- 1 DELTA 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 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.9 DISTRICTS
- 2.10 LINKS
Chartered By: William Sewall Gardner
Charter Date: 06/09/1869 VII-371
Precedence Date: 06/06/1868
Current Status: Active
- The Lodge of Eleusis and Quincy merged here, 05/03/1995.
- St. Paul's-Algonquin Lodge merged here, 10/24/2014.
As a part of the historical address for the lodge's 50th anniversary on 06/02/1919, there are a number of short biographies of principal members.
- 1919-124; Edward Avery, Past Junior Grand Warden.
- 1919-126; Nathaniel Frederic Thayer Hunt, Past Senior Warden.
- 1919-124; Elisha Watson, Past Junior Warden and State Representative.
- 1919-127; Amos Stone White, Past Treasurer.
- 1919-127; Charles Gilman Thompson, Past Secretary.
- 1919-128; Alverdo Mason, Past Junior Warden.
- 1919-129; Alden Wilder Nash, Past Senior Warden.
- 1919-129; Elbridge Thomas Richards, Past junior officer.
- 1919-129; Reuben Tirrell, Past Senior Warden.
- 1919-130; William Sprague Wallace, Past Master.
- 1919-131; Richard Amory Hunt, Past Organist.
- 1919-131; Ebenezer Atherton Hunt, Past Master.
- 1919-132; Francis Ambler, Past Town Clerk of Braintree.
- 1919-133; Ebenezer William Hunt, Charter member.
- 1919-133; Edwin P. Worster, member of the Lodge.
- 1919-134; Thomas Brastow Porter, Past Trustee.
- 1919-134; Erastus Nash, member of the Lodge.
- 1919-134; Milton Heywood Read, Charter member.
- 1919-135; George William Warren, veteran and member of the Lodge.
- 1919-135; John Metzler Walsh, Past Master.
- 1919-136; Francis Flint Forsaith, Charter Member.
- 1919-136: George Adoniram Gustin, Past Marshal.
- 1919-137: Charles Stewart Williams, Veteran and member of the Lodge.
- 1919-137: Waterman Thomas Burrell, Past Junior Warden.
- 1919-137: Solon Walter Pratt, member of the Lodge.
- 1919-138: Charles Gorham Easterbrook, publisher and member of the Lodge.
- 1919-138: Francis Allen Hobart, State Senator and member of the Lodge.
- 1919-139: Asa French, former State Representative and member of the Lodge.
- 1919-139: Edmund Stephen Soper Hunt, Charter Member.
- 1919-140: George Washington White, Jr., former Trustee and Deputy Sheriff.
- Edward G. Avery, 1868-1870
- George W. Locke, 1871
- Ebenezer Atherton Hunt, 1872-1874
- William Sprague Wallace, 1875-1877
- John Metzer Walsh, 1878-1880
- John E. Hunt, 1881, 1882; Memorial
- Alden Bowditch, 1883, 1884
- Edward E. Richards, 1885, 1886
- David J. Pierce, 1887, 1888
- Joel F. Sheppard, 1889, 1890
- Edwin F. Sterling, 1891, 1892
- Frank H. Mason, 1893, 1894; SN
- Howard Poole, 1895-1897
- George F. Fuller, 1898, 1899
- W. Edward Gutterson, 1900, 1901
- Edward M. Wight, 1902, 1903
- Frank White, 1904, 1905
- William S. Stone, 1906, 1907
- George T. Burnham, 1908, 1909; Memorial
- John Henry Guy, 1910, 1911
- Charles G. Jordan, 1912, 1913; Memorial
- Walter James Harrison, 1914, 1915
- Atherton N. Hunt, 1916, 1917
- Henry D. Higgins, 1918, 1919; N
- Harry James Beck, 1920, 1921
- Charles A. Koehler, 1922, 1923
- Arthur W. Hoe, 1924, 1925; N
- Willard Perkins Sheppard, 1926
- Carl Gleason Makepeace, 1927
- C(harles). Frederick Tarbox, 1928
- Justin W. Shrader, 1929
- Frank Philbrick Lord, 1930
- Ernest Choate Woodsum, 1931
- William Clement Brooks, 1932
- Gilbert Thorpe Singleton, 1933
- Charles William Mann, 1934
- James H. Corrigan, 1935
- Herbert B. Hollis, 1936
- Oren Carrier, 1937
- Carl G. Streitferd, 1938
- William C. Ross, 1939
- Daniel F. Caskin, 1940
- Jonathan Wales French, 1941
- H. Irving Charnock, 1942
- Charles G. Jordan, Jr., 1943; N
- Albert Henry Francis, 1944
- Howard J. Rose, 1945
- Charles S. McLean, 1946
- Daniel H. M. Dwight, 1947
- Clayton William Schwenk, 1948
- Ralph Leach, 1949
- Otis Briggs Oakman, Jr., 1950
- W. Edwin Skinner, 1951
- Francis Joseph Faust, 1952
- Richard W. Farnsworth, 1953
- James A. C. Smith, 1954
- Harold C. Nielsen, 1955
- Harold Taber Warren, 1956
- Howard F. Knowles, 1957
- Walter J. Hansen, 1958; N
- Francis F. Phipps, 1959
- Edward R. Oakman, 1960
- Herbert E. Bass, 1961
- Karl Harold Polson, 1962
- Arthur Peterson, 1963
- Abraham Shire, 1964
- William J. Williams, 1965
- Robert Henry Wills, Jr., 1966
- John E. Morcom, 1967
- George T. Loud, 1968
- Warren David Armstrong, 1969
- Stafford H. Cyphers, 1970
- Morris J. Harrison, 1971
- Donald R. Blunt, 1972
- Wayne G. Parlee, 1973, 1979; PDDGM
- Charles Alexander Cruickshank, 1974, 1996
- James T. Sisson, 1975
- Leonard A. Hinthorne, Sr., 1976
- Robert C. Lane, 1977
- Robert H. Stevens, 1979
- James G. Chandler, Jr., 1980
- Arnold J. Williams, 1981
- John W. O'Connell, 1982
- William M. Wing, 1983
- Albert E. Wood, 1984, 1998; PDDGM
- Francis B. James, Jr., 1985
- Waller W. Elliott, Jr., 1986
- George T. Long, 1987
- Stanley R. Hathon, 1988
- Robert J. Sargent, 1989
- Robert E. Whitehouse, 1990, 1994
- John B. MacKay, 1991, 1992; N
- David H. Hockey, 1993
- Donald R. Blunt, 1995
- Gilbert N. Daley, 1997
- Jeffrey R. Hall, 1999
- Robert C. Mixer, 2000
- Lance F. Powers, 2001, 2002, 2012, 2013
- Earle A. Thompson, 2003
- Richard S. Fredholm, 2004
- Glenn D. Hall, 2005
- Gerald A. DeGregorio, 2006, 2007
- John J. Inglis, 2008-2010
- Richard W. Jolls, 2011
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Dispensation: 1868
- Petition for Charter: 1869
- Consolidation Petition (with The Lodge of Eleusis and Quincy Lodges): 1995
- Speech by Edward Avery to commemorate 50 years of Freemasonry in Weymouth, 1875.
- 1919 (50th Anniversary)
- 1944 (75th Anniversary)
- 1968 (Centenary)
- 1993 (125th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1869 (Gardner; Constitution of Lodge and installation)
- 1869 (Gallagher; first meeting in Braintree)
- 1907 (Blake; 2 visits; cornerstone laying and dedication of hall; see below)
- 1919 (L. Abbott; 50th Anniversary)
- 1927 (Simpson)
- 1934 (Chipman)
- 1944 (A. Coolidge; 75th Anniversary)
- 1954 (W. Johnson; "John Prescott Robertson Night")
- 1968 (Booth; Centenary)
- 1972 (Jaynes)
- 1973 (Vose)
- 1981 (Berquist; hall dedication)
- 1993 (Lovering; 125th Anniversary)
- 1995 (Lovering; consolidation with The Lodge of Eleusis, and Quincy)
- 2014 (Consolidation with St. Paul's-Algonquin; Special Communication)
- 1919 (50th Anniversary History, 1919-102; see below)
- 1944 (75th Anniversary History, 1944-180; see below)
- 1968 (Centenary History, 1968-56; see below)
- 1993 (125th Anniversary History, 1993-36; see below)
50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1919
From Proceedings, Page 1919-102:
Historical Address by Worshipful Walter James Harrison.
Braintree, Mass., June 2, 1919.
Most Worshipful Grand Master, Worshipful Master, and Brethren:
In treating this subject on a similar occasion thirteen years ago, M. W. Baalis Sanford made the statement that "history is never a pastime, seldom an entertainment, and often dry and uninteresting especially to those not particularly concerned in its details." I am glad to quote the view of so eminent a Mason as Grand Master Sanford for it coincides so closely with my own, and although he didn't say so, I believe he had in mind those occasions when in the performance of official duty he, like the members of the Grand Lodge tonight, had been compelled to sit and listen to something "dry and uninteresting."
But I presume that is one of the penalties for being great.
However, it seems eminently fitting as well as a circumstance of great pleasure to us that the members of the Grand Lodge should be assembled with us at this time, for as we are the lineal descendants of those who founded the Lodge so are they the descendants of those who breathed into our ancestors the breath of Masonic life and brought into being this institution of which we are tonight rendering an account of our stewardship.
At the outset there are two propositions requiring our consideration. The first is, that any full and complete history of the Lodge must include all the records of the nearly seven hundred and fifty regular and special communications which have been held by the lodge since its institution, for they already constitute the written history of the Lodge and there. is hardly an item there that would not be of interest to someone here tonight, but as such an inclusion here would be an impossibility it has seemed to your chronicler to be his duty for this occasion to segregate those events which have either had a vital influence upon the life of the Lodge or which may be of special interest to us at the present time.
The second proposition for our consideration is, that in order to read history understandingly it should be read not in the light of the present, but rather in the light of the times in which the various events occurred, and with your permission and the support of one of the Three Great Lights in Freemasonry which states that "the last shall be first and the first last," I will develop the second proposition first. Now in order to produce the proper atmosphere with which to envelop the early beginnings of Delta Lodge, we should close our eyes to all that is modern and endeavor to draw a mental picture of a fine old New England country town, with its streets fringed with beautiful elm shade trees and lined with the white-painted and green-blinded homes of its residents — those residents of New England Yankee stock and many of them direct descendants of the first permanent settlers of old Wessagusset. We should remember that the electric light now so indispensable was still an invention of the future and that if one wanted to make a social or business call, he either went on foot or in his carriage, for the jingle of the telephone bell and the honk of the automobile and the rumble and jangle of the electric car had not yet disturbed the peace and quiet of the countryside. Even the South Shore Railroad as it was then called extended only from Braintree to Cohasset, and the few trains which traversed its rails were drawn by the old wood-burning engines Quincy and Hingham, with the last train for the day leaving either terminal at half past six and no Sunday service. The morning conference over the backyard fence between the good housewives of the town was still an institution. One still had an abiding faith in one's neighbor and a wholehearted interest in everyone's affairs and no home happening was too trivial or too great to be freely and fully discussed at these conferences, with a ready charity of thought and action where needed. Of theatres there were none and those of Boston were seldom visited and so, as in many other New England towns, the social life of the town revolved about its churches and Masonic Lodge, for we should bear in mind that Orphan's Hope Lodge had already been in existence forty-three years with credit to itself and honor to the community.
I have spoken of Weymouth as being a country town and so it was, but not in the sense of being agricultural nor unimportant, for it teemed with industry and far exceeded in population and importance the neighboring town of Quincy. The chief industry was the making of boots, — the long-legged kind that our fathers and many of my hearers tonight used to wear, — and they not only made boots, but they made the best that were made anywhere, from the heavy boot for use in the fields to those made of the finest calf and kid skins for use on the swell social occasions of the day. These were shipped by the Boston and New York wholesalers all over the United States and exported to Europe, and so through its product the town became internationally known. A small edition of the Dizer plant and one or two others were already in existence, the forerunners of those great modern factories in which, we are asked to believe, a procession of cows and calves enters at one end of the building and fifteen minutes later leaves the other end in the form of shoes ready to wear and cased for shipment. But by far the larger part of the product was still made in the small shops such as were operated by Alden Nash, Atherton Hunt, Erastus Nash, Richard Hunt, and a great many others. These were usually located in the front or back yard of the owner and employed but a few men each, farming out parts of the work to the inhabitants of the town who brought them back to the shops to be assembled. As these shops were owned by the influential men of the town — many of them Masons — it was quite natural that they should become the meeting-places for the discussion of local politics and Masonic procedure, and many were the red hot arguments they witnessed at the expense of the boot industry, for what did the making of boots amount to when the qualifications of Bill Jones for field driver were under debate. But while the arguments may have been hot at the time nothing ever rankled and no friendships were sundered.
Into this atmosphere came Delta.
Unfortunately neither the original petition for a Dispensation nor the Dispensation itself are available, although a copy of the latter appears in the records of the Lodge, but in all probability the petition was signed and placed in the hands of the Grand Master some time in the month of May, 1868, for we learn from the records of the Lodge that the petitioners held their first meeting on May 12, 1868, in the Good Templars' Hall, Weymouth Landing, and organized with Hon. Edward Avery chairman and Alverdo Mason secretary. At this meeting the Lodge organization under dispensation was perfected with the following officers:
- Edward Avery, Worshipful Master
- Nathaniel F. T. Hunt, Senior Warden.
- E. Watson Arnold, Junior Warden.
- Amos S. White, Treasurer.
- Charles G. Thompson, Secretary.
- William S. Wallace, Chaplain.
- George A. Gustin, Marshal.
- Alverdo Mason, Senior Deacon.
- Alden W. Nash, Junior Deacon.
- Elbridge T. Richards, Senior Steward.
- Reuben Tirrell, Junior Steward.
- Waterman T. Burrell, Tyler.
- Richard A. Hunt, Organist, was appointed at a later meeting.
The petitioners held another meeting on May 19 and a final meeting on May 26 at which further preliminary details were worked out. From the annual address of M. W. Charles C. Dame, then Grand Master, delivered at the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge in December, 1868, we learn that he had granted on June 6, 1868, a Dispensation to Edward Avery and thirty-four others for a new Lodge at Weymouth to be called "Delta" and three days later, or June 9, 1868, the Lodge held its first regular communication and July 4 of the same year made its first public appearance when it joined with Orphan's Hope Lodge in dedicating the Soldiers' Monument at Weymouth.
Joseph Wilder White and George Washington Locke, in the order named, were the first applicants to tempt fate at the hands of the new officers, but as they both were Entered Apprentices August 11, 1868, Passed September 29, and Raised in due and ancient form October 27, it is to be presumed that their trust had not been misplaced.
Apparently the work of the new Lodge was satisfactory to the District Deputy Grand Master, R. W. Zachariah L. Bicknell, who attended a number of the meetings, for at the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge held on June 9, 1869, when a petition for a Charter signed by thirty members was presented, it received favorable action and a Charter was granted.
Of these thirty charter members, typical and representative of the South Shore citizenry of a half century ago, twenty-three were members of Orphan's Hope, one of Rural, one of John Cutler, one of Old Colony, one of Saint Paul's, one of Adelphi, one of Saint John's No. 1 of New York City, and one of Solomon's Lodge No. 1 of Charleston, S. C. Five are still living, while all the others who subscribed their names with the firm hand and enthusiastic purpose of a vigorous manhood have crumbled to dust and long since dimitted to the Great Grand Lodge above where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides. Of the five who are living, only two are still members of the Lodge, Worshipful Brother Wallace and Brother Tirrell, both of whom are present tonight and in the enjoyment of a physical condition and mental clarity which we hope may be their portion for many years to come.
On July 2, 1869, the Grand Lodge came out from Boston for the purpose of Constituting and Consecrating the new Lodge and installing its officers. This service was performed according to the rites of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and in the usual impressive manner of the Grand Lodge. The charter members had assembled in Lincoln Hall, Weymouth Landing, because of the larger seating capacity of the hall and the exercises were in charge of M. W. William Sewall Gardner, Grand Master, assisted by the following officers:
- R. W. Charles Levi Woodbury, Deputy Grand Master.
- R. W. Z. L. Bicknell, Acting Senior Grand Warden.
- R. W. Ivory H. Pope, Junior Grand Warden.
- R. W. Solon Thornton, Recording Grand Secretary.
- Wor. John A. Goodwin, Acting Grand Chaplain.
- R. W. William F. Salmon, Acting Grand Marshal.
- Wor. Lovell Bicknell, Acting Senior Grand Deacon.
- Bro. Howard M. Dow, Acting Junior Grand Deacon.
- Bro. Eben F. Gay, Grand Tyler.
After the exercises of the evening a collation was served, a season of great social enjoyment followed, and the new Lodge was started on its way with the apparent approval and support of. everyone in the district. It seems proper to record here that, when we consider the fact that twenty-three members of the new Lodge had dimitted from Orphan's Hope Lodge in the same town (quite a sizable number for those days) and when we consider the further fact that in the future they were to draw their new members from the same territory, one might be justified in thinking that a feeling of secret opposition if not open hostility pervaded the older Lodge; but nothing could be further from the truth, for Orphan's Hope seemed to take a sort of motherly interest in the infant Lodge and gave a beautiful demonstration of the tenets of Freemasonry. The records of the Lodge show that when they held their first regular communication Worshipful Brother William Humphrey, the presiding Master of Orphan's Hope, was present and gave the new officers instructions in opening and closing the Lodge and changing to other degrees, and when the third degree was first -worked he presided in the East and raised both candidates by invitation of the Master. For a long time hardly a meeting was held but what officers and members of Orphan's Hope were present, and further to cement the cordial relations between the Lodges many of them were elected honorary members of Delta. This amicable feeling reached its climax when at the meeting on September 6, 1870, the following communication was received:
Weymouth, July 12, 1870.
To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brothers of Delta Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons,
The undersigned having been appointed a committee of Orphan's Hope Lodge to procure some testimonial as an expression of the fraternal feeling and good wishes of its members for the success and prosperity of Delta Lodge, would ask your acceptance of the enclosed two hundred dollars and we present it in this form believing that under your direction it may be much more advantageously expended for the benefit of your Lodge than it could be by us, and in performing the duty assigned us we desire to express the hope that the brotherly love and friendship which have so long existed between many of the members of Delta Lodge and those of Orphan's Hope may continue with us ' till time shall be no more' and the only contention that shall ever exist between the members of these two Lodges shall be that of emulation as to who can best exemplify the precepts taught by our beloved order.
Z. L. BlCKNELL,
Committee Orphan's Hope Lodge.
As Delta had just moved into new quarters which it had fitted up at an expense of nearly three thousand dollars there is no doubt but what this was a most welcome gift. I am glad to record further that the prayer of the presenting committee for a continuance of the friendship and brotherly love between the Lodges has been amply answered in the past half century and seems destined to be in the future.
With this auspicious start the Lodge rapidly grew in membership and strength and soon acquired a reputation for open-handed hospitality that still lingers in the memories of the older Masons of the South Shore. When Delta was entertaining, all roads led to the Landing, and they came in their carriages and in barges for a radius of twenty miles or more around, for they knew from experience that the cooking of the good housewives of Weymouth was of a high order and that the turkeys and other good things leaving their ovens that afternoon would be done to a turn. Likewise they had reason to believe that the punch bowl would be refilled as often as needed and a number of miles clipped thereby from the return trip, for we should remember that these Masonic ancestors of ours were decidedly human and believed in the free and temperate use of all of the good things of life. The early records are filled, with references to the good times they enjoyed—the Secretary in one instance closing his record of the occasion with the expression "'Twas good to be there"; at another time, the occasion being the annual visitation, he states that the lodge closed at nine-thirty and that "concord reigned till low twelve when the brethren reluctantly repaired to their homes" — possibly this reluctance increased the nearer some of the Brethren approached their homes. Seemingly, the members of the Lodge were so filled with the spirit of brotherly love and hospitality that the regular meetings did not offer sufficient opportunty, and so on January 29, 1872, they called a special communication for the stated purpose of entertaining the members of the South Shore Lodges - they came in great numbers and included the Masters and members of Corner-Stone, Konohassett, Old Colony, Orphan's Hope, Rural, Norfolk Union, Paul Revere, and also members of Henry Price, Gate of the Temple, Mount Hermon, Hart's Falls, N. Y., and Oriental, of Maine. Unfortunately the Secretary has omitted to record the closing hour of this Masonic festival, for such it really was, but I am informed that not only low twelve but some smaller figures had struck before the last of the cutters with their jingling bells had left the Square.
On February 21, 1873, the first "ladies' night" was held and was repeated with regularity for a number of years; then for some reason or other they were discontinued until five years ago when they were put back upon the social calendar of the Lodge, there to remain as a fixture we hope, for their popularity with the ladies admits of no argument and their value to the Lodge is beyond cavil.
June 17, 1874, on invitation of the Masons resident in Braintree and under escort of Old Colony Commandery, of Abington, and South Shore Commandary, of East Weymouth, the Lodge assisted in the dedication of the Soldiers Monument in Braintree and on July 4 of the same year it participated in the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the town of Weymouth.
By a singular coincidence, the Lodge held its one hundredth regular communication on July 4, 1876, the same date as the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the independence of the Republic. Worshipful Brother Wallace, then Master of the Lodge, called the attention of the members to this fact in an address and appropriate commemorative exercises were held including patriotic remarks by various members and special devotional exercises at the altar. A procession was formed and proceeded thrice around the Lodge, paying in passing the East the grand honors to the memory of our illustrious Brother George Washington, Worshipful Master of Alexandria Washington Lodge, of Alexandria, Va., whose portrait at that time adorned the East of the lodge.
In 1879 a strong desire for a Lodge in Braintree sprang up and at the communication of January 27 of the following year a petition praying for the erection of a Masonic Lodge in the town of Braintree was presented to the Lodge for its approval, but, although the committee appointed for the purpose of investigating the subject reported favorably, the Lodge on February 24 declined to grant the request. The Braintree Masons were not to be so easily disposed of, however, and at the April communication they came back, but their petition took a new form. They now prayed that the lodge endorse a petition to the Grand Lodge for the removal of Delta Lodge to South Braintree. Apparently this was where the petitioners made a great mistake for it aroused a storm of protest and the committee appointed for the purpose submitted at the September meeting a majority report signed by three in opposition and a minority report signed by one in favor of the petition. The majority report, which was adopted by the Lodge, set forth the very pertinent fact that eighty percent of the members lived in the immediate vicinity of the Lodge-room while only twenty percent lived at South Braintree and that if it was a hardship for those at South Braintree to go to the Landing it would be a greater hardship for the eighty percent to go to South Braintree. At this distance there seems to be a great deal of commonsense in the report of the majority and we do not wonder that the Lodge denied the petition. Since the days when our earliest ancestors climbed down out of the trees, caught and killed their prey with their hands, and at night rolled a boulder to the mouth of their cave to protect themselves from their four-footed enemies, apparently the only thing in the world which hasn 't changed is human nature. One of the chief motives which actuated the founders of the Lodge was the desire to have a Lodge near their homes and thus save the trip to East Weymouth, and so we cannot blame the South Braintree Brethren if they wanted a Lodge in their front yard. But while the operation might have been a success, the patient would have died, for the Lodge would have been pocketed on one edge of its territory and the Weymouth members would surely have dimitted to Orphan's Hope. On June 7, 1881, during the administration of Worshipful John E. Hunt, Most Worshipful Samuel Crocker Lawrence, then Grand Master, paid a fraternal visit to the lodge. The Masonic Temple in Boston, which occupied the upper floors of the old Winthrop House at the corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets, had been burned in 1864 with the irreparable loss of its paraphernalia and priceless collection of antiquities, and a new Temple had been erected on the site with a large debt. In order to liquidate this debt a capitation tax had been levied on every Mason in the state extending through a period of years. This period expired in 1878 leaving an unpaid balance on the Temple of $270,000.00 and a new capitation tax of one dollar per member per year for a period of fifteen years was levied in 1879 with a provision that any member could discount or commute his tax in full by a cash payment of ten dollars. The Grand Master was possessed of an enthusiastic desire to extinguish this debt and the object of his visit at this time was to induce the members of the Lodge to take advantage of this commutation. After an address delivered in the eloquent manner which those who knew Grand Master Lawrence while at his zenith will well recall the Lodge voted to commute the tax of all its members.
On the afternoon of September 26, 1881, the Lodge held a special communication for the purpose of attending the memorial exercises at the Union Congregational Church in honor of our late brother James Abram Garfield, President of the United States.
August 1, 1889, the Lodge attended the dedication of the Pilgrim Monument at Plymouth. Those who participated in this pilgrimage have not yet forgotten the drenching rain which played such an unwelcome part in the program, but the afternoon was bright and the entertainment of Plymouth Lodge was of such an order that the Brethren returned highly pleased with their trip.
During all this time, many Masons affiliated with .various Lodges had taken up a residence in Braintree and naturally felt the necessity for a local Lodge. This feeling resulted in a movement, stronger than any which had preceded it, for the establishment of a Lodge in Braintree. A number of meetings were held in which Tristram R. Newell was a leading spirit and on June 20, 1899, they presented a petition for the approval of the Lodge, praying the Grand Lodge to erect a Lodge in Braintree. The committee to which this petition was referred reported unanimously in opposition at the October communication and the Lodge voted not to grant the request. For a long time, however, there had been a growing sentiment in the Lodge that a change of location was desirable and of late it had seemed to be almost imperative. Up to about 1882 the Lodge seems to have basked in the brilliant light and genial warmth of an ascending sun, but the winter solstice with its lowering skies and chilling winds then arrived and lingering as it did through many years it seemed as though it might always stay. This condition had been brought about not through any fault of the Lodge or its members, but chiefly by a change in the local conditions of the Landing. Soon after 1870 the boot industry began to decline and finally ceased entirely, and there being no other remunerative employment many removed to other centres, particularly the younger men upon whom the Lodge depended for its future growth and support. Many of the older members who regarded the Lodge with the affection of a parent for a child had passed away and because of a lack of work and consequently a lack of interest others had dimitted. Pentalpha Chapter, which was organized in 1870 through the initiative and influence of the members of Delta and had since been fostered by them, had been a tenant of the Lodge for its first ten years and then was a joint lessee with the Lodge until 1890; but in the latter year it decided to remove to East Weymouth and the entire rent of the property fell upon the Lodge. So you will see there were a number of contributing causes to the general effect. But while the darkness was most intense, the rosy light of a new dawn was already beginning to suffuse the Eastern horizon. At the January communication in 1898 the Secretary with mixed emotions read eight applications for degrees — not a very large number today, but it was more than had been read in this Lodge in the three years preceding all put together, and I haven't the slightest doubt but what a fervent "Amen" was in the hearts if not upon the lips of the faithful who had persisted in their interest in and attendance upon the meetings of the Lodge. But the hand of destiny still pointed to the west, if a realization of the early ambitions of the Lodge was to be achieved. So while the Lodge refused to grant the request for a new Lodge, it at the same time requested the committee to investigate the advisability of moving the Lodge to Braintree. This solution of the problem was satisfactory to the Braintree Brethren and when the committee reported in favor of removal at the meeting of December 12, 1899, the Lodge voted its approval. The various Lodges holding joint jurisdiction over the town of Braintree having signified their approval of the change, the Grand Lodge was petitioned and at its Quarterly Communication on June 13, 1900, granted the request. The first meeting of the Lodge in Braintree was held on October 2, 1900. The wisdom of this change in location requires no argument, for the Lodge has steadily grown in strength and prestige and its membership has risen from eighty-three when it left Weymouth to three hundred and thirty-one at the present time.
At a special meeting of the Lodge October 23, 1900, while Worshipful W. Edward Outterson was Master, M. W. Charles Theodore Gallagher, Grand Master, and R. W. Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary, made the Lodge a fraternal visit. The Lodge was highly entertained by the addresses of both grand officers, the Grand Master among other things congratulating the Lodge for having removed to Braintree and so enlarging its field of work and usefulness and the Grand Secretary giving a scholarly discourse on Masonic subjects including the origin of the name of the Lodge.
The constant increase in the membership of the Lodge and a desire for quarters more in keeping with the dignity of our ceremonials finally led to the appointment of a committee by Worshipful Brother William S. Stone to investigate the subject, and upon the strength of their report the Lodge voted to build the Temple we now occupy at a special meeting called for that purpose on August 13, 1907. Work was soon started and on September 21 following the cornerstone was laid with appropriate ceremonies by the Grand Lodge, M. W. John Albert Blake, Grand Master, officiating, and in the presence of the officers and members of the Lodge and the assembled citizens.
December 7, 1907, the new Temple was dedicated to Freemasonry, to Virtue, and to Universal Benevolence with beautiful and impressive ceremonies in accordance with ancient usage and the ritual of the Grand Lodge. M. W. John Albert Blake occupied the Oriental Chair and was assisted by the following officers:
- R. W. Arthur T. Way, Deputy Grand Master
- R. W. John A. McKim, as Senior Grand Warden
- R. W. Dana J. Flanders, as Junior Grand Warden
- R. W. Henry A. Belcher, as Grand Treasurer
- R. W. Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary
- Wor. Rev. Stanley Searing, as Grand Chaplain
- Wor. Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Marshal
- Wor. Frederic L. Putnam, Grand Lecturer
- Wor. Emery B. Gibbs, Senior Grand Deacon
- Wor. R. Walter Hilliard, as Junior Grand Deacon
- Wor. William P. Shepard, as Senior Grand Steward
- Wor. Walter H. Lerned, as Junior Grand Steward
- Wor. George A. Thatcher, Grand Sword Bearer
- Wor. Benjamin B. Gilman, Grand Pursuivant
- Wor. Edward E. Reynolds, Grand Pursuivant
- Wor. George W. Chester, Grand Tyler
Following the dedicatory exercises a collation was served; after which the Brethren returned to the Lodge-room and a season of intellectual refreshment followed, with a number of the Grand Lodge officers participating.
January 7, 1908, we received a surprise visit from Worshipful Hartley L. White, presiding Master, and a large number of the members of Rural Lodge, who presented us with the Three Great Lights. It was a most gracious and generous gift and was one more evidence of the cordial relations which have always existed between Delta and the other South Shore Lodges.
On January 26, 1915, during the administration of Walter James Harrison as Master, the Most Worshipful Melvin Maynard Johnson, then Grand Master, honored the Lodge with a fraternal visit. Upon his presence being announced by his Grand Marshal, Worshipful William M. Farrington, a committee of Past Masters of the Lodge escorted him to the East where he was appropriately received and presented the Gavel and Oriental Chair. Upon the completion of the work of the evening the Grand Master was presented with a check for $900.00 for the purposes of the Masonic Home at Charlton, the same being in full of the Lodge's quota and thereby placing the Lodge upon the honor roll as one of the first fifty Lodges in the state to liquidate its indebtedness in behalf of this great charity. It was a red-letter night in the history of the lodge and the Grand Master's address with its mixture of oratory and sparkling wit will linger for a great many years in the memories of the assembled brethren who filled the lodge-room and its immediate ante-rooms to overflowing.
The first meeting-place of the Lodge was in Good Templars' Hall, Weymouth Landing, in the building now standing at the southeast corner of Washington and Front Streets, but it wasn't long before the increasing membership and social ambitions of its members necessitated larger and better quarters and in 1870 a lease was taken of a large, two-story ell attached to the residence of Elias Richards in Washington Square. This building was astride the line between the two towns and therefore one part of the Lodge-room was in Weymouth and the other part in Braintree. The Lodge remodelled the interior for its purposes and had a banquet hall below and a beautiful Lodge-room above, with vaulted ceiling tastefully decorated in pale blue. The fittings were of the very best, including hand-wrought, heavy, black walnut furniture, and reflected great credit upon the taste and resources of the founders of the Lodge. The Trustees in their report for 1871 state the Lodge-room assets as $3000, quite a sizable sum for those days. In passing, I should state that the altar, chairs of East, West, and South, desks, and the benches of the East which we are now using in our Temple, are all parts of this original furniture.
We must all regret that anything should have occurred to make it necessary to relinquish this beautiful home, but as I have stated earlier in this address it did occur and in 1890 the Lodge began holding its meetings in Pythian Hall, located in a building on Washington Street next to its first meeting-place, and remained there until its removal to Braintree in 1900.
In Braintree, the Lodge was a sub-tenant of Pythian Hall which occupied the upper part of the Lyceum building (so called), located in Storr's Square, which has since been destroyed by fire. The Lodge occupied these quarters until December, 1907, when the present Temple was dedicated.
Several features connected with the administration of the Lodge are different now from what they have been in the past.
The regular meetings of the Lodge were held on Tuesday evenings on or before the full of the moon, a custom obtaining in all early Lodges, probably in deference to the legendary belief that the Operative Masons met at the full of the moon in ancient times. One might think that this custom would have caused the Brethren a good deal of figuring to determine just when "Lodge night" came, but those were the days when the Old Farmers' Almanac"was a fixture in every household and shared the sitting-room table with the Bible or hung suspended from a nail by the side of the kitchen fireplace. But the moon fooled them once, for in the month of January, 1890, there was no Tuesday either on or before the full moon and as it was the Annual Communication for the election of officers the Grand Lodge had to straighten matters out by granting a special dispensation for the election of officers at the February meeting — and there was no meeting in January. This custom obtained until the Lodge moved to Braintree, a place where the Old Farmers' Almanac was held in less reverence.
The annual meetings seem to have been a sort of movable feast. At first they were held in October—in 1876 they were changed to September—in 1888 to January, and in 1905 to December. There are still a few months left in the calendar and it is quite possible that in time all months will be equally honored.
Until 1882, a candidate receiving the degree of Master Mason did not become a member of the Lodge until he had been balloted upon again and paid additional fees.
The Lodge was in session all through the year until 1880 when the summer meetings were dispensed with.
Most of the earlier Masters served three years. This statement is particularly commended to the junior officers of the Lodge who now think that it is a pretty long road from the inside door to the East.
Four Past Masters of the lodge have served as District Deputy Grand Masters—
- Edward Avery in 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1874 and again in 1880 when the Lodge was in the Sixteenth District.
- Frank H. Mason in 1896 and 1897, in the Twenty-fifth District.
- John E. Hunt in 1904 and 1905, in the Twenty-fifth District.
- Charles G. Jordan in 1916 and 1917, in the Twenty-sixth District.
In the great World War just brought to a close, Delta had its share and performed it with eagerness and enthusiasm. The Lodge by subscription of its members raised $1175.00 for the Grand Lodge war fund and the individual members were generous givers of their time and money in furtherance of the various war activities. Eleven of its members were engaged in overseas service of the United States Army and Navy:
- First Lieutenant John H. Guy — Quartermaster's Corps — at Bordeaux, France.
- Lieutenant Henry N. Longley — Pilot, Aviation Corps.
- Edward F. Golladay — Gunner's Mate, Second class — served in U. S. Naval R. R. Battery.
- Allen C. Wentworth — Sergeant Medical Detachment.
- Chester W. Sanborn — Corporal, Quartermaster's Corps.
- George B. Thayer — Corporal, 14th Railway Engineers.
- Chester A. Williams — Private, Co. K, 301st U. S. Infantry, 76th Division.
- Arthur L. Benham — Private, Headquarters Co. Advance Section, S. O. S.
- William R. Wright — Chief Mechanic, U. S. N., S. S. Bridgeport.
- Henry Mallon — Watertender, U. S. Transport Martha Washington.
- John C. Bridgham — Private, Co. K, 58th U. S. Infantry.
Brother Bridgham lost his life in France. He has been variously reported by the War Department as wounded October 5, 1918, and killed in action November 11, 1918, while the Red Cross report him as killed October 5, 1918.
Nine others who served in this country are as follows:
- Capt. Frederick L. Hayden — Chemical Warfare Service.
- First Lieutenant Ernest T. Currier — Quartermaster's Corps.
- Fred W. Shaylor — Sergeant Chemical Warfare Service.
- Dudley P. Howland — Sergeant Chemical Warfare Service.
- Walter K. Carson — Private, Central Officers Training School.
- Harrison W. Bailey — Private, 24th Co. 6th Battalion Infantry.
- Clarence W. Dow — Inspector, Aeroplane Engines.
- Charles H. Mallon — Electrician 2nd class, U. S. Naval Aviation.
- Raymond A. Hubbard — Machinist's Mate, 2nd Class, U. S. N.
As no history of the Lodge would be complete without it and as it seems to me that one of the chief objects of this gathering tonight should be the paying of tribute to those who founded the Lodge, I have prepared a short biographical sketch of each of the charter members in the order in which they appear upon the charter.
Edward Avery was born in Marblehead, Mass., March 12, 1828, the son of Gen. Samuel and Mary (Candler) Avery. After pursuing his studies in his native town and at the classical school of Mr. Brooks in Boston, he chose the profession of law and studied in the office of P. W. Choate, Esq., in Boston and also at the Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the bar in April, 1849, and began the practice of his profession at Barre, Mass. In 1850 he removed to Boston and opened a law office with George M. Hobbs as partner. The laws of bankruptcy and insolvency received his early attention and secured for him an extensive practice and a leading position at the bar, which he maintained until the time of his decease. In 1852 he married Susan Caroline Stetson, daughter of Caleb Stetson, and took up his residence in Braintree in 1853. He was a member of the lower branch of the legislature from Braintree in 1866 and of the State Senate in 1867. In the latter year he was a candidate for both the House of Representatives and State Senate and was elected to both branches, defeating the famous "Citizen" Hobart for the Senate, and took his seat in that body. He was a member of several state and national conventions of his party, was a candidate for Secretary of the State and was several times candidate for the National Congress. He was the first Master of the Lodge and held that position for the years 1868, 1869, and 1879 — was District Deputy Grand Master for the Sixteenth Masonic District in 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, and again in 1880 and in June, 1877, was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, being the only member of Delta Lodge who has been honored with a permanent membership in the Grand Lodge. He died at his residence in Boston December 29, 1896, and was buried from Emmanuel church December 31. The services were in charge of the M. W. Grand Lodge with M. W. Charles C. Hutchinson officiating with the assistance of Reverend Brother Edward A. Horton, and the offices of the church were performed by Reverends Leighton Parks and William Hyde. Delta Lodge held a special communication which convened at the Masonic Temple in Boston for the purpose of attending the funeral. So passed away one whom I have no hesitation in denominating the "Father of Delta Lodge," for it was owing to his initiative, power of attracting others to himself, and constructive ability that Delta Lodge came into being and then through his generosity and influence that the Lodge attained its high standing in its earlier years. Up to the present time he is the greatest figure in the history of the Lodge and although none of us know what the future may produce it would seem as though he might remain so for all time.
Nathaniel Frederic Thayer Hunt was born in "Weymouth June 30, 1835, the son of Major Elias and Eliza Maria Theresa (Soper) Hunt. He attended the schools of his native town and then engaged in the fancy goods business as a traveling salesman, being particularly successful as such until failing health compelled him to retire. He was raised in Saint John's Lodge No. 1 of New York City, was the first Senior Warden of Delta Lodge and a very enthusiastic member for the first few years following the founding of the Lodge. He is still living at Scituate Harbor, Mass., although his membership in the Lodge ceased in 1880.
Elisha Watson Arnold was born in Braintree March 25, 1837, raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge June 3, 1863, and was the first Junior Warden of Delta. He dimitted September 30,1879. He was Town Clerk of Braintree from 1864 to 1868 inclusive and represented Braintree in the lower house in 1868. For a number of years he conducted a general store in what was then known as the "Lyceum" on Storrs' Square, Braintree, later selling it out and founding the provision firm of Skinner & Arnold in Dock Square in Boston. He died while taking the baths at Hot Springs, Va., May 21, 1899.
Amos Stone White was born in Ashburnham, Mass., April 6,1816, the son of Josiah and Matilda (Stone) White. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge July 25, 1860, and upon the founding of Delta became its first Treasurer, a position which he held for fourteen years and upon then resigning received a rising vote of thanks from the Lodge. Being Treasurer of the Lodge in those days apparently embraced duties not conceded by our present day Treasurers even if they are connected with large and influential financial institutions, for we learn from the records that all bills were paid upon presentation whether there was any money in the treasury or not. He conducted a drug store in Washington Square, Weymouth, was for thirty-four years Treasurer of the Weymouth Savings Bank, Trustee of Tufts Library, and occupied other positions of trust and responsibility in Weymouth affairs. He dimitted February 13, 1886 and died in Weymouth March 27, 1891.
Charles Gilman Thompson was born in Weymouth October 20, 1837, the son of Gilman and Lucinda Thompson. He was raised in Adelphi Lodge April 5, 1866 and was the first Secretary of Delta. Like the Treasurer, Amos S. White, he served the Lodge for fourteen years, resigned at the same time and participated with him in the rising vote of thanks accorded them by the Lodge. He was a man of marked social characteristics, deeply interested in the welfare of the Lodge, and an officer of exceptional ability. In the records of the Lodge as compiled by him, he has left the Lodge a legacy which is the admiration of all and at once the envy and despair of all succeeding Secretaries, for his beautiful penmanship resembles more the copper-plate of the steel engraver than the chirography of the penman, with the names of candidates and other items of importance in the records thrown up in large script and heavily shaded. For many years he was connected with the old firm of J. D. & M. Williams, State Street, Boston, and later succeeded them under the name of Thompson & Leavitt. He died at his residence in Braintree February 4, 1904.
Alverdo Mason was born in Swanzey, Mass., February 25, 1821. He was raised in Saint Paul's Lodge November 3, 1863, was Secretary of the petitioners for a Dispensation for Delta, served as the first Senior Deacon of the Lodge and was Junior Warden in 1872. After his graduation from Oberlin College, of Oberlin, Ohio, he served for many years as teacher in the schools of Braintree and during that time compiled a copy of the first book of records of his native town where his ancestors had lived for more than two hundred years and published it at his own expense. In later life he was postmaster at East Braintree for eight years. He died at Braintree May 13, 1892.
Alden Wilder Nash was born in Weymouth January 10, 1835, the son of George and Nancy (Burrell) Nash. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge August 15, 1866. He was a man of most agreeable manners and conversation and in business was a boot 'manufacturer, conducting a large and profitable business. Upon the founding of the Lodge he became its first Junior Deacon, was Senior Deacon in 1869, 1870, and 1871, Senior Warden in 1872 and 1873, and died in office April 6, 1873.
Elbridge Thomas Richards was born in Weymouth February 15, 1837, the son of Thomas and Lydia (Shaw) Richards. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge March 4, 1868. He was the first Senior Steward of the Lodge, Junior Deacon in 1869, and Sentinel in 1885 and 1886. Owing to failing health he dimitted May 22, 1888, and went to Riverside, California, but upon his return in 1891 he rejoined the Lodge. He was identified with the manufacturing boot and shoe industry of the town and in his later years conducted a retail shoe store in Lincoln Square. He died in Weymouth October 14, 1917.
Reuben Tirrell was born in Weymouth May 2, 1845, the son of Elbridge Gerry and Sophia Tirrell. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge December 11, 1867, and upon the founding of Delta he became its first Junior Steward, serving in that capacity for four years, then as Tyler from 1877 to 1882 inclusive, then as Sentinel from 1891 to 1895 and again from 1897 to 1899 inclusive. During all his life he has been identified with the general store business in Lincoln Square founded by his father, and in Lodge matters, both in office and out of office, he has set an example for interest in the affairs of the Lodge and attendance upon the meetings that the rest of us might follow with advantage and credit to ourselves. He is one of the two surviving charter members who are still members of the Lodge.
William Sprague Wallace was born in East Braintree October 11, 1838, the son of William Vinson and Maria (Keen) Wallace. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge December 27, 1865, and became the first Chaplain of Delta upon its institution and served in that capacity for two years. Then in succession he held the positions of Junior Deacon 1870 and 1871, Senior Deacon 1872 and 1873, Senior Warden 1874, and was elected the fourth Master of the Lodge in 1875, being honored with a three years' term by the members of the Lodge. During his administration the lodge was exceedingly prosperous and reached a numerical strength of one hundred and nine which was destined to be high water mark for twenty-six years or until 1902. The officers of the Lodge by painstaking work and under the efficient leadership of the Master achieved a perfection of ritual and work that was the envy of the neighboring Lodges and several times called for the special commendation of the Grand Master and other officers of the Grand Lodge. His interest in the affairs of the Lodge has never abated and the Masonic Ritual is as clear and fresh in his mind as it was in the days when he sat in the East. For many years he operated a boot-fitting shop which was an auxiliary to the boot manufacturing business, and in 1876 represented Weymouth in the lower house. He is the oldest Past Master of the Lodge and is the other of the two surviving charter members who are still members of the Lodge. May his shadow never grow less!
Richard Amory Hunt was born in Weymouth September 2, 1818. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge March 14, 1860, and when Delta was founded became its first organist and served in that capacity for twenty years. He was a man~-of unusual musical ability, possessed an excellent voice, was a performer on several instruments, and in addition to being organist of the Lodge was also the organist of the Union Congregational Church. He represented Weymouth in the lower branch of the legislature in 1865 and for many years was a recognized leader of the Republican Party in his district. In business he was a prosperous boot manufacturer and his shop became the gathering-place for those of a similar political faith with the result that it received the cognomen of Tammany Hall," presumably because the slates there made up were never broken. He died in Weymouth July 23, 1898.
Ebenezer Atherton Hunt was born in Weymouth January 2, 1826, the son of Atherton Nash Hunt and his wife Susannah Curtis (Hobart) Hunt. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge March 14, 1860, and was Junior Warden of that Lodge in 1867. In 1869 he was elected Junior Warden of Delta, in 1871 he was Senior Warden, and on December 12 of the same year he was installed as the third Master of the Lodge, a position which he held for three successive years. Upon the founding of South Shore Commandery he was offered the position of Captain General which he declined with the statement that as a Commandery was semi-military in character one of short stature had no business to accept an office in it. He was one of the boot manufacturers of the town and like his uncle Richard was one of the political leaders of his district. He served his town in various capacities including that of Chief of the Fire Department, Selectman for a number of terms and Representative in the lower house in 1873. In 1875 and 1876 he served in the State Senate. He was a member of the Union Congregational Church, a trustee of the Weymouth Savings Bank from 1875 to 1881, and by his contemporaries was considered one of the solid and able men of the town. He passed away March 17, 1891.
Francis Ambler was born in Weymouth June 3, 1833, and was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge May 21, 1862. While he held no official position in the Lodge he was active in town affairs. He was Selectman in 1875 and 1876 and was Town Clerk from 1861 to 1878 inclusive with the exception of 1869 and 1870. The two years that he failed of election were those when the "Crispins" so called were in power. The older ones of my hearers will remember the "Crispins" as being a boot and shoe workers' organization which was at that time very powerful politically and turned out everyone who was in any way identified with the old order of things. He was a druggist for many years in Washington Square and in later life conducted a hay and grain business on Shaw Street. He died in Weymouth December 8, 1898.
Ebenezer William Hunt was born in Weymouth December 4, 1823, the son of Major Elias and Eliza M. T. (Soper) Hunt. He was raised in Old Colony Lodge November 28, 1854, joined Orphan's Hope in 1856, and became one of the charter members of Delta in 1868. He was engaged in the wholesale boot and shoe business in Boston for a number of years, then conducted an insurance business in Weymouth. On May 22, 1877, he dimitted from the Lodge and removed to Orlando, Florida, where he died December 27, 1909.
Edwin P. Worster was born in Weymouth August 24, 1826, the son of Ezekiel Worster, and was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge June 7, 1865. In 1849 he joined the army of gold seekers which went to California, taking passage in the barque "Lanark" and consuming two hundred and fourteen days in the passage around the Horn. Upon his return and for nearly thirty years afterwards he was a well-known figure on State Street in Boston where he was a specie broker, specializing in foreign exchange; and in 1869 president of the "Gold Board." The "Gold Board was an association of those who dealt in specie and to which banks and merchants went when in need of gold to meet domestic and foreign obligations. He was vice-president of the Union National Bank of Weymouth from 1881 to the time of his death, which occurred on July 25, 1900.
Thomas Brastow Porter was born in Wrentham, Mass., April 22, 1810, and was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge October 31, 1860. He served the Lodge as Trustee from 1869 to 1873 inclusive and also in 1879 and 1880. For many years he was in the lumber business in Weymouth under the firm name of Loud & Porter and the older members will remember him as a gentleman of the old school who was unusually well informed on all the topics of the day. He died in Dorchester September 11, 1895.
Erastus Nash was born in Weymouth December 16, 1827, the son of Deacon John P. and Rachel Nash. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge October 5, 1864. For many years he was engaged in the manufacture of boots under the firm name of S. W. & E. Nash and erected one of the finest residences in the town. He was also vice-president of the Weymouth Agricultural Society, but took no active part in town or Lodge affairs. He ceased to be a member of the Lodge in 1895 and passed away in Weymouth January 28, 1905.
Milton Heywood Read was born in Orono, Maine, October 1, 1822, the son of John and Mary Read. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge May 18, 1864 and although he became one of the charter members of Delta he never took any active part in the affairs of the Lodge nor of the town. He conducted a retail clothing store on Washington Square, Weymouth, dimitted from the Lodge, May 18, 1880, and died in Weymouth August 10, 1899.
George William Warren was born in Hopkinton, Mass. April 20, 1840, and was raised in Solomon's Lodge No. 1 of Charleston, South Carolina, on Sunday afternoon February 10, 1867, under special dispensation from the Grand Lodge. He served in the Civil War as a member of D Company, Third Battalion of Infantry, then in B Company, 51st Massachusetts Infantry, and finally as a member of the 6th Unattached Company of Massachusetts Infantry, of which company he was orderly sergeant. After the war he was a clerk in the employ of Milton H. Read in Washington Square, Weymouth, then with Richards & Company clothiers, in Dock Square, Boston, and later was connected with the Boston District of the Internal Revenue Department as inspector and gauger for thirty years. He dimitted from the Lodge April 12, 1881 and is now living at the Soldiers Home in Chelsea.
John Metzler Walsh was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 19, 1822, the son of James and Mary (Mearler) Walsh and while still young came to South Braintree, removing in 1852 to Weymouth. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge June 15, 1857. He served Delta as Senior Steward in 1869, 1870, and 1871, Junior Deacon in 1872 and 1873, Senior Deacon in 1874, Senior Warden 1875, 1876, and 1877, and became the fifth Master of the Lodge, serving during the years 1878, 1879, and 1880. His contemporaries speak of him as a man of unusual geniality and as one to whom the professions and ideals of Freemasonry meant something more than printed ritual. He was an excellent officer and, possessing considerable dramatic ability, the work of the Lodge under his leadership was of a very high order and a standard for excellence was set which has never been exceeded. He was engaged in the carriage painting business and also conducted the leading harness business of the town for many years. He died in Weymouth January 16, 1898.
Francis Flint Forsaith was born in Deering, N. H., May 8, 1824. He was a charter member of John Cutler Lodge of Abington in 1860 and dimitted from that Lodge when Delta was founded, as he had removed to Weymouth in 1861. He was a deacon of the Union Congregational Church and in his chosen profession of physician he endeared himself to a large circle of friends not only as a kind and sympathetic physician, but also as a true gentleman and a useful citizen. He died in Weymouth March 11, 1894.
George Adoniram Gustin was born in Troy, Maine, June 24, 1840. He enlisted June 17, 1861, and served in the band of the 9th Massachusetts Infantry until August 10, 1862, when all regimental bands were disbanded. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge January 18, 1865, and upon the founding of Delta he became its first Marshal, serving for the year 1868. He was engaged in the manufacture of boots in early life and later became a band musician again. He dimitted from the Lodge May 28, 1907, and is now a member of Humboldt Lodge, No. 79, of Eureka, California, to which place he removed.
Charles Stewart Williams was born in Weymouth June 1, 1844, the son of Henry and Caroline (Stewart) Williams. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge October 4, 1865. In the Civil War he was a member of Company A, 42d Massachusetts Infantry, and was captured at Galveston, Texas, together with the Colonel and several companies of the regiment. After spending a year in rebel prisons he was paroled and upon his return to Weymouth conducted a dry and fancy goods business in Washington Square and upon giving that up entered the brokerage business in Boston. He was much interested in town affairs and was Selectman in 1877 and 1878. He died in Weymouth July 24, 1891.
Waterman Thomas Burrell was born in Hingham May 12, 1832, the son of Martin H. and Mary W. Burrell. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge April 21, 1858, and served Delta as its first Tyler, 1868 and 1869, and as Junior Warden in 1870 and 1871. For many years he was the leading housepainter of the town. He dimitted from the Lodge December 15, 1885 and died in Weymouth December 9, 1903.
Solon Walter Pratt was born in Waterbury, Vt., March 27, 1828, the son of John Y. and Sarah Pratt. He was initiated in Rural Lodge August 2, 1855, and joined Orphan's Hope in 1857. He conducted a hardware business in Washington Square under the firm name of S. W. & L. W. Pratt. He dimitted from the Lodge April 17, 1900, and died in Weymouth April 6, 1903.
Charles Gorham Easterbrook was born in Hingham August 13, 1825, and was raised in Old Colony Lodge March 27, 1855. He was the founder and publisher of the Weymouth Gazette, a paper which for many years wielded a great influence in the South Shore. His intimates of those days refer to him as a true and faithful Mason, having always at heart the welfare of the Fraternity and as an upright and loyal citizen who cared more for the good of the state than for personal emolument. He conducted his business with sterling integrity and possessed social qualities to a high degree, promoting with his genial disposition the pleasure of all. He died in Weymouth September 3, 1893.
Francis Allen Hobart was born in Braintree September 18, 1833 and was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge July 25, 1860. In early life he was a boot manufacturer, but having a natural taste for politics that occupation gradually absorbed his time to the exclusion of all else and under the soubriquet of "Citizen" Hobart he was without doubt the most widely known man that Norfolk County has produced since Colonial times. He represented Braintree in the lower house in 1860 and 1861 and was State Senator in 1865, 1869, and 1870. He dimitted from the Lodge May 26, 1885 and died in Braintree October 14, 1903.
Asa French was born in Braintree October 21, 1829, was raised in Rural Lodge in 1860 and admitted to membership in that Lodge August 30 of the same year. He was a distinguished lawyer of his time and was district attorney for Norfolk arid Plymouth Counties from 1870 to 1882. In 1882 he was appointed by President Arthur Judge of the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims at Washington, D. ft, and served as such from 1882 to 1886 inclusive. He was a close friend of Brigadier-General Sylvanus Thayer, a native of Braintree, who was Commandant of the United States Military Academy for sixteen years and familiarly known as the "Father of West Point." Asa French drew the will of General Thayer by which he left in trust the sum of $270,000.00 for higher educational purposes in the town of old Braintree and which resulted in the foundation of Thayer Academy. He also drew the will of Mrs. Sarah W. Glover by which in 1894 $194,000 more reverted to Thayer Academy. Thus he was largely instrumental in providing the towns of Braintree, Quincy, Holbrook, and Randolph which were included in old Braintree with an educational institution which for many years has maintained a high standard of excellence. He represented Braintree in the General Court in 1866 — dimitted from the Lodge September 11, 1883 when he took up his residence in Washington — and died in Braintree June 23, 1903.
Edmund Stephen Soper Hunt was born in Weymouth July 19, 1827, the third son of Major Elias and Eliza M. T. (Soper) Hunt to subscribe his name as a charter member of Delta Lodge. He was raised in Old Colony Lodge February 23, 1855 — joined Orphan's Hope in 1856 and was a Trustee of Delta in 1869. At one time he was a fan manufacturer, but his real life work was that of pyrotechnist in which he achieved" great prominence and success and" amassed a fortune. He was the inventor of the Hunt Life-saving Gun which he finally sold to the John P. Lovell Arms Company after failing to dispose of it to the United States or British Governments. Besides being passionately fond of music, he was a man of great originality and in later life wrote a book for private distribution entitled Weymouth Ways and Weymouth People in which he related his personal impressions of those he had known in Weymouth, calling a spade a spade and sparing neither relative, friend, nor enemy to the great delight of those who were fortunate enough to be favored with a copy by the author. He ceased to be a member of the Lodge in 1876 and died in Weymouth August 21, 1909.
George Washington White, Jr., the last signer of the petition, was born in Weymouth January 18, 1819, the son of Capt. George W. and Betsey (Burrell) White. He was raised in Orphan's Hope Lodge June 1, 1859, and was Trustee of Delta in 1873 and 1874. He was Deputy Sheriff of Norfolk County for years without number and was one of the prominent figures of his time. In his later years he was Postmaster of Weymouth for eight years. He dimitted from the Lodge February 4, 1890, and died in Weymouth March 8, 1899.
And now that you have listened to these biographies, long as they may have seemed to you and yet altogether too short to do full justice to the individuals themselves, I think you will agree with me that we have ample reason to be very proud of our ancestry, and I think you will also agree with me that we have a great deal to live up to in order to fill in our time the same spheres of influence and usefulness which they filled in theirs. And while prophecy not yet fulfilled may be no part of recorded history, I have no hesitation in predicting that so long as this Lodge follows the dictates of Freemasonry, with its belief in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, its progress will be onward and upward forever.
75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, SEPTEMBER 1944
From Proceedings, Page 1944-180:
By Worshipful Brother Justin Winfred Shrader.
Again we have the privilege of assembling in the Braintree Town Hall, as many here will remember we did twenty-five years ago on the occasion of our Fiftieth Anniversary, but this time it is to celebrate the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the constitution of Delta Lodge by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
Due to the shortness of time allotted for this part of our long program for the evening and the dryness of its subject to our lady guests, this will be an attempt to review very briefly our work and progress in relation to that of our town during the quarter century just completed.
For the benefit of those present who are not familiar with the origin of Delta Lodge, it may be interesting to note that we were originally organized in and as a Weymouth institution, but as our membership grew, particularly with new members from Braintree, it was felt that there should be a Lodge in this town. After some discussion this was accomplished, and even now there are still some on our rolls who lived and have continued to live in Weymouth, such as Brother Percy Bates Cook.
Let us recall Delta Lodge and Braintree as they were as of August 31, 1919. We were then meeting in the same temple that we do today, but several changes have been made in our building. The heating plant has been modernized and the boiler room waterproofed, so that we could keep our fire burning and dispense heat, as well as light, to the candidates. Many of you will recall, no doubt with a smile, the discomforts experienced in our earlier days. No longer does the candidate imagine all the tortures to which he might be submitted as he did when the former ventilating fan was turned on, to the accompaniment of noises largely resembling those of an automobile which has just burned out a bearing.
Our quarters have been insulated, recarpeted, remodeled and many times painted; our outer apartments modernized and our abode well cared for by the several trustees of the temple. To these men is largely due the credit for clearing our property and its furnishings of all indebtedness and for the pleasing appearance that the temple now presents to our members and the citizens of Braintree. I believe it still holds its unique position among the temples of the State, being one of the very few whose lodge-room and outer apartments are all on the first and only floor of the building.
The following have served as faithful trustees of the temple, giving much of their time and thought to the solution of the many problems arising during this period.
- Bro. Isaac Wendell Gammons
- Albert Everett Avery
- Wor. Walter James Harrison
- R.W. Charles Gilbert Jordan
- Wor. Carl Gleason Makepeace
- Wor. Willard Perkins Sheppard
- Charles Frederick Tarbox
Our present trustees are: Wor. Charles Gilbert Jordan, Bro. Frederick Wright Shaylor, Bro. Roy William Lawson.
During this period many changes have occurred in our town. Street cars have gone to their final resting place, having been replaced by busses; sewers have been constructed; our police, fire, water, light, school and administrative departments have been enlarged and modernized; the old fashioned Town Meeting form of local government with all its interminable, fiery oratory has been superseded by the Representative Town Meeting. Industrially, Braintree has also changed from a thriving shoe manufacturing center to a town of many industries of a highly diversified nature. Members of Delta Lodge have been important factors during these many changes in the development, improvement and administration of the town and the forward progress of its citizens.
With the constant increase of population in the town, Delta Lodge has shown a material growth in its membership. On August 31, 1919, our enrollment was three hundred and twenty-nine; by August 31, 1944, it had increased to four hundred sixty. We have nine initiates who have received their Master Mason degree, but who have not as yet signed the by-laws and therefore cannot be considered active members. During this period we reached our peak in numbers, having had five hundred and seventy-nine enrolled August 31, 1930. The fluctuation in membership is due to the number of deaths, dimits and suspensions, the latter two resulting from the long period of severe depression that so seriously affected us, as well as every form of human endeavor.
Since 1919 our activities have been many. Not perhaps in the public eye, as Masonic organizations as such seldom, if ever, take part in any public demonstration or activity, leaving such activities to the individuals as such. That they do take such part has been repeatedly set forth in our town's activities and its community interests.
As we progressed, it became necessary to plan for the future economic stability of the Lodge and so our by-laws were studied by a committee appointed for that purpose, and after frequent consultation with Right Worshipful Frederick W. Hamilton, then Grand Secretary of Grand Lodge, and other well versed members of the Grand Lodge Committee on By-Laws, permanent and charity funds were established which have now reached quite sizable and satisfactory amounts. Since that time, our Masters have been limited as to funds for entertainment and social activities and are to be congratulated for doing as well as they have in this direction. These funds have been ably administered during this time by the following Trustees of the Funds:
- Bro. Herbert Warren Woodworth
- Bro. Harry Lambert Patten
- Bro. Charles Henry Hayward
- Bro. Herbert Alonzo Bryant
Now serving in this office are:
- R.W. Henry Davis Higgins
- Wor. Frank Perkins Lord
- Bro. Norton Pratt Potter
Due to the accelerated increase of membership, the question arose as to how long the meeting accommodations of the temple would prove adequate. Consequently, a meeting of some twenty members of Delta Lodge was held on November 1, 1923, the result of which was the formation of the Braintree Masonic Association, Inc., as a fraternal corporation. These twenty men, all of whom were supposed to be the charter members of the Association, were:
- Bro. Howard B. Blewett
- Wor. Walter J. Harrison
- Wor. Herbert A. Bryant
- R. W. Henry D. Higgins
- R. W. George T. Burnham
- R. W. Arthur W. Hoe
- Bro. Lyman F. Garfield
- Bro. Walter R. Howland
- Wor. Atherton N. Hunt
- Bro. William F. Rogers
- Bro. Charles A. Kohler
- Bro. George E. Sampson
- Bro. Frank P. Lord
- Wor. Willard P. Sheppard
- Wor. Carl G. Makepeace
- Wor. Justin W. Shrader
- Bro. Weldon H. Reynolds
- R. W. Hartley L. White
- Francis W. Robinson
- Bro. Ralph B. Woodsum
Right Worshipful Henry Davis Higgins was elected its President, Brother Howard Barnes Blewett its Treasurer, both of whom have been continuously, unanimously re-elected to those offices since, and Brother Ralph Benjamin Woodsum its Secretary. The latter resigned his office in 1931 and was succeeded by Worshipful Justin Winfred Shrader, who resigned in 1942, to be succeeded by its present Secretary, Worshipful Ernest Choate Woodsum.
This corporation acquired and still owns for its members a very desirable parcel of land with the buildings thereon located at 403 to 409 Washington Street, near the present site of Delta Lodge, and on which it is hoped at some future day a new temple may be erected if it should ever be needed. A substantial number of the members of Delta Lodge, by virtue of donations and the signing of its by-laws, amounting to 159, together with 7 Honorary members, are now active members of this organization, and it is hoped that at some time its membership will comprise the full membership of Delta Lodge.
To its so-called charter members, and especially to Right Worshipful Henry Davis Higgins, who was its father and always has been, and still is its guiding director, is due the credit for its success. The indebtedness on its real estate has been steadily reduced, and because of rental income received, is and always has been self-supporting.
The annual meeting of the Lodge was changed in our Masonic year 1928-1929 from the fourth Tuesday in December to the fourth Tuesday in September, in order to conform with the fiscal year of Grand Lodge. This recalls that in the earlier days Delta's meetings were scheduled to be held at a certain time "on or before the full of the moon," but one month the moon played a trick on the Brethren and did not become "full" that month, so such a method had to be abandoned.
On February 26, 1929, a new code of By-Laws was adopted by the Lodge and approved by Grand Lodge March 2, 1929, as attested by the signature of the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary, Dr. Frederick W. Hamilton, and sealed by its official seal. It is under this code, with some minor amendments here and there, that we are now operating.
Another change in custom during the latter part of this quarter century and practiced by our officers, has been the performing of Masonic burial services for departed members; these sometimes are held one or two days previous to the regular funeral service, and are likewise open to the public.
On Sunday, June 27, 1937, a special communication of Delta Lodge was opened at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, located at the corner of Washington and West Streets in Braintree, for the purpose of laying the corner stone of the new Parish House of the Church. Our then Worshipful Master, Herbert Brown Hollis, officiated at the ceremonies and the stone was laid in place with appropriate Masonic ritual, which was followed by a very inspiring address by our Brother Stacy Baxter South-worth, Headmaster of Thayer Academy, concluding the services.
We should also note that in 1929 the Lodge, through its members, contributed over 100 percent of its quota toward the establishment of the Masonic Hospital at Shrewsbury, it being the first Lodge in our twenty-sixth Masonic District to "go over the top," and I seem to recall that it was likewise among the first in our State, and drew especial encomiums from Most Worshipful Herbert L. Dean, our then Grand Master, in his written reports to Grand Lodge.
It will also be recalled that at the end of the first fifty years of our existence, the so-called first World War had just been concluded, in which we had raised $1175 for the Grand Lodge War Fund. Now also in the second World War, sometimes called "The War to End Wars" and we sincerely and prayerfully hope that it will, our Lodge has again been the first in our District to respond to the request of Grand Lodge and has contributed 100 percent of the quota assigned to it; first, in 1941 was the Masonic Service Men's Fund, and now in August, 1944, its full quota of $1850 to the Grand Lodge Military Service Activities for Service men of the United States of America. The use of this latter fund is for all Service men, unlimited as to creed, color and rank.
A number of our members served in World War I, as listed in Worshipful Walter James Harrison's fiftieth anniversary address, one of whom, Brother John Crosby Bridgham, made the supreme sacrifice. In the present conflict, Delta's members have again contributed and are contributing their services to our Country. At present, listed on the Rolls of our Service Chairman, Brother Robert Shute Smith, are the following members serving with the Armed Forces:
- Gerald Edward Blackburn
- Edward York Blewett
- John Herbert Duncan
- William Gordon Edson
- Alfred Augustus Ellsworth
- George Frederick Erwin
- Henry Smith Fisher
- Webster Evans Fisher
- Jonathan Wales French
- Richard Danley Jolls
- Gordon Ripley Keating
- Alfred Thomas Little
- George Joseph Mallon
- Otis Briggs Oakman, Jr.
- David Parker
- Lawrence Elbridge Remick
- Harold Elbridge Rogers
- Norman Chandler Rolfe
- Gordon Hodgdon Seabury
- Louis Walter Snow
- Eric Hjelm Streiferd
- Jean Wenger
- Everett Parker Wynot
- Harold Giles Wynot
We also have the following members serving in the Merchant Marine:
- Donovan Defieux Barnes
- Chester Forsythe, Jr.
- Fritz Streiferd
There is another interesting feature pertaining to the past twenty-five years which I wish to call to your attention, and that is the longevity of service of some of our officers. Brother Howard Barnes Blewett has served as our Treasurer for twenty-five years and is so serving at the present time. Right Worshipful Charles Gilbert Jordan and Worshipful Brothers Gilbert Thorpe Singleton and Herbert Brown Hollis have served as Secretaries, the latter now in office. Our late lamented Right Worshipful George Thompson Burnham was serving as Marshal of Delta at the time of his death and had been in office a period of twenty-one years. He also served as Proxy to Grand Lodge for twenty years and was most faithful in attendance.
Our Past Most Worshipful Grand Masters have favored Delta quite frequently in their appointments to positions on their staff. Right Worshipful Henry Davis Higgins served as District Deputy Grand Master 1920-1921; Right Worshipful Arthur Wellman Hoe, 1928-1929; and Right Worshipful George Thompson Burnham, 1934-1935, the latter having also served as Grand Pursuivant in 1940-1941.
As no history of the past twenty-five years would be complete without mentioning the men who have presided over our Lodge, the following Past Masters are herewith recorded:
- Wor. Henry D. Higgins, Jan. 1918 to Jan. 1920
- Wor. Harry J. Beck, Jan. 1920 to Jan. 1922
- Wor. Charles A. Koehler, Jan. 1922 to Jan. 1924
- R. W. Arthur W. Hoe, Jan. 1924 to Jan. 1926
- Wor. Willard P. Sheppard, Jan. 1926 to Jan. 1927
- Wor. Carl G. Makepeace, Jan. 1927 to Jan. 1928
- Wor. Charles F. Tarbox, Jan. 1928 to Sept. 1929
- Wor. Justin W. Shrader, Sept. 1929 to Sept. 1930
- Wor. Frank P. Lord, Sept. 1930 to Sept. 1931
- Wor. Ernest C. Woodsum, 1931 to Oct. 1932
- Wor. William C. Brooks, Oct. 1932 to Oct. 1933
- Wor. Gilbert T. Singleton, Oct. 1933 to Oct. 1934
- Wor. Charles W. Mann, 1934 to Sept. 1935
- Wor. James H. Corrigan, Sept. 1935 to Sept. 1936
- Wor. Herbert B. Hollis, Sept. 1936 to Sept. 1937
- Wor. Oren Carrier, Sept. 1937 to Sept. 1938
- Wor. Carl G. Streitferd, Sept. 1938 to Sept. 1939
- Wor. William C. Ross, Sept. 1939 to Sept. 1940
- Wor. Daniel F. Caskin, Sept. 1940 to Sept. 1941
- Wor. Jonathan W. French, Sept. 1941 to Sept. 1942
- Wor. Harold I. Charnock, Sept. 1942 to Oct. 1943
- Wor. Charles G. Jordan, Oct. 1943—
As mentioned at the beginning of these remarks, time precludes my recalling to you many points of interest and the naming of many members who have given unstintingly of their time and energy to our beloved order. While I make no prophecies for our future, I sincerely hope that the chaotic conditions forced upon us will soon cease; our members return to us and take up once again the thread of normal living and thinking. It is my hope that the Masonic heritage with which we are endowed will be an inspiration for our future. May Delta Lodge continue to exert a beneficial influence on its members, the citizens of Braintree and all mankind through the teachings and principles of Freemasonry.
CENTENARY HISTORY, JUNE 1968
From Proceedings, Page 1968-56:
By Wor. William J. Williams.
Writing the history of Delta Lodge for the period of one hundred years is a very interesting and educational task to say the least. To cover all that the Lodge has accomplished during its existence or to name every brother that has achieved greatness as a member of Delta Lodge is almost impossible. Many instances come about that never enter the records. The only facts we can rely upon are those that are brought before open Lodge so they may be recorded by the Secretary.
Our history has already been presented on two previous occasions, in August 1919 and in September 1944. These histories have been wonderfully written from the records of the Secretary. In writing this history, they have been used as a text as well as the many notices of the Lodge that are available today and, of course, the records of the Secretary.
In looking back to the days when Delta Lodge was formed, we find a few very interesting facts that we can compare with today. In 1868 we find that the population of the various towns in this area was only a portion of today. There was only the horse, the donkey or mule, the boat, the train or the bicycle as means of transportation, other than the footwear that protected the hide of one's feet. Homes were rather well set apart from each other. The Town paper and the tongues of the residents were the quickest method of communication. The general store or the back yard fence were the best sources of information. The illumination of that time was the sun, the moon, the fire, the candle and the lamp. Some of the brethren present can remember those days so very well. Brother Clarence R. Bestick, who is with us this evening, remembers this era as if only yesterday.
Now that the community picture has been set, for the time of the institution of Delta Lodge, let us see what the Masonic population was at that time.
There was Rural Lodge instituted in 1801, Norfolk Union Lodge instituted in 1819 and Orphan's Hope Lodge instituted in 1825. Worshipful Brother Edward Avery and a few other Brethren felt that it was time for another Lodge to occupy the area. They gathered together several Brethren that felt the same way and in May of 1868 they petitioned the Grand Lodge for the institution of Delta Lodge of Weymouth. Although the official records were lost, the records of the Grand Secretary attest that the petition was granted as recorded at the December 1868 Quarterly Communication. The Charter members were from eight Lodges and composed the following Brethren:
- Adelphi Lodge
- Charles Gilman Thompson
- John Cutler Lodge
- Francis Flint Forsaith
- Old Colony Lodge
- Ebenezer William Hunt
- Charles Gorham Easterbrook
- Edmond Stephen Soper Hunt
- Orphan's Hope Lodge
- Edward Avery
- Elisha Watson Arnold
- Amos Stone White
- Alden Wilder Nash
- Elbridge Thomas Richards
- Reuben Tirrell
- William Sprague Wallace
- Richard Amorv Hunt
- Ebenezer Atherton Hunt
- Francis Ambler
- Edwin Pray Worster
- Thomas Brastow Porter
- Erastus Nash
- Milton Heywood Read
- John Metzler Walsh
- George Adoniram Gustin
- Charles Stewart Williams
- Waterman Thomas Burrell
- Francis Allen Hobart
- George Washington White, Jr.
- Rural Lodge
- Solon Walter Pratt
- Asa French
- St. Paul's Lodge
- Alverdo Mason
- St. John's Lodge #1, New York City
- Nathaniel Fredric Thayer Hunt
- Solomon Lodge #1, Charleston, South Carolina
- George William Warren
Tonight we honor these Brethren for the beginning of our Lodge. We trust that possibly they are listening from the Celestial Lodge above as their names are once again brought to light.
Worshipful Brother Edward Avery was our first Master and is properly called the "Father of Delta Lodge".
Following him, Delta Lodge has had sixty-eight Masters over the one-hundred years that have passed. The first meetings of Delta Lodge were held in the Good Templars Mall in Weymouth Landing, on the southeast corner of Washington Street and Front Street. In 1870 the Lodge leased quarters in the residence of Elisa Richards in Washington Square. One might say this was the first move toward Braintree as the Town line crossed through the Lodge Room. The Lodge spent about three thousand dollars on the renovation and the furnishings of the Lodge Room and the banquet hall that was just below. Due to the decline in membership or rather in candidates and the decline in the shoe industry, Delta Lodge was forced to give up these beautiful apartments and return to Weymouth in 1890 to hold its meetings in Pythian Hall, located on Washington Street next to its first meeting place. Many attempts were made to move to Braintree but all failed until 1900 when the Lodge finally consented to move to Storrs Square as a sub-tenant of Pythian Hall in the Lyceum Building. They remained within these quarters until December 1907 when they moved into this present Temple.
Delta Lodge at one time held its meetings in accord with the moon. The Tuesday evening either before or after the full of the moon was the choice of the Master. When one month the moon failed to become full, this method of meeting was left in favor of meeting on a set calendar date each month and finally to the fourth Tuesday of each month as it stands today.
The membership of Delta Lodge has ranged from common laborers to men of the highest honor in both the Community and the State. In recent years to worldly parts, the importance of public life has so many facets that we will say to those who have achieved greatness outside of the Lodge: "Well done, good and faithful servant." Within the Masonic circle we do rccogni/.e those who have worked diligently and have attained positions of respect.
Past District Deputy Grand Masters:
- Edward Avery, 1871-2-3-4 and again in 1880
- Frank M. Mason, 1896-1897
- John E. Hunt, 1904-1905
- Charles G. Jordan, 1916-1917
- Henry D. Higgins, 1920-1921
- Arthur Hoe, 1928-1929
- George T. Burnham, 1934-1935
- Charles G. Jordan, 1954-1955
Past Junior Grand Warden:
- Edward Avery, 1877
Past Grand Pursuivant
- George T. Burnham, 1940-1941
Past Grand Steward
- Charles G. Jordan, 1915
- Walter J. Hansen, 1960
Master of 22nd Lodge of Instruction
- George T. Burnham, 1931-1932
- Otis B. Oakman, Jr., 1955-1956
- Walter J. Hansen, 1963-1964
Remaining as Second Degree Instructor
- Otis B. Oakman, Jr.
Other honors accorded one who has achieved recognition for their services with bodies connected to the Masonic Craft other than the Blue Lodge are:
- Gilbert T. Singleton, 33rd Degree, Scottish Rite Bodies.
- William J. Williams, Knight of the York Cross of Honor, York Rite Bodies.
Delta Lodge has had many members serve with the Armed Forces of the World during three terrible periods in the world history. First with the Great World War as it was called earlier, but now referred to as World War I. During this period we had twenty Brethren in uniform, losing one to the Celestial Lodge above. Brother John C. Bridgham, on November 11, 1918. Then came World War II, and once again a few of our Brethren served with the Armed Services. Twenty-seven are listed With the records of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary report. Again a number of Delta Lodge were called for service in the Korean War and today we have the Vietnam conflict at hand. It is hard to say just how these wars have come about. I am sure that Delta Lodge has had no part in their origin. Yet when you look over the history, we find that the Lodge celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary at the conclusion of World War I. The Seventy-fifth Anniversary was held just before the end of World War II and now we arc engaged in the Vietnam conflict as we celebrate the One Hundredth Anniversary, Maybe this will come to an end soon.
Many interesting events have been a part of Delta Lodge's activities. We note the earliest of these to be the first public appearance of Delta Lodge, was to join Orphan's Hope Lodge in the dedication of the Soldiers Monument at Weymouth on July 4, 1868, less than one month after the granting of the dispensation for its origin. Delta Lodge was also present at the dedication of the Soldiers Monument at Braintree in 1874. Delta Lodge was present at the dedication of the Pilgrim Monument at Plymouth in 1889. The corner-stone for this very building we now occupy was laid by Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master, on September 21, 1907 in the presence of the officers and members of Delta Lodge and the assembled citizens. The corner-stone for the Parish House of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church was laid by Wor. Bro. Herbert B. Hollis on June 1937 in accordance to Masonic Ritual. Although one of the duties of the Master of a Lodge is the laying of corner-stones of public edifices in the earlier days of Masonry, we find that in recent years this has been left to the individual erecting such an edifice.
The first order of Masonic origin to be organized by the members of Delta Lodge was Pentalpha Chapter of Royal Arch Masons who met with Delta Lodge in the apartments of the Elias Richards residence on the Braintree-Weymouth line in 1870.
In 1920 the Braintree Chapter, No. 167, Order of the Eastern Star was formed with Mrs. A. Maude Blewett as the first Matron.
In 1930 Braintree Assembly, No. 30, Order of Rainbow for Girls was instituted with Miriam Thomas (Glidden) as the first Worthy Advisor.
In 1956 the Wampatuck Chapter, Order of DeMolay, was instituted with Donald T. Major as first Master Councilor, who later attained his Chevalier Honor.
In 1961 the second Order of Rainbow for Girls was formed with Karen Poison (Jones) as the first Worthy Advisor of Hope Assembly No. 107.
Perhaps the most advantageous group to be formed by the members of Delta Lodge is the Braintree Masonic Association Inc. which was formed on November 1, 1923 with our late Rt. Wor. Bro. Henry D. Higgins, a Brother who will long be remembered in Delta Lodge. This Association began in the best interest of Delta Lodge for the purpose of acquiring income toward the building of a new and larger Temple in Braintree. It was the intention, and still is, that every member of Delta Lodge would support this Association. Those that first joined this group did so by making a donation of twenty-five dollars. Some paid this amount in full and others paid a portion annually. Others were quite generous in their giving. As a result, this Association owns two parcels of land with buildings at 403-409 Washington Street, Braintree. These properties have paid for themselves and are at present giving the Association income. In recent years they have acquired another parcel of land adjacent to these in the total of three acres. Today one may gain membership by making a small donation. I doubt that this Temple will survive another hundred years without some great expense.
Another group of Masons from Delta Lodge formed the Ashler Club. This group was quite a lift to Delta Lodge. Its purpose was to entertain the Brethren and draw Brethren closer together. They sponsored the Table Lodges in Delta Lodge. They had card tournaments, table tennis, dancing and banquets. It is hoped that one day it will become active again. The Lodge cannot survive with Ritual alone; it must have some play.
The Ladies Nights have been a big event in recent years. The rirst Ladies Night was held on February 21, 1873. Several years later, I imagine due to the recess of labor in the community by the closing of the Shoe Industry, they were dropped. In 1914 they were again added to the regular annual procedure of Delta Lodge. Today they are held in the month of May each year with an average of over three hundred in attendance. It is hoped that this event will always continue and grow.
Another body made up of members of Delta Lodge is the Delta Lodge Bowling League founded in 1944 under the direction of Bro. Linton J. A. Tanner. At first there were four teams and as time passed it has grown to a ten team league with six men on a team. During its growth, they at one time had the Rainbow Girls and the DeMolay Boys in the league. As time passed a Grand Master issued an order that bowling leagues sponsored by Lodges were forbidden. As a result, the word Lodge was dropped and the league was opened up to families of members and later to friends. Today it consists of a mixture of race and creed.
As time passes by, many new means of government of the Lodge has come about. In order that we may gain a tax release, the Masonic Temple of Braintree Inc. was formed. They were given the task of operating the building and the furnishing thereof. We look about at the changes that have been made in recent years and we must be most thankful for this group. If things continue on the present basis, we will have, in a few short years, a new Temple constructed piece by piece, a face-lifting long desired and needed.
As has been stated, Delta Lodge began with thirty Brethren signing the Charter. At the time Delta Lodge moved to Brain-tree, there were only eighty-three members. At the end of the first twenty-five years the membership had grown to 127. Ai the conclusion of fifty years the membership rose to 329. A peak was reached in 1930 of 579 members, but due to a depression, Delta Lodge lost a few members and had only 460 members at the time of its seventy-fifth anniversary. Today the Lodge comprises 725 members. One might believe that the Ashler Club, the Bowling League, the Rainbow, the DeMolay or the Eastern Star may have been instrumental in this vast increase during the last twenty-five years, but the members of Delta Lodge would much rather believe that it was the friendship and brotherly love of the members that made it all possible.
In the early history it is found that Delta Lodge lost an ardent worker in the passing of Rt. Wor. George T. Burnham who was at the time the Marshal of Delta Lodge with over twenty years as an officer. This great heartbreak was to repeat itself when Wor. Bro. Frank Faust, in the office of Marshal, passed on to the Celestial Lodge above. Our senior Steward, Bro. Chester Belyea, passed on at the time the Lodge was called from labor to refreshment. Perhaps the most heartbreaking <>f all such occurrences was the passing of Wor. Francis Phipps, which happened at the time he was presenting a candidate his lamb skin. It is hoped that the Grand Master of the Celestial Lodge above has also allowed these Brethren to witness this anniversary along with those that founded the Lodge.
Fraternal friendship has become a great interest of Delta Lodge with its Sister Lodges, not only in the district but outside the district and the State. Back in 1908, Wor. Hartley L. White and a large number of members of Rural Lodge presented Delta Lodge with the three Great Lights of Masonry. This very evening we see the Square and Compass upon the Altar. The Bible has long since been put to rest. Once again in the early forties, Rural Lodge paid a visit to Delta Lodge for the purpose of doing the work of the evening. In that same year, Delta Lodge went to Rural Lodge for the same purpose. This has been a practice for some years now and we hope it will continue for many years to come.
In 1963 Annawon Lodge No. 115 of West Haven, Connecticut, asked Delta Lodge to confer the Apprentice and Fellow Craft Degrees on one of their candidates who was attending school in Boston and living in Braintree. Delta Lodge was very happy to comply with this wish. In the three months that the candidate was in our presence, the Brethren of Delta Lodge grew to like this candidate a great deal. When the time came for this candidate to return to West Haven for his Master Mason Degree, a group of Brethren from Delta Lodge were present. The work of Connecticut differs a great deal from Massachusetts. Because of this, Delta Lodge invited Annawon Lodge to come to Braintree and exemplify their Master Mason Degree. Not able to let it drop at this point, Delta Lodge went to West Haven and exemplified our Master Mason Degree. From this has grown a great friendship between the Brethren of both Lodges. Many visits have been enjoyed in both directions since. It may be well to mention that all this action was approved by both Grand Lodges.
Brother Fred Aitkens, a member of Saggahew Lodge of Haverhill, Mass., was attending Delta Lodge quite regularly and grew to admire the work as portrayed by the officers of Delta Lodge. As a result of his talking with the Master of his Lodge about Delta Lodge, an invitation was received for Delta Lodge to come to Saggahew Lodge to do the Fellow Craft Degree on their candidate. Delta Lodge was happy to comply and would not let it drop there. Saggahew Lodge was also invited to Delta Lodge to confer the Fellow Craft Degree on our candidates. Thus flourished another lasting friendship.
Delta Lodge now has two residents in the Masonic Home in Charlton, Mass., Mrs. Holt and Mrs. Walker. Many of the Brethren have made special trips to the home to visit with these ladies. Each time a gift was presented to them. In 1962 Delta Lodge visited the Home in a body to exemplify the Apprentice Degree for the benefit of the Brethren residing at the Home.
Delta Lodge now has another tenant in the Temple. From the Fourth Masonic District, St. Paul's Lodge moved to Braintree in September, 1959.
On May 25, 1966 Wor. William John Williams was invited to the first public installation of officers of the Braintree Council #1462, Knights of Columbus. In turn, Wor. Bro. Williams invited the Knights of Columbus to the public installation of Delta Lodge in the Quincy Masonic Temple. As a result of these installations, it was decided to hold a communion breakfast for both Orders. Delta Lodge met at the First Congregational Church in Braintree for Communion Services with Bro. and Dr. James M. Workman at 8:30 A.M. The Knights attended Mass at the St. Thomas More Church with their Chaplain, Fr. Culinane, also at 8:30 A.M. At 9:30 A.M. the Brethren of both Orders met at the East Junior High School in Braintree for breakfast with about three hundred twenty-five in attendance. The speaker was Richard E. McLaughlin, Register of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts. Again on March 31, 1968 the second annual breakfast was held in the same manner with over four hundred in attendance. The speaker at this gathering was Allen Emery, Jr., Congregational Layman. It is hoped that this method of spreading Brotherly Love and Friendship will continue for years to come and that possibly a united Ladies Night will also come about in the near future.
What has taken place in the past one hundred years of Delta Lodge is a nightmare of dreams that our forefathers could never conceive. The horse has gone as a means of transportation as has the bicycle, the street-car and the trains. Busses and automobiles have taken their places. We look forward with mixed emotion to the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority bringing back the rail method of transportation. The early history says that on special occasions of Delta Lodge the Brethren came from twenty-five miles away. Today, with jet travel, they come from even further distances. A Master asked one evening who had travelled the furthest to attend Lodge and Bro. Henry Storm arose and stated that he had had breakfast that morning in Piccadily Square, England. Other changes have also come about. The candle, the fire and the lamps are also a thing of the past. Electricity has come about and opened up a whole new world of electrically operated gadgets and machines. The electric light, radio and television furnished opportunities to advance in many ways. By the electric light we are able to continue progress twenty-four hours a day. The radio enables us to gather closer with faraway places by means of knowing what is going on in an unforeseen place. Television has enabled us to see places of the world that some people never dreamed existed. It is felt that possibly this medium has affected our attendance at meetings. This could very well be. Maybe the Lodge should do more entertaining. What lies ahead in the years to come will be as much of a mystery to us as the last one hundred years were to our founders. If medicine has anything to do about it, some of those assembled here tonight may very well see a great portion of the next one hundred years.
125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1993
From Proceedings, Page 1993-36:
For the history of the first 100 years please refer to page 56 of the 1968 Proceedings of Grand Lodge.
In the last twenty-five years since the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Delta Lodge, many important accomplishments and deeds have been recorded in our records.
We meet annually with the Braintree Council #1462 Knights of Columbus to hold a Communion Breakfast for both orders. Delta Lodge usually meets at the First Congregational Church Braintree, but has also met at Union Congregational, South Congregational and Emmanuel Episcopal for an 8:00 a.m. service. The Knights attend Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church with their Chaplain also at 8:00 a.m. Breakfast was originally held at East Junior High School, but more recently at the Sons of Italy Hall located at King Hill Road, Braintree. A speaker is chosen each year alternating between the Knights and Delta Lodge. This practice started on May 25, 1966 when Wor. William John Williams was invited to the Installation of Officers of Braintree Council #1462. In turn Wor. Williams invited the Knights of Columbus to the public Installation of Delta Lodge at the Quincy Masonic Temple. It is hoped that this practice will continue for many more years to come spreading brotherly love and friendship between the two orders.
Special communication by Dispensation from the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts: A visit from Governor William King Lodge No. 219, Scarborough, Maine to witness their Masonic Degree work on a live candidate and to share a dinner with our Brothers from Maine. A tradition started in 1970 by two Brothers — Wor. Stafford H. Cyphers of Delta Lodge and Wor. Robert Cyphers of Governor William King Lodge No. 219. Delta Lodge usually follows up by going up to Governor William King Lodge by invitation to share dinner and to perform Degree work the following year. It is hoped that this method of spreading brother love and friendship will last for many years to come also.
On September 3, 1980, the ground breaking ceremony was held for the purpose of constructing a new Temple to be located at 403 Washington Street, Braintree. Present were members of the Braintree Masonic Association, Inc. Lodge members, dignitaries and distinguished guests: Wor. Robert H. Stevens, Presiding Master; Bro. James G. Chandler, Jr., Senior Warden; Wor. W. Edwin Skinner, Braintree Masonic Association, Inc.; Wor. Morris J. Harrison, Braintree Masonic Association, Inc.; Ken Parry, Architect; Tony Mollica, Selectman, Town of Braintree.
The laying of the cornerstone for the new Braintree Masonic Temple was held on November 23, 1980.
Open House - March 29, 1981. Wor. James G. Chandler, Jr., Presiding Master; Wor. Morris J. Harrison, Building Committee Chairman; State Representative Elizabeth Metayer and many distinguished guests and dignitaries congratulated the Master of Delta Lodge and members, wishing them the best of luck and great success in the comingyears. Over 300 guests and well wishers were present.
April 9, 1981, R.W. Walter J. Hansen, President of the Braintree Masonic Association, Inc., assisted by Wor. W. Edwin Skinner, presented the Deed for the new building to Wor. Donald R. Blunt, President of the Masonic Temple of Braintree, Inc., R.W. Wayne G. Parlee, District Deputy Grand Master of the 26th Masonic District, brought the warm and fraternal greetings of the Grand Master of Masons, Most Worshipful J. Philip Berquist. He said Masonry is a way of life. He hoped that we would become more united in our quest for brotherly love and friendship to all. Wor. Charles A. Cruickshank, Chaplain of Delta Lodge said the closing prayer. At long last, the dream and wish for a new Masonic Temple by our late R. W. Henry D. Higgins was fulfilled! Looking down upon us from that great celestial Lodge above, I know that R. W. Henry D. Higgins can only say, "Bravo Brothers, a job well done. Thank you!"
Delta Lodge, A.F. & A.M. Social and Traditional Activities
First Ladies' Night was held on February 21, 1873 and carried on through the years since. The occasion was held in many different halls and places where social events are held. On many occasions Ladies' Night was held at the Braintree Town Hall. The first time was in 1950, R. W. Otis Oakman was the presiding Master. The second time was in 1952, Wor. W. Edwin Skinner was the presiding Master of Delta Lodge. On several occasions, it had to be suspended due to poor attendance. We sincerely hope that it will start up again in the years to come.
Other events held by Delta Lodge are: The Bloodmobile Drive, a joint venture held with the Braintree Knights of Columbus #1462 to collect blood for the American Red Cross. Wor. Morris J. Harrison, Master 1971-1972 was the Blood Committee Chairman. Wor. William M. Wing, Master 1983-1984, Bro. Clarence Sargent, Wor. Robert J. Sargent, Master 1989-1990, R.W. John B. MacKay, Master 1991-1992, present Chairman Red Cross Blood Drive.
Dinner and Auction, started April 1983 by Wor. Albert E. Wood to benefit the Peterson-Charnoch Scholarship Fund. Two $500 Scholarships were given to Honor Students for the years 1992 and 1993 to the Blue Hills Regional High School. For the year 1994, a $500 Scholarship will be given to a high honor student of Braintree High School and two at the Blue Hills Regional School located in Canton, Massachusetts.
Widows' Night - Each year invitations are sent to all the widows in remembrance of their late husbands (all past members of the Delta Lodge). After dinner and prayers, a rose is presented to each widow. This is followed by an evening of fun and entertainment. This occasion was started in 1984 by Wor. Albert E. Wood.
Each Christmas, flowers and cards are delivered to the widows by the Brethren of Delta Lodge. A. Children's Christmas Party is also held each year, usually one week before Christmas. Pizzas, cookies, ice cream and soft drinks are served. There is also entertainment, a visit with Santa Claus, and a gift for each child.
Once a year some of the Brethren from Delta Lodge volunteer at Shriner Burns Institute to help children decorate cookies and enjoy a McDonald's Happy Meal with them.
1968-1993. Delta Lodge has had many distinguished Masons proudly perform many different duties as District Deputy Grand Masters of the Quincy 26th Masonic District.
- R. W. Waller J. Hansen, 1971-1972
- R. W. Wayne G. Parlee, 1981-1982
- R. W. John B. MacKay. 1989-1990
- R. W. Albert E. Wood 1993-1994
- R. W. Robert D. Parker (Hon. Mem,) 1985-1986
- R. W. Richard S. Holiver (Honorary Member) 1987-1988
- R. W. Otis B. Oakman, Grand Lodge Representative. Goias. Brazil
- R. W. John B. MacKay, Grand Lodge Representative. Venezuela
Each year, usually in the month of June, Longtimers' afternoon is celebrated. Members with thirty-five years or more are recognized and a dinner is served in their honor.
In concluding, we would like to pay homage to the oldest member of our Lodge, Bro. Carl Kjellander who has completed 72 years. Get better Carl, so that R.W. John B. MacKay can live up to his promise to send a limousine after you when you celebrate your 75th Anniversary.
- 1900 (Petition to remove to Braintree granted, 1900-97)
INSTALLATION, JANUARY 1906
From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 5, February 1906, Page 177:
Delta Lodge A. F. & A. M. had a public installation of its officers, Tuesday evening, January 9. The ceremony was performed by Wor. Frederic L. Putnam, Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge, assisted by Wor. George E. Fenn as Grand Marshal. The officers installed were: Worshipful Master, William Sidney Stone; Senior Warden, George Thompson Burnham; Junior Warden, John Henry Guy; Treasurer, Wor. David Josiah Pierce; Secretary, Harry Lambert Batten; Chaplain, Josephus Sampson; Marshal, Frederick George Wilson; Senior Deacon, Charles Gilbert Jordan: Junior Deacon, Walter James Harrison; Senior Steward, Byron Claude Shanks; Junior Steward, Atherton Nash Hunt; Inside Sentinel, Isaac Wendell Gammons; Tyler, Edward Thomas Jordan. Wor. Brother Stone is a son of a Past Master of Hope Lodge of Gardner, Mass. and the venerable brother was present to witness the installation of his son. Wor. Bro. Stone is also grand nephew of the late distinguished brother Lucius R. Paige. Music for the occasion was furnished by the Harvard Quartet. The exercises of the evening were interesting to all who participated.
CORNER STONE LAYING, SEPTEMBER 1907
From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 1, October 1907, Page 23:
Laying the Corner Stone of Delta Lodge
Wor. William L. Stone
Among events of Masonic interest in the town of Braintree, Mass., nothing has ever occurred of greater moment than the laying of the corner stone of the new Masonic hall by the brethren of Delta Lodge. It was attended by the most worshipful grand master and other officers and members of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and by large delegations from Masonic bodies along the South shore.
The exercises were begun a little after 4 o'clock, when the grand officers were escorted from the old Masonic hall by members of Delta Lodge and Rural Lodge of Quincy. The exercises were public and an ideal Indian summer day served to bring hundreds of people to the scene. The exercises opened with the singing of a hymn by the Harvard Quartet.
William L. Stone, Worshipful Master of Delta Lodge, then spoke, in part as follows: Delta Lodge was chartered in 1869 during the administration of William S. Gardner, who preceded as Grand Master our present honored Recording Grand Secretary, R. W. Sereno D, Nickerson, whose presence here today means so much to each one of us. Its charter members included men well-known and highly respected, not only in the community but throughout the state; and we number many of their descendants as active members today. Three of these original members (all that are now living) are present at this ceremony. I believe, sir, that the present membership of Delta Lodge is a representative one, and that our members, man for man, will not suffer by comparison with any of the fifty thousand Masons in Massachusetts of which you are the official heads.
We have met for several years under discouraging conditions, in unsuitable and inadequate quarters, notwithstanding which fact our growth has been steady, gratifying and of the best quality. Since the lodge moved to Braintree from Weymouth seven years ago, our membership has increased from ninety to one hundred and fifty, and the secretary has in his possession, or in immediate contemplation at the present time, nearly twenty-five applications for degrees and memberships. With the new and suitable quarters, I believe that we are well within the probabilities when we predict that in less than three years from the completion of the temple we shall add the names of at least one hundred men to our rolls.
Following the address there were Scripture readings and prayer by Rev. Edward A. Horton, Grand Chaplain, and after this came the reading of the list of contents of the copper box that was placed under the corner stone. The corner stone was then laid formally by Most Worshipful Grand Master John Albert Blake and the application of the Masouic jewels was made in the traditional way, following which came the libation of corn by R. W. Arthur T. Way, DGM, the libation of wine by R. W. Edward G. Graves, SGW, and the libation of oil by R. W. Horace K. Marion, JGW. The invocation by the grand chaplain, Rev. Mr. Horton, followed and then the working tools were presented the architect, Henry W Goro, Jr., a member of Delta Lodge. Following a proclamation by Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Marshal, the address of the day was delivered most eloquently by Rev. Edward A. Horton, the Grand Chaplain. The exercises were brought to a close by the singing of a hymn by the quartet and congregation, and tin benediction, which was pronounced by Rev. Mr. Horton.
Delta lodge then entertained its guests at the lodge room.
Delta Lodge Hall
The proposed temple for Delta Lodge will be a building somewhat unique in point of architecture, but will be a structure at once attractive and dignified. It will be constructed throughout of concrete blocks, and even the shingles will be of the same material, so that the building, as far as human ingenuity can make it, will be fireproof. When the building is completed in about three months, it will be the first Masonic Temple in this section of the country built of granolithic blocks, and the first one story temple to be built.
HALL DEDICATION, DECEMBER 1907
From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 4, January 1908, Page 148:
What in some respects is the most remarkable Masonic Temple in this country was dedicated by Most Worshipful J. Albert Blake, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, at Braintree, Mass., Saturday, December 7.
The building was erected by Delta Lodge and the corner stone was laid with Masonic ceremony by the Grand Master and other members of the Grand Lodge September 21st. Only three and one-half months have elapsed since the first shovelful of earth was dug in preparation for the building. A picture of the building is shown on page 24 of the October issue of the New Knglaud Craftsman. It is a one-Story building along the lines of the ancient temples and of concrete blocks. It is the first Masonic temple of its kind in the country, but already has found so much favor with visiting members who have seen it that it is probable that others will be erected soon.
The building will be devoted exclusively to the purposes of Masonry and the lodge room is one of the finest equipped in this country. The only other large room is the banquet hall, but the building is amply supplied with all the necessary small rooms. The heating plant is in the basement and the building is so securely built that top stories can be added at any time. Many innovations in the line of electric lighting have been installed and in the big banquet hall, where the dedication supper was served, a rousing fire of logs blazed in the open fireplace.
At 7 o'clock there was a convocation of the lodge and at 8 o'clock the grand officers marched in and the building was dedicated after the manner prescribed in the ritual. The beautiful ceremony was impressively carried out in all its details. The dedication services occupied two hours, and then an adjournment was made to the banquet hall, where a supper was served.
Congratulatory addresses were made by the grand officers and visiting officials from out-of-town lodges.
55TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, MAY 1919
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIV, No. 8, May 1919, Page 267:
Delta Lodge, of Braintree, commemorated its 15th anniversary with services recently in the First Congregational Church with fraternal and social events of an interesting character. In the church the sermon was delivered by Rev. E. A. Horton, senior Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Music was furnished by the Pilgrim Male Quartet and P. Stuart Mason, the organist of the lodge. Addresses were delivered by Grand Master Leon M. Abbott and members of the Grand Lodge, who were present as guests. The "Ladies' Night" which followed the formal exercises was a great success, the members and their ladies being present in large numbers. The executive committee in charge of the anniversary arrangements were Worshipful Master Henry D. Higgins, Charles G. Jordan. W. J. Harrison and George W, Stevens.
Delta Lodge was instituted at Weymouth on June 6, 1863, and constituted a year later. It was located there for many years. but with changing conditions it was recognized that Braintree was its logical location, and it moved there nineteen years ago. The lodge is proud to have still active in iis affairs two of the charter members, William S. Wallace (Master 1875-77) and Reuben Tirrell.
Under a succession of able masters, beginning with the late Hon. Edward Avery (master 1868-70) the lodge has shown a consistent growth. In 1907 it erected the temple which it now occupies. The past year has been one of its most notable.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Edward G. Avery, DDGM, District 16 (Plymouth), 1870-1874, 1880; Junior Grand Warden 1877
- George T. Burnham, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1934, 1935; Memorial
- Walter J. Hansen, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1971, 1972; N
- Henry D. Higgins, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1920, 1921; N
- Arthur W. Hoe, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1928, 1929; N
- John E. Hunt, DDGM, District 25 (Hingham), 1904, 1905; Memorial
- Charles G. Jordan, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1916, 1917; Junior Grand Steward 1914; Memorial
- Charles G. Jordan, Jr., DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1953, 1954; N
- John B. MacKay, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1989, 1990; N
- Frank H. Mason, DDGM, District 25 (Hingham), 1896, 1897; SN
- Wayne G. Parlee, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1981, 1982
- William Paterson, DDGM, Cambridge 2, 1986, 1987; Biography; N
- Albert E. Wood, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1993, 1994
- William Sprague Wallace, Memorial