- 1 KING HIRAM'S LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.4.1 150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, SEPTEMBER 1946
- 2.4.2 175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, OCTOBER 1970
- 2.4.3 HISTORICAL NOTES, 1983
- 2.4.4 200TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, APRIL 1996
- 220.127.116.11 CENTENNIAL
- 18.104.22.168 THE CIVIL WAR YEARS
- 22.214.171.124 EPILOGUE
- 126.96.36.199 PAST MASTERS OF KING HIRAM'S LODGE
- 188.8.131.52.1 John Young 1766-1828
- 184.108.40.206.2 Jonathan Cook 1753- 1835
- 220.127.116.11.3 Allen Hinckley 1769-1861
- 18.104.22.168.4 Henry Paine 1763-1841
- 22.214.171.124.5 Orasmus Thomas 1771-1822
- 126.96.36.199.6 Ephraim Blanchard 1778-1841
- 188.8.131.52.7 Daniel Pease 1770-1834
- 184.108.40.206.8 Simeon Conant 1770-1849
- 220.127.116.11.9 Joseph Sawtelle 1778-1834
- 18.104.22.168.10 Henry Willard 1802-1855
- 22.214.171.124.11 Jonathan Cook, Jr. 1780-1862
- 126.96.36.199.12 Barzallai Higgins (d. 1852)
- 188.8.131.52.13 Waterman Crocker 1804-1866
- 184.108.40.206.14 Godfrey Ryder 1797-1876
- 220.127.116.11.15 Joseph Prosper Johnson 1814-1891
- 18.104.22.168.16 Peter F.Dolliver 1816-1887
- 22.214.171.124.17 Lewis Lombard Sellew 1822-1897
- 126.96.36.199.18 Reuben Frank Cook 1828-1896
- 188.8.131.52.19 Elijah Smith 1816-1867
- 184.108.40.206.20 John W. Atwood 1841-1913
- 220.127.116.11.21 Joseph S. Atwood 1833-1909
- 18.104.22.168.22 Ephraim Parker Cook 1828-1895
- 22.214.171.124.23 John M. Crocker 1845-1917
- 126.96.36.199.24 Artemus Paine Hannum 1847-1921
- 188.8.131.52.25 Moses Nickerson Gifford 1848-1918
- 184.108.40.206.26 Frederick Augustus Hodson Gifford 1846-1900
- 220.127.116.11.27 Joseph Hersey Dyer 1851-1919
- 18.104.22.168.28 Harvey Osborne Sparrow 1831-1919
- 22.214.171.124.29 Thomas Lowe 1831-1897
- 126.96.36.199.30 Hezekiah Paine Hughes 1839-1919
- 188.8.131.52.31 Lewis Higgins Baker 1841-1905
- 184.108.40.206.32 James Atkins Small 1840-1906
- 220.127.116.11.33 Andrew Thomas Williams 1836-1920
- 18.104.22.168.34 Jerome Sands Smith 1850-1922
- 22.214.171.124.35 George W. Holbrook 1842-1922
- 126.96.36.199.36 William Wallace Johnson 1857-1916
- 188.8.131.52.37 William Henry Young 1871-1942
- 184.108.40.206.38 Irving Leopold Rosenthal 1869-1933
- 220.127.116.11.39 Daniel Murdock MacKay 1858-1924
- 18.104.22.168.40 Simeon Conant Smith 1845-1921
- 22.214.171.124.41 John Wells Small 1850-1929
- 126.96.36.199.42 Henry Anthony Wippich 1868-1918
- 188.8.131.52.43 George William Cashman 1853-1933
- 184.108.40.206.44 William John Maclntyre 1869-1914
- 220.127.116.11.45 William Wilson Taylor 1874-1954
- 18.104.22.168.46 Emmanuel Aloysius De Wager 1878-1953
- 22.214.171.124.47 Fred Harvey Dearborn 1876-1950
- 126.96.36.199.48 Charles Nickerson Rogers 1880-1945
- 188.8.131.52.49 John Peter Silva 1872-1947
- 184.108.40.206.50 Lloyd Hale Higgins 1892-1953
- 220.127.116.11.51 Charles Harold Scudder 1887-1970
- 18.104.22.168.52 Lawrence Norman MacKenzie 1879-1955
- 22.214.171.124.53 George Fillmore Miller 1861-1946
- 126.96.36.199.54 Ephraim Pandt Rivard 1888-1950
- 188.8.131.52.55 George Stephen Chapman, Jr. ( 1899 - 1970
- 184.108.40.206.56 Harry Louis Eastman 1877-1933
- 220.127.116.11.57 Ernest Hayes Small 1876-1939
- 18.104.22.168.58 Ernest Hayes Small, Jr. -1904
- 22.214.171.124.59 Ralph Chandler Tinkham 1899-1983
- 126.96.36.199.60 Irving Hobart McNayr 1906-1993
- 188.8.131.52.61 Gustav Aust 1903-1991
- 184.108.40.206.62 Rev. Charles Edward Garran 1883-1953
- 220.127.116.11.63 Irving Atwood Horton 1912-1995
- 18.104.22.168.64 William Nickerson Rogers 1907-1963
- 22.214.171.124.65 Churchill Taylor Smith 1902 -
- 126.96.36.199.66 Clifford Bates Taylor 1912 -
- 188.8.131.52.67 Henry Bayles Fisk 1912-1957
- 184.108.40.206.68 Burton Kenney 1910-
- 220.127.116.11.69 Wesley George Felton 1917-1970
- 18.104.22.168.70 Rev. Gilman Lewis Lane 1926-
- 22.214.171.124.71 John Robert Patrick 1908 -
- 126.96.36.199.72 William Wentworth McKellar 1897-1987
- 188.8.131.52.73 George Perley Felton 1938-
- 184.108.40.206.74 LeRoy Eugene Atkins 1931-
- 220.127.116.11.75 William Dearborn Hersey 1910-
- 18.104.22.168.76 Irving Rich Wheeler 1914-
- 22.214.171.124.77 Joseph Sousa Barros 1914-1979
- 126.96.36.199.78 Donald Armand Belisle 1925-
- 188.8.131.52.79 Marc W. Belisle 1951 -
- 184.108.40.206.80 Frederick E. Young 1949-
- 220.127.116.11.81 Robert J. Walther 1947-
- 18.104.22.168.82 Chronis Kalivas 1944-
- 22.214.171.124.83 Mario Benito Meré 1938 -
- 126.96.36.199.84 Scott Jeffrey Alden 1953-
- 188.8.131.52.85 Walter Briesler Pollock III 1956-
- 184.108.40.206.86 James Jordan Theriault 1956-
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.9 DISTRICTS
- 2.10 LINKS
KING HIRAM'S LODGE
Chartered By: Paul Revere
Charter Date: 03/25/1796 II-81
Precedence Date: 12/12/1795
Current Status: Active
MEMBER LIST, 1802
From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 16:
- R. W. Allen Hinckley, M.
- W. Stephen Atkins, S. W.
- W. Thadeus Brown, J. W.
- Solomon Cook, Tr.
- David Pease, Sec.
- Thomas Bidley, S. D.
- Joshua F. Grazier, J. D.
- George R. Wiswall, Tiler.
- James Cook, Steward.
- Isaac Cook, Steward.
No. of Members, 35.
- John Young, 1796-1799
- Jonathan Cook, 1800-1801; 1805-1807
- Allen Hinckley 1802-1803
- Henry Paine, 1804
- Orasmus Thomas, 1810-1810; 1817-1821
- Ephraim Blanchard, 1810-1812
- Daniel Pease, 1812-1814
- Simeon Conant, 1816-1817
- Joseph Sawtelle, 1821-1827
- Henry Willard, 1828-1829
- Jonathan Cook, Jr., 1829-1830
- Barzilla Higgins, 1831-1834, 1847-1848
- Waterman Crocker, 1835-1847
- Godfrey Ryder, 1849-1850
- Joseph Prosper Johnson, 1851-1854, 1859-1864 Mem
- Peter F. Doliver, 1855
- Lewis L. Sellew, 1856
- Reuben F. Cook, 1857-1858
- Elijah Smith, 1865-1866
- John W. Atwood, 1867-1870
- Joseph S. Atwood, 1871-1872
- E. Parker Cook, 1873-1874
- John M. Crocker, 1875-1876
- Artemus P. Hannum, 1877-1878
- Moses N. Gifford, 1879-1880
- F.A.H. Gifford, 1881
- Joseph H. Dyer, 1882
- Harvey O. Sparrow, 1883
- Thomas Lowe, 1884
- Hezekiah P. Hughes, 1885
- Lewis H. Baker, 1886
- James A. Small, 1887-1888
- Andrew T. Williams, 1889
- Jerome S. Smith, 1890-1891
- George W. Holbrook, 1892-1894
- William W. Johnson, 1895-1896
- William H. Young, 1897-1898
- Irving R. Rosenthal, 1899-1900
- Daniel M. McKay, 1901-1902
- Simeon C. Smith, 1903-1904
- John W. Small, 1905-1906
- Henry A. Wippich, 1907-1909
- George W. Cashman, 1910-1911
- William McIntyre, 1912-1913
- WIlliam W. Taylor, 1914
- E.A. DeWager, 1915-1916
- Fred L. Dearborn, 1917
- Charles N. Rogers, 1918-1919
- John P. Silva, 1920-1921
- Lloyd H. Higgins, 1922-1923
- Charles H. Scudder, 1924
- Lawrence N. MacKenzie, 1925-1926
- George F. Miller, 1927-1928
- Ephraim J. Rivard, 1929-1930
- George S. Chapman, Jr., 1931-1932, 1938, 1945-1946
- Harry L. Eastman, 1933
- E. Hayes Small, 1934
- Ernest H. Small, Jr. 1935
- Ralph C. Tinkham, 1936-1937
- Irving H. MacNayr, 1939-1940
- Gustav Aust, 1941-1942, 1944
- Charles E. Garran, 1943
- Irving A. Horton, 1947-1948
- William N. Rogers, 1949-1950
- Churchill T. Smith, 1951-1952
- Clifford B. Taylor, 1953-1954
- Henry B. Fisk, 1955-1956
- Burton Kenney, 1957-1958
- Wesley G. Felton, 1959-1960
- Gilman L. Lane, 1961
- John R. Patrick, 1962-1963
- William W. McKeller, 1964-1965
- George R. Felton, 1966-1967, 1979
- LeRoy E. Atkins, 1968-1969; Bio
- William D. Hersey, 1970-1971
- Irving R. Wheeler, 1972-1974
- John S. Barros, 1975-1976
- Donald A. Belisle, 1977-1978, 1980-1981, 1989-1990
- Marc W. Belisle, 1982-1984
- Fredrick E. Young, 1985-1986
- Robert J. Walther, 1987-1988
- Chronis G. Kalivas, 1991-1992; DDGM
- Mario B. Mere, 1993
- Scott J. Alden, 1994
- Walter B. Pollock, III, 1995, 2001, 2004
- James J. Theriault, 1996, 2006 expelled
- Michael A. Janoplis, 1997
- David R. Thomson, 1998, 2000
- Southard Lippincott, 1999; N
- Matthew E. Monroe, 2002, 2003
- Mark A. Finley, 2005
- Rex McKinsey, 2006, 2007
- Ralph E. Desmond, 2008, 2009, 2013
- John R. Lundborn, 2010
- Charles P. Morton, 2011
- William H. Amaru, 2012
- Randall Lee Chow, 2014, 2015
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Charter: 1795
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1805 (Thomas; installation)
- 1885 (Howland)
- 1896 (Holmes; Centenary; Special Communcation)
- 1913 (Benton)
- 1933 (Chipman)
- 1946 (Wragg; 150th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1970 (Jaynes; 175th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1976 (Maxwell; Rededication of Pilgrim Monument; Special Communication)
- 1988 (Ames)
- 1996 (A. Johnson; 200th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 2001 (Bauer)
- 2007 (Hodgdon; Rededication of Pilgrim Monument; Special Communication)
- 1946 (150th Anniversary History, 1946-265; see below)
- 1970 (175th Anniversary History, 1970-424; see below)
- 1996 (200th Anniversary History, 1996-39; detailed excerpt from Every First Monday; see below)
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, SEPTEMBER 1946
From Proceedings, Page 1946-265:
By Worshipful William W. Taylor.
Many Lodges without doubt had been erected when King Hiram's was instituted, but, be that as it may, King Hiram's Lodge is old among its fellows, and today is still a sturdy Lodge, progressive and true. When Provincetown had but just recovered from the trepidation and the injuries occasioned by the Revolution, when her population was thin and her sons, sailors to a man, traversed the ocean highway at all seasons and in all climes, the seed of Freemasonry fell on fertile soil. Perhaps the ocean travellers had become cognizant of benefits to be derived by connection with the institution while in foreign ports; perhaps some apostle of the — to Provincetown — new and mysterious organization appeared on these sands to whisper in the sturdy fishermen's ears the beauties of his silent craft; perhaps the mysteries of the craft, appealing to the imagination, alone induced our early settlers to drink at the mystic fount; but whatever the inducement, certain it is that a little knot of men—John Young, Samuel Waterman, George Nicholson, Joshua A. Mayo, Lewis Hamlin, Thomas Smalley, Jonathan Cook, Samuel Newcomb, Samuel Cook and Allen Hinckley—as pioneers of Freemasonry, as Charter Members, secured a dispensation, taking precedence from December 12, 1795, and organized with John Young as Master of the Lodge.
The Lodge was established in Truro, which then extended to what is now Howland Street, east end. About one-fourth of the houses of the town were located just east of the boundary. A majority of the Charter Members belonging in Provincetown, many of the meetings were held in the latter town, and quickly efforts were put forth to obtain a working charter. These efforts were rewarded early in 1796. Permission to remove the Lodge across the line into Provincetown being granted, the removal occurred.
It is recorded that on March 20, 1797, a vote was taken to build a "lodge house," and work of building same was commenced soon after that date. The building then erected still stands in Provincetown. It stands at the base of High Pole Hill and is, or was, until her removal from town, the residence of Mrs. Rachel C. Atkins. It was used quite a good many years as a "lodge house," then was sold to one Rev. Mr. Partridge, who converted it into a dwelling. Not long after the sale was effected, the Marine Lodge of Odd Fellows, newly formed, erected a hall and the Masons obtained quarters in the new hall.
In 1865 the present hall was built by the Masonic Building Association, of which King Hiram's Lodge today holds the controlling interest in shares of stock. At one time the Lodge members numbered about 200. At present it is 129. Death and removal from town has tended to reduce the membership somewhat, but the Lodge is vigorous, financially sound, and of late has made a healthy and surprising growth.
In connection with the past, it should be said that years ago when a little tipple was thought to be good for the body, King Hiram's conclaves were made pleasanter, no doubt, by the introduction of sundry forms of spirituous liquors. Not any bad use was made of the refreshments, but, as was customary at that period, the liquor went the rounds and was paid for, as sundry itemized bills preserved (not in rum) attest. Many of our best citizens of former days were members of the honored Lodge.
In 1907 King Hiram's Lodge was the host to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and the Sutton Commandery, who were here for the purpose of laying the corner stone of the Pilgrim Monument.
In December of 1927, a Special Communication of King Hiram's Lodge was held for the purpose of conducting services at the scene of the S-4 disaster, where a wreath was cast upon the waters at the request of a New London Lodge.
King Hiram's Lodge has been fortunate to have several of its Brethren selected as District Deputy Grand Masters, but has not had the honor of having any of its distinguished Brethren elected to the permanent membership of Grand Lodge.
Our charter was signed by Paul Revere, Provincial Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in 1795, the 12th day of December.
175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, OCTOBER 1970
From Proceedings, Page 1970-424:
By Wor. John R. Patrick.
King Hiram's Masonic Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was instituted in 1795 by Paul Revere, the great American patriot. He was the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During his tenure he instituted 23 Lodges of which 19 are still in existence. To date, King Hiram's Lodge ranks seventh or eighth in seniority.
King Hiram's Lodge was started with 22 chartered members. They elected John Young first Worshipful Master. He served this office faithfully for three years. The second Worshipful Master was Jonathan Cook who served as Secretary during John Young's tenure. Members usually met for meetings at the home of Jonathan Cook, near the center of town about where the First National Bank was situated on Commercial Street.
Jeremiah Cook, brother of Jonathan, was Secretary for twelve years. During those years the Lodge took in 61 members. In 1798 the members voted to build what they termed a Mason's house. The lumber was sent by a sailing ship from Maine. Members toted this lumber on their backs to the site where the house was to be erected. Thomas Lowe, a member, was given the contract to erect this structure, which was to be a two-story building in which the Masons could hold their meetings upstairs. Downstairs the schoolrooms were to be built, one for the boys and one for the girls.
Brother Lowe was to build for the same price that the Masonic Lodge in Wellfieet cost, but it had to be two feet larger. Therefore the members had to donate all the time they possibly could. The State did not contribute to education in those days. It was up to the Town to maintain the school. The fisherman who earned the least amount of money fishing the previous year had to teach the boys the following year. Was this considered a demotion or a promotion?
Boys were taught how to mend nets, rig trawls, splice ropes, etc. The girls learned cooking and other domestic arts. The building later became the first Catholic Church in Provincetown. It is still standing, but is now the private home located at 119 Bradford Street.
During the difficult years of the Morgan affair when many Lodges ceased operation and surrendered their Charters, King Hiram's Lodge remained intact and continued meeting though sometimes in secrecy. The Lodge never relinquished its Charter. After this ordeal for Masonry in the area, 31 Lodges in the State and many other States, no longer existed. After that Mason's house, the next meeting place was Marine Hall, which was recently torn down to make room for parking. It was located next to Odd Fellows Hall.
The present meeting place on Masonic Place was built 100 years ago in 1870. This temporal building was talked about and planned for several years but was not built due to the war between the States. Finally in 1870 it was completed and ready for occupancy. This Fall, King Hiram's Lodge will not only celebrate its 175th year as a Lodge, but also the 100 anniversary of its Temple. The Provincetown 32nd Masonic District was so named because King Hiram's Lodge is the senior Lodge in the District.
During 1907 the then President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, laid the cornerstone of the Pilgrim Monument. This he did using Masonic ritual aided by Grand Lodge Officers of Massachusetts. The trowel used is on display in the East of this Provincetown Temple. Three years following the laying of the cornerstone of Pilgrim Monument this Temple was dedicated by President William Howard Taft also using Masonic ritual and aided by our Grand Lodge Officers. King Hiram's Lodge membership stands at about 130 today.
In 1952 it was 109. About 50 per cent of the membership live away from Provincetown. Most of them were servicemen from elsewhere when they joined the Lodge. They never demitted even when transferred due to the great heritage of this Lodge along with the friendship and brotherly love of its members.
Some of the Worshipful Masters were distinguished citizens in their civilian activities in addition to Masonry. John Young, Jonathan Cook and Allen Hinckley, the first three masters, gained such distinction.
Joseph Prosper Johnson had several businesses in Town. When the Commonwealth levied its first taxes on the Town, residents became embittered and angered. They sent Joseph Prosper Johnson to Boston to combat this tax as he was considered the best statesman. He was given seven dollars for expenses. With the best wishes of the townspeople, he was told to keep an accurate account of what was spent and return the rest when he returned. Two weeks later a whaling vessel left him off at Race Point. He did not entirely succeed in his mission but he did get the tax cut in half. Mr. Johnson had been District Deputy Grand Master, Master of the Lodge, High Priest, District Deputy Grand High Priest, and held other offices of high rank.
John Peter Silva was engaged in buying and selling fish. Many times he processed fish of all types and had it transported to the Masonic Home in Charlton.
George S. Chapman Jr. was the outstanding member of our lime. This great Mason served as Master on three different occasions, five years all together. Whenever officer material was low due to the members leaving for war, George served another term as Master to keep the Lodge going. He also served as Secretary of King Hiram's Lodge for sixteen years and was a real asset to every Master under whom he served.
George, as well as Jack Peter Silva, as we knew him, were Past Masters, Past District Deputy Grand Masters, Past High Priests of the Joseph Warren Royal Arch Chapter, Past Deputy Grand High Priests and both received the Distinguished Service Medal for performing outstanding duty in their Lodge.
Jess Ginn was raised to the sublime degree in 1848. He had a colorful personality. During the Gold Rush of 1849, he paid his fare in part and worked the rest out as a seaman. The ship he was on rounded The Horn sometime in 1850. In 1873, Jess Ginn returned to Provincetown, paid his back dues and was reinstated. His attendance was perfect. He never missed a meeting, gaining perfect attendance. At first he was disgruntled because there were no cuspidors in the new Temple. He was caught on numerous occasions spatting tobacco juice into the corners. Each time he was caught he was made to tote wood and coal up the two nights of stairs and tend the fire. Whenever the snow covered the ground he could always be traced by the spats of tobacco juice as big as saucers.
During one of the most severe winters, the harbor was in a deep freeze. Several trading ships were tied up to Union Wharf. Frozen in, they were unable to leave port. One of the seamen, 1 lomer Dick Kelley, entered his name in Masonry. After his acceptance he was given his three degrees in 45 days, because if the ice cleared he would have to leave with his ship. He sent several years' dues to a merchant in Town and asked him to pay them for him. Meanwhile, he visited many Lodges throughout the world. Many years later he returned to Provincetown to retire. He had been born aboard ship, and lived aboard ship all his life. When he retired here he purchased a small house on Commercial Street. On the front of his house he put up a sign, "A HOME AT LAST". After his retirement until the lime of his death he was in perfect attendance. In addition to the distinguished brethren mentioned above, other well-known Brothers have served as District Deputy Grand Master of the Provincetown 32nd Masonic District. At present our only living Deputy is R.W. Ralph C. Tinkham of North Truro.
Veterans' Medals are presented those Brothers who attain 50 years of continuous service. At present King Hiram's Lodge has nine surviving SO-Year Medal holders. The oldest of these is Albert S. Nickerson, a retired mariner, who was raised March 4, 1907, and now makes his home at 93 Commercial Street. Brother Nickerson, now 91 years old, has been a Mason for over 63 years.
Various Lodges have expressed a desire for some sign of special recognition of members short of their fifty years medal since so few actually survive to celebrate that occasion. In 1970 Kins Hiram's Lodge took steps to provide recognition of those who have attained twenty-live years or more as a Mason. They instituted "The Silver Circle of King Hiram's Lodge" and the first certificates were presented by the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Most Worshipful Herbert H. Jaynes on the occasion of the celebration of the one-hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary of the Lodge. Forty-seven members were then eligible.
One of the unusual features of King Hiram's Lodge are the large murals depicting the scenes described in Masonic ritual. The original paintings were well preserved. However, the one of the two brazen pillars was damaged by water. It was completely repainted through the generosity of Brother Daniel Hiebert. The work was done by one of Provincetown's most talented artists, the late James Wingate Parr.
These are but a few of the stalwarts who were devoted to King Hiram's Lodge and Masonry. Winters then were much worse than now, but attendance was better. Some came by horse and wagon or by sleigh. In bad weather they would stay in town overnight and go to their homes the next day.
These and innumerable other men of distinction, our faithful Brothers, have made deep and lasting imprints for us to follow. As we observe our 175th anniversary, can we renew our faith and dedicate our lives once again to the service of this great Lodge?
years of continuous service. At present King Hiram's Lodge has nine surviving 50-Year Medal holders. The oldest of these is Albert S. Nickerson, a retired mariner, who was raised March 4, 1907, and now makes his home at 93 Commercial Street. Brother Nickerson, now 91 years old, has been a Mason for over 63 years.
Various Lodges have expressed a desire for some sign of special recognition of members short of their fifty years medal since so few actually survive to celebrate that occasion. In 1970 King Hiram's Lodge took steps to provide recognition of those who have attained twenty-five years or more as a Mason. They instituted "The Silver Circle of King Hiram's Lodge" and the first certificates were presented by the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Most Worshipful Herbert H. Jaynes on the occasion of the celebration of the one-hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary of the Lodge. Forty-seven members were then eligible.
One of the unusual features of King Hiram's Lodge are the large murals depicting the scenes described in Masonic ritual. The original paintings were well preserved. However, the one of the two brazen pillars was damaged by water. It was completely repainted through the generosity of Brother Daniel Hebert. The work was done by one of Provincetown's most talented artists, the late James Wingate Parr.
These are but a few of the stalwarts who were devoted to King Hiram's Lodge and Masonry. Winters then were much worse than now, but attendance was better. Some came by horse and wagon or by sleigh. In bad weather they would stay in town overnight and go to their homes the next day.
These and innumerable other men of distinction, our faithful Brothers, have made deep and lasting imprints for us to follow. As we observe our 175th anniversary, can we renew our faith and dedicate our lives once again to the service of this great Lodge?
EARLY MASTERS OF KING HIRAM'S LODGE
John Young of Truro was the first Master of King Hiram's Lodge serving from 1796-99. He was paid traveling expenses for each meeting and if we look back at the literally "no roads" situation of that day, we can well imagine that he deserved it. He resigned as Master when he moved to Wellfleet in 1799. He was born in Truro, August 4, 1756. He was a Mayflower dependent and the son of James Young. We have no record of his death or burial.
Jonathan Cook was the second Master and took over when John Young resigned in October 1799. He had been Senior Warden. He served into 1801 and again as Master from 1805-1807. He was a ship owner. He was born in Provincetown, July 22, 1753 and died August 2, 1835. A good example of longevity of some of our old timers.
Allen Hinckley was our third Master. He had the responsibility of constructing the Lodge house and school. He was Senior Deacon in 1798 and 1799 and Master in 1802-1803. He was born in Falmouth, September 24, 1769 and died in Provincetown, February 16, 1861 at the age of ninety-one.
Henry Paine was the Master for the year 1804. He was a mariner. He was born in Truro, July 11, 1753 and demitted in 1808 to join a Lodge more convenient.
Orasmus Thomas served as the fifth Master from 1807 to 1810 and again from 1817 to 1821. He was born in Brookfield, Massachusetts, March 18. 1771. He was town clerk in 1808 and drew and signed a petition to The President of the United States praying him to lift the shipping embargo "as it weighed heavily upon the inhabitants." He was the third Postmaster of Provincetown, a post often held by Masons. He died November 2, 1822.
Ephriam Blanchard was the Master from 1810 to 1812. He was a cabinet maker and a resident of Provincetown. He was the first Master to have been initiated in another Lodge. He was born in Billerica, Massachusetts, March 1, 1778. Initiated and Crafted in Benevolent Lodge No. 7 in Amherst, N. H. This Lodge later transferred to Milford, N. H. He was Raised in King Hiram's Lodge, January 27, 1805. He was Master of this Lodge from 1814 to 1819 and served as a Selectman of Amherst, N. H. in 1836. He died June 27, 1841.
Daniel Pease, Master from 1812 to 1814, came to Province-town from his birthplace in Edgartown. He joined the Lodge in 1801. He was also a Tavern keeper and possibly a supplier of the brandy served at our early meetings. He died on shipboard August 10, 1834 of cholera while enroute from New York with his family.
Simeon Conant served as Master from 1814 to 1817. He was born in Provincetown, June 4, 1780. He joined the Lodge in 1801. He was a salt manufacturer. He died June 26, 1849.
Joseph Sawtelle, our ninth Master, served from 1821 to 1827. He was born in Phillipston, Massachusetts, and was a mariner, lie met his death as many a mariner did in his times "Lost at sea 1832". A footnote to the courage and the attendant perils of an earlier age.
Henry Willard was Master in 1828-1829. He was the first physician to occupy the chair. He was born in Holden, Massachusetts, May 18, 1802. He joined the Lodge December 27, 1825 and died September 24, 1855. He was also Warden of the old Christian Union Church of Provincetown.
Jonathan Cook, Jr. was the eleventh Master of the Lodge, serving in 1829-1830. He was apparently the first Master to be the son of a former Master, Jonathan Cook, our second Master. He was born in Provincetown February 3, 1780. He joined the Lodge in 1801 and died in 1862 at the age of eighty-two. He was a ship owner and the eulogy given at his funeral will be found framed on the Lodge wall.
Barzillai Higgins, the twelfth Master of the Lodge, served twice. First from 1831-1834 and again from 1847-1848. He was Master at the beginning of the troubled times due to the Morgan affair and served again when the Lodge resumed its resolve and measured up to the continuing challenge of Masonic tradition. He was a mariner. He died July 15, 1852.
Waterman Crocker was Master for twelve years during the height of the anti-Masonic feeling and upon relinquishing it to Barzillai Higgins became District Deputy Grand Master in 1848. The first of several Masters of King Hiram's Lodge to achieve this honor. He was probably solely responsible for holding this Lodge together in a difficult period. He was a carpenter. He was born in Barnstable, January 17, 1804, joined the Lodge in 1826 and died June 6, 1866.
BENEFACTORS OF KING HIRAM'S LODGE
A number of members have left their names in the Lodge and its records by various gifts. The list is certainly not complete as many donations were probably made without particular notice. This is also probably true of legacies. However, in addition to the tangible articles given, the Lodge presently has two legacy funds. The Potter Fund was established by a bequest from Bro. Frank Potter, who became a member of King Hiram's Lodge in 1908. Income from the fund has made possible many improvements in the Lodge. Brother Potter was proprietor of the New Central House, now the Crown & Anchor Motor Inn, before retiring to Florida, where he died in 1953. An anonymous donor was also responsible for the beginning of the rug fund, to which members contributed on an individual basis, until finally enough money was raised to carpet the Lod^e-room floor just prior to the installation of officers in November, 1969. The Lodge was also remembered by Bro. George McElderry, a devoted member, who served the Lodge faithfully for many years, especially as Sentinel.
Bro. T. D. Atwood of Boston donated the Altar in 1875. It is not clear just who he was. We have a letter in our files thanking the Lodge for its courtesy and kindness. The old altar was given to the Christian Union Church of North Truro. Joshua P. Atkins and Theodore Nickerson gave the chair at the Master's right. Bro. Atkins was born in Provincetown January 12, 1836. He was a mariner. He joined the Lodge in 1863 and died March 3, 1884.
Theodore Nickerson was born in Provincetown October 17, 1834. He was a mariner. He joined the Lodge in 1866 and died February 16, 1920.
Bro. Daniel H. Hiebert, who donated the painting of the brazen pillars after the first painting was damaged, is a 53-year member and a physician. In 1961 he was voted "Physician of the Year" by the Massachusetts Medical Society and in 1968 was honored by his Alma Mater, Boston University, as an outstanding medical alumnus. He was born in Hillsboro, Kansas, and came to Provincetown in 1919, and at this writing continues to serve as an available and dedicated healer. Theodore Seymour Nickerson donated the rough and perfect ashlars in the West at the Senior Warden's Station. He was appropriately the owner of a granite works. Born in Province-town in 1864, he did not become a Mason until 1916. He lived until 1954.
Manuel Rogers gave the Chaplain's chair at the Master's left. He was born in Fayal, Azores, September 1, 1829. He joined the Lodge in 1869 and died November 2, 1888. He was a trader. At his death it was noted that "the Lodge had lost a member worthy and of strict integrity and the community deprived of an upright citizen given to many acts of charity". John Rosenthal presented a square and compass to the Lodge in November, 1875. He served the Lodge 15 years as Tyler and was responsible for seeing that our large punch bowl was properly filled. He was the father of Wor. Irving Rosenthal and grandfather of Bro. John Rosenthal.
Frank P. Smith gave the Junior Deacon's chair. He was born in the Azores in 1835. He came to Provincetown at the age of 17 on the whaling bark "Spartan" under Captain Josiah Cook. He followed the sea until 1871 "enduring many hardships and thrilling adventures." He was made a Mason in 1865. After leaving the sea he purchased the Allstrum House on Masonic Place and renamed it The Atlantic House. His memorial is worth quoting. "He won the love and respect of both the travelling public and his fellow citizens. The fame of his courtesy, uprightness and good fellowship spread abroad until his hotel became the most popular on the Cape. As a Mason he was all a Mason should be and by his honesty, his charity and compassion made himself beloved by all members of the fraternity." He died September 17, 1918.
Lauren Young, a merchant of Provincetown, was made an honorary member of King Hiram's Lodge in January of 1876. He presented the Bible which still illumines our altar to the Lodge at that time. He was a member of Mount Taber Lodge of East Boston, having received the degrees in that Lodge in 1855.
William N. Young donated the rough and perfect ashlars in the East. He was born in Provincetown July 8, 1831, raised in Mount Lebanon Lodge in 1862 and made an Honorary member of King Hiram's Lodge in 1876. He was a builder. He died February 20, 1911.
To The Brothers of King Hiram's Lodge 1795 and Forward
Brothers, shall we call the roll
Of Masons past, whose common goal,
Was service to their brother man;
Whose many years continuous span
Lifetimes of unselfed devotion.
They labored well and kept in motion
The tide of Brotherhood among
Their fellow men, so oft unsung.
Some labored when this Lodge was new
And some when members were but few.
Some served through wars and some depression,
But in them all was found expression
Of those great truths Masonry instills
In lives its inspiration fills.
Some brothers by their lives inspire
Ourselves to rise to goals still higher.
Some can no more their presence give
Yet by Masonic precepts live.
And some to mortal eyes unseen
Live in the land of evergreen.
The poet's "All the good the past hath had
Remains to make our own time glad"
Is seen fulfilled in us today
As we pursue our chosen way,
The fruitful path of brotherhood,
To exemplify the eternal good.
Good Brothers, in the time to come
Be not unmindful of the sum
Of good works left from others treasure
But to their sum and your full measure.
October, 1970. William D. Hersey, W. M.
HISTORICAL NOTES, 1983
From TROWEL, Fall 1983, Page 21:
Heritage with the Sea
by LeRoy E. Atkins
Historians failed to identify those planting the first seeds of Freemasonry in the once sleepy little fishing village at the tip of Cape Cod. We do know that King Hiram's Lodge of Provincetown was chartered by Most Worshipful Paul Revere on December 12, 1795. Charter members were John Young, Thomas Smalley, Jonathan Cook, George Nickerson, Joshua A. Mayo, Samuel Waterman, Allen Hinckley, Samuel Newcomb, Samuel Cook, Benjamin Wilcox, Solomon Cook, Abner Dunham, Stephen Atkins and Jonathan Nickerson. The Lodge first met in North Truro but when a majority of the members were living in Provincetown meetings were held there. A charter to work was granted March, 1796.
Fifteen of the charter members were engaged in trades associated with the seas. Wor. LeRoy Atkins, secretary of the Lodge, points out that records reveal about 422 members have been linked with the sea during the Lodge's 188 continuous years of service.
The word "mariner" was last used in the secretary's book in 1931. "Fisherman" is the modern word usage and some 58 members have "gone down to the sea in ships." Bro. William R. Abbott, born where Wood End Light stands today, was lost with all hands on an 1867 whaling voyage.
King Hiram's Lodge members have been linked with the nation's Coast Guard and Lifesaving Stations. In 1960 five Coast Guardsmen of a Provincetown patrol boat took their degrees.
Tales of the sea — humorous, tragic, but true — tell about many of the members. Like Eldred Smith, who was taken prisoner by a British man-of-war in the War of 1812. He was sent to Dartmoor Prison in England where a quick release was granted when Bro. Smith was identified as a Mason.
Earlier, in 1807, Brother Caleb Grozier and his entire crew, save one, were murdered by pirates. In February, 1978, Bro. Ralph E. Andrews and his crew of the Cap'n. Bill were lost at sea while fishing. The crew of the Patricia Marie met a similar fate. Lodge members participated in a dedication of a new glass cross at the Provincetown Methodist Church to memorialize the men lost at sea.
Tales of the sea and the Lodge tell of Jess Ginn, who was raised in 1848. Lured by the glamor of the 1849 Gold Rush to California, Bro. Ginn paid part of his fare and worked the rest as a seaman. He returned to the Cape in 1872, paid his back dues and was reinstated. He never missed a Lodge meeting thereafter.
Disgruntled because there were no cuspidors in the Lodge room, Bro. Ginn was caught spatting several times. His penalty was paid toting coal and wood up two flights of stairs and tending the stove. With Provincetown harbor frozen over during one winter, several trading ships were tied up at Union Wharf, unable to leave port. Homer Dick Kelley, a seaman, received the three degrees within 45 days. Had the ice gone out he would have had to leave with his ship. Bro. Kelley was born aboard ship and lived aboard ships most of his life. He retired to Provincetown, bought a small house on Commercial Street, and erected a sign, "Home At Last."
Every year since 1971 King Hiram's Lodge members have taken part in the blessing of the fleet parade, joining the Knights of Columbus, fishermen and other fraternal and civic groups. From a beginning of only eight Masons, the 1982 turnout of Brethren swelled to 72. The presiding District Deputy of the Provincetown 32nd District always joins the guests of honor on the reviewing stand.
200TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, APRIL 1996
(The following is an abridged copy of "Every First Monday" written by Wor. James Theriault, Master of King Hiram's Lodge, March 12, 1996. A full copy of this history is available in the Grand Lodge Library.)
By December of 1795 when King Hiram's Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was chartered, Provincetown, Massachusetts had already earned the distinction of being the birthplace of American government and of the commercial fishing industry in the United States. The Mayflower Compact, the firm and enduring basis of our constitutional government, was signed in Provincetown Harbor on November 21,1620 and the Province Lands were one of the first areas in America to be set aside exclusively as a fishing preserve by the General Court of the Old Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1670.
The Vikings knew it as "Wunderstrand", or Keel Cape. Champlain had explored it and Bartholomew Gosnold described it in his journal. He named it Cape Cod, for the "great stoare of codfysshes" taken there.
From the beginning Provincetown has been more free and richer in life than its neighbors. It broke away early from Puritan doctrines allowing Methodists and Universalists an early foothold. The rest of Cape Cod shared its opinion of the people at Lands End very early in legends. Captain Jeremiah Snaggs lived up Cape and tried to escape the devil who was pursuing him. He dodged the devil in Barnstable, eluded him in a hollow tree in Orleans, and escaped him in Wellfleet by putting a jack-o'-lantern that looked like him in a tree, but in Provincetown the devil caught up with him. "Well," said Captain Jeremiah, "you caught me fair and square, where do we go from here?" "Go?" said the devil. "Nowhere. Ain't we in Provincetown?"
Provincetown's "Bad Boy" image probably began with the first settlement of fishermen's shacks on the beach in 1680. It was known as a wild place inhabited by a cosmopolitan group of fishermen, smugglers, outlaws, escaped indentured servants, heavy drinkers and the "Mooncussers", who were said to have lured ships to their doom by placing lighted lanterns on the beach at night forcing the ship to wreck on the bars offshore and then salvaging the cargo. Their presence there, without the benefits of church or law officers, shocked the solid Christian citizens of neighboring Truro and they petitioned the General Court in Plymouth to clarify the status of the cape end "In order that we may know how to deal with certain individuals there." The General Court established the Precinct of Cape Cod in 1714, followed by Incorporation of the Town of Provincetown on June 14, 1727. From the earliest times cod, haddock and mackerel fishing had been the principal sources of income, but °n April 21, 1737, thirty years before the first whaling ship left New Bedford, the Boston Newsletter reported that "A dozen vessels were fitting that spring from Provincetown for the Davis Straights whale fishery, some of them a hundred tons burden each. So many were going on these voyages that not more than twelve or fourteen men would be left at home." By 1776 more than forty whalers were sailing out of Wellfleet and Provincetown. The War of Independence devastated Wellfleet's whaling industry and nearly depopulated Provincetown which was under the undisputed control of the British Navy.
The British Man-o-war Somerset, which was at anchor in Boston harbor the night Paul Revere made his famous ride and whose guns had stormed Bunker Hill, had been anchored at Provincetown when it left in pursuit of a fleet of French ships. It was stranded on Peaked Hill Bars on November 2, 1778 during a northeast gale while trying to round the Cape and enter Provincetown harbor. After being broken up by the surf it was driven up on the beach. The Somerset had a crew of 480 men and was supposed to have carried 60 cannon. The residents of Provincetown had been watching the wreck from High Pole Hill and had dispatched a detachment of local militia to the scene where they took the captain and the 200 surviving crewmen prisoner. The Somerset was stripped by the people of Provincetown and Truro. Captain Enoch Hallet took charge of the prisoners, marching them up to Barnstable, and later to Boston. On June 19, 1779 the Maritime Court held at Ipswich awarded compensation to Lodge charter members Jonathan Cook, Solomon Cook, and Thomas Smalley as salvors of the Somerset. Moses N. Gifford, Master for the years 1879-1880, presented the Lodge a gavel on February 7, 1887 that was made of wood recovered from the Somerset when shifting sands uncovered the wreck which had been buried for one hundred years.
By 1792 the whale fishery and West indies trade had been re-established in Provincetown and everyone who was not going to sea was employed making something for those who were; salt, rope, sails, harpoons and boats. Freemasonry in America was initially an urban phenomena, appearing chiefly in seaport communities and other centers of commerce. The Grand Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts had already chartered lodges in Salem, Nantucket, Marblehead, Newburyport and Hanover, all being major seaports or shipbuilding centers. In Hanover five to six yards were in operation building ships along the length of the North River in addition to iron works supplying anchors, chains and ships knees for the vessels.
John Young, born in 1756 the son of an Acadien national, was an apprentice at the iron forges of Hugh Orr of Pembroke. In 1792 he obtained a charter from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to constitute Old Colony Lodge in Hanover, Massachusetts and was elected its first Master. In June of 1793, following the death of his first wife Leah Bonney, Young had moved and opened his own business on his family's land in Truro. John Young's acquaintance with ship owners Solomon and Jonathan Cook resulted in the origin of King Hiram's Lodge and the first meeting was held at the home of Captain Jonathan Cook located at what is now 292 Commercial Street Provincetown.
A dispensation was granted on December 12, 1795 to: John Young, Allen Hinckley, Samuel Waterman, Samuel Newcomb, George Nickerson, Samuel Cook, Joshua A. Mayo, Benjamin Wilcox, Lewis Hamlin, Solomon Cook, Thomas Smalley, Abner Dunham, Jonathan Cook, and Stephen Atkins to form themselves into an organization known as King Hiram's Lodge A. F. & A. M. with a charter signed by Paul Revere, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.
During Paul Revere's term as Grand Master (1795 thru 1797) the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts chartered twenty three Lodges. Of those, nineteen are still active. Paul Revere's masonic ties also extended into his business as goldsmith. He had a unique knowledge of the fraternity which enabled him produce items of symbolic masonic significance, unlike most Boston goldsmiths of the day. Through the year 1800 Revere's shop crafted eleven sets of Masonic officers jewels, containing anywhere from five to twelve pieces. King Hiram's Lodge commissioned a set of twelve jewels from Revere in 1796 which, along with the charter, are still in the lodge's collection. In addition, Revere's shop provided the Lodge with two Past Masters jewels. The first, presented to Jonathan Cook in 1801, was presented to the Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington, Mass. by John Snow, a lineal descendent. The second jewel was presented by the lodge to Simeon Conant in 1814. This silver jewel with a unique stamped sunburst design is in the lodge's collection. Revere also engraved masonic certificates or diplomas, which are awarded to masons as they earn their third degree. The lodge has three of these engravings. The first, issued to John William Johnson in 1795 has "Engraved, printed and sold by Paul Revere, Boston." printed on the lower right hand corner. This certificate was printed prior to 1790 before Revere had moved his shop to Dock Square in Boston. The two others were issued to Richard Parry, a Provincetown selectman in 1798, and Reuben Young, captain of the schooner Rienzi in 1799.
King Hiram's Lodge began with twenty two members and elected John Young as their first Master who served until 1799. At the meeting of September 5, 1796 it was voted "that the lodge is to meet everry first Mondy in everry month. If it is a Storm, the next fair night." and "That we in Provincetown should build a house for our youse & for a school house - to be built by the brothers and in that line brother Donham is to draw up a few lines how to proceed." The lumber was delivered from Tearsport, Maine by Captain Horton and on Friday the 21 'st of March 1797 was carried to the site where the house was to be built by the members of the Lodge. Those members that did not help were assessed 3 shillings each. Allen Hinckley was contracted to build a two story structure in which the Lodge would hold its meetings upstairs with two schoolrooms to be built downstairs. The state did not contribute towards education and it was left to the town to maintain a school. Solomon Cook and Abner Dunham were appointed the committee for hiring masters for the schools. The house was completed by the members on March 23, 1797 at a cost of 64.50, which included"! pint of brandy paid to Smaliey and 1 quart of rum had in giting up the timber." This building is still standing and is now a private residence located at 119 Bradford Street.
The Lodge had its first occasion to provide relief when following the loss at sea of member Asa Bowley in 1803, it was voted to pay for the schooling of his son Gamaliel. Gamaliel Bowley became captain of the whaling schooner Jane Howe and a member of the Lodge. His son Joshua owned several Provincetown whaling ships including the schooners Rienzi, Antarctic and Mountain Spring. He also owned the George Shattuck, the first steam powered Boston to Provincetown packet ship. Joshua E. Bowley became a member of King Hiram's Lodge on January 15, 1849, and in 1870 presented the Lodge with the clock which now hangs by the Senior Warden's chair.
In its first ten years the Lodge increased its membership to sixty one persons. On May 22, 1806 a meeting was called to instruct the members "In the new mode in lecturing and work." One of the agreements reached in the union of St. Johns Grand Lodge and the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in 1792 was to adopt the ritual of the Grand Lodge of England. Benjamin Gleason, the first Grand Lecturer appointed in the United States, spent two days in Provincetown instructing the Lodge. It was voted on May 23, 1806 "To pay Mr. Gleason five dollars more for his extra trouble and particular attention." On January 20, 1808 the Festival of Saint John was celebrated; "After the sermon was done at the meeting hall, the procession was again formed & proceeded to Mr. Daniel Pease's Tavern, where a dinner was provided. The Fraternity partook thereof, accompanied by their phemale companions; after which, the procession was again formed & marched to their hall in good spirits."
Pease's Tavern was built in 1798 next to the Customs House operated by Abner Dunham. It is now the Atlantic House on Masonic Place. Daniel Pease, Provincetown's first Postmaster, was Master of King Hiram's Lodge during 1812 through 1814. He and his family died of cholera aboard ship in 1834. On August 22, 1808 Orasmus Thomas, presiding master of King Hiram's Lodge, and members Solomon Cook and Daniel Pease were appointed a committee by the selectmen of Provincetown to draft a petition to the President of The United States, Thomas Jefferson, to protest the shipping embargo. A Copy of the Petition drawn and presented:
"To the President of the United States.
The inhabitants of the Town of Provincetown in legal town meeting assembled beg leave to respectfully represent: That they have severally suffered from the operation of the laws laying and enforcing an embargo on all the ships and vessels in the ports and harbours of the United States not only in common with their fellow citizens throughout the union but particularly from their local & peculiar situation their interest being almost totally in Fish and vessels. The perishable nature of the fish and the sale of it depending solely upon a forren market together with the barrenness of their soil not admitting of cultivation bearing them no resource but the fisheries. They flatter themselves that they are & ever will be ready to manefest their patriotism in making every nesesary sacrifice for the good of their Country and to these laws they have yeilded unlimited respect and submission not a single instance of an evasion or violation has taken place among them but so distressing are the embarrassments produced by the Embargo that they cannot contemplate its continuance without serious and alarming apprehentions. It is needless to detail to your Excellency the various evils that must result from a total suspension of their business having long been habituated to a maritime employment & whose resources have solely depended upon the Ocean whose shipping and fish thus left to waste and perish on their hands not only to the loss of their property but in some instances of health and life. Feeling as your petitioners do the accumulating pressure of these Evils and Confident that your Excellency is disposed so far as you are constitianally authorized to grant them relief they are happy to find that by the laws of the United States it appears to be within your power to Suspend the Embargo in Whole or in part whenever Events in Europe may in your opinion render it safe and Expedient Your petitioners regoise in the beleif and trust that Such Events have now taken place. They therefore pray that the Embargo in Whole or in part may be suspended according to the powers vested in the presedent by the Congress of the U.S. And if any doubts Should Exist of the competency of those powers they would humbly request that Congress might be convened as early as possible for the purpose of taking the Subject into Consideration.
A true Copy of Said petition.
Attest Orasmus Thomas, Town Clerk
The Revolution had destroyed the fishing fleets as well as the whale fleets and when peace came the impoverished people were obliged to build smaller vessels. They turned to fishing off the coast of Labrador and the Bay of Chaleur. Here they ran into trouble with the British who were trying to close Canadian waters to Yankee fishermen.
The Embargo, followed by the Non-Intercourse Act which forbid trade with Great Britain and France were regarded as necessary measures to prevent the seizure of American ships and the impressment of their crews into service by foreign powers. Provincetown vessels fared worse than being captured. As a result, the ocean fisheries were abandoned and dismantled ships rotted at their wharves. The situation was apparent at the Lodge when on January 16, 1809 it was "Voted that our lodge put by the celebration of St. John at this time, on account of the badness of the times." After the declaration of war with Britain on June 18, 1811, British Men-of-war surrounded Cape Cod with H. M. S. Majestic making her base at anchor between Provincetown and Truro. It used the old mill on Mill Hill as a target during artillery practice. The people of Provincetown usually preferred the eastern part of town while this occurred. With Provincetown nearly deserted, the Lodge met on February 1, 1812 and voted that a deed be procured for the Lodge building and it be put in the name of Reuben Nickerson, Treasurer of the lodge.
The selectmen of Provincetown, Wellfleet and Truro were forced to enter into agreement to provide stores at the market price to the British frigates, which had to be rafted out by schooners in Provincetown harbor due to the 12 to 14 foot rise in tide. The market price the British paid for beef in 1814 was 7.00 per pound and it is said that several fortunes in Provincetown had their beginnings in British gold. At his request the Lodge invited Herman Merrick, chaplain of H. M. S. Guerriere, to the meeting of January 8, 1812, "He being a Mason." The Guerriere was captured by the U.S.S.Constitution, "Old Ironsides", in 1813.
On July 27, 1814 Lt. Commander Henry Edward Napier of H. M. S. Nymphe recorded in his journal, "Provincetown formerly famous for whaling, now completely cut off and at the mercy of any person." During the blockade Provincetown ship owners turned to privateering. Jonathan Cook, the second Master of King Hiram's Lodge, gained recognition in Henry Napier's journal on June 27, 1814. Frustrated at not being able to capture Cook's schooner Polly, suspected of carrying government stores out of Provincetown, he wrote " My hope is that he will be hung before his next birthday." Member Thomas Smalley's schooner Golden Hind ran the blockade to keep Provincetown provisioned. He would sink his boat in the eastern harbor where the British ships could only enter at high tide. During the night at low tide he would refloat her and sail out avoiding capture. The Lodge records contain three meetings during 1814, the last being in August.
Throughout the occupation, as Nantucket maintained a posture of neutrality, Cape Cod's ships were being seized by the British. They were ransomed to their owners for large sums of money or used as tenders to the British frigates. Those found containing government stores were burned and their crews impressed into service on British war ships or sent to Nova Scotia to serve aboard British whaling vessels. Those seamen refusing to serve aboard a British ship were sent to Dartmoor Prison in England. Eldredge Smith, a member of King Hiram's Lodge, was released from that prison in 1812 when his captors learned he was a Mason. He returned to Provincetown and died there in 1849. "On August 20, 1849 the Lodge met at the Hilliard Johnson and Co. wharf to attend the funeral of Eldredge Smith. They took passage to the deceased's home at Long Point by boat where an exhortation and prayer were delivered. After which the procession proceeded to this side by sailboats. The procession moved to the place of internment where he was interred with due Masonic ceremonies."
The conclusion of the war in 1814 ushered in a period of new prosperity for Provincetown. The lighthouse at Race Point was under construction in 1816 and the first buildings were appearing on Long Point in 1818. Provincetown's trading activities were the natural outgrowth of whaling and the fishing industry. The records of Lodge meetings during this period indicate the members involvement in this growth; "Provincetown November 23, 1816; I Henry Paine 2nd do, through C.U. Grozier, apply for admission to King Hiram's Lodge this evening if convenient as I am bound to sea the first fair wind." and "12/25/1848 Christmas Day. Lodge met and opened agreeable to a call from the officers. Br. Lewis Sellew proposed Elisha Paine Jr. of Truro, age 26, occupation - mariner as a candidate and asks a dispensation from the D. D. G. M. to ballot, initiate, craft and raise him in less time than the law requires as he thinks of leaving town soon. Elisha Paine was balloted for and accepted and the dispensation granted." He received all three degrees the same day. Elisha Paine's father, a member of King Hiram's Lodge, was captain of the schooner Reform during the October Gale of 1841 when fifty seven men in Truro were lost on seven vessels. All hands being fastened below in the cabin, Captain Paine went up on deck to put out a drag to keep head to the wind. Soon after a terrific sea capsized the ship, rolling it completely over until it came upright again. Two crew members crawled out on the deck to discover that the masts were gone, and the hawser of the drag was wound around the bowsprit. Captain Elisha Paine Sr. was washed away during the incident.
It was the custom of many of the early Grand Bankers to salt and dry their catch on the nearest beach and carry it directly to the West Indies where they picked up a cargo of rum and molasses for the return journey. When this market became glutted the Provincetown fishermen began to salt their catch only enough to keep it for the run back home. Provincetown's beaches were lined with fish drying platforms or "flakes" to dry and cure these catches before they were packed onto two masted schooners that were sailing for France, Spain and Portugal.
Simeon Conant, Master of King Hiram's Lodge from 1814 through 1817, was engaged in Provincetown's thriving salt making industry. Windmills lined the beach pumping sea water into flat evaporation vats on the shore. Most of the salt produced was used locally to cure the fish catch. Almost every foot of ground in Provincetown which wasn't occupied by a house was covered by the evaporation vats or the fish flakes. Discovery of the salt mines in New York in the 1850's killed the industry, the vats were dismantled and much of the lumber was used to build new houses. The salt impregnated timber was almost impervious to mildew, dry rot, decay and also to paint; when a man painted his house and it peeled right off he would eventually give up in disgust and say, "It's a salt works house."
The master of these whaling and fishing vessels was usually owner, captain and merchant, all in one, except for the shares owned by members of his crew. To outfit his ship, take a catch, find a foreign market and return home generally required a year. A "Plum Pudding Voyage" was a name applied by New England whalemen to the shorter or between seasons voyages of Provincetown whalers, implying that a voyage on a Provincetown ship was a mere picnic. Whether it was mariner, master mariner, sail maker, ship outfitter, boat builder, caulker, rigger, ship chandler, seaman or fisherman, these occupations tied to the sea far outnumber any others throughout the history of King Hiram's Lodge and are mentioned no less than 422 times in the chronology of members. Their ships were frozen in the Arctic where they went for bowhead or Polar whales; they were attacked by natives in the Pacific islands and were chased by Confederate cruisers during the Civil War and often had their ships burned. Their experiences and recollections, some rewarding, some humorous, some tragic, are preserved in resolutions contained in the Lodge records, personal correspondence, whaling logs, and written accounts. Included among them are:
From the log of the schooner Herald 1869, written by King Hiram's Lodge member, Capt. Seth Nickerson; "Our 1869 voyage resulted in capture of 950 sperm whales and seven thousand dollars worth of Ambergris." Ambergris was used in the manufacture of perfume and came from the intestines of a diseased whale. It could sell for as much as two hundred dollars a pound.
From the log of the schooner E.H. Hatfield November 28, 1872, member Benjamin Higgins 1st mate; "Middle part (of the day) saw whales, Lowered. Struck. And the larboard boat got stove. The whale struck Mr. Freeman. He lived until he got on board ship, but died almost as soon as we got him on board. God knows what I am going to do now. We brought the whale alongside and cut him in." November 30, 1872." Latter part (of the day) put the remains of Mr. Freeman in a cask and filled it with whale oil. I want to carry it to the Islands and send him home if I can." Capt. Benjamin Freeman, another member, aged 49 was killed near Samarang, Java. His remains were returned to Provincetown and were interred in the Gifford Cemetary.
From member Joseph F. Baldwin Captain of the schooner Alcyone November 14, 1870; "After testimony of all hands during the investigation it was presently demonstrated that these men was the guilty parties. These men was tied up and after a while they confessed that they threw the cooking utenseels over board. The men confessed they had some bad advice from a party, a furyner, (foreigner) who had ort to have none better. The men appeared to be truly penitente and asked forgiveness....taking all things into consideration and also for the future they have got to live on bread and water let them out of irons and put them on Duty." Capt. Joseph Baldwin was raised at a Special Communication on April 20, 1857 "As it is expected that he will leave town soon." He was the Secretary of the Lodge in 1866 when he left to command the maiden voyage of the Alcyone. His Master Mason Certificate is in the Lodge's Collection.
The voyage of October 20, 1868 to June 8, 1871 was chronicled by David Barker in his book "Thrilling Adventures of the whaler Alcyone", published in 1916. While on a cruise off the African Gold Coast one of the boat's crew was swallowed by a sperm whale. After tiring a bomb lance into the whale it spouted blood. The boat crew assumed the whale dead and the crewman struck with his hand lance. The sperm whale slapped its tail and crashed his lower jaw into the whale boat causing the crewman to fall forward into the whale's mouth and the whale closed its jaw, catching the crewman just below his knees. The whale sounded and the crewman's body came to the surface where he was recovered from the water and taken aboard the Alcyone. During this voyage the Alcyone was captured by Malay pirates and was used to rob and sink small trading vessels in the China Sea while captain and crew were imprisoned below. They abandoned the Alcyone at Mauritius where Joseph Baldwin had to recruit eight crewmen before he could return to Provincetown. Baldwin's wife related the story of how her husband had taken her to visit a tribal chieftain on the coast of South Africa. She brought with her a gift of a pan of doughnuts she had baked. Apparently they were a success as the next day the chief and two other natives called on the ship, but instead of being dressed in the ceremonial robes of the day before they arrived entirely unclothed. Joseph Baldwin had his wife give him three dresses which the natives put on before he would allow her up on deck.
The 137 ton schooner Alcyone was built and launched at Provincetown May 1866 by another member, John Whitcomb, at his boat yard opposite his home at 421 Commercial Street. He was a ships carpenter in Yarmouth, Maine Until he moved to Provincetown in 1865. Fie began construction on his first schooner, the Alcyone, in December of 1865. The 129 ton Cara Morrison, built for owners in Wellfleet, was also launched in 1866. The 129 ton F. W. Alton was built for Thomas Daggett in 1867. The fourth was the brig D.A. Small (166 tons) built for member David S. Small and launched November 1868. The schooner Lattie Belle (131 tons) was built for E.C. Small in 1869. The schooner Willie Swift (137 tons) was built for member Samuel S. Swift in 1875. The lumber and timbers were transported from Maine, New Hampshire and points south, also white oak from Truro and the land in back of Provincetown was used. Whitcomb owned a shipwright and spar business in the rear of the post office on railroad wharf after launching his last ship, the yacht Charlotte. He then started construction of scows for deep sea weirs. At one time he employed 30 men. The yard also included a marine railway used to build vessels. The railway was destroyed by ice in 1878. His business also included repairs to vessels, including the A.G. Ropes. The flagship of the I. F. Chapman Co., the 3 masted ship was damaged in a squall off Nantucket on July 12, 1888 while en route to San Francisco carrying oil and coal. It was repaired by Whitcomb, and his crew and left Provincetown on September 29, 1888 where she arrived in San Francisco in 110 days.
The whaling brig Ardent encountered a severe hurricane on September 28, 1823 while on a whaling expedition off the Azores or Western Islands. The crew was composed of Samuel Soper; captain, Hicks Smalley; mate, John Savage, Stephen Cashin, Thomas Stull, Jonah Gross, Amos Nickerson, Thomas K. Hudson, Solomon Crowell, Phillip Rich (all members of the Lodge), and Cyrenius Smalley, Franklin Cartright, Elisha Hopkins of Rhode Island and John Austin of Boston as crew. The hurricane hove the vessel down and washed off Cashin, Gross and Nickerson. The masts were carried away close to the decks and the vessel righted itself, but being full of water only a small portion of the afterdeck stayed above, which is where the rest of the crew took refuge. For twenty six days, one after another of the crew died from exposure, thirst and starvation. The only water being obtained from an occasional rain squall being saved in their clothing and then wrung out. At first they subsisted on barnacles and small fish but as the men became enfeebled and died, their bodies furnished the rest with their only food until there were only five left; captain, mate, Hudson, Rich, and Cyrenius Smalley. The British packet ship Lord Sudmouth, bound for Falmouth, England sighted the wreck and took off the survivors. Hicks Smalley died shortly after being taken on board. Hudson and Cyrenius Smalley died shortly after returning to Province-town. Samuel Soper refused to speak about the suffering and deprivation that had occurred and continued to own and command several whaling vessels. Phillip Rich died at Provincetown at an advanced age and had rarely alluded to the disaster, but did relate the details to his granddaughter whose middle name was Sudmouth, given for the ship that had rescued him. Phillip Rich's Master Mason Certificate is in the Lodge's Collection.
The brig Rienzi was totally wrecked in a storm at sea on September 16, 1846 off the coast of Bermuda. Of the brig's company of twenty one, only the econd mate and four crewmen survived after the most extreme suffering. They clung to a wrecked whale boat for four days with no food or water until they were rescued by the Minerva of New Bedford. Captain James Small's wife, Betsey Cook Small, had lost her husband, two sons and her brother on the Rienzi. After a memorial service she is said to have taken to her bed and never recovered from her grief. She was interred in the family crypt in the old section of Provincetown Cemetery in 1847, the inscription reads "Died broken hearted at her loss." James and Samuel Small were both members of the Lodge.
During the voyage of 1850, Captain E. Parker Cook, Master of King Hiram's Lodge 1873 - 1874, lowered two boats for a bull sperm whale. When the nearest boat was head on abreast of the hump, the boat steerer put two harpoons into it. Before the second boat could be brought head on, the whale broached half out of the water capsizing the boat. The line fouled the boat steerer's leg, nearly severing it from his body. He cut the line and the other boats picked up the crew and returned them to the bark. The whale next aimed at the Parker Cook and struck her directly on the stem, burying the cutwater up to the planking in his head. The whale struck a second time but with less force and Captain Cook lowered a second boat. Three times he fired a bomb lance into the whale until it eventually spouted blood, though with every piercing it rushed open mouthed at the whale boat requiring great skill to avoid it. The reward was 103 barrels of oil for the crew of the Parker Cook, who were obliged to put into Fayal, Azores for medical treatment for the boat steerer and repairs to the ship.
Member John Atkins Cook made his first whaling voyage aboard the 90 ton William Martin as harpooner or boatsteerer. The schooner left Provincetown on May 15, 1879 and returned on September 18, 1879 with 163 barrels of sperm oil from seven whales. He recalled the voyage was without incident except for a hurricane encountered on August 17th at 29 degrees 20' N Latitude and 78 degrees 40" W Longitude, where the ship lay prone on her side in the water with the crew unable to cut away the masts. When the weather cleared be 18th, three whaling boats had been lost, the rudder post was sprung, the bulwarks gone and the stem badly strained. In this condition it made port.
The schooner Joseph P. Johnson was named for the Hon. Joseph Prosper Johnson (1813-1891). He was born at Essex, Connecticut and came to Provincetown in 1827. He apprenticed himself to his brother Timothy P. Johnson as a sailmaker until he was 21, when he started his own business which he conducted until 1850. He formed a partnership with member Thomas Hilliard and founded Hilliard, Johnson & Co. Grocers and Ship Chandlers on Hilliards Wharf. Two years later he became partners with Reuben Cook and founded Johnson and Cook Co., vessel outfitters, packers and dealers in cod and mackerel on Market Wharf. For 20 years he was a member of the Boston Board of Underwriters. In 1850 Johnson was elected to the state Legislature and served until 1880, then elected to the Senate in 1882 and 1883. From 1845 to 1850 he was on the Provincetown Board of Selectmen and presided over the annual town meeting for 28 consecutive years. In 1836 he was appointed to purchase the town's first fire engine. He also donated the steeple clock in the Town Hall. Johnson was licensed as a public auctioneer in 1845 and held it until his death in 1891. He was the father of 5 children and made his home at 8 Masonic Place. Johnson was active in King Hiram's Lodge which he joined in 1848. He was Master for the years 1851-1854 and again from 1859 -1864 and was District Deputy Grand Master for three years. He was also one of the founders and on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Province-town. On November 20, 1876 the lodge presented Joseph P. Johnson a gold headed cane. The cane was returned to the lodge by his grandson in 1923. Johnson's portrait hangs in one of the alcoves in the Lodge room.
On February 8,1895 the schooner Joseph P. Johnson was caught in a seven day storm while fishing off the Grand Banks. At one point her masts lay prone to the water but Captain George Brier righted the ship and ran into the wind, which forced them across the Atlantic to within 700 miles of the Azores. A cable was sent from Silviera, Edwards & Co., shipping agents at Fayal, to the Boston Globe newspaper informing them that the Joseph P. Johnson had put into Horta for repairs on March 2,1895 causing a great celebration in Provincetown as it was presumed the ship and crew were lost. In March of 1897 the Joseph P. Johnson again launched its 8 boats to set trawls off the Grand Banks with 16 men aboard. A dense fog developed and the boats were separated from the schooner. They tied their boats together and attempted to reach Le Havre on the coast of Nova Scotia. Capt. Brier and the one remaining crewman, a cook, attempted to locate the boats for a day and a night. Unsuccessful in their attempt they brought the Joseph P. Johnson back to Provincetown with the flag at half mast.
The boat crews had meanwhile been sighted by the Norwegian bark China, which took men and dories aboard and transferred them to another Provincetown schooner, the l. J. Merritt. Again there was celebrating in the town when the 16 men presumed to have drowned, and their boats were dropped off outside the harbor by the Merritt to row in.
On November 4, 1888 a Special Communication was held to attend the funeral of member Manuel Rogers, aged 65. Rogers was born at Fayal, Azores and ran away at 15 to join an American whaling bark, the United States. In 1870 he signed on as first mate aboard the 332 ton whaling ship Reindeer out of New Bedford. On September 10, 1871 the Reindeer, in the company of 32 other whaling vessels, was wrecked in the Arctic off Point Belcher. This occurred again in 1873 when Rogers, this time aboard the Meringo, was caught with 18 other ships in pack ice off Harrison Bay twenty five miles from land. After three days of crossing the ice his crew reached Port Barrow where they were rescued.
On September 21, 1891 an application for membership was received from John Silva, born at St. Michael, Azores. Silva was a whaling captain whose second command was the vessel Mattapoisett, which left port on October 25, 1879. It is noted in the ships log that Thanksgiving day was celebrated aboard the ship in 1880. The captain had gone ashore at Brava to recruit a third mate and came back on board with a turkey. The log entry reads "Strong breeze from E. S. E. Ran down close to Brava. A pig fell down the hatch and we had turkey." Silva's son, John P. Silva, was Master of King Hiram's Lodge in 1920-1921, District Deputy Grand Master in 1944 and a recipient of the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal.
The markers and memorials throughout the Provincetown, Gifford and Hamilton Cemeteries, many of which have the Masonic square and compasses engraved upon them, stand in silent testimony to Provincetown's maritime heritage and that the sea often took its toll of those who sailed upon it. The entry "lost at sea" appears next to the names of 58 members of the Lodge throughout its history. Among those who went down to the sea in ships and never returned were:
- Capt. Joseph Sawtelle, Master from 1821 through 1827, lost aboard the brigantine Ocean in 1832.
- Capt. John Pettengill with his wife and two children aboard the schooner E. Nickerson in 1857. The Lodge paid Elisha Cook to 'Erect a suitable monument to their memory."
- Levi and William Kilbourne were lost at sea in October 1858 aboard the schooner Union.
- Elisha Paine died on board the Walter Irwin at Calcutta, India on May 30, 1858.
- Capt. Andrew Williams was lost with the entire crew of the James Porter in the Gale of October 23, 1858 off the Grand Banks. His son Andrew T. Williams was Master of the Lodge in 1889. He was a ship's outfitter on Union Wharf and the owner he schooner Cetacean. While he was a member of the Lodge he arranged Thanksgiving dinners to be sent every year to all of the widows and families of members who had died. The Lodge has been providing these dinners since 1850.
- Captain Henry Paine was killed at Ponrachee, India in 1859. His ship, the J. H. Duvall, was sold to the British at Bombay and was commanded by a Provincetown captain.
- Caleb U. Grozier and his crew were murdered by pirates who seized his ship, the Phoenix, at Calcutta. The news was received at the 8e meeting on September 4, 1853. Captain Daniel C. Cook was killed by natives who boarded his ship, the Alleghany, at Fortescue Bay and attempted to set it on fire. * On board was another member, Calvin N. Freeman, aged 43, who was lost on the schooner N. J. Knights in 1871. His wife died broken hearted the next year.
- Captain Joseph M. Farwell died at sea aboard the schooner Mary G. Curran in May 1867. His body was returned to Provincetown in June where the Lodge arranged for his funeral. The Lodge also sent letters of exchange in gold to St. Eustasius, Virgin Islands allowing his daughter Josephine to return home to Provincetown. The Lodge paid for her education and she married Artemus P. Hannum, Master of the Lodge in 1877-1878.
- In the gale of September 1867, the Lodge lost four members. Capt. Walter R. Abbott, on the schooner Money Hill, Alexander Thompson, his wife, the former Mary Linnell of Orleans, Charles Thompson, Norman Cook and George Kelley on the Etta G. Fogg. The Lodge erected a monument to the Thompson family in the Provincetown cemetery. George Kelley's widow, Olive, had a cord of wood and a ton of coal delivered to her from the Lodge every year until her death in 1893.
- The gale of September 3, 1887 claimed three members. John W. Atkins, George W. Dyer and William Allen of the schooner Rebecca R. Nickerson. Capt. William Allen lived at 3 Masonic Place. He commanded the bark Huntress in 1858 on a four year voyage. The vessel returned in 1862 with 14 crewmembers in irons for an attempted mutiny. He joined the Lodge in 1883, and his Master Mason Certificate is in the Lodge Collection.
- Captain Jonathan Kilbourne was lost at the Isle of Sal, Cape Verdes on January 19, 1865. He commanded the Eleanor B. Conwell which was named for the mother of another member of the Lodge, David Conwell. While many sailing vessels flew a pennant with the Masonic square and compasses symbol upon it, a unique feature of the Eleanor B. Conwell was that they were carved on the transom of the schooner in between the name and home port. A photograph ot the Eleanor B. Conwell, taken in New Bedford, is in the Lodge's Collection.
- Captain John A. Williams, his wife and daughter were lost on the Westmoreland in a gale in 1883, and the crews of the Ellen Rizpah and Mary G. Curran were lost in a hurricane on August 20, 1887. Member George O. Knowles owned both schooners.
- The loss of the Cora S. McKay in the Galveston Hurricane, September 12, 1900 claimed another member, Captain Roderick W. Matheson, and his entire crew, nearly depopulating the West End of Provincetown.
The years between the War of 1812 and the Civil War were the Glory Years in Provincetown. They were the years when fleets of Provincetown whale ships, Grand Bankers and mackerel fishers ranged the seas. Long Point and Race Point had become separate communities with their own school districts Id the Provincetown and Seaman's Savings Banks were founded. A Town Hall was built on High Pole Hill, and in 1835 the first wharves started appearing the waterfront. There were eventually 44 wharves, the longest being over a thousand feet long. Central and Union wharves were self contained communities with their own sail lofts, ice houses and marine railways. Fine homes ere built where cottages once stood, and by 1850 Provincetown had the highest per-capita income of any town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Prior to the anti-masonic crusade caused by the Morgan Affair, they were also the glorious years of Masonry. The Lodge was growing. Freemasons flourished in public processions and ceremonies and the Fraternity attracted men of influence in every community.
The Morgan Affair encompassed the years 1826 through 1845. Its effects were felt in the New England States, Massachusetts and particularly in New York where the trouble began. William Morgan, claiming to have been made a Mason in some foreign country, gained admittance at Wells Lodge No. 282 at Batavia N.Y. as a visitor. He is described as being an unprincipled individual and following the rejection of his request to establish a Royal Arch chapter there and his subsequent rejection from affiliation in the Chapter that was eventually formed he entered into a scheme with David C. Miller for the purpose of revenge and to supposedly gain untold wealth. Miller was the editor of the Republican Advocate, a weekly Batavia newspaper. In 1826 Miller printed that there would be an exposition of the rituals of Ancient Craft Masonry printed shortly by one who had been a member of the Institution for years.
In retrospect, it was a lack of judgment and unnecessary alarm on the part of a few over-zealous masons which combined with other causes - notably of a political character - that caused an anti-masonic sentiment that would last two decades. Those involved issued the following statement;
The plan from inception to completion, contemplated nothing more than a deportation of Morgan, by friendly agreement between the parties, either to Canada or some other country. Ample means were provided for the expenses and the after-support of Morgan and his family. This plan had been perfected from the fact that the minds of Masonic bretheren had been agitated by rumors that William Morgan was preparing an exposition and was preparing to give it to the public. It was then mutually agreed that Morgan would destroy the document, refuse all interviews with his partner and hold himself in readiness to go to Canada, settle down there and upon arrival he should receive 500.00 dollars with his written pledge to stay there and never return to the States. We also agreed that Morgan's family should be cared for and sent to Canada as suitable home had been provided for them. What a tremendous blunder we all made! It was scarcely a week until we saw what trouble was before us. Morgan had sold us out as he had sold his friends in Batavia. Within forty eight hours after his arrival in Canada he had gone. He was traced to a point down the river not far from Port Hope where he had sold his horse and disappeared. He had doubtless got on a vessel there and left the country."
Had Morgan been permitted to print his book without notice, the work would have fallen quietly from the press and died a natural death. Morgan's deportation therefore cannot be justified by any legal, moral or Masonic principle. Public interest in the affair began about three weeks after Morgan's disappearance in the form of inflammatory hand-bills printed throughout New York and Canada accusing the Freemasons of Batavia of abducting and murdering William Morgan. Conventions and public meetings were held demanding an investigation and offering rewards for the discovery and conviction of those involved. All sorts of improbable stories were circulated adding to the excitement. One man said he knew Morgan had been killed because the carcass of a sturgeon, with Morgan's boots in it, had washed ashore on the banks of the Niagara River. Another story had Morgan turned over to the British Masons of Canada with a request that they get him aboard a British Man-o-War or turn him over to Brandt, an Indian Chief and a Mason, to be executed with savage cruelty. The most sensational story probably resulted in a convention held in Lewiston, N.Y. in 1827 where Masons were accused of blindfolding and gagging the unhappy Morgan and at Fort Niagara murdering him in cold blood, cutting his throat from ear to ear, cutting out his tongue, burying him in the sand, and to conclude these hellish rites sinking the body in the lake. It was on these allegations that the Anti-Masonic Political Party was formed enlisting among its leaders John Quincy Adams. Freemasonry was more fiercely denounced than ever; the community was in a whirlpool of passion and politicians came forward demanding resolutions against voting for Freemasons for any office whatever. Masonic clergymen were dismissed from their churches and Masonic meetings were prevented by force of arms. DeWitt Clinton, a distinguished and eminent Mason, was Governor of the State of New York at the time. He issued proclamations condemning the actions of those accused of abducting Morgan and secured indictments against the four men involved in the conspiracy. Upon Clinton's death in 1828 the opposition declared that "stung by remorse for sanctioning Morgan's death he had taken his own life." The Grand Lodges throughout the United States passed resolutions, disclaiming all connection or sympathy with the outrage. A great many of those attached to the Institution were of the opinion that it was advisable to yield, for a time at least, to the storm, and close their work and surrender their charters. In Vermont not a single Lodge continued its work.
On October 14, 1830 angry crowds shouting "murderers and assassins" surrounded the Officers of the Grand Lodge Of Massachusetts at the Laying of the Cornerstone of the Grand Lodge on Tremont Street. From 101 Lodges reported in 1826, only 34 were now represented at Grand Lodge in 1832.
Although the Morgan Affair began in 1826, the effects were not evident at King Hiram's Lodge until 1833 when the anti-masonic sentiment was at its highest peak. The lodge met consistently until March of 1832. The next recorded meeting was in January of 1834. There were five meetings between Jan. 5 and Feb. 10, 1834 and then nothing appears until February, 1835. The next entry is dated March 19, 1840. Following are the minutes from that meeting: "Wednesday evening March 19, 1840 King Hiram's Lodge met at the request of the Right Worshipful Robert F. Parker, District Deputy Grand Master. The R. W. D. D. Grand Master stated to the lodge that he was directed by the Grand Lodge to visit King Hiram's Lodge and ascertain the situation and doings of said lodge, and collect all dues and get returns or they must (relinquish) their Charter and Regalia to the Grand Lodge. Voted that we will sustain the Lodge and not return our Charter."
Public sentiment prevailed, however, and Godfrey Ryder sold the Mason's house in 1845. King Hiram's Lodge continued to meet in member's homes. R. W. Waterman Crocker, a ships carpenter, was Master of the Lodge throughout these years and is said to have carried the Lodge's charter in his coat pocket. R. W. Joseph P. Johnson, Master of King Hiram's Lodge from 1851 through 1854, reflected on the impact of the Morgan Affair on Masonry in Provincetown in his resolutions written on 1/28/1857 at the funeral of charter member Reuben Goodspeed. They were published in the Provincetown Banner. "He has stood by her (the lodge) through evil and good report; and in the troublesome times of antimasonic excitement, which swept over our land like a moral pestilence; which confounded the innocent with the guilty; which distracted and divided churches; which sundered the nearest ties of social life; which set father against son and son against father; arrayed the wife against her own husband; and in short, wherever its baleful influences were most felt, deprived men of all those comforts and enjoyments which render life to us a blessing. When many around him were bending to the blast of the whirlwinds of fanatical fury which was passing over them, he stood like the sturdy oak, unmoved and unwavering amid the storm. He has lived through the darkness of the night to see the sun of Masonry again arise in all its original splendor while others who sacrificed their principals and their honor before the morlock of an unrighteous and misguided public sentiment lived to receive the scorn of Masons and all honorable men. He has now gone to his rest a faithful Mason who we shall do well to imitate."
William Morgan's actual fate has never been fully ascertained. There was no evidence that any Masonic body encouraged or participated in Morgan's deportation or was any evidence ever presented that Morgan was killed. There is abundant proof that Morgan was supplied with a sum of money and to conclude that he shipped on some vessel at Quebec or Montreal. He had no reason to return especially after his wife had remarried. Intemperate habits, inattention to his family, held in low esteem by the community and possessing no property, why should he come back? Reports in 1829 and 1831 had Morgan living at Smyrna, Turkey. Those members of the Fraternity who conspired against Morgan showed needless excitement and took the most inexcusable measures to suppress his publication. They should have reflected that this was not the first attempt to expose Freemasonry; in England at that time a number of books had already been published on the same subject and that others will continue to be published just as long as any one can be found who will buy them. The publications opposition was the means of bringing it into prominence, and the reacting effect was felt on the Fraternity for years.
In 1845, Marine Lodge, International Order of Odd Fellows, organized in Provincetown. Their meetings were held at Marine Hall on Bradford Street and its membership included Joseph P. Johnson and several other members of King Hiram's Lodge. Following the sale of the Mason's House, which became the location of the first Roman Catholic church in Provincetown in 1852, and the conclusion of the hysteria caused by the Morgan Affair, King Hiram's Lodge openly resumed their meetings at Odd Fellows Hall. This was to be their home until the completion of the current Lodge building on Commercial Street. At the meeting of October 3, 1848 King Hiram's Lodge voted to return a new charter granted to them by the Grand Lodge upon the return of the original which had been misplaced for some years. At the Annual meeting and election of officers held on November 6, 1848, Steward's collars and jewels in the new pattern were ordered to be purchased and Godfrey Ryder was elected Master of the Lodge. Provincetown Town Hall, built in 1886, stands on the site of the Ryder Homestead. Godfrey Ryder additionally was one of the members of the Lodge that gave the land where the Pilgrim Memorial Monument now stands. In 1841 he was the owner of one of the first whaling ships built at Province-town, the 111 ton brig William Henry.
On February 22, 1849 Public processions resumed with a dinner held at Mr. Fuller's. Guests included Marine Lodge l.O.O.F., the Mayflower Division of the Sons of Temperance and the pilot of the British Royal Cruiser Hamilton, "He being a Mason." In October of 1852 Subscriptions toward the building of a monumental Masonic Temple at Fredericksburg to the memory of Br. George Washington were taken up from the members.
At a meeting of the Lodge on February 12, 1855 a letter was received from Thomas Locker, purser of the Virgin Islands brig Bainbridge informing the Lodge of the death of Br. Charles Stevens with some of his personal papers. At this meeting the Lodge voted "To adopt the new mode of balloting where the box is placed in the center of the room and each Brother is to address the chair before balloting."
In the 1850's the cod fishery at Provincetown was in its most prosperous condition. Member Captain Angus McKay brought the largest catch of codfish ever recorded into port aboard the schooner Willie A. McKay (4,062 Quintals worth 22,000.00). The 1850's also saw the end of the settlement at Long Point. The United States Government, in an effort to protect a valuable harbor, reclaimed the narrow strip of land when encroaching sands threatened to sweep the point away. When the building of boats and salt works had claimed all the timber on the back side the Government had instituted a program where beach grass was planted to prevent the dunes from completely covering Provincetown. Forty eight houses from Long Point were floated across the harbor on wrecking barrels to new locations in Provincetown, most in the West End.
King Hiram's member the Hon. Nathaniel Atwood's home was the last to leave Long Point. Nathaniel Atwood received a commendation from the Consul General of the United States to Great Britain for his part in rescuing the crew of the British brig Lone Star in 1867. The rescue was performed March 30, 1867, during a storm on the Grand Banks while he was in command of the whaling schooner Cetacean. The British crew were so desperate to get off the sinking ship that they nearly swamped the rescue boats. Atwood had to threaten to leave them before order could be restored. A letter to Charles Francis Adams, U. S. Ambassador to the Court of Saint James, dated May 25, 1867 describes the rescue:
On the 30th of March still blowing a heavy gale and a dangerous cross sea running, Capt. Atwood fell in with the dismasted ( sp ) wreck of the brig Lone Star ... an attempt to rescue the suffering crew would be attended with much danger...
Nathaniel Ellis Atwood was also presented an inscribed spy glass by Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, for valiant conduct. Currently in the collection of the Heritage Museum of Provincetown, the spy glass is made of brass and leather and measures 26 3/4" long with a wooden case. The inscription reads: "Presented by the British Government to Captain Atwood, Master of the American Whaling Schooner Cetacean, of Provincetown, Massachusetts in acknowledgment of his humanity and kindness to the Master and crew of the brig Lone Star, of Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Whom he rescued from the wreck of their vessel on the 30th March, 1867."
Nathaniel Atwood, in addition to being a Master Mariner for fifty years, was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for two years and a member of the Massachusetts Senate in 1869 through 1871. He was one of the founders of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and remained a corresponding member for life. Connected with the U.S. Fisheries Commission, he was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Henry J. Gardener in 1856 as one of a commission to investigate the artificial propagation offish, with Professor Louis Agasiz and Hon. Reuben A. Chapman, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In writing of this commission and their report, "Freeman's History of Cape Cod," page 655, concludes "We will venture to add, for the honor of the cape, that it may be doubted whether, as a practical Ichthyologist, Mr. Atwood has he a superior in America." Atwood made many discoveries offish, which had up until his day never been known to science. One species, a man eating shark, was named Charcharias Atwoodii in his honor. Dr. D. Humphries Storer, in his "Fishes of Massachusetts", in reference to Nathaniel Atwood wrote: "Let his name, who has done so much to assist me in making this report, be indelibly associated with the science to which he is an honor."
The minutes of the Lodge meeting on February 26, 1849 contain a report from the committee on the proposition of building a new hall. "Vote to procure subscriptions and get the stock taken up towards building a hall to be known as Union Hall." Union Hall was built, but in the summer of 1858 three buildings on the south side of Commercial Street were totally destroyed by fire; the Union Hall which stood on the site of the present Masonic Hall was barely saved. The building, now useless, was razed. Financial constraints and the impending war forced the members to wait another twelve years for their new lodge.
From the minutes of the Lodge:
November 3, 1890: A committee of 5 is appointed to attend to planning the 100'th anniversary celebration of the Lodge in 1895. It was voted that 100.00 per year be expended from the funds of the Lodge for that purpose. Wor. Artemus P. Hannum is appointed a committee to establish a library in the Lodge. 30.00 is appropriated. A bookcase built by member Andrew Kennedy is purchased at a cost of 22.00.
On November 11, 1895 William Wallace Johnson was installed as Master of King Hiram's Lodge. He was the son of Past Master Joseph P. Johnson, joining the Lodge shortly after his fathers death in 1891. One of his first acts was to appoint Moses N. Gifford chairman of a committee of seven members of the Lodge to complete arrangements for the Lodge's one hundredth anniversary celebration.
December 2, 1895: A report of the Anniversary committee is received. The celebration is scheduled for March 25, 1896. A banquet is to be held with tickets being available to all Masons desiring them. An oration is to be delivered preceding a concert by the Temple Quartet in the evening at Town Hall. A dance is to follow. Members vote that a history of the Lodge should be published and that William Johnson is to prepare and deliver it.
On December 12, 1895, the one hundredth anniversary of the signing of the charter of King Hiram's Lodge, the Lodge met at a Special Communication in the Lodge room with twelve officers and ten members present. This was a relatively low key event as, due to the inability of the officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to be present, it had already been decided to hold a significantly larger event in March of the following year. During a two and one half hour meeting, remarks were made by those members present and the following resolutions, offered by Wor. James A. Small, were by a rising vote adopted by the membership of King Hiram's Lodge;
- Whereas, on the twelfth day of December 1795 a dispensation was granted to sundry persons to form themselves into an organization to be known as King Hiram's Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, with authority from the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to perform all legitimate acts in conformity with Masonic usages, therefore
- Resolved, that we the present members of the said King Hiram's Lodge this twelfth day of December 1895, desire to place upon record our appreciation of the noble work our brothers of one hundred years ago, as well as all others who have guided and defended our noble craft down through the century.
- Resolved, that we pledge our best efforts individually and collectively to perpetuate the good name of King Hiram's Lodge to the end, that the close of the second century of her existence may show a record still grand and glorious in the cause of human rights and brotherhood.
During the next three months, preparations and arrangements accelerated with a number of Special Communications held in the Lodge. Benjamin Allstrum Higgins and Leslie Atherton Spinney became Master Masons, a bronze commemorative medal was cast under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and invitations and a circular letter were distributed to Lodge members and Masons throughout what was then the 28th Masonic District.
The Lodge also said farewell and paid their last respects to three members who died suddenly, Capt. Nathan Persons, Capt. Benjamin Hatch Atkins and Capt. William Matheson. All three were highly regarded master mariners, active in Provincetown's whaling industry and West Indies trade. Nathan Persons commanded the Mary E. Simmons in 1866, Atkins, the Valentine Doane and the Olive Clark and Matheson owned the Jessie Matheson and Mary Matheson as well as Matheson's wharf.
At 2:30 P.M. on Wednesday, March 25, 1896, King Hiram's Lodge opened on a Special Communication with twelve officers and one hundred sixty members and brothers from the 28th Masonic District. Wor. William W. Johnson appointed Past Masters Moses N. Gifford, Hezekiah P. Hughes and Lewis H. Baker a committee to receive M. W. Edwin B. Holmes, Grand Master of Masons of Massachusetts, and his suite which was composed of twenty two Grand Lodge officers.
Following introductions and an exchange of remarks, the Grand Lodge officers and guests were conducted in a procession to the Provincetown Town Hall where the anniversary exercises were to be held. The Boston Traveler and the Boston Globe newspapers had entire pages printed in the following days edition covering the events in Provincetown. Included were artists renderings of the Lodge building, which had been handsomely decorated with red, white and blue bunting for the occasion, and sketches of the Lodge officers, William Johnson, William Young, and Irving Rosenthal. They noted that most businesses in Provincetown had closed that day in observance of the event. The anniversary coverage even overshadowed Madam Sarah Bernhardt's opening at the Tremont Theatre in Boston.
The order of exercises at Town Hall were interspersed with selections provided by the Amphion Orchestra of Provincetown. An oration was delivered by the Rev. Bro. William Rider with a poem written for the occasion and delivered by Rev. Bro. R. Perry Bush of Gloucester, a lineal descendant of Past Master Godfrey Ryder. The opening exercises also included addresses of welcome by Wor. William Johnson and the Grand Master.
Excerpts of an address given by Wor. William W. Johnson, Master of King Hiram's Lodge at the Centennial Celebration of King Hiram's Lodge, March 26, 1896:
"The Charter of King Hiram's Lodge was signed on the twelfth day of December, 1795, and from that time we justly date the birth of our Lodge. Time in its ceaseless course has rounded out more than a full century since a little company of good men and true received from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts a Charter empowering them to convene as a Masonic Lodge in the town of Provincetown. Their meeting was without doubt unnoticed even by their neighbors and friends, and it is probable that the most sanguine of our Brethren little realized how well they were building, and upon the foundation then deeply and firmly laid would arise an institution whose life of one hundred years, spent in deeds of charity, benevolence and love, we, their successors, shouId meet to celebrate; a temple which would withstand the malice, hatred, and feverish excitement of those ignorant of the rudiments of the principles upon which it was founded and upon which it was destined to stand unmoved.
"Does not the fact that Masonry has passed through the most trying ordeals, and come forth unscathed and victorious, prove that it is founded on principles as immovable as the everlasting hills; grand truths which lead man ever onward and upward. One hundred years of seed time and harvest, one hundred years of sunshine and storm have passed. What changes have been wrought in this vicinity and among its inhabitants! Our Brethren labored valiantly and well. They have gone to their reward, but their works still live, and we enjoy today the fruit of their labors, and generations of Masons yet unborn will rise up and call them blessed. The venerated charter which they received, and which has been handed down to us after a series of more than one hundred years, plainly show the effect of the effacing hand of time. It has passed through many vicissitudes. It has been in danger of loss, destruction and surrender, but it has been happily preserved from all these misfortunes, and today is carefully guarded and highly prized, not only as a most valuable momento of the past, but as the proper authority for the work of King Hiram's Lodge.
"The Grand Master who affixed his signature to our Charter was Paul Revere, the close friend of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Joseph Warren and James Otis. Paul Revere, the "Eminent Patriot," who said to his friend:
"If the British march By land or sea from the town tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North church tower, as a signal-light,
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm."
"The Deputy Grand Master was William Scollay, a public spirited citizen of Boston, whose name is given to the square fronting Tremont Row. The Senior Grand Warden was Isaiah Thomas, who took an active part in the Revoltion, and as an author and journalist did much to incite the people to resistance. The Junior Grand Warden was Joseph Laughton, who held a prominent position in the treasury department of our State. The Grand Secretary was Daniel Oliver, a prosperous merchant of Boston. They were men foremost in their day and generation, who were deeply interested in our Order, and identified with noble and unselfish achievements for the benefit of their fellow-men. These are the names which grace the charter of King Hiram's Lodge; names synonymous with honor, bravery, benevolence and patriotism; names which never die, but down through the years shine resplendent for their lives grandly lived.
"On this narrow stretch of land, extending out into the way as if bidding defiance to old ocean, and proclaiming thus far thou shalt go and no father, are erected lighthouses. Their welcome rays across the vast waste of waters warn the storm-tossed mariner of hidden rocks and treacherous shoals, and point out the pathway to a safe anchorage.
"Brethren, do you see any parallel between the lesson of our town thus situated, thus protected, thus serving mankind, and the Institution to which we belong? Masonry is built on principles sure and steadfast, whose influences for good extend far out into the sea of turmoil and strife, bid defiance to woe, misery and all things unholy. Its grand teaching, like beacon lights, dispel the darkness of our sordid, worldly ambitions, warn the traveler on life's ocean of perils which beset his course, and guide him to that peaceful harbor where the weary shall find rest.
"Masonry is a lighthouse on the shores of time, save that its welcome rays penetrate everywhere, dispelling the darkness of sorrow and despair and diffusing the brightness of joy and hope. May King Hiram's Lodge in the century upon which it is about to enter, stand firm and true as a lighthouse on the shore, whose beams shall brighten the way of many a worthy Brother and encourage him to earnest endeavor and good living."
At 5:30 P.M. the Brethren, their ladies and invited guests were conducted to the Banquet Room in Town Hall where four hundred persons were served an elegant dinner prepared by T.D. Cook and Co. caterers of Boston. Wor. William Johnson introduced Past Master Artemus P. Hannum as Toastmaster of the evening who alluded to the good works accomplished by the Lodge in its first century in the community and expressed regret that the Lodge had been somewhat neglectful in its social responsibilities. He acknowledged the presence of the many ladies in the room adding that" By their gentility and charm they have added grace to the occasion," vowing that the Lodge would provide more occasions where they would be welcomed. Speeches were tendered by the several members of Grand Lodge in attendance with music provided by the Apollo Male Quartet of Boston. Dinner concluded with the entire assembly rising at the request of Past Master Artemus Hannum and singing "Auld Lang Syne."
The assembled guests adjourned to the audience room at Town Hall where a concert was given by the Apollo Male Quartet followed by a reception for the Grand Lodge officers where the Amphion Orchestra furnished the music.
In the Abstract of Proceedings of The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for March 25, 1896, R. W. Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary concluded his report with the following;
The pleasures of the day were prolonged with a concert by the Apollo Quartet, of Boston, and a dance which was protracted until the small hours of the morning and appeared to afford the greatest gratification not only to all the young people but also to the several of the staid and sedate Grand Officers. The members of King Hiram's Lodge met the following day at 7:30 P.M. to close Lodge. The minutes of the meetings in the following months contain a sense of satisfaction with an enormously successful event and congratulations to those members who organized and assisted in planning it. Special mention was made of the services of Adams Lodge of Wellfleet and Howard Lodge of So. Yarmouth. Also to the Ladies Sewing Society of the Centre Methodist Church and to the Ladies Sewing Society of the Church of the Redeemer. The event also saw the presentation to the Lodge of Past Master Waterman Crocker's Past Master's jewel and a dress apron and sash presented by the Lodge to him in 1848. Arrangements were also made to publish the Anniversary History book, prepared by William Johnson and to purchase souvenir buttons. These buttons have a picture of George Washington with King Hiram's Lodge written on it.
THE CIVIL WAR YEARS
War always brought ruin to Provincetown. Mary Heaton Vorse O'Brien observed that if one were to chart Provincetown's prosperity that in each war there was a profound dip. The Civil War years 1860 through 1866 proved no different. Few names appear on Navy rosters during the War of 1812 because Provincetown's seamen were all privateering. The war between the states was a different story. Although there were a few instances of sympathy with the abolishinest movement, Provincetown's mariners were for the most part economically motivated. The Confederate cruisers were a threat to the prosperity they had worked so hard to achieve and nearly laid waste the Northern whaling fleet.
Provincetown entered the war early when its harbor again figured prominently in yet another historical incident, the conclusion of what was to become known as the Trent Affair.
On November 9, 1861, in an attempt to prevent a trade alliance between the Confederate states, Great Britain and France, the Union Naval ship San Jacinto intercepted and boarded the British mail steamer Trent, en route to London. Confederate secretaries John M. Mason and James Slidell, well known in the Northern states as former United States senators and leading secessionists, were arrested and imprisoned at Fort Warren on George's Island, Boston Harbor. The reaction from Britain's Parliament was outrage, accusing the United States of breaking International Law, detaining a neutral countries ship and removing passengers. The War of 1812 had been fought over similar incidents. The British Navy and troops on the Canadian border were put on alert, and they demanded the immediate release of Mason and Slidell. President Abraham Lincoln, wishing to avoid a confrontation, decided to accede to the British demand and ordered the release of the two secretaries. On December 26th Mason and Slidell were transported to Provincetown Harbor and released to the British naval ship Rinaldo. The storm that arose the night the Rinaldo left anchor became affectionately referred to in Provincetown as the Mason and Slidell Gale.
From the log of the bark Benjamin Tucker September 14, 1862, member Amos Whorf, Master;
"Middle part at 11:15 a.m. saw a large steamer pass to the leeward and she got on the quarter and then wore round and gave chase to us. At 1 o'clock, fired a gun and then we hove to. At 2 o'clock sent a boat to us and made us a prize to the Confederate steamer Alabama. At 6 o'clock sent us all on board of the steamer with our clothes and boats and then he burnt the ship and put us all in irons from the Captain on down to the cook."
The number of applications for membership in the Lodge soared through the years 1860-63 as was the case throughout Massachusetts. In Province-town, men leaving for the war and captains in command of departing vessels were receiving their degrees at Special Communications. Some members received two and even all three degrees the same evening under dispensation. Freemasonry in the southern states was spared most of the anti-masonic sentiment caused by the Morgan Affair. In fact, it was a very strong influence in Southern political life. The rush for membership in Masonic bodies in the Northern states through the Civil War was precipitated by the belief that membership would afford some kind of protection in the event of capture. Sixty days after the first shots had been fired at Fort Sumter from Washington, D.C. the Grand Master of the Knights Templars of the United States issued an address to the knights of his command, being scattered over both sections of a now divided country, in which he "implored each one to exert all means at their command to avert the dread calamity and prevent the shedding of fraternal blood." A month later the officers of the Grand Lodge of Tenessee made a similar invocation for peace. The Grand Masters of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana united in a similar attempt at reconciliation, concluding their appeal by inviting a Masonic convention, which should recommend some plan to heal the wounds of the country. In South Carolina, reproached as being the birthplace of the war, the Grand Master of Masons addressed an encyclical letter to the brothers there, in which he charged them "to suffer not the disputes and broils of men to impair the harmony which has existed and will exist throughout the fraternity. Let us not hear among us that there is war; that strife and dissension prevail. As Masons, it concerns us not." In Charleston, prisoners of war who were Masons were relieved on their parole by officers of the guard, and carried from the prison to the lodge rooms to participate in lodge functions. Brother Dr. Albert G. Mackey wrote that "he never approached a Mason or a lodge in Charleston, with a petition for the relief of a destitute, suffering prisoner of war, without receiving the kindest response and most liberal donation. If there was war without there was always peace within our lodges." One member who found his Masonic connections valuable was James Dillingham, Captain of the clipper ship White Squall. On a return voyage from Penang, China, Dillingham had rounded the Cape of Good Hope when he sighted the bark Tuscaloosa which came alongside, hoisting the Stars and Stripes in response to Dillingham's flag. Suddenly a row of portholes in the side were opened, the Confederate flag was raised and the White Squall was ordered to heave to. Instead, Dillingham delayed long enough to get out from under the lee of the Tuscaloosa and took off with all the clipper ships canvas drawing. The Tuscaloosa, despite its auxiliary steam power, could not catch her. Dillingham's next encounter with the Tuscaloosa was not as successful. In attempting his escape the wind failed at a crucial moment and he was captured. James Dillingham and his captor were both Masons, which accounts for the latter's courtesy in handing him a receipt for 1500.00 for his navigation instruments. After the war, when Dillingham turned this document in, it was honored in full.
King Hiram's Lodge member Captain Joseph W. Tuck commanded the schooner Frank Bunchinia in 1859 before entering the U.S. Navy as a sailing master on August 14, 1861. He was assigned to the U. S. S. Colorado and later placed in command of the Commodore McDonahue. Tuck was present at the bombardments of Fort Sumter and at Stone Inlet during the war. He assisted in the capture of the Confederate cruiser John C. Calhoun (formerly the Cuba) off South Pass, Mississippi and was put on board as prize master. Tuck must have had a great deal of satisfaction taking this ship, as it avenged the capture and burning of seven Provincetown whale ships during the Civil War. The schooners John Adams, Panama and Mermaid were lost to the Calhoun in 1861. All three were captured within a period of two hours 90 miles south of Beiize. The vessels with their cargos of 215 barrels of sperm oil were burned and the 63 men composing their crews were left at New Orleans without any means to return home. Members Joseph Caton and George Powe commanded the John Adams and Panama. The Courser, Rienzi and the Weather Gage were taken by the C. S. S. Alabama in 1862. They were commanded by members Moses Young, Joseph Goodspeed and Samuel Small. The Weather Gage was trapped with seven other vessels all of which were attracted by the burning of the Ocean Rover of Mattapoisett. In attempting to rescue shipmates they believed to be in peril, they were captured and burned. Joseph Tuck returned to his home in Provincetown on Nickerson Place at the end of the war and died in 1902 at 77 years old.
Captain Stephen Nickerson, a member of King Hiram's Lodge, is said to have been one of the wealthiest men in Provincetown when "vessel property was good property." He owned the 188 ton bark Spartan engaging another member of the Lodge, Josiah Cook, as captain. His home at 54 Commercial Street is known as the 1807 House. During the Civil War his home was one of four houses in Provincetown functioning as part of the Underground Railway System. Black slaves escaping north to Canada found food and shelter at these stations during the day. At night they were boarded onto fishing schooners leaving Provincetown for the Grand Banks and the Maritime Provinces.
Provincetown provided the Union 300 men during the Civil War, 57 men more than her quota. The members of King Hiram's Lodge were largely represented in that number.
Commodore Farragut made an official report mentioning member Josiah C. Freeman, who was lost aboard the Cumberland at the battle at James River off Newport News, VA between the Rebel ram Merrimac and the Union fleet. The J. C. Freeman Post 55 G. A. R. chartered 1884 in Provincetown was named in his memory.
Member Seth Smith, attached to the 22nd Army Corps, was at the defense of Washington during the three days fight with Confederate General Early in his attack upon the forts.
Member Paron Young was a Postmaster in Provincetown and the father of William H. Young, Master of the Lodge from 1894 -1896. He entered the war as a private in Company I, 3'd Mass. Calvary in 1864. During the battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia, part of the "Wilderness" fight, he was shot throught the throat. He received one of the first successful thracheotomies performed during the war.
Member James R. Atwood was serving on board the Union frigate Congress during the battle with the Rebel ram Merrimac off Newport News, VA when the Congress was lost.
Member Byley Lyford, a house carpenter enlisted in Company K, 35'th Reg. Mass. Infantry in August 1862. He was at the battle of South Mountain, September 14, 1862 and was wounded by a bullet in the arm at Anitetam on September 17, 1862.
James Cashaman received a gunshot wound at the battle of Winchester, VA and was keeper of Race Point Lighthouse for fifteen years.
Member John Rosenthal was born in Alsace-Lorraine, under the French government in 1833. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1854 and was assigned to the 5th Regiment Reg. Infantry. He was sent to Texas, engaged against the Comanche and Lepreau Indians, and in 1857 to Florida under General Harney against the Seminole Indians and Chief Billy Bowlegs. In the fall of 1857 he was transferred to Utah against Brigham Young and the Mormons. In 1859 Rosenthal served under General Canby in New Mexico against the Navajo Indians. In 1864 he was placed in charge of the batteries built at Long Point, Provincetown Harbor where he was stationed for twelve years. The forts became referred to in Provincetown after a time as Fort Defenseless and Fort Useless. Through 1876 and 1885 he was stationed in New Mexico, North Dakota and at Fort Preble, Maine. He retired to Provincetown in 1885, becoming secretary of the Nickerson Oil Works at Herring Cove. John Rosenthal served as Tyler of King Hiram's Lodge for 15 years and presented the Lodge with a sterling silver square and compasses in 1875. His son, Irving L. Rosenthal, became Master of King Hiram's Lodge in 1899. A noted photographer, Irving Rosenthal's photographs of turn of the century Province-town scenes, residents and shipwrecks can now be found included in a number of historical and reference books written about Cape Cod.
At the Regular Communication of King Hiram's Lodge on December 3rd 1865 a petition was read from Masons in Wellfleet. It asked the Officers and members of King Hiram's Lodge to recommend to the Grand Lodge that they be able to establish a Lodge in that town. Adams Lodge had closed during the Morgan excitement. The recommendation was unanimously adopted by the membership and Adams Lodge re-opened in 1866. At the same meeting Joseph P. Johnson also made a motion that 125.00 be spent to procure a Master's carpet, Officers jewels and furniture to be presented to them. The motion was accepted and Capt. Elijah Smith, the presiding Master of King Hiram's Lodge, was appointed to purchase the same. Elijah Smith, a former Barnstable whaling captain, was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Cape Cod in 1854. In his book Provincetown, published in 1898, Herman Jennings wrote that "Mr. Smith, by his kind and genial manner, won many friends and did much to make the bank poular in the community." Elijah Smith served as Master of King Hiram's Lodge in 1865 and 1866. He died in Provincetown the following year.
In concluding the last section we arrive at a relatively contemporary period in the Lodge's history. As in the past, Provincetown and the members of the Lodge continue to react to the sweeping winds of change that surround us. The current membership stands at one hundred two members, not very different from the numbers in the 1850's or 1890's.
Significantly, the membership, along with a dedicated core group of local residents, is still largely comprised of Brothers who live in faraway locations. 'n the past the Lodge was sustained by members who were far away on voyages in pursuit of the whale. Presently the membership is comprised of men who have relocated through the course of their businesses or have affiliated from other Lodges. In both instances they retained their membership in King Hiram's Lodge for its historical heritage and the friendships they cultivated during their time in Provincetown.
Throughout its two hundred year history, the members of King Hiram's Lodge have played their part on the historical stage that Provincetown is. Their ships traveled to China and to the North Pole. Their names have appeared on petitions to United States Presidents and they have acted as toastmasters to others. They guided Provincetown from British occupation in the eighteenth century to having the highest per-capita income in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts one hundred years later. These same members have been depicted in works of art and literature which will permanently live on, and created a movement in Provincetown that changed American art sensibilities for the next hundred years.
This year, the members of King Hiram's Lodge celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of their Lodge. They gather together to perpetuate the memory of the founders of a time honored institution. They offer up thanksgiving for the heritage that has been bequeathed to them and rededicate themselves to a future of service and prosperity to the Lodge and to the community. With these ideals, the Lodge begins it third century and will continue to meet every first Monday.
PAST MASTERS OF KING HIRAM'S LODGE
John Young 1766-1828
Master 1796 - 1799
Shipwright John Young was born in Nova Scotia and chartered Old Colony Lodge Hanover, Massachusetts in 1792. He was their first Master but left Hanover in 1793 after the death of his first wife. Young applied for the dispensation to charter King Hiram's Lodge and was Master until he moved to Wellfleet in 1799 where he attended Adams Lodge. John Young was paid travelling expenses for each meeting, and if we look back at the situation of the roads in that day, we can well imagine that he deserved whatever he was paid.
Jonathan Cook 1753- 1835
Master 1800-1801, 1805-1807
Ship Owner Owner of the Polly, the first Boston to Provincetown packet ship. His Past Master's Jewel is in the Collection of the Museum Of Our National Heritage in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Allen Hinckley 1769-1861
Carpenter. Built the first Lodge building and Provincetown's first schoolhouse.
Henry Paine 1763-1841
Master Mariner. Born in Truro; he demitted in 1808 to join Adams Lodge in Wellfleet. Died in the October Gale of 1841 when fifty seven men from Truro died on seven vessels.
Orasmus Thomas 1771-1822
Master 1807-1810, 1817-1821
Town Clerk; Born in Brookfield, Massachusetts, as Town Clerk in 1808, he drew up and signed a petition to President Thomas Jefferson praying him to lift the shipping embargo. Thomas served as Provincetown's third postmaster in 1816.
Ephraim Blanchard 1778-1841
Cabinetmaker. Born in Billerica, Massachusetts he received his Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft degrees in Benevolent Lodge No. 7 in Amherst, New Hampshire. Blanchard served as Master of Benevolent Lodge in 1814 and again in 1819 when it moved to Milford, New Hampshire. He was a Selectman of Amherst in 1836. Blanchard was raised in King Hiram's Lodge January 27, 1805.
Daniel Pease 1770-1834
Postmaster. Daniel Pease was born in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard. He joined the Lodge in 1801 and owned Pease's Tavern. He was appointed Provincetown's first Postmaster on January 1, 1801. Pease and his family died on board ship while en route from New York of cholera in 1834.
Simeon Conant 1770-1849
Salt Manufacturer. Conant joined the Lodge in 1801 and owned many of the salt works that lined Provincetown's waterfront after the War of 1812.
Joseph Sawtelle 1778-1834
Master Mariner. Sawtelle was born in Phillipston, Massachusetts. He was lost at sea with all hands in 1832 while commanding the brigantine Ocean.
Henry Willard 1802-1855
Physician. Henry Willard was born in Holden, Massachusetts joining the Lodge in 1825. He was Warden of the old Christian Union Church of Provincetown.
Jonathan Cook, Jr. 1780-1862
Master Mariner/ Shipowner. The son of second Master Jonathan Cook, he joined the Lodge in 1801. Portraits of Cook and his wife Sabra are on display at the Provincetown Pilgrim Monument Museum. Resolutions adopted by the Lodge on his death in 1862 were published in the Provincetown Banner newspaper. A framed copy of these resolutions is in the Lodge's Collection along with his Past Master's apron.
Barzallai Higgins (d. 1852)
Master 1831-1834, 1847-1848
Master Mariner. Served as Master during the troubled times during the Morgan Affair and again when the Lodge resumed its resolve and measured up to the continuing challenge of Masonic traditions. Son of Zachariah Higgins of Provincetown. Higgins commanded the whaling schooner Council in 1850. He was lost at sea with four other men when the steamship William Penn collided and sank his ship, the Belle Isle, in 1852. The Lodge voted Jan. 3, 1853 to have the Past Master's emblem engraved on his tomb stone in the Hamilton Cemetery, Provincetown.
Waterman Crocker 1804-1866
Carpenter. Crocker was probably solely responsible for holding the Lodge together during the Morgan Affair. Lodge meetings were held secretly in members' homes and he is said to have carried the Lodge's charter in his pocket. He was born in Barnstable, joined the Lodge in 1826 and was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Provincetown District in 1848. His portrait, Master Mason's certificate and District Deputy's commission hang in the Lodge's Collection.
Godfrey Ryder 1797-1876
Notary Public. A particularly dynamic individual in the Lodge's and Provincetown's history he was motivating force in building the current Lodge building. He was also responsible for District Deputy Grand Master Jeremiah Stones' commission being revoked by Grand Lodge. Ryder was one of the citizens of Provincetown that donated High Pole Hill to the town. It was the site of the old Town Hall which mysteriously burned in 1877 and became the site of the Pilgrim Memorial Monument in 1907. The current Provincetown Town Hall stands on the site of the Ryder Homestead which was donated to the town by his son Rev. William Henry Ryder in 1885. Godfrey Ryder's grave is marked in the old section of Provincetown cemetary by the Masonic symbol of a broken column.
Joseph Prosper Johnson 1814-1891
Master 1851-1854, 1859-1864
Auctioneer. The Hon. Joseph P. Johnson was an outstanding business and civic leader in Provincetown. He was born in Essex, Ct. and came to Provincetown at age 17 to apprentice himself to his brother Timothy P. Johnson to learn the sail making business. At 21 he went into business for himself and formed Hilliard, Johnson and Co., General Grocers and Ship Chandlers and later Johnson and Cook, Vessel Outfitters and Packers. He joined the Lodge in 1848 and served three years as District Deputy Grand Master. Johnson was a director of Provincetown's first bank, Town Moderator for twenty years, Selectman for eight years, the House of Representatives for seven terms and a State Senator for two terms. He purchased the town's first fire engine in 1836 and donated the clock in the Town Hall tower in 1885. Johnson was a member of Marine Lodge I. O. O. F., a Knights Templar and a Royal and Select Master. He was the first Past Master to serve as High Priest of the Joseph Warren Royal Arch Chapter which began meeting at the Lodge in 1870.
He formed the Cape Cod Wrecking and Salvage Company with Isaiah Gifford of Provincetown and went to South Carolina to salvage shipwrecks after the Civil War. The Lodge archives are filled with Johnson's accounts of early Provincetown. When he arrived in Provincetown he said there were only three trees, which were willows. He said that they were propagated from slips brought back by Lodge member Stephen Atkins from Napoleon Bonaparte's grave at St. Helena. Before the wharves were built, the Grand Bankers, after discharging their catch, would be hauled into holes dug on shore, to remain until the following spring. There is also an account containing the astonishment of the builders of the town's first fire engine when he ordered wheels with six inch wide rims to keep them from burying in the sand. A portrait of Johnson wearing his Past Master's jewel is in the Lodge room. His Past Master's jewel, apron and his gold headed cane are in the Lodge's collection.
Peter F.Dolliver 1816-1887
Boston Harbor Pilot. Dolliver was a charter member of Zetland Lodge in Boston before joining King Hiram's. He demitted from the Lodge in 1868.
Lewis Lombard Sellew 1822-1897
Builder. Sellew was born in Truro and joined the Lodge in 1848. His Past Master's apron and jewel were recovered by the Lodge in 1994.
Reuben Frank Cook 1828-1896
Dentist. Cook joined the Lodge in 1853. He retired to Cleveland, Ohio after his term and died in 1896.
Elijah Smith 1816-1867
Master Mariner. Elijah Smith was born in Barnstable. A retired whaling captain, he joined the Lodge in 1857. He was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Provincetown in 1854. That bank later became the First National Bank of Cape Cod.
John W. Atwood 1841-1913
Merchant. During Atwood's term as Master the Lodge moved to its present location. He joined the Lodge in 1863 and served as District Deputy Grand Master of the Provincetown district from 1873 -1875. His Master Mason's certificate and District Deputy's commission are in the Lodge's Collection.
Joseph S. Atwood 1833-1909
Lumber Dealer/Tax Collector. Atwood was born in Orrington, Maine. He joined the Lodge in 1863.
Ephraim Parker Cook 1828-1895
Master Mariner / Wellfleet Board of Selectmen. Cook was born in Cohasset and joined the Lodge in 1865. A part of the Cook family's whaling dynasty in Provincetown he commanded the whaling bark Parker Cook in 1850. During this voyage a sperm whale nearly sank his ship and seriously injured the boat steerer.
John M. Crocker 1845-1917
Physician. Crocker purchased the Barnstable Patriot and founded the Provincetown Advocate newspapers in 1869. His editorials in support of the Old Colony Railroad contributed to its extension to Provincetown in 1871. He demitted from the Lodge in 1887 to join Mizpah Lodge in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Artemus Paine Hannum 1847-1921
Sailmaker, Union Wharf, Provincetown. Artemus P. Hannum was born in Provincetown and joined the Lodge in 1872. He was the son of Charles A. Hannum, an active member of King Hiram's who served as Marshal and Chaplain for several terms. Artemus Hannum proved to be a dynamic personality in the Lodge as well as the community. He married J. Ella Farwell, the widow of Lodge member Joseph M. Farwell who was lost at sea while in command of the schooner Mary G. Curran. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Provincetown district in 1886 and was the author of several Resolutions adopted by the Lodge that are contained in the records.
Hannum was also instrumental in merging the Pilgrim Club of Brewster into what became the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Monument Association. He was the toastmaster to two United States Presidents on the occasions of the laying of the cornerstone of the Pilgrim Memorial Monument and again at its dedication on August 5, 1910. During the cornerstone ceremonies on August 20, 1907 Hannum, President Theodore Roosevelt, Governor Curtis Guild of Massachusetts and M. W. J. Albert Blake, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, were handed the trowel used to spread the cement on the foundation beneath the cornerstone. Hannum was presented this trowel after the dedication of the monument and it is in the Lodge's collection. During the dedication of the Monument in 1910, Hannum sat at the right side of President William H. Taft and acted as toastmaster at a banquet for six hundred people held at Provincetown Town Hall. He also gave one of the addresses given at the Lodge's Centennial. His speech was reprinted in its entirety in the Boston Traveler newspaper on May 26, 1896.
Active in civic affairs he was appointed clerk of Franklin Engine No. 2 in 1890 and was on the School Committee for several years. During the 300'th Anniversary of the Pilgrims landfall at Provincetown in 1920 Hannum was on the Tercentenary Committee. He was one of the first proponents of a stairway from the top of Monument Hill leading to the harbor. The concept that was submitted is on a mural that can be seen in the Provincetown Town Hall. His 26 foot sailboat the Omar, purchased in 1907, can still be seem sailing in Provincetown harbor. The boat was restored by Joe Andrews and Flyer Santos in 1940 and renamed the Ranger, after the 1937 America's Cup winner. Following his death on October 11, 1921 his daughter Elizabeth presented the Lodge his Past Masters Apron and Jewel.
Moses Nickerson Gifford 1848-1918
President, First National Bank, Provincetown. Moses Nickerson was born in Provincetown and succeeded Past Master Elijah Smith as cashier of the First National Bank and was appointed its president in 1888. He joined the Lodge in 1872 and was the author of several Resolutions contained in the archives. Nickerson was an organizer of the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Monument Association and was elected its first President. When the Provincetown Art Association was formed in the Nautilus Club Room on August 22, 1914 Gifford was elected Corresponding Secretary. The Art Association's minutes state that when Mr. Gifford gave one dollar to the Treasurer he became the first dues paying member, in fact his name heads the membership list. Gifford arranged to have many of the monthly meetings of the association held in the Lodge where lectures were given. These lectures with lantern slides came ready made from the American Federation of Arts and various members would read them. Lodge member Irving J. Small gave a lecture on "Contemporary Art Movements in America" and in 1916 Lodge members Irving T. McDonald and George Elmer Browne read lectures entitled "Art of the Mode" and "The Spanish Painter Sorolla." The Masonic Hall was also a proposed site for the Association's 1915 exhibit.
Frederick Augustus Hodson Gifford 1846-1900
Pharmacist. F. A. H. Gifford was born in Provincetown and joined the Lodge in 1873. He operated his business in the Gifford Block in Provincetown until his death on May 15, 1900. He served as High Priest of the Joseph Warren Royal Arch Chapter for 11 years and was a member of the Bay State Commandery in Brockton. His Past Master's jewel is in the Lodge's collection.
Joseph Hersey Dyer 1851-1919
Secretary / Treasurer, Seaman's Savings Bank, Provincetown. J. Hersey Dyer served as Secretary and Treasurer of Seaman's Savings Bank for 17 years when he took the position of Assistant Cashier of the First National Bank of Provincetown following the death of Reuben Swift in 1889. Dyer also replaced Swift as Secretary of the Lodge in 1887, a position he held until 1898. He joined the Lodge in 1873 and presented them a setting maul in June, 1875. Zetland Lodge of Boston presented him a engraved silver water pitcher which is in the Lodge's collection.
Harvey Osborne Sparrow 1831-1919
Stone Cutter. Sparrow was born in Orleans and joined the Lodge in 1864. In 1876 he presented the Lodge a tin box to hold its Charter. At the Dedication of the Cornerstone of the Pilgrim Memorial Monument in 1907 he provided the copper box that was placed inside the cornerstone. The box had the Masonic Square and Compasses engraved on it with the words DEO PATRIBUSQUE. He died in Provincetown May 2, 1919.
Thomas Lowe 1831-1897
Lifesaving Service. Thomas Lowe was born in Nova Scotia August 26, 1831. He joined the Union Army in 1862 and was discharged as a Quartermaster Sergeant in 1865. Lowe was the keeper at Wood End Light when he joined the Lodge in 1875.
Hezekiah Paine Hughes 1839-1919
Merchant. H. P. Hughes was born in North Truro and enlisted in the Union Army in 1862. He was assigned to Company A, thirty-third Regular Mass. Infantry, then transferred to Company I, Third Cavalry where he was promoted to second Lieutenant. Hughes was discharged in 1865 and operated a dry goods business in Provincetown. He joined the Lodge in 1877.
In March of 1883 Hughes opened his dry goods and fancy goods store in one of the two stores located on the first floor of the Lodge. Known as the Masonic Block the store had formerly been occupied by member J.F. Tobey until he relocated to Harwich. The second store was occupied by A. Louis Putnam, Jeweler and Watchmaker, who served as Treasurer of the Lodge.
Lewis Higgins Baker 1841-1905
Artist / Ferrotypist. Lewis Baker was born in Truro and joined the Lodge in 1881. Trained as an artist he specialized in "tin type" photography, a popular process in the late 19th century, where a photograph was made directly on an iron plate then varnished with a thin sensitized film. He had an office located in the Gifford Block. He died in Provincetown January 8, 1905.
James Atkins Small 1840-1906
Ship's Chandler. James A. Small was born in North Truro February 14, 1840. He commanded Lodge member Charles A. Hannum's 71 ton schooner Elbridge G. Gerry on a whaling voyage in 1862 before he joined the Union Army. After the war he operated a ship's chandlery and outfitted fishing and whaling vessels from Union Wharf in Provincetown. He joined the Lodge in 1874 and died April 24, 1906. His Past Master's Jewel is in the Lodge's collection.
Andrew Thomas Williams 1836-1920
Ship Owner / Outfitter. A.T. Williams was born in Provincetown March 18, 1836. He was the son of Lodge member Andrew Williams, Captain of the schooner James Porter, who was lost with all hands in the gale of October 23, 1858 during a voyage on the Grand Banks. In 1879 Williams purchased Union Wharf built and formerly owned by Lodge members Jonathan, Thomas and Stephen Nickerson and Samuel Soper. The wharf had been built in 1831 and was extended in 1855. A self contained community the wharf had stores to outfit vessels for fishing and whaling voyages, a blacksmith shop, and stores providing fruits, confections and tobaccos.
Following the Civil War and into the 1890's Williams operated Cetacean, G. R. Lanfair, Golden Eagle, Kit Carson and Waldron Holmes. He joined the Lodge in 1882 and on the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays made sure that dinner was sent to all the widows of Lodge members and to the families of those members who were away at sea. He served as High Priest of the Joseph Warren Royal Arch Chapter and died in Provincetown January 29, 1920.
Jerome Sands Smith 1850-1922
Master 1890 -1891
Butcher. Jerome Smith was born in Provincetown November 19, 1850 the son of Samuel Sands Smith who became the proprietor of the Pilgrim House hotel in Provincetown in 1873. He joined the Lodge in 1882. During his term as Master he officiated at the funeral of Past Master Joseph P. Johnson, established a library in the Lodge and organized a fund to be used for the Lodge's One Hundredth Anniversary in 1895. Resolutions were also adopted by the Lodge, and approved by the Grand Lodge, in 1891 establishing that the Lodge actually held Regular Communications during the anti-masonic excitement; that 957 communications had been held since the date of the Lodge's charter and that in the future the communications were to be dated and numbered. Jerome Smith died in Provincetown November 6, 1922.
George W. Holbrook 1842-1922
Master 1892 - 1894
Old Colony Railroad Conductor. George Holbrook arrived in Provincetown with the advent of the Old Colony Railroad. He had been raised in Massachusetts Lodge in Boston and joined King Hiram's in 1887. Holbrook served in the Union Army in Company C, Massachusetts Infantry. He re-enlisted and was discharged a sergeant. As a conductor on the Old Colony Railroad he made the trip from Provincetown to Boston every day, sometimes returning late in the evening. He was remembered in the Lodge as being well liked and good looking, living in a large home on Carver Street. Holbrook demitted from the Lodge in 1919 and died March 23, 1922.
William Wallace Johnson 1857-1916
Master 1894- 1896
Old Colony Railroad Mail Clerk. William W. Johnson was the son of Hon. Joseph P. Johnson and was born in Provincetown May 18, 1857. He joined the Lodge the year after his father died in 1892. A skilled orator and prolific speech writer he was well chosen to Preside as Lodge Historian and Master during the events observing the Centennial Anniversary of the Lodge in 1895 and 1896. Copies of the addresses he made on these occasions are contained in the Lodge archives as well as the library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in Boston. Johnson lived in his 'Others home on Masonic Place until his occupation with the Old Colony Railroad relocated him to Taunton, Massachusetts. He died there on February 15, 1916. His Past Master's jewel as well as several other pieces relating to the Lodge's Centennial Celebration are in the Lodge's collection.
William Henry Young 1871-1942
Master 1897 - 1898
President / Trustee Seamen's Savings Bank, Provincetown. William H. Young was born in Provincetown January 18, 1871 the son of Lodge member Paron C. Young. He was the cousin of William W. Johnson and served as Senior Warden of the Lodge during the Centennial Celebration in 1895. Young served as President and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Seamen's Savings Bank for 50 years and founded the William H. Young Insurance Company in Provincetown in 1901. Along with Past Master Moses N. Gifford he is referred to by artist Ross Moffett, in his book "Art In Narrow Streets" as one of the fathers of the Provincetown Art Association. He was elected President at the Associations first meeting in 1914 and served until 1936. During this period Young saw the Association through building its current exhibition space and provided the skill and political sense required for the Association to overcome the convulsions leading to division between the modern and conservative schools of art in the late 1920's and early 30's. Among his friends were the artists Charles W. Hawthorne, Gerrit A. Beneker, William and Marguerite Zorach, Ethel Mars and Blanche Lazzell. He also had a close association with Lodge members Harry Noel Campbell and E. Ambrose Webster who directed two schools of art in Provincetown. The socials and benefits for artists and the Association at his home in Truro were lavish events, well looked forward to and well remembered in Provincetown. Young joined the Lodge in 1892 and was appointed District Deputy Grand Master in 1905. He presented the Lodge the Rough and Perfect Ashlers in the East of the Lodge.
In 1929 on the occasion of Young's 40th year in the banking business the New Bedford Standard Times printed the following;
"No one man has done more to promote the life of the village in its various relations to banking, business, art, religion, lodge activities, the fishing industry and the growing tourist business of recent years. Seldom has one Province-town citizen done so much so well."
William Young died after a long illness on August 20, 1942. In 1995 on behalf of his daughter Josephine Young McKenna, who is 92 years old, Lodge member Reggie Cabral presented his District Deputy's Jewel to the Lodge. The Lewis A. Young Post V.F.W. and Lewis A. Young Square in Provincetown are named for his son William who died of influenza in France during World War I.
Irving Leopold Rosenthal 1869-1933
Master 1899 - 1900
Photographer. Irving Rosenthal joined the Lodge in 1892 and was the second of three generations represented in King Hiram's Lodge. His father John Rosenthal was a Civil War veteran and served as the Lodge Tyler for 15 years. His son John Fisher Rosenthal joined the Lodge in 1922 and is remembered in Provincetown the founder and operator of the Corner Gift Shop and was active in Civil Defense and the Red Cross Organization. Irving Rosenthal was a brilliant Provincetown photographer. At one time he was partners with William Nickerson in the building next to the Post Office. His turn of the century portraits and street scenes of Provincetown are contained in nearly every book published on the history of Provincetown and Cape Cod. His photographs of the whaling industry, whaling ships and shipwrecks on the Cape have been published in Ross Moffett's "Art in Narrow Streets" and in works by Cape Cod authors Frank Shea, Henry Kittredge, Dr. Leona Egan, Howard Mitcham and J. Dalton. At one time several of these scenes were available as post cards printed in Germany and distributed by the Provincetown Advocate. The Lodge is fortunate to have a number of original Rosenthal photographs taken from glass plate negatives. The Heritage Museum of Provincetown has a collection of 500 glass plate negatives of Rosenthal photographs some of which have never been seen publicly. Irving Rosenthal died in Provincetown November 11, 1933.
Daniel Murdock MacKay 1858-1924
Merchant. Daniel Mackay was born in Goodrich, Ontario, Canada on September 4, 1858 and joined the Lodge in 1893. He raised his son, Leslie Murdoch MacKay, to Master Mason on April 3, 1916. Leslie MacKay traveled widely in the service of the United States government, ultimately becoming director of the finance division of the Atomic Energy Commission. He was awarded a Veterans' Medal by the Lodge in 1966. Daniel MacKay died in Provincetown September 30, 1924.
Simeon Conant Smith 1845-1921
Merchant. Simeon C. Smith was born in Provincetown August 10, 1845 and joined the Lodge in 1866. He was in the grocery and provision business. In 1876 he occupied a building on Commercial Street that had at one time been the school house at the foot of Town Hill and would later be occupied by John D. Adams the founder of Adams Pharmacy. In 1879 during the Butler campaign Smith leased out part of his building for use as a reading room and Butler headquarters. He died in Provincetown March 24, 1921. His portrait and Past Master's Jewel are in the Lodge's collection.
John Wells Small 1850-1929
Master Mariner. John W. Small was born in Provincetown July 12, 1850 and joined the Lodge in 1874. Formerly engaged in the whaling industry he commanded vessels in the Grand Banks and West Indies trade,
On October 19, 1925 R. W. John Kendrick presented Small the Henry Price Medal. He died in Provincetown June 15, 1929.
Henry Anthony Wippich 1868-1918
Jeweler. Henry A. Wippich was born in Salem, Massachusetts May 10, 1868 and joined the Lodge in 1901. A respected jeweler and watchmaker in Provincetown he replaced A.L. Putnam as a tenant in one of the stores located in the first floor of the Lodge building. He died in Provincetown September 19, 1918.
George William Cashman 1853-1933
Master Mariner. George Cashman was born in Provincetown August 4, 1853 and joined the Lodge in 1879. He commanded vessels for Lodge member William Matheson in the West Indies trade. He died in Provincetown January 27, 1933.
William John Maclntyre 1869-1914
Steamboat Clerk. William Maclntyre was born in Provincetown July 11, 1869 and joined the Lodge in 1898. He was a Steamboat clerk for the Boston to Provincetown passenger ship Steel Pier. He was the author of a moving Resolution adopted by the Lodge in May of 1912 dedicated to the memory of the passengers and reflecting on the loss of life when the R. M. S. Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic on April 14, 1912. He died February 20, 1914.
William Wilson Taylor 1874-1954
Master Mariner. William Taylor was born in Provincetown August 14, 1874 and joined the Lodge in 1899. He was the son of a Lodge member, Captain and ship owner Thomas S. Taylor. He was a master mariner in his father's employ at the end of whaling in Provincetown. With the exception of vessels owned by Lodge members George O. Knowles and John A. Cook his whaling schooner Rising Sun was one of the last to leave Provincetown. A Rosenthal photograph of the Rising Sun under sail is one of the more dramatic pieces in the collection of the Heritage Museum in Provincetown. The Lodge presented Taylor a Veteran's Medal in 1949. He died July 27, 1954.
Emmanuel Aloysius De Wager 1878-1953
Dentist. Emmanuel De Wager was born at Graciosa, Azores on September 6, 1878 and was the first Master of the Lodge to be born outside of North America. This was possibly a reflection of the residential and cultural profile of Provincetown where whaling and fishing vessels once commanded by old yankee captains were now owned and complimented with crews of Portuguese citizens. They had been arriving aboard whaling ships and settling in Provincetown since the 1850's enriching the town with a distinctly European flair. De Wager married Beatrice de Costa the wealthy daughter of a whaling captain. He graduated medical school and joined the Lodge in 1910. De Wager was enormously popular in Provincetown and was a local dentist for many years. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Provincetown District in 1926. He died July 13, 1953 and was buried in one of the crypts in the old section of Provincetown cemetery. His Past Master's and District Deputies jewels are in the Lodge's collection.
Fred Harvey Dearborn 1876-1950
News dealer. Fred Dearborn was born in Provincetown March 7, 1876 and joined the Lodge in 1911. He presented the Lodge a gavel in 1922 which is in the Lodge's collection. He died in Provincetown October 15, 1950.
Charles Nickerson Rogers 1880-1945
Postal Carrier. Charles Rogers was born in Provincetown March 1, 1880 and joined the Lodge in 1912. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Provincetown district in 1922-1923. He died August 23, 1945.
John Peter Silva 1872-1947
Fish Dealer. John Silva was born in Provincetown August 24, 1872 and joined the Lodge in 1913. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Provincetown District in 1944 and was awarded the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal. He served as Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction after it was organized in 1935 and served through 1937. His occupation as an agent for a fish company enabled him on occasion to send large quantities of fish to the residents at the newly opened Masonic Home in Charlton, Massachusetts. He died June 5, 1947. The Lodge has a large collection of his jewels and certificates.
Lloyd Hale Higgins 1892-1953
Merchant. Lloyd Higgins was born in Wellfieet on February 22, 1892 and joined the Lodge in 1916. He and his brother Merle founded the Higgins Lumber Company in Provincetown. He served as Secretary of the Lodge from 1942 until his death on November 15, 1953 during a particularly difficult period in the Lodge's history when membership fell to its lowest point.
Charles Harold Scudder 1887-1970
Merchant. Charles Scudder was born in Brockton, Mass. on September 28, 1887, joined the Lodge in 1919 and died December 29, 1970 at age 83. He held the Veteran's Medal which was presented to him in 1969.
Lawrence Norman MacKenzie 1879-1955
Manager, L. Pickert & Son Fish Company, Provincetown. Lawrence MacKenzie was born in Provincetown July 13, 1879, joined the Lodge in 1918 and died January 2, 1955.
George Fillmore Miller 1861-1946
Merchant. George F. Miller was born in Provincetown December 14,1861 and joined the Lodge in 1912. He was a hardware merchant and worked for Lodge member Benjamin H. Dyer who had already established a paint and hardware store. In 1887 he married Ada Dyer, Benjamin's daughter. Together with his brother Francis S. Miller he formed the present B.H. Dyer& Company.
Miller was a 32nd degree Mason. He was Town Moderator for 20 years, President of Seamen's Savings Bank for 34 years and served on the Tercentenary Committee commemorating the Pilgrims landfall in 1920. A prominent member of the Centenary Methodist Church he remained on the Board of Trustees until his death on May 26, 1946.
Ephraim Pandt Rivard 1888-1950
Electrician. Ephraim Rivard was born in Fall River, Mass. on March 8,1888. He joined the Lodge in 1921 and died October 5, 1950.
George Stephen Chapman, Jr. ( 1899 - 1970
Master 1931-1932, 1938, 1945-1946
Assistant Postmaster. George Chapman was born in Provincetown August 27, 1899 and joined the Lodge in 1921. A particularly dedicated member of the Lodge he served as District Deputy Grand Master for the Provincetown district in 1940 and 1941, Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction in 1938-1939 in addition to his three terms as Master of King Hiram's Lodge. He served as Secretary of the Lodge from 1953 until illness forced his retirement in 1969. Chapman served as secretary of the Joseph Warren Royal Arch Chapter for forty years. He served as High Priest in 1928 and 1929 and again in 1945 and 1946 as well as being appointed District Deputy Grand High Priest.
During his forty nine years in Masonry he rarely missed a meeting, his Masonic knowledge, willingness to share and serve in offices and committees proved an invaluable service to the Lodge and other Masters. Resolutions recognizing his dedication and work were adopted by the Lodge in 1969. Following his death on July 22, 1970 these resolutions were engraved on a plaque which is displayed in the Lodge. His Past Master and District Deputy Aprons, Jewels Certificates and Commissions figure prominently in the Lodge's collection. A Masonic History of King Hiram's Lodge published on the occasion of the one hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary of the Lodge on October 17, 1970 was dedicated to George S. Chapman, Jr.. "A Light to his Bretheren and an Ornament to the Craft."
Harry Louis Eastman 1877-1933
Hotel Proprietor, Pilgrim House, Provincetown. Harry L. Eastman was born in Manchester, N. H. December 24, 1877 and joined the Lodge March 24, 1924. His death occurred while he was serving as Master onJune 12, 1933. Eastman completed a record of each member of King Hiram's Lodge that had joined prior to 1932. This exhausting and monumental task was done mostly through correspondence with Town Clerks and descendants of members, often in far away locales. This handwritten correspondence provides a rare and unique insight to Provincetown in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and into the personal lives of the members of King Hiram's Lodge. This work is a genealogical treasure providing first hand accounts of shipwrecks, whaling vessel owner and crew names and of voyages that were not otherwise recorded.
Ernest Hayes Small 1876-1939
Lighthouse Service. Ernest H. Small was born in North Truro December 23, 1876 and joined the Lodge in 1926. He spent many years in the Lighthouse service and served as a Marine Reporting Agent for the Boston Chamber of Commerce. He would telegraph his reports of ship traffic along the coast to Boston on a regular basis from an office located near Highland Light. Being the owner of the only horse in Truro at the time he was very much in demand especially during salvage or "wrecking" operations when ships went aground at Truro. His skill at this enterprise and a shrewd business acumen earned him a chapter in authors Henry Kittredge's "Mooncussers of Cape Cod" and in Edward Rowe Snow's "A Pilgrim Returns to Cape Cod." He went on to operate the Highland House in North Truro, near Highland Light and died July 18,1939 at Brookline, Mass.
Ernest Hayes Small, Jr. -1904
Farmer. Earnest H. Small, Jr. was born in North Truro April 25, 1904, joined the Lodge with his father in 1926 and succeeded him as Master in 1935. Wor. Small was presented his veterans medal from the Lodge in 1976. Currently the Lodge's oldest living Past Master, he makes his home in Largo, Florida.
Ralph Chandler Tinkham 1899-1983
Station Agent, Cape Cod Railroad. Ralph C. Tinkham was born at Mattapoisett, Mass. on September 14, 1899. He joined the Lodge in 1926 serving as Lodge Treasurer and clerk of the Building Association as well as Master. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Provincetown district in 1961 - 1962. He was presented a Veteran's Medal from the Lodge in 1976.
Irving Hobart McNayr 1906-1993
Provincetown Light and Power Company. Irving H. McNayr was born December 17, 1906 at Hanover, Massachusetts. He was raised a Mason in Paul Dean Lodge of North Easton, Mass. in 1928 and joined King Hiram's Lodge on January 10,1934. He served as Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction in 1941-1942. He was presented his Veteran's Medal from the Lodge in 1978 and prior to his death divided his time between homes in Old Orchard Beach, Maine and Miami, Florida.
Gustav Aust 1903-1991
Master 1941, 1942, 1943
Printer. Gustav Aust was born in Pawtucket, R. I. on March 1, 1903 and joined the Lodge in 1936. He arrived in Provincetown in 1930 as a printer and operated the Advocate Press on Bradford Street, the Provincetown Advocate for twenty years and the New Beacon newspaper through the last years of its existence. He left the printing business and operated the Sunnyside Cottages in North Truro before retiring to Port Charlotte, Florida in 1974.
Rev. Charles Edward Garran 1883-1953
Minister. Rev. Charles E. Garran was born in Maiden, Mass. on January 1, 1883 and joined the Lodge in 1936. He was the minister of the Christian Union Church in North Truro as well as professor at the Boston University School of Theology. He retired to Amesbury, Mass. in 1943 and died on September 23, 1953.
Irving Atwood Horton 1912-1995
Master 1947 - 1948
B.H. Dyer & Co., Provincetown. Irving A. Horton was born in Eastham, Mass. on December 12, 1912 and was raised in Wellfleet and Truro. He graduated from Wellfleet High School. While in high school, he worked with his father on Hillside Farms in North Truro, where he sold milk, fruit and vegetables. After high school he went to work with his brother Sumner at the Highland Dairy, where he sold milk. In 1939 he moved to California where he worked for Lockheed Aircraft Company on their assembly line. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and after being honorably discharged returned to work for Lockheed.
He returned to Truro in the mid 1940's where he worked as a clerk for B.H. Dyer & Co. hardware. He worked there for 32 years retiring in 1978. He and his wife Doris (Smith) owned Pleasant view Cottage Colony in North Truro. He was a selectman in Truro from 1946 through 1976. He was also a deputy sheriff for Barnstable County, a member of the Truro Historical Commission, the Provincetown Monument Society, the movement to save Cape Cod Light and was a deacon at the Christian Union Church in North Truro, He joined the Lodge in 1936. In addition to serving as Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction, he served as Lodge Tyler until 1992 and as Chaplain in 1993.
William Nickerson Rogers 1907-1963
Master 1949 - 1950
Chief of Police, Provincetown. William N. Rogers was born in Provincetown March 31, 1907, the son of R.W. Charles N. Rogers Master of King Hiram's Lodge in 1918 - 1919. He was an operating engineer with Atlantic Coast Fisheries when he joined the Lodge in 1939. He subsequently became Chief of Police, a position he held until his death on October 1, 1963.
Churchill Taylor Smith 1902 -
Accountant. Churchill T. Smith was an accountant when he joined the Lodge in 1937. He served as office manager for the Atlantic Coast Fisheries Co. for four years and later was employed by the United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service at Bayport, N. Y. Born at Everett, Mass. on October 13, 1902 he retired to Yarmouth, Mass.
Clifford Bates Taylor 1912 -
U.S. Coast Guard, Retired. Wor. Clifford B. Taylor was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard having served at Cahoon's Hollow from 1932-1935 and stationed at the Wood End Station when he joined the Lodge in 1945. He has also worked with Preston's Cottages, as manager for the Anchor and Ark and has been employed by Higgins Lumber Co. He was born in Wellfleet, Mass. on May 14, 1912 and was awarded his fifty year medal in October of 1995 by R.W. E. Eric Erickson. He and his wife make their home in Hyannis, Mass.
Henry Bayles Fisk 1912-1957
Proprietor, Fisk Funeral Home, Provincetown. Henry B. Fisk was born in Princeton, N.J. on August 26, 1912. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as an embalming technician and later worked for Taylor's Funeral Service in Provincetown. He joined the Lodge in 1947 and was the proprietor of Fisk Funeral Home formerly located on Johnson Street. He died suddenly of a heart attack on December 1, 1957 at age 45.
Burton Kenney 1910-
Selectman, Town of Provincetown. Wor. Burton Kenney was born in Sanford, Maine on April 3, 1910. When he joined the Lodge in 1949 he was an agent for the Metropolitan Insurance Co. He was elected to the Provincetown Board of Selectmen in 1964 serving several terms. He was also a Trustee for the Pilgrim Memorial Monument Association. In 1962 he retired as President of the Masonic Building Association and still delivers one of the finest examples of the Third Degree Emblems lecture on Cape Cod. He and his wife make their home on Pleasant Street in Provincetown.
Wesley George Felton 1917-1970
Restaurateur. Wesley G. Felton was born in Montague City, Mass. October 6, 1917. He came to Provincetown and joined the Lodge in 1950. He was raised in Bay State Lodge on April 20, 1948 and upon his arrival in Provincetown opened and operated the Cottage Restaurant at 149 Commercial Street. On his first visit to King Hiram's he was asked to fill in as Senior Deacon for the Fellowcraft Degree.
In addition to his duties as Master he served as Chaplain, Ritualist, Proxy to Grand Lodge, Representative to the Board of Masonic Relief and Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction in 1963 - 64. He also served as Chairman and a member of the Provincetown School Committee and a Trustee of the Provincetown Methodist Church. He died October 19, 1970.
Rev. Gilman Lewis Lane 1926-
Pastor, Provincetown Methodist Church, Retired. Wor. Gilman Lane was born at Gloucester, Mass. July 28, 1926 and was formerly a member of Euclid Lodge No. 194 in Madison, Maine. He joined the Lodge in 1956 at which time he was pastor of the Provincetown Methodist Church. He was actively involved with the Provincetown Fire Department and Rescue Squad and has since retired to Raynham, Mass.
John Robert Patrick 1908 -
Master 1962 - 1963
Fall River Cesspool Service. R. W. John Patrick joined the Lodge in 1957 and has been very active within both the Lodge and the Provincetown 32nd Masonic District. He served as Representative for Zone 3-B, Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction in 1966 -67 and was appointed District Deputy Grand Master in 1971-72. He was the last Provincetown native to serve as High Priest of the Joseph Warren Royal Arch Chapter in 1968-69. He is an affiliated member of St. Martin's Lodge in Chatham, Mass. and last served King Hiram's Lodge as Senior Warden in 1979. He was instrumental in preparing a history of King Hiram's Lodge for the 175th Anniversary Program in October of 1970 which was a cornerstone on which this history was prepared. R. W. Patrick is a Trustee of the Provincetown Methodist Church and is still active in Lodge affairs.
William Wentworth McKellar 1897-1987
Commander, U.S. Coast Guard. William McKellar was born at Mobile, Alabama on May 26, 1897 and became a Mason at Lakewood Lodge No. 601 in Ohio on May 16, 1938. He joined King Hiram's in 1954. He served in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard from 1916 through 1950 and upon his retirement became a permanent resident of Provincetown. He was active in civic affairs, serving as Executive Director of the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Selectmen, Chairman of the Airport Commission and Veterans Agent for the town.
When the murals in the Lodge room were damaged during renovations in the 1970's, he was personally responsible for financing and refurbishing them by hiring talented Provincetown artist Charles Couper. He served as Master at age 67 then served an additional two years as Senior Deacon. On December 1, 1980 he was presented the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal on behalf of Grand Lodge. An impressive collection of his officers jewels, certificates and awards was presented to the Lodge in 1994 by his daughter Martha Hensley. His wife Agnes, active in the Eastern Star Chapter that met at the Lodge, resides at the Masonic Home in Charlton, Mass.
George Perley Felton 1938-
Master 1966-1967, 1979
Airline Pilot. Wor. George Felton was born at Montague City, Mass. on February 21, 1938. He joined the Lodge in 1960 and was raised to a Master Mason by his father Wor. Wesley G. Felton who was presiding Master at that time. He is an airline pilot and was formerly Vice-president of Provincetown-Boston Airlines. He currently makes his home in Hyannis, Mass.
LeRoy Eugene Atkins 1931-
CVS Pharmacy. Wor. Leroy Atkins was born in Provincetown July 4, 1931. When he joined the Lodge in 1960 he was a printer having learned the trade from Past Master Gustav Aust at the Advocate Press. He worked at the Advocate Press for 16 years, owned and operated the Provincetown Printery for 6 years then owned and published the New Beacon newspaper for 2 years. He was also a pressman for the Patriot Press in Hyannis.
He was elected Secretary of the Lodge in 1969 succeeding the late R. W. George Chapman and is currently serving his 26th year in that office. In addition to serving as Proxy to Grand Lodge, Representative to the Masonic Board of Relief, DeMolay Chairman, and Trowel Representative he has served as Secretary of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction as well as Master in 1971-72. He served as Secretary of the Royal Arch Chapter for three years and has served as Secretary of Universal Lodge for 17 years.
He served the Town of Provincetown on the Charter Commission, Board of Health and Personnel Board and the Town of Truro as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. He was presented the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1993 in recognition of his tireless contributions to Masonry, his church and to his community. He and his wife Grace currently make their home in Brewster, Mass.
William Dearborn Hersey 1910-
Lecturer, Memory Training Tufts University. Wor. William Hersey was born at Somerville, Mass., the son of a minister, on December 3, 1910. He was an investment broker for Investors Diversified Services when he joined the Lodge in 1965. He has subsequently worked for Mobile Oil Co. and Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates. His primary expertise and interest is in memory training. A published author, he has written extensively on the subject and has been invited to lecture all over this country and abroad by the government and several Universities.
He served as Master during the 175th Anniversary of King Hiram's Lodge in 1970 and directed the remodeling project in the Lodge room and contributing largely toward the publication of the Lodge's anniversary book. Wor. Hersey is the Premier Lodge Historian and was the Guardian of the Archives for many years, on whose work this publication was made possible. He and his wife currently make their home on Memory Lane in Norton, Mass.
Irving Rich Wheeler 1914-
Master 1972, 1973, 1974
Truro Police Department, Retired. Wor. Irving Wheeler was born in Quincy, Mass. on August 4, 1914 and joined the Lodge in 1966. In the past he has owned and operated the Harbor View Motel and Cottages in North Truro, been employed as an aircraft Mechanic and worked for Bethlehem Steel Co. and Armstrong Cork Co. He as served as President of the Truro Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, a member of the Truro Police Department, Fire Department and Rescue Squad and is active in the Truro Christian Union Church.
In addition to serving three years as Master of King Hiram's Lodge, he has occupied the Wardens chairs and served as Senior Deacon as well as Proxy to Grand Lodge, Representative to the Masonic Board of Relief and a distinguished performance as a Director of the Masonic Building Association. Wor. Irving Horton is also active in the movement to relocate and save Highland Light. He and his wife currently make their home in Truro.
Joseph Sousa Barros 1914-1979
Foundry Owner / Operator. Joseph S. Barros was born April 27, 1914 in West Bridgewater, Mass. and joined the Lodge in 1973. At the time he joined the Lodge he was semi-retired, having owned and operated a non ferrous metal foundry at Taunton, Mass.. He joined Alfred Baylies Lodge in Taunton on April 18,1952 and served as Master of that Lodge in 1956 and 1957. In 1972 he retired to Truro and became active in the Lodge and the Royal Arch Chapter. He had the unusual distinction of having installed his son, John, as Master of Alfred Baylies Lodge then having his son install him as Master of King Hiram's Lodge in 1975. At the time of his death on September 26, 1979 he was serving as an instructor and Tyler for the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction.
Donald Armand Belisle 1925-
Master 1977, 78, 1980, 81,1989, 1990
Truro Police Department, Retired. Wor. Donald Belisle was born at Chicopee, Mass. on March 28, 1925. When he joined the Lodge in 1973 he was a member of the Truro Police Department, having since retired after 17 years. He has served as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Finance Committee and as Town Moderator. He is a member of all the collateral Masonic bodies and an affiliate member of Universal Lodge in Orleans, Mass. Wor. Donald Belisle was instrumental in converting the basement area of the Lodge building into a kitchen area and fine dining hall. He currently spends time between homes in Truro and Florida.
Marc W. Belisle 1951 -
Master 1982, 1983, 1984
Orleans Police Department, Retired / Teacher. Wor. Marc Belisle was born at Holyoke, Mass. June 25, 1951. The son of Past Master Donald A. Belisle he was raised to a Master Mason at Universal Lodge in Orleans, Mass. on January 12, 1979 by the Police Degree Team. He affiliated with King Hiram's Lodge on December 3, 1979 and served as Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction in 1986-1987. He currently resides in Boston, Mass.
Frederick E. Young 1949-
Master 1985, 1986
Contractor. Wor. Frederick Young was born at Lykens, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1949. He was raised at King Hiram's Lodge on June 7, 1982. He and his wife operate a guest house in Wellfleet and spend their winter in Florida
Robert J. Walther 1947-
Master 1987, 1988
Real Estate Broker / Builder. Wor. Robert J. Walther was born in New York City, N.Y. on July 10, 1947. He was raised to a Master Mason at Universal Lodge, Orleans, Mass. on June 10, 1977 subsequently serving as Master there in 1983, 1984 and 1985. He affiliated with King Hiram's Lodge on February 7, 1983. He served as Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction in 1987-1988 and currently resides in Orleans, Mass.
Chronis Kalivas 1944-
Master 1991, 1992
Restaurateur. Wor. Chronis Kalivas was born at Athens, Greece on February 28, 1944. He was raised to a Master Mason at Mount Horeb Lodge, South Dennis, Mass. on September 5, 1972 and has served as Master there in 1987 and again in 1995. He was Master of the Fifteenth Lodge of Instruction in 1989, 1990. He is very active and serves as President of the Greek Orthodox Church and is the Captain of the Coast Guard Auxiliary of Cape Cod.
Mario Benito Meré 1938 -
Restaurateur. Wor. Mario Meré was born in New York City, N.Y. on July 19, 1938. He was raised to a Master Mason at Mount Horeb Lodge on April 7, 1971 and affiliated with King Hiram's Lodge on May 7, 1990. He served as Junior and Senior Wardens at King Hiram's before being elected Master in 1993. During his tenure as Master he reformed and reorganized the Board of Directors for the Masonic Building Association, and rewrote the Association's by-laws. He updated the Lodge By-Laws and championed the cause for preserving and restoring some of the Lodge's most valuable artifacts. He currently serves as President of the Building Association, Lodge Treasurer and has recently introduced King Hiram's Lodge into the telecommunications age by being the first Lodge in Massachusetts on the World Wide Web.
Scott Jeffrey Alden 1953-
Retail Manager. Wor. Scott Alden, a Mayflower descendant of John Alden, was born at Brockton, Mass. on September 12, 1953. He was raised to a Master Mason at Mount Horeb Lodge, South Dennis, Mass. on April 2, 1990 and affiliated with King Hiram's Lodge on May 3, 1989. He continued the artifact preservation / restoration project begun by Past Master Mario Mere' and hosted the first annual holiday party in December that has become such a popular event. He also revived the Lodge's active participation in the scholarship award program at Provincetown High School. He serves as an instructor and a sought after lecturer at Lodge of Instruction and at Lodge meetings on Cape Cod. He has taught courses at Cape Cod Community College and is active with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Wor. Scott Alden presently serve, as Lodge Chaplain.
Walter Briesler Pollock III 1956-
Owner / Operator Classic Sign Co., Hyannis, Mass. Wor. Walter "Chic" Pollock was born at Hyannis, Mass. on August 6 1956. He was raised to a Master Mason at Mount Horeb Lodge in South Dennis, Mass. on May 4, 1988 and affiliated with King Hiram's Lodge on April 2, 1990. In addition to preservation of the Lodge's archives and collection he arranged to have the Paul Revere Officers' Jewels and Past Master's jewels refurbished and suitably displayed in the Lodge. He was the driving force in designing and restoring the facade of the Lodge building to approximate as closely as possible the way it looked when built in 1870. Working closely with architects, contractors and town boards his design was featured in articles in the Provincetown Advocate, Cape Codder newspaper and received accolades from the Provincetown Historical Society. He is a member of the Downtown Hyannis Historic District Study Committee, the Barnstable Architectural Rev.ew Board and currently serves the Lodge as a member of the Building Association and as Senior Deacon.
James Jordan Theriault 1956-
Mechanical Engineer. Wor. James Theriault was born at Boston, Mass. on April 8, 1956 He was raised to a Master Mason at King Hiram's Lodge on March 4, 1991. He holds an Associate Degree in Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology and a Bachelors Degree in Science from Worcester Polytechnical Institute.
Prior to joining King Hiram's Lodge he spent two years living in Nanjing, Peoples Republic of China as a Technical Representative and worked as a Field Representative at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute during development of the Argo-Jason System which located and photographed the R. M. S. Titanic in 1985-1986. Since joining the Lodge in 1991, he has spent considerable time making a transcript of the Lodge records back to 1796 and cataloging the Lodge's collection of documents and artifacts. In addition to supervising the restoration of several pieces, including a five piece set of 19th century Past Master's Aprons that can now be viewed in the Lodge, he has arranged for the restoration of the Lodge's original Charter signed by M. W. Paul Revere in 1795. This Charter, which had been kept in a bank safety deposit box will be available in the fall of 1996 for the members to view for the first time in seventy-five years.
- 1804 (Petition granted to remove to Provincetown, II-256)
- 1821 (Note on delinquency, III-341, III-368)
- 1822 (Petition for remission of dues refused, III-404)
- 1824 (Note on delinquency, III-478)
- 1848 (Petition on substitution of charter, V-166, V-223)
- 1849 (Withdrawal of petition, V-230)
- 1853 (Report on conflict with District Deputy, V-478)
- 1855 (Report on conflict with District Deputy, V-579, V-588)
- 1856 (Report on conflict with District Deputy, VI-18)
- 1857 (Restoration of District Deputy, VI-142)
- 1883 (Objection of proxy of lodge to Constitutions amendment, 1883-13)
- 1884 (Dispensation for public profession, 1884-146)
- 1937 (Reduction of fees approved, 1937-108)
2000TH COMMUNICATION, APRIL 2001
From TROWEL, Winter 2001, Page 21:
2,000th Communication at King Hiram's Lodge in Provincetown
King Hiram's Lodge recently celebrated it's 2,000th Communication. Among those who participated in the festivities was M. W. Fred Kirby Bauer, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. M. W. Bro. Bauer commented that he was duly impressed by the Lodge and that the members needed to dispel the reputation that Masonry is a secretive organization. The Lodge's historian. Wor. James J. Theriault. presented a program in which he read excerpts from the Lodge's record dated September, 1796.
Following the meeting a banquet was held at the Provincetown Inn. It was discovered that it was the Grand Master's birthday. Gifts were presented to the Grand Master and his wife. Kay, to honor this special occasion.
Among the guests were: M. W. J. Philip Berquist, Past Grand Master; R. W. Frederick A. Schulenburg, Past Junior Grand Warden: R. W. Donald A. Scott, Grand Lecturer; and Bro. David Atkinson, a member of the Board of Selectmen for the Town of Provincetown.
R. W. Fred A. Dobson, Grand Marshal: M. W. Fred Kirby Bauer, Grand Master and Wor. Walter B. Pollock, III, Master of the Lodge.
R. W. Truman Henson. Jr., D. D. G. M. Provincetown 32nd District; M. W. Fred Kirby Bauer, Grand Master and R. W. Sidney L. Bearon, D. D. G. M., Hyannis 32nd District.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- John W. Atwood, District 15 (Barnstable), 1874, 1875, 1876; SN
- William A. Benoit, DDGM, District 21, 2017, 2018
- Henry P. Burke, DDGM, District 21, 2011, 2012; N
- George S. Chapman, Jr., DDGM, District 32 (Provincetown), 1940, 1941; N
- Waterman Crocker, DDGM, District 8, 1847-1848; District 8, 1849; SN
- Emanuel A. DeWager, DDGM, District 32 (Provincetown), 1926; District 32 (Provincetown), 1927; N
- John E. Eldert, DDGM, Waltham 5, 1995, 1996; N
- Artemas P. Hannum, DDGM, District 28 (Barnstable), 1887, 1888, 1889; SN
- Joseph P. Johnson, DDGM, District 15 (Barnstable), 1873; Memorial
- Chronis Kalivas, DDGM, District 21, 2015, 2016
- Southard Lippincott, DDGM, District 32 (Provincetown), 1999, 2000; N
- John R. Patrick, DDGM, District 32 (Provincetown), 1971, 1972; N
- Charles N. Rogers, DDGM, District 32 (Provincetown), 1922, 1923; SN
- John P. Silva, DDGM, District 32 (Provincetown), 1944; Memorial
- James A. Small, DDGM, District 28 (Barnstable), 1896, 1897; Memorial
- Jeremiah Stone, DDGM, District 8, 1851-1852; SN
- Ralph C. Tinkham, DDGM, District 32 (Provincetown), 1961, 1962; N
- William H. Young, DDGM, District 28 (Provincetown), 1904, 1905; Memorial