Chartered By: X
Dispensation Date: date
Charter Date: date
Current Status: status
Washington Lodge No. 5 A.F.&A.M.
Meeting Date: First Monday
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
The Lodge designated Washington Lodge, No. 5, Wickford, was first called “Washington Lodge, No. 2.” The inception of the movement of the Lodge was taken at the residence of Rouse Babcock, at Westerly, in the County of Washington. Here it was voted to petition the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island for a Charter for a Masonic Lodge to meet in Washington County, and to be known as “Washington Lodge, No. 2.” It was also voted that Bro. John Aldrich be appointed Wor. Master, Daniel Lee, Senior Warden, and Asael Ensworth, Junior Warden.
The second meeting of the promoters of the new movement was held March 8, 1798, at the residence of Bro. Francis Brown in Richmond. The Grand Lodge of Rhode Island at the annual session, held June 27, 1798 passed the petition.
During the first year of this history, twenty candidates received the degrees in the Lodge and were admitted to membership therein. At this early period meetings were held at the residences of different members, sometimes in Westerly and sometimes in Hopkinton, South Kingstown, or elsewhere.
The Lodge was constituted at the State House in South Kingstown, September 23, 1799. On that occasion the Grand Lodge was represented by its Grand Master, Moses Seixas, and by others of the Grand Officers. There were about one hundred Masons in the procession which marched to the State House, where Rev. Bro. Abraham Clarke, of Providence, delivered an oration pertinent to the occasion.
From this time forward Washington Lodge continued to hold its meetings with a good degree of regularity. These meetings were held in different parts of the jurisdiction, the Grand Lodge having consented that it might meet in any place in the county of Washington.
In 1807 efforts were made to effect the permanent establishment of the Lodge in South Kingstown, and on September 15th, of that year, it was voted the permanent meeting-place of that Lodge should be at Little Rest, now known as Kingston Hill, in South Kingstown. For several years after this date meetings were held, but infrequently, sometimes at Wickford and sometimes at Kingston Hill.
A new Code of By-Laws was adopted February 11, 1825. It was provided by the new By-Laws that the regular meetings of the Lodge should be held in Wickford, on the Thursday next preceding the full moon, at six o’clock, P.M. It was also provided that the Lodge should continue in session “no later than nine o’clock, except in cases of special emergency.
During the year of 1825 steps were taken to obtain from the General Assembly a Charter of Incorporation. Such a Charter was granted at the October session. At the same session of the General Assembly an act was passed authorizing Washington Lodge, No. 2, to raise by lottery a sum not exceeding $4000, to be appropriated toward the building of a Masonic Hall were designated in the act as managers of said lottery. The drawing of the lottery resulted in the obtaining of some funds, intended to be applied for the procuring of a suitable hall for the Lodge. A Building Committee was appointed to purchase a lot on which to build the desired hall. Some conflict of authority seems to have occurred between the Building Committee and the managers of the lottery, the results being that members of the Building Committee resigned or were discharged, and the whole direction of affairs was placed in the hands of the managers. The cornerstone of the hall was laid under the sanction of the Grand Lodge, July 27, 1826. Grand Master Richard Anthony was present and conducted the ceremony. Bro. Josiah Clark was Wor. Master of Washington Lodge at the time of laying the cornerstone. The Rev. George Taft, Grand Chaplin, delivered a Masonic address on the occasion.
Washington Lodge has enjoyed much instructive occasions of a public, or semi-public character since the time of its revival. Among these, mention may be made of the public installation of its officers, held in Vaughan Hall, Wickford, on Thursday evening, October 7, 1875.
In 1885, Washington Lodge moved into a new hall built by the Odd Fellows, where they have remained as tenants of the Lodge of Odd Fellows.