From MasonicGenealogy
Jump to: navigation, search


Location: Southbridge

Chartered By: Winslow Lewis

Charter Date: 12/12/1860 VI-332

Precedence Date: 12/07/1859

Current Status: Active


  • Chester A. Dresser, 1859-1863
  • Levi Bartlett, 1864, 1867
  • Samuel Harrington, 1865
  • Noah D. Ladd, 1866
  • Charles S. Edmunds, 1868, 1869
  • Pliny T. Litchfield, 1870-1874; SN
  • J. M. Cochran, 1875-1877; SN
  • Otis S. Brainard, 1878-1881
  • William H. Clarke, 1882, 1883
  • Frederick W. Rowley, 1884-1887
  • John William McKinstry, 1888, 1889
  • William W. Howland, 1890-1892
  • Samuel S. Silva, 1893
  • George C. Winter, 1894; SN
  • George W. Corey, 1895, 1896
  • Lyman E. Sibley, 1897-1899
  • John A. Hall, 1900, 1901
  • Elmer E. Clark, 1902
  • Channing M. Wells, 1903
  • C(harles). Fred Hill, 1904-1906; SN
  • J. Cheney Wells, 1907, 1908
  • Linus R. B. Coit, 1909
  • Henry J. Roan, 1910
  • Harry P. Oldham, 1911
  • Henry A. Hill, 1912
  • L. Willis Bugbee, 1913
  • Henry B. Montague, 1914, 1919
  • William G. Reed, 1915
  • Edward L. Chapin, 1916
  • A. Marcy Bartholomew, 1917
  • Franklin C. Monroe, 1918; N
  • C. Edgar Hanson, 1920
  • Allan H. Faxon, 1921
  • George O. Severy, 1922
  • Arthur W. Harlow, 1923
  • Edwin L. Claflin, 1924
  • J. Earl Eaton, 1925
  • Farquahar Alexander Skinner, 1926
  • George A. Alley, 1927
  • Charles F. Corey, 1928
  • Alexander Steen, Jr., 1929
  • J. Irwin Morris, 1930
  • Harry G. Bingley, 1931
  • Ralph C. Whitehead, 1932
  • Willard E. Munday, 1933
  • Royal W. White, 1934, 1935
  • Willard E. Munday, 1936
  • William W. Estabrook, 1937
  • Ernest B. Lord, 1938
  • Byron J. Ziegler, 1939
  • Robert P. Montague, 1940
  • Ernest W. Parker, 1941
  • Alexander Walkinshaw, 1942
  • Louis F. Rowe, 1943
  • Arthur W. Olson, 1944
  • Jesse A. Blackburn, 1945
  • Ralph M. Simons, 1946
  • Lester B. Holden, 1947
  • William H. Reynolds, 1948
  • Christie V. Stevens, 1949
  • Joseph Owen, 1950
  • Albert V. Young, 1951
  • Frederick J. Voltz, Jr., 1952; SN
  • John J. Barnard, Jr., 1953, 1954
  • Alton N. Cowles, 1955
  • E. Kenneth Harwood, 1956
  • George H. Hall, 1957
  • Lawrence J. Freeman, 1958
  • Francis M. Sharp, 1959
  • Albert M. Barnes, 1960, 1961
  • Wilson F. Fairfield, 1962
  • Stanley K. Thorpe, 1963
  • Sam V. Sotir, 1964
  • Henry J. Egan, 1965; SN
  • Ellwood C. Lavergne, 1966, 1967
  • Thomas Andrea, Sr., 1968
  • Clarence E. Stone, 1969
  • Norman F. Powers, 1970
  • Wayne R. Sentance, 1971
  • Elmer J. Hicks, Jr., 1972-1975, 1977-1979, 1987
  • Thomas Andrea, Sr., 1976
  • Raymond W. Benoit, 1980-1983, 1985; PDDGM
  • Peter Baldracchi, 1984, 1986
  • Robert H. Willman, 1988-1990
  • Norman O. Cloutier, 1991, 1992
  • Raymond R. Vallee, 1993
  • Raymond R. J. Vallee, 1994
  • Raymond J. Ciani, 1995, 1997, 2012
  • Richard J. MacDonald, 1996
  • Frederick R. Morin, 1998, 1999; PDDGM
  • Harry L. Penniman, Jr., 2000
  • Monserrate Muniz, Jr., 2001
  • Daniel J. Landry, 2002-2004, 2010
  • Jean D. LeFebure, 2005-2007
  • George S. Makara, 2008, 2009
  • Christopher M. St. Cyr, 2011; PDDGM


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1859
  • Petition for Charter: 1860


  • 1934 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1960 (Centenary)
  • 2010 (150th Anniversary)



1869 1870 1871 1879 1882 1885 1916 1917 1923 1925 1929 1967 1973 1981 2005 2012


  • 1934 (75th Anniversary History, 1934-182; see below)
  • 1960 (Centenary History, 1960-106)
  • 1972 (List of Masonic Historical Dates in Southbridge and vicinity, 1972-76)


From Proceedings, Page 1934-182:

By Worshipful Willard E. Munday.

Before starting on this history I must make a confession. Inasmuch as it was outside the scope of my ability properly to prepare a complete work of this nature, I have taken the liberty of using the sketch of Masonry in Southbridge and Vicinity by Right Worshipful John M. Cochran prepared in 1918 making such changes as are necessary to fit the changed conditions and the lapse of time. It is then to R. W. John M. Cochran, Master of Quinebaug Lodge in 1876 and '77 and later District Deputy Grand Master, that we are indebted for what is great, judicious, and distinct in this history.

The first Lodge in this immediate vicinity of which we find any record was Fayette Lodge, at Charlton, the Charter for which was granted March 14, 1796. It appears from the records of the Grand Lodge that on that day a "petition was presented by Ebenezer Phillips and others for a charter to erect and hold a Lodge in the town of Charlton by the name and title of Fayette Lodge," which prayer was granted and the Lodge proceeded to organize in due form. They procured a seal bearing for a motto the words, "Conjuncti Fraterno Amore," surrounded by the words "Fayette Lodge, Charlton, Massachusetts." Upon the face were the compasses and the Holy Bible, and the words Nil Sine Deo. Thinly settled as the country was at that time, the membership was scattered over a large territory, and it appears that January 10, 1799, they prayed the Grand Lodge for liberty to meet annually by rotation in Charlton, Sturbridge, and Dudley, which prayer was granted during the pleasure of the Grand Lodge. All meetings for several years, appear to have been held at the house of General Salem Towne, which was erected the year of the formation of the Lodge, and in a room prepared for them bv General Towne, who was at that time a very active and zealous Mason, and who afterwards reflected honor upon his native town by his ability and learning. June 25, 1798, the Rev. Mr. Lamed delivered a sermon before the Lodge, receiving five dollars for his services. It appears that in 1801 the Lodge held a meeting at the house of Brother Nichols, but I am not able to learn where that house was situated. The Lodge continued to meet at the house of General Towne until 1804, when the Weld Tavern was erected, and the meeting place was then transferred to that building. This building was situated on the Common at Charlton Centre and has since been owned and occupied by David Craig. But the Lodge did not long continue to meet there, as Major Moses Dresser soon after built the famous "Dresser Hill Tavern," and at his own expense fitted up a hall in it for the use of King Solomon Royal Arch Chapter (which was organized in 1805), and he invited Fayette Lodge to also occupy the same. The extraordinary inducements which the major held out to the Fraternity, if they would occupy these rooms, were, that he would give them "meals of two or three dishes of meat, puddings and pies with white bread and cheese for twenty-five cents;" he would "care for the horses for ten cents each, and would give the hall free of expense except when a fire was needed." In 1813 we read that the feast of St. John was celebrated at the tavern of Moses Marcy in Sturbridge (now Southbridge Centre) with twenty-five members present.

On that occasion an address was given by the Rev. Richard Garrique, Master of the Lodge. He had received his degrees in another lodge, but April 1, 1812, became a member of Fayette Lodge, and was elected its Master, in December, 1813. October 7, 1818, a meeting of the Lodge was called, but no one attended, the records saying "it was the day of the Military Review in Charlton." In 1820 the Lodge made a new agreement with Harvey Dresser regarding the use of the hall, viz., "he was to furnish refreshments for the ensuing year on these terms: Thirty-seven and one-half cents for dinner and horse baiting, one dollar for use of hall, wood, candles, etc."

The first officers of Favette Lodge were: Master, Dr. Ebenezer Phillips; Senior Warden, John Spurr; Junior Warden, Samuel Stetson; Treasurer, David Bacon; Secretary, Luther Perry; Senior Deacon, Rufus Bacon; Junior Deacon, Isaiah Rider. In 1805-6, Dr. Ebenezer Phillips was District Deputy Grand Master for the 6th Masonic District. In 1830-31-32, the Honorable Linus Childs, an attorney in Southbridge, was District Deputy Grand Master.

August 25, 1824, the Lodge invited General LaFayette, who was passing through Charlton while on a visit to this country, to visit it.

Among the prominent men in Charlton and surrounding towns who were members of this Lodge are: Gen. Salem Towne; Salem Towne, Jr.; Rev. George Angell (father of George T. Angell, founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) who was pastor of the First Baptist Church in what is now Southbridge; Rev. Richard Garrique, Master of the Lodge and High Priest of King Solomon Royal Arch Chapter; Peleg C. Childs, afterwards a member of Congress from Woodstock, Conn.; Moses Dresser, Sr.; Moses Dresser, Jr.; Harvey Dresser; Calvin, Thomas C, and O. Farnum; Allen Hancock, Jr., of Dudley; Abijah J., Daniel, and Reuben Lamb; Albigence Marsh; Oliver Mason, Jr., who was Master in 1816 and 1820; Gershom Plimpton, Jr., of Southbridge; Daniel, Isaiah, Jr., Nathanial, and William P. Rider; John Spurr, Sr., and John Spurr, Jr.; Hon. Aaron Tufts, of Dudley; five Wheelocks; six Willards; and many others who might be mentioned.

In 1801 that portion of Charlton which now lies in Southbridge was set off as a poll parish and called "Honest Town," and at the same time the First Congregational Church was organized in this parish.

In 1816, the Baptists also organized a church and called to be its first pastor, the Rev. George Angell. He was a firm believer in Masonry and knew it to be an institution worthy of his fostering care, and not inimical to his duties and professions, and he, with Ebenezer D. Ammidown, Horace Whittaker, Linus Childs, Moses Plimpton, Holmes Ammidown and others, proceeded to form Doric Lodge, which was chartered June 14, 1826. The Grand Lodge records say that after accepting the report of the committee sent to inspect the by-laws of http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=Doric1 Doric] Lodge by order of the R. W. District Deputy Grand Master, a procession was formed and proceeding to the hall of the Lodge, which was joined by said Lodge and neighboring Lodges, Chapters, and Encampments, marched to the meeting house, where an elegant and appropriate address was delivered by the Hon. Linus Childs; after which Doric Lodge was consecrated and its officers installed.

The names of the officers were omitted, but we have learned that they were: Linus Childs, Worshipful Master; Walter Fetch, Senior Warden; George W. Holmes, Junior Warden; Moses Plimpton, Secretary; and Abel Mason, Jr., Treasurer.

The formation of this Lodge so weakened the membership of Fayette Lodge that it soon ceased to confer the degrees in Charlton. From information given by Holmes Ammidown (who joined Doric Lodge about the time of its formation) the Lodge-room was in the hotel kept by Wm. Healy where the present Masonic Building now stands.

Those prominent in the formation and support of this Lodge were: Rev. George Angell, Hon. Ebenezer D. Ammidown, Dr. Samuel Hartwell, Hon. Linus Childs, Moses Plimpton, Horace Whitaker, W. O. Burlingame, William Healey, Capt. Calvin Clemence, Ephraim Wheelock, William Morris, Edward Morris, Oliver Mason, Abel Mason, Jr., and Holmes Ammidown. Dr. Samuel Hartwell was chosen Chairman of the Committee on Finance. Many of the bills connected with the formation of this Lodge were found by our late Brother Henry D. Mason among his father's old papers (and they show that it took a great deal of liquid to float the new Lodge into existence). But this Lodge was short lived, continuing to work, some say, for about three years, while the Grand Lodge records show that it existed for about seven years, but its Charter was never surrendered nor were its records returned to the Grand Lodge.

The apron and certificate of membership of Ebenezer D. Ammidown in Doric Lodge A.F. and A.M. have been presented to Quinebaug Lodge, and are framed and can be seen in the Lodge anteroom.

It appears that March 14, 1827, the Grand Lodge granted a petition to establish a Lodge to be known as Central Lodge, in the town of Dudley, but so far I am unable to ascertain whether this Lodge was ever organized or conferred any degrees. From about 1830 to 1859 Masonry seems to have lain dormant in this vicinity, but while residing in Manchester, N. H., Bro. Chester A. Dresser took the degrees and became greatly interested in the beauties and benefits of this benevolent order, and upon his return to Southbridge began to agitate the question of forming a Lodge in this town; but thev found upon inquiry at the Grand Lodge that there was a Charter for a Lodge still in existence and unrevoked, which covered this territory viz. Doric Lodge.

Brother Dresser, with the assistance of Bro. Samuel Cyrus Hartwell who had become interested in the institution, caused a search to be made and found among the papers of Brother Plimpton the lost Charter and records, and they were returned to the Grand Lodge and destroyed in the fire of 1864.

Upon the petition of S. A. Drake, C. A. Dresser, Samuel Hartwell, Samuel Goodier, Warner Marsh, Levi Bartlett, Purlin S. Turner, George Hanson, Enoch Cox, Emery L. Bates and Perry S. Goodell, the Grand Master on December 7, 1859, granted a Letter of Dispensation to the above named Brethren, and appointed Bro. Chester A. Dresser to be the first Master; Levi Bartlett, first Senior Warden; Purlin S.Turner, first Junior Warden.

The Lodge was named Quinebaug Lodge. The first meeting was held December 13, 1859, and they elected George Hanson, Treasurer; Samuel Goodier, Secretary; Samuel Harrington, Senior Deacon; Enoch Cox, Junior Deacon; J. A. Wardsworth, Tyler. The first regular communication of Quinebaug Lodge was held January 2, 1860; at which meeting petitions were presented by William Evison, William Munroe, Dr. Samuel Cyrus Hartwell, E. Merritt Cole, Charles S. Edmonds, and D. K. Olney.

At the meeting February 6, I860, these men were elected to receive the degrees, and Alonzo W. Olds and Isaac P. Hyde presented petitions. At this meeting Charles Robbing presented the Lodge with a Holy Bible, and Bro. Pierpont Edwards presented a square and compasses, as tokens of their respect and esteem for the Brethren of the Lodge.

December 12, 1860, a Charter was granted to the Lodge, and is signed by Winslow Lewis as Grand Master.

Quinebaug Lodge had a special communication for the purpose of consecrating and dedicating its new hall and constituting a new Lodge, and at that time the following officers were installed: Chester A. Dresser, Worshipful Master; Levi Bartlett, Senior Warden; Purlin S. Turner, Junior Warden; Samuel Goodier, Secretary; Samuel A. Drake, Treasurer; Samuel Harrington, Senior Deacon; Enoch Cox, Junior Deacon; Warner Marsh, Senior Steward; Daniel D. Clemence, Junior Steward; George Hanson, Chaplain; Danforth K. Olney, Marshal.

The installation was public, and the records say that "after having spent a pleasant and profitable time with good singing from the ladies and Brethren, we then adjourned to the carpet hall of John Edwards, Esq., and partook of supper." The Lodges of Palmer, Warren, Oxford, and Stafford, Conn., were represented at this meeting.

The Lodge-room for the first year was on the second floor of the old Masonic Building, now known as the Costa Building. The "new hall" referred to was in the building and over the store now occupied by the First National Store. They occupied these rooms until November 2, 1870, when they moved to rooms fitted up for the Lodge in Whitford's block, from which they moved to the present location in the Masonic Building.

These rooms were dedicated March 14, 1904, by Most Worshipful Baalis Sanford, Grand Master, assisted by R.W. Wm. H. Emerson of Brockton, Deputy Grand Master, and —

  • R. W. Wm. F. Davis, of Woburn, Sr. Grand Warden
  • R. W. Horace E. Marion, of Brighton, Jr. Grand Warden
  • R. W. Chas. H. Ramsay, of Weymouth, Grand Treasurer
  • R. W. S. D. Nickerson, of Cambridge, Grand Secretary
  • R. W. Carlos M. Gage, of Monson, D. D. G. M., Dist. 17
  • R. W. Thos. E. Booth, of Worcester, D. D. G. M., Dist. 18
  • R. W. Clifford B. Arnold, of Whitinsville, D. D. G. M., Dist. 19
  • Wor. Rev. Chas. A. Skinner, D. D., of N. Cambridge, Grand Chaplain
  • Wor. Frank W. Mead, of Somerville, Grand Marshal
  • Wor. Chauncy E. Peck, of Wilbraham, Grand Lecturer
  • Wor. Geo. A. Brackett, of Roxbury, Sr. Grand Deacon
  • Wor. Saml. Crowell, M.D., of Dorchester, Jr. Grand Deacon
  • Wor. Charles S. Soule, of Somerville, Sr. Grand Steward
  • Wor. Chas. J. King, of Pittsfield, Jr., Grand Steward
  • Bro. George W. Chester, of Boston, Grand Tyler.

It has furnished five District Deputy Grand Masters, viz.:

  • Pliny T. Litchfield,
  • John M. Cochran,
  • George C. Winter,
  • C. Fred Hill and
  • F. C. Monroe.

The Lodge has had forty-six Worshipful Masters:

  • Chester A. Dresser, 1859, '60, '61, '62, '63
  • Levi Bartlett, 1864 and '67
  • Samuel Harrington, 1865
  • Noah D. Ladd, 1866
  • Charles S. Edmonds, 1868, '69
  • Pliny T. Litchfield, 1870, '71, '72, '73, '75
  • George F. Wall, 1874
  • John M. Cochran, 1876, '77
  • Otis S. Brainard, 1878, '79, '80, '81
  • William H. Clark, 1882, '83
  • Frederick W. Rowley, 1884, '85, '86, '87
  • John W. McKinstry, 1888, '89
  • William W. Howland, 1890, '91, '92
  • Samuel S. Silva, 1893
  • George C. Winter, 1894, '95
  • George W. Corey, 1896, '97
  • Lyman E. Sibley, 1898, '99
  • John A. Hall, 1900, '01
  • Channing M. Wells, 1902, '03
  • C. Fred Hill, 1904, '05, '06
  • J. Cheney Wells, 1907, '08
  • Linus B. B. Coit, 1909
  • Henry J. Roan, 1910
  • Harry P. Oldham, 1911
  • Henry A. Hill, 1912
  • L. Willis Bugbee, 1913
  • Henry B. Montague, 1914 and '19
  • William G. Reed, 1915
  • Edward L. Chapin, 1916
  • A. Marcy Bartholomew, 1917
  • Franklin C. Monroe, 1918
  • C. Edgar Hanson, 1920
  • Allan H. Faxon, 1921
  • George O. Severy, 1922
  • Arthur W. Harlow, 1923
  • Edwin L. Claflin, 1924
  • J. Earl Eaton, 1925
  • F. Alexander Skinner, 1926
  • George A. Alley, 1927
  • Charles F. Corey, 1928
  • Alexander Steen, Jr., 1929
  • J. Irwin Morris, 1930
  • Harry G. Bingley, 1931
  • Ralph C. Whitehead, 1932
  • Willard E. Munday, 1933
  • Ralph F. Bardwell, 1934

and Royal W. White, now presiding.


From Proceedings, Page 1960-106:

By Wor. Byron J. Ziegler.

Before starting on this one-hundred year highlight history of Quinebaug Lodge, I must confess that due to my lack of participation in the affairs of Quinebaug Lodge during the first seventy-five years of its existence, I have drawn heavily on the Sketch of Masonry in Southbridge and Vicinity prepared by R. W. John M. Cochran, and an address given by Wor. Frederick W. Rowley on the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of Quinebaug Lodge.

The first Lodge in this immediate vicinity was Fayette Lodge in Charlton, for which a charter was granted March 14, 1796. As the membership was scattered over a large area, it appears that on January 10, 1799, they prayed the Grand Lodge for liberty to meet annually by rotation in Charlton, Sturbridge and Dudley, which prayer was granted during the pleasure of the Grand Lodge. All meetings for several years were held in a room prepared for them by General Salem Town in his own home. This room can be seen today at Old Sturbridge Village.

In 1804, Weld Tavern was erected on the Common at Charlton Center and was used for a short time as a meeting place, until Major Moses Dresser built the famous Dresser Hill Tavern, fitted up a hall in it (at his own expense) for the use of King Solomon Royal Arch Chapter (organized in 1805) and invited Fayette Lodge to also occupy the same, with the inducement that if they would occupy these rooms he would give them "meals of two or three dishes of meat, puddings and pies with white bread and cheese for twenty-five cents". This would be an inducement even today, and might improve attendance at Lodge meetings!

The first Masonic body in Southbridge was Doric Lodge, which was instituted in 1826. From about 1830 to 1859, R.W. Brother Cochran said that Masonry seemed to have lain dormant in this vicinity. Wor. Brother Rowley stated that he believed the reason for this was that about three years after Doric Lodge was instituted, a Mason named Morgan disappeared from his home in western New York under circumstances that threw a dark cloud over Masons and Masonry throughout the entire United States.

This cloud was intensified in Southbridge by the fact that the trial of the suspected abductors took place under William S. Marcy as presiding judge, who was a native of Southbridge, born in a farmhouse standing on the spot now occupied by the Church of Notre Dame. As a young man, Marcy transferred his citizenship from Massachusetts to New York, becoming successively judge, governor, and finally Secretary of State for President Pierce. A strong and forceful leader of men, his opinions were held in high regard and, as a member of the Marcy family, connected by blood or marriage with all the important residents of this part of Worcester County, those opinions were powerful and far reaching. As a result of the Morgan trial, Marcy became a strong anti-Mason and he, being influential, may have been the reason for the weakening of Masonry in Southbridge. Whatever the reason, the feelings against Masonry grew strong and fanatic. Wor. Brother Rowley reported that he himself had attended anti-Masonic meetings in Southbridge with crowded houses as late as 1880.

Between 1858 and 1859, a small group of Masons decided it was time to have a Lodge in Southbridge, and a petition was presented to the Grand Lodge by S. A. Drake, C. A. Dresser, Purlin S. Turner, Samuel Hartwell, Samuel Goodier, Warner Marsh, Levi Bartlett, George Hansen, Enoch Cox, Emery L. Bates, and Perry F. Goodell. On December 6, 1859, the Grand Lodge granted a letter of dispensation to the above-named Brethren and appointed Brother Chester A. Dresser to be the first Master. Brother Levi Bartlett was the first Senior Warden and Brother Purlin S. Turner the first Junior Warden.

The Lodge was named Quinebaug. The first meeting was held December 13, 1859, and they elected George Hansen, Treasurer: Samuel Goodier, Secretary; Samuel Harrington, Senior Deacon; Enoch Cox, Junior Deacon; J. A. Wadsworth, Tyler. The charter was granted December 12, 1860, and was signed by M.W. Winslow Lewis as Grand Master. The first regular communication of Quinebaug Lodge was held January 2, 1860, in a building owned by Larkin Ammidown, located on the north side of Main Street.

In 1860, Southbridge was a town of about 4000 inhabitants, with another 4000 in the outlying towns of Charlton and Sturbridge. On November 2, 1870, the Lodge moved to new rooms in Whitford's Block and from there moved to the present quarters in the Masonic Building in 1905. We are told that Brother Arthur Moore was responsible more than any other single person in the •move to have the present building converted from a hotel to a Masonic Building, and at present there is a citation to him hanging in the Southbridge Club rooms on the second floor of the Masonic Building, which reads in part: ". . . Arthur Moore, a Charter Member (of the Southbridge Club) to whom we are indebted for his purchase of the Chester A. Dresser Hotel, transforming it into the Masonic Building, providing quarters for Masonic bodies. . . ." In fact, the more one delves into early Southbridge history, the more apparent it is that Masons and Masonry were dominant factors in its development.

Quinebaug Lodge continued to grow, and by 1878 had a membership of 125.

Quinebaug Lodge has been fortunate. We can testify to the ability and dignity with which our Past Masters have served the Lodge, but a few whom circumstances have brought into relief, particularly in these early years, require special attention.

Brother C. A. Dresser was the father of this Lodge, having taken the degrees in Manchester, New Hampshire. He was much impressed by the aims and benefits of this society, and on his removal to Southbridge, began to arouse the interest of the few Masons still in town, and by his enthusiasm and something more susbstantial, he prevailed on them to petition the Grand Lodge for a charter, under which he became the first Master of Quinebaug Lodge. To perfect himself in the work, he hired a trained man to spend a week at his home to instruct him in the proper way to confer the degrees. He served the longest continuous term of any Master, serving from 1859 to 1863.

Brother Levi Bartlett, 1864 to 1867, was recognized as a perfectionist in ritual. Brother P. T. Litchfield, 1870 to 1875, was a gifted person and outstanding Master. He served the longest total time of any to have filled the Oriental Chair, outdistancing Brother Dresser by three months.

R.W. Brother John M. Cochran, 1876-77, distinguished himself through his researches in the early history of Masonry in Southbridge and the results of his labors are given to each new member when he receives a copy of the By-Laws of Quinebaug Lodge.

Wor. Brother Frederick W. Rowley, 1885-1887, a strict Master, would not allow liberties to be taken with Masonic rules on ritual and would bring to task any who deviated.

Wor. Brother William Howland, 1890-92, became Master when the Lodge was in serious financial difficulty. Through his personality and his skillful handling of the Masonic affairs, plus the efficient aid of Brother E. J. Knowles, his Secretary, order was brought out of chaos and the Lodge placed in a sound financial position. Wor. Brother Rowley reported that at the time Wor. Brother Silva sat in the East in 1893, there was no system as regards instruction of new members concerning Masonic identification. The Grand Lodge had made no law covering the situation, with the result that many were unable to prove themselves members of the Craft when desiring to enter a strange Lodge. On taking the Chair, Brother Silva gave notice that candidates must learn the lecture to the degree already received before advancing to the next. It so happened that a certain candidate had many friends in the Lodge who advised him that no one had been obligated to learn those lectures and there was no power for the Master to compel him to do so. Hastening to inform the Master that he would not learn the lectures, Brother Silva said, "Very well, I cannot force you to learn them — but as long as I am Master of this Lodge, you will never take another degree till you do". The candidate passed the examination, and ever since then, this regulation has been religiously observed in our Lodge.

In those early years, it is reported that the highwater mark in conferring degrees was reached under Wor. Brother John Hall, 1900-1901, who was fortunate in having an outstanding set of officers whose collective desire was perfection in ritual and ceremony.

Wor. Brother H. B. Montague, 1914-1919, had a record of Installing Master of Quinebaug Lodge which I doubt will be equalled, having installed our Lodge officers for about twenty-seven years.

Wor. Brother R. C. Whitehead, 1932, served as Treasurer for twenty-one years.

Brother Earl Higgins, our former Secretary, served about twenty-five years.

An outstanding event in the early history of Quinebaug Lodge was the visit of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts to lay the corner-stone of the Town Hall, July 4, 1889. While this was purely a civic occasion, it became one of the noted days in the history of Quinebaug Lodge, as we had the honor of receiving the Grand Lodge in our rooms in Whitford's Block, where it was organized. In the meantime, it was reported that a great procession of Masons of all degrees, other organized societies, town officers, brass bands and citizens formed on Main Street to escort the Grand Lodge to the new Town Hall on Elm Street, where the impressive ceremonies of the Masonic ritual were performed. After a fine oration by Lawyer Golding of Worcester, a formal banquet was served in the C. A. Dresser House.

In 1905, Quinebaug Lodge was moved to the rooms now occupied in the Masonic Building on Main Street and they were dedicated March 14, 1905, by the Most Worshipful Baalis Sanford, Grand Master, assisted by Right Worshipful William H. Emerson of Brockton, Deputy Grand Master.

The outstanding event of Quinebaug Lodge within my memory was our seventy-fifth anniversary held December 3, 1934. We were honored by the presence of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and officers. We were favored with an address by R.W. Albert A. Schaefer, Deputy Grand Master, enjoyed selections by the Grotto Band of Worcester and, as our records read, I quote: "Then our own Past Master, Frederick W. Rowley, gave a most instructive talk on the highlights of Masonry in Southbridge. His address was of such high order that every member of Quinebaug Lodge felt proud of our own Brother Rowley." This was an outstanding talk, as Brother Rowley had known every Master of Qinebaug Lodge during its seventy-five year history.

Quinebaug Lodge has supplied five District Deputy Grand Masters: Right Worshipful Brothers P. T. Litchfield, J. M. Cochran, G. C. Winter, C. F. Hill, and the last one, in 1920, F. C. Monroe.

Quinebaug Lodge has been honored with visits of three Grand Masters in the past hundred years. The last visit was from M. W. Thomas Sherrard Roy, in 1953. On this occasion, Rev. Brother Robert Crist was raised by M. W. Brother Roy. Tonight we are honored with a fourth visit of the Most Worshipful Grand Master and sincerely hope this record will be greatly improved during the next hundred years.

Quinebaug Lodge has had fifty-nine Masters and it has been my privilege to know forty-seven of them. In reading our records in quite some detail over the past thirty years, it is evident that for every outstanding event, there were a great many regular and special communications, many of these arduous undertakings. To the men mentioned and to a great many Masters and Brethren I have not mentioned, we are grateful for their labors.

Our membership in 1934 was 319. As of December 1959, there were 300 members. The efficiency and harmony within the Lodge speaks well for the choice of officers and we are looking forward with confidence and anticipation as Quinebaug Lodge starts its second hundred years.


  • 1923 (Appeal from Master's ruling, 1923-325)



From Moore's Freemasons' Monthly, Vol. XXX, No. 4, February 1861, Page 123:

This new Lodge, located in the flourishing manufacturing town of Southbridge, was duly constituted by the M. W. Grand Lodge, on the 28th Jan., in the presence of a large number of Brethren from the neighboring Lodges. In the evening the officers were installed, the ladies of the Brethren being admitted to witness the ceremonies. After which the company partook of a supper at the new Hotel in the village.

The following are the officers for the current year:

  • C. A. Dresser, W. M.
  • Levi Bartlett, S. W.
  • P. S. Turner, J. W.
  • S. A. Drake, Treas.
  • Samuel Goodier, Sec.
  • Samuel Harrington, S. D.
  • Enoch Cox, J. D.
  • Warner Marsh, S. S.
  • D. D. Clemence, J. S.
  • D K. Olny, Marshal.
  • George Hanson, Chaplain.
  • C. S. Edmunds, Tyler.


From Moore's Freemasons' Monthly, Vol. XXX, No. 2, December 1870, Page 42:

"The new Masonic Hall of Quinebaug Lodge, at Southbridge, was solemnly dedicated, with the usual ceremonies, to the purposes of Freemasonry, on Thursday, the 3d of November, ult., at which time the officers for the current year were also installed into their respective places. Both ceremonies were performed by P.G.M. Hon. Charles C. Dame, assisted by a delegation from the Grand Lodge; the former in the afternoon of the day, in the presence of the members of the Lodge and visiting brethren from the neighboring towns. The Installation ceremonies were public, and were witnessed by the ladies of the brethren and other invited guests. The Hall and ante-rooms were filled to their greatest capacity, and we have rarely seen a more intelligent and agreeabe assemblage of ladies and gentlemen on any similar occasion. The ceremonies were well conducted, and the charges given in a clear, solemn and impressive manner, and were listened to by all present with evident manifestations of interest and pleasure.

"The apartments occupy an entire floor or plat of a large and handsome brick building, and consist of a Lodge room of sufficent capacity for the purposes for which it is to be used, a neat and convenient preparation room, a kitchen and banqueting hall of sufficient size to seat three or four hundred persons at the tables. This hall we understand, it is proposed to use as a Chapter room, whenever hereafter it may be deemed expedient to organize such a body in the town. The principal hall is richly and neatly furnished, the furniture being of black walnet, suitably covered with rep. The carpet, which was manufactured for the purpose, is of a superior quality of three-ply, and is covered with Masonic emblems. Taken as a whole, including the size and arrangement of the rooms, their adaptation to the business of the Lodge, the quality of the furnishing, &c., the entire ensemble leaves little or nothing further to be desired.

"The Lodge was constituted in 1860, with thirteen members. It now has upon its roll one hundred members, comprising a large proportion of the most intelligent, active and wealthy men of the beautiful village in which it is located. It is ably officered, and justly ranks among the best lodges in the jurisdiction.

"At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the company, numbering some one hundred and fifty or more ladies and gentlemen, were conducted to the banqueting hall, where the tables were spread with a beautiful and well served supper, and where a couple of hours were spent in a social and agreeable way. The more intellectual part of the ceremonies here, was opened by W. Bro. Chester Dresser, the first master of the Lodge, in an interesting narrative of the circumstances attending the recovery of the Charter of the old Doric Lodge (which went out of existence in the earlier days of the anti-Masonic excitement in 1828), and the substitution of the present Lodge. Other speeches followed, at the close of which the company separated.

"It affords us pleasure to add that the delegation from the Grand Lodge was received in the kindest manner, and that every provision for their comfort and enjoyment, while in the town, was extended to them by the brethren of the Lodge."



1859: District 6

1867: District 11 (Worcester)

1883: District 19 (Southbridge)

1911: District 20 (Southbridge)

1927: District 20 (Southbridge)

1931: District 21 (Brookfield)

2003: District 24


Massachusetts Lodges