- 1 ARLINGTON
- 1.1 LODGES
- 1.2 BUILDINGS
- 1.3 HISTORY
- 1.3.1 HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY IN ARLINGTON, NOVEMBER 1924
- 1.3.2 MEETING PLACES OF THE FREEMASONS OF ARLINGTON, SEPTEMBER 1925
- 1.4 LINKS
- Freedom Lodge, from 1971 to its merger with Moses Michael Hays Lodge in 1999.
- Hiram Lodge, from 1843 to its merger with John Abbot-Samuel Crocker Lawrence Lodge in 2004.
- John Abbot-Samuel Crocker Lawrence Lodge, from 2001 to its merger into Mystic Valley Lodge in 2004.
- Mystic Valley Lodge, from 2004 to the present.
- Russell Lodge, from 1922 to its merger into Mystic Valley Lodge in 2004.
- 11/22/1924: 1924-410; Corner-stone laying, at a Special Communication.
- 09/22/1925: 1925-258; Hall dedication, at a Special Communication.
HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY IN ARLINGTON, NOVEMBER 1924
Address at the corner stone laying of the Masonic Temple in Arlington. From Proceedings, Page 1924-414:
In the year 1797 some residents of Lexington, Massachusetts, having recently received the degrees in Freemasonry in King Solomon's Lodge, of Charlestown, resolved to apply for a Charter for a Lodge in Lexington. This resolve might be traced to the fact that a Lodge (Corinthian) had, June, been Chartered in Concord, and the Brethren in Lexington considered that their town was worthy of a Lodge. These men were mostly of those who had fought in the war of the Revolution; William Munroe having been sergeant of the company which assembled on "Lexington Green" on April 19, 1775, and Jonathan Harrington, Junior — the first Secretary — was the youngest in line on that eventful day in American history.
In regular December Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, Paul Revere, Grand Master, presiding, a Charter was granted to Hiram Lodge of Lexington naming William Munroe as its first Master. The Lodge met in the Munroe Tavern (of which Munroe was owner) and remained there until the Lodge ceased its meetings (about 1829-1830).
The first meetings were held in the northeast chamber on the second floor until an addition was built on the west side for accommodation of the Lodge.
The Munroe Tavern is still standing and now owned and occupied by a historical society. During the life of the Lodge in Lexington one hundred and ninety-three petitions for degrees and affiliations were received and seventy-two received membership. The applicants mainly came from Lexington, Menotomy, Waltham, with scattering ones from Bedford, Carlisle, and other towns. The jurisdiction granted Hiram Lodge then covered the towns of Lexington, Menotomy, and south to Natick; north to Woburn.
William Munroe, the first Master, was born in Lexington, October 28, 1742, and died in Lexington, October 30, 1827. He was made an honorary member June 26, 1817. Jonathan Harrington, Junior, was born in Lexington, July 8, 1758, and died there March 27, 1854. He was accorded a great funeral service which, as lie was the last survivor of the battle of Lexington, attracted much attention, and which was performed by Hiram Lodge. The Most Worshipful Grand Master George M. Randall, took part in the ceremony and the entire Grand Lodge attended, as did all the officials of the Commonwealth, from the Governor down. The military was represented by the Acton Guards, who fired a volley over the grave.
About 1829, after the inauguration of Andrew Jackson as President of the United States, a movement was started by politicians who formed an "Anti-Masonic Party," the design being to drive Freemasonry from public life, and they asserted that Masons were enemies to the welfare of the country.
The anti-Masons were very bitter against Jackson, who had been Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee, and agitated to such an extent that Masonic Meetings were mobbed and it became difficult for Masons to assemble. In the strife friends became enemies and many families were estranged. Hiram Lodge ceased its meetings, but the Brethren met occasionally on the hill back of the tavern and corresponded as convenient. They kept the fires of Masonry burning, however, and the Charter was not surrendered. In 1843 the Brethren requested the Worshipful Master, James Russell, of West Cambridge, to convene the Lodge and a meeting was held in a hall at East Lexington village and the Grand Lodge was petitioned for leave to remove the Lodge to West Cambridge. This request had been made previously (when the Lodge was sitting), but had been refused. In December, 1843, the request was granted and removal at once was made, the Lodge occupying a hall over the bakeshop formerly run by a Mr. Cotting, but at this time by Mr. Jesse P. Pattee, who for a time gave the Lodge the hall, rent free. Jesse P. Pattee was initiated in Fobruary, 1844, and subsequently became very active, serving as Master and becoming a Warden in the Grand Lodge. He deceased in 1863. This meeting place was on the site now occupied by the Bobbins Memorial Town Hall and was razed to make room for that building. The last meeting of the Lodge, to be held here was on January 7, 1864. On January 21, 1864, the Lodge opened its meetings in Russell Hall, occupying the two top floors of the (then) large square building now numbered 453 Massachusetts Avenue, corner of Medford Street.
Here the greatest activity in the history of the Lodge prevailed for sixty years; January 21, 1864, to March 6, 1924. Here fourteen hundred petitions for degrees or membership were received. Here eleven hundred and twenty-six received membership in Hiram Lodge. This building was, on Thursday, March 20, 1924, so badly damaged by fire as to be of no further use as Masonic quarters, and since then the Lodges of Arlington have been holding their meetings in Masonic Temple, Cambridge, although Hiram Lodge has met a few times in Sagamore Masonic Apartments in West Medford.
The name of West Cambridge (which had been changed from Menotomy in 1807) was changed to Arlington on June 1, 1867.
On June 12, 1866, Menotomy Royal Arch Chapter was Constituted in the town and occupied Masonic Hall with Hiram Lodge. The last meeting held there was by the Chapter, Tuesday, March 18, 1924. The last meeting by Hiram Lodge was Thursday, March 6, 1924. A meeting of Hiram Lodge had been called for March 20 for work on the Second and Third Degrees (1726th Communication) but at the hour called for the meeting the building had been gutted inside the walls from cellar to roof by fire and filled with water. The building was the oldest structure in the town used in a public way; of wood, well built and strong, but had become insufficient for the use of a body the size of Hiram Lodge.
It might in a degree be invidious to mention names in this short resume, but names and events associated with the old building and among old and dear associates compel the mentioning of Rt. Wor. Bro. George W. Storer, who was for many years a very active and zealous member and whose connection with the Lodge was fruitful in many ways. He was very active in arranging plans and managing the centennial observance. Wor. Bro. William H. Pattee, who was Master in 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1865, lived a long Masonic life. He was Initiated April 13, 1854, and was a very active and generous Brother in the Lodge until his decease May 5, 1917. He, in the last years of his life, was affectionately known as "father of the permanent fund which his activity started many years ago and which made possible the laying of the corner-stone of the Arlington Masonic Temple. He was active with us for sixty-three years. Up to this time the lives of two members join the start of the Lodge to the present Jonathan Harrington, Jr., and William H. Pattee. Some younger Brother who has come in in recent years will extend the time so that in the years to come we may look back to a close connection with the Charter members and founders of the Lodge and Masonry in this vicinity.
Owing to the very large increase of members in Hiram Lodge, following the World War, it was deemed advisable to form another Lodge in Arlington, and on September 7, 1921, a motion was offered iii Hiram Lodge to appoint a committee to proceed in the premises. The result was a Charter to Russell Lodge, and Edward T. Erickson, Junior Past Master of Hiram Lodge, was named as the first Master. Until Masonic Hall was destroyed Hiram Lodge extended to the now Lodge tlio free use of its apartments and regalia, etc.
The now Lodge was named in honor of James Russell, Esq., who was a century ago the Master, of Hiram Lodge. He was born in Somerville (then Charlestown), January 14, 1788; Harvard graduate 1811; school committeeman; Selectman; State Senator; Master of Hiram Lodge, 1818 to 1820 and 1829 to 1843; D.D. Grand Master, 1821 and 1822. He signed the Masonic Declaration of 1831; a brave deed. He preserved the Charter of his Lodge. Beloved, honored, respected. On the Records of the Town may be seen his letter to the citizens when requested to preside over a meeting in 1861, when Civil War broke out; "The Government must be maintained." He died in West Cambridge, December 9, 1863. The Permanent Eund, or Building Fund, of Hiram Lodge, accrued from fractions of yearly dues and degree fees, and from donations, has run up to $22,597.95 and this has been voted toward the cost of the building. Contributions from Brethren already amount to over $48,000.00; no stock or bonds have been given, the Brothers having voluntarily contributed and several thousands more are pledged and will be paid toward the construction and furnishing of the Temple. A few years ago Hiram Lodge bought a piece of land on Academy Street, formerly occupied by the Cotting Academy and later called the Arlington High School, which was destroyed by lire after being vacated. The lot contains 23,290 square feet and on it the Temple is being erected. The cost ($4,000.00) was taken from the amount in the permanent fund. The land is considered today as worth very much more. The cost to us was very low.
The Temple (now owned by Hiram Lodge, Russell Lodge, and Menotomy Royal Arch Chapter) will be managed by the Arlington Masonic Temple Association, of which Bro. Warren A. Peirce — long a very prominent and very active citizen of Arlington — is president. Bro. Peirce has during the past four years given much of his time to the project of raising money and perfecting plans. The Directors of the Association are: Charles A. Alden, W. Stuart Allen, William T. Beattie, Wilson D. Clark, Jr., Frederick W. Damon (Treasurer), Eben F. Dewing, Edward T. Erickson, Val T. Hanson, George Hill, Frank H. Hubbard, Edward N. Lacey, M. Ernest Moore, Warren A. Peirce (President), Edward L. Shinn, Frank H. Walker.
The corner-stone will be laid by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Dudley H. Ferrell, assisted by his officers of the Grand Lodge.
Tho committee having in charge preparations for the laying of the corner-stone are Wor. Bro. Edward T. Erickson, chairman, and the three first officers of each Masonic body in Arlington: Hiram Lodge, A. F. and A. M., Russell Lodge., A. F. and A. M., and Menotomy Royal Arch Chapter.
On November 23, at eight P.M., Worshipful Brother Erickson, Worshipful Brother F. Alfred Patterson, Worshipful Brother Roger P. Eaton, and Brother Oman E. Bennett, Excellent High Priest of Menotomy Royal Arch Chapter, will assemble and select the articles to be placed in the box which will tomorrow be laid in the cornerstone of the Arlington Masonic Temple. Bro. William E. Bunton, Master-elect of Hiram Lodge, will seal the box, and until this is read by you, Brother, it will never see the light. Now that you have brought it to light, may it servo some good purpose.
MEETING PLACES OF THE FREEMASONS OF ARLINGTON, SEPTEMBER 1925
Address at the dedication of the Masonic Temple in Arlington. From Proceedings, Page 1925-260:
By Worshipful Ernest Hasseltine.
The Arlington Masonic Temple was started, in embryo, one hundred and twenty-eight years ago, when, on September 7. 1797. ten Freemasons met in the Munroe Tavern in Lexington and petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts for a Charter.
The first page of Volume I. of the Records of Hiram Lodge reads:
Proceedings of the Brethren residing in Lexington, desirous of obtaining a Charter for balding a regular Lodge In said Town, at the Home of Brother William Munroe, on Thursday evening) Sept. 7, A. L. 5797.
- Bro. William Munroe was chosen Moderator.
- Bro. Darius Shaw, chosen Secretary.
- Voted, That a Petition be presented to the Grand Lodge for a Charter.
- Voted, That Brs. Shaw, Brown and Jonas Bridge, be a Com mittee to Draught a Petition for the Purpose,
- Voted, That the name of the Lodge be Hiram.
- Voted, To ballot for a Master this Evening, and Br. Wm. Munroe was chosen.
At this meeting wore present: Bin. Wm. Monroe, David Fisk, Levi Mead, Jonathan Bridge, Jonas Bridge, Joseph Smith Jnr, Abijah Harrington, Jonathan Harrington, James Brown, Darius Shaw.
Brs, John Lamson and Thomas Larkin of Charlestown were also present and kindly assisted.
A petition was prepared, signed by the ten brothers, with the following recommendation:
Charlestown, September 7, 1797.
I am induced to recommend the foregoing Petitioners to the notice of the Grand Lodge from a full conviction of their Merit as Masons, and should the further Increase of Lodges prove beneficial to the Craft wish the Prayer of the Petitioners may be granted.
[Signed) John Soley,
Master of King Solomon's Lodge.
In response to above the Grand Lodge issued a Charter dated December 12, 1797. authorizing the assembling of Hiram Lodge in Lexington.
Hiram Lodge was organized with William Munroe as Master, Darius Shaw as Senior Warden, and James Brown as Junior Warden. Jonathan Harrington was the first Secretary.
FIRST MEETING PLACE
Munroe's Tavern, Lexington, Massachusetts.
The house, erected in 1695, has been preserved until our day. being now owned by the Lexington Historical Society to whom the property was bequeathed by James Smith Munroe in his own name and that of his brother, William Henry, who had made his home there.
On April 19, 1775, Earl Percy, in command of the British forces, used it as field hospital. Here, November 5, 1789, Washington dined, and here met the ten Brethren who drew up the petition for a Charter for Hiram Lodge
The front chamber on the east end was called "the hall." and the meetings were held therein until October 17. 1798, when an addition which had been made mi the rear for the accommodation of the Lodge became the Masonic quarters.
The dedication on October 17, 1798, was an eventful day in Lexington. The Grand Lodge was present, a public procession was formed, services were held in the village church, a sermon being delivered by Rev. Bro. Walter of Boston, and a grand banquet concluded the ceremonies of the day.
In this new apartment Hiram Lodge met for nearly thirty-four years, During this time the records bear the names ill' one hundred and ninety-three persons and the degrees were worked on one hundred and fifty candidates. Seventy-two Brothers acquired membership here. The last meeting i>r Hiram Lodge in the tavern was held January 27. 1831. The Anti-Masonic storm had reached Lexington. Although Hiram Lodge did not fall utterly prostrate before the blast, its energy was paralyzed, for it was overshadowed by a thick darkness. Little remained for those who held fast to their integrity but to wail patiently, meet occasionally as Brothers, and mourn over the desolation. Thus, in the valleys and on the hill-tops, they quietly greeted each other; thus they mourned for twelve years, until the clouds broke away — the storm passed — and in the dawning of a hew day. the severed bonds of peace and fraternity were re-knit to abide —we trust - forever.
Bach of the Tavern rose a long ridge, called Percy's Hill, on which were two prominent ledges. One of them called "Cannon Ledge" was the place where Lord Percy placed a cannon on the 19th of April. 1775, but passing eastward along the ridge, two hundred and fifty yards, there was another [edge, rising several feet above the earth, from whose summit the view was fine, and east. west, north, and south spread out before the eye. Here Brothers of the Lodge Frequently met in fraternal converse.
In the beautiful Temple which we dedicate today is preserved a printed copy of the celebrated Declaration of December 31, 1831. Among those honorable and consistent Brethren, who. in signing it, signified that they could neither renounce nor abandon the Masonic Institution, Hiram Lodge was represented. Abram French, Elias Dupee, Loami Knights, Samuel Chandler. Amos Locke, James Russell, and William Whittemore were the undaunted seven.
After the Anti-Masonic cyclone had passed away, and the political aims of those who excited it had ended in complete failure, the Brethren gained new courage and began to reestablish, or rather to reopen the Lodges. Worshipful .Master James Russell convened Hiram Lodge in Monument Hall, East Village of Lexington. December 27, 1843, and the Grand Lodge was petitioned for removal of the Lodge io West Cambridge. This petition was granted in Grand Lodge, December 27, 1843.
SECOND MEETING PLACE
Bethel Hall, over the Bakehouse
Main Street, West Cambridge
Arlington Avenue, Arlington
720 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington
Site of the preent Robbins Memorial Town Hall.
The building was of brick, two stories high. The "Hall" itself was about fifteen by forty feet: oval ceiling; large enough for the Lodge in its early years — the membership, limited to thirty, being increased to fifty — and comfortable enough except thai Hie large chimney of the bakehouse was close to the Senior Warden's chair. It was said that Bethel Hall was best adapted for use on the coldest winter nights. For a short lime the Lodge hired the hall of another organization and occupied jointly, but in 1848 Hiram Lodge became the sole tenant. The rental paid at first was twenty-five dollars per annum, the Lodge to furnish light, heat, and care. Bro. Jesse P. Pattee had acquired the property and for a time rented to the Lodge at nine dollars per year, and shared expense of light and fuel. During the nineteen years in the second meeting place two hundred and thirty-five petitions for decrees and membership were presented and of these one hundred and forty-three became members.
For several years efforts were made looking for larger accommodations, and finally a committee which was appointed September 24, 1863, secured lease of the
THIRD MEETING PLACE
Main Street, corner of Medford Street, West Cambridge.
Arlington Avenue. 458 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington.
In the Records of the Lodge, 1863, there is mention of a "new hall being erected." which would seem to indicate the time when the old Masonic Building was built.
The lease included a small part of the second and the entire third floor of the building; hall, thirty by forty-five feet, and two ante-rooms for the sum of one hundred dollars per year. On March 30, 1864, the sum of five hundred dollars was appropriated to complete the furnishings of the hall. The ceremony of Dedication was held June 15, 1864. lt was impressive. A voluntary was followed by the reception of the Grand Lodge, M. W. William Parkman, Grand Master, after which prayer was offered. The Worshipful Master, Bro. William H. Pattee, delivered an address of welcome, and the service began by the examination of the hall and anterooms. A hymn, "Thou Who Art God Alone." was sung. This was followed by the archi tect's address, presentation of the working tools, and ad ditional ceremony. The Grand Master delivered a dedica tory address in which he congratulated the Lodge upon their growth in numbers and Masonic principles. Another hymn, "Great Architect of Heaven and Earth," was sung, and a Bible was presented to the Lodge, Bro. Joseph S. Potter speaking for the donors. After the ceremonies a sumptuous collation was enjoyed by all present.
The apartments were soon found inadequate, and in 1866 a tenant was paid two hundred dollars to vacate his part of the second story, which was leased and furnished by the Lodge. The apartments were renovated in 1872, and quite extensively in 1898, when electric lighting was introduced throughout. During the years in this building several thousand dollars were expended in renovating, repairs, and refurnishing. Since June, 1866, the apartments were jointly occupied with Menotomy Royal Arch Chapter, which was Constituted in that month. In 1923, Russell Lodge, named in honor and memory of Rt. Wor. James Russell, was Instituted, and, until the building was destroyed by fire, March 20, 1924, also occupied the apartments.
In the sixty years of meetings of Hiram Lodge in Masonic Hall, fourteen hundred petitions were presented and eleven hundred and twenty-six accepted for membership. Within its walls all present living initiates of Hiram, up to the time of the fire, received Light in Masonry. From April, 1924, to June, 1925, the three Masonic bodies of Arlington were accommodated in the Cambridge Masonic Temple, and Hiram Lodge accepted the courtesy extended by Sagamore Lodge for nine meetings in the Sagamore Masonic Apartments, West Medford.
MENOTOMY ROYAL ARCH CHAPTER
("Menotomy," the old Indian name of Arlington.)
"Addison Hill. Edward Storer, Samuel G. Damon. William H. Pattee, Lewis Spaulding, Andrew V. Allen. Maurice O'Connell and William Proctor, Royal Arch Masons, residing in West Cambridge, all members of Hiram Lodge, A. F. and A. M.. met in Masonic Hall, May 3, 1866; voted to petition For a Charter and adjourned to meet at the house of William H. Pattee, Wednesday, May 9th."
The M. E. Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts presented a Charter to Menotomy Royal Arch Chapter, with precedence as of June 12, 1866, and meetings were held in Masonic Hall until its destruction by fire: the six hundred twenty-fourth Convocation, March 18, 1924, being the last Masonic meeting held in the oId building. Here seven hundred and forty-nine Companions became members of the Chapter. A Dispensation being granted to hold meetings in Cambridge, thirteen Regular Convocations were held iii Cambridge Masonic Temple. April 15, 1924, to June 16, 1925.
RUSSELL LODGE, A. F. and A. M.
Russell Lodge was formed by a Committee from Hiram Lodge, and the meetings of this Committee were held from time to time al the residence of Wor. Bro. Frederick W. Damon, 275 Broadway. Arlington,
A Petitioners' Meeting was held in Masonic Hall. 453 Massachusetts Avenue. Arlington, May 16, 1923. On June 13 a meeting was held in Masonic Hall to receive a Dispensation, and Russell Lodge, U. D., here held monthly and two special meetings, from September 5, 1923, until (including) March 12. 1924. On account of the loss of the building, March 20, the Regular Communication for April, 1924, was omitted.
The Master and Wardens of Russell Lodge, U. D., were introduced in Grand Lodge, Masonic Temple, Boston, May 2, 1924, and made formal request for Constitution, which was assented to by the Grand Master. The Grand Lodge then proceeded to Corinthian Hall, in the Temple, and Russell Lodge was Constituted with full form and ceremony in accordance with the ancient usages of the Craft. Regular Meetings were henceforth held, by Dispensation, in Cambridge Masonic Temple, and one special, in Sagamore Masonic Apartments. West Medford.
FOURTH MEETING PLACE
Arlington Masonic Temple.
Academy Street, Arlington.
Corner-stone laid by Most Worshipful Dudley Hays Ferrell,
Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts,
On November 22, 1924.
The first movement regarding our fourth meeting place was confined to discussion of a site, and as far back as thirty years ago the "High School lot" on Academy Street was advocated as the best for us; in fact, none other was seriously considered in the many smoking-room sessions whence evolved the aforesaid discussions. There was no thought of building then, but "when we build, the best for us is the High School lot" was said over and over again. The smoking-room conferences, however, bore fruit. Our most zealous member, William H. Pattee, advocated the creation of a fund which would some day bring our hope to fruition. He proposed a by-law increasing the annual dues from four dollars to five dollars, and placing the increase of one dollar per member each year in a Fund for Building to be known us the Permanent Fund of Hiram Lodge. He was knows as the "Father of the Permanent Fund," and nicknamed by the present treasurer of thai fund as "Pa Pattee," and so called by many of us, From this one dollar per year was collected the net sum of $7,134.50. Four years later "Pa Pattee" put another one in action — the placing in the Fund of ten dollars from each degree fee. This eventually netted $6,200. Nor did "Pa Pattee" stop there. It was owing to him that one of our brothers started the fund with a contribution of one hundred dollars, and subsequently enlarged it with a bequest of one thousand dollars.
Brother Pattee was the most enthusiastic member we ever had as a money raiser. He served as Trustee of the Permanent Fund from its inception until his death in 1917. The Worshipful Master spread upon the Records an account of the successful efforts of Wor. Bro. Pattee toward the building of our Temple, and added — what many of us knew so well — that although Brother Pattee realized that on account of his advanced years he would not live to see the Masonic home of Hiram Lodge, nevertheless he worked with the same zeal which he had always shown for all things that he considered would benefit the Lodge he loved so well.
Although there had been effort to raise money, there had been no talk of building until 1911, when the Permanent Fund had something over two thousand dollars, and a movement was made, with considerable discussion in Lodge. It was finally decided that unless the sum of ten thousand dollars could be raised by subscription it would be useless to proceed to build at that time. On consideration it was thought that ten thousand dollars could not then be raised, and the matter dropped.
On October 2, 1919, a Committee was appointed to con sider the purchase of land, kind of building needed, and plans for financing. The Committee agreed on two things: "Owning our own home and having it devoted to Masonic purposes only and "buying the Cotting High School lot for $4,000.00." Another Committee reported December 4. 1919, advising purchase of the land: "There is no lot in town, within the necessary radius, and in a desirable (or to be desirable) location, that can be procured to make the total cost of a building so low as would be the Cotting High School lot" and "estimated the cost of the building about $90,000."
The Lodge then voted to buy the land.
On March 4, 1920, a Committee was appointed to consider the financing of an undertaking to build.
February 3, 1921, the Committee reported in Favor of soliciting the Brethren for funds to build. The report was accepted, remarks made relating to the project, and Brethren present that evening pledged to pay over five thousand dollars, At the Annual Meeting (in Town Hall) November 3. 1921, the Brothers present, pledged ten thousand dollars.
January 5, 1922. a Committee was appointed to consider and present plans and specifications, and this Committee reported, with plans, May 4, 1922, at which time it was authorized to submit them for bids.
On the same day a Committee of three was appointed "to submit to the Lodge a form of organization to manage the proposed Masonic Building."
On September 7, 1922, the Committee on plans for financing who were, with the plans Committee, to consider plans submitted, reported that eight bids had been received, but all being so much larger than had been expected, it seemed necessary to change the plans before the Lodge could, with its means, proceed to build.
On April 4, 1923, the Chairman of the Committee on financing reported that in November, 1922, the Committee on financing, the Committee on plans and specifications and the Committee appointed to submit to the Lodge a form of holding organization, had incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as the Arlington Masonic Temple Association, and requested that the funds and land owned by the Lodge and the funds collected by the Lodge should be turned over to the Corporation in exchange for their stock.
The Lodge voted to accept the situation and the Association assumed the task of collecting additional funds and forwarding plans for building.
There were many changes in the different plans submitted, caused by the estimates being prohibitive on one set of plans offered for bids, as referred tn above, and insufficient funds for carrying out others In fullness, and the need of speedy action on account of the loss by fire of the old Masonic Hall.
The differences were gradually adjusted. On October 6, 1924, the contract for building was voted; on October 8 the work started, Bro. Warren A. Peirce turning the first shovel of sod. and through the efforts of the active committees of the Association: Finance, Frederick W. Damon, Edward T. Erickson, and Eben P. Dewing; Building, Val T. Hanson, M, Ernest Moore, William T. Beattie, and Wilson D. Clark, Jr.; Furnishing, Frank H. Hubbard, W. Stuart Allen, and Wilson D. Clark, Jr.; with Warren A. Peirce, President of the Association, serving ex-oflicio on each committee; enabled by the generous contributions made by Brothers of the three Masonic bodies in Arlington, by resident and non-resident Masons, we are now privileged to enjoy the delight and satisfaction of a Masonic Temple in Arlington, "a home for Masonry that may well be the envy of organizations elsewhere not so favored," a pride not only to the Fraternity but to our beloved town. From the Permanent Fund of Hiram Lodge came:
- $1.00 per dues each year: $7,134.50
- $10.00 from each Degree Fee: 6,200.00
- Individual offerings: 2,605.00
- Earnings — various sources: 7,512.00
- TOTAL: $28,451.50
- Paid for land: $4,000.00
Taxes, etc.: 793.48
- TOTAL: 4,793.48
- TOTAL: $18,658.02
- From the Permanent Fund of Menotomy Royal Arch Chapter 2,700.00
- From contributions of the Brethren of Hiram Lodge, Menotomy Chapter, Russell Dodge, and Brothers not af filiated in Arlington: 59,878.59
- August 1, 1925, cash paid to the Temple Association: $80,736.61.
To the architect, Rt. Wor. Bro. Charles B. Dunham, the builder, Bro. William B. Fairchild, and to the various contractors and workers on the Temple we give sincere thanks. "They worked wonders on the on the Old Lodge."
To Mr. Edward S. Fessenden and to the many Masons who have contributed furnishings for the Temple we are profoundly grateful.
Brethren — you who have so generously "furnished money and provisions" your reward is Masonry.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ARLINGTON MASONIC TEMPLE
The Temple is built of water-struck red Harvard brick laid in Flemish bond, and the trimmings are of gray stone. It is designed in a modified Georgian style of architecture, adapted to modern conditions and requirements. The building consists of a central feature two stories in height, banked on each side with a one-story wing. At the center of the front is a massive entrance porch, two stories in height, with stone fluted columns o£ the Ionic order of architecture surmounted by a stone entablature and para pet bearing the inscription Masonic Temple. Rising above, on the axis of the building, is a flag pole with an ornamental stone base bearing; the date of the structure, "1924."
The edifice has a frontage of 115 feet and is 75 feet deep ; ii is placed in a commanding position on a terrace 15 feet above the level of the street and the entrance porch is approached by a wide stone staircase with flanking buttresses, terminating at the sidewalk with beautiful lamp standards finished in antique bronze.
The main entrance is a massive stone doorway iii the center of the front porch with heavy doors finished in walnut, giving access to the vestibule which opens into the main lobby 18 by 21 feet, with a corridor 10 feet wide leading from each side; all of which have terrazzo floors of colored marble with doors and other woodwork finished in walnut.
Opening from the right corridor is a ladies' room 20 by 26 feet, attractively furnished in wicker of a mellow tone, with mulberry hangings, and a large rug laid over a two-toned taupe linoleum floor with a black border. The light fixtures here are finished in silver, in candle style, with silk mulberry shades. Adjoining is a toilet room with all necessary sanitary fixtures.
At the end of the right corridor is a sodality room 18 by 44 feet, furnished with the old Lodge-room furniture and a linoleum floor as jus! described. Leading first from the corridor at the left of the lobby is a coat-room fitted with racks for 400 coats and hats, and adjoining is a toilet room similar to that just described. Next to the coat-room is a small committee room, and al the end of the left corridor is a smoking room 18 by 40 feet, with a large fire-flashed brick fireplace and wood mantel over it extending to the ceiling and framed in with pilasters. The ceiling of this room is beamed, and the woodwork is of walnut finish, and the walls tinted a soft brown tone. The furniture is of fumed oak upholstered in brown leather. Rugs are on the floor, which is linoleum.
Ai the rear of the building is the Lodge-room. 40 by 60 feet, extending two stories in height 20 feet. It is ornamented with wood Doric pilasters dividing the walls into panels, with special architectural features at the east and west stations, composed of fluted Ionic columns of wood supporting a classic pediment and framing in an archway which is filled with blue and gold silk drapery with a sunburst in the arch. That in the west serves as a screen for the organ, which is directly behind, the organ tones coming through the drapery, which does not appear to retard the sound to any degree.
A plaster cornice extends around the room, above which is a beamed ceiling, and at the junction with the walls is a deep cove, at the base of which, concealed by a gutter in the cornice, and extending around the entire room, are electric lamps of various colors, with reflectors distributing the light throughout the room, giving a soft, indirect lighting effect, with no lamps visible. These lamps are controlled From an adjoining room by a series of switches and dimmers so that any desired colored lighting effect can be produced.
The Lodge-room is furnished with opera chairs for members, of walnut upholstered in brown mohair plush, officers' chairs of massive walnut frames upholstered in blue mohair plush, and a Wilton carpet in blue and taupe. The wall panels are decorated in a soft, light taupe shade, the ceiling panels of a lighter shade, and the columns, pilasters, cornice, and ceiling beams in white, slightly tinted. The furniture and doors of this room are finished in walnut.
Adjoining the Lodge-room are the Tyler's room, candidates' room and o battery of properly closets. On the second floor, at the front of the building, is a banquet room, 31 by 75 feet, decorated in a soft pink shade, with a hardwood polished floor for dancing, which is covered by canvas when used for banquets. Adjoining is a serving room and kitchen with a complete equipment of gas range, warming closet, coffee urns, and cabinets for china, glass, etc. There is no basement, except under the left wing, where the boiler room and coal pocket were blasted out of the solid rock which extends under the entire building. A complete modern system of heating and ventilating has been installed which will make the occupants comfortable in all seasons. There are two steam boilers furnishing both direct and indirect heating. The Lodge-room and banquet rooms, in addition to some direct radiators, are supplied by indirect warm air, and vents arc arranged to draw out the vitiated air with electric fans installed on the roof, which can also be used for drawing in cool air in warm weather. The general contractors of the building were Holt-Fairchild Company, the heating contractor, V. J. Kenneally Company, the electric contractor, James Wilkinson & Company, and the architect, Charles B. Dunham.