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Location: South Harwich; Harwich (1880)

Chartered By: Winslow Lewis

Charter Date: 03/14/1860 VI-300

Precedence Date: 03/04/1859

Current Status: Active


  • Frederick Hebard, 1859-1862
  • Nehemiah D. Kelley, 1863-1867
  • Marshall E. Simmons, 1868
  • Shubael B. Kelley, 1869, 1870, 1872-1875, 1880
  • Harrison Hamilton, 1871
  • John E. Hamer, 1876-1879
  • Henry T. Crosby, 1881-1886; Mem
  • Frank A. Rogers, 1887, 1888
  • Nathan Walker, 1889, 1890
  • Charles E. Hamer, 1891-1894
  • Harry H. Murphy, 1895, 1896; SN
  • Anthony F. Brier, 1897-1899
  • Everett B. Mecarta, 1900, 1901
  • G. Arthur Tappan, 1902
  • Phillip T. Davis, 1903
  • Harrie D. Handy, 1904-1906; Mem
  • Frank H. Hill, 1907, 1908
  • Edgar F. Bassett, 1909, 1910
  • John Condon, 1911, 1912
  • Thomas H. Nickerson, 1913, 1914; N
  • Stanley Robbins, 1915, 1916
  • Mervin C. Hall, 1917, 1918
  • Henry K. Bearse, 1919, 1920; N
  • Loring G. Williams, 1921, 1922
  • Fred L. Chase, 1923, 1924
  • W. Sears Nickerson, 1925
  • Gershom D. Hall, 1926; N
  • Clarkson P. Bearse, 1927, 1928
  • J. William Crowell, 1929, 1930
  • Robert Megathlin, Jr., 1931, 1932
  • Roger W. Tillson, 1933, 1934
  • Howard L. Chase, 1935, 1936
  • Gerald P. Ryder, 1937, 1938
  • Sherman F. Bassett, 1939, 1940
  • Edwin A. Small, 1941, 1942
  • Donald T. Bates, 1943, 1946
  • Henry F. Smith, 1944, 1945; N
  • Charles B. Rogers, 1947, 1948
  • Henry W. Bearse, 1949, 1950
  • Earle W. Phillips, 1951, 1952
  • Donald E. Hall, 1953
  • Emulous E. Hall, Jr., 1954, 1955
  • Fred T. Young, Jr., 1956, 1957
  • Emulous E. Hall, 1958
  • Herbert C. Moran, 1959, 1960
  • Charles S. Hartig, 1961, 1962; N
  • Alfred LaMontagne, 1963; N
  • Arthur W. Peavey, 1964
  • C. Douglas Gardner, 1965
  • Leland H. McKenney, 1966
  • Thomas Oswell, Jr., 1967
  • Haden G. Greenhalgh, 1968
  • Lincoln H. Titus, 1969
  • Donald W. Barker, 1970
  • William S. Johnson, 1971
  • Gordon E. Thayer, 1972
  • Robert O. Thayer, 1973; N
  • Leonard B. Thayer, 1974
  • Raymond H. Mellen, 1975
  • Karl E. Dunakin, Jr., 1976
  • Thomas C. Smith, 1977
  • Bernard W. Russell, 1978; N
  • Henry C. Hertling, 1979
  • Frederick A. Seddon, 1980; Mem
  • E. Erik Erikson, 1981, 1985; N
  • Kenneth M. Parkinson, 1982
  • John E. Warren, 1983
  • John D. Strachan, 1984, 1987
  • Charles Cunningham, 1986
  • Harry E. Perkins, 1988
  • Thomas L. Gould, 1989
  • John R. Haynie, Jr., 1990
  • Neil S. Sweet, Jr., 1991
  • Gary A. Getchell, 1992
  • R. P. Shaughnessy, 1993, 1994
  • Henry P. Burke, 1995, 1996, 2010; N
  • David W. Dodson, 1997
  • Andrew C. Walker, 1998; DDGM
  • Brett A. Bauer, 1999
  • John A. Eldredge, Sr., 2000
  • Paul J. Lavoie, 2001
  • Joseph M. Fabbio, 2002
  • Ernest Hebert, Jr., 2003, 2004, 2009
  • Herbert G. Bell, II, 2005
  • Curtis E. Higgins, 2006, 2008
  • Andrew D. Howes, 2007
  • Alan R. Melanson, 2010-2012


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1859
  • Petition for Charter: 1860




1881 1883 1885 1887 1896 1897 1898 1909 1912 1916 1920 1922 1924 1926 1932 1933 1938 1949 1965 1968 1974 1979 1981 1987 1993 2011 2016


  • 1959 (Centenary History, 1959-39)


From Proceedings, Page 1959-39:

By Brother Harry B. Albro.

As we present to you at this time the proud history of Pilgrim Lodge, we must of necessity elaborate but briefly upon the outstanding highlights. During the past century. Pilgrim Lodge has held 1069 regular and 738 special communications. These 1807 meetings have brought us from the old horse-and-buggy days to the present era of speed, jet propulsion and space pioneering. During the past century, distance is no longer measured in miles but in minutes. The world has become so small that, whether or not you want to be your brother's keeper, you have no choice.

That is why, looking back as Masons, we realize that untold opportunities lie ahead for those who believe in God and Masonic principles. We can all agree, upon this sacred occasion, in the presence of our Most Worshipful Grand Master and fraternal leaders throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that the world needs the influence of our powerful organization and that we can all be proud that we are Masons.

As we rededicate our lives in the service of mankind through the opportunities afforded us by membership in our various Lodges, let us pay homage to those who have served so nobly throughout the past 100 years.

Pilgrim Lodge of Harwich was an offspring of Mount Horeb Lodge of West Harwich. There are no records extant, giving information concerning the preliminary activities, leading to the formation of a second Lodge in the Town of Harwich. Yet it must be presumed that the establishment of this Lodge, which was first located in South Harwich, was for traveling convenience, as a host of candidates from Chatham and Orleans came seeking admission into Freemasonry through Pilgrim Lodge from the moment of its inception.

The Lodge was instituted March 4, 1859; yet the first recorded communication is dated March 31 of that year, with Frederick Hebard as Worshipful Master, Warren Freeman, Senior Warden; Charles Jenkins, Senior Deacon; Braddock G. Phillips, Treasurer. The records of that evening were signed by the Master instead of the Secretary.

At the following communications in April, one regular and two specials, Bro. Joseph P. Nickerson was the Secretary.

By vote at the first communication, two regular meetings were to be held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Later a change was made for one regular meeting on the Thursday on or before the full moon. Finally the time was fixed on the first Thursday of the month, as it is at the present time. During the year under dispensation, fourteen candidates were raised, six coming from Chatham. At the close of the year, this compliment was made and recorded: "The labors of the Lodge have been performed with a great degree of unity. Not a single jar of discord arising to mar the feelings of the Brethren. The fraternal feeling of the Brethren of Mt. Horeb has been sensibly felt, in rendering assistance in our work when called upon to do so."

Pilgrim Lodge was constituted March 4, i860; the Charter bears the signatures of Winslow Lewis, Grand Master; Joel Spalding, Senior Grand Warden; William D. Coolidge, Junior Grand Warden; and Charles W. Moore, Recording Grand Secretary.

The Charter Members were: Frederick Hebard, Warren Freeman, Zebina H. Godfrey, Charles Jenkins, Zenas D. Eldredge, Braddock G. Phillips, Stephen Nickerson, Timothy Baker and Caleb Nickerson. The Charter states that Pilgrim Lodge is to be held in the Town of South Harwich. On June 9, 1880, Grand Lodge amended the Charter, striking out the word "South" so that it now reads, "In the Town of Harwich, with current jurisdiction over Harwich with Mt. Horeb."

The first lodge-room was located on the second floor of a store building in South Harwich owned by Warren Freeman, the first Senior Warden. The building, long since razed, was situated on the road between Harwich and South Harwich, about 2/3 of a mile from the South Harwich Methodist Church, on the crest of the hill north of what is generally known as Long Hollow. The site is opposite the entrance to Thompson Farm. On account of the wooded growth, the spot is barely distinguishable. The first lodge-room was dedicated March 20, 1860, by Most Worshipful Grand Master Winslow Lewis and suite. The Secretary of that day recorded nothing more concerning this momentous event. To this new Masonic center came Brothers and candidates from nearby communities: Harwich Port, Harwich Center, East Harwich, three or four miles away, from Chatham, six miles away, from Orleans, ten to twelve miles away, and from Brewster, seven miles away.

In those days of slow conveyances, and with small membership, attendance at the Lodge was large. Worshipful Bro. Hebard. the first Master and probably the prime mover in petitioning for a new Lodge in the extreme Eastern part of the Town, was the resident Pastor of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich Port, and although there are no records pertaining to the preliminary activities of the group of Masons who founded this Lodge, there is every reason to conclude that the name Pilgrim was taken from the name of the Church the Master was serving. We note from the records that in those early days special communications were many. Scarcely a month passed without one or two being held. Dispensations for working degrees outside of the specified time were very frequently given. Two degrees on the same candidate were conferred the same evening. Cases were not infrequent when three degrees were conferred on the same evening on some candidate. This procedure undoubtedly was necessary because many of the candidates were men of the sea and obliged to be away from home for months or even years. To impress you with the genuine spirit of an early Secretary when retiring from office after seven years service, I quote from the records:

"It is with sadness that I pen this last record that I shall ever make of the proceedings of Pilgrim Lodge. Having served as Secretary for a series of years, I must now, on account of unfitness from old age, resign into the hands of a younger and more suitable person. May my successor in office give greater satisfaction to the Brotherhood than I have done. Yet I am conscious that his fidelity will not exceed my endeavors. Adieu, May God Bless the Fraternity."

Signed, Cyrus Weekes, Secretary 1869.

At the regular communication of December 1863, it was voted "to appoint a committee of three to attend to the matter relative to getting a building suitable and fix a location." At the following communication it was voted to indefinitely postpone the subject. The matter of a new building periodically arose for discussion and fulfillment, but each project died a natural death.

In 1871 a motion was made in Lodge "to petition the Grand Lodge to move Pilgrim Lodge to Chatham." At a subsequent meeting, this proposition was turned down. However, from this seed so early sown, came the stalk, the bud and finally the flower now known as Saint Martin's Lodge in Chatham. Pilgrim Lodge consequently lost many members by demit to this new Lodge. South Harwich, before so convenient for the Chatham membership, was no longer a convenient center for the now limited jurisdiction, so in 1873, a movement arose among the members to have the Lodge moved to Harwich Center. A committee was appointed and empowered to confer with the Grand Lodge and with Mount Horeb.

Nothing came of this movement until 1880, when the Charter was again amended and permission granted by Grand Lodge to remove its meeting place to Brooks Block, a newly-constructed building where the Brethren assembled for communications for 14 years. Then, being greatly dissatisfied with the cramped and dangerous quarters, which were located in the attic rooms of the building, permission was granted by the Grand Lodge to move to its present location, formerly known as the Brett Building. Pilgrim Lodge rented for a number of years "all above the first floor of this building," taking possession of the entire building by purchase in 1925.

In 1865, it was voted that a "photographic likeness" of the Worshipful Masters be procured, to adorn the walls of the Lodge room, and it became the custom upon receiving his Past Master's Jewel, for each Past Master to present his picture to the Lodge. Many of the pictures adorn the walls of the guest room, but it is recorded that, since 1906, with few exceptions, no pictures have been added.

It seems to have been an established custom in the early days to hold public installations, many of which were not performed in the lodge-room. Ceremonies were held often in Social Hall, Harwich Port, Exchange Hall, Brewster Town Hall and Circle, East Harwich. In our present day, it is the custom, only occasionally, to hold a public installation.

In the early days the collection of dues caused a great deal of trouble and friction in the working of the Lodge and that seems to be a condition definitely handed down to us. Due to the erection of the Masonic Temple in Boston, a Grand Lodge tax was assessed on each member. Such was the neglect and indifference among the Brethren, caused by this new burden, that suspension from membership was often resorted to. It is lamentable to learn that many good members were deprived of Masonic intercourse, more particularly and acutely because some of these were Charter Members. But the majority were faithful and loyal, standing firm and meeting the new financial obligation and were likened to the "Pillars in the Temple of Jerusalem," remaining firm and dignified and true. At one communication, 24 members were suspended for disobedience to the laws and constitution of the Fraternity.

Under the will of Bro. Henry C. Brooks, the Lodge received a legacy of $100. Although a member of Mount Horeb, the members of Pilgrim Lodge voted to place his portrait on the walls where it remains to this day.

The year 1892 saw the lambskin aprons first presented to the Entered Apprentices by Pilgrim Lodge. On April 25, 1893, R. W. Henry T. Crosby presented to the Lodge the Rough and Perfect Ashlers which adorn the East, in token of his appreciation of the honors conferred on him, and also as a lasting memorial of his regard for the Lodge. On March 5, 1895, Bro. Henry Brooks Davis presented the Lodge with the Hour Glass. It is of rare and exceptional beauty.

In October 1905, the Trustees of the Building Fund purchased, in accordance with the vote of the Lodge, that plot of land in Harwich Center bordering Sisson Road, Parallel Street and Forest Street, for $130, in anticipation of building a new Temple there, but this did not materialize and later the plot was sold by the Trustees at a handsome profit.

In 1911 it was voted not to consent to the forming of a Lodge in Brewster. Also the same year a petition of eighteen Brothers to form a Lodge in Orleans was strongly opposed and denied, but the question of forming a Lodge in Orleans was kept in agitation through the years and finally, in 1916 (October 6), the petition was sanctioned and permission granted by the Grand Lodge.

Two gavels have been presented to the Lodge, one by R. W. Thomas H. Nickerson and one by Bro. Captain James S. Sawyer. The latter was made from wood taken from the war area in World War I.

One of the most inspiring and notable gatherings ever to take place in Pilgrim Lodge came in 1919, during the final visitation of R. W. Thomas H. Nickerson. In the presence of nearly 200 Masons, he was received in the East by Worshipful Henry K. Bearse, presiding Master. The District Deputy Grand Master was attended by a suite of 45 past and presiding Masters.

For many years the Lodge rented the rooms to Exchange Lodge of Odd Fellows, Rebeccas and the Grange at nominal rental. It is recorded that on two occasions the secretary was requested to write these organizations demanding that they "refrain from staining the floors of the ante-room and hall with tobacco juice." During 1935 these organizations removed to more commodious quarters.

On April 2, 1936, Bro. Carmi Shattuck of Chatham presented the Lodge with a very old and valuable Bible, the covers of which were embossed with emblems of the different branches of the Masonic Fraternity.

The Lodge granted life memberships to members of thirty years of good standing for some time, but this was found to be detrimental to the financial condition of the Lodge and Section 3, Article 5, was repealed and these 30-year life memberships were changed to 50 years instead.

On March 3, 1938, Henry F. Smith was elected to receive the degrees. He was raised June 2, 1938, by Past District Deputies occupying all stations. In 13 years he became District Deputy in his own right. During the official visitation of R. W. Harold Tuttle on April 7, 1938, Wor. John Condon received the following citation from Grand Lodge: "My attention has been called to the fact that you have served as an officer of Pilgrim Lodge for 34 years, during 24 of which you have been Marshal. Such loyal service is deeply appreciated, and I hope you will continue for many years to find pleasure in serving the cause of Free Masonry. Sincerely yours, Joseph Earl Perry, Grand Master." During the 665th special communication, R.W. Henry Kingman Bearse was invested with the Joseph Warren Medal for Distinguished Masonic Service.

On September 1, 1938, a new chair adorned the South, constructed by Bro. Ralph J. Hill of Framingham from materials furnished by the Lodge. The work of construction was freely given in honored memory of Bro. Hill's father, Wor. Frank H. Hill, Master of Pilgrim Lodge during 1907 and 1908. It was graciously accepted as a Masonic Memorial.

In January 1943, Bro. Donald T. Bates was installed presiding Master. He had served splendidly in that office for four months when Uncle Sam installed him into the U.S. Navy and it devolved on Senior Warden Henry F. Smith to act as Master for the remainder of the year. He was unanimously elected Master for 1944, and immediately faced the situation of war restrictions, no gasoline, no rubber and even no fuel for heat. Yet he issued an SOS to the members for support to carry on and his leadership proved to be a successful and satisfactory continuation of the work of the Lodge. During 1945 the announcement of the elevation of Worshipful Gershom D. Hall to be District Deputy Grand Master was received with great satisfaction and applause.

On June 5, 1945, Worshipful Henry F. Smith reported to the Lodge that he had received a check for the sum of $13,858.43 from the executors of the estate of our late Bro. Benjamin B. Baker. It was voted that from this legacy a sufficient sum be turned over to the Trustees to pay off the mortgage on the building, and at a September communication, it was reported that these instructions had been carried out and the property owned by Pilgrim Lodge was free of all encumbrances.

The war was now over and among the veterans returning was Worshipful Donald T. Bates. He was then elected to serve as Master for 1946. Worshipful Henry F. Smith, having closed a strenuous but glorious term of 2 years and 8 months in the East, was elected to the office of Treasurer. When Worshipful John Condon asked to be released from the office of Trustee and Marshal, Wor. Henry F. Smith was appointed as Trustee and elected by unanimous vote.

On December 4, 1947, the Dean of Lodge Secretaries, R .W. Henry K. Bearse, retired from the office of Secretary and Bro. Norman O. Nickerson was elected as a worthy successor to past illustrious secretaries. Bro. Nickerson served until December 15, 1953) when he was succeeded by Bro. Harry B. Albro, who is the present Secretary.

For a considerable time the Lodge had been considering making improvements in our quarters. The lodge-room needed redecorating, the kitchen also needed attention and the ante-room was becoming too small to accommodate visiting dignitaries. So much to do! We were blessed with a New England Yankee for Treasurer so he advised that the items be taken gradually and the invested funds of the Lodge be not disturbed. Thanks to R.W. Henry F. Smith, Wor. Donald T. Bates and Bro. Charles Corkum, the ante-room received first consideration. Then the kitchen received the skill and attention of Wor. Donald E. Hall and Bro. Herbert C. Moran. The lodge-room received the major attention and was redecorated to its present pleasing appearance. The total cost of these improvements was met from the earned surplus of invested funds. So much done!

On January 4, 1951, with Wor. Earle W. Phillips as presiding Master, the Lodge was paid an official visit by the newly-appointed District Deputy Grand Master, Henry F. Smith. He was received with pride and enthusiasm into his own Lodge, and the soul-searching and heart-stirring message he brought was worthy of an ordained minister and will live long in the minds and hearts of those who were privileged to hear it.

On March 22, 1951, a special communication was convened for the purpose of celebrating the elevation of R. W. Henry F. Smith. Upon being received in the East, he introduced his suite, consisting of seven Past District Deputies, the presiding District Deputy Grand Master of the Hyannis District, four presiding Masters of the Provincetown District and ten Past Masters of the two Districts. R.W. Harold Tuttle was privileged to invest the distinguished guest with pleasure and reverence. He made his response with deep gratitude and humility, insisting that his elevation was not so much a personal honor as it was a distinct honor to the Lodge. Then in his masterful way he proceeded to virtually preach to us a magnificent sermon on Freemasonry, which was so rich in eloquence, so enlightening, so understandable and so timely that at its conclusion he was accorded long and tremendous applause.

There have been 44 Masters of Pilgrim Lodge, and during the 1069 regular communications, seven of these Masters have brought added glory to the Lodge by being elevated to the office of District Deputy Grand Master.

The records show that our present Chaplain Emeritus made a long to be remembered prayer at the January 1st communication in 1953. Reverend and Brother Alfred Ray Atwood, who served for over 25 years as Chaplain of the Lodge, prayed for courage and strength to the newly-seated officers. He asked that they might turn away from material things and make a requirement of every member of the Lodge a belief in God and our standards of conduct based on the Volume of the Sacred Law. Again, on March 5, 1953, this faithful and beloved Brother presented the Lodge with a Bible to commemorate his 25 consecutive years as Lodge Chaplain. At this communication it was "hoped that the Trustees would arrange for a renovation to the entrance of the Lodge and that an emblem would be affixed on the door." At the following communication, on April 2, 1953, Bro. Edward E. Whidden furnished the Lodge with a gavel to replace the undependable one in use at that time. On May 7, 1953, R. W. Dean S. Sears, D. D. G. M., presented Bro. Ozias Henry Bassett a fifty-year Veteran's Medal on behalf of the Most Worshipful Grand Master.

The Lodge accepted an invitation from the South Harwich Methodist Church to attend St. John the Baptist Sunday on June 3, 1954. Rev. William Miles, Minister, was presented by our faithful Marshal, Bro. Peter Barber. At the same communication of June 3, 1954, Wor. John Condon, R.W. Thomas H. Nickerson and R.W. Henry K. Bearse were presented to the East as the three oldest living Past Masters. Bro. Condon served from 1911 to 1912; Bro. Nickerson 1913-1914 and Bro. Henry K. in 1919-1920.

It was on April 7, 1955, that a triple presentation of 50-year Veterans' Medals were presented to R.W. Thomas H. Nickerson, Wor. John Condon and Bro. Watson W. Baker in a very impressive ceremony.

At the June , 1956, special communication, as the Lodge attended St. John Sunday at Pilgrim Church, we were honored as Most Worshipful Grand Master Whitfield W. Johnson worshipped with us when he was visiting the Cape.

Thus we come to the present moment, the highlight of all highlights of the past century. With the presence of our Most Worshipful Grand Master and our own beloved Deputy Grand Master, we step over the threshhold of time to face another century of service to God and mankind. The inspiration of these great leaders will serve to challenge the best within us. We shall leave this sacred spot with grateful hearts and noble impulses. May God fill our souls with the desire to live as true Masons, unite us as one in the spirit to better serve our Fraternity and mankind and exert the influence for good that can come only when our membership of nearly two hundred accepts the challenge of the world of today. Time marches on, and under the able leadership of Worshipful Master Herbert Claude Moran, and the inspiration of Deputy Grand Master Henry Faxon Smith, we predict an even more glorious century of achievement as Pilgrim Lodge moves on to our second hundred years of leadership, labor and love.


  • 1877 (Petition to revise meeting place listed in charter; refused, 1877-155, 1877-209)
  • 1880 (Petition to revise meeting place; accepted, 1880-7, 1880-70)



This Lodge is located at South Harwich, or Harwich Port, on Cape Cod, and having worked one year under Dispensation, was duly constituted under a charter on the 20th ultimo. The ceremonies of dedicating the hall and consecrating the Lodge, were performed by the Grand Master, assisted by Dr.J. V. C. Smith, D. G. M.; W. D. Coolidge, J. G. W.; J. P. Pattee as J. G. W.; W. W. Wheildon as G. Treas.; C. W. Moore, G. Secy.; P. C. Jones, G. Marshal; Rev. R. S. Pope as G. Chaplain; E. F. Gay, G. Tyler. The installation services were performed by Bro. Coolidge, in his usual impressive and acceptable manner. At the conclusion of which a very pertinent and acceptable address was delivered by the Grand Master, in the presence of the members of the Lodge and their ladies. The Brethren and guests then partook of an entertainment provided by the Lodge for the occasion.

The officers are —

  • Rev. P. Hebard, W. M.
  • Warren Freeman and Erastus Chase, Wardens;
  • B. G. Phillips, Treas.
  • D. S. Steele, Secretary
  • N. D. Kelley and C. Jenkins, Deacons.





1859: District 8

1867: District 15 (Barnstable)

1883: District 28 (Barnstable)

1898: District 28 (Provincetown)

1911: District 32 (Provincetown)

1927: District 32 (Provincetown)

2003: District 21


Massachusetts Lodges