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Location: Orange

Chartered By: John Abbot

Charter Date: 06/08/1825 III-540

Precedence Date: 06/08/1825

Current Status: charter location unknown; last meeting 02/22/1831; note on page 1939-351.


According to the history on Page 1934-147, this Lodge held its last meeting on February 22, 1831, and then deposited its jewels and records with one brother and "suspended activities which were never resumed."


  • David Young, Jr., 1825, 1826
  • Ebenezer Goddard, 1827
  • Amos Cheney, 1828, 1829
  • Zina Goodale, 1830, 1831


  • Petition for Charter: 1825


  • 1934 (Notes in '"History of Early Masonic Activity in Orange and Vicinity, 1934-141)
  • 1934 (Notes in 75th Anniversary History of Orange, 1959-137)


From Proceedings, Page 1934-144:

In 1818 Orange Masons again applied for a Lodge and to this petition Golden Rule Lodge assented, but the Grand Lodge again refused the request. In June, 1825, a meeting of 13 Masons was held at Athol, probably in the "Factory Village," to consider the possibility of a new Masonic Lodge and a petition was forwarded to the Grand Lodge for a Dispensation for Orange Lodge. Of these 13 petitioners, 7 were residents of Athol and 6 of Orange. This prayer was granted and Aug. 10, 1825, 109 years ago last month, Orange Lodge held its first meeting at the Tavern of Justin C. Lord at North Orange, which building was its only regular meeting place. The old Lodge-room is still discernible in this old "Tavern." I have closely examined this old Lodge-room and I am satisfied from its construction that it was, at one time, arranged so that the capitular degrees could he worked there. There was at this time King Hiram's Chapter at Greenwich. Possibly they came up to do some work in this old Lodge-room but I know nothing of this other than the physical evidence in this old building.

Of the first corps of officers the Master, Junior Warden, Treasurer, Junior Deacon, and the Senior Steward were from Athol, the Secretary and Junior Steward from Royalston, and only the Senior Warden, Senior Deacon, and the Tyler from Orange. In the six years of its activity this Lodge was presided over by four Masters, one from Athol and three from Orange. Of the 41 Brothers known to have become members of this Lodge 15 were from Athol, 5 from Royalston, and 17 from Orange, leaving 4 whose residences I do not know. I wish I had time to tell you something about each of these Masonic patriarchs—of Amos Woodward, third Master of Harmony Lodge and twelve years your Selectman. He lived at the extreme north part of your town where Mr. Julian Rockmore now resides on what is commonly known as "The Mason Goddard" place— of Perley Barton, M.D., for a few years one of your Selectmen and a physician of whom there is still a very favorable remembrance among the older descendants of North Orange. He lived where Floyd French now resides (and was expelled from the Lodge in 1828)—of Jonathan Flagg the stage driver who lived in what is now the Gale Millyard (and who was likewise expelled); of Adin Holbrook, who lived in the so-called Gerry house opposite Sterrett's offices. He came to Athol from Keene at the organization of the Cotton Factory Company and was very prominent in our town for a number of years. Later he removed to Lowell, where he died at an advanced age; of Nathan Nickerson once of Cape Cod, later on of Gerry (Phillipston), and then of Athol, one of our leading citizens for a score of years. He was general manager of the Factorv Company and ran its general store where our Memorial Building now stands. There being no banking facilities in Athol, those with surplus funds took them to Col. Nickerson at the Factory Company store and got the notes of the Factory Company as evidence of their investment. In the financial crisis following the annulment of the charter of the United States Bank, Mr. Nickerson found that the Factory Company could not pay its debts. He could not bear to face his fellow citizens in his disgrace and absconded from the town, removing to Cleveland where he died two years later; of Esq. Eliphalet Thorpe, paper manufacturer and Trial Justice of Athol — who was originally of Dorchester, coming to Athol about 1814. He resided for long years at the corner of South and Freedom Streets, one of the honored citizens of our town at that period; of Amos Cheney and Nathaniel Richardson, who both affiliated with your Lodge, later with Star Lodge. Mr. Cheney was a native of Orange but had removed to Athol before the formation of your Lodge. He resided at the corner of Cottage and School Streets which is commonly known as the Hoyt house, being now owned by a grand-daughter. Mr. Richardson was a native of Swanzey — long years a machine shop operator where our Y.M.C.A. now stands, long our Town Treasurer, many times Selectman, twice our representative to the Legislature. He was one of the substantial citizens of the past generation; and of Esq. Benoni Peck, Trial Justice of West Royalston. He lived in the extreme westerly part of Royalston on the road from Blissville to the Baptist Common. I have read two sketches of his life, one of which states he was sixty years a Mason, the other states that he was seventy years affiliated with us, but as he did not take his degrees until Orange Lodge was organized and he was then upwards of forty years old, I think those obituaries were a slight exaggeration of the truth; of Rev. Asaph Merriam of West Royalston — although he had received the unbounded largess of Orange Lodge, being admitted without remuneration to the Lodge and his dues always being remitted, yet he was one of the first to repudiate Masonry when the clouds gathered around it. He was later Pastor of the Baptist Church at Athol and finally died in the service of the Church at Bolton, and manv others, but time will not permit.

Nor can we review for you the unreasoning wave of antagonism called "Morgan Times" that swept our country in 1828, suspending all Masonic activity and ending the life of many Lodges, including old Orange Lodge. This Lodge carried on until on Feb. 22, 1831, it held its final meeting, deposited the records and jewels with Bro. Zina Goodell and suspended activities which were never resumed. Mr. Goodell lived at the extreme northern part of your town on the farm south of your Poor-Farm. His grand-daughter is Miss May Goodell, living in Athol.

At this meeting 11 Brothers were present, six of whom had signed the petition for the Lodge a half dozen years before. Thus ends this sketchy story of the Masonic Pioneers of Orange and its environs. Let another tell of the awakening nearly three decades later, which awakening we are celebrating tonight.




From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. II, No. 25, June 1826, Page 193:

Orange Lodge was legally consecrated, and its officers installed, in due form, by a deputation from the Grand Lodge of this State at Orange, on Tuesday, the 21st ult. The Rev. Alpheus Harding, of New Salem, officiated as Grand Master, assisted by the Hon. James Humphreys, of Athol, as Deputy G. M.

Officers installed:

  • Bro. David Young, Jr., Master.
  • Bro. Ebenezer Goddard, S. W.
  • Bro. Nathaniel Nickerson, Jr., J. W.
  • Bro. James Young, Treasurer.
  • Bro. Benoni Peck, Secretary.
  • Bro. Sherebiah Parker, S. D.
  • Bro. Amos Cheney, J. D.
  • Bro. Tho's. Barry, S. S.
  • Bro. Russell Wheeler, J. S.
  • Bro. Adam Streeter, Tyler.


From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. III, No. 2, January 1827, Page 10:’’

Officers of Orange Lodge, at Orange, chosen Dec. 27, 5826:

  • R. W. David Young, Jr., Master.
  • Bro. Ebenezer Goddard, S. W.
  • Bro. Nathaniel Nickerson, Jr., J. W.
  • Bro. James Young, Treasurer.
  • Bro. Benoni Peck, Secretary.
  • Bro. S. Baker, S. D.
  • Bro. Amos Cheney, J. D.
  • Bro. Russell Wheeler, S. S.
  • Bro. Zina Goodale, J. S.
  • Bro. Rev. Asaph Merriam, Chaplain.
  • Bro. Adam Streeter, Tyler.


From Amaranth, or Masonic Garland, Vol. I, No. 10, October 1828, Page 318:

Officers of Orange Lodge, Orange, Mass., elected Dec. 20, A. L. 5828.

  • Amos Cheney, M.;
  • Zina Goodale, S. W.;
  • Russell Wheeler, J. W.;
  • Nathan Cheney, T. ;
  • Benoni Peck, S.;
  • Nathan Cheney, Jr., S. D.;
  • Nathaniel Richardson, J. D.;
  • Jesse G. Wheeler, S. S.;
  • Hiram Joy, J. S.;
  • Rev. Asaph Merriam, Chaplain;
  • Adam Streeter, T.


  • 1826 (Constitution of Lodge, IV-26)


1825: District 6


Massachusetts Lodges