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Location: Fall River

Chartered By: Percival L. Everett

Charter Date: 12/13/1876 1876-136

Precedence Date: 12/30/1875

Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault; merged with Massasoit Lodge to form Massasoit-Narragansett Lodge, 07/01/1976.

  • Daniel Stevens,  1875-1877 
  • William R. Robertson, 1878 
  • Charles F. Tripp, 1879, 1880, 1883 
  • Robert McFarlane, 1881 
  • William Brow, 1882 
  • Alexander J. Wilcox, 1884 
  • George W. Angell, 1885, 1886 
  • Mark Phillips, 1887 
  • John Sharpe, 1888 
  • Abijah H. Luscomb, 1889, 1890 
  • Henry C. Hampton, 1891, 1892 
  • Frank A. Pease, 1893 
  • Dwight E. Cone, 1894; Mem
  • Arthur C. Wyatt, 1895, 1896 
  • Charles E. Baker, 1897 
  • Benjamin A. Skiff, 1898 
  • John R. Mason, 1899 
  • Willis F. Palmer, 1900 
  • James L. Buckley, 1901 
  • Henry Ashworth, 1902, 1903; Mem
  • Frederic E. Durfee, 1904 
  • Clarence E. Hambly, 1905 
  • A. M. Fraser, 1906 
  • Myron A. Eldridge, 1907 
  • James Connell, 1908 
  • William Shepherd, 1909 
  • Charles F. Agnew, 1910 
  • Nathan T. Jones, 1911 
  • William Smyth, 1912 
  • George W. Post, 1913 
  • William E. Ashton, 1914 
  • Charles E. Clarke, 1915 
  • George H. Hicks, 1916; N
  • William S. Ashton, 1917 
  • George Slinn, 1918 
  • George W. Hopkinson, 1919 
  • Robert A. Thompson, 1920 
  • Ralph A. Sherman, 1921 
  • Arthur E. Hatch, 1922 
  • Robert W. Phillips, 1923 
  • Edgar B. Whitehead,  1924 
  • Clarence Hopkinson, 1925 
  • Eugene L. Baxter,  1926
  • Charles P. Wallwork, 1927 
  • Raymond F. Borden,  1928 
  • Millen P. Crook, 1929 
  • Ewart S. Hopkinson,  1930 
  • Adrial W. Hathaway,  1931; N; Mem
  • John F. Woodis, 1932 
  • Thomas Yates, 1933 
  • Ernest W. Borden, 1934; Mem
  • Albert Haworth, 1935 
  • Warren P. Hathaway, 1936 
  • Bertram P. Hathaway, 1937
  • Douglas McDuff, 1938 
  • Henry R. Rasmusson, 1939 
  • Robert Ormerod, 1941 
  • Alexander Swindells,  1942 
  • Wilfred Holt, 1943 
  • Elmer Duckworth, 1944, 1945 
  • George H. Martin,  1940 
  • Louis W. Fiore, 1946 
  • Thomas R. Teasdale,  1947 
  • David Appel, 1948, 1968 
  • Horatio A. Gray, 1949 
  • George H. Burt, 1950 
  • George H. Rutter,  1951 
  • James T. Watson, Jr., 1952, 1976; SN
  • Selig Levine,  1953 
  • Richard A. Holmes, 1954 
  • William A. Connell, 1955 
  • Samuel E. Mills, 1956 
  • William B. McIlwaine, Jr., 1957 
  • Hiram B. Eldon, 1958 
  • William B. McIlwaine, Sr., 1959 
  • John M. Anderson, 1960 
  • George H. Martin, Jr., 1961 
  • Walter J. Smith, 1962 
  • Harry Rosenstein, 1963, 1970 
  • Henry B. Newman, Jr., 1964 
  • Thomas N. Nabb, Jr., 1965, 1967 
  • Llewellyn O. Boscombe, 1966 
  • Manuel J. Medeiros,  1967 
  • Walter E. Burbank, 1969  
  • Oscar L. Baron, 1971, 1972; N
  • Leonard Moniz, 1973 
  • James P. Dowd, 1974, 1975 


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1876 (dated 12/30/1875)
  • Petition for Charter: 1876
  • Consolidation Petition (with Massasoit Lodge): 1976


  • 1926 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1950 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1975 (Centenary)



1882 1902 1912 1917 1923 1928 1934 1936 1958 1960 1961 1967 1974 1975


  • 1926 (50th Anniversary History, 1926-3; see below)
  • 1950 (75th Anniversary History, 1950-302; see below)
  • 1975 (Centenary History, 1975-199; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1926-3:

By Wor. Robert A. Thompson.

At a meeting held previous to December, 1875, called to order by Robert Hampson, a petition was signed by nearly fifty members of the Craft, and sent to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, praying for a Warrant to be issued to them to work and confer the degrees of Freemasonry under the name of Narragansett Lodge.

This prayer was granted, and a Dispensation was issued under date of Dec. 30, 1875, by Percival Lowell Everett, Grand Master, for us to work until the Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge to be held in December, 1876.

The following names appear as the petitioners, all of whom had received the approval of the Master, Wardens, and Brethren of the two Lodges then located in Fall River: Mount Hope and King Philip.

  • James Davis
  • Edwin J. Dyer
  • Joseph C. Neill
  • W. R. Robertson
  • Thomas F. Vickery
  • C. H. Sears
  • Daniel Stevens
  • Henry Diman
  • Andrew R. Wright
  • Robert Macfarlane
  • William Preston
  • J. A. Francis
  • D. E. Chace
  • E. Phillips
  • Robert Hamerton
  • John B. Whitaker
  • Charles F. Tripp
  • Robert Hampson
  • C. S. Norman
  • Edmund Whitehead
  • A. F. Blossom
  • Abner Howard
  • John A. Macfarlane
  • James B. Chace
  • Mark Phillips
  • R. A. Moore
  • Alex. J. Wilcox
  • John McKean
  • Philip Roberts
  • Robert Supple
  • Joseph Hyde
  • Joseph Harrison
  • I.P. Pope
  • Aimee B. Bruneau
  • Bennett Cook
  • George L. Walker
  • David F. Hathaway
  • Asa W. Gifford
  • George W. Billings
  • Samuel M. Brown
  • John B. Gronard
  • William H. Brow
  • J. H. Carney
  • J. R. Elsbree
  • John B. Whitaker
  • J. H. Minnikin
  • S. Wright Butler

Under the Warrant, Daniel Stevens was appointed Master, William R. Robertson, Senior Warden, and George L. Walker, Junior Warden. At the first Communication held January 6, 1876, the following appointments were made by the Worshipful Master:

  • Treasurer, James Davis
  • Secretary, William H. Brow
  • Senior Deacon, Robert Macfarlane
  • Junior Deacon, Charles Norman
  • Senior Steward, John McKean
  • Junior Steward, Mark Phillips
  • Chaplain, John B. Whitaker, M. D.
  • Marshal, Edw. J. Dyer
  • Sentinel, C. H. Sears
  • Tyler, William Preston

The most important business transacted at this communication seemed to be, in the order in which it appears in I lie records, as follows:

  • "A communication was received from the Hall Committee that our rent would be Three Dollars per night."
  • That the by-laws of King Philip Lodge be our govern
ing laws until such time as our own could be compiled and adopted.
  • That the thanks of this Lodge be transmitted to Mount Hope and King Philip Lodges for their endorsement of our petition for a Warrant to organize.

At a later communication Mount Hope Lodge offered us the use of their regalia as long as it should be needed. Needless to say. this offer was gratefully accepted, and due acknowledgment made. The records do not show the receipt of any applications for membership up to this time, but the Worshipful Master appointed February 16, 1876, as the date for a special communication on which the degree of Entered Apprentice would be worked. The degree was worked according to this notice, and the first candidate was Dr. John Q. A. Tourtellotte.

The records of March 9, 1876, contain the names of visiting Brethren from Canada, Scotland, and England, together with many from the local Lodges; and this seems to be the beginning of a long list of visitors who were welcomed by us at almost every communication.

Early in 1876 the Craft seemed to be somewhat worried by the matter of suitable apartments, for a letter was received from Mount Hope Lodge asking us to join in a conference with the Masonic Bodies to treat with Mr. Simeon Borden in reference to accommodations in the what was (hen willed the Borden Block, located on Pleasant St., from Main to Second. We weir then meeting in the upper story of the building owned and occupied on the lower Boor by the Fall River Savings Bank. These were probably the best quarters to be obtained at the time.

In April, 1876, a motion was adopted authorizing the payment of a yearly rental of one hundred and twenty-five dollars. This may have had some bearing on the question of new apartments which at this time was under consideration.

In June, 1876, it was voted to hold an excursion to Silver Springs, a shore resort on the east side of the Providence River, now out of existence. Tt is not recorded how the affair was celebrated, or when; but on October 5, 1876, the Treasurer was authorized to pay a deficit amounting to two dollars and thirty-five cents.

On December 28, 1876 a special communication was called by Worshipful Master Stevens to elect officers and arrange for the constitution of the Lodge, as we bad been working under Dispensation until this time. It was decided to have the ceremony on the second Friday in January, 1877. this being January 12. The Lodge was Constituted by the Grand Lodge officers in due form, and after the installation of the officers all present sat down to a fine banquet and as the record reads "the Brethren fell to, and (what else could be expected) cleaned up the food set before them very effectively and without reserve." Thus history repeats itself. During the speechmaking the Grand Master referred to the general appearance of the members and paid high tribute to "their good looks."

On May 17, 1877, St. Paul's Lodge (probably of Newport, R.I.) paid us a fraternal visit, and the visitors' record of the evening showed a representation from eighteen Lodges. This visit was repeated many years later and reference to thai affair will be made later in this record. In June of this year, 1877, we celebrated St. Joan's Day by a visit to the Bay View House, an inn located in the south part of the city, overlooking Mount Hope Bay. The Master and Wardens were the Committee, and as usual "a good time was had by all."

On July 19, 1877, a Diploma of Honorary Membership was given to our Worshipful Brother John B. Whitaker, and the presentation was the cause of what was then termed a surprise party at his home. A literal transcript of the records of the Secretary shows that the affair was considered of some importance, or some one with a good Sense of humor wished to have the affair made n matter of record for future generations to "read and ponder o'er." The following is how the record reads:

"We took the Brother by storm in every sense of the word, for it rained solid water all evening. Small showers never trouble Narragansett Lodge. After fortifying themselves with lemonade, nothing else, the Brethren went from the home of Brother Macfarlane. where they first met, to the home of Brother Whitaker." After praising the viands prepared by Mrs. Whitaker and her daughter for the gathering, tie completes his record as follows:

"Brother Macfarlane, who was. always a riddle,
To Daniel said, 'We'll got the Doctor a fiddle.'
'Yes, yes,' said Dan, 'hut we've got no fid.'
'No matter,' said Sam Standing, 'It's got to be did.'
'That's right,' says Mark Phillips, 'with you I'll agree,
If we don't have some fiddling we'll go to the D__.'
Then Chauncey Sears rushes out, and back with him brings
A darned old fiddle with only three strings.
But he Doctor is there and ready to cut,
And he very soon finds the missing gut.
'But,' says the Doctor, when they ask him to play,
'To saw that old thing, I've forgotten the way.'
'Never mind,' says Billy, 'just do your best,
And some of the Brothers will give you a rest.'
Still the Doctor wavered, and said he had fears.
For he had played only twice in nigh twenty years.
Well, he got the thing going and made it scream,
And soon was playing the Devil's Dream.
And John McKean, who is never sorry,
Sang in fine style about Annie Laurie.
'Now all this is funny,' said good Brother Vick, '
But I'm afraid in the lemonade Dave Smith put a stick.'
But our good Brother Grant, the clerical chap,
Said it was late, and he wanted his nap.
So we sung some hymns, and said we would try
To come again, in the sweet bye and bye.
Then bidding our host and our hostess farewell,
We went to our homes, but the hour I won't till."

From this, you can readily see that Narragansett follows the designs laid down by its ancestors. We sing hymns, we stay out late, and we still enjoy an occasional social. But sometimes we wonder, after we hear some of the old-time members, if we do enjoy our social times as much as our fathers did before us.

On October 24, 1877. District Deputy Grand Master Abram G. Hart held an exemplification of the work, starting at eleven in the morning. The Lodges of the Fourteenth District apparently each took part, although nothing is noted except the names of the Lodges which at that time constituted the Fourteenth District. There were eleven of them, and compared to the Thirtieth District as now constituted, the District Deputy Grand Master at that time was somewhat of a traveler as means of communication were not quite as convenient as they are now.

The Lodges of the Fourteenth District were as follows:

While it is not necessary nor advisable to go into finan
cial matters, the first report of the Treasurer might be of 
interest as compared with the report for 1925. Then the
 report showed assets of $62.04 and liabilities of $62.50, a
 deficit of 46 cents. In 1925 our liabilities were "nil." and 
our assets many times larger than in 1876, which is as it 
should be.

On Dec. 13, 1877, we held our first public installation. After the ceremonies and the usual banquet, "the wives, daughters, and lady friends adjourned to the Lodge-room where a good time was had by all."

In February, 1878, we were notified of an increase in our rental to $165.00 per year. Nothing is said of any opposition, although in view of the last financial report it must have been more or less of a burden. Nevertheless the burden was assumed, and as far as can be determined there were no serious results. This may have been the reason for action taken this year in voting to hold a fair, although the purpose of the fair was not stated.

It was held in the Academy of Music in the Borden Block, and to make sufficient space the Orchestra pit and chairs were floored over to enlarge the stage, this being the first time such alterations had been made. It has been stated to the writer by one who was there at the time that Gen. Benjamin F. Butler was present and made an address. This must have been quite an occasion for the Lodge, especially as the financial report of the affair showed a net profit of $207.10.

In June of this year Brother B. J. Dyer presented the Lodge with a gavel and solid silver square and compasses, all of which are still in use.

During July, 1879, the matter of Lodge-rooms seemed again to be the source of much discussion, as it was voted to hire Knights of Honor Hall at a rental of five dollars per night. It is not stated what the reason was for this action, but the vote was afterward rescinded, as many of the Brethren strongly objected to engaging any quarters outside of the regular Masonic Apartments. A later vote that we negotiate a loan on our United States Bonds may be accounted for by the fact that our expenses were too high or that our income was insufficient to pay our expenses.

Some time between 1877 and 1883 a commutation tax was levied by the Grand Lodge In raise funds for the rebuilding of the Temple in Boston which had been destroyed by lire. The records are not at all clear or complete in reference to the matter, but it certainly was the cause of a great deal of trouble. One Lodge nearly lost its Charter for its refusal to abide by the law of the Grand Lodge. From what little the records do show, however, it seems that Narragansett had the usual arguments to put forth both for and against the levy, yet it must have been paid, either by the Lodge or by the members individually, as we did not lose our Charter, and no records appear to the contrary.

In December, 1883, we were granted permission to change our annual communication from December to November. It was in March, 1883, that we voted to hire a band of music and attend the funeral of one of our members. Times certainly have changed, for a band at a Lodge funeral service, or even a request for one, would be, to say the least, a novelty.

At the regular communication in March, 1884. the Master
 and Wardens, Treasurer and Secretary were appointed as 
a committee on cornerstone laying. This is the only rec
ord that shows in reference to the laying of the corner
stone of the building on Franklin Street. There is, however, a record in the archives of the Masonic Hall Association, part of which is quoted as follows:

"On June 24th, 1884, a number of the Brethren assembled at the site of the new building on Franklin St. and at high twelve the President of the Association, Robert
 C. Brown, Past Master of Mount Hope Lodge, commenced
 the ceremonies by an eloquent address, after which the fol
lowing articles, viz :—

  • Reports of the Proceedings of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1883
  • Reports of the Proceedings of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, 1883
  • Reports of the Proceedings of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, 1883
  • Reports of the Proceedings of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 1883
  • Last annual address of the Most Worshipful Grand Master
  • List of Lodges and Masonic Districts in Massachusetts, 1884
  • Copies of Charters, By-laws, lists of Officers and members of Mount Hope Lodge, King Philip Lodge, Narragansett Lodge of F. and A. M. of Fall River, Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Fall River Council of Royal and Select Masters. Godfrey de Bouillon Commandery of Knights Templars
  • Laws and resolves of the Legislature of 1884
  • An act to establish the Education and Charity Trust, City Charter, ordinances, and annual reports of the City of Fall Rivet
  • Organization of the Masonic Hall Association of Fall River, with a list of the Officers of the same
  • Names of the Architects. Contractors, Building Committee, etc.
  • Box containing coins of 1884
  • Daily papers

were placed in a copper box, which was placed in a recess prepared for it in the bottom of the stone and cemented into place, the stone then placed in the northeast corner of the building, one of the foundation stones, by Robert C. Brown, President of the Association.

In November, 1884, a committee was appointed to act with a like committee from all of the other Masonic Bodies in reference to the furnishing of the apartments in the new Masonic Hall on Franklin Street. This was evidently the formation of the Masonic Hall Committee which still functions, and, strange to say, even then it was necessary that the Worshipful Master explain to the members of the Lodge the relation that the Committee bore toward the Lodge.

An item of interest to some of us is the fact that in April, 1885, it was voted to place the ballot box upon the altar in future. This was continued until 1920, when with the advice of the proper authorities the present custom of having the Stewards and Deacons pass the boxes was adopted. It was also at the April communication of ISM I hat the Secretary's salary was increased to the sum of twenty-five dollars per year, and it was voted that the Master and Wardens be paid for their attendance at the communications of the Grand Lodge.

In January, 1887, the Directors of the Masonic Hall Association made a request that we, with the other Masonic Bodies, voluntarily increase the rental of the apartments from $1250.00 to $1500.00 per year. The request was laid on the table, and at our next regular communication it was voted that "we contribute as a gift the sum of $7.50 per quarter in addition to our rent. Presumably this took care of the increase requested, as nothing farther is mentioned.

In April, 1888. the Lodge gave an entertainment and ball, and among the names of the committee appointed to manage the affair are noted those of W. H. C. Hampton, W. Alex. J. Wilcox, W. A. H. Luscomb. Bro. Robert Hampson, and Bro. B. F. Riddell, all of whom are living at this writing and are with us tonight. These are all who remain of a committee of twenty-four. The Fall River Advance gave a full column to an account of the occasion, and as it is read I think that you will agree with me that the writer of the item must have been a member of the Craft or one who was very much interested. Part of the account is as follows:

"And of one thing may Narragansett well be proud. Tn its brotherhood are men who know just what is wanted to make a social a success, and a ball a joyous dance; and the members went into the arrangements con amore. The supper was served by Gadsby (whose son is one of us tonight) and if variety was wanting the menu fails to show it; for four kinds of meat, two of salad, cake, cream, coffee, and fruits certainly should have satisfied the hungriest and the most particular. There were no specially remarkable costumes worn by the ladies, but generally speaking there was refined elegance and correct taste in the demo-toilettes displayed, and lovely forms, bright eyes, smiling faces, and tell-tale fans put in some of their best work to make the party a pleasant one."

That Narragansett members were as loyal to their deceased as they were to the living is well to note, for at this time it was our usual custom to march from the Lodge to the home of the late Brother, then to the grave, and back to the Lodge, ft has been told to the writer that on one of these occasions a heavy rain storm was encountered on the way to the grave, and neighbors along the way came out and loaned umbrellas to the Brethren. This not only is to the credit of these people, but when it was also said that every umbrella was returned to its owner it speaks very highly of the character of those to whom the loans were made.

In July, 1889. a record was made of a contribution through the Grand Lodge of several hundred dollars for the relief of the sufferers from the Johnstown Flood. This was made up of individual contributions apparently, as no record appears showing its payment from the Lodge funds.

On August 1, 1889, notice was received from the Grand Lodge that they had been invited to lay the corner-stone of the new Court House on North Main Street, now known as the Superior Court, and that Narrangansett Lodge with the other Fall River Lodges would be called upon to assist. On August 8th a special communication was called, and in conjunction with the Masonic Lodges of Taunton and New Bedford the corner-stone was laid by the Grand Lodge, Henry Endicott, Grand Master.

In March, 1890, we became a stockholder in the Masonic Mall Association by the purchase of ten shares of stock, and at the same communication the Treasurer was given authority to negotiate a loan to pay for the shares. In December of this same year our holdings were increased by the gift of two shares by our late Brother James M. Adam.

On June 20, 1892, at high twelve, we participated with Mount Hope and King Philip Lodges in the laying of the corner-stone of the County Court House at Taunton; and the record shows that, we were accompanied by the Fall River Brass Band. Twenty-eight dollars was the fee paid, and in view of the present scale of prices, it seems almost ridiculous.

That the harmony of the Lodge has not always been undisturbed may be judged from the fact that during a part of the year 1893, perhaps all of it. certain conditions that ought not to appear in print had reached their climax, and the material prosperity of the Lodge was in jeopardy. Due to the rigorous action of the Master and others, the impending trouble was averted, and what might have been written as a dark page of our history was fortunately recorded as merely a disagreeable affair.

From now until 1900 the progress of the Dodge seemed to be normal and nothing of moment seems to have happened. The regular communications were held, a certain amount of work was carried on, and peace and harmony reigned within our walls. Our numbers were increasing slowly but steadily. A good attendance of members and visitors showed a lively interest in the work, and the list of visitors, especially, was very gratifying to those who were in authority at the time.

Previous to this year the two junior Past Masters had been the committee to procure a jewel for the retiring Master. Now, therefore, this duly was laid upon the Treasurer and the Secretary, and they were appointed as such to purchase Past Master's jewels at such times as were necessary and the funds of the Lodge would permit.

In December, 1900, William H. Armstrong, who had served as Secretary since 188S, was presented with a Masonic ring as a token of the respect and appreciation of the Brethren. To those of us who knew him it seems a proper tribute to one who had labored long and faithfully for the Craft. In 1003, owing to the death of our Treasurer, Sandy Harrison. Brother Armstrong was appointed Treasurer pro tem, and in June of the same year was elected to the office at a special election held by Dispensation from the Grand Lodge. This office was held until he was forced by ill health to refuse re-election in 1909, passing to the Lodge above early in 1910.

Previous to 1905 it had been customary to hold the regular communications during the entire year. This year it was voted to omit the July and August regular communications, and this was the beginning of what we now enjoy as our summer vacation.

Another period of routine seems to have commenced at this time for nothing of importance seems to have happened until February, 1914, when a committee of five was appointed to confer with the Masonic Hall Association Directors in reference to a new Temple. The conference was held, and later the Trustees of Narragansett Lodge were named to represent the Lodge at future meetings, and they were instructed In vote for the increase in the capital stock of the Association. In May of the same year the Trustees were instructed to purchase seventy shares of stuck, thus increasing our holdings to an extent more in keeping with the size of the Lodge.

In November, 1915. a request was received from certain Master Masons for permission to form a new Lodge. The request was immediately granted and this led to the formation of Massasoit Lodge, making the fourth in the city.

hi April. 1918, we were called to perform a duty that seldom falls to a Lodge, a duty which never before had been placed upon a local Lodge, and which we hope will never fall to our lot again. We paid our last respects to the Worshipful Master, George Slinn, who died quite unexpectedly. His death was the cause for universal sorrow in the Lodge as he was a faithful and efficient Master and beloved by all who knew him. Our Senior Warden, George W. Hopkinson. sn suddenly called to the East, carried on the work for the remainder of the term with credit to himself and to the Lodge. It was also during this year that large gatherings of any nature were deemed inadvisable as in the latter part of the year an epidemic of influenza swept the city, taking toll of a large number of the people. For this reason the visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master was very informal, only the officers of the Lodge, the District Deputy Grand Master, and a very small suite being present, the attendance being eighteen, and there was no exemplification of the work. Our Lodge was very fortunate in not losing many of the members, but we did perform the Masonic service over two Brothers on the same day. almost at the same hour, and at short distance apart in the same cemetery.

(in March 20, 1919, we worked the Master Mason Degree in the presence of St. Paul's Lodge, of Newport, R. I. Nearly two hundred.of the Newport Brethren came, and the Visitor's Record of that date shows that every State in the Union, practically, was represented. This was due to the fact that the World War had just been terminated, and Newport had been and was then the seat of both naval and military activities, Port Adams and the Naval College each training a great number of men.

We were fortunate in one respect, that although a lame number of our members were in the service of their country during the war, only one was lost in action, Brother George Conn.

In April, 1920, the Trustees were instructed to purchase eighty shares of Masonic Hall Association stock, thus keeping our holdings still in proportion to our membership. It was during this year that the number of initiates became so large that it was a problem to arrange the work to the best advantage During 1919, 1920, and 1921 the largest increase in membership was made, and the officers during these years deserve great credit for the manner in which the work was handled. They will say, perhaps, that they did nothing more than others would have done under the same conditions. This is true, for none of our officers have ever tried to "scamp" the work, as they say across the water, but have faithfully done that which they had In do. And it should not be forgotten that they have had the support of a large number of our members, who by their attendance and attention have aided them in a great measure.

In June, 1920, it was voted that we lay aside a certain sum of money, amount not stated, in anticipation of the call that would soon be made for funds to furnish the apartments in the new Temple about to be built. That this was a wise action is shown by the fact that when the call was made, and it was not for a small sum by any means. funds were in hand to care for it. In September of this year agitation commenced in reference to an increase in the fees. This resulted in a change in the fees from fifty-five to eighty dollars. During this year also we held the largest number of communications in the history of the Dodge, ten regular and forty-eight specials.

Following the usual custom of holding an annual social, plans were formed and partially carried out to hold the affair as usual in Music Hall on the night of March 31, 1921. Owing to the very large number of requests for tickets, and the feeling that the attendance would be entirely too great for the capacity of the hall, the plans were altered at the last moment, and the State Armory was en
gaged. This was a decided innovation, but the attend
ance of nearly one thousand justified the action of the com
mittee. The Armory was decorated under the personal
supervision of Dr. Fred O. Kidd in a manner most beauti
ful, and emblematic as well of all the Degrees in York Rite 
Masonry; and from the opinions universally expressed by
 those who were present it would seem that never before in
the Masonic history of Fall River had there been anything
 to equal it.

It may be well to note that the dance program used was somewhat of a joke on the officers of the Lodge, and the reading of it would show to the few what an explanation of it would show to the many. This program is now obsolete.

  • Grand March – Dedicated to the Worshipful Master; "Crackers and Crumbs" — He was then in the employ of the National Biscuit Co.
  • Waltz - Dedicated to the Senior Warden; "The March to Ladysmith" — The S.W. was a veteran of the Boer War
  • Fox Trot - Dedicated to the Junior Warden "Come Fill Up the Dishes" — To those who knew the J. W. no explanation is necessary
  • One Step - Dedicated to the Treasurer "On Money, Money" — He was always after some for one purpose or another
  • Quadrille - Dedicated to the Secretary — "Inky Racer Medley"
  • Waltz - Dedicated to the Chaplain — "Sweet Aniline" — He makes a specialty of colors
  • Fox Trot - Dedicated to the Marshal — "Come Buy MY Wares" — He is still selling them
  • Quadrille - Dedicated to the Senior Deacon — "Carve Dat Possum" — He certainly can carve
  • Waltz - Dedicated to the Junior Deacon — "American Prince" — He was in the employ of the American Printing Co.
  • Schottische - Dedicated to the Senior Steward — "Honey in the Comb" — That is where he gathers his
  • Fox Trot - Dedicated to the Junior Steward — "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot" — At this time the J. S., who is now Master, was critically ill
  • One Step - Dedicated to the Sentinel — "Railroad Rag" — He was in the employ of the N. Y., N. H. & H. R. R. Co.
  • Waltz - Dedicated to the Organist — "There's Music in the Heir" — There was a reason
  • Fox Trot - Dedicated to the Tyler — "Who Is That Rapping"
  • Waltz - Dedicated to the Past Masters — "Once Upon A Time"

The financial results of the affair were very satisfactory, and with the proceeds of several like affairs in later years, a substantial fund was created for the Children's Home of Fall River, known as the Narragansett Lodge Fund, income to be used at the discretion of the Officials of the Home. Thus will Narragansett be remembered in years to come, and may our mite do its share in the rearing of those who for various have no one to look to for a parent's care.

On May 6, 1922, a special communication was called, the purpose of which was the fulfillment of a long cherished wish in the hearts of many of the Craft; the laying of the corner-stone of this building, known not as Masonic Hall but Masonic Temple. In company with Mount Hope, King Philip, and Massasoit Lodges, and with an escort of two Commanderies of Knights Templars, Godfrey de Bouillon, of this city, and Washington, of Newport. R. I. marched through North and South Main Streets to the South Park, were reviewed by the Grand Lodge on the way. and returned to the Temple where the corner-stone was laid by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Arthur D. Prince, assisted by Benjamin B. Narnes, Master of Mount Hope Lodge, George B. Lovell, Master of King Philip Lodge, Arthur B. Hatch, Master of Narragansett Lodge. Herbert A. Sullivan, Master of Massasoit Lodge, Joseph Turner, Past Master of Mount Hope Lodge and President of the Masonic Hall Association. R. W. Henry Ashworth, Past Master of Narragansett Lodge and member of the Building Committee, KAY. Robert N. Hathaway. Past Master of King Philip Lodge and Treasurer of the Masonic Hall Association, and Brother John Crowe, contractor in the erection of the Temple.

It was, perhaps, the most impressive parade ever held in this city. The simple white aprons of the Master Masons, the regalia of the Officers shining brightly in the sunlight, the uniforms of the Knights Templars with their glittering swords and trimmings, and the distinctive regalia of the Grand Lodge Officers, formed a spectacle for the thousands of citizens who thronged the sidewalks on each side of the line of march that must have made a wonderful impression not only on the bystanders but upon the nearly two thousand Brethren themselves as they passed One another in the countermarch.

On September 6. 1923, there came the lone expected call for fluids to furnish our new apartments, and we were ready, thanks to the action taken some time previously to conserve funds for that purpose. The result is before us and justifies the action of the Brethren which has made it possible.

Here endeth the synopsis of the history of Narragansett Lodge, and it is our hope that at the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary, if any of our present members be there, this record may be read, and our records for the fifty years just, passed may lie but a series of milestones to mark the further progress and more successful results of mir successors who will walk upon the ashes of those who have prone before them.

May the next half-century he full of happiness and success for those who take up our burden and carry on.


Time, measure of our earthly joys,
Our sorrows and our fears,
Has been to Narragansett friend
For lo, these fifty years.

Has brought her far along the way
Where they, who seek the right,
And traveling onward to the East,
The source of Mason's light

Will keep her safe upon that way.
So long as it shall be
That Narragansett Masons live
And work in harmony.

Those men who in the past have laid
Foundations, deep and true,
Are honored now by loyal sons,
Reward which is their due.

Tiny gave their best, not always great,
That this, their Lodge, should be
Exemplar of the faith they taught,
A light in Masonry.

In times of stress, when cares and doubt
And selfishness betrayed
The goodness of their fellowmen,
They traveled, undismayed.

With courage high and faith secure,
They labored steadfastly
To make their building safe, secure
To their Posterity.

Let now our light along the way,
A constant, living flame,
Make known to all who travel there,
That Narragansett's name

Shall be by us kept clear and blight,
And, brighter than before,
Shall last till Time, that measures worth,
Shali be, for us, no more.


From Proceedings, Page 1950-302:

By Worshipful Robert A. Thompson.

Twenty-five years ago it was my privilege to appear on this platform and recall to those assembled an outline of the life of Narragansett Lodge from 1875 to 1925. Tonight it is again my privilege to be here and present the continuation of that history to its seventy-fifth year.

Inasmuch as many are not with us who were present twenty-five years ago, and many are here who have joined us since then, it seems proper to give at least a brief synopsis of the first fifty years, refreshing the memories of the older members and giving to the later Brethren some idea of what happened before their time.

Previous to December, 1875, about fifty members of the Craft met and were called to order by Robert Hampson to petition the Grand Lodge for the formation of Narragansett Lodge. In due time the petition was granted and dispensation issued by the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Percival Lowell Everett.

Under the Warrant, Daniel Stevens was appointed Master, William R. Robertson, Senior Warden, and George L. Walker, Junior Warden. Mount Hope and King Philip Lodges were very generous in loaning the necessary supplies and equipment, enabling us to function properly, and on February 10, 1876, Dr. John Q. A. Tourtellotte was our first candidate, receiving the Entered Apprentice Degree.

Communications were then held in the upper part of the Fall River Savings Bank, across the street from this building, rental three dollars per night. Later it was raised to one hundred and twenty-five dollars per year.

In June, 1876, an excursion to Silver Springs netted a deficit of two dollars and thirty-five cents. How we went or returned, no one knows.

January 12, 1877, we were duly constituted a regular lodge.

May 17, 1877, St. Paul's Lodge of Newport paid us our first fraternal visit, with representation from eighteen Lodges present.

In June, 1877, we celebrated St. John's Day with an outing at the Bay View House, still standing in the southern part of the city.

October 24, 1877, District Deputy Grand Master Abraham G. Hart held our first exemplification starting at 11:00 a.m. The first report of the Treasurer revealed a deficit of forty-six cents.

June 24,1884, we participated in the laying of the corner-stone of our first Masonic building, on Franklin Street, Robert C. Brown, Past Master of Mount Hope Lodge and President of the Masonic Hall Association, presiding.

August 18, 1889, with the Fall River and New Bedford and Taunton Lodges, we shared in the laying of the corner-stone of the Court House on North Main Street by the Grand Lodge, Most Worshipful Henry Endicott presiding as Grand Master.

June 20, 1892, we participated in a like ceremony at the laying of the cornerstone of the County Court House at Taunton. In February, 1914, the matter of a new temple was first considered, and on May 6, 1922, the corner-stone of this, our present temple, was laid by the Grand Lodge, Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master, presiding, assisted by the following:

  • Wor. Benjamin B. Barnes, Master, Mount Hope Lodge
  • Wor. George B. Lovell, Master, King Philip Lodge
  • Wor. Arthur B. Hatch, Master, Narragansett Lodge
  • Wor. Herbert A. Sullivan, Master, Massasoit Lodge
  • Wor. Joseph Turner, Past Master, Mount Hope Lodge and President of the Masonic Hall Association
  • R. W. Henry Ashworth, Past Master, Narragansett Lodge and Chairman of the Building Committee
  • R. W. Robert N. Hathaway, Past Master, King Philip Lodge and Treasurer of the Association
  • Bro. John Crowe, Builder of the Temple

As a preliminary to the ceremony of dedication, one of the largest and most impressive parades in the history of this city was formed by the Brethren of the local Lodges. Under the escort of the Knights Templar, nearly two thousand men participated. Witnessed by thousands as they marched to the South Park and return, to be reviewed by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge from the porch of the Quequechan Club, the white aprons of the Brethren and the colorful regalia of the Grand Lodge and the Knights Templar formed a picture that will long be remembered.

In March 1921, arrangements had been made for our Ladies' Night to be held in the Music Hall. Demand for tickets became so large it was decided to hold the affair in the State Armory. As a result of this gathering, with others of the same nature, a fund was established for the Children's Home, of a sizable amount, and was termed by the Directors of the Home as Narragansett Lodge Fund, the income to be used for such purposes as might be found necessary.

Matters moved along in regular order until we came to the observance of our fiftieth anniversary. The first event in this celebration was a Church service and sermon at the Methodist Church, led by Rev. Brother Dr. Colpitts. Next, a visitation by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge at which about five hundred of the Brethren were seated at the banquet table. Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, Grand Master, and his entire staff were present, which included R. W. William Ridings, Past Grand Warden, R. W. Fred I. Walker, District Deputy Grand Master, and Worshipful Walter E. Dow, Junior Grand Steward, of our own Lodges. Worshipful John V. Thorpe of King Philip Lodge, and a very good friend of Narragansett, read one of his original poems, which, with a collection of his other poems, was placed in the copper box with other items to be opened at our 75th anniversary. Brothers Robert Hampson and Joseph Hyde, being charter members of the Lodge, were each presented with the Henry Price Medal.

In May 1926, the presiding Masters of the Lodges in this District occupied the chairs and conferred the Master Mason Degree on two candidates.

At our communication held November 21, 1929, a rather unusual part of the work of the evening was the conferring of the Master Mason Degree on George and Thomas Hopkinson by Worshipful George W. Hopkinson, their father, assisted by Past Masters Stanley Hopkinson of Narragansett Lodge in the South, Clarence Hopkinson of Narragansett Lodge in the West and Norman Hopkinson of Noquochoke Lodge in the East — all uncles of the candidates. Present in the Lodge was Brother Thomas Hopkinson, father of the above mentioned four Past Masters.

It is seldom that such an event could happen, and it was surely an event in this family that will long be a matter of pride, not only to those participating, but to the grandfather of the two boys, raised in his own Lodge by four of his sons.

In August, our financial report was not too good, especially in regard to our Relief Fund. A further reference will be made to this a little later. Soon after this report was presented, a new accounting system was inaugurated, fees were raised to a total of fifty dollars, and dues were increased to ten dollars.

During the years from 1933 to 1936 inclusive, we suffered from a very severe loss in membership due to various causes, and our funds shrank in proportion. From then on, our condition gradually improved, and we were soon once more on the right side of the ledger.

December 7, 1933, Worshipful Adrial W. Hathaway was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the New Bedford 30th District, and naturally could not be received in his own Lodge officially. As some of the Brethren had planned to present him with a District Deputy Grand Master's jewel, he was called to the East as a Past Master of the Lodge, and while there, he was honored by a suitable speech and presentation, to which he responded in his own gracious manner.

March 6, 1934, Brother John Taylor, a member of this Lodge who had taken up residence in Los Angeles, California, was presented with a Veteran's Medal, awarded by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in recognition of fifty years of continuous membership, in Garvenza Lodge No. 492 of that City. Present at the ceremony were Brother Henry Whittaker, also of Narragansett, and Brother William H. McDonald, a member of Garvenza Lodge who had visited Narragansett Lodge in 1875 while we were working under a warrant. It must have been quite an occasion, for Dr. Buckman, former employer of Brother Taylor, and a goodly number of Brethren journeyed fifty miles to be present. How small the world seems to be — how universal the ties of Freemasonry.

In April, 1934, we adopted a new code of By-Laws, and in 1936, our Lodge dues were reduced to eight dollars.

January 3, 1937, the officers of Netop Lodge of Seekonk, of which our own Past Master, Worshipful Dwight E. Cone was the first Master, occupied the chairs in Narragansett, conferring the Fellow Craft Degree in a most creditable manner. Perhaps the early teachings of our Lodge were the cause of such good work, who knows!

In September 1939, when Brother George H. Martin was publicly installed as Master of Narragansett, four generations of his family were present and introduced to those present. It does seem that Narragansett has family as well as fraternal ties. And now comes the most pleasant part of this history. On January 5, 1941, through the efforts of the Treasurer of the Lodge and good offices of his old time friend and Brother, Hon. James M. Swift, afterwards made an Honorary Member of Narragansett Lodge, we became the recipient of a Trust Fund amounting to nearly $14,000. Of this sum, $12,000 was to be placed in trustee's custody, to be known as "The Robert Hayhurst Fund," income only to be used for charitable or other purposes as may be lawfully directed, the balance to be left in the hands of the Treasurer under similar conditions. Brother Hayhurst was one of our older members, and it was his expressed will that these funds, after his death and that of his wife, be at the disposal of Brother Swift.

In April 1944, Worshipful Frederic E. Durfee and Worshipful James Connell, our two oldest Past Masters, conferred the Mas- ter Mason Degree in a most remarkable manner, proving that they were young in spirit, still able to do good work, and showing the result of the training received so many years ago.

In May 1944, the officers of George H. Taber Lodge conferred the Fellow Craft Degree in their usual efficient manner.

Nothing of an historical nature occurred during the following years until the formation of a 75th anniversary committee, with Worshipful Brother Horatio Gray as Chairman. With our Secretary and other Brethren, this committee has labored long and faithfully to make this evening and the rest of our program the success which it is. Great credit is due to them for their labors for the good of Narragansett Lodge.

Before closing, there is one item that should be a part of this record, although it may not be considered historical. It is a tribute to the Grand Lodge — something that is often deserved and too seldom given. Our relations with the Grand Lodge have always been pleasant, never more so than during the years that our present Secretary has been in office. The completeness and clearness of his records and correspondence have added much to those relations.

As before stated, at one time our Relief Funds were exhausted, our general funds were in no better condition, and we were forced to seek aid from the Grand Lodge for our Brethren in distress. Our applications were made clearly and concisely and we sought for no more than was necessary. Not one of our requests met with a refusal and none was reduced. As a matter of fact, in one of our lean years we were granted more funds for relief than we paid in Grand Lodge dues. And that, Brethren, is what your Grand Lodge dues, less than one cent per day which all of us pay, is doing to help those of our Brethren and their wives who are less fortunate than ourselves.

Statistics may tell us all about the number of guests at the Masonic Home in Charlton or in the Masonic Hospital at Shrewsbury, the finances and other information that is usually given. But these statistics never have told, nor can they ever tell, of that comfort and peace of mind that these worthy men and women have enjoyed during the last years of their lives — years which otherwise might have been spent in poverty or dependence upon family or other sources for their support. No better investment can any man make, or have better returns, than the thought that he has contributed his own mite for such a worthy cause.

In closing, may I quote from the fiftieth anniversary sermon of Rev. Brother Dr. Colpitts twenty-five years ago when he said, "But what of the future? Is there any Polar Star to guide the uncharted years ahead? That depends largely upon ourselves and those who follow. Masonry has set its standard in the sky. Have we eyes to see it? Our Masonic future will be largely determined by the measure of our Masonic purposes. Neither institutions nor individuals can endure simply of their history, no matter how honorable that history is. The only guarantee of survival is to be found in the individual or institution serving some useful purpose in the now and in the tomorrow. What, then, is the purpose of Masonry ? It is not now nor ever has been either an offensive or defensive alliance, though it has frequently been represented as both. Masonry's motto is 'Live and Let Live,' and Masonry proposes to go more than half-way in living in love and charity with all its neighbors.

Finally, what came we here to do? To build our lives on simple faith and the eternal law of right. To learn those truths that no one may learn alone, yet none may learn for another. To act justly by the Square and walk uprightly on the Level, by the Plumb; to be a builder and a Brother in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man."


From Proceedings, Page 1975-199:

From 1950 to 1915.

(Detailed histories of Narragansett Lodge for the earlier periods may be found in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge as follows: 1926 pages 3-25; 1950 pages 302-308)

A permanent account of meetings and communications is in the possession of the Lodge for the past one hundred years of our existence.

We are indeed grateful for the accurate research of records done by our late Lodge Historian, Worshipful Robert A. Thompson, who wrote and delivered the Lodge History at the fiftieth and again at the seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations. Worshipful Brother Thompson served the Lodge as Treasurer for a period of forty-two years prior to his retirement in 1955 due to illness from which he unfortunately never recovered.

Worshipful Brother Thompson wrote with such accuracy and clarity that we have been mainly concerned with those events recorded in our records of the past twenty-five years which have been diligently searched.

The 75th Anniversary of the Lodge was held December 28, 1950 and our newly installed Most Worshipful Grand Master, Reverend Brother Thomas Sherrard Roy attended accompanied by a distinguished suite. (1950 Mass. 299-308) He was welcomed by the Worshipful Master, George H. Rutter and assumed the East. He called for a reading of the History of the Lodge which was given by Worshipful Brother Robert A. Thompson. As a surprise to the incumbent Secretary of the Lodge, Worshipful Millin P. Crook, he ordered him presented to the East and pinned upon his breast the Joseph Warren Medal. This was done at the request of his predecessor, Most Worshipful Roger Keith, who wished to recognize the long service of Worshipful Brother Crook to the Lodge. Prior to the ceremonies of the evening a catered dinner was served in Temple Hall. Presaging these events on Sunday afternoon, December 24, a service of Thanksgiving was held in the South Somerset Methodist Church and ending the observance on December 30, a Ladies' Night was held. Entertainment, a collation and dancing was the order of the evening and thus our 75th Anniversary ended. Coincidental with the December appearance of the Most Worshipful Grand Master it was announced that Worshipful George H. Hicks had been appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the New Bedford 30th Masonic-District and a jewel and apron were presented to him by the Grand Master for Narragansett Lodge.

At the regular Communication or meeting in February, Right Worshipful Brother Hicks accompanied by a distinguished suite was received in his own Lodge: — Narragansett.

At this regular communication, the Lodge voted to send a substantial sum to the South Somerset Methodist Church for their kindness in assisting the Lodge in the 75th Anniversary, just concluded. The balance of funds then remaining were set up by the Lodge as a 100th Anniversary Fund. By and large the 75th Anniversary was considered to have been a success and the several committees were thanked and discharged by Worshipful Master George H. Rutter.

In 1951 a net loss of 16 members was noted in the Annual Report although the finances of the Lodge remained in a healthy condition.

Our presiding Master in this 100th Anniversary year, Right Worshipful James T. Watson, Jr., was first elected presiding Master at the Annual Meeting in September 1951. In 1958 Right Worshipful Brother Watson was selected as Junior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge. In 1961 he was chosen to serve as District Deputy Grand Master for the New Bedford 30th Masonic District. He was selected to serve on the Education Committee of Grand Lodge and as such is responsible for the Fall River Lodges plus the Pioneer Lodge of Somerset. He served as presiding Master of the 27th Lodge of Instruction in 1958 and 1959.

In 1955 Worshipful Brother Thompson who had served as Treasurer for 42 years declined re-election due to ill health.

Worshipful Horatio A. Gray was elected to serve as Treasurer and did so serve until a health problem caused him to resign. Over, the next few years there were several changes in the Treasurer's Office until Right Worshipful Brother Watson assumed the responsibilities. In late 1974, Grand Ledge, recognizing the unusual fidelity and faithfulness to his Lodge, and to the Craft in general, awarded Right Worshipful Brother Watson the Joseph Warren Medal.

It has been said previously that Narragansett Lodge had become a family Lodge and we note the following:

  • Worshipful Brother Millin P. Crook, who took part in the Induction of his son.
  • Right Worshipful Adrial Hathaway, taking important parts when one of his sons, Worshipful Warren P. Hathaway received his degrees and became presiding Master and also in the Induction at his younger son.
  • Worshipful George H. Martin, Sr., when his son Worshipful George H. Martin, Jr. was inducted and reached presiding Master.
  • Worshipful Thomas R. Teasdale, who played a prominent part in the induction of his sons, Kenneth and Russell.
  • Worshipful Horatio A. Gray, who participated in the induction of his son, Franklin, while the candidate was a member of the U.S. Air Force (a group from the Square and Compass Club at Otis Air Force Base journeyed to Fall River for the occasion).
  • Worshipful William B. Mcllwaine, Jr., who installed his father, Worshipful William B. Mcllwaine, Sr., as presiding Master.
  • Worshipful Harry Rosenstein, who assisted when his son became a Mason.
  • Worshipful Richard A. Holmes, assisting when his son, too became a member of the Lodge.

If perchance your committee may have neglected to include any others, then we indeed apologize for the oversight. In 1966 we had the unusual circumstance of having a presiding Master expire in office — Worshipful Manuel J. Medeiros — and Grand Lodge by special dispensation allowed a new election


  • 1885 (Participation in Fall River Masonic Hall dedication, 1885-29)
  • 1922 (Participation in Fall River Masonic Hall cornerstone laying, 1922-112)
  • 1932 (Petition for reduction of fees granted, 1932-42)



From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXI, No. 3, January 1926, Page 87:

The three-day celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Narragansett Lodge, A. F. and A. M., took place at Fall River, Mass., December 27, 28 and 29. About 600 members attended services at the Union Methodist Episcopal Church. They paraded from Masonic Temple to the church, where a special program was carried out. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Bro. Robert A. Colpitts, pastor. On Tuesday evening there was a banquet, the principal speaker being Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson of Boston, Grand Master of Massachusetts. On Thursday evening a ladies' night party took place, consisting of a concert and dancing. Eugene L. Baxter is Worshipful Master of Narragansett Lodge.




1875: District 14 (New Bedford)

1883: District 26 (Fall River)

1911: District 30 (Fall River)

1927: District 30 (Fall River)


Massachusetts Lodges