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Location: Charlestown

Chartered By: William Sewall Gardner

Charter Date: 06/09/1869 VII-372

Precedence Date: 06/10/1868

Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault; merged with Mizpah Lodge to become Mizpah-Faith Lodge, 06/23/1981.


  • William H. Kent, 1868, 1869; SN
  • John B. Norton, 1870, 1871
  • James Swords, 1872, 1873
  • Henry W. Bragg, 1874
  • Joseph W. Hill, 1875, 1876
  • Benjamin F. Stacy, 1877, 1878
  • Edward A. Ladd, 1879, 1880
  • Henry E. Hayward, 1881, 1882
  • William T. Rowe, 1883, 1884
  • Alexander M. Hayward, 1885, 1886; SN
  • Edmund F. Peters, 1887
  • John S. LeFavor, 1888, 1889
  • George W. LeFavor, 1890, 1891
  • Joseph H. Whiton, 1892, 1893
  • Winfield F. Prime, 1894, 1895
  • James G. Jones, 1896, 1897
  • Walter I. Sprague, 1898, 1899
  • Henry A. Yenetchi, 1900, 1901
  • Walter E. Carter, 1902, 1903
  • Guilford D. Brown, 1904, 1905
  • Walter A. Ladd, 1906, 1907
  • Arthur L. Fletcher, 1908, 1909
  • Henry H. Trauschke, 1910
  • Charles F. Brown, 1911, 1912
  • William George Bowler, 1913, 1914; N
  • Francis G. Hanson, 1915, 1916
  • Theodore H. Tufts, 1917, 1918
  • Ralph C. Small, 1919, 1920
  • George Thomas Stoddard, 1921, 1922
  • James A. Woods, 1923
  • Vernon L. Greene, 1924
  • William H. Sanger, 1925, 1926
  • Grover C. Hoyt, 1927, 1928; N
  • Arthur W. Wight, 1929
  • George O. E. Nelson, 1930, 1931
  • Ernest F. Royal, 1932, 1933
  • Herman M. Suss, 1934
  • George E. Irving, 1935, 1936
  • Warren A. Gould, 1937
  • C. Raymond Allen, 1938
  • Carl C. Nielsen, 1939
  • Page H. B. Thompson, 1940
  • Wheeler S. Peek, 1941, 1942
  • John S. Suss, 1943
  • Albert F. Carlson, 1944
  • George W. Fitz, 1945
  • Godfrey J. Hodapp, 1946
  • Truman F. Higgins, 1947
  • John M. Gilchrist, 1948
  • Russell H. Searle, 1949
  • John A. Baldracchi, 1950
  • Leon E. Michaud, 1951
  • Bertram W. Sweetland, 1952, 1978, 1979; SN
  • George L. Michaud, 1953
  • Thomas Morrison, 1954
  • Edward A. Blakeley, 1955
  • Wilson A. MacKean, 1956
  • Fred M. Pannerot, 1957
  • Ralph E. Phillips, 1958
  • Walter S. Schow, 1959
  • A. Wylie Van Wart, 1960; N
  • Walter R. McCarroll, 1961
  • William G. Carpenter, 1962
  • Derek H. Whitman, 1963
  • Stefano M. Riggio, Jr., 1964
  • Norman H. Shaw, Jr., 1965, 1981; N
  • Charles E. Hancock, 1966
  • Paul F. LaPrise, 1967
  • John M. DeFusco, 1968
  • Louis C. King, 1969, 1975; Mem
  • Emmanuel S. Pazar, 1970
  • Robert L. Bailey, 1971
  • William J. LaBlanc, 1972
  • George H. Ward, Jr., 1973, 1974
  • Robert D. Sherrick, 1976, 1977
  • Raymond Flores, 1980


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1868
  • Petition for Charter: 1869
  • Consolidation Petition (with Mizpah Lodge): 1981


  • 1918 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1968 (Centenary)



1881 1885 1894 1903 1927 1937 1939 1945 1947 1953 1954 1959 1965 1966 1973


  • 1918 (50th Anniversary History, 1918-67; see below)
  • 1968 (Centenary History, 1968-118)
  • 1967 (Notes at Consolidation, 2008-35; see below)


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIV, No. 3, December 1918, Page 82:


June 7, 1918 was the date of a Regular Communication of Faith Lodge. Charlestown, Mass. It was also chosen as the date of observing the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of that lodge. There was a reception of Most Wor. Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master, greeting by Wor. Master Theodore H. Tufts, Historical address by Wor. Winfield L. Prime, Address by the Grand Master, Presentation of Henry Price Medals to surviving charter members of the Lodge, music by a quartet and refreshments.

The address of Wor. Bro. Prime was of marked interest and gave much information regarding the birth and growth of the Lodge.

Faith Lodge was founded in 1868. First meeting was held June 12. 1868. Charter was granted in 1869, bearing date June 10, 1869. Four charter members still survive, two of whom were present at the celebration. The historian gave interesting sketches of the ten charter members.

The Lodge has had 27 Worshipful Masters, fifteen of them now living. There have been six treasurers and five secretaries. Three of the brethren have been honored by being appointed district deputy grand master. The Lodge has held 593 meetings, and now has 237 members. The celebration was continued by a church service in the First Universalist church on Sunday, June 9 at 3 o'clock. A sermon was preached by Rt. Wor. Frederick W. Hamiltonn, D. D., LL. D. Grand Secretary Rev. Bro. Ransom A. Green, D. D., assisted in the service.

From Proceedings, Page 1918-67:

Address of Worshipful Winfield F. Prime.

Half a Century, — What a Repository of Recollections for the Aged, — What a Wealth of Anticipations for Youth! In the words of Eugene Field:

Fifty years is a mighty space
In the human toil for bread;
But to Love and to Death 'tis merely a breath,
A dream that is quickly sped.

Gibbon, the great English author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, wrote, "History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind."

Voltaire said: "History is little else than a picture of human crimes and misfortunes."

If those responsible for honoring me by asking that I speak to you concerning the history of Faith Lodge expect me to qualify as a historian under the foregoing definitions, they are doomed to disappointment, for, instead of crimes, follies, and misfortunes, we shall find recorded all their antonyms.

It may be pardonable for one who was privileged to be born on the hallowed soil of Bunker Hill to say something at this time of the civic and political life of Charlestown fifty years ago. Indeed there seems to have been a most admirable coordination between the founders of Faith Lodge and the municipal government of Charlestown of their time. This old town, older, you must remember, by two years than Boston itself, has given to the world something more than Bunker Hill Monument, the Navy Yard, and the State Prison. Here first saw the light of day Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph; Richard Frothingham, historian; Thomas Ball, probably America's foremost sculptor, and General Charles Devens, brave soldier and eminent jurist.

Among our distinguished residents we have claimed Samuel Dexter, who as a senator of the United States, Secretary of War, and Secretary of the Treasury, lent material aid in the foundation of our Federal Government; Edward Everett, Governor of this Commonwealth, member of both branches of Congress, and Minister to England; Oliver Holden, author of "Coronation," an ardent Mason and member of King Solomon's Lodge; Thomas Starr King, preacher; Charlotte Cushman, the most famous actress of her time, and John Boyle O'Reilly, patriot and poet. A galaxy of which any community may well be proud, and which could not fail to lend an inspiration to succeeding generations. The native of Charlestown could say, as did the ancient Roman, "I am a citizen of no mean city."

At this point, I am going to venture a little witticism which I recently read, leaving it for you to say what application it has, if any, to the present generation as compared with the worthies just mentioned:

Mrs. Highbrow, speaking to one of her aristocratic neighbors concernnig a newcomer in their set, of supposed fine lineage, said: "Is there any doubt about Mrs. Jackson having descended from the Pilgrims!" To which the neighbor interrogated responded: "There may be some doubt about the genealogy, but no doubt whatever about the descent!"

Booker T. Washington, who, you will remember, was born a slave, and whom some have placed among the truly great Americans, said that sometimes the man like him without an ancestry was blest, because while he had no one to brag about he also had no one to apologize for.

Charlestown, we learn, was established a city in 1847, remaining such until January 1, 1874, when it became annexed to Boston. In 1868 its twenty-five thousand people were efficiently governing themselves under the administration of Mayor Liverus Hull, a typical Christian gentleman of the old school, and a city government the majority of whom, were members of the Masonic fraternity: not only a tribute to Masonry, but an assurance of an honest administration of public affairs.

The Masonic work in Charlestown had been faithfully wrought by King Solomon's Lodge from 1783 until the year 1858, when Henry Price Lodge received a Charter. These two Lodges in a splendid spirit of brotherly love and with unanimity gave official sanction to the petition of eleven of their Brethren for a Dispensation to meet as a Lodge to be called Faith Lodge, a name most happily chosen, for it is not only one of the three principal rounds of the ladder to that starry-decked heaven where all good Masons hope at last to arrive, but also one of three Christian virtues. "It is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

At the preliminary meeting, held May 13, 1868, the following named brethren signed the petition:

  • William H. Kent
  • Samuel M. Nesmith
  • Francis W. Pray
  • Charles F. Fairbanks
  • James Swords
  • Daniel Williams
  • John B. Norton
  • James Adams, Jr.
  • Andrew J. Bailey
  • Henry W. Bragg
  • James W. Poor

The first three officers nominated and appointed for the baby Lodge at this meeting were

  • Wor. Bro. William H. Kent, Worshipful Master
  • Wor. Bro. Samuel M. Nesmith, Senior Warden
  • Bro. James Swords, Junior Warden

The petition was unanimously approved by Henry Price Lodge May 27, 1868; by King Solomon's Lodge June 9, 1868; and on the tenth day of June, 1868, District Deputy Grand Master Tracy P. Cheever and the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Charles C. Dame, gave their endorsement.

June 12, 1868, the new Lodge held its first regular communication under Dispensation, Brothers James Adams, Jr., and James W. Poor being elected treasurer and secretary respectively. The following appointments were made at this meeting:

  • Marshal, Bro. Daniel Williams
  • Senior Deacon, Bro. John B. Norton
  • Junior Deacon, Bro. Francis W. Pray
  • Senior Steward, Bro. Charles F. Fairbanks
  • Junior Steward, Bro. Henry W. Bragg
  • Inside Sentinel, Bro. Andrew J. Bailey
  • Tyler, Bro. Roland Hill

The first applicant for the degrees to knock at the door, and the first novitiate to be raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Faith Lodge was Linus E. Pearson, who was City Treasurer of Charlestown from 1865 to 1874, when annexation to Boston legislated him out of office. He was one of Charlestown's most beloved citizens, well known to many of the present generation. It is recorded that at this first meeting, of the eight visitors who attended six were from Henry Price Lodge and two were from King Solomon's Lodge, an indication that a spirit of good fellowship and helpfulness was to be extended the new Masonic enterprise, and we gratefully acknowledge our appreciation of the genuine fraternity which has flowed from those Lodges since that day. It was March 12, 1869, that the Lodge adopted a code of by-laws so well devised that they have served us until the present time, with but a few unimportant changes.

June 11, 1869, the first election of officers of the Lodge resulted as follows:

  • Wor. Bro. William H. Kent, Worshipful Master.
  • Bro. John B. Norton , Senior Warden.
  • Bro. Henry W. Bragg, Junior Warden.
  • Bro. James Adams, Jr., Treasurer.
  • Bro. James W. Poor, Secretary.

The Most worshipful Grand Lodge, fully approving the work done under Dispensation, in June, 1869, granted to Faith Lodge a Charter, bearing date June 10, 1868, which has been carefully preserved and which we are assured will be passed on untarnished to the generations yet unborn.

On the 23d day of June, 1869, the Lodge was honored by an official visitation from Most Worshipful William S. Gardner, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Deputy Grand Master Charles Levi Woodbury, and a large delegation of distinguished Brethren, for the purpose of constituting Faith Lodge and installing its first staff of officers under the Charter. The Charter Members, ten in number, were:

  • Wor. Bro. William H. Kent, Worshipful Master
  • Bro. John B. Norton, Senior Warden
  • Bro. Henry W. Bragg, Junior Warden
  • Bro. James Adams, Jr., Treasurer
  • Bro. James W. Poor, Secretary
  • Bro. James Swords, Senior Deacon
  • Bro. Francis W. Pray, Junior Deacon
  • Bro. Charles F. Fairbanks, Senior Steward
  • Bro. Andrew J. Bailey, Junior Steward
  • Bro. Daniel Williams,

who acted as Marshal under the Dispensation, but not under the Charter, a list of names certainly taken from Charlestown 's peerage of their time. Four of their number, Brothers Bragg, Adams, Bailey, and Poor still survive, and we rejoice that we have present on this occasion Brothers Andrew J. Bailey and James W. Poor.

I feel justified in repeating the historic words of the immortal Webster at the laying of the corner-stone of Bunker Hill Monument June 17, 1825, when addressing the few surviving veterans of the battle of Bunker Hill:

"Venerable men. You have come down to us from a former generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives that you might behold this joyous day.

Let us briefly tell who these ten charter members were and are, for they blazed the trail which we have found so easy to travel for fifty years. It will be understood, of course, that we cannot be expected to do full justice to those of this number who have not yet completed lives which have been so full of honor and usefulness.

Worshipful Brother William H. Kent was born in Duxbury, Mass., March 21, 1823, moved to the West End of Boston when a child, and received the coveted Franklin Medal for scholarship in the Mayhew School at thirteen years of age. He early entered mercantile business, and from 1873 until his death, February 7, 1889, was president of the Mill Owners Fire Insurance Company. The last thirty years of his life were passed in Charles-town, where he was an alderman in 1865, 1866, 1867, and 1868, and mayor in 1870, 1871, and 1872.

Among his other activities in civil life were service in the Boston Common Council, on the Board of License Commissioners, as trustee of the Boston City Hospital for six years, as trustee of the Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank, and as director in the Middlesex Street Railway Company for fourteen years. He was also actively interested in the affairs of the Harvard Unitarian Church.

In Masonic life, his sterling worth was early recognized by his Brethren who elected him Master of St. John's Lodge in Boston before he became the first Master of Faith Lodge, holding the latter office in the years 1868 and 1869. In 1873 and 1874 he was District Deputy Grand Master of the Second Masonic District. He was one of the founders of Coeur de Lion Commandery, of which he was its first Commander under the Charter, and later became Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In every position of trust and responsibility to which his fellow citizens or his Brethren called him, he brought lustre and renown. His interest in the welfare of our Lodge continued unabated until his death, he being a constant attendant at our meetings, always bringing with him that well remembered courtly bearing which characterizes the true gentleman, aiding the Lodge and its officers from his fund of wisdom.

To him, Freemasonry was neither an industry nor a pastime, but a vital living faith which he believed should be utilized by man to develop the best traits of character with which our Creator hath endowed us.

Brother John B. Norton came out of Henry Price Lodge to do his part in the formation of this Lodge. He had been in the Civil War, risiug from the rank of lieutenant in the Charlestown City Guards to that of lieutenant colonel of his regiment. He was successful in the leather business. In 1876 and again in 1879 he served with distinction in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

He was not only the second Master of Faith Lodge in the years 1870 and 1871, holding honorary membership from February 9, 1872, but a Past Commander of Hugh De Payens Commandery, Knights Templars, of Melrose. He died in 1885.

Brother Henry W. Bragg, a native of Holliston, Mass., came to Charlestown in 1864 from Natick, Mass., where he had been made a Master Mason in Meridian Lodge. He was our Worshipful Master in 1874. His early education was obtained in the University of the City of New York and at Tufts College. He was City Solicitor for Charlestown in 1867, 1868, and 1869, and was Counsel for the Warren Institution for Savings for forty-six years, resigning January 1, 1913.

For forty years, from 1874 to 1914, as a Special Justice and as the standing Justice of the Municipal Court of the Charlestown District, he had the universal approbation of his fellow citizens as the wise and upright judge. We are glad that his career of usefulness is not ended. He has been made an honorary member of the Lodge.

Brother James Adams, Jr., who was born in Charlestown, took his degrees in Henry Price Lodge. The son of a president of the Warren Institution for Savings, he naturally turned to banking, and was from 1875 to 1900 connected with the Blackstone National Bank, first as cashier and later as its President.

He served as a Trustee of the Charlestown Public Library from 1868 to 1871, and in the Common Council in 1868. At eighty years of age he still is engaged in the banking business as an active Vice-President of the Warren Institution. He took his dimit from this Lodge in 1888 when he moved to Brookline.

The next name on this roll of honor is Brother James W. Poor. Everybody here knows "Jimmie" Poor. There is an ancient admonition of the futility of any attempt to tint the rose," so we will say but little of this Brother.

He was born in Charlestown and has always found it a good place to live. As a young man he served his country in the Navy and in the Internal Revenue Department, and his city in the fire department, running with the old-fashioned hand-worked machine. The Masonic degrees were given him in good old King Solomon's Lodge in 1864.

He was one of the more active promoters of Faith Lodge, serving as its first Secretary, continuing in office until December, 1875, when he declined reelection, being later made an honorary member.


He has the distinction of attending all except three sessions held by Faith Lodge. We trust he will be in attendance at the celebration of its centennial.

Brother James Swords came to Charlestown from Boston in 1848, when only thirteen years old. He was President of the Charlestown Common Council at the time of the formation of this Lodge. A distinguished looking man, of high character and most pleasing personality, he was the third Master of our Lodge, holding this office in 1872 and 1873. He contributed liberally of his time and energy to the upbuilding of the Lodge to the time of his death in 1905. He was raised in Henry Price Lodge. In Templar Masonry Brother Swords also achieved distinction, being a Past Commander of Hugh De Payens Commandery and Right Eminent Grand Commander in 1889 and 1890. Faith Lodge made him an honorary member February 13, 1874.

Brother Francis W. Pray, another Boston born boy, came to Charlestown in 1858 and, until his death, took a prominent part in its military, political, and social life, being a captain of the Charlestown cadets, and a member of the Council and Board of Aldermen of the City of Boston. For many years he carried on a successful boot and shoe business on Washington Street, Boston.

He took his dimit from the Lodge in 1889, and in 1903 passed to the Great Beyond.

Brother Charles F. Fairbanks, one of Charlestown's own sons and later one of Boston's merchant princes, being for many years Treasurer of the Bigelow Carpet Company, was a most lovable man who until the day of his death in 1914 retained a warm place in his affections for his early associates in this Lodge.

Brother Andrew J. Bailey, another of our living Charter Members, who withdrew from Henry Price Lodge, was born in Charlestown and was always interested in its welfare. When a student in Harvard, he enlisted at President Lincoln 's call for troops, taking part in the first battle of Bull Run.

He also was a member of the Charlestown City Government in the years 1868 and 1869, a member of the House of Representatives in 1871, 1872, and 1873, a member of the Senate in 1874. From 1866 to 1871 he was Clerk of the Charlestown Court and from 1869 to 1872 a member of the Charlestown School Committee. After annexation, Brother Bailey was elected to the Boston Common Council, serving in 1880 and 1881, being President the latter year, when he was elected City Solicitor of Boston. For twenty-three years thereafter he contributed his great talents as a lawyer to the City of Boston, as its Solicitor and as Corporation Counsel. He has always been an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic and Loyal Legion, being a Past Commander of Post 11, Grand Army of the Republic. "We hope that Brother Bailey's genial presence and delightful personality will continue to cheer all whom he may meet for many years to come. He also has received honorary membership in Faith Lodge. Brother Daniel Williams is the tenth and last name on our Charter. He was raised in King Solomon's Lodge in 1859. For many years this Brother was one of Charlestown's landmarks, well known to many of us. When we learn that as a young man he was employed in collecting tolls on the old Charles River Bridge, it can readily be understood why he seemed to link the past and present generations. In some respects Brother Williams was a quaint character. He was an omnivorous reader and Shakespearean scholar, never courting popularity by later day methods, but possessing a never failing courtesy for all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.

He became a member of the Bar, but never was an active practitioner. For a number of years he was one of the editors and publishers of the Charlestown Advertiser. He was city clerk of Charlestown from 1862 to 1871, and was clerk of the Charlestown Court from 1871 to the time of his death in 1892.

Worshipful Brother Samuel M. Nesmith, one of the original petitioners, having done yeoman service for Faith Lodge under its Dispensation, did not become one of its Charter Members, preferring to retain his membership in Henry Price Lodge, of which he was a Past Master. Faith Lodge made him an Honorary Member March 11, 1870. His earthly labors ended May 11, 1904.

We boast no special claims to distinction which do not characterize the good Mason wherever found. The Lodge has from the beginning had a healthy growth, notwithstanding the fact that in recent years the newcomers to Charlestown have in the main been those who do not seek the honors of Freemasonry.

The loyalty of the early members to Faith Lodge is well attested by the record of the annual meeting held December 23, 1870, which discloses that we then had 58 members, 54 of whom were present.

The grim messenger, Death, first visited the lodge June 21, 1870, removing Brother Charles S. Holmes, who was drowned in Portland Harbor. A sentiment recorded as a portion of the resolutions adopted in his memory is well worth repeating: "While the longest life is too short to fully illustrate and exemplify our Masonic profession, we also know that the shortest life is long enough to practice its precepts and add honor to its character.

The cradle of the Lodge was Washington Hall, in a building still standing on Main Street near City Square. At a special meeting held July 6, 1874, the report of a committee recommending the removal of the Lodge, in conjunction with the other two Lodges, Signet Chapter, and Coeur de Lion Commandery, to the present commodious quarters, was adopted by Faith Lodge, and we further note that on April 11, 1879, after the new building had been completed by its owner, the Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank, and fitted up by the Fraternity at an expense of $6865.36, the individual members of Faith Lodge subscribed towards that expense the sum of $1295. You will observe that the subscription paper is not a twentieth century invention.

Agreeably to the traditions of our ancient Institution, the Lodge has only on rare occasion taken part in any public parade. On St. John's Day, June 24, 1894, the Lodge, at the invitation of King Solomon's Lodge, joined in a church service, parade, and visitation to the monument of our one time Grand Master, Joseph Warren, on Bunker Hill, where His Excellency, Brother Frederick T. Greenhalge, Governor of the Commonwealth, was the orator of the day.

The Masons of Charlestown have always taken a just pride in the fact that King Solomon's Lodge in the year 1794 erected the first memorial to commemorate the battle of Bunker Hill. It was a wooden column, a replica of which can be seen today in the present Monument and which is annually, on the eve of the 17th of June, decorated by the faithful Brethren of King Solomon's Lodge.

The Lodge has never turned a deaf ear to the call of the unfortunate or those in distress, and one of the brightest jewels in its crown is the record of being the first Lodge in this jurisdiction to donate its quota of contributions asked for in behalf of the Masonic Home at Charlton, Massachusetts.

Of worldly wealth, neither the Lodge nor many of its members can boast, but in this connection we can say with Carlyle that The wealth of a man is the number of things he loves and blesses, which he is loved and blessed by."

It is open to all of us to derive some measure of comfort from that Scriptural tuition:

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Manifestly, no address of this kind would even approach completeness without a passing reference to some of those members who have since 1868 occupied stations of responsibility and trust in Faith Lodge. If any name is omitted, no inference should be drawn that its bearer has not well performed his part.

"Honor and shame from no condition rise,
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.

Twenty-seven Brothers have held the proud title of Worshipful Master of Faith Lodge, fifteen of whom are now living, Worshipful Brother Henry W. Bragg being the dean.

Following the four distinguished Brethren previously referred to as Masters, came Joseph W. Hill in the years 1875 and 1876, a frater whom all delighted to honor. In many respects an intellectual marvel, for it is truly said he could at a moment's notice take any official station in the work of Lodge, Chapter, Council, or Commandery, whether it be the beginner's chair or that of presiding officer, especially shining at the ceremony of installation where his services were always so freely given. He was a veteran of the Civil War and a member of the Legislature. The Lodge made him an honorary member February 6, 1903. His splendid record with us ended October 27, 1907.

"He was a man, take him for all in all, we shall not look upon his like again."

The next was Benjamin F. Stacey in 1877 and 1878. This Brother, loved by everyone, was not only honored by his Lodge, but was given official station in civic life, holding office in the Charlestown City Government for three years, later as representative in the General Court, an Alderman of the City of Boston for four years, and a Trustee of the Boston City Hospital. "His life was gentle and the elements so mixed in him, that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, ' This was a man.'

Our good Brother Edward A. Ladd, who now holds the keys to our treasure box, followed as Master in 1879 and 1880. Henry E. Hayward was Master in 1881 and 1882. The years 1883 and 1884 were characterized by the brilliant work of William T. Rowe, who was justly renowned in Lodge, Chapter, and Commandery, as one who could convert the prose of ritual into the charm of music for the dullest ear.

In 1885 and 1886 we had Alexander M. Hayward, another soldier in the Civil War, one of God's finest gentlemen, whose every word and act, both in Lodge and out, breathed the highest ideals of our Order. Edmund F. Peters came next in 1887, to be followed by two brothers from one family, both of whom fought in the War of the Rebellion, John S. LeFavor in 1888-1889, and George W. LeFavor in 1890-1891.

The oriental chair was occupied by Joseph H. Whiton in 1892 and 1893, by Winfield F. Prime in 1894 and 1895, and in 1896 and 1897 by James G. Jones. Walter I. Sprague presided in 1898 and 1899, Henry A. Yenetchi, our only disciple of Aesculapius so honored, was Master in 1900 and 1901.

Walter E. Carter came next in 1902 and 1903, to be succeeded during the years 1904 and 1905 by Guilford D. Brown.

In 1906 and 1907, Walter A. Ladd, now serving his country in France, ruled the Lodge with that same fidelity which inspired him to follow the Stars and Stripes to a foreign land.

Arthur L. Fletcher was Master in 1908 and 1909, Henry H. Trauschke in 1910, and Charles F. Brown in the years 1911 and 1912. 1913 and 1914, yet fresh in our memory, saw Right Worshipful William G. Bowler in the East. His conduct of the affairs of the Lodge brought to him and to Faith Lodge the well merited recognition and favor of the Most Worshipful Grand Master.

Francis G. Hanson, who may be termed the Fidus Achates of his predecessor, came in 1915 and 1916, to be followed in 1917 and 1918 by the present incumbent, Theodore H. Tufts.

The Treasurers of this Lodge have been:

  • James Adams, Jr., from 1868 to 1871.
  • Benjamin F. Stacey from 1872 to 1874 and again from 1902 to 1908.
  • Nathaniel D. Toppan from 1875 to 1879.
  • Joseph H. Caldwell from 1880 to 1886.
  • William T. Rowe from 1887 to 1901.
  • Edward A. Ladd from 1908 to date, and we hope many years to come.

For Secretaries we have had:

  • James W. Poor from 1868 to December, 1875, when he declined reelection.
  • Joseph W. Linnell, recording officer par excellence, from 1876 to 1900.
  • Frank V. Noyes in the year 1901.
  • Winfield F. Prime from 1902 to 1909.
  • Walter A. Ladd from 1909 to the present, his duties, while in the service of the United States, being performed by Arthur W. Wight, Acting Secretary.

The Lodge has been tyled by only three men:

  • Rowland Hill from 1868 to 1872.
  • William Dennis from 1873 to July 8, 1892, and
  • Worshipful Brother Albert E. Dadley from September, 1892, to the present.

The first regular Chaplain was William Murray, who led the devotional exercises from 1870 to 1897, a Brother whose kindly ministrations in that sacred office will long be remembered. He well exemplified Sam Walter Foss's character in verse, whose heart's desire was to "live in the house by the side of the road and be a friend to man." For the next fourteen years the Worshipful Masters annually, and sometimes oftener, made drafts upon different members to officiate as Chaplain. They did the best they could. Our good Father above us, who is ever watchful concerning the needs of His children, then sent us Brother Ransom A. Greene, who became our Chaplain in 1911, and now intercedes at the altar in our behalf. Reverend Sir, you have been charged to "allure to brighter worlds," but we sincerely trust it will be many years before you are called upon to lead the way.

This Lodge has been thrice honored by the Most Worshipful Grand Master in his selection of a District Deputy Grand Master:

  • Right Worshipful William H. Kent serving in 1873 and 1874,
  • Right Worshipful Alexander M. Hayward in 1888 and 1889, and
  • Right Worshipful William G. Bowler in 1916 and 1917.

Our citizens have frequently, in bygone days, called upon our membership to sit in the Governor's Council, the Massachusetts Senate, and House of Representatives.

The Civil War, as we have already noted, had its veterans enrolled here, and in the present great world conflict thirty-seven of our members have enlisted, one (Brother George Parmiter) having already given his life while on the Red Cross ship, Florizel, February 24, 1918, this being fifteen and one sixth per cent, of our entire membership performing valiant service in the Army and Navy of the United States.

Our membership has been drawn from all the different walks of life, business men, professional men, and mechanics. In short, we are cosmopolitan. It was Abraham Lincoln who said that our Creator must have loved the common people best because he made so many more of them than of any other kind.

The Lodge has held five hundred and ninety-three regular and special communications.

  • Members who have signed the By-Laws aggregate: 525
  • We have lost by death: 115
  • We have lost by dimits: 119
  • We have lost from other causes: 54
  • Total Losses: 288
  • Leaving our present membership: 237

The past is secure and we hope the community, is bettered by our fifty years of endeavor; the present is ours for action; the future has untold possibilities which will in due time at the will of the Great Architect of the Universe be unfolded to His children. To us, great opportunities are given. We should improve them.

It is related of Pheidias, the greatest of Greek sculptors, that after he had shown to the world his masterpiece of Grecian art and all Athens was sounding his praises, he was found one day standing in tears before the statue. His friends asked him why he wept when every other Athenian rejoiced, and his reply was that, having attained perfection, he had no further ambitions and no good reason for living.

In contradistinction to the morbid experience of this noted pagan artist, may we not with an abiding Faith press on to the accomplishment of greater things, and the enjoyment of that happy reflection consequent on a well-spent life, strengthening our hope in a glorious immortality.

"We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not figures on a dial,
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives,
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best."

Most Worshipful Grand Master, Worshipful Master and Brethren: That I have but imperfectly performed the task assigned me none are so deeply sensible as myself. I have only been able to touch a few of the high spots in dealing with a necessarily dry topic.

"I have but marked the place,
But half the secret told,
That, following this slight trace,
Others may find the gold."


From Proceedings, Page 1968-118:

By Bro. Louis C. King.

Writing a history, whether it be that of a town, an organization or a nation, is not a simple task. To recount all that has been done, where and when it occurred and the names of all who participated, if carried out in minute detail, would result in a ponderous volume, filled with the most boring matter imaginable.

On the other hand, to strip it to its bare essentials would result in little better than a statistical report brief and soon disposed of, but withal a dry, unappetizing dish with small nourishment for the mind of one seeking information.

The path, therefore, which the historian must peruse if his work is to avoid either of these courses and attain the desired results will be one that skims oil the cream, the high points, and leaves the uneventful to slumber undisturbed.

Some things must be given in considerable detail, with due regard paid to the most prominent actors. It is beautiful to think that "Lives of great men all remind us we must make our lives sublime, and departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time." The sad truth is, however, that the winds of change soon erase even the deepest impression.

We have been taught that "A lodge is a certain number of Masons, duly assembled." Therefore, the history of a Lodge becomes of necessity a history of its individual members as much as it does of the Lodge itself. As a result, a good portion of this work will be devoted to individual members, men who served Masonry, not only in the Lodge but as good citizens, prominent in church and community affairs, serving God and Country as Masons have always been charged to do.

This year of 1968 marks the centenary of Faith Lodge. One hundred years of service to Freemasonry and to mankind have elapsed since a group of Masons living in the town of Charles-town became convinced that their community had need of an-other Masonic Lodge to serve and satisfy the needs of its citizens, not only at that time but for the years ahead.

One hundred years later she stands as a living justification of their confidence. Firm and steadfast, THE LODGE remains, a part of the town where she was born, still continuing to diffuse the light and lustre of the moral teachings of Freemasonry as she did in her youth.

The world in which she lives and works today is one vastly different from the one her founders knew, things undreamed of in their day, things beyond the wildest flights of their imagination, are the commonplace of today. The winds of change have swept away many of those things which they considered enduring, even as they, themselves, have long since been gathered unto the land where their fathers had gone before them. But that fabric which they erected still survives. The materials with which they built, being of their own nature incorruptible and unalterable, have produced a structure against which "The lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance and the devastations of war" have not prevailed. In fact, these three things which have destroyed so much of good and beauty in this world have seemingly had the opposite effect on Freemasonry.

For a period of about fifteen years, using the year 1825 as a starting point, American Masonry suffered a series of shattering abuses by the ruthless hands of ignorant men. Political jealousies, mainly, were the cause of this. In the birth and development of the new nation, Freemasons played many prominent parts and while they remained true to the avoidance of political activity as Masons, their Masonic affiliations were well-known, and their political actions were strongly influenced by the philosophies of Freemasonry.

This knowledge was seized upon, not only by ignorant and uneducated men, but also by some who held important governmental positions and by others whose speeches and newspaper articles were extremely influential.

They conceived the opinion that the Masons were plotting to take over control of the government. Their efforts succeeded in stirring up such a storm of public opinion that an anti-Masonic political party was formed to stamp out these alleged plots.

The general effect of this anti-Masonic feeling was so great that the Light of Masonry was nearly extinguished in America. In the early 1840's the fever had pretty well burned itself out. The "lapse of time" had allowed Masonry to re-establish itself.

Then came the Civil War with all its devastation. During this war, the men on both sides saw countless examples of how Masonry really worked. They saw how the bonds of brotherhood caused enemies to forget their hatreds when they recognized calls for help from wounded and dying men who, in spite of all, were their Brothers.

These incidents were not forgotten by those who saw them and when at last the conflict ceased and they returned to their homes, they were convinced that Freemasonry had something they wanted. Now Masonry's Star was burning more brightly than ever before.

Thus it was that in 1868 a group of Masons mostly members of the two lodges then meeting in Charlestown, decided to form a third lodge to meet the demands of those wanting to join. Their request for permission to do this was freely granted and, to recapitulate the story of subsequent events as briefly as possible, on May 13th, eleven men signed a petition, addressed to the Grand Master, asking for his dispensation to allow them to open a new lodge in the town. This petition was promptly approved by King Solomon's and Henry Price Lodges. On the 10th of June, the Grand Master and the District Deputy Grand Master of the Third Masonic District endorsed the petition.

The new Lodge held its first Communication under dispensation the 12th day of June in 1868.

The infant Lodge was named, beautifully and appropriately, "Faith Lodge", for that first of those three virtues, without which nothing of worth can be accomplished and which typified the high ideals and moral caliber of its founders.

The first three officers appointed were: Wor. William H. Rent, Master, Brothers Samuel M. Nesmith and James Swords as Senior and Junior Wardens, at the preliminary meeting. At the first regular Communication Brothers James Adams, Jr. and James W. Poor were elected as Treasurer and Secretary. The appointments for the other offices were made at that time and all, except the Tyler, were signers of the petition.

On March 12, 1869 the Lodge adopted its code of By-Laws, which have, as time passed and conditions changed, been from time to time revised.

On the 23rd day of June, 1869, Faith Lodge was formally constituted according to the due and ancient custom of Freemasonry. The Charter had been granted by Grand Lodge thirteen days earlier.

That day an Official Visitation was made by the Grand Master and his Deputy Grand Master, accompanied by a large delegation of Grand Lodge officers and other distinguished Brethren, for the purpose of constituting the Lodge and installing its first staff of officers under the charter.

The ceremonies which attend the institution and the constitution of Masonic Lodges are most impressive and deeply religious. While Masonry is not a religious organization nor a substitute for a church, its teachings and its precepts are so deeply interwoven with religion that by their effects on the life of the sincere, thoughtful Mason he will develop a profound reverence for that almighty one whom we all adore. How the individual member worships his Divine Creator, Masonry leaves to his own conscience and preference. To quote a statement taken from the first "Book of Constitutions." published at London, England, in 1723, "Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion and conciliates true friendship amongst those who might otherwise remain at a perpetual distance." To see the truth of this, look about you at the men you see wearing the various emblems of Freemasonry.

The men who founded this Lodge were men active not only in their several churches but in the town, as government officials, as business men and participants in various civic organizations. They devoted their lives, not to their Lodge alone, but to their fellow-townsmen as well. Several held important positions in business concerns and they, with others, were active in the government of the town and later, when Charlestown became a part of Boston, directed their energies to the benefit of the city as well.

The character of the Lodge was held in such high esteem that, in reading through the records, from time to time, visits of men holding high offices in the State Government, from the Governor on down, saw fit to honor Faith Lodge by their presence. There are also to be found in those old records, paragraphs mentioning briefly and almost casually visits made by the Grand Master, not in all the pomp and ceremony of visits of an official nature, but in the friendly manner of any Master Mason visiting a Lodge.

Of course, such visits nowadays are hardly to be expected since the growth of Masonry and the multiplicity of the demands upon the Grand Master virtually preclude such a possibility.

Over the years Faith Lodge continued to grow and prosper. In 1918 the fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge was celebrated with appropriate ceremonies in which the Grand Master and officers of Grand Lodge, together with Masters, Officers and Brothers of many neighboring Lodges participated.

At that time the United States was engaged in war with Germany and thirty-seven members of Faith Lodge were serving in the armed forces. One lost his life at sea when the ship he was on was sunk. By an ironic twist of fate, he met his death but a short distance from the shores of the Newfoundland town where he was born. All told better than fifteen percent of the membership of Faith Lodge were in the services, a very respectable proportion of our number.

As the years passed, the Lodge continued to grow in numbers, as indeed did the two older Lodges, King Solomon's and Henry Price. Two other bodies, The Royal Arch Chapter of the Signet and Coeur de Lion Commandery, Knights Templar, had come into being, which necessitated that new and more suitable quarters be obtained. The upper floors of the new building of the Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank were obtained. Those floors were divided into apartments which were fitted out by and at the expense of the several Masonic Bodies suitably for the ritualistic and other requirements of each. These apartments have been in constant use since they were first occupied in 1879.

The winds of change are constantly at work. In 1899 King Solomon's Lodge removed to Somerville. In more recent years Coeur de Lion Commandery and Signet Chapter moved out of Charlestown. Charlestown itself underwent great changes. from a small, closely knit suburban community it had become a part of the City of Boston.

The population, once principally composed of families who had lived there since before Boston was settled and others of more Yankee stock, gradually changed. The older ones died and the younger families dispersed to settle in the newer suburbs farther from Boston. With the encroachment of the railroad yards, docks for the influx of shipping and the necessary warehouses and lumber yards, came new families to provide labor necessary to these enterprises. These new inhabitants brought with them their own way of life, their own customs and churches. That community in which Masonry once was an important part dwindled away almost to the vanishing point. At one time Faith Lodge considered moving to another town but fortunately nothing was done about this proposal.

As the years passed, Faith Lodge became a haven for Masons in the Naval Service and during the Second World War was visited by large numbers of men of all ranks who, for a time, enjoyed the privilege of meeting on the level, rank and distinction being left outside the doors of the Lodge.

A considerable number of servicemen became members of Faith Lodge during the war. Coming from all parts of the country, many returned to their homes where they affiliated with the local lodges. Others, however, have retained their membership here so that the name of Faith Lodge appears on hundreds of visitors' registers throughout our land. A large number of servicemen who had applied for membership in their home towns, all over the country, received a part or all of their degrees in Faith Lodge as lodges in other states conferred degrees on men from Faith Lodge who were shipped out before the work could be done at home. During the war years Faith Lodge received a large number of applicants from the Boston Naval Shipyard. Many of these were from out of state or from towns around Boston but chose Faith Lodge, not only for its proximity to the Shipyard but because of the friendships formed with its members who were their co-workers.

Faith Lodge was well represented in the several branches of the Armed Forces, particularly in the Navy and Marine Corps, due quite naturally to its location as well as the number of its members among the civilian employees. One member, the late Yancey Sullivan Williams, appears as a "Naval Officer" more than ten years before the war. He was promoted to the rank of Admiral at the end of that period.

Six of the Past Masters of Faith Lodge have been honored by being appointed District Deputy Grand Masters, the first of whom was the first Worshipful Master of the Lodge, Right Worshipful William H. Kent. He served the first year as Master while the Lodge was "Under Dispensation" and the second year as Master of the Lodge, now working as a regularly charted body.

The second to be so honored was Right Worshipful Alex M. Hayward, during 1885 and 1886. The third was Right Worshipful William G. Bowler, who also received the Veteran's Medal, awarded for having served Masonry for fifty years. His service as District Deputy was in 1913 and 1914. Fourth was Right Worshipful Grover C. Hoyt in 1927 and 1928. He was succeeded in 1960 by Right Worshipful Bertram W. Sweetland. The sixth of our Past Masters to receive this honorable distinction is Right Worshipful A. Wylie VanWart, the present incumbent. In his seventeen years as a Mason his services to the Lodge and to its membership as individuals are beyond counting. Serving in the Officers line in all its stations, he was installed Master in 1960. Apart from his official duties, he was active in the Blood Bank program and also started a fund which he named the "Good Cheer Fund," devoted to the relief of aged brothers and their widows, to bring flowers and other things to ailing Brothers in their homes or in hospitals. These acts are services personally rendered, despite his business activities and his work for the community where he has spent his life, Charlestown.

This "Good Cheer Fund" is maintained by the voluntary generosity of the members and visitors of the Lodge, one donor being a member whose residence is in Malaysia. He is also Chairman of the Committee in whose hands are the arrangements for the Centennial Celebration of Faith Lodge.

The first Secretary, Bro. James W. Poor, remained in that office until 1875, when he resigned. He continued to be active in the affairs of the Lodge, serving on numerous committees and on many pages of the records his beautiful hand-writing appeared from time to time as he sat in as acting-secretary in later years. He remained active until age forced him to retire. With his passing the last of the Charter members had been called to his final rest.

Another Brother who served Faith Lodge with distinction was the Reverend Bent Emil Carlscn. Born in Norway, he emigrated to this country. He was an ordained minister of the Methodist denomination. At the meeting held on March 6, 192S he became a Master Mason. One month later, April 3rd, he was installed as Chaplain to the Lodge, a position which he held for twenty-five years. During that period he served, not only his Lodge and his Church, but untold numbers of others in many ways. No Brother, ill or distressed, escaped his notice and his care. His services to the people of his mother country were so outstanding that, shortly before his death, he was decorated by the King of Norway with the rank of "Rider of the Order of Saint Olaf." Failing health obliged him to relinquish his office as Chaplain in February of 1950 and on the 7th of November the following year he was called to be with his Heavenly Master, to whose service he had devoted his life. In all fairness to the others of our Lodge who have given unstintingly of their time and efforts, recognition is duly given them but to list them individually would prolong this history unduly; and for the rank and hie of the Brethren who have supported and encouraged the entire Lodge throughout this past century, let us just borrow the words of the poet who said: "THEY ALSO SERVE WHO ONLY STAND AND WAIT."


From Proceedings, Page 2008-35, address by Wor. Bro. Keith MacKinnon:

[In] Charlestown the two Masonic Lodges, Henry Price and King Solomon Lodges were also having problems with too many members, so, in 1868, some members of both lodges formed Faith Lodge. They met at the Thompson Square Hall which still stands today.


  • 1919 (Presentation in Grand Lodge, 1919-213)



From Liberal Freemason, Vol. I, No. 10, January 1878, Page 315:

Faith Lodge, F. and A. M., of Charlcstown, held its annual meeting Friday evening, December 14, when the following-named officers were elected and installed: W. M., B. F. Stacey ; S. W., E. A. Ladd; J. W., H. E. Hayward; Treasurer, N. D. Toppan; Secretary, J. W. Linnell; Chaplain, William Murray; Marshal, E. F. Peters; S. D., W. T. Rowe; J. D., Robert H. Gibbey; I. S., G. N. Fisher, Jr.; T., William Dennis; Organist, J. K. Downes. The Installation Exercises were conducted by W. Brother J. W. Hill, and a bountiful collation was served.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. X, No. 9, December 1886, Page 286:

R. W. Charles S. Robertson, D. D. G. M. for the 3d Masonic District, made his annual visitation to Faith Lodge, F. A. M., Charlestown, Friday evening, November 12th, accompanied by the following suite: R. W. William H. H. Soule, D. S. G. W.; W. George F. Mullett, D. J. G. W.; W. William M. Townsend, D. G. T.; R. W. Charles H. Crane, D. G. S.; W. Henry F. Hayward, D. G. M.

The following were also present as invited guests; R. W. Dana J. Flanders, R. W. C. E. Norris, W. Fielder Israel, W. N. D. Freeman, W. N. J. Williams and W. Galen M. Bowditch. A beautiful exemplification of the work was given by W. M. Alexander, M. Hayward and the officers of the lodge, followed by a banquet.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. II, No. 7, May 1907, Page 304:

Past Master's Night, April 5th, was an occasion of marked interest in Faith Lodge, Charlestown, Mass. Most Worshipful J. Albert Blake, Grand Master, was present and other brethren to the number of 250. Wor. Brother Joseph W. Hill, who was Master of the Lodge in 1875 and 1876 presided during the work and "covered himself with glory" by the efficient manner in which he discharged the duties of his position.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XX, No. 3, December 1924, Page 103:

William H. Sanger of Cambridge, clerk of the Senate, was elected and installed as Master of Faith Lodge of Charlestown, A. F. & A. M., in Masonic Hall, Thompson Square, Chariestown, December 5th. The installing officers were Right Worshipful Claude L. Allen, past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, assisted by Right Worsnipfui Sanford Crandall, presiding District Deputy Grand Master of the Seventh Masonic District as marshal.

The other officers installed are: Grover C. Hoyt, President of the Canopy Club, Senior Warden; Arthur W. Wight, Junior Warden; W. Raymond Collins, Senior Deacon; George O. E. Nelson, Junior Deacon; Ernest F. Royal, Senior Steward; Harold T. Braber, Junior Steward; Ralph A. E. Hill, Inside Sentinel; Worshipful Guilford D. Brown, Treasurer; Worshipful Francis G. Hanson, Secretary; Charles H. Bennett, Associate Chaplain; Worshipful James A. Woods, Marshal; George H. Robbins, Tyler: Right Worshipful William G. Bowler, proxy to the Grand Lodge; Worshipful Guilford D. Brown and Francis G. Hanson, trustees Masonic apartments; George P. Gage, Worshipful Guilford D. Brown, Ezra R. Fisher, trustees charity fund; Worsliipful Ralph C. Small, associate member board of Masonic relief.

The retiring Master was presented a Past Master's jewel and also received from his associate officers a beautiful Past Master's apron.




1868: District 2 (Charlestown)

1883: District 3 (East Boston)

1911: District 3 (East Boston)

1927: District 3 (Chelsea)


Massachusetts Lodges

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