- 1 CHARLES A. WELCH LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.5 EVENTS
- 2.6 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.7 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.8 DISTRICTS
- 2.9 LINKS
CHARLES A. WELCH LODGE
Chartered By: Sereno D. Nickerson
Charter Date: 03/12/1873 1873-26
Precedence Date: 03/01/1872
Current Status: Active
- At the granting of the charter of the Lodge: "Selecting its title in honor of the District Deputy Grand Master who presides over the Fourth District, may it grow up in honor and usefulness, to dignify and perpetuate its name." (1873-26)
- Leonard Frost, 1873
- John Hickland, 1874, 1875, 1876
- John Proudman, 1877
- Adelbert Mossman, 1878
- Theodoric Jones, 1879, 1881, 1882, 1887
- John Hillis, 1880
- William Little, 1883
- Thomas Lees, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1888
- Thomas Deane, 1889; SN
- Theron F. Newton, 1890, 1891, 1892
- Frank H. Salisbury, 1892, 1893, 1896; SN
- Sidney B. Shattuck, 1894
- Gustavus V. Bowen, 1895
- Harris A. Clement, 1897, 1898
- Robert W. Carter, 1899, 1900
- Walter B. Currier, 1901
- Ernest Hosmer, 1902, 1903
- Harry H. Whitney, 1904, 1905
- Gavin Taylor, 1906, 1907; SN
- Daniel Goodenw, 1908
- George H. Gutteridge, 1909, 1910; N
- Samuel Lawton, 1911
- Fred L. Chandler, 1912
- Wilder X. Macurda, 1913
- Oswald C. Drechsler, 1914, 1915
- Samuel R. Garland, 1916
- Charles Greenheigh, 1917, 1918
- William Naylor, 1919, 1920
- William H. Johnston, 1921
- Frederick G. Sims, 1922
- Lowell H. Cram, 1923
- Harry E. Burnham, 1924; N
- Charles A. Stockbridge, 1925
- Roderick D. MacIver, 1926
- Bradford M. Parker, 1927
- Wilber Hamlin, 1928
- Everett N. Montague, 1929
- Frank E. Sanderson, 1930
- Frank R. Rowe, 1931
- Gavin A. Taylor, 1932
- Theron A. Lowden, 1933
- Harold A. Merriam, 1934
- Harvey N. Fairbank, 1935
- Edmund S. MacPherson, 1936
- Charles L. Gray, 1937
- Albert A. Tallant, 1938; N
- William K. Walters, 1939
- Elwyn L. Young, 1940
- George H. Gohlke, 1941
- William Henry Soar, 1942, 1943
- Lossie E. Laird, 1944, 1945
- Frederick S. Kennedy, 1946
- Ralph B. Smith, 1947
- Arthur W. Lee, 1948
- E. Clayton Steeves, 1949; N
- E. Everett Putnam, 1950
- Richard F. Deane, 1951
- John E. Manchester, 1952
- William F. Edwards, 1953
- Wentworth Prentiss, 1954
- Earle B. Hoyle, 1955
- Ole Garthe, 1956
- Reed B. Parks, 1957
- Bruce W. Hamblin, 1958
- Winthrop H. Fairbank, 1959
- Alvin R. Piper, 1960; N
- John A. Dingee, 1961
- Clarence E. Wormwood, 1962
- William A. McKelvie, 1963
- Joseph A. Fraser, Jr., 1964
- Toivo J. J. Erkkinen, 1965
- Roger W. Tansey, 1966
- Roy W. Reach, Jr., 1967
- Charles E. Bartlett, Jr, 1968
- Jack Scott, 1969
- Gerald A. Horne, 1970
- Meldon E. Niemi, 1971; N
- Lester L. Fanning, 1972
- Robert H. Cook, 1973
- Raymond F. McCarthy, Jr., 1974
- James R. Branche, 1975
- Edward M. Saari, 1976
- Edward C. Poole, 1977
- William J. Vitkauskis, 1978
- Allan R. Amoling, 1979
- Allen M. Kough, Jr., 1980
- Donald A. Foss, 1981
- Gordon J. Illausky, 1982
- William C. Floyde, 1983
- Edwin E. Sarvela, 1984; PDDGM
- James B. Beauvais, 1985
- John E. Erb, 1986
- Warren P. Garlick, 1987
- George S. Bailey, 1988, 1994, 1995
- Richard A. Ellis, 1989, 2011; DDGM
- Leonard C. Horne, 1990
- Thomas H. Hillery, 1991
- Robert W. Larkin, 1992, 1993
- Michael D. Chautin, 1996
- Frederick L. Elliott, 1997
- Forrest E. Shaw, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004
- Stephen Ziobrowski, 1999, 2000
- David W. Bailey, 2001
- Charles F. Williams, Jr., 2005, 2006
- Christopher J. Belmont, 2007
- Donald F. Boas, 2008, 2009, 2010
- Dean H. Strom, 2012
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1873 (Nickerson; Constitution of Lodge and installation; hall dedication; see below)
- 1898 (Hutchinson; 25th Anniversary)
- 1923 (Ferrell; 50th Anniversary)
- 1940 (Perry; District meeting)
- 1948 (Deputy Grand Master Eugene B. Hamilton; 75th Anniversary)
- 1973 (Vose; 2 visits, including Centenary)
- 1977 (Maxwell)
- 1979 (Melanson)
- 1982 (Berquist)
- 1983 (Berquist)
- 1988 (Ames)
- 1923 (50th Anniversary History, 1923-4; see below)
- 1948 (75th Anniversary History, 1948-47; see below)
- 1973 (Centenary History, 1973-64; see below)
50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1923
From Proceedings, Page 1923-4:
by Rt. Wor. George H. Gutteridge.
We have arrived at our fiftieth milestone, and as I look back over the fifty years that have passed I will endeavor to call to your recollection some of the most important happenings.
While we cannot boast of such names as Paul Revere on our Charter, as our sister Lodge at Concord can, we are proud that our Charter bears the honored names of Sereno Dwight Nickerson, G. M. Percival Lowell Everett, D. G. M. Henry Endicott, S. G. W. Joseph K. Baker, J. G. W. John McClellan, Grand Treas. Charles H. Titus, Rec. Gr. Sec., also that the selection of the name
was made for the Lodge, a name which is synonymous with all that is good and true, a name that was carried through a long life of ninety-six years of usefulness and devotion to the uplifting and betterment of mankind. It is well when a, special anniversary milestone in the march of life is reached to pause and glance back over the past, review its success and its failures, and seek to profit by their lessons for us in the forward march into the future.
Today we meet to celebrate the fifty-first anniversary of the institution of Charles A. Welch Lodge and the fiftieth anniversary of the granting of the Charter. In doing this we also celebrate in a wider sense an added milestone in the progress of the larger institution—Universal Freemasonry. In the year 1872 (one month before the town of Maynard celebrated its first anniversary) there were a number of Masons in Maynard who felt the need of the establishment of a Lodge, and after the usual preliminaries a Dispensation was granted March 1, 1872, by the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts to work.
The first record that we have is that a meeting was held and organized as follows:
- Rev. Leonard P. Frost, W. M.
- Leonard R. Mitchell, S. W.
- James L. Phillips, J. W.
- Wm. Maxwell, Treas.
- Dr. Geo. P. Ramsdell, Sec.
- Charles F. Flint, Chaplain
- Henry Hurst, S.D.
- James M. Green, J.D.
- Hiram Butters, Tyler, who was succeeded at the second meeting by Hugh McGowan as Tyler.
Bro. Green, the Junior Deacon, is still living at South Acton.
No record is made of in what hall or room the first meeting was held, but I am informed that it was held in a room in the house of Bro. Maxwell who lived in the long block known as the Railroad Block opposite the railroad station. We next find they met in Riverside Hall, which they rented for two dollars a night, and the upper hall for lecturing at forty cents a night, both furnished with heat and light.
March 12, 1873, a Charter was granted to James L. Phillips, Geo. P. Ramsdell, Charles F. Flint, Joseph W. Reed, John R. Graham, John Broadman, John Hickland, Eli R. Chase, George Darling and Thomas E. Trampleasure. Of the thirty-eight Brethren who signed the By-Laws of the Lodge during the year 1873 only two are members at the present time, namely, Warren S. Peters and Abel C. Haynes.
The first official visitation to the Lodge was made while under Dispensation, September 5, 1872, by R. W. Charles A. Welch, D. D. G. M. for the Fourth Masonic District. The work of the evening was the Entered Apprentice degree on Bro. John W. Flood.
The first meeting held after the Charter was granted was April 10, 1873, at which time the Grand Lodge was present for the purpose of Constituting the Lodge and Dedicating the Apartments (to use the language of the Grand Lodge Records) "to Freemasonry, to Virtue, and to Universal Benevolence" in accordance with the forms and usage and ritual of the Grand Lodge.
The hall that was dedicated as Masonic Hall is the one at the corner of Summer and Nason Streets formerly known as Darling's Block. Here the Lodge resided until March 1, 1887, then the present block was built by Lorenzo Maynard. I find an item in the records which states that Bro. Hickland is recognized as the first Worshipful Master and was thrice elected. Why they used the word "recognized" I do not understand, unless there was some doubt. (Probably because Worshipful Brother Hickland was the first Master under the Charter, but did not serve during the Dispensation period. He would, therefore, be the first Master, but some might suppose that the Master under Dispensation should be so regarded. — F. W. H.)
October 9, 1890, Bro. Isaiah Hutchins addressed the Lodge in regard to changing the time of our regular meetings from the second Thursday in each month to the Thursday on or before the full of the moon. He stated that the Brethren who lived in the surrounding towns found it very dark a great many times and no doubt stayed away from the Lodge meetings oftener than they would if they could come and go in the moonlight. It was so voted December, 1890, and holds good today, but in looking over the records I find the moon did not help the attendance very much, for then with a membership of one hundred and fourteen their average attendance was thirty, while at the present time with a membership of three hundred and twelve we have an average attendance of sixty.
Bro. Harris A. Clement was Master at the twenty-fifth anniversary and we are happy to say that he is with us today. The membership twenty-five years ago was one hundred and twenty-four. Today it is three hundred and twelve. We have a charity fund to which R. W. Bro. Charles A. Welch has been a heavy contributor. We have held a Masonic Ball nearly every year until the World War, when so many of our Brethren were away, and the proceeds have been added to the charity fund. We received a gift of $1,000 from Bro. Francis C. Welch, son of Charles A. Welch, and after the usual vote of thanks he was made an honorary member. He later made another contribution of $1,000 to the fund on the anniversary of his father's one hundredth birthday.
In 1911 the Lodge presented Bro. L. D. Wilson with a lambskin apron of a Chaplain's design for his long and faithful service of twenty-one years-as Chaplain.
February, 1912, Mrs. Margaret Nelson was admitted to the Masonic Home, where she passed the last eleven years of her life in peace and quiet, and always thanking Charles A. Welch Lodge for the blessing. She passed away only a few days ago. April 13, 1913, we celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the Lodge by entertaining our lady friends. January 8, 1914, Wor. Bro. Harris A. Clement was presented with a Past Master's apron in recognition of the many years' service lecturing candidates.
March 5, 1914, it was voted that members who have paid all dues and assessments to the Lodge for thirty consecutive years shall become life members and shall not be liable for any further payment of dues. We have been constant contributors to the Rainy Day Fund since the start and have doubled our contribution in the last few years. We also were strong for the War Relief and went over the top on the George Washington Memorial.
In 1914 R.W. Bro. Thomas Deane was presented with a Past Master's apron in recognition of his services to the Lodge.
In June, 1915, the new United States flag which the Lodge had purchased was formally presented by Bro. L. D. Wilson and Bro. C. D. Holmes, two veterans of the Grand Army. Bro. Wilson with a few well-chosen remarks formally presented it to the Lodge. Bro. Holmes gave his favorite recitation, "Old Glory," and the flag was passed to the East, where Bro. Drechsler received it and responded with fitting remarks. The Lotus Quartette was present and sang patriotic selections.
In 1915 R.W. Bro. Deane in behalf of the Lodge presented Bro. L. D. Wilson with a large bouquet of chrysanthemums; the occasion being the twenty-sixth time he had been installed Chaplain of this Lodge and this day being his seventy-sixth birthday.
January 4, 1917, a reception was given to R.W. Bro. Gutteridge, the newly appointed District Deputy Grand Master.
In April, 1918, we purchased a Service flag, which was unfurled on June 27, 1918, with twenty-seven stars. A patriotic address was given by Rev. Bro. Luther G. Morris.
October 31, 1918, a Past Master's apron was presented to District Deputy Grand Master Gutteridge, it being his last official visit to his home Lodge, and a gala night was enjoyed by all.
November 13, 1919, a reception was given to the World War Veterans of the Lodge. Out of the twenty-seven, thirteen were present, the rest not having returned from abroad at the time. There were no deaths among our veterans.
We have listened to Wor. Bro. Putnam on two occasions when he addressed us on the subject of the "Morgan Episode," and another evening for the Masonic Service Committee. He also installed our officers one evening at a Public Installation and has endeared himself to all our members.
"We also listened to R.W. Edward C. R. Bagley on "Brotherly Love."
We have been the recipient of notices from the landlord several times that our rent was to be raised, first from $450 to $600, then $900, finally to $1200, which drove us to purchasing the building, and today we are the owners of this Masonic Building, so called, at a figure under $30,000. We are soon to renovate the apartments and will have a fine hall for Lodge use. A corporation was formed to take over the property which is now held by the Maynard Masonic Corporation consisting of every member of the Lodge.
During the fifty years of our existence we have had three District Deputy Grand Masters from our Lodge, namely, R. W. Bro. Frank H. Salisbury, R. W. Bro. Thomas Deane, and R. W. Bro. George H. Gutteridge.
As I close this short history of Charles A. Welch Lodge, I would say that the member who should have written this history, but on account of his modesty or for some other unknown reason would not, was elected Secretary of this Lodge in October, 1887, and held the office thirty-five consecutive years until October, 1922, which is a record to be proud of. All honor to Bro. Lucius H. Maynard!
The members of Charles A. Welch Lodge think that he is entitled to the Henry Price medal, if it is service that is required. The Lodge is undecided whether to present him with a gold watch and chain or a house on Summer Hill.
75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1948
From Proceedings, Page 1948-47:
By Worshipful William Naylor.
As we come to the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of our Lodge, let us recall the principal facts and interesting events which have taken place.
A dispensation was granted March 1, 1872, to establish a Lodge, named for Right Worshipful Charles A. Welch, and March 12, 1873, a charter was granted. April 10, 1873, the Grand Master and his Officers were present to constitute the Lodge and to dedicate the apartments, which were in the building at the corner of Nason and Summer Streets, now called the Eagle's Block.
The first official visitation to the Lodge was made September 5, 1872, by Right Worshipful Charles A. Welch, District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourth Masonic District.
The Lodge moved to the present apartments March 1, 1887.
Brother Francis C. Welch presented the Lodge $1,000.00 in memory of his father, and on the one hundredth anniversary of his father's birth, another $1,000.00 was given.
Communications of the Lodge were held the second Thursday in the month until 1890 when the time was changed to the Thursday on or before the full moon.
In the year 1914, the By-Laws were amended so that a member who had paid dues for thirty consecutive years should become a life member.
Rev. Brother L. P. Frost was Master of the Lodge when under dispensation and Brother John Hickland was the first Master after the Lodge had received its charter. Worshipful Harris Clement was the Master of the Lodge at our twenty-fifth anniversary.
The older members of the Lodge will recall with affection the name of Brother L. D. Wilson, Chaplain of the Lodge for nearly thirty years, and Maynard Chapter Order of DeMolay bears his name.
The fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge was held Saturday, March 10, 1923. The Lodge was opened at 3:30 p.m. with Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell and fourteen officers of the Grand Lodge present. The Most Worshipful Grand Master delivered an address, and Right Worshipful George H. Gut-teridge presented the history of the Lodge. The Lotus Quartet furnished music for the three hundred members and guests. The anniversary program closed with a dinner served at Colonial Hall and followed by a musical entertainment. Sunday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m., the Lodge attended Divine Services held in the Congregational Church. The sermon was delivered by Rev. Brother Charles L. Pierce, and prayers were offered by Rev. Brother D. M. Angell and Rev. Brother Alfred E. Wheeler. At a later meeting of the Lodge, it was voted that the history and the sermon be printed and distributed to the members. The officers of Charles A. Welch Lodge at the fiftieth anniversary were:
- Lowell H. Cram, Worshipful Master
- Harry E. Burnham, Senior Warden
- Charles A. Stockbridge, Junior Warden
- Gavin Taylor, Treasurer
- William H. Johnston, Secretary
- L. Everett Wilson, Chaplain
- William Naylor, Marshal
- Roderick D. MacIver, Senior Deacon
- Bradford M. Parker, Junior Deacon
- Wilber Hamlin, Senior Steward
- Everett N. Montacue, Junior Steward
- Frank E. Sanderson, Sentinel
- Herbert Lawton, Organist
- Richard Allan, Tyler
The Committee for the fiftieth anniversary consisted of: R.W. Thomas Deane, R.W. Gavin Taylor, R.W. George H. Gutteridge, Worshipful Brothers W. B. Currier, Robert W. Carter, O. C. Drochsler, Harry Whitney, William Naylor, Frederick G. Sims and Harry E. Burnham, and Brothers George E. Lawton, L. Everett Wilson, Charles A. Stockbridge and L. H. Maynard. Seven of this committee are living at present.
While new By-Laws were adopted in 1925, only a few major changes were made— the time set for the annual communication was the second Thursday in September; the regular monthly communication the third Thursday of each month; the number of years for life membership was changed from thirty to forty; and a member could become a life member by paying $100.00.
In 1945 the By-Laws were amended so that any member who had paid his dues in Charles A. Welch Lodge for twenty years or more could become a life member by paying five times the difference between forty and the number of years he had paid his dues less $5.00. This provision in the By-Laws was made so any of the Brothers might avail themselves of life membership in the years when they were financially able.
The record of membership through the years is very interesting: At the twenty-fifth anniversary in 1898 there were 124 members; at the fiftieth in 1923 there were 312; in the year 1930 there were 348; in 1942 there were only 251 members. Of these, fifty-eight were life members, leaving 193 paying dues. At the present time there are 312 members, the name number as twenty-five years ago. Of these, forty are life members by the thirty year limit; fifteen are life members by having paid $100.00.
The Treasurer's report shows a balance of $14,340.52 October 1, 1923, and this was increased to $17,377.35 in 1926.
During the year 1926 an extensive program to renovate the lodge apartments was carried out. A new carpet was laid in the lodge-room, new rugs for the preparation rooms, linoleum was laid on the side platforms, and the anti-room and hallways, together with the East, was entirely renewed. The expense to the Lodge was more than $2,000.00. The painting was done by the Masonic Corporation.
September 1, 1926, the Treasurer's report showed a balance of $15,902.76; in 1930 there was $17,795.18; in 1940 the balance had been reduced to $15,473.02, but September 1, 1947 there was a balance of $21,158.35. Of this amount, $19,000.00 is invested in a mortgage of the Maynard Masonic Corporation at 3% interest.
There have been five District Deputy Grand Masters from this Lodge — Right Worshipful Brothers Frank H. Salisbury, Thomas Deane, George H. Gutteridge, Gavin Taylor and Harry E. Burnham.
Right Worshipful Gavin Taylor served the Lodge as Treasurer for many years until 1938, when Worshipful Harold A. Merriman was elected to the office and is Treasurer at this time. Brother Taylor was presented a Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his service to the Lodge.
Brother L. H. Maynard was Secretary of Charles A. Welch Lodge for thirty-five years, but declined the office in 1922. At a later meeting, Brother Maynard was presented with a gift from the Lodge. Worshipful William H. Johnston served as Secretary for one year, and Brother George H. Merrick served for three years; Brother Merton F. Merrick was Secretary from 1926 to 1940, when Worshipful Albert A. Tallant was elected and is still serving in that capacity.
We are indebted to Brother George H. Merrick for a new card system for keeping the record of the members, which he put into effect and presented to the Lodge in 1924. When the new By-Laws were adopted, he had them engrossed in a book and presented it to the Lodge September 10, 1925. On September 8, 1927, he presented the Lodge with new pedestals for the East, West and South.
Mention has been made of the gifts to this Lodge by the family of Charles A. Welch, for whom the Lodge is named. In addition, the Lodge received another gift of $125 from the family during the year 1940, the 125th anniversary of his birth.
The name of Charles A. Welch appears again when this Lodge accepted an invitation from Philanthropic Lodge of Marblehead to visit their Lodge February 17, 1942, and assist in the work of the evening. A large delegation of our officers and members went by bus and the officers of Charles A. Welch Lodge raised the candidate, Charles A. Welch, to the sublime degree of Master Mason. He was a grandson of our Charles A. Welch, and applied for membership in our Lodge on March 18, 1943, was elected to membership April 15, 1943, but passed away January 2, 1945.
Our Honorary Members are: Right Worshipful Frederic L. Putnam, who was Grand Lecturer when the members of this Lodge became acquainted with him. He has spoken at our Lodge meetings several times besides installing our officers four years. Feeling that Brother Putnam had done our Lodge a great service, he was made an Honorary Member January 8, 1925.
Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson was made an Honorary Member October 20, 1939. M. W. Brother Johnson installed the officers in 1939 and some of our members had worked with him in the Order of DeMolay and were acquainted with him in the Grand Lodge.
Right Worshipful E. Sohier Welch was voted an Honorary Member January 18, 1940. He is a grandson of Charles A. Welch, for whom this Lodge is named. Brother Welch has been a frequent visitor to our Lodge and has given us the life story of his grandfather and presented the Lodge with pictures of him at different ages.
Right Worshipful Warren B. Goddard has attended our meetings regularly for several years and has been ready to help in any way to make the Lodge a success. A great many of the officers of our Lodge were pupils in the Concord High School when Brother Goddard was a teacher there. Right Worshipful Brother Goddard was made an Honorary Member of Charles A. Welch Lodge April 18, 1947.
A monument, the gift of Brother Henry Cropper, was erected on the Masonic lot in Glenwood Cemetery in Maynard in 1925.
An historical cane was presented to the Lodge in the year 1925.
In 1926 the Order of DeMolay for boys and the Order of Rainbow for Girls were sponsored by the Lodge.
In 1929 Worshipful William Naylor was the first member to become a life member by the payment of $100.00. Brother Harold White became a life member in 1933, and Worshipful William K. Walters in 1935. At the present time there are fifteen who have become life members by the payment of this amount. In 1930 the Anchor and Ark Glee Club was organized by Right Worshipful Gavin Taylor and this Club has furnished music many times during the work in our Lodge as well as in other Lodges, in addition to winning many contests.
The Grand piano was bought in 1931, and the Lodge took over the Lions Paw Club rooms in 1932.
Brother Warren S. Peters, the last of our charter members, passed away October 9, 1934.
In 1934, it was voted that the Treasurer and Secretary should be bonded.
The first guest sent to the Masonic Home by our Lodge was Mrs. Margaret Nelson. Later, Brother John McPhail entered the Home, and at the present time, Rev. Brother Preston R. Crowell is a resident there.
Brother Philip Chin spent his last days in the Masonic Hospital in Shrewsbury, and at the present time, Miss Alice Denniston, daughter of Brother John Denniston, is a resident there.
The Joseph Warren Medal was presented to Worshipful William Naylor in 1940, in recognition of his services as manager of the Masonic building since the Lodge bought it.
In 1945 the Joseph Warren Medal was presented to Worshipful Albert A. Tallant, in recognition of his great help to the Masters and various officers of the Lodge for many years.
Twenty-seven of our members served in the Armed Forces in World War I and thirty-six served in World War II.
A history of Charles A. Welch Lodge would not be complete unless mention was made of the loyal band of Past Masters of the Lodge. It is not uncommon to see ten or twelve Past Masters at a regular communication of the Lodge, all of whom are ever ready to assist in any way in the work. Particular mention should be made of Right Worshipful Brothers Gavin Taylor and George H. Gutteridge and Worshipful Wilber Hamlin. The former has installed the officers of the Lodge five times during the last twenty-five years, several of which have been public installations. He has been called upon many times to deliver his Past Master's charge, and Right Worshipful Brother Gutteridge has also been called upon many times to deliver his Past Master's charge, which is always enjoyed by the members.
Worshipful Brother Hamlin's explanation of the apron and his answer to the Installing Master's question, "What is a Mason" as he takes his place as Tyler, is always received with pleasure.
The most outstanding venture the Lodge has ever undertaken is the purchase of the property including the building in which the Lodge apartments are located. As the owner of the building was about to sell the property, the members of the Lodge were sure that a new owner would ask more rent than we had been paying and decided to purchase the property. The Lodge voted to make the purchase January 12, 1922, and on July 1st, we took possession.
To administer this property, the Lodge formed a corporation consisting of all the members of the Lodge. The officers of the corporation are elected at an annual meeting and consist of seven trustees, a treasurer and a secretary. The corporation is called The Maynard Masonic Corporation.
The total cost of the property, including surveys and legal expenses, was $30,000.00. The Lodge loan was $12,000.00 and the remaining $18,000.00 was given on a mortgage. The Lodge holds notes of $19,000.00 and there is a mortgage note of $4,000.00 held by one of the members of the Lodge. A considerable amount of repairing has been required, and in 1926 when the lodge apartments were renovated, the corporation spent about $3,000.00 in making repairs.
During the last few years little progress has been made in reducing the debt, but we would surely be obliged to pay much more rent if we did not own the property. The Lodge pays the corporation $900.00 rent per year for the apartments on the third floor and the Club rooms on the second floor. The corporation pays the Lodge three per cent per annum on the $19,000.00 note.
We have recorded the visible events of the past years of Charles A. Welch Lodge and we are sure that our efforts to teach the lessons of Masonry to the many candidates we have had have not been in vain. We look forward with hope for the years which are ahead.
CENTENARY HISTORY, MARCH 1973
From Proceedings, Page 1973-64:
From 1948 to 1973
By Worshipful Richard F. Deane.
(For a more detailed history of Charles A. Welch Lodge covering the earlier periods, please refer to: 1923 Mass. 4-11; 1948 Mass. 46-53) As we report on these last twenty-five years at this 100th year of Charles A. Welch Lodge, A. F. & A. M., it might be well to give a short statement of what has been so ably recorded by Rt. Wor. George H. Gutteridge and Wor. William Naylor. The works of these two brothers will prove to be interesting reading particularly to Masons.
Our Lodge received a dispensation on March 1, 1872, and was chartered on March 12, 1873. On September 5, 1872, Rt. Wor. Charles A. Welch held the first official visitation for the 4th Masonic District. On April 10, 1873, M. W. Sereno Dwight Nickerson, Grand Master, and his Grand Lodge Officers constituted and dedicated the Lodge. The Lodge was located at the corner of Nason and Summer Streets, known then as the Darling Block and now as the Eagles Block. The move to this present location was made on March 1, 1887.
While under dispensation the Lodge initially met in the Railroad Block at the home of Bro. William Maxwell. Larger quarters being necessary, the Lodge was relocated in Riverside Hall where Gruber Brothers Furniture Store is now located. Here the rent was two dollars (^2.00) per night for the main hall where meetings were held plus an additional forty cents ($0.40) for the upper hall which was used for lecturing. Until December 1890 the Lodge met on the second Thursday of the month at which time the meeting night was changed to the Thursday on or before the full moon. It was hoped that the moonlight would make travel easier and thus increase attendance.
In 1925 the By-laws were again changed and the meeting night became the third Thursday. Finally, in 1963, the meeting night became the third Wednesday.
Rev. Bro. Leonard P. Frost served as our first Master while under dispensation. He was followed by Wor. John Hickland who served as the first Master after the charter was granted. Wor. Harris Clement was Master during the 25th anniversary celebration in 1898. Wor. Lowell H. Cram was Master during the 50th year, and Wor. Arthur Lee during the 75th anniversary. Wor. Robert H. Cook is serving during this Centennial Celebration. During the first 25 years the membership grew from 38 charter members to 125 members. In the next 25 years membership increased to 312. At the 75th anniversary, the membership stood at 320. The current membership now totals 360.
The Lodge purchased the building which is its present home on January 12, 1922. It is interesting to note that rental increases from $450.00 to $1200.00 were instrumental in the initial move to this building. 1 he fear of increases from a new owner when the Maynard family decided to sell helped prompt the decision to buy, The Masonic Corporation, formed to administer the property, consists of every member of Charles A. Welch Lodge and is organized as follows: Seven Trustees, one Clerk and Assistant Treasurer, and one Treasurer, all of whom are elected and appointed at the annual meeting.
In the past 25 years, three brothers from this Lodge have distinguished themselves as representatives of Grand Lodge for the Marlborough 24th Masonic District. Rt. Wor. E. Clayton Steeves, our current Secretary, was appointed D. D. G. M. in 1959 by the then M. W. Andrew G. Jenkins, Grand Master. Rt. Wor. Steeves was also Master at the beginning of these last 25 years. Rt. Wor. Albert A. Tallant was appointed D.D.G.M. in 1949 after having served as Master in 1938. Our third D. D. G. M. during these years was Rt. Wor. Alvin R. Piper, who was Master in 1960 and served the district from December 1970 through 1972.
During this period in our history, the membership had grown at a desirable rate with a peak of 462 members in 1963. This, of course, created an enormous demand upon the time and energy of the brothers serving in line as officers, and they met the challenge with great devotion. Several changes in the By-laws have been made during this period. In 1950 one of the most important changes was that any member serving in the line who went into the Armed Forces would be restored to his position when discharged. In 1960 it became necessary to raise dues. Fortunately, the increase was not heavily felt as members had been paying additional assessments for several years. And, in 1963 as has already been mentioned, the meeting night was changed to the third Wednesday.
The 1000th regular communication occurred in 1966 while Wor. Roger W. Tansey was Master. Rt. Wor. Robert P. Beach, Senior Grand Warden, and his distinguished Suite were present to pay the Lodge a fraternal visit. Wor. Francis C. Welch was also among those present, and he presented the Lodge a picture of his great-grandfather, M. W. Charles A. Welch, Past Grand Master.
1968 was a sad year for the Lodge. Our Secretary who for twenty-eight years devotedly served the Lodge, resigned under orders of his doctor. Shortly thereafter, Rt. Wor. Albert Addison Tallant was called by the Great Architect to serve in the Celestial Lodge above. This 100th Anniversary is dedicated to Rt. Wor. Albert Addison Tallant, Past District Deputy Grand Master of the Marlborough 24th Masonic District. The imprint of this outstanding Mason is still fresh in the memory of members of Charles A. Welch Lodge. The work he did, the attitudes he held and the time he gave is the bridge between a distinguished history and a glorious future.
In 1969 we proudly remember that M.W. Herbert H. Jaynes, Grand Master, appointed Wor. William K. Walters to the position of Junior Grand Steward. At this time also, Rt. Wor. E. Clayton Steeves was appointed general chairman of the anniversary committee. He in turn appointed several brothers to work with him:
- Rt. Wor. Alvin R. Piper, Coordinator;
- Wor. Meldon E. Niemi, Chairman - Church Service;
- Bro. Edward M. Saari, Chairman - Ladies Night;
- Wor. William K. Walters, Historical Cane Presentation;
- Wor. Richard F. Deane, Historian; and
- Wor. Toivo J. J. Erkinnen, Finance.
The completed program for the 100th Anniversary was:
- Sunday, March 18, 1973: Worship Service
- 3:30 p.m. Sudbury Methodist Church
- Rev. Blaine F. Taylor, Officiating
- Sermon Title: "The Whole Leavened"
- Wednesday, March 21, 1973: Anniversary Meeting
- 6:30 p.m. Banquet, Elks Hall, Mavnard
- 8:00 p.m. Reception of M. W. Donald W. Vose, Grand Master
- Saturday, March 24, 1973: Ladies Night
- 6:00 p.m. Social Hour, Elks Hall, Mavnard
- 7:30 p.m. Banquet, followed by Dancing
Special music for the Worship Service and Anniversary Meeting was furnished by the reactivated Anchor and Ark Glee Club directed by Bro. Edwin Carlton, Jr.
At a special meeting in April, 1971, while Wor. Meldon E. Niemi was Master, the Lodge had the pleasure of observing and participating in a "Finn Night". The work of the evening was performed by a degree team composed of Finnish brethren from throughout the state. Wor. Armas Laine, Past Master of Charles W. Moore Lodge in Fitchburg, and Wor. Meldon E. Niemi conducted a brief ceremony making each non-Finnish brother present an "Honorary Suomalainen", and each brother received a special certificate so stating.
In June of the same year, members and their families enjoyed a picnic at the Masonic Home in Charlton where the Mavnard Community Band played a fine concert for all those present. On July 4th, under a special dispensation from Grand Lodge, Charles A. Welch Lodge took part in the parade celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the Town of Mavnard.
To bring this 100th Anniversary narrative to the current year We arc reminded of the third point of Rev. Bro. Taylor's sermon given at the Worship Service on March 18, 1973, entitled, "The Whole Leavened". "We should not take ourselves too seriously." An attempt was made this year to involve the ladies of Masonry, that group of dedicated wives and widows who work behind the scenes. Palestine Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star of Newtonville, Mass., presented a Pink Lodge entitled, "When Masons Meet." There was more truth than poetry in their presentation.
We would also refer to an article by James B. Farrell in the Assabet Valley Beacon, on Thursday, February 22, 1973, in musings of the Maynard Historical Society: "I must conclude my monogram with the following true story. Pete Kivlecan, a well known citizen and prominent bar tender of Scotch Irish descent, attempted to obtain membership in the Masonic order. He was quietly told that he was not eligible for membership and was gently ushered from the hall. Greatly embarrassed and perturbed, 'Pete' deliberately set sail for Ireland and in a few weeks returned fortified with his Master Mason's credentials. He could hardly wait for the regular monthly meeting of the Masons. He proudly and defiantly produced his credentials and had no trouble in gaining admittance. During the course of the meeting 'Pete' was asked to tell about his trip. He replied, "Never mind the trip, I came down here tonight to tell you that the male members of my family have been Masons for years, many years before Maynard was founded. You wouldn't take me in so I went back home and became a Mason in our family Lodge. 1 came down here tonight to tell you all this and also to tell you, you can all go to Hell."— This incident was told to me by a Mason and I don't mean a bricklayer."
There are times when we have taken ourselves too seriously, but thankfully not too often. Masonry in Maynard has changed with the years without compromising the principles of friendship and brotherly love; and hopefully as we look to the future it will continue to change and keep abreast of the needs of its members, brethren, and friends.
In closing this attempt to narrate what has happened to Charles A. Welch Lodge through 100 years of growth, let us remember that the dedicated and devoted cooperation of the members has been the reason for the proud place the Lodge holds in the hearts and beings of the members and the community. We have honored our brothers for their devoted service through awards, but we should also remember those many brothers who have served by traveling through the line towards the exalted position of Master. By this continued devotion Charles A. Welch Lodge has grown through the years. May it continue to grow in the future.
A man who by His own decision
Asks His Creator to direct Him
Forward on His Journey through life
With Friendship, Brotherly Love,
And Charity to All.
Through the years members and friends have remembered the Lodge through gifts and bequests.
- Charity Fund in Memory of Rt. Wor. George Henry Gutteridge
- Bequest to retire mortgage in Memory of Wor. Wilber Hamlin
- Gift from Wilkinson Crossley in Memory of his father, Bro. Robert Crossley
- Gift of New England Telephone and Telegraph Stock by Wor. William Naylor
- Bequest to Lodge in Memory of Bro. Harold White
CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, APRIL 1873
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXXII, No. 5, May 1873, Page 143:
The above Lodge bears the name of an estimable brother, the Deputy Grand Master for the District in which it is located, and starts off with a fair promise of rivaling the best of its sister Lodges in the county. It is composed almost wholly of young men, and when it is said that the petition for its charter bears the names of eleven brethren only, and that during the year it has been working under its dispensation it has admitted twenty-seven candidates, and built and richly furnished one of the most tasteful and inviting halls in the interior of the State, little more need be added in evidence of the zeal, enterprise and liberality of its founders. It was regularly constituted by Grand Master Nickerson on the 10th of April last, when its hall was dedicated and its officers installed. The Grand Officers present were, the Grand Master; D. G. M.; S. G. W.; Parkman as J. G. W.; P. G. M. Lewis, and Bros. Moore; W. W. Wheildon; R. M. Field; Titus; Chessman and others.
The ceremonies were all conducted in private and to much greater advantage and acceptance to the brethren than could have been done in the presence of a mixed assemblage. At the conclusion of them, G. M. Nickerson delivered one of his most happy and effective addresses to the brethren of the new Lodge, when the Grand Lodge retired, and soon after met the brethren at the dinner table in the excellent hotel kept by Bro. Wm. F. Wood. The dining room was beautifully dressed with flowers and trailing vines, and the tables were literally loaded with the best the market afforded. Among the visitors present was Bro. Ebenezer Wood, an initiate of Corinthian Lodge, Concord, Mass., aged 81 years, having been a Mason 54 years. Short speeches were made at the table by several of the brethren; at the conclusion of which the Grand Lodge took the cars for Boston. The officers of the Lodge are:
- Joseph W. Reed, Master.
- Jas. L. Phillips, S. W.
- John Hickland, J. W.
- Eli B. Chase, Treas.
- T. E. Trampleasure, Sec.
- John B. Graham and John Proudman, Deacons.
We have not the names of the other officers.
INSTALLATION, MARCH 1878
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. II, No. 1, April 1878, Page 29:
At a special communication of Charles A. Welch Lodge, holden the 28th of March, the officers of the Lodge for the ensuing year were installed by R. W. Bro. Edward C. Damon, of Concord, as follows:
- Bro. Adelbert M. Mossman, W. M.
- Bro. Theodoric A. Jones, S. W.
- Bro. Victor E. Haserick, J. W.
- Bro. Eli R. Chase, Treas.
- Bro. William H. Maynard, Sect.
- Bro. Hamlet C. Hayden, Chaplain.
- Bro. Theron F. Newton, Marshal.
- Bro. Sidney B. Shattuck, S. D.
- Bro. Henry M. Hemenway, J. D.
- Bro. John W. Wood, S. S.
- Bro. William Little, J. S.
- Bro. Julius Loewe, I. S.
- Bro. James Nelson, Tyler.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Harry E. Burnham, DDGM, District 24 (Marlborough), 1939, 1940; N
- Thomas Deane, DDGM, District 21 (Framingham), 1908, 1909; SN
- Richard A. Ellis, DDGM, District 15 (North), 2015, 2016
- George H. Gutteridge, DDGM, District 24 (Marlborough), 1917, 1918; N
- Meldon E. Niemi, DDGM, District 24 (Marlborough), 1978, 1979; Deputy Grand Master 1983; N
- Samuel J. Newland, DDGM, District 15 (North), 2021; Junior Grand Deacon 2016
- Alvin R. Piper, DDGM, District 24 (Marlborough), 1971, 1972; N
- Frank H. Salisbury, DDGM, District 21 (Framingham), 1898, 1899; SN
- Edwin E. Sarvela, 1990, 1991; deceased
- E. Clayton Steeves, DDGM, District 24 (Marlborough), 1959, 1960, 1961; N
- Albert A. Tallant, DDGM, District 24 (Marlborough), 1949, 1950; N
- Gavin Taylor, DDGM, District 24 (Marlborough), 1929, 1930; SN
- Edward S. Welch, Memorial