EASTERN STAR LODGE
Chartered By: Josiah Bartlett
Charter Date: 03/12/1798 II-125
Precedence Date: 03/12/1798
Current Status: unknown; surrendered charter 12/27/1822, page III-428.
MEMBER LIST, 1802
From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 27:
- R. W. Lewis Wheaton, M.
- W. James Ellis, S. W.
- W. Barnerd Wheeler, J. W.
- Joseph Wheaton, Tr.
- Ebenezer Short, Sec.
- Abram Ormsbee, S. D.
- Abel French, J. D.
- Robert Pease, Steward.
- James Croswell, Tiler.
No. of Members, 39.
- Isaac Fowler
- Wm. Blanding, Jr.
- Washington Martin
- Gardner Mason
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
HISTORICAL NOTES, NOVEMBER 1948
From Proceedings, Page 1948-172:
Over one hundred and fifty years ago, in the early part of the year 1797, when Paul Revere was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, a small group of men in Rehoboth began discussing the advisability of forming a Lodge in this town. On March 12, 1798, Bristol Lodge, now of North Attleboro, received, as recorded by Grand Lodge Proceedings (1792-1815 Mass., page 126), a petition from William Windsor and others praying for the establishment of a Lodge in the East Parish of Rehoboth, County of Bristol. It was voted that the prayer of the petitioners be granted.
The Lodge was immediately formed and a Charter was issued. Following this, "The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts specially met at Rehoboth to consecrate Eastern Star Lodge and install its officers."
It must have been a colorful event in this little town, then a tavern stop on the great Providence to Boston Post Road—the arrival of the Mail Coach bringing the distinguished representatives of the Grand Lodge; the cordial exchange of greetings with refreshments for the weary travelers; and finally the Brethren as they marched in full regalia on a glorious mission directed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and assisted by the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island and Royal Arch Chapter of that State. Nature added its approval by furnishing the grandeur of a golden autumn day, with the reds and yellows of tree and shrub which provided a painted background for the first public procession of the Ancient Order in Rehoboth. After divine worship at the Baptist Church, the consecration was solemnized within the local Congregational Meeting House. That there was love, urbanity, friendly converse, entertainment and a grand feast with many toasts and songs after this important occasion, is testified to by the Grand Lodge records.
Thus 150 years ago Eastern Star Lodge began its history. Thus the lessons of the gavel, hour glass, scythe and faith in immortality were emphasized to the enrichment of the lives of these pioneers in Masonic philosophy.
The Lodge met in Wheaton Hall, above the Post Office, which is now the residence of Brother Ellery L. Goff. It is unfortunate that the records are inadequate, for it would be inspiring to read about the manner in which those serious, ancestral Brethren conducted the ritual and attended to the Lodge business of those long ago meetings.
May it be noted, however, that the Lodge was active and that it soon acquired forty members; that on December 27,1808, Brother James Ellis of Eastern Star Lodge was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Fourth District by Most Worshipful Isaiah Thomas, Grand Master of Massachusetts, and reappointed to this office again in 1809. The Lodges of the Fourth District were Bristol of Norton, Fellowship of Bridgewater, Montgomery of Franklin, Eastern Star of Rehoboth, King David of Taunton and Rising Star of Stoughton. The fraternal bonds, then as now, were close because the festival of St. John was frequently celebrated jointly within the District.
At this point, for a later reference, it is interesting to record that on April 2, 1798, King David Lodge of Taunton petitioned Bristol, Fellowship and Eastern Star Lodges for permission to form a Lodge at Taunton.
From 1820 through the 1830s difficulties arose, too heavy for many Lodges to overcome. Eastern Star records reveal only faint information concerning this agonizing period. It is sad to relate that on December 27, 1822, the Charter of Eastern Star Lodge was surrendered to the Grand Lodge. When the Boston Temple burned, this original Charter was destroyed. For one hundred years thereafter, we find no mention of Masonry in the activities of Rehoboth.
HISTORICAL NOTES, JANUARY 1974
From Proceedings, Page 1974-4:
Extant copies of the Providence Gazette for the years 1798-1800 attest to the existence of the Lodge in the early years of our Nation. They relate to the celebrations of the feast of St. John, the "consecration" of the Lodge, and the installation of officers in October, 1800, at the house of Mr. Goff, Innholder, situated where the Goff Memorial Hall now stands.
Also, several years ago, the Certificate, dated September 29, 1804, and the lambskin of Bro. Capt. Ebenezer Hathaway came to light. Another Certificate of Bro. Allen Cole, dated 1804, has been presented to the Lodge.
The Charter, attested to by Most Worshipful Paul Revere as Grand Secretary, was reputedly destroyed when the Boston Masonic Temple burned in the last century; and we read with disenchantment the records of King David Lodge that Eastern Star Lodge succumbed "for lack of interest," in 1822. This reminds us that "Man can live without Institutions, but Institutions cannot live without men."
- 1818 (Petition for remission, granted; Page III-142)
- 1819 (Petition for remission, referred; Page III-211)
- 1820 (Two years granted to pay delinquincies; Page III-306)
- 1821 (Mentioned in Report of Committee on Delinquent Lodges; Page III-341)