THE BEGINNING OF FREEMASONRY IN CONNECTICUT
From New England Craftsman, Vol. VI, No. 7, April 1911, Page 206:
The beginning of Freemasonry in Connecticut forms an interesting chapter in the history of Freemasonry in our country. Nearly a half century before the Grand Lodge of Connecticut was formed a regular lodge had been established and exercised its functions. Other lodges followed in due time until 1789 when representatives of the lodges assembled in New Haven on the 8th day of July, formed a Grand Lodge and adopted a constitution for the purpose of establishing "order and uniformity, to promote Love and Charity among Masons and render more general and extensive the principles of benevolence and philanthropy."
Massachusetts Masons had a large influence in founding Masonry in Connecticut. Be'fore 1789 nine charters had been issued to brethren in Connecticut by the St. John's Grand Lodge of Boston and six by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. None were issued by the St. John's Grand Lodge after March 23, 1780, and all issued by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge were subsequent to this date.
Previous to organizing the Grand Lodge of Masons in Connecticut the brethren attempted to establish regularity of action among the lodges by a convention of delegates representing the several lodges, the first of which was held at New Haven, April 29, 1783. Twelve lodges were represented. Bro. Comfort Sage of Middletown was chosen moderator and Bro. Pierpont Edwards of New Haven clerk of the convention. The charters and by-laws of the several lodges were read. A committee was selected to form bylaws relative to fees for degrees, the time candidates shall stand proposed, the admission of visitors and such other matters as might properly be subject for general regulation.
The committee reported on the matter and a copy was ordered for each lodge, other measures in the interes of uniformity were also adopted. 1t was voted to hold another convention in the following September at Middletown.
The important work accomplished by the convention naturally led to the establishment of a permanent body to continue interest in the uniformity of work and methods of business. A convention of delegates from the several lodges of the state was held at Hartford, May 14, 1789, when a committee was appointed "to prepare a systematic plan for forming a Grand Lodge." The report was directed to be made at a convention to be held on the 8th of the following July in New Haven. On the date mentioned a convention was held, delegates from twelve lodges being present. A constitution and regulations were adopted and officers elected. The first Grand Master was Pierpont Edwards of Hiram Lodge, New Haven.
It is interesting to note that the Royal Arch Chapters of Connecticut afterwards followed the method of the grand Hodge when they felt the need of a governing body for their rite. They appointed delegates to a convention for the purpose of considering "measures relative to said chapters which may be deemed of expedience or utility." These conventions continued a short time and then a Grand Chapter was established.
The first lodge chartered in Connecticut was Hiram of New Haven. It was instituted in the year 1750 by a warrant from St. John's Grand Lodge of Boston, as descending from the Grand Hodge of England. The Warrant was dated Nov. 12, 1750.
The lodge has maintained its organization until the present time and. with the exception of Hartford Lodge, is the largest in the state having, Jan. 1, 1910, 840 members. The lodge acquired an extended notoriety about a quarter of a century ago by defying the Grand Hodge of the state. It was a most unfortunate affair and at this time there seems but little excuse on either hand for its occurrence. It is not worth while for a Grand Master to be too strenuous in supporting his dignity or a lodge too finicky regarding its rights.
There were on Jan. 1, 1910, 110 lodges and 32,586 affiliated Masons in Connecticut. There have been 65 Grand Masters and 13 Grand Secretaries. The Masons of Connecticut have a Masonic Home that is a source of pride and a means of great usefulness. It has been admirably managed and wisely financed.
There have been many occasions of public importance in which the Grand Hodge has participated. Among the most interesting to the craft, was the dedication of the Wooster monument at Danbury, April 27, 1854.
David Wooster was the founder of Masonry in Connecticut. He secured the charter for Hiram Hodge and was its first Master in 1750. A lodge was named for him in 1781. The ceremonies connected with the dedication of his monument were in charge of the Grand Hodge and were extremely interesting. The governor of the state took part. An address of great merit was delivered by Henry Champion Denning.