Mountain

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MOUNTAIN LODGE

Location: Rowe; Colerain (1818); Shelburne Falls (1856)

Chartered By: Francis J. Oliver

Charter Date: 12/09/1818 III-165

Precedence Date: 06/09/1806; original petition, page II-329.

Current Status: Active


PAST MASTERS

  • Robert L. McClellan, 1818, 1819, 1823
  • George Winslow, 1820, 1821, 1826, 1830
  • Benjamin Henry, 1822
  • David Fox, 1824, 1825, 1827, 1829
  • Christopher Dean, 1828
  • Samuel Coolidge, 1831
  • James Anderson, 1832-1855
  • S. N. Babbet, 1856
  • Frank J. Pratt, 1857, 1858
  • William S. Severance, 1859, 1860
  • Ozro Miller, 1861
  • Jonas K. Patch, 1862-1863, 1873-1874; SN
  • Joseph H. Wilder, 1864, 1865
  • Josiah A. Richmond, 1866, 1867
  • Henry S. Shepardson, 1868, 1869
  • Hiram O. Smith, 1870, 1871, 1875
  • Charles E. Severance, 1872
  • James Halligan, 1876, 1877
  • Norman Root, 1878
  • Edwin Baker, 1879-1881, 1888; SN
  • George R. Pierce, 1882, 1883
  • John Austin Halligan, 1884, 1889, 1905
  • Fayette G. Mitchell, 1885, 1886
  • Joseph C. Perry, 1887
  • George D. Eldridge, 1890, 1893
  • Frank H. Oakman, 1891, 1892; SN
  • George H. Wilkins, 1894, 1895
  • George W. Halligan, 1896, 1897; SN
  • Arthur J. Rowland, 1898
  • William A. Johnson, 1899, 1900
  • Francis Ducharme, 1901, 1902
  • Merton Z. Woodward, 1903, 1904
  • Clarence W. Ward, 1906
  • Francis E. Wilder, 1907, 1908
  • Arthur B. Smith, 1909
  • Frank S. Field, 1910, 1911
  • Charles D. Spencer, 1912, 1913
  • Henry W. Ware, 1914
  • Lewis H. Johnson, 1915, 1916
  • Carl P. Mitchell, 1917, 1918; N
  • John F. Manning, 1919
  • Herbert P. Ware, 1920
  • Stanley W. Cummings, 1921
  • Charles J. Carpenter, 1922
  • Allen F. Smith, 1923
  • James W. Vose, 1924
  • Roy S. Turton, 1925
  • William Hunter, 1926, 1927; N
  • Hugh F. Ward, 1928
  • Henry F. Cook, 1929
  • Howard C. Carpenter, 1930
  • Frank J. Wells, 1931
  • Deane H. Jones, 1932
  • Philip G. Vincent, 1933
  • Carlton P. Davenport, 1934
  • Robert E. Williams, 1935
  • Ralph E. Plympton, 1936
  • George D. Mirick, 1937
  • Floyd O. Mathews, 1938
  • Wilfred E. Miller, 1939; N
  • William T. Turner, 1940
  • Robert A. Lillpopp, 1941
  • Marvin O. Anderson, 1942
  • Leon H. Turner, 1943
  • Syril G. Gould, 1944
  • Frederick G. Clark, 1945, 1946; N
  • Donald E. Peon, 1947
  • George A. Newman, 1948
  • Harry L. Purinton, 1949
  • Paul K. Mead, Jr., 1950
  • John F. Wells, 1951
  • Howard E. Stockwell, 1952
  • C. Stanley Brewer, 1953
  • Arthur A. Donelson, 1954
  • John B. Jacobs, 1955
  • Raymond E. Nicholls, 1956
  • Richard R. Hollien, 1957
  • Sherwood C. Haskins, 1958
  • Sanford L. Jenks, 1959
  • Donald T. Upton, 1960
  • William Roberts, 1961
  • John R. Davenport, 1962, 1963
  • Clifton W. Shippee, 1964
  • Gene E. Washer, 1965
  • Erving S. Kendrick, 1966, 1967
  • Roy E. M. Reid, 1968
  • Phillips B. Hunt, 1969
  • Clinton W. Stafford, 1970
  • Kenneth B. Bonney, 1971, 1977; N
  • Herbert S. Merritt, 1972
  • John R. Davenport, 1973
  • John H. Shippee, Jr., 1974
  • Joseph P. Davenport, 1975
  • Arnold C. Purinton, 1976
  • Edward A. Walsh, 1978, 1981; PDDGM
  • Melvin L. Cass, 1979
  • Stefan G. Racz, 1980
  • Arthur H. Phillips, 1982, 1983
  • Richard W. Newton, 1984, 1985
  • Garrell A. Tawney, 1986
  • Frank W. Newton, 1987
  • Gregg A. Gilmore, 1988, 1989
  • Aubrey J. Crocker, 1990
  • William L. Underwood, 1991, 1992
  • Armond J. LaBelle, Jr., 1993; N
  • Harvey A. Chandler, 1994
  • Edward W. Pepyne, 1995, 1996
  • Larry David Call, Jr., 1997
  • Paul J. Monohon, Jr., 1998
  • John L. Mattis, 1999
  • Mark E. Pichette, 2000, 2009
  • Leonard Roberts, 2001
  • John A. White, 2002, 2012; PDDGM
  • Jonathan F. George, 2003
  • John W. Gilman, 2004
  • Donald J. Tower, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011
  • Scott L. Gagnon, 2007
  • Malcolm J. Corse, 2008

NOTES


REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Charter (in Rowe): 1806
  • Petition for Charter (in Colerain): 1818 original charter requested 1817
  • Petition for Restoration of Charter: 1856

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1906 (Centenary)
  • 1931 (125th Anniversary)
  • 1956 (150th Anniversary)
  • 1981 (175th Anniversary)
  • 2006 (200th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1870 1891 1921 1928 1931 1951 1952 1967 1976 1997 1999 2008 2010

HISTORY

  • 1931 (125th Anniversary History, 1931-210; see below)
  • 1956 (150th Anniversary History, 1956-191; see below)
  • 1981 (175th Anniversary History, 1981-110; see below)

125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, SEPTEMBER 1931

From Proceedings, Page 1931-210:

By Wor. John P. Manning.

The task of preparing a history of Mountain Lodge for this occasion has been rendered comparatively easy for me by the labors of others in the past. In 1893, at the time of the removal of the Lodge-rooms from the National Bank Building to the Vice Block, Worshipful Brother J. A. Richmond read a most interesting history of the Lodge up to that time, and at the Centennial Celebration in 1906 the Historical Address of Right Worshipful Edwin Baker presented the results of an exhaustive study in a way that I cannot hope even to approach. However, as only a few of you here today heard Worshipful Brother Richmond's talk and most of us were not privileged to hear Right Worshipful Brother Baker's Address, I am going to review briefly the entire history of Mountain Lodge.

On the ninth of June, 1806, a petition was presented to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, praying for the establishment of a subordinate Lodge in the town of Rowe to be known as Mountain Lodge, and was signed by John Wells, Pardon Haynes, Zebediah White, Selah Munson, Joel Hall, Zebulon Benton, Jonathan White, Alfred Olds, Francis Porter, and Caleb Blakeslee, and whatever other monuments may have been erected to these men none can be greater than this.

However, it seems that the high hills of Rowe were not adapted to the growth and prosperity of Masonry and so a petition was presented to the Grand Lodge praying for the removal of Mountain Lodge from Rowe to Colrain. This petition was granted on the tenth day of December, 1818, and the first meeting in Colrain was held December 14, in a hall in the house next to the Congregational Church. At this first meeting a committee on membership was chosen, consisting of one member from each of five towns, viz: Colrain, Shelburne, Rowe, Charlemont, and Halifax, Vt. At the next meeting a set of By-Laws was adopted providing for a regular meeting once a month on the Wednesday on or before the full of the moon at two o 'clock in the afternoon ; notice of the meeting to be given by publication in the Franklin Herald, a newspaper published in Greenfield, two weeks before the time of meeting; that a ballot be required for admission and also before the conferring of each degree; that the cost of membership should be five dollars with the application, ten dollars for initiation, two dollars For the second degree, and three dollars for the third. At one of the first meetings a committee was appointed to secure the services of a "Lecture Master."

September 23, 1819, was the time set for the dedication of the Hall, but as the services were held in the North River Meeting House, which was situated above the village of Colrain on the road to Jacksonville, it seems a little uncertain which was dedicated. But after the services the Brethren assembled at the Tavern and as the bill for refreshments amounted to $40, we may presume that everybody was satisfied. During the year following the dedication twenty new members were raised and the next year fourteen, so we can see that the change of location was a wise move. In .spite of the fact that the Lodge seems to 'have had hard sledding financially, this was not allowed to interfere with the relief work and a great deal was done to aid distressed Brothers and to pay the funeral expenses and erect monuments for deceased Brothers.

Masonry in that part of the country soon fell upon troublesome times. The Anti-Masonic agitation, starting about 1826 or 7 which swept through here made it practically impossible for a Lodge even to meet. Perhaps the following vote taken at the regular meeting in January, 1830. will best show the bitter feeling which existed against Masonry at that time. Voted:—"That a committee of vigilance, safety and correspondence, with unlimited powers, be chosen for the ensuing year." Following this only three more meetings were held in Colrain, one in June, 1830, one in .January, 1831, and one in January, 1852.

This Anti-Masonic agitation, which was really the result of the bigotry and narrow-mindedness of the times, was fanned to a flame by the Morgan affair. As most of ns here have very little idea what this affair was I will quote the most interesting account given of it by Worshipful Brother Richmond in his Historical Record, lie says, "William Morgan was born in Virginia in 1775 or 6, an operative mason by trade, and at the time of which I write was living in Batavia, N. Y. He was, of course, a member of the Fraternity. For some reason, either fancied wrongs or the hope of money gains, he undertook to disclose the secrets of .Masonry. He associated with one David Miller, a printer. (Not a Mason, I believe.) Morgan was to write on the first three degrees, Miller was to print them in pamphlet form. This was in 1826. Morgan never got out his book, but was missing about the 17th of September, 1826. He was last heard of at Fort Niagara, and was never seen after that by his family or townsmen. Some said thai his throat was cut from ear to ear, his body buried below low water mark in an eddy where two rivers meet.

At all events he was seen no more at Batavia. The question has often been asked by Masons, what do you suppose became of Morgan? Now let me tell you confidentially what became of Morgan. A committee of Masons tried to persuade him to give up his hellish purpose but without avail. They combined threats and bribery, telling him what might be the consequences if he persisted in his purpose and offering him a large sum of money if he would desist and take himself off out of the reach of Miller never to return to Batavia. Partly through fear and partly, perhaps, for want of money he accepted the offer and went down the river to a certain town infested by rough boatmen and gamblers, drank heavily, bragged of and displayed his money, was robbed and murdered. You ask how I know this? I do not know that it is so, but I had the account direct from the lips of one of the brightest Masons in the country. He had spent much time investigating the matter on the ground where the affair happened and this was the result of his investigations." As Worshipful Brother Richmond was born in 1828 and raised in 1858 we see that he was very close to the events of that dark period of Masonry.

Now, in the opinion of its enemies, Free Masonry was dead. But as "truth crushed to earth shall rise again," so do the principles of our order live and appeal to thinking men in spite of the persecution of bigotry. So we find that on March 24, 1856, a petition was presented to the Grand Lodge asking for permission to reorganize Mountain Lodge and hold its meetings at Shelburne Falls.

The prime movers in this reorganization seem to have been a group of young men from Shelburne Falls who had recently been raised in Republican Lodge at Greenfield and felt the need of a Lodge nearer home. During all this time the Charter and records had been carefully preserved by the Worshipful Master, James Anderson, and at the first meeting at Shelburne Falls the following officers were elected to assist him: Frank J. Pratt, S. W., Dr. Wm. S. Severance, J. W., James Sargent, J. W. Gardner, II. S. Greenleaf, D. P. Foster, and C. F. Mitchell.

The first hall occupied by the Lodge was on the third floor of the building at the corner of Bridge and Main Streets. This hall was the meeting place for about two and one half years, or until the removal to the hall over the Shelburne Falls National Bank in November, 1858.

In 1861 the Civil War brought many additional burdens and duties upon the Fraternity and Mountain Lodge was not found wanting in the doing of its share. Not the least of these duties was the bringing back home of the bodies of two of the Brothers who fell in battle. I think that the best picture that could be drawn at this time of the spirit which saved the whole Fraternity during those years of strife is to quote the words of Right Worshipful Brother Baker in his address delivered twenty-five years ago. He said, "It was the manifestation of this sympathy and interest among the members of the Masonic Fraternity while the writer was in the service of his country, that arrested his attention and led him to resolve to become a member of the order himself, if possible."

By lH9;i the Lodge had grown to such size that the securing of new quarters was imperative. The building of the Vice Block solved the problem and the entire third floor was hired and fitted up in a manner befitting the size and dignity of the Lodge. One of the outstanding events in the history of .Mountain Lodge was the observance of Hie one hundredth anniversary, held September 26, 1906. This consisted of the reception of the Grand Officers, followed by a meeting in Memorial Hall, which was reached by a Sight of winding stairs from the window of the Banquet Boom through a window of Memorial Hall. Reverend E. A. Horton, Grand Chaplain, delivered the principal address and Bight Worshipful Edwin Baker gave the Historical Address. This was followed by a clam bake served in a large tent on the Old Academy grounds, where the house of H. E. Crosier now stands, at which 330 were fed, and closed with a Ball held in Memorial Hall in the evening.

The idea that the Lodge should own its own home was growing in the minds of many of the Brethren and when the owner of the quarters we occupied mentioned more rent it brought the matter to the front, and in April, 1911, a committee was appointed to investigate. At that time three propositions were considered:— The purchase of the Vice Block, the purchase of the Universalist Church property, or building in some convenient location. None of these were considered practical at that time and the matter was dropped until December, 191:?. when another committee was appointed. This committee looked with special favor on the purchase of the Universalist Church property, but considered thai the price asked and the cost of alterations made it impossible at that time. In December, 1916. the matter was again brought up and on January 31, 1917, it was voted, "That the committee be authorized to take an option on the Universalist Church, provided thai it can be purchased for two thousand dollars.

March 21, 1917, a special meeting was held at which, after much discussion, it was voted:— That the Worshipful .Master appoint a committee of fifteen with full power In purchase the Universalist Church property, make such alterations, additions, and changes thereto as may he necessary to make the same suitable and convenient for Masonic use and raise money therefor by subscription and by mortgage of the property. The deed of such property to be taken in the name of three trustees and held by them for I he benefit of Mountain Lodge. Provided thai five thousand dollars shall be received in good pledges by .Mountain Lodge before any contracts are made by the Building Committee. Also provided thai the total expense of the purchase price and repairs shall not exceed nine thousand dollars.

On May 2, 1917, Worshipful H. W. Ware. Chairman of the Building Committee, reported that the Universalist Church property had been transferred to Trustees for Mountain Lodge on April 25, 1917. Worshipful G. W. Halligan, Treasurer of the Committee, reported at the same time that pledges of five thousand dollars had been received.

Work on the building was started at once and on September 20, 1917, we held our first meeting in the new building.

October 4, 1917, the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Leon M. Abbott, attended by a full suite of Grand Lodge Officers, dedicated the building to Masonic use.

During the early part of 1923 someone, I think it was Right Worshipful Brother George W. Halligan, conceived the idea that a Masonic banquet at the Sweetheart Tea House would be an enjoyable affair. Such a banquet was held on May 3 of that year and proved so successful that it has now become an annual affair eagerly looked forward to by all Masons in this District, and the sale of tickets is only limited by the capacity of the Tea House.

May 27, 1929, we very nearly lost our building by fire. A kettle of tar, being heated in the rear of the building, boiled over and set fire to the east end of the building, but fortunately the fire was confined to the east wall, but damage from smoke and water necessitated redecoration inside. All repairs were made and the building ready for our use when meetings were resumed after the summer recess.

When Mountain Lodge was reorganized at Shelburne Falls only seven members were left from those who had been raised in Colrain. The next fifty years saw this membership increased to one hundred and thirty, and the past twenty-five years have doubled this and we now have a membership of over two hundred and sixty.

Some mention of the men who have made Mountain Lodge what it is should be made at this time but the list is too long and the day too short. But there are two lines or families whose names and deeds crop up continually through the history of Mountain Lodge. One of those active in the reorganization of Mountain Lodge in 1856 was Gilbert P. Mitchell and he was elected the first Tyler, an office which he held for the next twenty-three years. He was followed into the Lodge by his son, Fayette G. Mitchell, a man who devoted a long Masonic life to the interests of Mountain Lodge. Fayette G. Mitchell raised his son, Carl P. Mitchell, who shows the same untiring zeal and has also brought honor to Mountain Lodge by being appointed District Deputy Grand Master for two years.

One of the first candidates raised in Shelburne Falls was James S. Halligan, who brought four sons into Mountain Lodge, later to be followed by two grandsons and one great grandson. And during all this time whenever the Lodge has shown its usual unsurpassed knowledge of the ritual you have found a Halligan sitting and directing the work.

We cannot review the history of Mountain Lodge without a feeling of pride, but it also gives a feeling that a great responsibility rests upon us. May we be able to pass on without shame the wonderful heritage we have received.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, SEPTEMBER 1956

From Proceedings, Page 1956-191:

By Worshipful Deane H. Jones.

We are filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment when we contemplate these middle years of the twentieth century; yet it may well be that future historians, looking at us from their vantage point in time, will write that we became so engrossed with our material success that we neglected to look backwards into history to see what made us great. May we not forget that we in 1956 owe to those who worked before us much of our material as well as our moral accomplishments.

The one hundred and fifty years of Mountain Lodge's history can be marked by the smallest of dots when compared with the endless ages of eternity; Vet they cover a period that has never been excelled in human advancement, at least on the side of material and social gains.

May we consider briefly the world of 1806, that year when ten men visualized a Masonic Lodge in a small hill town in western Massachusetts. That town bore the name of the Boston merchant prince, John Rowe, who is remembered as part owner of the ships which carried into Boston port that ill-fated cargo of tea, the destruction of which hastened the American Revolution, and where today the first Atomic Power Plant in New England is being erected.

Three events that were to change the little hill towns of New England in the next few years were still undreamed of in 1806.

May we consider them in their chronological order. In 1807 Robert Fulton's folly made its first successful run on the Hudson River and the age of the steamboat in America was at hand. In 1825 the Erie Canal was opened, and in 1828 Charles Carrollton, the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence, turned the first shovelful of earth on the roadbed of the first railroad to be built in America.

As a result of these three advances in transportation, the hill towns of the Eastern Seaboard States were, in the space of a few years, to see many of their citizens leave for new homes in the Western States and Territories where the land was rich and to be had almost for the taking. World-moving events, but several years were to pass before the inhabitants of the villages and farms realized their full import.

Having made this rapid digression into history, may we think of Mountain Lodge? Writing the history of our Lodge has been made easier through the exhaustive studies of Wor. J. A. Richmond, who presented a history of the Lodge in 1893, and of Right Worshipful Edwin Baker, who gave the historical address at the 100th anniversary in 1906. It has been helpful, too, that the Lodge honored me in writing the history which I presented at the 125th celebration in 1931.

Ten men, John Wells, Pardon Haynes, Zebediah White, Selah Munson, Joel Hall, Zebulon Benton, Jonathan White, Alfred Olds, Francis Porter, and Caleb Blakeslee, signed a petition to the Grand Lodge dated June 9, 1806, praying for the establishment of a subordinate Lodge in the Town of Rowe, to be known as Mountain Lodge.

We have no record of why the name of Mountain Lodge was chosen; so we must assume that the lofty hills which are so picturesque in Rowe today were appreciated and commemorated by our early Brethren.

It is unfortunate that the records of the first twelve years of Mountain Lodge have been lost. It is impossible to believe that ten men who felt the desire to have a Lodge of their own would have been so neglectful of their duties as to have kept no real records of these first years; so we must believe that through some accident they are lost to us.

At the quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge held September 8, 1806, the petition was granted, and the charter was signed the following day by Timothy Bigelow, Grand Master; John Soley, Junior Grand Warden; and John Proctor, Grand Secretary.

In the absence of any printed record, we cannot be sure why in 1818 a petition was presented to the Grand Lodge praying for the removal of Mountain Lodge from Rowe to Colrain. This petition was granted the 10th day of December, 1818, and sixteen Brothers who had kept the faith followed the charter to its new home, where a meeting was held December 14th, four days after permission had been given to make the change.

Three facts about this first meeting are of special interest. First, a complete corps of officers filled the chairs, which seems to show that the Lodge left its early home in Rowe still organized, or that an earlier meeting had been held of which we have no record.

Second, the first matter of business was the preparation of a code of by-laws for the government of the Lodge, so that we gather there were none in existence at the time.

Third, a committee on membership was chosen, one each
from five towns: viz, Colrain, Shelburne, Rowe, Charlemont and
 Halifax, Vermont, which fact seems to show that the Masonic
 lines of jurisdiction between states were not as closely drawn
as now.

Two items of financial interest appear in this first meeting. The Tyler was to receive the sum of $1.00 for his services at each meeting, which, when the purchasing power of the time is considered, seems rather liberal compensation, and the incredible record appears that the charter of Mountain Lodge issued September 10, 1806, was not paid for until December 19, 1818, when the receipt of $85.00 was acknowledged. The accounting procedures of the Grand Lodge have surely changed since those happy days.

The committee on by-laws reported at a later meeting, and some of the features of their report are of interest to us even today.

The monthly meetings were to be held on the Wednesday on or before the full of the moon, which date was kept in the Lodge until about 1932.

The time of meeting was 2:00 in the afternoon, which, considering that some of the Brethren must have lived long distances from the lodge-room, was undoubtedly an excellent time. Notices of meetings were published in the Franklin Herald, a Greenfield newspaper, two weeks before the time of said meeting.

A ballot was required not only for admission, but also before the conferring of each degree.

The cost of membership is of interest and we cannot but wonder how the amount was determined: $5.00 on application, $10.00 for initiation, $2.00 for the second degree, and $3.00 for the third, making a total of $20.00. But a present of $3.00 was usually given back to the initiate at the conclusion of the work. Degrees were given to clergymen without charge.

At one of the first meetings it was voted to procure the services of a lecture master and to hold a Lodge of Instruction. All candidates were required to pass a satisfactory examination before advancing from one degree to the next.

It is also noted that no Brother could leave his seat while the Lodge was in session, nor whisper under penalty of reprimand.

In those early years it was customary for the subordinate Lodges to meet and commemorate the Feast of St. John, and we have a record in 1819 that Mountain Lodge joined Republican Lodge to celebrate this event, while in 1823, four county Lodges joined in observance of this feast.

The Lodge was formally dedicated on September 23, 1819, the Grand Lodge being represented by District Deputy Grand Master Titus Strong, and the oration of the day was presented by Rev. Bro. George Witherill. After the meeting the members adjourned to Thompson's Tavern, where the bill for refreshments coming to some $40.00, we may well believe that this, the first refreshment committee, satisfied every one. At a later meeting it was voted to dispense with intoxicating liquors at all meetings.

Through these years in Colrain the financial condition of the Lodge was always a source of trouble to its members, but nevertheless, they were faithful to their obligations, helping the widows and the fatherless, erecting monuments to the memory of their deceased Brothers, and generally doing what they could to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Some ten years after the coming of the Lodge to Colrain, Masonry fell upon troublesome times, and at the annual meeting in January 1830, it was voted: That a committee of vigilance, safety and correspondence, with unlimited powers be chosen for the ensuing year; and on January 12, 1832, the final meeting of the Lodge was held in Colrain, and the charter and working tools were put in safe keeping until the storm of bigotry and persecution should pass by.

When the Lodge suspended meetings in 1832, there were 87 members, 83 new members having joined the order in the 131 meetings that had been held in these fourteen years. Of the members raised in this period of the Lodge's history, two seem to have stood out through their strength of character, leadership and accomplishments.

Ira Arms, or Major Arms, as he was usually called, will be long remembered for his local benefactions. To him Shelburne Falls is indebted for Arms Library, Arms Academy and Arms Cemetery. The greater part of his life was spent in Shelburne, where his modest fortune was accumulated, and with which he enriched our little village. His last years were spent here, where he died in 1858.

Josiah Pratt, the manufacturer of Pratt's famous axes, whose factory was located in our village, and whose residence is now the Trinity Fellowship parsonage, was a man of foresight and clear judgment, and was honored by all who knew him.

In the interim between the suspension of the Lodge at Colrain in 1832, and its reorganization here in 1856, the charter was carefully and safely kept by Bro. James Anderson, Master of the Lodge, who, together with seven other surviving members of Mountain Lodge, petitioned the Grand Lodge March 24, 1856, for permission to reorganize the Lodge and hold its meetings in Shelburne Falls. This permission was granted and signed by Dr. Winslow Lewis, Grand Master, and Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary.

It is of note that by 1846 Shelburne Falls had grown so that it was a more central location for the Lodge. A number of manufacturing concerns were making use of the water power furnished by the Deerfield River, and, while the railroad to the West was yet to come, still our village was on the through stagecoach route that passed over the Hoosac Mountains.

The prime movers in reorganizing Mountain Lodge were young men who had been raised in Republican Lodge, but seemed to have felt the need of a Lodge nearer home. Even today the names of several of these men have a familiar sound: Frank J. Pratt, Dr. William S. Severance, James Sargent, J. W. Gardner, Col. H. S. Greenleaf, D. P. Foster and G. F. Mitchell, all of whom were newly-elected officers in the Lodge. Bro. Mitchell served as Tyler for fifty years.

The first hall occupied by the Lodge was on the third floor of the building which was recently razed to make room for our new National Bank Building. This first hall was soon outgrown and in two and a half years, the Lodge moved to a hall that was over the National Bank of that day, in the stone Bank Block.

In 1861 the Civil War brought many additional duties and burdens upon the Fraternity and Mountain Lodge was not found wanting in taking up its full share. Twenty-seven members went to the war and one sad duty that the Lodge had was to bring home the bodies of two of these Brothers who fell in the conflict. A vital and moving picture of the whole Fraternity during those years of strife comes in quoting the words of R.W. Edwin J. Baker delivered in his address of fifty years ago. He said, "It was the manifestation of this sympathy and interest among the members of the Masonic Fraternity while the writer was in the service of his country that arrested his attention and led him to resolve to become a member of the order himself, if possible."

It was the good fortune of Mountain Lodge to have had through the years among its membership many men of exceptional character who not only held to high standards of living and uprightness, but by their positive and worthy actions, were an inspiring force in maintaining the true moral standard of the Lodge.

Only one of these upright men will I mention and that principally because of an unusual account that we find in substance on the Lodge records. Carver Hotchkiss, the first president of the Shelburne Falls National Bank, appears by the records to have been the moral mentor and counselor of the Lodge in the days following the Civil War and many times we find mention of his exhorting his Brethren. One record I will quote: "In one of the Indian wars my grandfather was taken prisoner by the Indians and was condemned to be burned at the stake. He was bound, and a pile of fagots was placed around him, all ready to be lighted. In his agony of soul, consciously or unconsciously, he manifested his distress in a manner which was recognized by an Indian Chief, who rushed forward, cut the thongs with which he was bound and conveyed him to a place of safety."

In 1862 the first Lodge notices in the form of cards were printed, giving a list of officers, dates of meetings, etc., and a year later it was voted to pay the expenses of the officers to the quarterly meetings of the Grand Lodge. The first public installation was held in 1865.

By 1893 the Lodge had grown in size so that new quarters were required and the third floor of the recently completed Vice Block was rented and furnished in a manner befitting the size of the Lodge.

Probably the outstanding event in the history of Mountain Lodge was the observance of the one hundredth anniversary which was held September 26, 1906. This consisted of a reception of the Grand Officers, followed by a meeting in Memorial Hall. Rev. E. A. Horton, Grand Chaplain, delivered the principal address and R. W. Edwin J. Baker gave the historical address. This was followed by a clam bake served in a tent on the Old Academy grounds, where the house of H. E. Crosier now stands, at which 330 were fed, and closed with a ball held in Memorial Hall in the evening.

The idea that the Lodge should own its own home first appears in the appointment of a committee in April 1911 to investigate the situation, and three propositions were considered, but it was not until a special communication held March 21, 1917, that it was voted after much discussion: "That, the committee be authorized to take an option on the Universalist Church, provided that it can be purchased for two thousand dollars." The appointed committee worked rapidly, for on May 2, 1917, Wor. H. W. Ware, Chairman of the Building Committee, reported that the Universalist Church property had been transferred to Trustees of Mountain Lodge on April 25, 1917. Wor. G. W. Halligan, Treasurer of the Committee, reported at the same time that pledges of five thousand dollars had been received.

On October 4, 1917, the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Leon M. Abbott, attended by a full suite of Grand Lodge Officers, dedicated the building to Masonic use.

In 1923 the idea of a Masonic banquet at the Sweetheart Tea Room was conceived and was such a success that the custom lasted some ten years until the depression of the thirties hit with its full economic force.

On May 27, 1929, we nearly lost our building by fire. A kettle of tar being heated in the rear of the building boiled over, setting fire to the east wall, but luckily it was confined to that section, although the water and smoke damage was considerable. Alethian Lodge of Odd Fellows generously gave us the use of their quarters for several meetings, and in the fall we returned to our own redecorated building.

In the two World Wars the members of Mountain Lodge have shared with their fellow citizens in the heartaches and sorrows that war always brings, but we are too near the events to say more than that some of our members were in the Armed Forces and most of those who are the newer members have been in their country's service.

Four times in recent years we have been honored by having deserving Brothers of our Lodge raised to the position of District Deputy Grand Master: R. W. George W. Halligan, R. W. Carl P. Mitchell, R. W. William Hunter, and R. W. Wilfred Miller, who, still in the office of Chaplain of our Lodge, directs and guides us in our ritual work with untiring patience and skill.

No history of Mountain Lodge would be complete without mention of Most Worshipful Joseph Earl Perry, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts from 1938-1940. M. W. Brother Perry, while a member of Belmont Lodge in Belmont at the time of his election to our highest Masonic office, had always maintained a dual membership in Mountain Lodge where he was raised and where his father was one of our most respected Worshipful Masters. Often M. W. Brother Perry has returned to our Lodge, and his visits to us are high spots in our Masonic life. In looking back over one hundred and fifty years of the Lodge's history, one is filled with a sense of wonder at the steady and unbroken line of worthy men who have been admitted into membership in our ancient institution. We remember with admiration those members who for generations have undertaken the task with the hope of but little honor and praise, of learning the ritual and working up through the various offices to that of Worshipful Master.

We view the history of Mountain Lodge with a feeling of pride, but with our sense of pride a great responsibility rests upon us. May we in the years to come hold and cherish our inheritance and pass it on untarnished to those who will follow us.

175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, SEPTEMBER 1981

From Proceedings, Page 1981-110: 1956-1981 By Brother Walter M. Taylor

(For a comprehensive history of Mountain Lodge covering the earlier periods please refer to 1931 Mass. 210-219 and 1956 Mass. 191-200)

The Lodge history presented in 1956, was written for the 150th Anniversary Celebration by Wor. Deane H. Jones, who is considered to be the Lodge Historian. In tribute to his exhaustive research, his not only beautiful, but interesting composition, and his gracious reference to the writers who preceded him, namely Worshipful Brother J.A. Richmond who presented a history in 1893, and R. W. Edwin Baker, who gave the historical address at the 100th Anniversary in 1906, I will therefore try to continue as best I can where he concluded in 1956.

In the two World Wars and two so called police action, Korea and Vietnam, the members of Mountain Lodge have shared with their fellow citizens in the heartaches and sorrows that war always brings. Many of our members were in the Armed Forces during all of these actions and we owe them a great debt of gratitude.

Five times in recent years we have been honored by having deserving brothers of our Lodge raised to the position of District Deputy Grand Master. Right Worshipful George W. Halligan, Right Worshipful Carl P. Mitchell, Right Worshipful William Hunter, Right Worshipful Wilfred Miller, and Right Worshipful Frederick G. Clark. Both Brother Miller and Brother Clark later served in the Office of Chaplain of our Lodge and spent many hours in directing and guiding us in our ritual work, with untiring patience and skill, and we are indeed fortunate to have available the talents of Brother Clark, whose quiet diplomacy gently points the way to brotherly love and affection.

The years of the 1960's and 1070's in our country's history, may well be remembered as not only the years of internal turbulence, but also as the years of great discoveries in outer space, for our men of science have made it possible for man to walk on the moon and to explore the far reaches of outer space through unmanned satellites, and we as witnesses can sit in our living rooms and view all these happenings through the magic of television. Truly these are awe inspiring times, but let us pray that this great knowledge will be used for the betterment and not for the destruction of mankind.

I should not fail to mention four of our brethren who have served our Lodge well in past years, clearly exemplifying the Masonic way of life, and who are ever willing to give of themselves, as health will permit, to the betterment and understanding of Masonry. Worshipful Howard C. Carpenter, our oldest living Past Master in years of service, formerly of Colrain and who has recently moved from Shelburne Falls to Greenfield. Worshipful Frank J. Wells of Charlemont, who just fifty years ago served as Master. Worshipful Deane H. Jones of Shelburne Falls, who in 1978 was presented the Joseph Warren Medal for Distinguished Service for outstanding service to his Lodge, his Church and his Community. Brother Robert E. Scott of Shelburne Falls, who served outstandingly as Treasurer of the Lodge for thirty years. There are many others who are worthy of mention, and I feel sure that future historians will make their efforts in the years to come.

No history of Mountain Lodge would be complete without mention of Most Worshipful Joseph Earl Perry, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts from 1938-1940, and who this year is serving as Honorary Chairman of our 175th Anniversary General Committee as he did 25 years ago at the 150th celebration. Most Worshipful Brother Perry while being a member of Belmont Lodge in Belmont, at the time of his election to our highest Masonic office, has always maintained a dual membership in Mountain Lodge where he was Raised, and where his father was one of our most respected Worshipful Masters. Often Most Worshipful Brother Perry has returned to our Lodge and his visits with us are truly high spots in our Masonic life. Recently while reading the published works of this learned Brother, entitled The Masonic Way of Life, I was struck by the words in a speech he gave at the Golden Jubilee of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota on June 20, 1939. With your indulgence, I will quote a portion of these words for they are as true today as they were in 1939. "From time immemorial groups of people have sought to learn the Art of Living and to pass their discoveries along to others. So Freemasonry in its rituals and its traditions seeks to instruct its members in the Art of Living.

"One of its fundamental lessons is that of friendly, tolerant brotherhood. Is there a more needed lesson in this present day of internal and international strife? Can peace and good will ever prevail if men stand aloof in mutual hate and distrust? Can hatred and suspicion ever be overcome until there be some place or some auspices in which men can meet in mutual confidence? Is there today any single need greater than to afford some means whereby men of opposing views as to economic, political and other issues can meet in an atmosphere of mutual trust and brotherly love? Is there today any single human institution - religious, secular, public or private - that offers such a meeting place? Freemasonry does. In its universality and its tolerance, it is the greatest if not, indeed, the only human institution that offers such a meeting place for men of good will regardless of race or creed or political or economic beliefs."

In looking back over one hundred and seventy-five years of the Lodge's history one is filled with a sense of wonder, at the steady and unbroken line of worthy men who have been admitted into membership in our ancient institution. We remember with admiration those members who for generations have undertaken the task with the hope of but little honor and praise, of learning the ritual and working up through the various offices to that of Worshipful Master.

We view the history of Mountain Lodge with a feeling of pride, but with our sense of pride a great responsibility rests upon us. May we in the years to come never forget to hold and cherish our inheritance and pass it on untarnished to those who will follow us.

OTHER

  • 1821 (Notice of delinquency, III-341)

EVENTS

CENTENARY CELEBRATION, SEPTEMBER 1906

From New England Craftsman, Vol. II, No. 1, October 1906, Page 21:

The One Hundredth Anniversary of Mountain Lodge, Shelburne Falls, Mass was celebrated September 26 in accordant with an elaborate program which had been prepared. Most Worshipful J. Albert Blake, Grand Master and other officers of the Grand Lodge were formally received a a Special Meeting of the Lodge at 9.15 in the morning, an address of welcome was given by the master of the lodge, Worshipful Clarence W. Ward, a historical address by R. W. Edwin Baker and an oration by Rev. Edward A. Horton, Chaplain of the Grand Lodge. Following the exercises in the hall a clambake was served in a tent which proved a most enjoyable occasion The after dinner speaking was one of tin most interesting features of the day George D. Eldredge, Past Master, was the toast-master. After his opening remarks he introduced the Grand Master and other speakers. The closing event of the celebration was a grand concert and ball in Memorial Hall in the evening.

GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

DISTRICTS

1806: District 7 (North Central Massachusetts)

1821: District 7

1867: District 8 (Greenfield)

1883: District 14 (North Adams)

1901: District 13 (Greenfield)

1911: District 14 (Greenfield)

1927: District 14 (Greenfield)

2003: District 26


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges