Difference between revisions of "MassachusettsDistricts"

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# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT8_1849-66 District 8]
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT8_1849-66 District 8]
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT9_1849-66 District 9]
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT9_1849-66 District 9]
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT10_1849-66 District 10] ''1849, 1854-1866''
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT10_1849-66 District 10] ''1849-1850, 1854-1866''
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT11_1849-66 District 11] ''1857-1866''
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT11_1849-66 District 11] ''1857-1866''
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT12_1849-66 District 12] ''1858-1866''
# [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT12_1849-66 District 12] ''1858-1866''

Revision as of 16:03, 8 February 2012


The first division of the Massachusetts jurisdiction into Masonic Districts occurred at the December 1801 Annual Communication, when a committee assigned to revise the Grand Constitutions proposed a system and the creation of a new officer, the District Deputy Grand Master.

It is unclear whether District Deputies were appointed in 1802, but they were in place by 1803, as there are notes in the Proceedings indicating that certain District Deputies were acting under instruction of the Grand Master to dedicate halls and constitute lodges.

The form of districts and the duties of District Deputies were formally established in the 9th Section of the 1811 Grand Constitutions.


There were 12 districts in existence in 1803, and lodges constituted subsequent to that time were added to the district closest to their meeting place. The Boston (1st) District was by far the largest, while the Islands (12th) District was the smallest. Maine was represented by three Districts (the 9th, 10th and 11th); lodges outside Massachusetts proper, such as those in Ohio or the lodges in Demarara or Puerto Rico were not assigned to any district.

When Maine became a state and established its own Grand Lodge, the districts were reorganized.

Districts in 1803:

  1. Boston and Vicinity
  2. Newburyport and North Shore
  3. South Shore and Cape Cod
  4. Southeast
  5. Framingham, West and North
  6. Central Massachusetts and Worcester
  7. North Central Massachusetts
  8. Berkshires
  9. Southern Maine
  10. Central Maine
  11. Eastern Maine
  12. Islands


With the departure of lodges situated in Maine, Grand Master John Dixwell arranged new districts for the Jurisdiction. The number remained twelve (at least at the outset; a thirteenth district was added some time before 1825). These districts had far fewer lodges than the previous ones. (Note: the 1821 list, beginning on page III-335, does not have names for these districts; these labels are provided as a guide to their location.)

Districts in 1821:

  1. Boston and Vicinity (8 lodges)
  2. Newburyport and North Shore (9 lodges)
  3. South Shore and Cape Cod (5 lodges)
  4. Southeast (8 lodges)
  5. Framingham, West and North (8 lodges)
  6. Central Massachusetts and Worcester (8 lodges)
  7. North Central Massachusetts (6 lodges)
  8. Berkshires (9 lodges)
  9. North Shore (9 lodges)
  10. Connecticut Valley (8 lodges)
  11. Cape Cod (5 lodges)
  12. Islands (3 lodges)

When the anti-Masonic movement swept over Massachusetts a few years later, these district alignments would all but disappear along with at least half of the lodges listed in the 1821 roster.


A 13th District was added at the end of 1826 by Grand Master John Abbot. The first two District Deputy Grand Masters were resident in Taunton; the lodges in this district are assigned based on conjecture, as there is no record in the Proceedings. The following lodges have been designated as 13th District lodges as of 1826:

The assumption is that the 3rd District would be centered more north and east (toward Cape Cod Bay) and the 4th District's center would be north and west of the 13th District lodges. Of course, should actual information surface, this organization will be corrected.


A large number of lodges' charters were surrendered by default at the end of 1834, primarily due to anti-Masonic sentiment, and a number of charters are recorded as having been surrendered or revoked from 1835 to 1845. In 1837, six District Deputies (one of whom also acted as a "Special Deputy") were appointed.

In 1836, Grand Master Flint established nine districts in Massachusetts, with one (District 9) represented by a "Special Deputy". The assignment of lodges to districts is extremely speculative, and is based on the towns of District Deputies.

These are the districts for this period:

  1. Boston Area
  2. North Shore
  3. North Of Boston
  4. South Of Boston
  5. South Shore
  6. Central Massachusetts
  7. South and Cape Cod
  8. Islands
  9. Western Massachusetts

Note: year pages 1845-48 not yet updated to reflect restored and new lodges from the period.


It appears that a redistricting took place around 1849, with a tenth district added that year. An eleventh and twelfth district were added in 1857 and 1858, and the entire state was redistricted in 1867. This district alignment is speculative, and is based on recorded district deputies from the Proceedings.

These are the districts for this period:

  1. District 1
  2. District 2
  3. District 3
  4. District 4
  5. District 5
  6. District 6
  7. District 7
  8. District 8
  9. District 9
  10. District 10 1849-1850, 1854-1866
  11. District 11 1857-1866
  12. District 12 1858-1866
  13. Special Deputies 1851-1857


Grand Master Charles C. Dame established 16 Masonic Districts in Massachusetts; beginning with the 1870 Proceedings, returns from each lodge in each district were published annually, providing information on the district organization. In addition, Chile, China and Peru (from 1867-1869) had their own extraterritorial districts. Based on dispensations and charters, the district alignments and lodge lists begin on the pages from 1867 onward.


In 1870, seven lodges were relocated to other districts. Due to the large number of dispensations issued in 1870 and 1871 (18 in total), Grand Master Nickerson added a Woburn 17th District to help reorganize and balance the existing districts. Four other lodges were also relocated as a result of this new organization.


In 1873, Grand Master Nickerson added a Palmer 18th District to reduce the number of lodges in central Massachusetts districts.


Grand Master Welch added a 19th district in 1878, composed of lodges from the 13th and 16th Districts, along with relocating a half-dozen other lodges. The 19th District was for Taunton, and the 13th District was relabeled as Dedham.


Within a few years Grand Master Samuel Crocker Lawrence created new Masonic districts with fewer lodges in each, expanding the total numbered districts from 19 to 28. Some of these districts, particularly in the eastern part of the state, are similarly aligned to the present-day districts. The following districts were established beginning in 1883:

  1. Boston
  2. Cambridge
  3. East Boston
  4. South Boston
  5. Newton
  6. Somerville
  7. Lynn
  8. Salem
  9. Newburyport
  10. Lawrence
  11. Lowell
  12. Fitchburg
  13. Greenfield
  14. North Adams
  15. Pittsfield
  16. Chicopee
  17. Palmer
  18. Worcester
  19. Southbridge
  20. Milford
  21. Framingham
  22. Hyde Park
  23. Taunton
  24. Brockton
  25. Hingham
  26. Fall River
  27. Nantucket
  28. Barnstable

In addition, both Chile and China had special districts with District Deputies (Chile had 3-4 lodges, while China had only one.)


It had been the intention of Grand Master John Albert Blake, as early as 1907, to reorder the districts in the state as the proliferation of lodges had made several of them very large. It was not enacted until the end of the second year of Grand Master Dana J. Flanders' administration. Several districts were left intact, while others were left largely the same but renumbered. The new plan added four more districts starting in 1911, bringing the total number to 32:

The Chile district had 3 lodges as of 1911; the China district also had 3, but would continue to grow as the Fraternity expanded.


In 1914, Masonic District 33 was added, reorganizing Districts 14, 17 and 18. The following lodges were added to District 33:

The two lodges in the Canal Zone were also formed into their own district.


Grand Master Simpson rearranged the districts in 1927, expanding the total from 33 to 47 (along with the Canal Zone, Chile and China). In several cases two districts were created with the same number and in one case (District 4) three districts with the same number were created.

1. Boston
2. two districts:

  • Cambridge
  • Boston

3. two districts:

  • Boston
  • Chelsea

4. three districts:

  • South Boston
  • Dorchester
  • Roxbury

5. two districts:

  • Waltham
  • Brighton

6. two districts:

  • Somerville
  • Arlington

7. two districts:

  • Malden
  • Melrose

8. two districts:

  • Salem
  • Lynn

9. Gloucester
10. Newburyport
11. Lawrence
12. Lowell
13. two districts:

  • Fitchburg
  • Barre

14. Greenfield
15. North Adams
16. Pittsfield
17. Holyoke
18. two districts:

  • Chicopee
  • Springfield

19. Palmer
20. Southbridge
21. two districts:

  • Brookfield
  • Worcester

22. Milford
23. Natick
24. Marlboro
25. Hyde Park
26. Quincy
27. Plymouth
28. two districts:

  • Taunton
  • Attleboro

29. Brockton
30. two districts:

  • New Bedford
  • Fall River

31. Nantucket
32. two districts:

  • Hyannis
  • Provincetown

33. Springfield


In 1931 Grand Master Dean made several changes to the existing district alignment.

  • Two lodges from District 22 (Solomon's Temple, Blackstone River) were moved to District 20, which was renamed the Blackstone 20th District. Two lodges from District 22 (Montgomery, Charles River) were moved to the 23rd District, and one (Excelsior) to the Attleboro 28th District.
  • One lodge from District 20 (Quinebaug) was moved to District 21.
  • The lodges of the Worcester 21st District were moved to District 22, which was renamed the Worcester 22nd District.


In 1968 Grand Master Booth created a new Cuba district to contain Caribbean Naval Lodge in Guantánamo, Cuba. Reports for this district were signed by the Grand Master until 1970, when Grand Master Jaynes renamed it the Caribbean District and appointed a District Deputy Grand Master.


In 2003, Grand Master Donald G. Hicks revamped the district alignments. This was the first time in more than a century and a half that the number of districts had been reduced; the state was redrawn with 31 (later 32) districts without specific geographical names.

Per the ruling of the Grand Master, all lodges in a given location would be assigned to a single district, and any lodge relocating would be assigned to the district to which the new location belonged.

  • In 2009 the Fifteenth District was divided into North and South, and assigned two District Deputy Grand Masters.
  • In 2010, the lodges of the Chile District were reassigned to the Panama Canal District.