Tuscan

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TUSCAN LODGE

Location: Lawrence

Chartered By: William Parkman

Charter Date: 12/09/1863 VI-493

Precedence Date: 01/01/1863

Current Status: merged with Phoenician Lodge to form Tuscan-Phoenician Lodge, 05/01/1980.


PAST MASTERS

  • Lemuel A. Bishop, 1863; SN
  • Pardon Armington, 1864, 1865
  • Nathan W. Harmon, 1866, 1867
  • Daniel Nason, 1868, 1869
  • Aaron Alvah Currier, 1870, 1871
  • Gideon W. Waterhouse, 1872, 1873
  • George F. Talbot, 1874, 1875
  • William S. Miller, 1876, 1877
  • William Fisher, 1878, 1879; SN
  • Alvin D. Elliot, 1880, 1881
  • Israel E. Worcester, 1882, 1883
  • Mather S. Holmes, 1884
  • George L. Miller, 1885
  • Samuel H. Furber, 1886, 1887
  • Benjamin Andrew, 1888, 1889
  • Henry L. Sherman, 1890, 1891
  • Edward G. Carleton, 1892, 1893
  • Thomas W. Eastham, 1894, 1895
  • Thomas Edwin Andrew, 1896, 1897
  • Joseph W. Booth, 1905
  • John C. Haughton, 1906
  • George H. Lord, 1907, 1908
  • Dean K. Webster, 1909, 1910; N
  • John H. Bevington, 1911-1913
  • Henry S. Wright, 1914, 1915
  • Robert K. Disney, 1916, 1917; SN
  • Walter I. Churchill, 1920, 1921; N
  • John Norman Anderson, 1922, 1923
  • Herbert L. Fletcher, 1924
  • Ralph A. Woodcock, 1925, 1926; SN
  • Clifton R. Harrison, 1927, 1928
  • Edward B. Galloway, 1931, 1932
  • Wesley B. Humphrey, 1933, 1934
  • Dean K. Webster, Jr., 1935, 1946
  • Henry A. Vogt, 1937, 1938
  • Clarence T. Drummond, 1939, 1940
  • James I. Slate, 1941, 1942
  • Earl J. Waddington, 1943, 1944
  • Harry Poole, 1945
  • Albert R. Day, 1946, 1947
  • Charles F. Dewhirst, 1948, 1949
  • Thomas H. Houghton, 1950, 1951; SN
  • Horace Elton True, 1952, 1953
  • Thomas Edwin Andrew, Jr., 1954, 1955
  • Walter R. Vogt, 1956, 1957
  • William Turner, 1958, 1959; SN
  • Ralph P. Lever, 1960, 1961
  • Leonard H. Crouch, 1962, 1963, 1976
  • Raymond W. Bachmann, 1964, 1965
  • Robert W. Neil, Sr., 1966, 1967
  • Charles F. Dewhirst, Jr., 1968
  • Walter A. Huebner, 1969
  • Clifton R. Milne, 1970
  • James H. Henderson, 1971
  • George F. Morgan, 1972
  • John A. MacKenzie, 1973, 1974
  • George H. Green, 1975
  • Albert F. Hill, 1977, 1978
  • Clifford R. Milne, 1979, 1980; N

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Dispensation: 1863
  • Petition for Charter: 1863
  • Consolidation Petition (with Phoenician Lodge): 1979

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1912 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1937 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1963 (Centenary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

  • 1864 (Parkman; Constitution of Lodge and installation; Special Communication; see below)
  • 1872 (Nickerson; Hall dedication; Special Communication)
  • 1912 (Benton; 50th Anniversary; Special Communication; see below)
  • 1937 (Allen; 75th Anniversary; Special Communication)
  • 1963 (Osgood; Centenary; Special Communication)
  • 1980 (Melanson; Consolidation; Special Communication)

BY-LAW CHANGES

1871 1876 1877 1883 1884 1902 1913 1916 1921 1922 1925 1928 1931 1934 1955

HISTORY

  • 1937 (75th Anniversary History, 1937-185; see below)
  • 1963 (Centenary History, 1963-74)

75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1937

From Proceedings, Page 1937-185:

By R. W. Dean K. Webster.

Tonight we gather to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Tuscan Lodge. However, before admiring the gems which figuratively adorn this occasion, let us first inspect the foundation stones.

The history of Masonry in this District begins with St. Matthew's Lodge on the South Side of the river, in that extensive area known as Andover, and Grecian Lodge on the North Side of the Merrimack, in that equally large territory known as the Town of Methuen. St. Matthew's was organized in 1822 and Grecian in 1825. At that time Lawrence with its River Dam and busy mills had not been even dreamed of, and this entire section consisted of farms, orchards, and wood lots.

The unfortunate William Morgan episode occurred in 1826 and, though the charges were unwarranted and untrue, it occasioned the country-wide Anti-Masonic excitement, which lasted for nearly twenty years. During that time Grecian Lodge of Methuen surrendered its Charter.

The building of the dam began in 1845 and in 1847 the Town of Lawrence was established by the Legislature, which set apart for it a sizable section of Methuen, bordering the North Side of the river and a similar area from Andover on the South Side. That separation left a population of only about two hundred in Methuen Village, while over five thousand lived in Lawrence. Consequently Grecian Lodge was re-organized here instead of in Methuen, when its Charter was restored in 1848.

Twelve years later, John Hancock Lodge was chartered in Methuen, followed in two years by the organization of Tuscan Lodge in Lawrence. Allusion is aptly made to the fact that this Lodge came into existence in the active period of the Civil War, but in 1862 the situation in Lawrence was something like this. The calls for volunteers had been discontinued and recruits were being drafted for service as needed. The mills were humming in their endeavor to fill government as well as civilian orders, eagerly putting to work all available help including many immigrants from England, who were expert in the textile industry. Lawrence was an extremely busy place and societies of all kinds grew and prospered. Thus there sprang up a demand for another Masonic Lodge and "Tuscan" was born, December 31, 1862.

With the approval of Grecian Lodge, sixteen members of that body, including three of its Past Masters, petitioned the Grand Lodge for a Charter. Thar petition should now be regarded as a Roll of Honor and was signed by the following Masons, all well-known and highly respected citizens of Lawrence:

List of Petitioners for a Charter

  • Lemuel A. Bishop
  • Pardon Armington
  • Nathan W. Harmon
  • William H. Jaquith
  • Rufus Reed
  • Thomas Wright
  • Alva Bennett
  • Willard B. Hayden
  • D. Frank Robinson
  • Albert Blood
  • John Stowe
  • E. Frank Page
  • John F. Cogswell
  • Leonard Stoddard
  • Elbridge Joslyn
  • Frederick Butler

Acting under Dispensation, these enthusiastic Masons began their work of admitting the uninitiated to the mysteries of Masonry. The first applicant for the Degrees in Tuscan Lodge was Judge W. H. P. Wright, Mayor of the City at the time, while the Master of the Lodge was President of the Common Council. The second applicant was H. M. Whitney, the leading druggist of the Community. It is exceedingly interesting to note the caliber of the men who became members of this Lodge. It is indicated not only by the mention of these first two candidates, but by the record that in the years following 1862, out of the next twenty men occupying the mayoralty chair of this city, eleven were members of Tuscan Lodge. For about a year Tuscan Lodge held its meetings in Grecian Hall, City Block, at what is now the location of the Eagle-Tribune Building. However, steps were taken promptly to secure and furnish larger quarters and this undertaking was finally accomplished in the building located at the comer of Essex and Jackson Streets, only two blocks distance from our present Masonic Temple.

FranklinHouseLawrence.jpg
Franklin House, Lawrence, around 1900
From the Gilbert Aspeslagh Collection The Charter of Tuscan Lodge, dated December 10, 1863, was signed by Most Worshipful William Parkman, Grand Master and Right Worshipful Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary. Tuscan Lodge was constituted with proper ceremonies, January 5, 1864, these exercises being followed by the formal dedication of the newly equipped Tuscan Hall and Ix>dge Rooms. During the same evening the following officers were installed:

  • Lemuel A. Bishop, Worshipful Master
  • Pardon Armington, Senior Warden
  • John Stowe, Junior Warden
  • Frederick Butler, Treasurer
  • H. M. Whitney, Secretary
  • D. Frank Robinson, Senior Deacon
  • Albert Blood, Junior Deacon
  • John F. Cogswell, Marshal
That must have been a great day for Tuscan Lodge, for among other items we find it recorded that "The members of the Grand Lodge and other invited guests were entertained at the Franklin House." The first year was a busy one with 39 meetings and 16 applications, but nothing compared to the record of 1864 when 67 meetings were held and 55 applications received,—10 of which were for membership and 45 for the Degrees. It need not be assumed, however, that proper consideration was not given to the worthiness of these applicants for about one out of five was rejected. If further proof were needed in this respect Tuscan Lodge is proud to have numbered among its members such prominent citizens as John K. Rollins, John K. Tarbox, Alvin E. Mack, Fred E. Clarke, Andrew Sharp, Caleb Saunders, John A. Perkins, and many others of equal worth and prominence. A reminder of the Civil War is noticed in the record of the meeting held February 22, 1864, when the application of Major B. F. Watson was presented, desiring to be made a Mason in this Lodge during his furlough from the Army. Acting under authority of a special dispensation the applicant was elected, receiving his first two degrees February 26, and the third degree the following night. Other reminders of the war are contained in the record of joint funeral services conducted by Grecian and Tuscan Lodges for Captain and Brother Albert E. Davis of Company I. 1st Heavy Artillery, who was severely wounded at the memorable battle near Spottsylvania Court House in the rear of the Army of the Potomac and died June 13, 1864; the services and tribute to Brother Joseph W. Kimball, Captain of Company F. 1st Regiment of Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, who was killed in the battle of Petersburg, June 22, 1864. Also by invitation of Grecian Lodge the members of Tuscan Lodge joined in attending the exercises of consecration of the monument erected in Lowell in memory of those of the 6th Regiment M.V.M., who fell at Baltimore, April 19, 1861. In the latter part of 1864, Grecian Lodge made Tuscan Hall its meeting place. Masonry in Lawrence expanded in the next few years to include a Chapter, a Council, and a Commandery, and on November 11, 1867, a petition was presented to Tuscan Lodge asking its approval of the establishment of a new Lodge to be named William S. Gardner. Consent was denied. *Grand Master Gardner denied the petition on the ground that Lodges should not be named for living persons. This put an end to a long-standing custom). - F. W. H. However, on October 31, 1870, a petition was approved for the organization of Phoenician Lodge, and the following month the free use of Tuscan Lodge furniture and jewels was granted to the new Lodge. April 29, 1867, it was voted "to confer with the other Masonic Bodies of the City to consider the expediency of purchasing a lot of land for the purpose of erecting upon the same (at some future time) a Masonic Temple." In August of that year the lot of land at the corner of Essex and Lawrence Streets was purchased in the name of the Masonic Bodies of Lawrence. This property was held until 1871, when it was sold and steps immediately taken to secure new and larger quarters for the various Masonic Bodies. These were provided in what was then known as Saunders Block. Tuscan Lodge contributed $3,500.00 to the Masonic Association for the purpose of furnishing and decorating those commodious apartments in addition to supplying its own furniture for the small hall. Some of this same furniture may now be seen in the Blue Room of our present Temple. September 12, 1872, exercises of dedication were held in the new Masonic Hall with M. W. Sereno D. Nickerson officiating as Grand Master,— "208 brothers present." These quarters remained the meeting place of all our Masonic Bodies until the erection of our present new Temple, hut it is worthy of note that in 1879 the Trustees of the Masonic Association were instructed to investigate the possibilities of re-locating the Masonic Hall in the new Boston and Lowell Depot. However, the decision was against any such change. During the fifty years' occupancy of the Masonic Hall and apartments in Saunders Block, many interesting items appear in the records of Tuscan Lodge. "Lest we forget," let us now recognize our present holders of Veteran Medals, awarded to those who have been members for a period of at least fifty years.
  • Worshipful H. Leslie Sherman is the Senior living Past Master of Tuscan Lodge, receiving his Master Mason Degree October 27, 1884, which indicates 53 years of service. His Masonic record is indeed conspicuous, for he is a Past High Priest of Mount Sinai Chapter, Past Commander of Bethany Commandery, and has served as District Deputy and Grand King of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts.
  • Brother Richard H. Fox received his Third Degree in Tuscan Lodge December 27, 1880, and served in subordinate positions in the list of officers, as well as on many important Committees, this making a worthy record of active membership for a period of 57 years.
  • Brother Phineas W. Haseltine became a member of Tuscan Lodge June 15, 1874, and is our Senior living member, 63 years a Mason at the youthful (!) age of 91 years plus. He has served in nearly all the stations of the Lodge except that of Master and was elected Junior Warden for four consecutive years. Nor are his Masonic activities ended for he is still a constant attendant at the meetings of the Lodge and continues to serve on many of its Committees.
It may prove of interest to Masons to note a few of the customs and Masonic practices of the early years as gathered from a careful examination of the records. Some other interesting items are included. Until the year 1890 it was a custom in Tuscan Lodge upon occasion of the death of any member to pass appropriate resolutions which were read and spread upon the records, also to drape the altar for a period of thirty days. When Masonic Funerals were conducted the Brethren marched in procession to the Cemetery accompanied by the Lawrence Brass Band, lor the services of which band, it is recorded in one instance, the sum of sixteen dollars was paid. December 30, 1867, it was voted "that whenever a Brother has received the Degree of Master Mason it shall be the duty of the Marshal or Senior Deacon to introduce him personally to every member of the Lodge present at the time." January 31, 1870, the records show that, upon a trial on charges of unmasonic conduct (in this case a letter carrier was convicted of stealing money from the mail) by unanimous vote the party was "expelled from all the rights and privileges of a Brother Mason in Masonry." Today, of course, such trial and expulsions are exclusively the province of the Grand Lodge. The Lodge action in such cases was then subject to confirmation by the Grand Lodge. - F. W. H. December 27, 1875, Tuscan joined with Grecian and Phoenician Lodges in asking permission to open a "Lodge of Instruction." December 5, 1887, a communication from the Daily Eagle was read announcing a new method of advertising. Voted "to accept the communication and adopt the method." (perhaps this meant the beginning of prosperity for the Eagle and Tribune). Tuscan Lodge has sponsored many social and fraternal events, only a few of which can be here noted. In June 1865 Tuscan Lodge joined with Grecian Lodge in holding a picnic at "Policy Pond" and there is an extensive printed account of a gala picnic at Lovell's Grove, Quincy Point on St. John's Day, 1873, attended by the members of Tuscan Lodge with their ladies and, of course, the Lawrence Brass Band. March 20, 1911, Worshipful Brother George C. Thacher and officers of Rabboni Lodge, Dorchester, visited this Lodge and exemplified the work of the Third Degree. In June of that year Tuscan Lodge returned the compliment and zealously tried to emulate the efficiency of the officers of Rabboni Lodge in the work of the same degree. At the Annual Meeting, December 7, 1896, Tuscan Lodge was presented a beautiful gavel by Brother J. Harvey Treat in behalf of the Worshipful Master of "The Royal Solomon Mother Lodge No. 293," Jerusalem, Palestine. The Gift was made of wood from the Mount of Olives and was accompanied by a letter signed by the Worshipful Master under the seal of the Lodge, a copy of which follows:

The Royal Solomon Mother Lodge, No. 293
Jerusalem, Palestine
March 31, 1896.

Dear Sir & Brother,

On behalf of the Royal Solomon Mother Lodge, I have the pleasure of presenting you for your Mother Lodge this Gavel and extend to you the best wishes of the Fraternity here, and wish you a safe return home.

Believe me

Dear Sir & Bro.

(seal)
Yours fraternally

  • 
J. Hi Treat Esqre.
  • E. H. Kayat, W. M.

Jerusalem

Unfortunately, and in spite of strict search no trace of this gavel can be found.

The only recorded Roll Call of its members was held April 13, 1914 on the occasion of a Past Master's Night when there were 134 members present in person and 17 responded by letter a total of 151 out of a total membership of 249.

Tuscan Lodge celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary with a Ladies' Night social and a fraternal visit of M. W. Everett C. Benton, who was accompanied by a number of distinguished members of the Grand Lodge.

Tuscan has received and entertained many delegations from sister Lodges and societies, the officers of which have assisted in the work of the evening. These are actually too numerous to mention, but include Star in the East Lodge, of Exeter, N. H. and Pentucket Lodge, of Lowell, Mass.

The largest attended meeting of Tuscan Lodge was held April 26, 1925, when it was honored by a visit of Grand Lodge Officers and other guests, including such distinguished Masons as (titles omitted) J. Albert Blake, Arthur D. Prince, Curtis Chipman, Frank L. Simpson, Frederick W. Hamilton, Olin D. Dickerman, Harry G. Pollard and many others. The attendance was 400 and the occasion was the honor accorded Tuscan Lodge by the election of one of its members to the office of Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge.

Throughout the years Tuscan Lodge has been generous in its attitude toward all worthy charitable objects coming within the scope of a proper use of the Lodge Funds. It has made substantial contributions to assist the Masonic Brethren needing assistance because of serious disaster, such as the great Chicago Fire in 1871, the Mississippi Flood, the California Earthquake, the Chelsea Fire. The Lodge and its members have given generously to the War Relief Fund, the Rainy Day Fund, and the Masonic Home, the sum of one thousand dollars to the Juniper Hall Fund, and their full quota toward the George Washington Memorial.

November 8, 1915, Tuscan Lodge voted to join with the other Masonic Bodies of Lawrence in forming a Corporation with the object of raising funds for the building of a new Masonic Temple. Then followed the famous Campaign for Funds in 1916 and later another drive in 1921. The active participation in this great undertaking by members of Tuscan Lodge is indicated by the fact that they occupied the positions of Chairman of the 1916 and of the 1921 Campaigns, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Association, Treasurer of the Fund, Collector, and later Tuscan supplied two members of the Building Committee.

On April 29, 1922, with great pomp and ceremony, including a street parade and in the presence of the acting heads of all the Grand Masonic Bodies of the Commonwealth, the Corner Stone of the New Temple was laid by Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

The first meeting in the New Temple was called by Worshipful John N. Anderson, Master of Tuscan Lodge, at 2.30 P. M. Monday, April 16, 1923. After stating the purpose of the meeting the Chairs were vacated in favor of the officers of Grecian Lodge, which opened on the Third Degree and, properly as the oldest Lodge in Lawrence, had the honor of receiving Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master, and Officers of the Grand Lodge who then dedicated the Temple "in due and ancient form."

The first degree to be worked in this new Temple was that of Entered Apprentice by Tuscan Lodge, Wednesday night, April 18th.

So the goal of many years' effort and sacrifice was reached in 1923 when the new Temple was completed and dedicated to the purposes of Masonry. From that date to the present time the history of Tuscan Lodge is within the memory and experience of nearly all of us. It is, therefore, unnecessary now to record more than a brief statement as to the present condition of the Lodge.

Tuscan Lodge is not the largest Lodge in the District. It does not want to be such. The largest number of candidates initiated in any one year was 47 in 1920. Its membership reached its peak of 397 in 1925, and on April 2, 1928, the By-Laws were changed so that the total membership of Tuscan Lodge, exclusive of Honorary members, shall be limited to 400.

Not large, but we are happy to say, in a sound and prosperous financial condition, as evidenced by the fact that all bills to date are paid, including the largest item of rent to October 1, 1937. All monies ever turned in for Life Membership have been retained in a separate Fund. This, together with the Permanent Fund, in which is included a bequest of $1,000.00 from Brother and distinguished citizen, Alvin E. Mack, now amount to a total of about S5.500.00.

Therefore, the members of Tuscan Lodge have reason to be proud of the present standing of the Lodge as well as of its notable achievements and history of the past. Above all, Tuscan is a Lodge which takes to heart and endeavors to practice the noble principles which our beloved order seeks to teach and inculcate in the lives of men. Upon the foundation of a notable and most worthy past, Tuscan Lodge builds for the future. May that future be as fruitful of good deeds and Masonic Service as may be found in the sincere hopes and steadfast purpose of its loyal and united membership.

CENTENARY HISTORY, APRIL 1963

From Proceedings, Page 1963-74:

by R. W. Walter I. Churchill, R. W. Thomas H. Houghton

At this time we gather together to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Tuscan Lodge. However, before admiring the gems which figuratively adorn this occasion, let us first inspect the foundation stones.

The history of Masonry in this district begins with Saint Matthew's Lodge on the south side of the Merrimack River in that extensive area known as Andover, and Grecian Lodge on the north side in that equally large territory known as the Town of Methuen. Saint Matthew's was organized in 1822 and Grecian in 1825. At that time Lawrence with its river, dam, and busy mills had not even been dreamed of, and this entire area consisted of farms, orchards and wood lots.

The unfortunate William Morgan episode occurred in 1826, and though the charges were unwarranted and untrue, it occasioned the country-wide Anti-Masonic excitement, which lasted for nearly twenty years. During that time Grecian Lodge of Methuen surrendered its Charter.

The building of the dam began in 1845, and in 1847 the Town of Lawrence was established by the Legislature, which set apart for it a sizable section from Methuen, bordering the north side of the river, and a similar area from Andover on the south side. The separation left a population of only two hundred in Methuen Village, while over five thousand lived in Lawrence. As a result Grecian Lodge was reorganized here instead of in Methuen when its Charter was restored in 1848.

Twelve years later John Hancock Lodge was chartered in Methuen, followed in two years by the organization of Tuscan Lodge in Lawrence. Allusion is aptly made to the fact that this Lodge came into existence in the active period of the Civil War, but in 1862 the situation in Lawrence was somewhat like this.

The calls for volunteers had been discontinued, and recruits were being drafted for service as needed. The mills were humming in their endeavor to fill government as well as civilian orders, eagerly putting to work all available help including many immigrants from England, who were expert in the textile industry. Lawrence was an extremely busy place, and societies of all kinds grew and prospered. Thus there sprang up a demand for another Masonic Lodge, and Tuscan was born, December 31, 1862.

With the approval of Grecian Lodge, sixteen members of that body, including three of its Past Masters, petitioned the Grand Lodge for a charter. That petition should now be regarded as a Roll of Honor and was signed by the following Masons, all well known and respected citizens of Lawrence.

List of petitioners for charter of Tuscan Lodge.

  • Lemuel A. Bishop
  • Pardon Armington
  • Nathan W. Harmon
  • William H. Jaquith
  • Rufus Reed
  • Thomas Wright
  • Alva Bennett
  • Willard B. Hayden
  • D. Frank Robinson
  • Albert Blood
  • John Stowe
  • E. Frank Page
  • John F. Cogswell
  • Leonard Stoddard
  • Elbridge Joslyn
  • Frederick Butler

Acting under dispensation these enthusiastic Masons began their work of admitting the uninitiated into the mysteries of Masonry. The first applicant for the degrees in Tuscan Lodge was Judge W. H. P. Wright, Mayor of the City of Lawrence at that time, while the Master of the Lodge was the President of the Common Council. The second applicant was H. M. Whitney, the leading druggist of the community. It is exceedingly interesting to note lie calibre of the men who became members of the Lodge. It is indicated, not only by the mention of these first two candidates met by the record, that in the years following 1862 out of the next twenty men to occupy the Mayoralty Chair of this City eleven were members of Tuscan Lodge.

For about a year Tuscan Lodge held its meetings in Grecian Hall, City Block, at what is now the location of the Eagle-Tribune Building. Steps were taken to secure and furnish larger quarters, and this undertaking was finally accomplished in the building located at the corner of Essex and Jackson Streets, only two blocks distant from our present Temple.

The Charter of Tuscan Lodge, dated December 10, 1863, was signed by Most Worshipful William Parkman, Grand Master, and Right Worshipful Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary. Tuscan Lodge was constituted with proper ceremonies, January 5, 1864. These exercises were followed by the formal dedication of the newly equipped Tuscan Hall and Lodge Rooms. During the same evening the following officers were installed.

  • Lemuel A. Bishop, Worshipful Master
  • Pardon Armington, Senior Warden
  • John Stowe, Junior Warden
  • Frederick Butler, Treasurer
  • H. M. Whitney, Secretary
  • D. Frank Robinson, Senior Deacon
  • Albert Blood, Junior Deacon
  • John F. Cogswell, Marshal

That must have been a great day for Tuscan Lodge, for among other things in the record we find the item, "The members of Grand Lodge and other invited guests were entertained at the Franklin House."

The first year was a busy one with thirty-nine meetings and sixteen applications, but nothing to compare with the record of 1867, when sixty-seven meetings were held and fifty-five applications were received, ten of which were for membership and forty-five for the degrees. It need not be assumed, however, that proper consideration was not given to the worthiness of these applications, for about one in five was rejected. If further proof were needed in this respect, Tuscan Lodge is proud to have numbered among its members such prominent citizens as John R. Rollins, John K. Tarbox, Alvin E. Mack, Fred E. Clarke, Andrew Sharp, Caleb Saunders, John A. Perkins and many others of equal worth and prominence.

In the latter part of 1864, Grecian Lodge made Tuscan Hall its meeting-place. Masonry in Lawrence expanded in the next few years to include a Chapter, a Council and a Commandery. On November 11, 1867, a petition was presented to Tuscan Lodge, asking its approval of the establishment of a new Lodge to be William S. Gardner Lodge. Consent was denied, but on October 31, 1870, a petition was approved for the organization Phoenician Lodge, and the following month free use of Tuscan Lodge furniture and jewels was granted the new Lodge.

A reminder of the Civil War is noted in the record of the meeting held February 22, 1864, when the application of Major B. F. Watson was presented, desiring to be made a Mason in this Lodge during his furlough from the Army. Acting under the authority «f a dispensation, the applicant was elected, receiving his first two Degrees on February 26, 1864 and the Third Degree the following evening.

On April 29, 1867, it was voted "to confer with the other Bodies of the City to consider the expediency of purchasing a lot of land for the purpose of erecting upon the same at some future time a Masonic Temple." In August of that year the lot of land at the corner of Essex and Lawrence Streets was purchased in the name of the Masonic Bodies of Lawrence. This property was idd until 1871 when it was sold, and steps were taken to secure new and larger quarters for the various Masonic Bodies. These mere provided in what was then known as the Saunder's Block. Tuscan Lodge contributed $3,500.00 to the Masonic Association for the purpose of furnishing and decorating those commodious apartments in addition to supplying its own furniture for a smaller hall. Some of this same furniture may now be seen in the Blue Room of our present Temple. September 12, 1872 exercises of dedication were held in the new Masonic Temple with Most Worshipful Sereno D. Nickerson officiating as Grand Master. These quarters remained the meeting-place of all the Masonic Bodies until the erection of our present Temple. It is worthy to note that in 1879 the Trustees of the Masonic Association were instructed to investigate the possibilities of relocating the Masonic Hall in the new Boston and Lowell Railroad Depot, but the decision was against any such change.

Throughout the years Tuscan Lodge has been generous in its attitude toward all worthy charitable objects coming within the scope of proper use of Lodge Funds. It made substantial contributions to assist the Masonic Brethren needing assistance because of serious disaster, such as the Chicago Fire, Mississippi Floods, California Earthquakes, Chelsea Fire and the several Hurricanes which have struck in recent years. The Lodge and its members have given generously to the War Relief Funds, the Masonic Home, Juniper Hall, and their full quota toward the George Washington Memorial.

Tuscan Lodge voted on November 8, 1915, to join with the other Masonic Bodies of Lawrence in forming a Corporation with the object of raising funds for the erection of a new Masonic Temple. Then came the famous campaign for funds in 1916, followed by a later one in 1921. The active participation in this great undertaking by members of Tuscan Lodge is indicated by the fact that they occupied the position of Chairman of both campaigns, Chairman of the executive committee of the Association, Treasurer of the Fund, Collector; and later Tuscan Lodge supplied two members to the building committee.

On April 29, 1922, with great pomp and ceremony, including a street parade and in the presence of the Grand Officers of all of the Grand Masonic Bodies of the Commonwealth, the cornerstone of the new Temple was laid in place by Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master.

The first meeting at the new Temple was called by Worshipful John N. Anderson, Master of Tuscan Lodge, at 2:30 P.M., Monday, April 16, 1923. After stating the purpose of the meeting, the chairs were vacated in favor of the officers of Grecian Lodge, who opened on the Third Degree, and properly as the oldest Lodge in Lawrence had the honor of receiving Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master, and his suite of officers from Grand Lodge who then dedicated the new Temple "in due and ancient form."

Tuscan Lodge has always taken part in the many civic affairs of the city and suburbs. At the Bi-Centennial of Methuen in 1926 the members of the Lodge paraded with the members of John Hancock Lodge. On October 12, 1962, the Lodge joined with all of the other Masonic groups and marched in the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the "For God and Country" parade, as they did back in 1912.

In April 1927, the Lodge voted in favor of a Lodge of Instruction and combined with the other Lodges in the district to petition Grand Lodge for authority to hold such a Lodge. Permission was granted and a Warrant was issued, dated June 21, 1928, signed by Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, empowering the Lodges in the Eleventh District to form a Lodge, known as the Nineteenth Lodge of Instruction. Right Worshipful Robert K. Disney of Tuscan Lodge was elected the first Master of this Lodge.

On March 3, 1941, the second and third sections of the Third Degree ritual as given in the state of Florida were presented by a distinguished cast of Past Masters of Tuscan Lodge in costume under the direction of Right Worshipful Dean K. Webster. This performance met with great success and has been presented in many Lodges in this area. The Florida Degree is now an institution of Tuscan Lodge and has been presented in Salem, Manchester, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Portland, Bath and Kittery, Maine; Boston, Lynn, Charlestown, Salem and Roxbury, Massachusetts, and in other cities in this Jurisdiction. The Degree Team is now known as the R. W. Dean K. Webster Memorial Degree Team in honor and memory of the man who directed the team for many years, and is in great demand on special occasions.

On October 6, 1941, an original play, written by R.W. Walter L Churchill, Past Master of Tuscan Lodge, called "Hiram the Builder," telling of the origin of Masonry and some of its symbolisms, was presented by a group of past masters and members dt the Lodge to an audience of over three hundred and fifty brethren.

During the War years, Tuscan Lodge has given men to the armed forces who have been a credit to their Lodge and their Country. Records show that Tuscan Lodge members have served in every war from the Civil War to the present "Cold War."

Tuscan members took an active part in the great task of lifting the mortgage from the present Temple, and the Lodge itself gave extra generously so that our beautiful Temple could be debt free.

Tuscan Lodge in its one hundred years of existence has had the following members who served in the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.

  • R. W. Dean K. Webster, Past Senior Grand Warden
  • Wor. Clifton R. Harrison, Past Junior Grand Steward

The following have served as District Deputy Grand Masters:

  • R.W. Lemuel A. Bishop
  • R. W. William Fisher
  • R. W. Dean K. Webster
  • R. W. Robert K. Disney
  • R. W. Walter I. Churchill
  • R. W. Ralph A. Woodcock
  • R. W. Thomas H. Houghton

As we look forward to the future of Tuscan Lodge, in spite of changing times and ideologies, we know that the Masonic Lessons we have learned and taught in the past will bear fruit, and that the second century of Tuscan Lodge will be one of greater success than the first.


EVENTS

CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, FEBRUARY 1864

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, February, 1864, p. 124:

This new Lodge was consecrated by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; its new Hall dedicated, and its officers installed, on Tuesday, Jan. 5. At 4, P. M. the members of the Lodge assembled in their hall, and soon after received the officers of the Grand Lodge in form. The Grand Officers having taken the chairs, the ceremony of consecration was commenced with a voluntary on the organ, followed by prayer and hymn, reading of the Charter, selections from the scriptures and the consecration ceremonies, prayer and closing hymn. At the conclusion of these services the grand officers retired and the two bodies took a recess until half-past 6 o'clock.

On reassembling, soon after 7 o'clock the Grand Lodge again entered the hall and proceeded in the ceremonies of dedication. Brief addresses were made by the Master of Tuscan Lodge, the Architect and the Grand Master. The working tools were presented to the proper officers, the hall examined, and the dedicatory ceremonies then performed by the Grand Master, assisted by his officers.

Several appropriate hymns were sung and prayer was offered by the Grand Chaplain.

At the conclusion of these ceremonies, the officers of the Lodge were regularly installed by the Deputy Grand Master, in a skillful and beautiful manner, and the usual proclamation was made by the Grand Marshal. The new Lodge, the youngest sister in the Order, was then addressed in feeling and appropriate terms of congratulation and commendation by the Grand Master. The singing, accompanied by the music of a fine large organ, was excellent, and the ceremonies of the evening were of a highly interesting character. A number of ladies were present during the ceremonies of the evening.

The Grand Officers present were M. W. William Parkman, Grand Master; R. W. Brothers Dame, Gardner, Moore and McClellan; W. Bros. Stratton, Wheildon and Gay; Rev. Bro. Dadmun, Grand Chaplain p. t.; R. W. Bro. Salmon, District Deputy, and other eminent Masons.

At 10 o'clock, the members of Tuscan Lodge, with their ladies and guests, sat down to a handsome supper at the Franklin House, where a very pleasant occasion was enjoyed by all who were present. The speeches and sentiments of the occasion were uncommonly good.

The new hall of Tuscan Lodge, besides being architecturally beautiful, is tasteful and elegant in its illustrations and adornments. In these respects, in its excellent arrangements and fine organ, it is not excelled by any other hall of its size in the Commonwealth. Upon the walls on the north side (Masonic) are full length representations of Faith, Hope and Charity, in fresco ; and in other pannels the following appropriate scripture lessons:

  • Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. – James I., i., 27.
  • I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known : I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. – Isaiah xlii., 16.

50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, MARCH 1912

From New England Craftsman, Vol. VII, No. 8, May 1912, Page 280:

Tuscan Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Lawrence, Mass., celebrated its 50th anniversary Thursday, March 7th, with the observance of ladies' night. A banquet and concert were followed by dancing. Most Worshipful Grand Master Everett C. Benton was a guest and delivered an address. A history of the lodge was given by William Fisher, senior Past Master.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


DISTRICTS

1863: District 3

1867: District 6 (Newburyport)

1883: District 10 (Lawrence)

1911: District 11 (Lawrence)

1927: District 11 (Lawrence)


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges