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Location: Orange

Chartered By: Winslow Lewis

Charter Date: 09/14/1860 VI-322

Precedence Date: 09/19/1859

Current Status: merged with Star-Athol Lodge to form North Quabbin Lodge, 04/20/2007.



  • Benjamin M. Sawin, 1859-1862
  • Andrew J. Clark, 1863-1867; SN
  • C. Fred Richardson, 1868, 1869
  • Charles W. Barber, 1870-1872
  • Henry M. Gibbs, 1873, 1874
  • Albert H. Davis, 1875, 1876
  • Abijah L. Shattuck, 1877-1879
  • G. A. Drake, 1880
  • W. C. Doane, 1881
  • J. H. Waite, 1882
  • Walter M. Wright, 1883-1885; SN
  • Warren M. King, 1887-1889; SN
  • J. E. Kelton, 1886, 1887
  • W. M. King, 1887, 1888
  • Joseph G. Stoddard, 1889, 1890; SN
  • G. E. Bates, 1891, 1892
  • Charles A. Towne, 1893, 1894
  • Fred N. Johnson, 1895, 1896
  • Herbert J. Powers, 1897, 1898
  • David P. Read, 1899, 1900
  • Elmer E. Allen, 1901, 1902
  • William H. Bass, 1903, 1904
  • Edward F. Geckler, 1905, 1906
  • Frank T. Walters, 1907, 1908
  • Fred H. Train, 1909, 1910
  • Walter C. Davis, 1911, 1912
  • Frank A. Howe, 1913, 1914; N
  • Perley J. Wheeler, 1915, 1916
  • Leon H. Rogers, 1917
  • Waldo A. Johnson, 1918, 1919
  • Bayard P. Dexter, 1920
  • Ernest H. Woodward, 1921, 1922
  • Arthur W. Cullen, 1923, 1924
  • Joseph E. Prentiss, 1925, 1926, 1935; N
  • Howard M. Porter, 1927, 1928
  • Errol E. Fleming, 1929, 1930
  • Lawrence K. Cone, 1931, 1932
  • Cyril E. Brubaker, 1933; Biography
  • Clyde E. Epeneter, 1934
  • Herbert C. MacDonald, 1935, 1936
  • Martin P. Edman, 1937-1939
  • Leroy M. Willard, 1940
  • Fabian A. Lindgren, 1941, 1942
  • W. Clifford Furbush, 1943, 1944
  • Chester W. King, 1945
  • Armas E. Mackey, 1946
  • Robert P. Hemple, 1947
  • Paul S. Hastings, 1948
  • Daniel K. M. Scott, 1949
  • Allyn W. A. Wright, 1950
  • Benjamin W. Hale, 1951
  • Clarence Jardine, 1952
  • James J. McNeil, 1953, 1954
  • Charles E. Hamilton, 1955
  • Donald H. Gilmore, 1956
  • Robert Litchfield, 1957
  • Robert A. Powers, 1958, 1959; SN
  • Raymond R. Leonard, 1960, 1969
  • Leigh B. Dow, 1961
  • Myron A. Gibbs, 1962
  • Stuart Gunn, 1963
  • Henry D. Peters, Jr., 1964
  • Freeland J. Perkins, 1965
  • Dayle G. Hamilton, 1966, 1967
  • George C. Wilbar, 1968
  • Raymond R. Leonard, 1969
  • Kenneth Bailey, 1970
  • Alfred O. Ohlson, 1971, 1975, 1978, 1982
  • Grover R. Ballou, 1972
  • Allan B. Bixby, 1973
  • Olaf A. Ohlson, 1974
  • Bruce E. Jones, 1976
  • Donald E. Strange, 1977; N
  • John Smith, 1979
  • Keith G. Lyman, 1980, 1981
  • Brian R. Hawkes, 1983, 1984
  • Walter M. Meuse, 1985
  • George E. Colby, Jr., 1986, 1995-1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
  • Donn A. Deane, 1987, 1991-1993
  • Fabian R. Trudeau, Jr., 1988, 1989, 1994; PDDGM
  • Stanley A. Landers, 1990
  • William H. Paul, 2000, 2002; DDGM
  • Thomas H. Fifield, 2003
  • David P. Korowski, 2006


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1859
  • Petition for Charter: 1860
  • Consolidation Petition (with Star-Athol Lodge): 2007


  • 1934 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1959 (Centenary)



1869 1870 1875 1883 1890 1892 1898 1912 1921 1922 1929 1947 1952 1955 1968 1975 2004



From Proceedings, Page 1934-147:

By Wor. C. E. Brubaker


In attempting to write a history of Orange Lodge and to get as complete a picture as possible, it is necessary that we begin by writing a History of Masonry in Orange.

The earliest known date of any Masonic activity in Orange is that of June 24, 1803, when Harmony Lodge, Republican Lodge, and Harris Lodge, of Athol, celebrated St. John's day in Orange.

The next known date is that of September 11, 1815, as recorded in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts 1792-1815, pages 634 and 635.

"A petition, signed by Amos Woodward and seven others, Master Masons, praying for a dispensation to open a Lodge in the town of Orange, by the name ofPerseverance, was read and committed to the R. W. Elijah Morse, Sumner Barstow and Henry Purkitt, who presented the following report thereon, vizt:

"The committee to whom was referred the petition of Amos Woodward and others for a dispensation to open a Lodge, in the town of Orange, have attended the duty assigned them and respectfully ask leave to report, that in their opinion, the prayer of the petitioners ought not to be granted. (Signed by Committee.)

"The foregoing report was read and accepted."


A petition signed by Rev. Alpheus Harding and eleven others praying for a Dispensation for a Lodge to be situated in the town of New Salem was granted December 11, 1815. This Lodge met in what is now the oldest house in Orange on the road to Lake Mattawa known as the Philip Martin place and first owned by Dr. Edward Barton, Jr. This building is really the most historic spot in the town of Orange and its present condition belies the grandeur once possessed by this social center of the early nineteenth century. What a pity that the Masons of this section do not make an effort to restore this ancient landmark. Rev. Bro. Harding was appointed D. D. G. M. for the 7th District which was composed of the following Lodges; Republican, Harmony, Pacific, Orion, Golden Rule, and Mountain.

This Lodge was regularly represented at the communications of the Grand Lodge until after June 10, 1829. No records of this Lodge are in existence as far as we know today.

The next date which we find in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge is that of December 11, 1815.

"A petition was presented signed by Amos Woodward and others, praying for the reconsideration of a vote passed at the last quarterly Communication refusing a Charter for a Lodge at Orange; read and committed to the R. W. E. L. Bascomb, John Abbot, and Elijah Gould; who reported thereon "that the vote of the Grand Lodge, refusing a Charter for a Lodge at Orange, be so far reconsidered, and that the prayer of the original petition for a Lodge at Orange remain open for consideration, which Report was accepted."

"Voted—That the petition of Amos Woodward, and Others for a Lodge at Orange be committed to the R.W. Brethren, Paul Dean, lijah Gould, Shubael Bell, Ezekiel L. Bascom and Elijah Morse, to consider and Report thereon."

The committee reported December 27, 1815 as follows:

"The Committee to whom was referred the Petition of Bro. Amos Woodward & Others for the establishment of a new Lodge in the town of Orange, and County of Franklin, Massachusetts, have attended to the duties of their appointment by faithfully examining all the claims of the petitioners and carefully attending (after strictest enquiry) to every local and other Circumstance relative to the Object of the petition which was attainable to us.

"Your committee, while they have witnessed with high Approbation the laudable Zeal of Bro. Woodward and Others for the honor and prosperity of the Craft, have also found all the Constitutional requisitions accompanying the request, but still we are perfectly satisfied, from the local situation, and the state of the moral and social relations, which will, in all probability, subsist between this Lodge (if established) and its sister lodges, that its establishment cannot promote the general good of Free Masonry, or confer any important benefit on the Petitioners.

"We beg leave therefore, respectfully to report, that in the unanimous Opinion of your Committee it is not expedient for this Grand Lodge to grant the prayer of said Petition." (Signed by Paul Dean, Chairman.)

"The foregoing report was read and accepted."


On June 10, 1818, record is made of another petition.

"A Petition, signed by Amos Woodward, Ashbel Ford, Jonathan Flagg Jun'r. and six others, Master Masons dated Orange, Mav 25th. A.L. 5818, praying for a Warrant to constitute a Lodge in the town of Orange by the name of _____ and supported by certificates of approbation from Harmony and Golden Rule Lodges and the District Dy. Grand Master of the Sixth Masonic District, read and committed to R.W. Brethren Elijah Morse, Thomas Power and Daniel L. Gibbons."

The committee reported September 9, 1818.

"The Committee to whom was referred the petition of Amos Woodward and others, praying for a charter to establish a Lodge in the town of Orange, report—That the prayer of said petitioners ought not to be granted.

"The Foregoing Report was read and accepted."

The records show that on June 8, 1825:

"The petition of Nathan Cheney and others praying for a Charter for a new Lodge to be called Orange and to be located in the Town of Orange was read and referred to R. W. Samuel Clark, R. W. John J. Loring, R. W. William J. Whipple."

"The Committee to whom was referred the petition of sundry Brethren for a Lodge to be located in the Town of Orange in the County of Franklin have attended the duty assigned them and ask leave to report—That in their opinion the prayer of said petitioners ought to be granted."

"Read and accepted."

The first meeting of Orange Lodge was held at Justin C. Lord's Hall in Orange (Now North Orange) on Wednesday, August 10, 1825, at 2 P.M. What is now Orange was at that time known as South Orange and consisted of a few houses and a saw mill. The Lodge was opened on the first degree and the following officers, members, and visitors were present:

  • David Young, Jr., W. M.
  • Ebenezer Godard, S. W.
  • Nathan Nickerson, J. W.
  • James Young, Treas.
  • Parley Barton, Sec.
  • Sherebiah Baker, S.D.
  • Amos Cheney, J.D.


  • Jonathan Flagg
  • Thomas Barre
  • Eliphalet Thorpe
  • Aldin Holbrook
  • Nathan Cheney
  • Henry K. Johnson


  • Wor. Amos Woodward
  • Adam Streeter

Brother Thorp, better known as Squire Thorp, of Athol, presented the Bible to the Lodge and the W. M. and Secretary were appointed a committee to draft a code of by-laws for the government of the Lodge. The by-laws were accepted at the next meeting, held on Tuesday, August 23, 1825.

The first degree worked by this lodge was that of Fellowcraft on Bro. William Grayham, Tuesday, October 25, 1825.

The first candidate initiated was Moses Young, brother of the W. M., on November 22, 1825. Bro. Thomas Barry was raised to the third degree on this same date. It is interesting to note that Bro. Barry was holding an office before he had been made a Master Mason, having received his first and second degrees in Harris Lodge, of Athol, which had moved to Phillipston. It is also interesting to note that the Lodge did not open on the third degree until August 15, 1826.

We find in the records that Rev. Asaph Merriam, Baptist minister, was initiated into the first degree of Masonry gratis likewise also the second and was proposed to become a member of this Lodge. He later was appointed the first Chaplain. His membership in the Fraternity caused him no end of trouble and he was among the first to renounce Masonry.

The Lodge did not have a Marshal until the meeting of May 16, 1826, when Bro. Adin Holbrook was appointed to conduct them at the installation of Orange Lodge on Tuesday, May 23, 1826. The Lodge opened at "nine of the clock in the forenoon" after which they repaired to the Meeting House, heard an interesting discourse delivered by Bro. A. Harding, attended to the installation, and returned to the Hall.

"Pursuant to a Warrant from the M. W. John Abbot, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts under date of May 10th, 1826, empowering me to consecrate Orange Lodge and install its Officers in the Town of Orange, a Deputy Grand Lodge was convened at the house of Bro. Justin C. Lord in Orange, now North Orange, on the 23d day of May 1826, consisting of the following Brethren viz.:

  • R. W. Alpheus Harding, G. M.
  • R. W. James Humphreys, G. S. W.
  • R. W. Ashbel Ward, G. J. W.
  • R. W. Joseph Stevens, G. T.
  • R. W. Joseph Whitaker, G. S.
  • R. W. Joseph Pearse, G. S. D.
  • R. W. John Smith, G. J. D.
  • R. W. Elisha Shaw, G. S. S.
  • R. W. Enos Twitchel, G. J. S.
  • R. W. Amos Woodward, G. T.
  • R. W. Merrill Davis, G. Marshal
  • Rev Preserved Smith, G. Chaplain

The Deputy Grand Lodge was opened in Due Form and after joining Orange Lodge went in procession to the meeting house where suitable religious exercises were performed. Orange Lodge was then consecrated and its Officers installed in due and ancient form; after which the Brethren returned in procession to Bro. Lord's where the Deputy Grand Lodge was duly closed.

Attest, Alpheus Harding, D. G. M.

Wor. Bro. Amos Woodward, the third Master of Harmony Lodge, Northfield, was made an honorary member on October 25, 1825.

On Tuesday, June 13, 1826, five candidates were raised to the sublime degree of Master Masons, among them being Bro. Justin C. Lord.

There were no meetings of this Lodge during July and August in that year.

On September 12, 1826, it was voted that a committee be chosen to acquaint Bro. C. C. Lord, Cyral and sometimes recorded as Cyrill, that unless he abstains from the too free use of ardent spirits, he will be debarred from the privilege of a seat in this Lodge. He appeared as a visitor at the next meeting, in October.

Bro. Amos Woodward received $3.25 for taking the minutes of thirteen meetings, putting them in form, and recording them in the record book. The Treasurer's report on December 27, 1826, was:

  • Received: $416.00
  • Paid out: 403.26
  • Balance on hand: $12.74

Bro. Ebenezer Godard was chosen to be the second W. M. of Orange Lodge on December 27, 1827.

Almost from the beginning of the Lodge, Bros. Wheelock and Flagg had difficulties, the nature of which is not stated. Bro. Parley Barton became involved also. A committee was appointed to try to straighten them out. After a considerable period, the committee reported and the Brethren were summoned to appear at the next meeting. Bro. Wheelock alone did so and wrote his name in Big Capital Letters, the other two being expelled, August 19, 1828, and notice to that effect was published in Freedom's Sentinal, a newspaper printed in Athol.

On December 29, 1828, a committee chosen to reckon and settle with the Secretary and Treasurer and prepare their books for transfer reported that they found in the hands of the Secretary $1.00 and in the hands of the Treasurer 39¢ which sum being all the funds belonging to Orange Lodge.

Wor. Bro. Godard only served one year and Bro. Amos Cheney was chosen as the third Master of Orange Lodge.

On September 8, 1829 and thereafter the Hall is known as the Hall of Josiah Wheelock. On December 28, 1829, it was voted to have the meetings every other month.

Zina Goodale was chosen Master December 28, 1829, and served until February 22, 1831. When the last meeting was held, the Secretary reported that the Lodge funds were only 89¢. The Lodge was indebted for the use of the Hall $4.00 and for postage 34¢. The members present each subscribed 30¢ and the books were balanced.

Members Admitted:

  • Adam Streeter
  • Amos Woodward
  • Moses Young
  • Benoni Peck
  • Thomas Barry
  • Loring Golding
  • Russell Wheeler
  • James Forrester
  • William Allen
  • Allen Harrington
  • Asaph Merriam
  • Thomas Cobb
  • Nathan Cheney
  • (Hon.) Zina Goodale
  • Stephen Ward
  • Justin C. Lord
  • Matthew Cheney
  • Deabod D. Battles
  • George Blodgett
  • Ashael Harrington
  • Benjamin Bragg
  • Joseph Rickey
  • Jonathan Harwood
  • Luther Peabody
Nathaniel Richardson

It is both interesting and pathetic to note how this Lodge began with thirteen members and two visitors at their first meeting. It began at once to take in new members, flourished for a few years, then gradually was torn apart by conditions over which the members had no control until at their last meeting there were only eleven. It was just a little over a hundred years ago that they disbanded, but their spirit is with us today for later on another group who had gone the way that many a worthy Brother has gone before and since, gathered together the survivors of that dark period in American Freemasonry and sought to fill the inevitable need of a number of men who are bound together by that indissoluble tie of Brotherhood which we know as Freemasonry.


And so we find in the year 1859 nineteen worthy Brethren working under Dispensation granted by M. W. Winslow Lewis, September 19, 1859. The nineteen whose names appear on our Charter granted September 14, 1860, were:

  • B. M. Sawin
  • C. W. Barber

  • Amos Cheney
  • John W. Wheeler

  • Zina Goodale
  • William R. Ball

  • Thomas Barway
*Jonas Goddard
  • C. B. Snow
  • William C. Gould
P. C. Tyler
  • E. D. Moore
  • D. Pomroy
  • L. C. Boyden
  • A. Countryman
  • S. O. Wheeler
  • C. W. Bass
  • E. C. Graham
  • J. A. Horton

Of this number, only two were members of the first Orange Lodge, Bros. Amos Cheney and Zina Goodale, and only two of the Charter members later became Masters of the Lodge, Bro. Sawin who was the first W. M. and served four years and C. W. Barber who served from 1870 to 1873.


First Master of Orange Lodge, was born in Westminster and as a young man went to California as a miner. He became a Mason there, probably in Marysville, sometime in the early 1850's. Upon his return to Orange he worked hard to form a Lodge and it is largely because of his enthusiasm for Masonry that we are privileged to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of that Lodge here this evening.

Wor. Bro. Sawin was a lover of music and taught dancing in Orange, Athol, and Petersham. He also played the cornet in Mechanics Band. He was married to Mary Powers in Brunswick, Maine, and they had two daughters.

Miss Phoebe Hosmer, well known and respected resident of Orange, is his niece and it is to her that we are indebted for such information as does not appear on the records about Wor. Bro. Sawin. As Master of Orange Lodge, he raised his own brother Charles L. Sawin to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, September 21, 1863.


There are no records of the activities of this Lodge during the year while under Dispensation.

The Lodge was dedicated September 27, 1860 and is recorded in the Lodge-book as follows:

A meeting of the members of Orange Lodge was held in the Masonic hall for the purpose of dedicating the hall and consecrating the Lodge which ceremonies were performed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and the following members of that body were present.

The members of Orange Lodge were present and also a number of visiting Brothers from other Lodges. At four o'clock P. M. the Grand Lodge came in and proceeded to dedicate the hall and consecrate the Lodge in due and ancient form. The Lodge was then called off to refreshments and met at Carpenter's Hall at seven o'clock P. M. for the purpose of installing the Officers of Orange Lodge, which ceremonies were performed by the Grand Lodge in the presence of a large number of invited guests, gentlemen and ladies and invited Brothers from other Lodges. The following Brothers were installed in due form namely:

  • B. M. Sawin, W. M.
L. C. Boyden, S. W.
  • C. A. Cook, J. W.

  • T. C. Tyler, Treas.

  • J. A. Horton, Sec'y
  • B. Atkinson, Chap.

  • C. W. Barber, S. D.

  • C. B. Snow, J. D.

  • E. C. Graham, Mar.

  • S. O. Wheeler, S. S.
E. D. Moore, J. S.
  • J. L. Hastings, Tyler

The next meeting was a call meeting held October 1. Two candidates were passed to the fellowcraft degree and another raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. On October 9 another call meeting was held and we find the first degree was worked on Mr. William W. Clemments, the second degree on Bro. Eri Shepperdson, and the third on Bro. G. N. Hoyt. At the regular meeting October 22, we find Jonathan Flagg who was expelled August 19, 1828, from the first Lodge listed as a visitor and applied for affiliation and was accepted November 26, 1860.

Three applicants were balloted upon, eleven petitions for the three degrees were received, also two for affiliation. Committees were appointed on finance and by-laws. An order was presented from the Grand Lodge directing the W.M. to demand and receive the jewels and all other property in the hands of Zina Goodale belonging to the late Orange Lodge and to hold the same subject to the order of the Grand Lodge. Two candidates were initiated, one of them being A. J. Clark, who later became the second Master of the Lodge.

The Lodge held four call meetings and one regular in the month of October.

The first Masonic Ball was held January 16, 1861. Green's Band furnished the music with supper at the Franklin House. Considerable trouble was had with Wor. Bro. Goodale and later his widow over the bill for storage of the furniture belonging to the old Lodge. The Lodge finally voted to pay $25 "with the understanding that she is to deliver the compasses and whatever else she has belonging to the lodge."

The first candidate to receive the three degrees on the same night (September 18, 1862) was A. A. Ballou who had enlisted in the U. S. Army.

On October 6 Ebeneazer Cheney, Fernando W. Shaw, and Watson H. Whitney received the three degrees for the same reason. Bro. Cheney however received his third degree the following week, October 13.

While it seems to be the opinion of many that the Lodge first met in the Hasting's Block so called, the records show that the Lodge voted to hire for $50 a year, Brother Hasting's new hall and appointed a committee to furnish the same on April 27, 1863. It was voted to take possession of the hall July 1.
It was also voted to appoint a committee to notify Mr. Wash
burn that his hall will be vacated the first of July. Bro. John W.
Wheeler was appointed as that committee.

On May 16, 1864, we find that "Bro. J. C. Felt met with the committee to confer with the Athol Brethren. Report was that he attended to that duty and found a large number of Masons in Athol, and recommends that when they present a proper petition that we grant them a recommend."

On July 13, 1864, a petition was presented by Bro. D. W. Houghton and others of Athol and it was voted to grant them a recommend.

The first Masonic burial service in Orange according to the records was held on October 20, 1864, for Bro. L. C. Boyden, the first Senior Warden of Orange Lodge. A. J. Clark was W.M. The Brothers of Orange Lodge and Star Lodge were present. Harmony Lodge of Northfield attended in a body.

The first public installation was held November 19, 1866, in the Congregational Church. The officers were installed by D. D. G. M. Crafts. A good number were present and listened with interest to the Oration delivered by Bro. L. Holmes, Chaplain of the Lodge.

The first social gathering of Masons and their wives took place on Monday evening, December 31, 1866. Bro. Holmes delivered a short address and suitable refreshments were served at the expense of the Lodge.

On January 2, 1867, a "special communication of Orange Lodge of F & A Masons was called to meet at New Salem for the purpose of burying with Masonic Honors Bro. Hiram Wheeler of Akron Lodge, Akron, Ohio," he having made the request before his death. About thirty of the Brethren were present. A discourse was delivered by Bro. Harding, of New Salem, who was eighty-seven years old and had been a Mason sixty years.

At a regular communication held February 18, 1867, the Treasurer was instructed to invest $300 in United States Bonds. On October 7, 1867, Bro. C. F. Richardson became affiliated with Orange Lodge and became the third Master of the Lodge one year later, having served as Senior Warden for one year.

On April 6, 1868, a committee which had been appointed to examine the upper part of the Town House reported that "it is inexpedient to do anything in the matter."

A committee of three was appointed to ascertain where and upon what terms a musical instrument could be procured for the use of the Lodge, but made no purchase and was discharged several months later.

On October 19, 1868, a Brother was tried and convicted of unmasonic conduct and sentenced to a reprimand from the W. M. which was inflicted.

In August, 1870, a committee was appointed to confer with Bro. C. Washburn in regard to hiring his new hall, but as his price was too high it was deemed not expedient to hire the hall.

The writer of this history has just come into possession of the Past Master's Diploma given to Wor. Bro. C. Fred Richardson in 1870 by M. W. William Sewall Gardner and presented by R.W.D.D.G.M. Andrew J. Clark, Past Master of Orange Lodge. The Diploma was picked up on a street in Athol by Wor. Bro. Wesley Coburn, of Star Lodge. We mention this incident to show what often becomes of some of our most valued possessions. Again in February, 1872, the subject of hiring Bro. Washburn's hall was brought up and it was voted not to hire the hall.

In May, 1872, the Lodge bought an organ for which they paid $173 and Bro. O. M. Drury was appointed the first Organist. The annual installation of officers was held November 25, 1872, in the town hall and conducted by R. W. D. D. G. M. Edwin J. Sawyer and suite. Mechanics Band furnished music. After the officers were installed, refreshments were served, closing with dancing.

A special communication of Orange Lodge was held January 18, 1873, for the purpose of installing R.W. E. J. Sawyer as D.D.G.M. for the Eighth Masonic District by the Past R.W. D. D. G. M. A. J. Clark. Wor. Bro. B. M. Sawin was appointed Proxy to the Grand Lodge May 12, 1873. On this same date a committee was appointed to confer with parties proposing to build in regard to a Hall and the building which E. Davis proposed to build was considered with favor and later rejected. Again in December of that year another committee was appointed to present the subject of a hall. This hall was that proposed to be finished in the Town House. Papers were circulated to ascertain how much money could be raised for the purpose of fitting up the hall. The first effort did not meet with the approval of the Brethren but by January 12 following, $1135 was reported subscribed. A continuous effort was made to increase this amount until March, when the town voted not to rent that part of the Town House which was desired by Orange Lodge. A committee of five was appointed to investigate the subject of procuring Bro. Washburn's Hall or any other that may be desirable. A lease was drawn up for Bro. Washburn's Hall, but the terms were not acceptable. A second lease was drawn up and a committee appointed to fit up the hall at an expense not to exceed $2000.

Bro. Hastings' Hall was vacated October 1, 1874. Wor. Bro. Sawin who so ably presided in the East of Orange Lodge seventy-five years ago and who for seventeen years thereafter was active in the affairs of this Lodge was buried with Masonic services on January 11, 1876. The services were conducted in the Town Hall by Prof. R. C. Eccles. The procession was escorted to the cemetery by Mechanics Band, in which he had played, in accordance with the wish of Wor. Bro. Sawin.

On the evening of April 25, 1877, Charles Ethan Allen received the three degrees in the Orange Lodge.

The charity fund of Orange Lodge was started in December of 1878 and a fair was held to raise funds, the net proceeds of which were $230.86. A dance was also held which netted $42.05. After using the funds of the next Ball for the purchase of new collars for the officers the proceeds of these affairs which were held annually until 1915 were applied to the charity fund which continued to grow until at the present time we have a fund which compares favorably with that of most Lodges and one of which we may well be proud, and while many of the Brethren through whose untiring efforts this fund was established have passed on, yet the benefits which will be derived from it will be a sweet remembrance of that monument or fountain of help, aid, and assistance which they have erected to themselves.

It is interesting to note that one of the first Brothers to receive aid from this fund had the same family name as that which comes up for action at our communications today, more than fifty years since the founding of this fund.

February, 1886, the Treasurer reported the Lodge entirely free from debt.

December 2, 1886, a joint public installation of Orange Lodge and Crescent Chapter was held with R. W. D. D. G. M. W. H. Wright as installing officer.

In January, 1888, the Lodge voted to present Past Master's Jewels to all living Past Masters who had not already received the same. Also, each Past Master in the future.

The District Deputy Grand Lodge of Instruction was held in Orange Lodge March 27, 1888. R. W. R. A. Oakman, Jr. was D. D. G. M. and R. W. W. F. Andrews was Grand Lecturer. R.W. Bro. Wright P. D. D. G. M. installed R. W. Bro. W. S. Douglas as D. D. G. M. for the Seventeenth Masonic District at this meeting by virtue of a warrant from the Grand Master. The Lodge leased the Hall in the Wait Block in February, 1889.

On November 3, 1890, at the annual visitation of the D. D. G. M. R.W. John A. Sullivan the M. W. G. M. also honored Orange Lodge by being present. M. W. Bro. Samuel Wells had as members of his suite:

Bro. George W. Andrews received his Master Mason degree on this occasion. There were two hundred and fifty-six present.

On November 9, 1891, Orange Lodge met in the Armory. "The Lodge room and much of the property of the lodge having been destroyed by the fire of November 7. The W. M. in behalf of the Lodge accepted the kind invitation of the Officers of Company E, Orange Light Infantry for the Lodge to hold their meetings in the Armory until some other arrangements could be made."

The R. W. D. D. G. M. Warren M. King made his official visit to the Lodge on that evening. The next meeting was held in Odd Fellows Hall, then again in the Armory when it was voted not to buy a lot and build a block. The Lodge continued to use these two places for their meetings until the completion of the Masonic Block built by Bro. J. B. Reynolds. They held their first meeting in the new quarters January 9, 1893 and the local order of Odd Fellows were invited to use same until their apartments were ready.

April 20, 1898, the officers of Orange Lodge with Wor. Bro. Herbert J. Powers as Master exemplified the three degrees with Bro. J. C. Haskins acting as candidate. Wor. Grand Lecturer Chauncey E. Peck was present for the purpose of criticizing the work and lectures of the degrees. The work and lectures were performed in such a manner that the Grand Lecturer had very few criticisms to make.

The following day at the District Deputy Grand Lodge of Instruction held under the direction of R. W. D. D. G. M. Rollin C. Ward of Northfield in the Masonic apartments in Greenfield, Orange Lodge performed the work assigned to them without an error. The following year at Northampton the officers again performed the work assigned to them without an error.

On April 19, 1900, at Greenfield, Orange Lodge was assigned the second section of the second Degree and Bro. William H. Bass, S. D., deserved especial praise as he performed his portion of the work without an error.

On April 24, 1901, a District Deputy Grand Lodge of Instruction was held under the direction of R. W. D. D. G. M. F. H. Oakman in the Masonic Apartments of Orange Lodge at Orange. M. W. Grand Master Charles T. Gallagher, Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary, and other officers of the Grand Lodge were present.

The first Past Masters' night was held December 17, 1906. The stations were filled bv the following Past Masters:

  • W. Herbert J. Powers, W. M.
  • W. J. G. Stoddard, S. W.
  • W. David P. Read, J. W.
  • W. J. E. Kelton, Treas.
  • W. Henry M. Gibbs, Sec'y.
  • W. C. O. Sawyer, Chap.
  • W. William M. Baker, Marshal
  • W. William H. Bass, S. D.
  • W. Elmer E. Allen, J. D.
  • W. A. H. Davis, S. S.
  • R. W. Warren M. King, J. S.
  • W. George A. Drake, I. S.

Wor. Brother E. F. Geckler was unable to be present because of illness. W. Bros. Read, Drake, and Kelton acted as craftsmen; Bro. Joseph H. Houston was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason with two hundred and twenty-five present. W. Bro. James E. Kelton, Secretary of Orange Lodge for sixteen years, says in the records of that meeting "and Past Masters' Night will be one of the pleasant milestones in the history of Orange Lodge."

The first clubroom committee appointed in 1908 consisted of the following members Geo. H. Thompson, C. L. Gray, Burton C. Bangs, Robert McFarlane, Edgar C. Sampson, and Fred A. Lamb.

Wor. Bro. William H. Bass first acted as installing officer for Orange Lodge November 16, 1909, and has since performed those ceremonies many times in a dignified and impressive manner.

On May 5, 1910, Orange Lodge escorted Orange Commandery, K. T. at the funeral of Bro. J. W. Wheeler.

For a number of years the Lodge attended divine worship in New Salem, being invited by the ministers who were members of Orange Lodge. The first of these services was on October 20, 1912, when eighty of the Brethren attended. A copy of the sermon was later presented to each Brother who attended the services.

The first Masonic Ball which failed to show a profit was that of 1915 when $7.65 had to be paid out by the Lodge to make up the deficit. In September, 1917, the Lodge returned to the Kilburn Block formerly the Washburn Block and now known as the Plotkin Block, the present quarters of Orange Lodge. And so, after seventy-five years of activity although forced to move several times, Orange Lodge is located on the site of its birth in 1859.

No meetings were held during October, 1918, on account of the influenza epidemic.

The following Brethren are recorded as having entered the United States Service during the World War:

  • E. R. Gray
  • H. E. Newell
  • D. A. Thompson
  • Lewis B. Choate
  • Dr. K. L. Alexander
  • A. O. Guthrie
  • D. H. Stone
  • C. W. Martin
  • R. A. Lundgren
  • Dr. W. A. Jillson
  • Leon Stowell
  • Arthur Parent
  • J. R. Kimball
  • F. K. Lunt
  • A. A. Steinberg
  • R. H. Anderson
  • H. A. White
  • H. B. Kidder

* D. H. Bowman

The first record made of a Brother receiving an award for his fifty years service as a Mason was that of William H. Foster who on June 9, 1919, was presented a Henry Price jewel by the Secretary, Bro. George W. Fry.

The most successful Masonic Ball held by Orange Lodge was that of 1920. New candidates were also admitted in large numbers that year. Meetings were held on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday evenings in order not to hold up any of the candidates.

On May 3, 1920, a Henry Price Medal was presented to Wor. Bro. George A. Drake, Master of Orange Lodge in 1880-1881, and who served as Secretary for twelve years, Tyler for eight years, and had been a Mason for over fifty years. Wor. Bro. Drake passed away in 1925.

Orange Lodge has had thirty-seven Brethren serve as Master since 1859 making an average of two years each. Their names are as follows:

  • B. M. Sawin, 1859-1863
  • A. J. Clark, 1863-1868
  • C. F. Richardson, 1868-1870
  • C. W. Barber, 1870-1873
  • H. M. Gibbs, 1873-1875
  • A. H. Davis, 1875-1877
  • A. L. Shattuck, 1877-1880
  • G. A. Drake, 1880-1881
  • W. C. Doane, 1881-1882
  • W. M. Wright, 1883-1885
  • J. E. Kelton, 1885-1887
  • W. M. King, 1887-1889
  • J. G. Stoddard, 1889-1891
  • G. E. Bates, 1891-1893
  • C. A. Towne, 1893-1895
  • F. N. Johnson, 1895-1897
  • H. J. Powers, 1897-1899
  • D. P. Read, 1899-1901
  • E. E. Allen, 1901-1903
  • W. H. Bass, 1903-1905
  • E. F. Geckler, 1905-1907
  • F. T. Walters, 1907-1909
  • F. H. Train, 1909-1911
  • W. C. Davis, 1911-1913
  • F. A. Howe, 1913-1915
  • P. J. Wheeler, 1915-1917
  • L. H. Rogers, 1917-1918
  • W. A. Johnson, 1918-1920
  • B. P. Dexter, 1920-1921
  • E. H. Woodward, 1922-1923
  • A. W. Cullen, 1923-1925
  • J. E. Prentiss, 1925-1927
  • H. M. Porter, 1927-1929
  • E. E. Fleming, 1929-1931
  • L. K. Cone, 1931-1933

W. Andrew J. Clark served five years and several have served one year, and Wor. E. E. Fleming as near as can be determined was the youngest Brother to be elected to preside over Orange Lodge, being twenty-five years of age.

Five Past Masters of Orange Lodge have been appointed as D. D. G. M. for their District which has been changed several times in the last seventy-five years.

  • R. W. Bro. A. J. Clark was D. D. G. M. in 1870
  • R. W. Bro. W. H. Wright was D. D. G. M. in 1886
  • R. W. Bro. W. M. King was D. D. G. M. in 1891
  • R. W. Bro. J. G. Stoddard was D. D. G. M. in 1907
  • R. W. Bro. F. A. Howe is our present D. D. G. M. and is the first from Orange Lodge to represent the M. W. Grand Master in the Barre Thirteenth District.

The following are the living members of Orange Lodge who have received the Veteran's Medal for fifty years' service as Master Masons:

  • W. M. Baker
  • A. K. Bridges
  • C. H. Edwards
  • F. C. Emery
  • A. E. Epeneter
  • F. S. French
J. D. Holston
  • G. E. Monroe
C. K. Turner

Time will not permit us to tell you any more now. We have tried to give you briefly such bits of Masonic dates and data as we thought would be of interest to you, hoping to prove to you that Orange Lodge has an inspiring and truly Masonic heritage which gives us the courage to face our problems and helps us to continue to go forward even as so many worthy Brothers have done before us.


From Proceedings, Page 1959-237:

By R.W. Cyril E. Brubaker.

Someone has said that 1859 was a year of firsts throughout America. Outstanding events of that year were the drilling of the first oil well in Pennsylvania, the installation of the first hotel passenger elevator in the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City, and the founding of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. The year 1859 has been referred to as the "Great Vintage Year." It was the year of Darwin's Origin of Species, Dickens' Tale of Two Cities, George Eliot's Adam Bede, and Karl Marx's essay on political economy, to name just a few.

Here in Orange it marked the revival of Masonic activity following a period of anti-Masonic agitation known as the Morgan Episode, which brought about the ending of the first Orange Lodge, which held its first meeting in North Orange August 10, 1825, and the last on February 22, 1831. Twenty-five years ago the present Orange Lodge celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary. A history of Masonry in Orange was written at that time and is recorded in the Grand Lodge Proceedings (1934:141ff), a copy of which is in the library of Orange Lodge. Following are the highlights of the last twenty-five years.

The celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Orange Lodge took place on the evening of September 17, 1934, in Masonic Hall, then on the third floor of the so-called Plotkin Block. A banquet was served at 6:30, followed by the reception of the Grand Master, M. W. Curtis Chipman, and his Suite of Grand Lodge Officers, at eight o'clock. One hundred forty members and visitors attended.

The Lodge returned to its present quarters May 10, 1937.

A Past District Deputies' Night was held in Orange Lodge May 20, 1940, with the following Past District Deputy Grand Masters participating:

In 1941 the sum of $5,000 was willed to Orange Lodge by Bro. Elisha W. Vineca with the provision that it be used within three years for a building fund or returned to his estate. As no suitable action was taken by the Lodge within the allotted time, this money was lost to Orange Lodge. This caused much disappointment among the members and in April, 1947, a Building Fund was established, starting with a collection from individual members and added to over the years, from the proceeds of the Community Birthday Calendar. It is hoped that the Brethren will remember the fund in their bequests.

The year 1946 marked the passing of Brother Joseph Fiest, who for many years was Marshal of Orange Lodge, and in 1949, that of Brother Herbert Walter Higgins, who for many years served as Chaplain.

November 14, 1953, Brother John Devin Holston of North Orange passed away at the age of 103. He had been a Mason for seventy-one years and perhaps the oldest living Mason at the time of his passing.

On October 6, 1953, our senior Past Master, Wor. William Harrison Bass, departed this life and was buried in Warwick Cemetery, where a committal service was performed in due and ancient form by the officers of Orange Lodge. Wor. Bro. Bass for many years installed the officers of Orange Lodge and also delivered the Charge to the Candidates.

Others who have served Orange Lodge for many years are: Wor. Fred H. Train as Tyler, and now our senior Past Master, having presided in 1909-1911; Bro. James E. MacElroy as Secretary; Bro. Carl C. Briggs as Treasurer; R.W. Frank A. Howe as Proxy to the Grand Lodge; and our present Secretary, R.W. Joseph E. Prentiss. In November 1950 Orange Lodge was grieved by the loss of Bro. Harold L. Wheeler, who had established a reputation for the fine banquets and refreshments served under his direction. Bro. Wheeler often entertained the Brethren with hilarious skits in the French Canadian dialect.

A fire which completely destroyed the block next to the Masonic Temple on December 23, 1954, fortunately only caused smoke damage to the property of Orange Lodge. Although the bricks and debris on the floor of the hall could accurately be described as the "rubbish of the temple," it was all soon cleared away by faithful and willing hands. The occasion being a favorable opportunity to refinish the furnishings of the lodge quarters, this was also done at very little cost to the Lodge.

Thirteen members of Orange Lodge served in the U. S. Armed Forces during World War II.

In May 1955 the Holy Bible, two Brazen Pillars and the Three Lesser Lights were presented to Orange Lodge as a memorial to Bro. Clifton Brooks Waite by his mother, Mrs. Coleman H. Waite. The first candidate obligated on the new Bible was Bro. David Arnold Kuniholm, September 19, 1955. Monday evening, December 9, 1957, Orange Lodge was honored by a visitor from India: Wor. Lt. Col. G. S. Chawla, M.D., a guest of Bro. H. P. Warren. Wor. Bro. Chawla is a Past Master of two Lodges in New Delhi.

In 1958, a television set was installed in the club room at no cost to the Lodge.

Past Master's Nights have been held annually during the last twenty-five years and visiting degree teams have also performed in Orange Lodge, among them being the 390 Club and the L. S. Starrett Craftsmen.

Saturday evening, December 21, 1957, the Master Mason Degree was conferred on Rev. Bro. Eugene Henry Adams, Pastor of the local Universalist Church, when all the chairs were filled by Brethren who attended his church.

Over the years Orange Lodge has accepted the invitations to attend Divine Worship in each of the several Protestant churches in both Orange and Athol. On Sunday morning, April 30, 1939, 228 Masons from the Lodges in the Barre 13th Masonic District heard an interesting sermon delivered by the Rev. Earl Douglas, Pastor of the Central Congregational Church in Orange.

A Masonic play entitled "A Rose Upon the Altar" was presented in Orange Lodge by the Roswell Players of Springfield, Massachusetts, on June 17, 1947.

Quarter Century Certificates were presented to thirty members out of eighty-six entitled at a special communication Saturday evening, May 23, 1959.

These are some of the important events in the history of Orange Lodge over the last twenty-five years of its one hundred years of existence. It is with pride that we look back over the first one hundred years of Masonry in Orange and consider the high calibre of men who have seen fit to apply for membership in our Fraternity and who, through its teachings have not only become good Masons, but have also been a credit to the order and an influence for good in the community and in their contact with their fellow-man. May the God of peace continue to bless our humble labors for the promotion of love, unity and peace in the years that lie ahead.

Fifty-year Veterans' Medals have been presented to members of Orange Lodge by the Grand Lodge as follows:

  • Bro. John W. Delvy
  • Bro. Leland A. L. Gale
  • Bro. Gustav P. Kowitzkv
  • Bro. Arthur M. Cheney
  • Bro. Edward M. Buell
  • Bro. George L. Snow
  • Bro. Arthur W. Hubbard
  • Bro. H. G. Stetson, M. D.
  • Bro. Charles M. Bradford
  • Bro. George W. Andrews
  • Bro. Robert D. Crosby
  • Bro. Coleman H. Waite
  • Bro. Lewis L. Hunt
  • Bro. John C. Haskins
  • Wor. William H. Bass
  • Bro. Ernest H. Stoddard
  • Bro. Charles H. Pierce
  • Bro. Charles N. Harlow
  • Wor. Frank T. Waters
  • Wor. Fred H. Train
  • R. W. Frank A. Howe
  • Bro. Dr. Walter A. Jillson
  • Bro. Oscar A. King
  • Bro. Charles T. McMillan
  • Bro. George Reaveley
  • Bro. Burton E. Geckler
  • Bro. Allen E. Hastings
  • Bro. Eben E. Gridley
  • Bro. Warren P. Shumway

  • Bro. Harold W. Baker

: Deceased

The following Past Masters of Orange Lodge have been appointed District Deputy Grand Masters:

  • Andrew J. Clark, 1869-1871
  • Walter M. Wright, 1886-1887
  • Warren M. King, 1891-1892
  • Joseph G. Stoddard, 1907-1908
  • Frank A. Howe, 1934-1935
  • Joseph E. Prentiss, 1946-1947
  • Cyril E. Brubaker, 1958-1959


  • 1936 (Reduction of fees disapproved, 1936-130)
  • 1937 (Reduction of fees approved, 1937-44)



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XX, No. 1, November 1860, Page 13:

The Grand Lodge of this State by its officers constituted a new Lodge at Orange, Franklin county, on Thursday evening, Sept. 27th, last, under the name of Orange Lodge, of which W. B. Sawin is the Master. The hall of the new Lodge was dedicated on the same evening, and its officers installed. The consecration ceremonies were performed by Dr. J. V. C. Smith, Deputy Grand Master, and the installation services by Wm. D. Coolidge, J. G. Warden, assisted by other officers of the Grand Lodge. The occasion was one of peculiar interest in the town, and as the installation services were public, a very large audience of ladies and gentlemen were present.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XIV, No. 11, February 1891, Page 348:

The thirteenth annual concert and ball of Orange Lodge, F. and A. M., was held in Orange, Mass., on the evening of February 6, 1891, and was the society event of the season. Never in the history of Orange has there been such an avalanche of visitors from out of town. Reeves's American Band gave an excellent concert. In the grand march, lead by A. H. Nye and wife, were one hundred and seventy-five couples, and it gave an excellent chance to display the handsome toilets of the ladies present from Boston, Fitchburg, Northampton, Gardner, Athol, Greenfield, Miller's Falls, Manchester, N. H., Keene, N. H., and many other places. Two hundred and seventy-five tickets to the floor were sold. Supper was furnished by the ladies of the Universalist Church. Committee of Arrangements, E. W. Lamb, F. N. Johnson and W. B. Stoddard.




1859: District 10

1867: District 8 (Greenfield)

1883: District 13 (Greenfield)

1911: District 13 (Fitchburg)

1927: District 13 (Barre)

2003: District 26


Massachusetts Lodges