hearts of the older Brethren, it made a deep and tru'y gratifying impression upon the audience generally. A doxology and benediction succeeded.
The Masonic procession was then re-formed, and repaired to the Hall above, and as soon as the Grand Lodge officers had assumed their proper stations, the doors were thrown open to the public, and quite a large number of ladies and gentlemen witnessed the very impressive ceremonies of dedicating the Hall, as performed by the R. W. Deputy Grand Master, Brother Flint, who represented the M. W. Grand Master upon this occasion. R. W. Brothers Goddard and Wright, Grand Wardens, R. W. Brother Earl, D. D. Grand Master, and R. W. Brother Coolidge, acting as Grand Marshal, assisted in these services. The music and singing, interspersed in the dedication service, were both very fine, and were performed by the same choir and orchestra that officiated in the Town Hall. At the conclusion of the dedication, the members of the Grand Lodge were invited to a choice and bountiful supper by ML Zion Lodge. The tables were spread at Brown's Hotel, and about seventy five persons, including the members of the Lodge, their ladies, and other friends of the Order, sat down to a most hospitable feast. After a couple of hours spent in the temperate enjoyment of the well-served viands, the company dispersed with mutual expressions of good will and kindly regard.
The Hall thus dedicated to the use of Mt. Zion Lodge, is a spacious and con venient home for the Fraternity, appropriately situated, with convenient accommodations and suitable furnishing. It is to the liberality and energy of Brother Jenkins of that town, that the Fraternity is mainly indebted for this Lodge room, and we doubt not that the faithful and well-directed labors of the Craft will second his zealous efforts to provide a suitable place for their accommodation, by making that place the abode of every Masonic virtue. -- W.
200TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, APRIL 2000
From TROWEL, Summer 2000, Page 28:
Mount Zion Lodge, Barre,
Barre 13th District,
200th Anniversary Celebration
Grand Master Fred Kirby Bauer was the honored guest of the Lodge and Wor. Alan J. Charland at the 200th Anniversary celebration on April 1st.
Bro. Charland greeted more than 150 members and guests. Introductions were made by Chairman Wor. Anthony A. Castellani, Sr. and the Lodge's history was given by Wor. Walter E. Flister, Secretary.
The Selectmen of the Town of Barre were presented with a check for the Recreation Commission and Selectman Charles Chase gave a splendid oration regarding the contribution of Masons in the early history of the United States.
State Representative David Tuttle presented a citation from both branches of the Legislature.
Most Worshipful Fred K. Bauer congratulated the Lodge and spoke about the challenges of the future.
Wor. Alan J. Charland. Presiding Master, M. W. Fred K. Bauer, R. W. Roland J. Charland. P. D. D. G. M., father of the Master.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Alvin T. Bailey, DDGM, District 17 (Palmer), 1899; SN
- Ronald J. Charland, DDGM, District 13 (Barre), 1994, 1995; N
- John A. Coburn, DDGM, District 19 (Palmer), 1913, 1914; Memorial
- Charles R. Dean, DDGM, District 13 (Barre), 1974, 1975; N
- John A. Fritscher, DDGM, District 25, 2015, 2016
- Raymond J. Gagne, DDGM, District 25, 2008
- Brian A. Handy, DDGM, District 13 (Barre), 1998, 1999
- Roy E. Handy, Jr., DDGM, District 13 (Barre), 1986, 1987; N
- Lyman Maynard, Grand Chaplain 1840
- Milton J. Neily, DDGM, District 19 (Palmer), 1924, 1925; N
- Willie H. Osgood, DDGM, District 17 (Palmer), 1889, 1890; SN
- Lucius R. Paige, Deputy Grand Master 1852-1854
- Earle C. Parker, DDGM, District 13 (Barre), 1936, 1937; Junior Grand Warden 1972; N
- Gardner Ruggles, DDGM, District 6, 1833, 1834; District 6, 1835-1842; Special Deputy, District 9, 1835-1842; SN
- Martin M. Smith, DDGM, District 13 (Barre), 1960, 1961; N
- Tillman A. Taylor, DDGM, District 13 (Barre), 1948, 1949; N
- James J. Thompson, DDGM, District 6 (Central Mass., Worcester), 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813; Grand Chaplain
Lodge web site out of date and lacking information