Phoenix1

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PHOENIX LODGE

Location: Hanover

Chartered By: John Abbot

Charter Date: 09/13/1826 IV-36

Precedence Date: 09/13/1826

Current Status: unknown. No record after 1829.


REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Charter: 1826

HISTORY

  • 1924 (Notes in 50th Anniversary History of Phoenix Lodge, 1924-46)
  • 1973 (Notes in Centenary History of Phoenix Lodge, 1973-212)

FROM 50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY OF PHOENIX LODGE, MARCH 1924

From Proceedings, Page 1924-46:

June 9, 1826, application was made by the Rev. Bro. Calvin Wolcott, Aurora W. Oldham, and others for the approbation of Old Colony Lodge to a petition for a new Lodge to be called Phoenix Lodge, of Hanover, recommending Bro. Horace Collamore for Master. It was voted by the Grand Lodge to approve this petition on Sept. 13, 1826, and on Sept. 26, 1826, the Right Worshipful Honorable Seth Sprague, Jr., of Duxborough, of Corner Stone Lodge, District Deputy Grand Master for the Third Masonic District, was commissioned by Most Worshipful John Soley, Grand Master, to Constitute Phoenix Lodge and install its officers. A Deputy Grand Lodge was opened in form and the officers were invested and installed. Proclamation was made accordingly, a procession was then formed and proceeded to the Meeting House. On this occasion it was St. Andrew's Church, where prayer was offered by Reverend Brother Wolcott, the sermon was by Reverend Brother Bent, of Weymouth, and the oration by Reverend Brother Cutler, of Quincy, with a concluding prayer by Reverend Brother Perkins, of Braintree.

As far as I know, no records of the Lodge exist and we are deeply indebted to Wor. Bro. R. Willard Crane for such facts as have been put in permanent form.

Horace Collamore, of Pembroke, was Worshipful Master. He had attended Hanover Academy, was in business iii Boston several years, and he had been a member of Columbian Lodge, Boston.

Aurora W. Oldham, Senior Warden, was born in Pembroke in 1779, married, and lived on his fifty-six acre farm, a farmer and a prominent member of State Militia, rising to the rank of Major. He was Raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Corner Stone Lodge only six months before Phoenix Lodge was instituted. He had eleven children, one of whom, George B. Oldham, it is interesting to note, became the first Senior Warden of our own Phoenix Lodge.

Rev. Calvin Wolcott was Junior Warden. He was made a Mason in Columbian Lodge, Boston, receiving all three degrees in one evening, January 3, 1822. He was Rector of St. Andrew's Church until 1834. Ethan Allen Stetson, a descendant of Cornet Robert Stetson, was Secretary. He was employed as a clerk in his father's store near Teague's Bridge. Like Reverend Brother Wolcott he received the three degrees in one evening. He died in 1831 aged twenty-eight years.

Pelham W. Bonney, a Deacon of the Lodge, lived in that part of Hanson called New State. Before marriage he went to Baltimore, where he was made a Mason. He married a daughter of Aurora Oldham and she was the one who made the regalia for her father and other officers of the Lodge when it was instituted. With his brother Jonathan he operated an iron foundry where the Clapp Rubber Works now are.

The life of this Phoenix Lodge was brief. Just one week before it was instituted William Morgan of unpleasant memory disappeared. It was alleged that he was abducted by Masons, his throat cut from ear to ear, and his body buried in the rough sands of Lake Erie a cable tow's length from shore, because he had revealed the secrets of Freemasonry. The Anti-Masons became very active. They formed a political party to drive all Masons out of office. This party spread over a great part of the northern states and made some headway in the South. In the presidential campaign of 1832 it had a national ticket in the field with William Wirt, of Maryland, for President. The party polled a considerable vote and actually carried the state of Vermont. A determined effort was made to exterminate Freemasonry in America. Its secrets were laid bare. At least sixteen editions of Light on Free Masonry, by one JJavid Bernard, were printed, giving verbatim and complete, the signs, pass-words, and the grand Masonic words of all degrees of our Order, and for good measure, the last few editions contained complete revelations of Odd Fellowship.

Freemasonry bended very low before the storm, but it did not break. It offers conclusive proof of the upright character, the noble purpose, the high aim, the life-giving principles of our beloved and honorable Institution that it reappeared, as if from the dead, young and fresh as in the beginning, and is today a great and respected power still moving on in its quiet ways of usefulness, calmly and serenely not only preaching but also practising the glorious tenets of its profession.

As far as it is known only two men were Raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in old Phoenix Lodge: Nathan Dwelley, who lived at the Corners, and John Brooks, who lived in North Hanover. Both of them became honorary members of our own Phoenix Lodge, and in the case of Brother Brooks appear on our records for the first time resolutions on the death of a Brother:

Deacon John Brooks
died in Hanover, Mass., October 5, 1878.
The Memory of the Just is Blessed.

Laying down the cross cheerfully borne for the many years he has followed in the footsteps of his Divine Master, he has received from His hands the bright crown prepared as a reward for earthly toils.

"The Church, the Town, his neighbors all join in expression of sincere sorrow, and swell the wail of mourning, 'weeping with those who weep,' and we as members of a great Fraternity who were honored to welcome him as a Brother would add our testimony to his worth, and our lament at his taking away. For fifty years a Freemason lie has been with the Institute through the night of its trials, till the morning broke and until Truth crushed to earth rose again." Two of his grandsons, honored members of this Lodge, are present tonight.

FROM CENTENARY HISTORY OF PHOENIX LODGE, OCTOBER 1973

From Proceedings, Page 1973-213:

Of the Lodges now existing under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts there are but nine older than Hanover's first Masonic Lodge. There were originally two Grand Lodges in Massachusetts claiming the right to charter subordinate Lodges. On March 2, 1792, the two Grand Lodges assembled at their respective halls: Massachusetts Grand Lodge at Concert Hall, corner of Hanover and Court Streets, R. W. Paul Revere, Deputy Grand Master, in the chair; St. John's Grand Lodge at the "Bunch of Grapes Tavern" on King Street now corner of Kilby and Milk Streets, and each reported to the other with great unanimity and brotherly affection their decision to formally unite — "And thereupon as at some meeting of the waters where two converging streams unite and form one river so the two Grand Lodges came together and the continuity of Historical Freemasonry in America was in no wise interrupted," and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was established, and the successor of Joseph Warren and Paul Revere sits in the East of Phoenix Lodge tonight.

Early in December of the same year, 1792, John Young, of Pembroke, Adams Bailey, of Scituate, George Little, of Marshfield, James Lewis, of Marshfield, Charles Turner, Jr., of Scituate, David Jacobs, Jr., of Hanover and William Curtis, of Pembroke, all Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, petitioned the Grand Lodge to be created and constituted a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons with title and designation of Old Colony Lodge within the Town of Hanover.

This prayer was granted. It was the second Lodge to be chartered under the new Grand Lodge. The Charter, still in existence and of full force and effect, was executed by John Cutler, then Grand Master, whose name was later taken by our neighboring Lodge in Abington.

The Lodge met for the first time just across the street from the present hall on Christmas eve, 1792, at the house of Atherton Wales, innholder, the long-time home of our late respected and Worshipful Bro. Eben C. Waterman. On January 10, 1793 it was voted to pay Atherton Wales one shilling for the use of the room and for him to furnish firewood and candles for the use of the Lodge. At the next meeting it was voted not to have any refreshments but liquor and crackers and cheese.

In August of the same year a committee was appointed to confer with Bro. Silas Morton in regard to adding Masonic apartments to the building he was about to erect. This new hall, just next door south, was dedicated June 16, 1794, by the officers of Grand Lodge. Paul Revere, as Most Worshipful Grand Master, was present, performed the ceremonies and thereafter installed Charles Turner, Jr., of Scituate, as Master.

The year 1807 developed a movement of which there had appeared scarcely a previous hint. In the minutes of a meeting held May 25 is a record that a committee was chosen to consult with the Brethren at Hingham. On June 4, 1807 it was voted to petition the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge to move the Lodge to Hingham and the Grand Lodge voted that the prayer of the petition be granted. The last meeting of the Lodge in Hanover was held November 14, 1807, and we can at this time follow its history no further. We cannot but regret the fact that the Lodge could not have remained in the home of its birth, but we can rejoice in this fact, however, that if it had not taken its departure, we would not have been honored by the presence of the officers of the Grand Lodge tonight at the one hundredth anniversary of Phoenix Lodge.

June 9, 1826, application was made by the Rev. Bro. Calvin Wolcott, Aurora W. Oldham, and others for the approbation of Old Colony Lodge to petition for a new Lodge to be called Phoenix Lodge, of Hanover, recommending Bro. Horace Collamore for Master. It was voted by the Grand Lodge to approve this petition on September 13, 1826, and on September 26, 1826, the R.W. Seth Sprague, Jr., of Duxbury, of Corner Stone Lodge, District Deputy Grand Master for the Third Masonic District was commissioned by Most Worshipful John Soley, Grand Master, to Constitute Phoenix Lodge and install its officers.

As far as is known no records of this Lodge exist due to its brief life, however, it is believed that two men were raised in this Phoenix Lodge. One of those men was an ancestor of Wor. John Brooks, who is a present member of Phoenix Lodge.

OTHER

  • 1827 (Constitution of lodge, IV-30)
  • 1830 (Report on delinquency, IV-206)

EVENTS

CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, SEPTEMBER 1827

From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. III, No. 39, September 1827, Page 311:

Phoenix Lodge, in Hanover, Massachusetts, was constituted and its officers installed in due and ancient form, on Thursday the sixth day of Sept. inst., in their new Masonic Hall, in the presence of a large assemblage of Masonic brethren, – by R. W. S. Sprague, Jr., Esq., D. D., G. Master, assisted by several officers of the M. W. G. Lodge of Mass. After the ceremonies of consecration and installation, a procession was formed, consisting of the visiting brethren and several Lodges, accompanied by the Grand Lodge, their Banners, Jewels, &c., which proceeded to St. Andrew's Church when a sermon was delivered by Rev. Brother Bent, of Weymouth and an excellent address was pronounced by Rev. Brother Butler, of Quincy, which was listened to with much attention and gratification. After which the procession was again formed and moved to the Hall, where they sat down to a dinner prepared for the occasion.

The following sentiments were offered with many others which have not been received.

R. W. Br. Seth Sprague, Jr., D. D. G. Master.

  • Phoenix Lodge. - Publicly acknowledged among the associated friends of humanity, may they lessen the aggregate of human misery.

R. W. Horace Collamore, Master of Phoenix Lodge.

  • The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

R. W. Br. Porter, Master of Corner Stone Lodge, Duxbury.

  • Phoenix Lodge. - Like and unlike the late phenomena that appeared in the Heavens – like that, may it virtues shine equally resplendent, and unlike, may it long attract the gaze of the world.

R. W. Br. Weston.

  • The orator of the day - a brilliant Masonic light, may he long live an honor to the craft and the ornament of his country.

R. W. Br. Collamore, Master of Phoenix Lodge.

  • Free masonry. - The primitive mother of the arts and sciences, in the Old World – May her children never be weaned in the New.

W. Br. Oldham, S. Warden of Phoenix Lodge.

  • The enemies of Freemasonry - who charge through ignorance and condemn without knowledge – maybe possess less enmity, more honesty and become useful members of our Society.

Br. Josselyn, of Phoenix Lodge.

  • The superstitious old ladies of New York - (who resolved that their daughters should not marry a Mason), may they be doomed to cold nights and liked bedclothes.

R. W. Br. Lamson, of Duxbury.

  • May the Lodge this day consecrated, be beautiful as the sun in its brightness, cheering and enlivening as its kindly asked influence, clear and glorious as noontide beams.

By a Brother.

  • Masons - like Adam of old when left to their own choice may they always choose A miss.
  • Blessed is Masonry, when its enemies shall say all manner of evil against it falsely.

DISTRICTS

1826: District 3


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges