Chartered By: John Abbot
Charter Date: 09/08/1824 III-496
Precedence Date: 09/08/1824
Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault; returned 06/14/1848 (page V-169). Historical note page 1955-297; history of the lodge 1924-383.
ø Charter stricken 06/11/1834
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Charter: 1824
- 1924 (Notes in history of Freemasonry in Woburn; 1924-380)
- 1955 (Mentioned in centenary history of Mount Horeb Lodge, 1955-297)
HISTORICAL NOTES IN CENTENARY HISTORY OF MOUNT HOREB LODGE, DECEMBER 1955
From Proceedings, Page 1955-297:
Freemasonry in Woburn goes back to 1824. At that time Masons had to travel to West Cambridge or Charlestown to visit a Lodge. Hiram Lodge was located in West Cambridge (now Arlington), and King Solomon's Lodge was in Charlestown.
A group of Woburn men, headed by Benjamin B. Richardson, petitioned the Grand Lodge on March 10, 1824, asking for a Lodge in Woburn to be called Freedom Lodge. The petition was received and accepted on June 9, 1824.
Although tradition says that Freedom Lodge was instituted on January 24, 1824, in a building occupying the site of the Unitarian Church, there are no records to attest this statement. Tradition also says that a building standing on the site of our present Lodge was called the "Yellow Tavern" and owned by Benjamin Ford, and it contained apartments used by Freedom Lodge.
Grand Lodge records show that Freedom Lodge was duly constituted October 21, 1824, by a Deputy Grand Lodge.
R. W. William Richardson was installed as Master and Samuel Tidd as Secretary. A notice of the meeting appeared in the Columbian Sentinel October 6,1824, concerning the ceremony and stated that a dinner was given at "The Locks." Middlesex Canal connecting Boston to Lowell had been opened in 1803. The Inn stood opposite the Middle Lock near the entrance to the old Hudson Estate, Hudson Street and Arlington Road. The Inn Keeper was a Mr. Gillis. Here the Masons had their dinner. No other record of this meeting is available.
Freedom Lodge was prosperous until the Morgan incident. Nearly all Lodges in New York and Vermont were closed. Fifty-two of the one hundred seven in Massachusetts lost their Charters, including Freedom Lodge. Freedom Lodge was requested to surrender its Charter, jewels and records in 1831. Documentary evidence of Freedom Lodge was possessed by Mount Horeb Lodge in 1924 in the form of the consecrated Altar, at that time resting in the loft directly over the lodge-room.
Grand Lodge records of 1924 written by Wor. William F. Davis, Jr., state that this relic, battered and worn, shall remain with us always, forgetting that fire sometimes destroys many valuable monuments of antiquity.
Wor. Bro. Davis also informs us that the Rods carried by our present Deacons and Stewards are the original Rods used by Freedom Lodge, and that the tops are solid silver. No record exists as to who the officers of Freedom Lodge were except R.W. William Richardson. In 1924 a portrait of Marshall Tidd hung in the outer room of Mount Horeb Lodge, stating that he was a Past Master of Freedom Lodge. Two diplomas also hung on the wall attesting to this fact. One diploma stated that Wor. Bro. Tidd was made a Master Mason on November 9, 1825. The other was his Past Master's diploma in 1831 — rapid promotion in those days. Records of Freedom Lodge are unknown, but its activities were evidently suspended about 1831. The Charter demanded by the Grand Lodge could not be found and for many years its whereabouts was a mystery. Grand Lodge records seventeen years later state that R.W. Bro. Ordway had information that the Charter was in the hands of Brother Luke Fowle, who said that he would not give it up. Grand Lodge records of June 14, 1848, state that R.W. John Hammatt and Wor. Bro. Tuttle proceeded to Woburn and had an interview with Bro. Luke Fowle, who had in his possession the Charter, By-Laws, Records, Register and Regalia of Freedom Lodge. Brother Fowle stated that he regretted that Grand Lodge had intended to summons him and cheerfully surrendered the Charter and other property. He also stated that the Lodge had no funds. This Charter is not in existence today, as the Boston Masonic Temple was burned in 1864.
- 1828 (Petition to reduce dues; declined, IV-135)
- 1829 (Report of delinquency, IV-170)
- 1830 (Report of delinquency, IV-206)
- 1848 (Attempt to recover charter, V-163)