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Location: East Boston; Boston (1920)

Chartered By: Simon W. Robinson

Charter Date: 12/09/1846 V-108

Precedence Date: 12/18/1845

Current Status: Active


  • Ephraim Cunningham, 1846, 1847
  • Merrill Petingall, 1848
  • Israel Crafts, 1849, 1853
  • Samuel W. Gleason, 1850, 1852
  • William Waters, 1851
  • George T. Sampson, 1854
  • Stephen Merdli, 1855
  • Samuel L. Fowle, 1856, 1857
  • Elisha J. Cleveland, 1858, 1859
  • James Maynard, 1860, 1861
  • Fred W. Dunbar, 1862-1864
  • Albert B. Barrett, 1865, 1866
  • Frederlck Pease, 1867, 1868
  • Seth C. Ames, 1869, 1870; SN
  • Increase S. Pote, 1871, 1872
  • Edward H. Morse, 1873
  • William I. Barrett, 1874, 1875
  • Martin M. Hancock, 1876, 1877
  • Charles B. Brooks, 1878, 1879
  • Charles H. Foss, 1880, 1881
  • Richard A. Atwood, 1882, 1883
  • Richard Beaching, 1884
  • Frank S. Andrew, 1885
  • Nelson J. Williams, 1886
  • William T.H. Pease, 1887, 1888
  • Samuel J. Burns, 1889, 1890
  • Ralph A. Quimby, 1891
  • Albion P. Small, 1892-1893
  • William H. Beaching, 1894; N
  • Charles R. Moore, 1895
  • William H. Leach, 1896
  • Frederick W. Fraser, 1897, 1898
  • J. Alva Goodale, 1899, 1900
  • Frank P. Anthony, 1901
  • Harry Hamilton, 1902
  • Frederlck W. Hayden, 1903, 1904
  • J. Hiram S. Pearson, 1905, 1906
  • Charles A. Estey, 1907, 1908
  • Herbert P. Wasgatt, 1909, 1910
  • Hoses Harden, 1911-1912
  • William H. Dolben, 1913
  • George W. Ray, 1914, 1915
  • Henry E. W. Bean, 1916, 1917; Mem
  • John R. Oldrieve, 1918, 1919
  • George A. Gove, 1920, 1921
  • Francis W. B. Scott, 1922
  • Edward S. Harrington, 1923, 1924
  • Edward W. Heldt, 1925, 1926
  • Oscar W. Erickson, 1927, 1928
  • Clarence R. Oldrieve, 1929, 1930
  • Earl W. Clee, 1931, 1932
  • William J. Earle, 1933, 1934
  • Harold F. Coleman, 1935, 1936; N
  • George Harvey, 1937, 1938
  • Harold S. Louden, 1939, 1940
  • George A. Locke, 1941, 1942
  • David F. Dickson, 1943, 1944
  • John Maretti, 1945, 1946
  • Harold G. Ray, 1947, 1948; N
  • James J. Rahal, 1949
  • Augustus E. A. Waters, 1950
  • James L. Acheson, 1951
  • Dimitrl Homey, 1952
  • Augustus Sakakeeny, 1953
  • Norrls E. Myers, 1954
  • Edward C. Hamaty, 1955; N
  • Simon E. Rihbany, 1956
  • Ernest V.B. Ruiz, 1957
  • Jabran K. Kurker, 1958
  • George K. Kurker, 1959
  • Charles Sakey, 1960
  • George P. Makad, 1981
  • Albert C. Abany, 1962
  • Robert P. Zahka, 1963
  • Albert J. Zahka, 1964
  • George J. Saldeh, 1965
  • John J. Salami, 1966
  • Joseph Shagoury, 1987
  • Sidney G. Holmes, 1966; N
  • Paul W. Anderson, 1969, 1972; N
  • Thomas C. Teebagy, 1970
  • John J. Salami, 1971
  • Daniel J. DeSisto, 1973, 1974, 1977
  • Edwin J. Hill, 1975
  • Richard P. Theodore, 1976
  • Walter C. Ultsch, 1978
  • Salvatore J. Catizone, 1979, 1980
  • Clarence F. Penney, 1981, 1982; N
  • Alden A. Osgood, 1983, 1984; SN
  • Stetan Lochiatto, 1985, 1986
  • William M. Appel, 1987, 2007-2010; PDDGM
  • James E. Dixon, Sr., 1988, 2005; N
  • Alan G. Gilgulin, 1989; N
  • John E. Barrett, 1992, 1993
  • Darren DeSisto, 1994
  • James R. Goodwin, 1995; PDDGM
  • Edward Newpol, 1996; N
  • Daniel J. Gillis, 1997-1999
  • Harold R. Fulton, 1990, 1991, 2000; N
  • Jeffrey Arnold, 2001, 2002; PDDGM
  • James E. Dixon, Jr., 2003, 2006; PDDGM
  • Michael R. Williams, 2004, 2013, 2014
  • William Rogers, 2008
  • Gary J. Freedman, 2011, 2012

See also the Past Masters of the following Lodges:



  • 1921 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1945 (Centenary)
  • 1970 (125th Anniversary)
  • 1995 (150th Anniversary)



1872 1876 1879 1888 1906 1912 1921 1927 1937 1938 1941 1950 1951 1954 1955 1956 2004 2012


  • 1945 (Centenary History, 1945-512; see below)
  • 1970 (125th Anniversary History, 1970-669)


From Proceedings, Page 1945-512:

By Right Worshipful William H. Beeching.

In the year 1845 East Boston was occupied by 908 families, making a population of 5018. It was a ship building center with its associated industries and made famous by the Clipper Ships built by Donald MacKay. It was the terminal of the Cunard Steamship Line as well as a terminal of the Eastern Railroad.

Its communication with Boston proper was by a ferry, by which Lane's omnibuses plied to and from Boston and were superseded by horse cars. Later followed by the electrics, and now by the tunnel — all of which have served the writer in their day.

Following the anti-Masonic period, Mount Tabor Lodge was the first Lodge to be instituted in the Boston jurisdiction and the second in the State, Star of Bethlehem Lodge of Chelsea being the first.

Quoting from the address of Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince at the celebration of our 75th anniversary, in which he said: "The fact that Mount Tabor Lodge was organized by men who must have had in their day and generation the true Masonic spirit; who were inspired with hope, because 75 years ago, when this Lodge was instituted, when you received your Dispensation, Freemasonry was recovering, slowly recovering, from a tremendous blow which almost destroyed it in this country. From 1825 to 1843 there was not a single Lodge chartered in Massachusetts."

Tonight we gather to pay tribute to those sturdy and courageous Brothers to whom Most Worshipful Brother Prince referred, and their successors, who have so successfully carried on to the present day.

The ten Charter Members were:

  • Ephriam May Cunningham, Custom House Officer; made a Mason prior to 1817; Lodge unknown.
  • Merrill Pettingill, Lumber Surveyor; Merrimack Lodge, 1814, Haverhill, Massachusetts.
  • Dolliver Johnson, Master Mechanic of the Eastern Railroad; Corinthian Lodge, 1824, Concord, Mass.
  • John LaFavor, Lumber Surveyor; Essex Lodge, 1820, Salem, Mass.
  • Israel Foster Crafts, Painter; King Solomon's Lodge, 1814, Charlestown, Mass.
  • Sumner Foster Barrett, Superintendent of Cunard Line; Star of Bethlehem Lodge, Chelsea, Mass.
  • Isaiah Atkins, Furniture Dealer; King Hiram Lodge, 1829, Provincetown, Mass.
  • Seth Brooks, Lumber Surveyor; Corner Stone Lodge, 1824, Duxbury, Mass.
  • Asahel Durgan, Housewright; King Solomon's Lodge, 1845, Charles-town, Mass.
  • Nathan Oliver, Blacksmith; Monitor Lodge, 1827, Waltham, Mass.

Following the preliminary meetings held at the home of Brother Sumner F. Barrett, on Wednesday evening, December 24, 1845, the first meeting was held in Massasoit Hall, corner of Lewis and Marginal Streets. They organized by accepting the report of the Committee on Dispensation, elected six associate members and approved the subordinate officers selected. The officers under Dispensation were:

  • Wor. Ephriam May Cunningham, Master
  • Bro. Merrill Pettingill, Senior Warden
  • Bro. Dolliver Johnson, Junior Warden
  • Bro. Enoch Plummer, Treasurer
  • Bro. Daniel Caldwell, Secretary
  • Bro. Rev. Sylvanus Cobb, Chaplain
  • Bro. Israel Foster Crafts, Senior Deacon
  • Bro. Sumner Foster Barrett, Junior Deacon
  • Bro. Asahel Durgan, Senior Steward
  • Bro. George M. Hall, Junior Steward
  • Bro. Seth Brooks, Tyler

The leading spirit and Master under Dispensation was Ephriam May Cunningham, who was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, February 4, 1792; graduated from Harvard College in 1814; was made a Mason prior to 1817; practiced law in the western part of the State and came to Boston about 1830.

He was elected the first Master, December 22, 1846, and served until April 16, 1847, when he resigned, having been transferred to Washington, D. C. by order of the United States Government. He joined Lebanon Lodge No. 7 in 1849 and served as Master in 1849. In 1851 he joined National Lodge No. 12 and became Master in 1852, and died while still Master.

He was also serving as Senior Grand Warden of the District of Columbia Grand Lodge at the time of his death and was buried in Congregational Cemetery in Washington with Masonic Honors, Grand Lodge Officers officiating. His devoted services to Mount Tabor Lodge were recognized by his being voted and presented a silver Past Master's Jewel, at a cost of $6.50.

One of the associate members at its first meeting was Rev. Brother Sylvanus Cobb, who became the first Chaplain of the Lodge. He was made a Mason in Waterville, Maine, in 1821, and coming to Massachusetts, settled in Maiden. He represented that town in the State Legislature in 1834, and during the session, was said to have been instrumental through a strong address to have greatly aided in defeating a bill entitled "To prohibit all Masonic and extra juditial Oaths."

On April 29, 1846, a deputation from the Grand Lodge was announced as wishing to visit Mount Tabor Lodge. The two Deacons waited upon and escorted them to the Master in the East, where R.W. Ammi B. Young, Grand Marshal, introduced Most Worshipful Simon W. Robinson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts; R.W. John R. Bradford, Senior Grand Warden pro tem; Wor. Ruel Borker, Junior Grand Warden pro tem. Most Worshipful Brother Robinson occupied the Oriental Chair and after examining the records, resigned the Chair to the Master to witness a specimen of the work.

At the official visitation of R.W. Rev. G. M. Randall on November 16, 1846, in his closing remarks, he complimented very highly the Lodge, as quoted: "On the correct manner in which the work of the order was attended to in this Lodge by not deviating from the Ancient Customs and Landmarks of the Craft and likewise the solemn and dignified manner in which the Charges and Obligations were delivered to the candidate."

With pride, the Lodge claims to have held to this type of work through its hundred years, as testified to as recently as April 19, 1945, in its regular communication when a visiting English Mason, with headquarters in Washington, D. C, and a traveler through the different states of the Union, complimented the Worshipful Master on the work of the Lodge, stating: "That it conformed more nearly to the English ritual and was delivered with more dignity than he had experienced in his many visits to different Lodges in this country."

Following the Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication of December 27, 1848, the Lodge elected Wor. Israel Foster Crafts a delegate to the convention called for the purpose of producing a more general uniformity in the mode of work and lectures.

At the convention authorized by the Grand Lodge on December 27, 1848, and held February 7, 1849, Most Worshipful Edward W. Raymond presiding, appointed Grand Lecturer Charles B. Rogers and Wor. Master Israel F. Crafts of Mount Tabor as a committee to exemplify the work and lectures, as recommended by the Grand Lodge following the Baltimore National Convention of May 8, 1843. Also a second committee of Wor. Brothers Charles Bates and William C. Martin to exemplify the work and lectures prior to the Baltimore Convention. The report of the Convention states: "The Lectures on the three Degrees were rehearsed in sections by the above named brothers in a manner highly creditable to themselves and satisfactory to the Convention showing them to be proficient and skillful Lecturers."

On December 1, 1851, the Lodge held its first Masonic burial — that of Brother Alexander Turnbull, drowned in Boston Harbor. The procession to the East Boston Cemetery was preceded by the Entered Apprentices in advance of the Tyler. Later the body was reinterred in Mount Tabor's lot in Wood-lawn Cemetery, Everett, purchased by the Lodge in 1854 and which, with its first internment May 25, 1854, and up to the present time, has been the resting place of members, their wives and children, as well as destitute Brother Masons of other jurisdictions and countries.

On October 20,1852, at the Official Visitation of R. W. J. V. C. Smith, he presented the first Past Master's diplomas to Worshipful Brothers Merrill Pettingill, Israel Foster Crafts, Samuel Wight Gleason and William Waters, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Masters of the Lodge.

The first ten years of the Lodge was very active in and out of the Lodge. Each year it celebrated St. John's Day by entertaining or being entertained by Lodges near by or as far as Provincetown, Massachusetts, and even to Manchester, New Hampshire. It attended the dedication of a hall in the Masonic Temple, Boston, in 1846; a celebration by a public procession of the introduction of water from Lake Cochituate into Boston in 1848; a public procession and inauguration of the Franklin Statue on Franklin Street, Boston, in 1856, and the parade and inauguration of the Joseph Warren Statue in Charlestown. Also, on June 24, 1867, Mount Tabor Lodge was among the 12,000 Masons who participated in the parade and dedication of the present Temple, into which we moved on September 16, 1920.

On January 21, 1875, an invitation was extended to King and Brother Kalakaua, King of the Sandwich Islands, but "engagements would not permit."

January 20, 1870, the widow of a deceased member sent a present of $150 for services rendered her husband by the Lodge, but the check was returned with this reply: "That the mission of Masonry was to cause the Sun to shine where shadow had rested; to make life a joy and not a burden and to smooth the pillow of suffering and death."

On October 16, 1885, the Lodge voted "To discontinue the passing and forwarding of Resolutions on the death of members and establish instead a Memorial Page in the Record Book."

On November 19, 1863, the Lodge established the custom of making an offering to the needy members and widows or members on Thanksgiving and has observed it yearly, since, including 1945.

Present at the 50th anniversary held December 18, 1895, was Brother Sumner Foster Barrett, the only living Charter Member.

Our Honor Roll, "For Home and Country" has one in the War of 1812; one in the Mexican War, 1846-1847; fifty-six in the Civil War, 1861-1865; War with Spain, 1898, five; twenty-eight in World War I and fourteen in World War II, 1941-1945.

On December 18, 1902, Brother J. Hiram S. Pearson, Secretary for the previous thirty-two years, was installed Senior Warden and Worshipful William H. Beeching as Secretary.

On May 16, 1906, the Lodge received a visit from a Brother Alexander Keelman, Senior Warden of The Lodge of Unity No. 5560, Sao Paulo, Brazil, bringing the greetings of his Lodge and the regards of Brother Thomas Bevan a member of Mount Tabor Lodge and the founder of the Lodge of Unity under F.nglish Constitution.

The Past Master's Jewel of Worshipful Frederick W. Dunbar, Master in 1862, 1863 and 1864, lost for thirty-eight years, was recovered from the body of a drowned man in Portland Harbor, Maine. Returned to Mount Tabor Lodge, it was reconditioned and on November 19, 1908, was presented by Wor. Frederick Pease, Chairman of the original presentation committee, much to Wor. Brother Dunbar's surprise.

During a fraternal visit of Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master, and his Suite on May 17, 1917, a committee on a Stand of Colors reported by entering the Lodge under escort of Wor. J. Hiram S. Pearson and Bro. Ainsley R. Hooper, Civil War Veterans, and Bro. William J. Earle, Spanish War Veteran, carrying a beautiful silk American Flag. Arriving at the East, it was presented to the Master for the Lodge.

On Sunday, June 24,1917, St. John's Day, some fifty or sixty members and ladies, under the leadership of Wor. Henry E. W. Bean, journeyed to the Masonic Home in Charlton for the presentation of a Henry Price Medal to Brother Daniel C. Bryant, a resident of the Home and a member of Mount Tabor Lodge for sixty years.

The Lodge has successively occupied Massasoit Hall, corner of Lewis and Marginal Streets in 1845; Amity Hall, Henry Street; Washington Hall, in Blaney Block, Maverick Square; Masonic Hall, Central Square, in 1873; Masonic Hall, Meridian Street, in 1892, and Central Hall, Central Square, in 1919, all in East Boston.

On November 13, 1919, a summoned meeting was held to act on a request of the Grand Lodge Committee on Charters and By-Laws for further information on the petition of the Lodge for an amendment to its Charter whereby the restriction as to location would be cancelled. The information as prepared was read and after much discussion, the Lodge voted to accept and approve the same by a vote of 63 to 6. At the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge held April 10, 1920, the Grand Lodge voted to grant the petition of Mount Tabor Lodge, though the report of the Committee on Charters and By-Laws was unfavorable. With the Charter amended and the favorable action of the Board of Directors of the Grand Lodge, the Lodge was enabled to hold its regular meeting of September 16, 1920 in Ionic Hall, Masonic Temple, Boston.

The regular communication of December 16, 1920, was a very busy evening with its regular business, the installation of officers and its 75th anniversary celebration. The guests were Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master; R. W. Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary, R. W. Frederic L. Putnam, Grand Lecturer; R. W. Frank W. Dobson, Grand Marshal and Wor. Brothers Alvin F. Pease and Oscar Storer. The Lodge officers were installed by R. W. Brother Putnam, assisted by Brother Pease as Marshal. Following the addresses of the Grand Master and Grand Secretary, Wor. J. Hiram S. Pearson read a very exhaustive and detailed history of the Lodge.

At the annual meeting on November 15, 1923, the roll call of the 332 membership disclosed that 149 had answered in person and 47 by letter.

On the evening of February 21, 1924, sixteen of the seventeen living Past Masters entered the Lodge preceded by "Old Glory" and came to a halt before the altar in the form of an angle of a square and gave the sign of the Third Degree. They then advanced to the East to be received by the Master. Wor. William H. Dolben answered to the cordial welcome and was escorted to and occupied the Oriental Chair to conduct the work of the Third Degree, with the other stations filled by the Past Masters.

The Sojourners Club, made up of officers from the different branches of the Military Service, were our guests on June 18, 1925, and filled the stations during the raising of Col. Theodore Gibbs Holcombe.

At the first official visitation of R. W. Henry E. W. Bean, Mount Tabor Lodge's third District Deputy Grand Master, on November 21, 1929, he received a check for $620 as Mount Tabor's contribution in aid of the Juniper Hall Hospital.

The highlight of 1932 was the visit on April 21st of a delegation from the Beacon Hill Square Club, present to assist in the Third Degree work on Brothers Christian Archibald Herter and Henry Parkman, Jr. On the raising of the last candidate, Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg occupied the Oriental Chair, and members of the Club, Massachusetts Senators and Representatives filled the other stations. At the dinner table, the Brethren listened to a stirring address by Brother Leverett Saltonstall.

During the years of the depression and early years of World War II, the Lodge was greatly affected. From 1937, with a membership of 241, to 1940, though 15 new members were added, yet through losses by death, dimit and suspension, the membership was reduced to 187. During the one hundred years of Mount Tabor's existence, 60 Masters have presided, 20 for one year, 38 for two years and 2 for three years. Fourteen Treasurers have served and 8 Secretaries for the first twenty-five years and 2 for the remaining seventy-five years for thirty-two and forty-three years respectively.

Ages of the present membership as of December 20, 1945 are:

Personal Years

  • 21-30: 7
  • 30-40: 5
  • 40-50: 31
  • 50-60: 47
  • 60-70: 31
  • 70-80: 37
  • 80-90: 12
  • 90-93: 2
  • TOTAL: 172

Masonic Years

  • 1-10: 24
  • 10-20: 25
  • 20-30: 69
  • 30-40: 20
  • 40-50: 18
  • 50-60: 14
  • 60-70: 1
  • 71: 1
  • TOTAL: 172

With the advent of 1943, prospects brightened and with the application of the same courage and zeal of our Masonic forefathers, we can attain a like or greater success and so we advance with confidence into the second hundred years, sustained by the principles and teachings of our Order.


From Proceedings, Page 1970-669:

By Worshipful Harold G. Ray.

It was the year 1845. Masonry was then beginning to emerge from the Anti-Masonic Period which had rocked the country. Many Lodges had surrendered their charters, others had held meetings in secret. Some Lodges had held no meetings during the entire period. Star of Bethlehem Lodge had been issued a charter to meet in Chelsea in 1843. This was the first Lodge to be instituted during this long period.

East Boston was then a thriving seaport of approximately five thousand residents. It was the terminal of the Cunard Steamship Company, the Eastern Railroad and the home of Donald MacKay, whose shipyards were building the clipper ships, the fastest sailing ship ever designed by the hand of man.

During the summer, Ephraim May Cunningham, Merrill Pettingill, Dolliver Johnson, John LaFavor, Israel Foster Crafts, Sumner Foster Barrett, Isaiah Atkins, Seth Brooks, Asahel Durgan and Nathan Oliver held many meetings and discussions on the advisability of having a Lodge in East Boston.

In September these men petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Master that a Lodge be instituted in East Boston by the name of Mount Tabor. Mount Tabor, located in the Holy Land, is reputed to be the Mount of Transfiguration as recorded in the Gospel.

In answer to this petition, dispensation was granted by Most Worshipful Simon W. Robinson, Grand Master, and Right Worshipful Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary, under the Seal of the Grand Lodge to form a new Lodge to be located in East Boston by the name of Mount Tabor, to date from December 18, 1845 and to meet on the third Thursday of the month.

The first meeting was held in Massasoit Hall with the above named brethren and the following: Enoch Plummer, George W. Hall, Francis W. Churchill, John J. Williams, Donald Caldwell and Reverend Sylvanus Cobb, D. D.

The Lodge was organized under dispensation of December 24, 1845 with Wor. Ephraim May Cunningham as first Master. The fee for the degrees was set at twenty dollars. Lodge Dues were set at two dollars.

The first candidate initiated was Henry W. Farley on February 19, 1846. A Code of By-Laws was adopted and approved by Grand Lodge on March 19, 1846. This original Code is in possession of the Lodge and some of the Articles are of interest. "The Lodge shall consist of fourteen officers and not more than fifty members. All seafaring brethren shall, during their absence at sea, pay half quarterages and settle their account with the Secretary annually, unless prevented by absence; in default of which they shall be subject to the same forfeiture and penalties as are provided in case of other delinquent members. The Lodge shall close not later than ten o'clock."

East Boston, being a seaport, it is reasonable to assume that many of its members were seafaring men.

The Seal of the Lodge was adopted on November 19, 1846. This seal has continued in use until the present time except when the Lodge moved from East Boston to Boston and the Seal was changed.

The Lodge performed its work diligently during the year under dispensation for we read that thirteen men were initiated during that year.

Grand Lodge took recognition of the faithful performance of their labors because on December 19, 1846, granted a Charter. This Charter has been carefully preserved and is in the East this evening for the inspection of anybody who may wish to view it. Worshipful Brother Cunningham was elected first Master of the Lodge on December 22, 1846. Since his term of office, eighty-two men have served as Master, serving one to three years in that exalted station.

On January 15, 1847, Most Worshipful Simon W. Robinson, Grand Master, accompanied by officers of Grand Lodge, constituted the Lodge in Ample Form and installed the officers as recorded in the Records. This was the second Lodge to be constituted since the beginning of the Anti-Masonic Period.

The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has always been distinguished by its Grand Master who wears a tricorn. However, we find in the records that the Master presented a bill for three dollars and fifty cents for a cocked hat or tricorn on April 9, 1847. Worshipful Brother Cunningham resigned the East of the Lodge on April 15, 1847 due to his transfer in government service to Washington, D. C. He later had a distinguished record, serving as Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of District of Columbia. He undoubtedly would have served as Grand Master, but for his untimely death on May 26, 1852. Previous to his leaving the East of his Lodge, he was presented a Past Master's jewel of silver at a cost of six dollars and fifty cents. The first donation for charity, in 1849, was given to Reverend and Brother Laycock, President of the College for Orphan Children in Kentucky, who visited the Lodge and gave an address on the College.

The first Masonic burial service was read for Brother Alexander Turnbull in 1851. Brother Turnbull was one of the members initiated while the Lodge worked under dispensation.

The first Past Masters' diplomas were given by Grand Lodge in 1852 to those living Past Masters who had served their Lodges.

The Lodge noted the frailities of human life and voted in 1854 "to purchase a lot of land in Woodlawn Cemetery, located in City of Everett, as a burial place for Masons called from amonc; us by death during their residence here and having no buriil place of their own." The lot is now under Perpetual Care and is the last resting place of many of our brethren, their widows and a few Masons who were visitors to our land and had no relatives present at the time of their death. The lot is under the care of the Trustees of the Burial Lot and is available to any member of this Lodge, his widow and orphans. Grand Lodge dedicated a statue to Right Worshipful Benjamin Franklin on the grounds of the old City Hall, School Street, Boston, in 1856. It was the first public procession of Mount Tabor Lodge.

A Mason's son, found in sickness and destitute circumstances, was sent to his father's home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the expense of the Lodge in 1859.

The first record of Thanksgiving dinners to be given to needy widows of Mount Tabor Lodge was in 1863, The custom continued for many years.

The Lodge voted in 1864 that the Past Master's jewel, presented to Wor. George Gleason, be exchanged for one of gold at a cost of thirty-five dollars.

The Lodge suffered an irreplaceable loss in 1864 when the Winthrop House, Boston, burned destroying many documents of Masonry and early records of Mount Tabor Lodge. The Lodge participated in 1864, with the constituent Lodges, in laying the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple, Boylston and Tremont Streets, Boston. The Temple was dedicated in 1867 with Brother Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, in attendance.

The Lodge dues were increased to three dollars in 1867.

The members of the Lodge, accompanied by their ladies, journeyed to Lake Walden in Concord for a family picnic in 1869. The great interest of the Lodge in its members was noted on March 17, 1871, because of a congratulatory note sent to its Secretary, Bro. J. Hiram S. Pearson, upon his acceptance in the Matrimonial Lodge.

Most Worshipful Richard Briggs, Grand Master, died on June 29, 1893, the second Grand Master to die in office. In his memory the altar of the Lodge was draped in mourning for a period of three months.

In order that the Masons living in East Boston might be proficient in the work, a Lodge of Instruction was formed in 1898. Worshipful Frederick W. Hayden, Past Master of the Lodge, was the Master. The Lodge continued for many years until Grand Lodge organized the Department of Education and instituted the present Lodge of Instruction. The Lodge celebrated its Golden Anniversary in 1896 with the Grand Master in attendance.

Most Worshipful Charles Hutchinson, Grand Master, unaccompanied and unannounced, visited the Lodge in 1897, paying it a delightful honor and favoring it with an eloquent address.

The United States declared war with Spain in 1898. The Lodge was caused to rise and the prayer, written and delivered by Worshipful James A. Maynard at the beginning of the hostilities of the Civil War thirty-seven years earlier, was again read in the Lodge Room.

The Governor of Massachusetts, Brother John L. Bates, accompanied by his military aide, Brother Ainsley R. Hooper, a member of the Lodge, was welcomed in the Lodge Room on June 15, 1904. He spoke of the dedication of a statue to Most Worshipful and General Joseph Warren which was to be dedicated at Bunker Hill the next day. Mount Tabor Lodge joined with Grand Lodge and other constituted Lodges in public procession for these ceremonies.

Part of the Past Master's jewel presented to Worshipful Frederick W. Dunbar and lost by him thirty-eight years before, was found on the body of a drowning man. The remaining parts were found in his home. The jewel was returned to the undertaker, a Mason. The jewel was repaired and presented to Wor. Bro. Dunbar much to his surprise and pleasure.

Brother Donald MacMillan, famous explorer, was a guest of the Lodge in 1911 delivering a most interesting address on his trips to the Arctic. The schooner he sailed in, the Bowdoin, is now a floating museum in Camden, Maine.

St. John's Day, 1917, members and their ladies visited the Masonic Home in Charlton. Following a tour of the Home, all present enjoyed a delightful picnic lunch.

As the population of East Boston was changing and many of the members were moving to the suburbs, the Lodge petitioned Grand Lodge to move to the Temple in Boston. It was approved on May 20, 1920. Mount Tabor was assigned Ionic Hall, effective September 16, 1920, retaining the Third Thursday as its regular communication. The Lodge continued to meet in Ionic Hall until Corinthian Hall became available and continues to meet there.

The Lodge continued to grow because we read that on Roll Call, November 1923, the Lodge membership was three hundred and thirty-two.

The Lodge was honoured in 1932 by a visit from the Beacon Hill Square Club composed of Masons in the state government, for the purpose of conferring the Degree of Master Mason on Brothers Henry Parkman and Christian Archibald Herter. Wor. Samuel H. Wragg, later Grand Master, presided in the East. Following dinner, Brother Leverett Saltonstall gave a stirring address in the banquet hall. Bro. Herter, later became Secretary of State and members of the Lodge journeyed to the State Department to present him the honorary membership which the Lodge had conferred upon him.

The depression cast its shadows over Mount Tabor Lodge. From a membership of three hundred and thirty-two, the list dropped to one hundred and eighty-seven. . As the depression ended, candidates again petitioned the Lodge, only to have World War II take its toll of the officers as they left to serve in the Armed Forces. The Lodge continued to meet with Past Masters and others filling the stations. The Lodge contributed to the Masonic Service Association and many members of the Armed Forces visited the Lodge while in Boston. The Temple closed early due to the blackout restrictions.

The Lodge celebrated its one hundredth anniversary with the Grand Master and officers of Grand Lodge in attendance in 1945, especially grateful for the ending of the war and the return of the servicemen to the Lodge. (1945 Mass. 509-520) Following the war, candidates were again seeking admission to our Lodge and the officers were busy with extra meetings and doing courtesy work for other Lodges.

Right Worshipful William Henry Beeching, the grand old man of Mount Tabor Lodge, its secretary for a period of fifty years, passed away in 1952 at the age of 98. He had a unique Masonic record having missed only one meeting in his sixty-five years of membership, that of the Valentine Day storm of 1940. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master at the age of seventy-five, serving out the unexpired term of Right Worshipful Henry E. W. Bean. He left his estate to the Lodge to be known as the William H. Beeching Charity Fund.

During the Lodge's existence, fifteen members have served as Treasurer, eleven men have served as Secretary.

The Grand Master has appointed seven of its Past Masters as District Deputy Grand Masters. Right Worshipful Sidney Guy Holmes served as Presiding Master and District Deputy Grand Master at the same time.

The Honour Roll shows members serving in every conflict from the War of 1812 through the Korean War.

A review of the one hundred and twenty-five years of Mount Tabor Lodge shows a history of the period and the changing of its activities. In the early days of the Lodge meetings were held in the Lodge Room, fraternal visitations were common with other Lodges and public processions and the Feast of Saint John were celebrated. Ladies nights and picnics were enjoyed by the ladies.

Today, most of the activity is confined to the Lodge Room. Visitations are made by officers of the Lodge, in company with the District Deputy, to his visitations to Lodges in his District. The Lodge joins with Grand Lodge in celebrating the Feast of Saint John.

Mount Tabor Lodge continues to meet on the Third Thursday. Candidates, though few in number, seek admission to our Lodge. We adhere to the ancient rules and landmarks, confer the degrees, assist the Brother in need of charity, contribute to the Grand Lodge Blood Bank, and bury those who have passed to the Celestial Lodge above.

In a changing world, Freemasonry will continue to be the influence for good amongst men who have always distinguished it.

Mount Tabor Lodge enters its one hundred and twenty-sixth year with confidence in the future based on a glorious past. I would like to close with the poem read at the seventy-fifth anniversary by Worshipful J, Hiram S. Pearson, Historian:

Blest be the Master of this Lodge
And Wisdom be its guest;
Its portals blest, unfolding wide
To member and his guest.
Blest be its Altar, whereupon
The Three Great Lights abide;
Directing all our wandering feet
Where sin will not betide.
Blest be its Clouded Canopy, Where, through abiding grace,
Some day the Master we will see
And worship face to face.
The listening ear—the instructive tongue
The Grip — Masonic, kind;
Blest be their portion, shedding Hope And Joy to all mankind.
The dear ones of our hearts and homes
Committed to our care,
Blest be their ministrations sweet
As they our burdens share.
Blest be our Ancient Brotherhood,
May happy days befall!
The peace of man; the peace of love;
The peace of God o'er all.


  • 1918 (Petition to remove from East Boston to Boston refused, 1918-444)
  • 1919 (Petition to remove from East Boston to Boston refused, 1919-77, 1919-406)
  • 1920 (Following reconsideration, Mount Tabor Lodge charter jurisdiction altered from East Boston to Boston, 1920-116)



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. VI, No. 4, February, 1847, p. 108:

On the 15th, the new Lodge room, recently fitted up by Mount Tabor Lodge, at East Boston, was dedicated by the Grand Lodge. The officers were also, at the same time, publicly installed by the Grand Master, in the presence of about three hundred persons, ladies and other invited guests. The address was delivered by Rev. Br. Cobb.

See also the 1858 hall dedication.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 6, April, 1864, Page 179:

This excellent Lodge, located at East Boston, held a pleasant festival at their Lodge room, on the 28th of January last. On this occasion the wives and daughters of the members were invited, and their presence added much to the interest of the occasion. Their services in the hall consisted of excellent singing by the choir, prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Cook, and the address by Rev. Br. Studley, the subject of which was the Life, Works and Character of our first Great Grand Master Solomon. It was an eloquent and intensely interesting address.

After the address the company repaired to the Sturtevant House, where an excellent banquet was in waiting for them. Between three and four hundred were present, and after doing ample justice to the good things prepared for them, Worshspful Master Frederick W. Dunbar made a brief and appropriate welcome address, in which he expressed his great pleasure at meeting so many, and especially the ladies, around the festive board. He called out in succession M. W. G. M. William Parkman of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, R. W. District Deputy Grand Master Dadmun, Rev. Bro. S. W. Foljambe and J. S. Bingham, all of whom made brief and pleasing addresses. Grand Master Parkman said the Order was never more prosperous than at the present time, and also spoke of its extension into the army where there are eleven army Lodges in working order, and where the benign influences flowing from the Order were realized as they never had been realized before. The occasion was a very pleasant one to all present.

We learn that Mount Tabor Lodge is in a very flourishing condition. Its members have lately been largely increased; among them are many of the leading men of East Boston.


From Masonic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 4, February 1864, Page 191:

On the 23th ult., Mt. Tabor Lodge, of East Boston, had a very pleasant festival, to which the wives and daughters of the members were invited. An address was delivered by Br. Rev. Wm. Studley, on the Life, Works, and Character of our first Grand Master Solomon, after which the company repaired to the Sturtevant House and partook of an excellent banquet. Appropriate speeches were made by the W. M. F. W. Dunbar, R. W. Wm. Parkman and others. The occasion was a very pleasant one to all present. Mt. Tabor Lodge is in a very flourishing condition.

Sturtevant House (1858)


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXX, No. 3, January 1871, Page 96:

The following officers were installed at Mount Tabor Lodge, East Boston, Thursday evening, Nov. 24:

  • Increase S. Pote, W. M.
  • Ed. H. Morse, S. W.
  • J. Woodley, J. W.
  • J. H. S. Pearsons, Secretary
  • J. B. Webster, Treasurer
  • Rev. W. H. Cudworth, Chaplain
  • J. W. White, Marshal
  • M. M. Hancock, S. D
  • C. H. Lynch, J. D.
  • A. C. Adams, S. S.
  • J. Allen, I. S.
  • A. Fisher, Sentinel
  • Samuel W. Gleason, Tyler for his 13th term.

After the installation A. B. Barrett, W. P. M. presented Dr. Seth C. Ames, the retiring W. M., with a Past Master's Jewel.


From New England Freemason, Vol. II, No. 12, December 1875, Page 599:

On the 8th inst. the following-named officers were installed by Past Master William D. Barrett:

  • Martin M. Hancock, W. M.
  • Charles G. Brooks, S. W.
  • James H. Bent, J. W.
  • Samuel McWilliam, Treas.
  • and J. H. S. Pearson, Sec.

At the Communication on the 16th inst. Brother Barrett was presented with an elegant Past Master's jewel in massive gold, ornamented with diamonds. This testimonial was the gift of the Lodge, and bears upon the back the inscription: " Mount Tabor Lodge to Worshipful Brother William D. Barrett, Past Master, 1874 and 1875. December 16th, 1875." It was manufactured by Messrs. Guild & Delano, of Boston, and is one of the finest specimens we have seen of the handicraft of those Brethren. It is alike creditable to the skill of the makers, the liberality of the donors, and the zeal and efficiency of the recipient.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. I, No. 10, January 1878, Page 317:

At a meeting of Mt Tabor Lodge, held at Masonic Hall, Central square, on the evening of November 27, the following officers were duly installed by W. Bro. Martin M. Hancock, assisted by W. Bro. S. C. Ames: —

Worshipful Master, Charles G. Brooks; Senior Warden, Charles H. Foss; Junior Warden, George F. Blake; Treasurer, Samuel McWilliam; Secretary, J. Hiram S. Pearson; Chaplain, Richard Beeching; Marshal, Jesse S. Perkins; Senior Deacon, Richard A. Atwood; Junior Deacon, Charles A. Grant; Senior Steward, Francis S. Andrews; Junior Steward, Alexander Montgomery; Inside Sentinel, Nelson J. Williams; Tyler, Philander Nutter; Finance Committee, Wor. Frederick Pease (Chairman), Richard Beeching, James Townscnd; Board of Directors, Wor. Increase S. Pote (Trustee), Charles G. Brooks, Richard Beeching.

After the ceremony of installation, W. Bro. Hancock, the retiring Master, was presented with a magnificent Past Master's jewel, by W. Bro. Charles G. Brooks, in behalf of Mt. Tabor Lodge. W. Bro. Hancock received the jewel in his usual happy style, thanking the Lodge for the beautiful gift.

The widow of the late Brother Dr. Richard M. Ingalls, P.M. of Baalbec Lodge, East Boston, receives nine hundred and eighty-one dollars from the Eastern Masonic Mutual Relief Association.




1846: District 1 (Boston)

1849: District 1

1867: District 3 (Boston Highlands)

1883: District 3 (East Boston)

1911: District 3 (East Boston)

1927: District 3 (Boston)

2003: District 13


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