OrphansHope

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ORPHAN'S HOPE LODGE

Location: Weymouth

Chartered By: John Abbot

Charter Date: 06/08/1825 III-537

Precedence Date: 06/08/1825

Current Status: merged with Wessagusset Lodge to form Weymouth United Masonic Lodge, 06/18/1994.


NOTES

  • V-183: Orphan's Hope Lodge surrendered its charter in 1835, transmitting it to Rt. Wor. Bro. Prescott, who was District Deputy; it was returned to Grand Lodge in that year.

PAST MASTERS

  • John Edson, 1825
  • Ezra W. Sampson, 1826-1830 (1835?)
  • DARK 1835-1856
  • Zachariah L. Bicknell, 1856-1858; Mem
  • John P. Lovell, 1859-1861; SN
  • Abner Holbrook, 1862-1864
  • William Humphrey, 1865-1867
  • Abraham Thayer, 1868, 1869
  • Prescott Lothrop, 1870
  • Martin E. Hawes, 1871-1873
  • Leavitt Bates, 1874-1876; SN
  • Thomas H. Humphrey, 1877-1879
  • Francis A. Bicknell, 1880-1882
  • Robert T. Bicknell, 1883-1885
  • Franklin D. Thayer, 1886-1888; SN
  • Joseph E. Gardner, 1889-1891
  • Herbert A. Newton, 1892, 1893
  • William T. Rice, 1894, 1895
  • John M. Whitcomb, 1896, 1897
  • Joseph Chase, Jr., 1898, 1899
  • T. John Evans, 1900
  • Fred L. Bayley, 1901, 1902
  • Frank H. Torrey, 1903, 1904
  • William P. Denbroeder, 1905, 1906
  • Leavitt W. Bates, 1907, 1908
  • Gardner R. P. Barker, 1909, 1910; N
  • Charlie W. Dunbar, 1911, 1912
  • George F. Farrar, 1913, 1914
  • Stanley T. Torrey, 1915, 1916
  • Charles H. Chubbuck, 1917, 1918
  • Henry P. Tilden, 1919, 1920; SN
  • J. Leonard Bicknell, 1921, 1922; Mem
  • C. Edgar Stiles, 1923, 1924
  • Albert Soule, 1925, 1926
  • John P. Lovell, 1927, 1928
  • Burtin E. Durgin, 1929, 1930
  • Andrew T. Moore, 1931, 1932
  • Murray G. Parker, 1933, 1934
  • Oliver J. Horton, 1935
  • J. Frederick Price, 1936, 1937; SN
  • G. Winfield Price, 1938, 1939
  • Prescott B. Brown, 1940, 1941
  • F. Cecil Manuel, 1942-1944
  • Sumner W. Chandler, 1945
  • Norman D. Loud, 1946, 1947; N
  • Frank L. Quimby, 1948
  • Carl L. Billings, 1949
  • George M. Winters, 1950
  • Arthur M. Goucher, 1951
  • Richard F. Pattison, 1952
  • Clarence R. Parker, 1953
  • Lawrence G. Hunter, 1954
  • Dennis T. Pafford, 1955
  • Kurt Konrad, 1956
  • Elmer O. Stennes, 1957
  • George Imlach, 1958
  • John A. Latak, 1959
  • Ralph S. Wilder, Jr., 1960
  • Lendall K, Teague, 1961
  • Frank P. Freeman, Jr., 1962
  • William C. Smith, 1963
  • Alvin K. King, Jr., 1964
  • William C. Kay, 1965
  • Robert L. Steadman, 1966; PDDGM
  • Frank R. Bartlett, Jr., 1967
  • Delmar P. Wiggins, 1968
  • Kenneth E. Fratus, 1969
  • Alton S. Blanchard, Jr., 1970
  • Donald H. Jackson, 1971
  • George W. Glazer, 1972
  • H. Max Martin, 1973
  • Russell G. Fuller, Jr., 1974
  • Frederick J. Channell, 1975
  • Earle L. Lane, 1976
  • Arthur H. Sharp, 1977
  • Russell Beard, 1978
  • David A. McKay, 1979
  • Donald H. Jackson, Jr., 1980
  • Walter H. MacLeod, 1981
  • Charles C. Glass, 1982
  • Philip A. Drouin, 1983 PDDGM
  • John B. McKay, 1984; N
  • Philip W. Cromer, 1985
  • Steven P. Collins, 1986
  • Russell J. Robar, 1987, 1988
  • Robert G. G. Hood, 1989
  • A. Kevin Shea, 1990
  • Mark S. Newton, 1991
  • Mark W. Simmons, 1992
  • Thomas J. Conway, 1993

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Charter: 1825
  • Surrender of Charter: 1835
  • Petition for Restoration of Charter: 1856
  • Consolidation Petition (with Wessagusset Lodge): 1994

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1925 (Centenary)
  • 1950 (125th Anniversary)
  • 1975 (150th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1871 1872 1878 1882 1885 1894 1909 1910 1912 1917 1922 1927 1932 1937 1938 1939 1945 1949 1950 1968 1974 1975 1980 1987 1988 1989 1991

HISTORY

  • 1925 (Centenary History, 1925-122; see below)
  • 1950 (125th Anniversary History, 1950-75; see below)
  • 1975 (150th Anniversary History, 1975-118; see below)

CENTENARY HISTORY, JUNE 1925

From Proceedings, Page 1925-122:

By R. W. Gardner P. Barker.

Little did those sturdy Masons who first gathered for a communication of Orphan's Hope Lodge realize the trying times for Masonry that were soon to dawn, or that rising from the depth to which it was forced it would become one of the greatest forces for good the world has t known, other than the Christian Church.

The Charter, which was the last one given for about twenty years, was granted on direct application to the Grand Lodge, and without application to Lodges whose territory might in some way be affected, as would be required at the present day, but, undoubtedly owing to the difficulties of transportation, at that time the jurisdictional lines were not so closely adhered to. The territory at that time was, of course, not so thickly populated as at present, but on the other hand there were fewer Lodges, the nearest being Old Colony at Hingham, Fellowship at Bridgewater, Corner Stone at Duxbury, Rural at Quincy, Norfolk Union at Randolph, and Plymouth at Plymouth.

The formation of the Lodge naturally took place at Weymouth Landing, probably at that time the most influential part of the town, due to its location on the old New Bedford Turnpike and at the head of navigation of the Fore River.

The first meetings of the Lodge were held in the Cowing House on Commercial Street (now occupied by the Roman Catholic Church as a part of their school system), but the Morgan episode soon disrupted matters, subjecting Masons to such treatment and espionage that the place of meeting was moved to a hall in a schoolhouse at North Weymouth, although how the town fathers of that day dared to brave public opinion as it was then inflamed so far as to allow a meeting of Masons in a building owned by the town is hard to understand. Nevertheless the troubled Brethren were not long left in peace, for it is history that vandals broke into the building, set it on fire, carried away the officers' jewels and the Bible, and broke up the furniture.

The pressure finally became so great that, sturdy as were the good Brethren of that day, it was more than could be expected that they should, so few in numbers, carry on the fight against practically all the rest of the population. So in 1830, five years after it had been given into their charge, the Charter was surrendered to the Grand Lodge, and Masonry as an organized body ceased to exist in Weymouth as it did in nearly all the surrounding territory for a quarter of a century.

We of today can hardly realize to what ends the profane, and possibly some of our weaker Brethren who were overawed by the excitement of the day to such an extent as to renounce their affiliations, went in their effort to crush this Institution. Meetings were held in churches and Masons who refused to renounce their connections were excommunicated, neighbors ostracized them, and one member of Orphan 's Hope Lodge, Brother Caleb Stetson, the last initiate before the Charter was surrendered, writing to the Lodge at the time of its semi-centennial in 1875. states that he finally left Weymouth in disgust, settling in Boston, where he was freed from persecution and, may it also be stated, where he apparently prospered, for at the time of the erection of the first building owned by the Lodge, in 1884. he contributed generously to the fund and also at his death remembered the Lodge by a considerable legacy.

But because Masonry was dormant as an organization, do not think it was dead in the hearts of those who knew its true worth. Like all persecution of truth, the Anti-Masonic crusade by its own violence and lack of good foundation but served to strengthen the bonds between the Brethren, and gradually the Lodges were reconstituted and have continued to prosper, until today the Masonic organization stands as a model for all other fraternal societies.

The first Master of the Lodge was John Edson, a native of Bridgewater. but then residing in Braintree, where he was connected with a cotton gin company which carried on business where the bleachery is now situated. He served one year and was succeeded by Bro. Ezra W. Sampson, who served until the surrender of the Charter.

Of the good Brethren who had belonged to the original Lodge, a number were alive when the time seemed ripe again to take up the work, and willingly joined with other Masons of the vicinity in 1856 in applying for the restoration of the old Charter. Among the most prominent of these was Bro. Alvah Raymond., who was Treasurer of the original Lodge and Chaplain of the reorganized body, serving until his death in 1882, and was one of those brave Masons who in the height of Anti-Masonic persecution had courage to sign the celebrated declaration of Masons in Boston and vicinity which did much to allay the trouble, Brothers Lovell Bicknell and Silas Canterbury, prominent citizens of the town, Bro. Caleb Stetson before mentioned, and Bro. Timothy Gordon, who was the first Secretary and later moved to Plymouth. He was a physician of note in the entire section and much respected by all.

Unfortunately the records of the Lodge for the years 1825 to 1880 could not be located by Grand Lodge when the Charter was restored, but from that time our records are excellent and reflect great credit upon the two worthy Brothers Avho have occupied the office of Secretary in that time, Brother Charles H. Pratt, from 1856 to 1874, and our own "T. John" (Evans), who has occupied the station ever since, whom we are fortunate enough to have with us to-night and who, we hope, will go on for a "hundred more years and a day." It is not my purpose, however, to try to give you a transcript of the records, but rather to try to convey to your minds the impression of faithfulness to purpose and high ideal that has been impressed on me by a somewhat extended study of the archives, and perhaps to mention a few items of particular interest.

It has been a matter of great pleasure and pride to see the men prominent in the history of Weymouth, such as Bates. Torrey, Pratt, Lovell, Randall, Bicknell, Humphrey, and a number of others, mentioned year after year in our own records; it seems to augur well for the future that the descendants of those leaders of the first years should still be in the van of progress for the years to come.

At the first meeting in 1856, a businesslike attitude was adopted, committees were appointed to attend to all necessary details, and contributions to the extent of one hundred and eighty dollars, were taken to cover expenses. Arrangements were soon made for a meeting place in the hall of Crescent Lodge, I. O. O. F., at a rental of two dollars per meeting, including lighting and heating, and may I pause here to pay a tribute to the feeling of brotherly love which has so often manifested itself between Crescent Lodge of Odd Fellows and our own Brethren.

The first candidate to be initiated was Wor. Bro. Wm. Humphrey, long- a staunch and valued member of our Lodge. The first year was very busy; the number of members at its close being forty and the balance in the Treasury $279.61. In 1858 we were confronted with an advance in rent from two dollars to two dollars and fifty cents per meeting.

Early attention to the fairer sex was evidenced by a Ladies' Night held in December, 1858, and it was recorded that "A bountiful repast was provided of which those present partook with thankful hearts," and further that "after which short speeches were made." Evidently good Brother Pratt had a liking for short speeches for. on the occasion of the presentation of a beautiful banner by the ladies, he remarks that the speech was "short but good."

In January, 1860, Wor. Bro. J. L. Bicknell, having been appointed D. D. G. M. for the Fifth District, resigned as Master.

In 1860, also, our quarters were changed and the new hall Dedicated by the Grand Lodge with Most Worshipful Grand Master Winslow Lewis presiding.

During the years of civil strife which followed mention is made of several Brothers who had been called to service; noticeably the position of Junior Warden was twice vacated by Brothers who enlisted and went to the front.

Occasionally a very peculiar incident occurs, as when a committee having been appointed on an application reported the same evening that having been aware the application would be presented, they had for two weeks been making inquiries, reported favorably, the applicant was elected, and, by virtue of a Dispensation given by the D. D. G. M. (as was then the custom) who was present, received all three degrees the same night."

On December 24, 1863, it is written that a social was held and the ladies and others present partook of a bountiful repast with zeal.

On April 1. 1865, it was voted to remit the dues of all members in the Army or Navy.

On July 4. 1865, the Lodge took part in the celebration of the Eighty-ninth Anniversary of Independence together with the Sons of Temperance, Veterans of 1812, and the Fenian Brotherhood.

On January 16, 1867, Brother Lowell Bicknell reported the death on the previous day of W. Bro. Ezra Sampson, aged sixty-nine years, our second Master, a man greatly respected, by profession a lawyer, and who had served at Dedham as clerk of the County Court for many years.

In January, 1867, the Grand Lodge requested some kind of assistance to pay for the Masonic Temple in Boston and Orphan's Hope Lodge voted to lend it one thousand five hundred dollars, but later in the evening thought better of its rashness and reconsidered the vote.

In June, 1867, the Lodge (seventy-five members) participated in the dedication of the Temple in Boston, afterwards enjoying dinner at the Adams House at a cost of three dollars a plate, a considerable sum for those days. It is noted that twelve thousand Masons marched and the record states it was the largest gathering of Masons in the country.

On May 6, 1868, the Lodge voted to approve the petitions to form another Lodge in the town (Delta).

On July 4 of the same year it assisted at the dedication of the Soldiers' Monument in the Old North Cemetery.

On April 13, 1870, and again on May 7, 1873, it was voted to approve the formation of a Lodge in South Weymouth.

In 1873 an effort was made to purchase land on which to erect a Masonic Building, but without success.

In 1875 (November 17) the fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge was celebrated in a suitable manner, a fine address being delivered by R. W. Bro. Edward Avery, of Delta Lodge (formerly of Orphan's Hope). The address contains much information relative to the early history of Orphan's Hope Lodge and the character of its founders and is a very valuable document, as Brother Avery was undoubtedly well acquainted with all the early members.

In 1877 (January 6) the twenty-first anniversary of the return of the Charter was celebrated.

Again, on May 12, 1883, it was voted to approve the founding of a Lodge in South Weymouth.

April 18. 1883, a committee was authorized to purchase land for a permanent home and on January 20 this committee reported the purchase of the land which we now occupy and on July 18 plans were adopted for a building which was duly erected and dedicated on Friday, October 17, 1884. by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. M. W. Abraham Hathaway Howland, Jr., Grand Master, and that building was occupied until its destruction by fire in 1912, when in conjunction with the other bodies the present Temple was erected.

In March, 1884, it is recorded that Mr. David Tucker, candidate for initiation, was present, but decided not to have the degrees conferred upon him at present. Apparently he never changed his mind, as to date there is no record of his having returned.

For the next fifteen years there is little of unusual note recorded. The Lodge enjoyed a fair share of prosperity, its membership remaining practically stationary as to numbers. Starting about the beginning of the. present century it began in common with all Masonic bodies to increase its membership gradually and this period of prosperity still continues.

li was particularly gratifying in going over the records to note the numerous appropriations for charitable purposes, and this was true even in the early days when the financial status was not what might be termed unduly strong.

So ends the record of a hundred years of consistent, conservative efforts to accomplish the purposes for which we were brought together, a might; endeavor to draw us closer together in the bonds of Brotherly Love and to establish more firmly if possible in our hearts a belief in the Fatherhood of Almighty God and the Brotherhood of all Mankind.

This legacy we leave to those who may follow us. strong in the hope that on the foundation we have builded they may erect a still more perfect edifice, one worthy of Ilim whose all-seeing Eye watches over all.

125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1950

From Proceedings, Page 1950-75:

by Right Worshipful Gardner R. P. Barker and Worshipful Prescott B. Brown.

In preparing the history of a Lodge, one should ever bear in mind the longings, aspirations and accomplishments of the Brethren who, individually and collectively, have made the Lodge what it has been and is now, and though this brief history of Orphan's Hope Lodge must needs deal with dates and places of meeting, let us never forget its spiritual heritage and the worthy Brethren who have furthered its growth.

Orphan's Hope Lodge was constituted June 8, 1825, by virtue of a charter signed by John Abbot, Grand Master, and other Grand Officers. John Edson was the first Master, and from the scant information available, it is evident he was quite an active Masonic character. Ezra W. Sampson succeeded him in office, and he also was a well-known personality in this vicinity, eventually becoming Clerk of Courts at Dedham and holding that office for many years. He was also a signer of the Masonic Declaration.

For about two years, the Lodge met in an upper room of the Cowing House on Commercial Street at the Landing, now owned and occupied by the Roman Catholic Church. Then, while the tide of anti-Masonic feeling was rising, the Lodge met in a school house at North Weymouth until 1830, when because of the riotous behavior of the citizens, culminating in the forced entry of the Lodge quarters and the mishandling of our property, the Lodge considered it unwise to continue and surrendered its Charter to Grand Lodge. Even in those days of danger, there were brave souls who had faith in our Fraternity, as it is recorded that one member, Brother Lovell Bichnell, gathered all the possessions of the Lodge which had not been surrendered to the Grand Lodge and kept them safely stored in his own home until the return of the Charter in 1856.

With its restoration by Grand Lodge, it was impossible to locate the records covering the first five years, and they have never been located. Consequently, except for a few details, there is little exact knowledge of that important period, but from a report made to Grand Lodge in 1828, it is evident it had prospered reasonably. The record indicates that its possessions totaled $178.95 in value — somewhat of a contrast to our present financial condition.

It might be of interest to note that Orphan's Hope Lodge was the last Lodge chartered until 1842, when a Charter was issued to Star of Bethlehem in Chelsea. This is factually incorrect. Farmers was the last lodge chartered, in 1828. - Ed.

In August, 1856, eighteen Master Masons, including a sufficient number of the original members, gathered in Crescent Hall, East Weymouth, and decided to petition the Grand Lodge for the return of the Charter. At this meeting each Brother subscribed ten dollars as a loan to the Lodge. Soon afterwards, Crescent Lodge, I. O. O. F., agreed to lease its hall to Orphan's Hope Lodge for two dollars a night, including lighting and heating, provided Orphan's Hope Lodge would pay for any necessary alterations, and when the Grand Lodge returned the Charter in September, 1856, the Masons accepted the kind offer of the Oddfellows.

Zechariah L. Bicknell became Worshipful Master at that time and continued his valuable services for many years to the Lodge and to other Masonic organizations, including the Grand Lodge. At that time the fees for the degrees were established at five dollars for each degree, and monthly communications were held on the Wednesday evening on or before the full of the moon. This date of meeting prevailed until quite recent years, within the memory of many present members.

In 1860, a Masonic Hall was dedicated by Most Worshipful Winslow Lewis, Jr., in a business building situated about where the East Weymouth Post Office now stands, and here the Lodge met for twenty-four years. In 1882, the subject of erecting a Masonic building was discussed, the hall then in use being ill-adapted to the needs of the Lodge and of South Shore Com-mandery, which occupied the same quarters, and a building committee was appointed, with Brother Franklin D. Thayer (later a Master of the Lodge) as Chairman. When this committee reported and submitted plans, the Lodge voted to give them full powers to erect a building, the cost to be limited to $10,000. The building erected pursuant to this vote was dedicated on October 17, 1884, by Most Worshipful Abraham A. Howland, Jr., Grand Master, and at last Orphan's Hope Lodge had adequate quarters, which were occupied for twenty-eight years.

On January 15, 1912, the Masonic building was damaged by fire, and again Crescent Lodge of Oddfellows exhibited the true fraternal spirit and graciously offered the use of its hall. Orphan's Hope Lodge, as well as the other Masonic bodies, gladly accepted this offer and made use of the Oddfellows Hall until the completion and dedication of our present home on January 15, 1914, by Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master.

In 1869, twenty-three members requested dimits for the purpose of forming Delta Lodge at the Landing. With the approval of Orphan's Hope Lodge, the Grand Lodge granted this request and thus was established our first offspring, which we are happy to report has continued to prosper, until in its present location in Braintree, the child has outgrown the parent.

On November 11, 1920, a similar request was presented by a number of Masons residing in South Weymouth, which was graciously approved, and Wessagusset Lodge being granted a Charter in due course, became the second offspring. In like manner, we are also happy to note that Wessagusset has prospered without any detriment to the parent body.

About thirty-three members of the Lodge served in the Civil War. Figures are not available in regard to the Spanish War, but the number in World War I was forty-two, and in World War II, thirty-eight. One member, Lt. Alexander D. Killoh paid the supreme sacrifice in the last War.

In 1875, the semi-centennial of the Lodge was observed by an appropriate program at the old Town Hall, then located at the junction of Washington and Middle Streets. The principal speaker was Right Worshipful Edward Avery, a former member of Orphan's Hope and a Past Master of Delta Lodge.

In June, 1925, the 100th anniversary was celebrated by a Church service held in the Methodist Church (as was our present one) on Sunday; a Members' Night, with the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Dudley Ferrell, making a splendid address; and a Ladies' Night held at the High School. A most comprehensive program had been arranged by the committee under the chairmanship of Right Worshipful Henry P. Tilden, which was carried out in every detail, the whole affair reflecting much credit on the Lodge. It was a matter of particular pleasure to note that every living Past Master of Orphan's Hope Lodge was able to attend this celebration. We were also honored by the presence of Worshipful Lewis Beals Bates, a member of Orphan's Hope Lodge and also a member and Past Master of Darien Lodge, Balboa, Canal Zone, and since then, District Grand Master of the Canal Zone and a Permanent Member of the Grand Lodge.

In November, 1925, our Secretary, Worshipful T. John Evans, who had served the Lodge in that capacity continuously since 1873, with the exception of three years when he was placed in line and served as Warden and Master, found it necessary to be relieved of his duties. He was immediately elected Secretary Emeritus. To those who have never been privileged to examine the records of the Lodge kept by Brother Evans, we can only say that it is their loss. He was one of the old-style, fine penmen, and his work is a pleasure to peruse.

On July 6, 1926, a special communication was held to celebrate, with Wessagusset Lodge, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and at the same time, to welcome as guests His Worshipful, Percy John A'Court, Mayor of Weymouth, England, and a member of All Soul's Lodge No. 170 of that Town; also Hon. Percy Smallman of Harte Lodge No. 4217, Hartlepool, England, who was Clerk of the Courts of Weymouth, England. A delightful note of appreciation was later received from the Master and Secretary of All Soul's Lodge for the reception given these visitors.

In 1930, it is noted that Brother and Hon. George L. Barnes, who was going to England to assist in the celebration in Weymouth, England, of the founding of that Town, was delegated to represent the Lodge in visiting All Soul's Lodge. On his return he gave a very fine report of his stewardship.

On May 14, 1931, the surviving members of Reynolds Post, G. A. R., were tendered a dinner and reception. This was very appropriate as a goodly percentage of the members of this fast disappearing Post had been members of our Lodge.

In September, 1938, for the third time in our history, the son of a previous Master was installed into the office of Worshipful Master, when Worshipful G. Winfield Price, son of-Right Worshipful J. Frederick Price, succeeded his father in that office. The previous occasions were Right Worshipful Leavitt Bates, whose son was Worshipful Leavitt W. Bates, and Worshipful Frank H. Torrey, whose son is our present Treasurer, Worshipful Stanley T. Torrey.

On April 13, 1939, the Lodge was honored by the presentation of the Joseph Warren Medal by the Grand Lodge to our Secretary, Right Worshipful J. Leonard Bicknell, as a recognition of the highly valuable services he had rendered to the Lodge. In December of that year we were further honored by the appointment of Brother Bicknell as the District Deputy Grand Master of the (Quincy) 26th Masonic District. It is a matter of regret, however, that with pleasure there also comes sadness, as after only a few months, in June, 1940, Right Worshipful Brother Bicknell was taken from among us by a sudden illness and his valuable services came to an end.

In April, 1941, a letter of sympathy was sent to All Soul's Lodge, England, because of the terrible suffering they were undergoing on account of the war and the almost continual bombing to which they were subjected. A fine acknowledgment was received by us and read at the September communication, showing the fine courage that was being exhibited, and their resolution to carry on.

In September, 1941, we were called on to mourn the passing of Brother Webster Lincoln Pratt, who had been Marshal of the Lodge since 1916.

In January, 1942, it was noted that a Brother who had been made an Entered Apprentice in 1925 desired to complete his degrees. As he now lived in a place some distance from Weymouth, arrangements were made with a Lodge at that place to take care of the matter, which they courteously did.

In June, 1943, word was received that Right Worshipful Brother Bates had been honored by the Grand Lodge of Panama by being made an Honorary Member.

In September, 1944, because of the damage caused by a hurricane, and the request of the Governor of the State that all citizens be off the streets by nine p. m., it was necessary to postpone the regular and annual communication of the Lodge until a later date. This was taken care of under a dispensation issued by the Grand Master. So far as can be ascertained, this was the first time a communication had to be postponed.

In 1945, because of the great amount of work on hand, it was found necessary to hold communications in July — a most unusual occurrence. It is noted that during the service of our members in the Armed forces the Lodge thoughtfully had remembrance packages sent to them at Christmas.

In July, 1948, we were again called on to mourn the passing of a faithful member and officer, when Brother Leon M. Brooks, the Tyler, passed on.

While this seems to complete the items to be noted in chronological order, perhaps it may be well to note that on a number of occasions the Lodge has been honored by the Grand Master by the appointment of Past Masters to the office of District Deputy Grand Master of the various Districts to which the Lodge has been assigned:

  • Zechariah L. Bicknell
  • John P. Lovell
  • Leavitt Bates
  • Franklin D. Thayer
  • Gardner R. P. Barker
  • Henry P. Tilden
  • J. Leonard Bicknell
  • J. Frederick Price

It can be noted also that our first Master, John Edson, who had previously served as Master of Fellowship Lodge in Bridgewater, was District Deputy Grand Master of that District in later years. Right Worshipful William J. Holbrook, a member of this Lodge, who served as Worshipful Master of Wessagusset Lodge, has also served this District, and it is not amiss to again note the service which Right Worshipful and Dr. Lewis B. Bates has rendered to the Grand Lodge in the Canal Zone.

The various districts to which the Lodge has been assigned are as follows: 3rd, 5th, 16th, 25th, 26th, (Quincy) 26th.

It is a pleasure to note that while the prosperity of the Lodge has suffered at times with the prevailing conditions, the trend has generally been upward from a small beginning, and at the present time its financial and membership condition is at its peak.

May we draw from our records of the past added inspiration to carry on. The past is gone and we can use it only as an example; the future is our challenge — let us meet it with courage and faith.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1975

From Proceedings, Page 1975-118:

A Brief History of Orphan's Hope Lodge.
(For a more detailed history of Orphan's Hope Lodge covering the earlier periods, please refer to: 1925 Mass. 122-130; 1950 Mass. 75-81)

Orphan's Hope Lodge was constituted on June 8, 1825, at which time it met in an upper room of the Cowing House on Commercial Street at Weymouth Landing. In 1826 it moved to a room in a school building in North Weymouth where it continued until 1830, when because of the anti-Masonic agitation, it was found necessary to surrender its Charter to the Grand Lodge.

Restoration of the Charter in 1856 was made to a number of the original members, together with several who had received the degrees in neighboring Lodges. Since the restoration the meeting place has been in East Weymouth.

The Charter in use is the original document given by the Grand Lodge in 1825. It was returned properly indorsed in 1856. This Charter is now kept in a safe deposit vault and a certified photographic copy is used except on special occasions.

In 1868, a petition from a number of Masons residing in the Landing and vicinity requested permission to apply for a dispensation to form a Lodge. This was granted, and Delta Lodge was the result, the majority of its Charter members having been made Masons in Orphan's Hope Lodge.

During 1875 the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Lodge was celebrated, the principal event of which was a dinner and several addresses. The main address was given by Right Worshipful Edward Avery of Delta Lodge, who had been made a Mason in Orphan's Hope Lodge. The meeting was held in Weymouth Town Hall, which then was situated at the junction of Washington and Middle Streets.

On October 17, 1884, the new Masonic Building was dedicated, (1884 Mass. 125-132) this being the structure in which meetings were held until 1912, when it was destroyed by fire. The present building, which replaced it, was dedicated in 1913.

A petition was received in November, 1920, from a group of Masons residing in South Weymouth, asking permission to apply for a dispensation to form a Lodge, which was granted and the result was the formation of Wessagusset Lodge.

The 100th Anniversary of Orphan's Hope Lodge was celebrated in June, 1925, by three meetings: a Church service; members' night, at which the Grand Master and officers of the Grand Lodge were present (1925 Mass. 120-130); and a very pleasant Ladies' Night. It may be noted that at the Church Service all living Past Masters of Orphan's Hope Lodge were present as they were also at the Members' Night.

In July 1926, a special Communication was held together with Wessagusset Lodge to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence 150 years ago and at the same time to welcome as guests His Worship, Percy John A'Court, Mayor of Weymouth, England and a Member of All Souls' Lodge, No. 170, of that town, also Hon. Percy Smallman of Harte Lodge, No. 4217 of West Hartlepool, England, who was Clerk of the Town of Weymouth, England. A delightful note of appreciation was later received from the Worshipful Master and Secretary of All Souls' Lodge.

On April 13, 1939, the Lodge was honored by the presentation of the Joseph Warren Medal by the Grand Lodge to Right Worshipful J. Leonard Bicknell, for his outstanding services to the Lodge. This was the second recognition of one of our members by Grand Lodge as during his term of service in the Canal Zone, Right Worshipful and Dr. Lewis Beals Bates had been presented the Henry Price Medal in recognition of his work for Masonry in the Zone.

In 1943, word was received that our Right Worshipful Dr. Lewis Beals Bates, who had been appointed as District Grand Master in the Canal Zone, had been elected as Honorary Member of the Grand Lodge of Panama.

In September 1944, because of widespread damage caused by a hurricane, it was necessary to postpone the Annual Communication of the Lodge. The first time this had ever occurred.

In June 1950, the Lodge had a splendid celebration of its 125th Anniversary. The Committee arranged a fine program consisting of a Church service with an address by Worshipful and Reverend Brother John P. Robertson, one of the Chaplains of the Grand Lodge and participated in by several other ministers who were members of the Craft, a Members' Night attended by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Roger Keith and a distinguished suite of Grand Lodge officers (1950 Mass. 72-81) and a Ladies Night with entertainment and dancing. A happy remembrance of another quarter century of activities.

In May 1954, it was announced that "Pursuant to a ruling made by the Grand Master on March 10, 1954 and read at our regular communication of April 8, 1954, a vote will be taken at this meeting to ascertain if Orphan's Hope Lodge will henceforth be the sponsoring body of South Shore Chapter, Order of De-Molay." The vote was favorable and thus commenced a relationship which has provided the Lodge with many fine members and officers, and the young men of Weymouth with dedicated moral and spiritual guidance.

In January 1959, it was announced that Worshipful Norman Dyer Loud had been appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the 26th (Quincy) Masonic District and was officially received as such in Orphan's Hope Lodge on January 8 of that year.

During the early 1950's the Lodge began a concerted effort to encourage its members to participate in the Red Cross blood donor program. This program has been nurtured by a succession of enthusiastic Blood Chairman, such as Brothers Matthew Lang, Charles Cilley, Macomb Halpine, Matthew Connors, Donald Patt and David Cameron. The present level of annual donations in excess of 300 pints is a large increase from the early goals of 50 and 65 pints. This program continues to be a major charitable outlet for the Lodge.

OTHER

  • 1826 (Constitution of Lodge, IV-28)
  • 1830 (Report on delinquency, IV-230)
  • 1848 (Note on charter, V-174, V-183)

EVENTS

PRESENTATION, APRIL 1858

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVII, No. 7, May 1858, Page 224:

Presentation — We understand that the members of Orphan's Hope Lodge, at East Weymouth, surprized their excellent W. Master, Br. Z. L. Bicknell, on the evening of the 21st ult. by presenting him, in open Lodge, with a handsome Bible and a Purse of one hundred dollars in gold, in token of their appreciation ol his services as an accomplished officer, and of their respect for his character as a friend and citizen It was a very handsome and worthily bestowed compliment.

HALL DEDICATION, FEBRUARY 1860

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XIX, No. 5, March 1860, Page 160:

Dedication of Orphan's Hope Lodge. — The Grand Lodge dedicated the new hall (of Orphan's Hope Lodge,) at East Weymouth, on Tuesday evening last, Feb. 21st. The ceremonies were performed by Grand Master Lewis, assisted by R. W. Bros. Smith, Spaulding, Coolidge, Moore, Wheildon, Baker, and McClellan. An address pertinent to the occasion, and of special interest to the fraternity, was delivered by Dr. Lewis. The exercises of the evening were highly interesting, and were attended not only by the Brethren of the vicinity, but also by the ladies. The singing by the choir was excellent. At the conclusion of the ceremonies an elegant Past Master's jewel was presented to Bro. Bicknell, for four years past the Master of the Lodge. The whole company present, amounting to about 200 ladies and gentlemen, took supper together in the spacious store of Bro. Henry Loud. The supplier, provided in all its ample details by the ladies of the town, was most excellent and abundant. The occasion was enlivened by speeches and sentiments from many of the gentlemen present. It was a rare and pleasant occasion, and will form a brilliant page in the history of Orphan's Hope Lodge.

50 YEARS OF FREEMASONRY, NOVEMBER 1875

Speech by Edward Avery to commemorate 50 years of Freemasonry in Weymouth, 1875.

INSTALLATION, NOVEMBER 1905

From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 3, December 1905, Page 102:

The officers of Orphans' Hope Lodge of Weymouth, Mass. were installed with Public Ceremony at a Special Communication, Friday evening, Nov. 24. Before the installation a banquet was served to a large company of brethren and ladies. The officers of the lodge were installed by Right Worshipful Frederic L. Putnam, Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge, assisted by Worshipful Brother Charles L. Sprague as Grand Marshal. A Master's apron was presented to the new Master by Wor. Bro. Frank H. Torrey, the retiring master and he in turn was presented with a Past Master's jewel by Wor. Brother M. E. Hawes.

The officers installed were: Worshipful Master, William P. Denbroeder; Senior Warden, Leavitt W. Bates; Junior Warden, Frank W. Bates; Treasurer, Bela P. French; Secretary, Wor. T. J. Evans; Chaplain, Wor. Martin E. Hawes; Senior Deacon, Gardner R. P. Barker; Junior Deacon, Bertram W. Maxim; Senior Steward, George F. Farrar; Junior Steward, Charlie W. Dunbar; Sentinel, Sumner Thompson; Organist, Arthur M. Raymond; Tyler, Henry B, Raymond.

INSTALLATION, DECEMBER 1907

From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 4, January 1910, Page 145:

Orphans' Hope Lodge, East Weymouth, held a special meeting Friday, Dec. 6, for the purpose of installing its officers with public ceremony. After a reception by the officers of the lodge, Grand Lecturer Frederic L. Putnam, of the Grand Lodge, assisted by Past Master Charles S. Sprague as Grand Marshal, installed the officers in a most impressive manner. The Weber Quartet, composed of A. C. Prescott. A. F. Cole, G. H. Wood and W. E. Davidson, with Arthur M. Raymond, pianist, provided the incidental music.

The officers are Leavitt Winthrop Hates. W. M.; Gardner R. P. Barker, S. W.; George F. Farrar, J. W.; Frank H. Torrey, Treas.; T. J. Evans, Sec.; Martin E. Hawes, Chap.; Walter E. Tirrell. Mar.; Charles W. Dunbar, S.D.; J. Burton Reed, J. D.: Stanley T. Torrey, S. S.; Charles H. Chubbuck, Jr., J. S.; William B. Goody, Sen.; Arthur M. Raymond, Organist and Joseph P. Ford, Tyler.

A Past Master's jewel was presented William P. Denbroeder by Past Master Martin E. Hawes, acting for the lodge, and the newly installed Master was the recipient of a handsome Master Mason's apron from the lodge, the honors being done by William P. Denbroeder.

Leavitt Winthrop Bates, the new presiding officer, has the honor of being the first Past Master Mason's son of Orphan's Hope Lodge to be elected and installed in the chair. He was enrolled Nov. 14, 1904. and has passed through all the chairs to his present honor. He is a Past High Priest of Pentalpha Chapter, R. A. M.. and is the Associate Prelate of South Shore Commandery. K. T.

At the close of the installation there was dancing in the banquet hall. The floor was under the management of W. P. Denbroeder. who was assisted by L. K. Jones, C. W. Dunbar, S. F. Marr, W. F. Tirrell, H. P. Tilden, F. W. Bates, G. R. P. Barker. L. E. Bates, E. E. Merchant and J. B. Reed.

90TH ANNIVERSARY, DECEMBER 1909

From New England Craftsman, Vol. V, No. 4, January 1910, Page 129:

Orphans Hope Lodge, Weymouth, Mass., observed its 90th birthday December 3rd by a public installation of its officers and social exercises. Frederick L. Putnam, Grand Lecturer, assisted by Past Master Henry L. Thomas of Old Colony lodge, Hingham, as Marshal, installed the officers. An interesting incident was the installation of Past Master Martin E. Hawes as lodge chaplain for the :28th time. Brother Hawes is the oldest living past master of the lodge, having held the office 1872-74. A banquet was served.

A Past Master's jewel was presented to Leavitt W. Bates by Past Master Hawes. The newly installed master, Gardner R. P. Barker was the recipient of a handsome apron from the lodge. The closing feature of the evening was a dance in the banquet hall which lasted until 12 o'clock.

MASONIC HALL FIRE, JANUARY 1912

From New England Craftsman, Vol. VII, No. 5, February 1912, Page 165:

The Masons of the South Shore, Mass., have met with a serious loss by the destruction of the Masonic Building at East Weymouth by fire, January 15th. There was a total loss of furniture and regalia. Only the charters of the bodies and a silver service presented South Shore Commandery by California Commandery were saved.

It is thought the fire originated from some defect in the furnace. The loss on the building is about $25,000. It was occupied by Orphans' Hope Lodge, A. F. and A. M., whose loss is $3000; Pentalpha Chapter, R. A. M., whose loss is $2500; South Shore Commandery, K. T., whose loss is $6000; Court Marlboro, Loyal Knights and Ladies, whose loss is $500, and by Crary Lodge, A. O. U. W., whose loss is $500.

The building, which was erected in 1884, was a three-story structure, 65 feet long and 50 feet deep.

CORNER STONE LAYING, JUNE 1913

From New England Craftsman, Vol. VIII, No. 10, July 1913, Page 336:

The corner stone of a new Masonic Temple, at Weymouth, Mass., to take the place of one destroyed by fire January 15, 1912, was laid Saturday, June 14, by Most Worshipful Everett C. Benton, assisted by other officers and members of the Grand Lodge.

Orphans Hope Lodge was opened at Odd Fellows Building at 1.30 and received the Grand Lodge at 2.30, then as escort led the way to the site of the new Temple, when the usual ceremony was conducted. H. F. Tilden represented the building committee; Grand Chaplains Horton and Bush officiated in the ceremony. Right Worshipful H. A. Belcher read the list of contents of a box deposited in the corner stone, Deputy Grand Master Fletcher made the libation of corn, Senior Grand Warden Abbott, the libation of wine, and acting Junior Grand Warden, Past .nCl Warden W. H. H. Soule, the libation of oil.

The presentation of working tools to the architect was by J. Sumner Fowler. The address was made by Past Grand Master Charles T. Gallagher whose subject was the "Flag", being especially appropriate as it was Flag Day.

The new Masonic Temple will consist of two stories and a basement. In the basement will be located a banquet hall and kitchen; on the first floor will be the drill hall provided with a first class dancing floor, making it adaptable for balls and other entertainments; on the second floor will be the lodge rooms, smoking room, ante room and cloak rooms. The exterior of the building is to be of red brick with limestone trimmings.

The building is to be completed in the early fall and will be occupied by Orphans' Hope Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Pentalpha Royal Chapter, South Shore Commandery No. 31, K. T., Temple Council, R. & S. M., U. D.

The building committee is as follows: H. £. Tilden, chairman, Gardner R. P. Barker, secretary, Frank W. Bates, Arthur W. Burr, Winthrop J. Cushing, T. J. Evans, J. Burton Reed, Frank H. Torrey, Harry J. Beck, Eben H. Cain, Charlie W. Dunbar, Charles G. Jordan, John Taylor and Sherman P. Troy.

HALL DEDICATION, JANUARY 1914

From New England Craftsman, Vol. IX, No. 5, February 1914, Page 173:

Under the auspices of the South Shore Masonic Association the new $40,000 Masonic Temple was dedicated by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts January 15th. The special committee consisted of Henry P. Tilden, Gardiner R. P. Barker, Arthur W. Burr, Frank W. Bates, Winthrop J. Cushing, John Evans, J. Burton Reed, Frank H. Torrey, Harry J. Beck, Eben H. Cain, Charlie W. Dunbar, Charles G. Jordan, John Taylor and Sherman P. Troy.

Orphan's Hope Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Pentalpha R. A. chapter; Temple Council, R. and S. M., and South Commandery, K. T., the bodies that will occupy the new building were largely represented. Upon arrival of the Grand Master and his escort, as well as special guests, a banquet was served in the spacious dining room.

The dedicatory exercises were conducted by Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson, assisted by Acting Deputy Grand Master J. Gilman Waite, Acting Senior Grand Warden Leon M. Abbott, Acting Junior Grand Warden William H. H. Soule, Grand Chaplain Rev. R. Perry Bush, Grand Treasurer Charles H. Ramsay, Acting Grand Secretary Oliver A. Roberts, Grand Senior Deacon Willis W. Stover, Grand Junior Deacon Robert G. Wilson, Senior Grand Steward Charles G. Jordan, Junior Grand Steward Percy E. Carver, Grand Marshal William M. Farrington and Grand Tyler George W. Chester.

Past Grand Masters J. Albert Blake and Dana J. Flanders, Past Grand Wardens C. I. Litchfield and H. G. Jordan, and the masters of the lodges in the 26th Masonic District were among the guests. The Weber Quartet of Boston furnished the music.

Since the destruction by fire of the old Masonic Building, January 15th, 1912, the finance and building committee has made good progress and with the sanction of the South Shore Masonic Building Association, there has been completed upon the old site a building two stories above ground with a basement, built of red water-struck brick, limestone trimmings, concrete foundations, heavy steel columns and girders, with wooden timbers for first and second floor, and a flat roof. There is a frontage of 70 feet on Broad street, with a depth of 53 feet eight inches. In the basement are the banquet room, 50x50, seating 350 persons; a kitchen with all modern appliances, the boiler room, steam heating plant and the coal pockets, all finished in natural wood.

On the first floor is the armory, 67x33 feet, provided with a first-class dancing floor, making it adaptable for public and other entertainments. There are likewise cloak and toilet rooms, as well as lockers for the Knights Templars, all finished in oak, and plastered walls and high dado in the drill hall.

The second floor contains the lodge room, and other halls.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


DISTRICTS

1825: District 3

1856: District 5

1867: District 16 (Plymouth)

1883: District 25 (Hingham)

1911: District 26 (Quincy)

1927: District 26 (Quincy)


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges