- 1 THE TYRIAN LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.9 DISTRICTS
- 2.10 LINKS
THE TYRIAN LODGE
Chartered By: Joseph Warren
Charter Date: 03/02/1770 I-228
Precedence Date: 03/02/1770
CORRESPONDENCE, OCTOBER 1859
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XIX, No. 1, October 1859, Page 17:
We noticed last month the complaint of the Grand Lodge of California in relation to the initiation by Tyrian Lodge, at Gloucester, in this State, of a resident of the former State, contrary to the regulations of our own Grand Lodge, and of that comity which ought ever to mark the intercourse of Masonic bodies with each other. We have great satisfaction now inlaying before our readers the following explanation of the matter by the Master of Tyrian Lodge, and do not doubt that it will be favorably received by our Brethren in California:—
Gloucester, Oct. 14th, 1850.
Joseph S. Friend is a native of Gloucester, descended from a highly respectable family, and has always maintained an honorable reputation, which would entitle him to the honors of Masonry, whether conferred in this State or in any other State of the Union. He left Gloucester about seven years ago; since which time actual personal correspondence with those who have seen him and know him well, has been maintained. He has through his father, since he has been absent, paid taxes upon his real estate in Gloucester. To each and every member of Tyrian Lodge he was well known and respected. He returned from California to Gloucester last summer; he made his application at Tyrian Lodge as a resident of Gloucester, doubtless without knowledge on his part as to the regulations of the Craft. And with full knowledge as to the character and position of the man, violating perhaps the letter but not the spirit of the law, which, if I understand it, means, that a man should be made where he is best known,* Tyrian Lodge accepted his application and conferred the degrees of Masonry upon him. If this was an error it was done in good faith, because Tyrian Lodge knows too much of the kindness of the Lodges of California to doubt for one instant the fraternal feeling that exists among the brotherhood there.
We have to day in Gloucester what was once a poor forlorn and destitute orphan, who has been returned toils friends from California by the influence of Masonic charity. With this and other exhibitions of the true Masonic charity which has ever characterized the Lodges of California, it would be wrong in me for one moment to distrust the criticism of the Grand Lodge ot California, and I would therefore say, that Tyrian Lodge if it has committed an error in this respect is willing to tender to the Grand Lodge of California all fees received for the initiation, crafting, and raising, of J. S. Friend, and can cordially recommend him to the Craft, from actual and personal knowledge, as a man worthy of any honors which Masonry can confer upon him.
Fitz J. Babson, W. M. of Tyrian Lodge.
CORRESPONDENCE, MARCH 1863
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXII, No. 7, May 1863, Page 215:
Gloucester, Mass., March 23, 1863.
Br. Moore — Brother De Vries was shipwrecked on the coast of West Australia, in the Summer of last year, and as a slight appreciation of our gratitude toward the Brethren of Lodge of St John, No. 712, of Perth, West Australia, the following Resolutions were forwarded, and answer received. By a vote of Tyrian Lodge I am requested to forward them to you for publication in your Magazine.
Yours, Fraternally, Francis Proctor, Sec.
We, the undersigned, a Committee appointed by Tyrian Lodge of A. F. and A. Masons, at a meeting held at Gloucester, State of Massachusetts, U. S. A., on Tuesday evening, Aug. 15th, 1862, for the purpose of expressing the grateful appreciation of this Lodge for the important services rendered by the Master, Wardens and Brethren of Lodge of St. John, No. 712, West Australia, to our Brother Jacob De Vries, at the time of his shipwreck on a foreign shore, be it therefore
- Resolved, That the thanks of this Lodge be, and are hereby tendered to the Master, Wardens and Brethren of the Lodge of St. John, No, 712, West Australia, for the charitable disposition and warm hearted benevolence bestowed on Brother Jacob De Vries, immediately after being shipwrecked (some months since) on the coast of Australia.
- Resolved, That the excellent qualities which .adorn the Officers and Brethren of the Lodge of St. John, as men and as Masons, they sre endeared to us, and we shall ever hold them in grateful remembrance.
- Resolved, That a copy of these Resolutions, signed by the Master and Wardens, under the seal of this Lodge, be transmitted to the Officers and Brethren of the Lodge of St. John, No. 712, of West Australia.
John S. Webber,
S. S. Day,
The foregoing Resolutions, signed by A. J. Center, W. M., John Loyd, S. W, Joseph Dann, J. W., and signed under seal by Francis Proctor, Secretary of Tyrian Lodge, were duly forwarded to Lodge of St. John, Perth, W. Australia, and the following acknowledgment of them has been received:—
Perth, West Australia,
24th Nov., A. L. 5862.
To the Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of Tyrian Lodge, Gloucester, State of Mass., United States of America—
W. Master and Brethren — I am directed by the Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of the Lodge of St. John, No. 712, to acknowledge the receipt of the Resolutions adopted by Tyrian Lodge on the 18th of August last, conveying the thanks of the Lodge for the assistance rendered to. Brother De Vries on the occasion of his being shipwrecked on our coast last year.
It Is with feelings of pleasure, that our Lodge and our Masonic Brethren in the Colony notice your appreciation of those services rendered to Bro. De Vries, and we thank you for the expressions of your remembrance of our assistance to oar Brother, conveyed in those Resolutions.
Although we deeply sympathized with the misfortunes of Bro. De Vries, we were but too happy in exemplifying the distinguishing characteristics of a Freemason's heart, "Charity to the poor and penniless," and it will ever be to us a source of grateful remembrance, that we, in a slight measure, contributed to the relief of a distressed Brother.
Your Resolutions hare been duly recorded on our books, and wishing your Lodge, and yourselves individually, every prosperity, believe me, Tours, Fraternally,
I F. Stone, Sec. of Lodge of St. John, No. 712.
HISTORICAL INFORMATION, OCTOBER 1865
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXIV, No. 12, October, 1865, Page 366:
Tyrian Lodge, of Gloucester, is one of the oldest Lodges of Freemasons in the county, having been instituted, May 9th, 1770. Its Charter bears the signature of General Joseph Warren, of Bunker Hill fame, then Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Continent of America, and was granted to the following petitioners:—Philip Marnett, Andrew F. Phillips, Andrew Giddings, David Parker, John Fletcher, George Brown, Barnett Harkin, Epes Sargent, Jr. The first meeting of this Lodge was held at the dwelling house of the Widow Sargent, when its organization was perfected. The first list of officers was as follows : —
- Barnett Harkin, W. M.
- George Brown, S. W.
- John Fletcher, J. W.
- Eben Parsons, Treas.
- Epes Sargent, Jr., Secy.
List of Masters; added to section below
During the earlier years of the Lodge its meetings were held at private dwelling houses. Thus, it met at the house of James Prentice from 1770 to 79; house of Andrew Sargent, 1779—81; house of David Plummer, 1781—4; house of Philemon Haskell, 1784—90; house of Nath'l Sargent, 1790—4. In 1794 and 1795, it held its meetings at the Proprietors' School House, (still standing on School street, and occupied as a tenement house,) for which it paid a rental of £3 12s per annum; from 1795 to 1800 it met again at the house of Nathaniel Sargent, and from 1800 to 1805 at the hall of Jonathan Low. In 1805 and 1806 the meetings were again held in Proprietors' School House, and from 1806 to 1834 in Roger's Hall, occupying the present site of James' stable. In 1834, during the great Morgan excitement, the meetings were discontinued, and by vote of the Lodge the Charter was surrendered, but in 1843 it was restored to the Lodge, together with its Records and other property. Its meetings in 1843 and 1844, were held at the Engine house on Church street, afterwards at the Orthodox vestry, again at the Proprietors' School House, and then at Franklin Hall on Front street. From here it moved to Stacy's (since Odd Fellows') Hall, where the meetings were held until it moved into the handsome hall fitted up in Burnham's Building, which was burned in the great fire of 1864. It then met at Odd Fellows' Hall again until the completion of its present elegant hall. The Lodge has numbered among its members many of the prominent men of the town, aud is still a flourishing organization. Since its institution over four hundred persons have been made Masons, or raised, most of whom have been members of the Lodge, and thirty-six persons made members in other Lodges have been admitted to membership. As we have before intimated the influence of the war has been to increase the number of Masons, and this Lodge has apprenticed and raised sixty-six persons since the first of January, 1861.
Tyrian Lodge now numbers one hundred and twenty members. The following is a list of its present officers:—
- John Lloyd, W. M.
- Henry Center, S. W.
- Cyrus Story, J. W.
- S. S. Day, Treas.
- Robert R. Fears, Secy.
- George B. Honnors, S. D.
- E. L. Rowe, J. D.
- John P. Honnors, Tyler.
— Gloucester Telegraph
PRESENTATION, DECEMBER 1867
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVII, No. 5, March 1868, Page 159:
Tyrian Lodge. — Presentation. — We learn from the Gloucester Advertiser that, on the evening of the 31st Dec, the Brethren of Tyrian Lodge, Gloucester, presented their excellent W. Master, Bro. Wm. Babson, with a rich and elegant silver TEA Service. The presentation was made by W. M. Fitz J. Babson, of Acacia Lodge, who briefly stated that the gift was purchased with funds contributed by the brethren, as a testimonial of their esteem and appreciation of the assiduity with which the Worshipful Master had performed the duties incumbent upon the office. The affair had been kept a profound secret by the donors, and the recipient was taken completely by surprise — so much so that he could scarcely control his emotions. In words befitting the time and occasion, he accepted the beautiful testimonial, remarking that he should ever consider it the proudest moment of his life, and trusted that he would ever merit the confidence of the Craft. At the conclusion of the meeting, the brethren adjourned to Logan & Co.'s saloon, where an Oyster supper was partaken of, and an hour spent in a most social and truly fraternal manner.
REVERE LODGE NOTICE, SEPTEMBER 1916
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XI, No. 12, September 1916, Page 394:
We are indebted to Brother H. W. Spooner of Gloucester, Mass. for the cut accompanying this article. It is a facsimile of an original notice issued by the secretary of The Tyrian Lodge of Gloucester, New England, under date of March 4, 1811.
The original notice was etched by Paul Revere on copper and printed by him on bond paper for the use of The Tyrian Lodge in calling regular or special meetings.
Only two of the original notices are now known as existing. They are in a good state of preservation and are in the possession of Worshipful Brothers Herbert C. and Edgar Taft.
Paul Revere was interested in the issue of the original charter of The Tyrian Lodge which he signed under Joseph Warren, Grand Master. The charter was granted March 2, 1770 and is now in a state of good preservation.
The Tyrian Lodge has in its possession many documents of historic value, bearing the names and signatures of revolutionary heroes. Among the most prized are those having names of Gen. Joseph Warren and Paul Revere.
On this facsimile will be noted in the lower right hand corner the name of the original etcher.
This plate has been recently used on a lodge notice of The Tyrian Lodge for the first time since it was originally used as a notice cover.
- Barnett Harkin, 1770, 1771, 1776-1778, 1783-1786
- Epes Sargent, Jr., 1772-1774, 1779-1781
- Nathaniel Warner, 1775, 1787, 1795-1798
- Thomas Saunders, 1789-95
- Fitz W. Sargent, 1799-1801
- John Beach, 1802
- John Tucker, 1804-1807, 1809, 1810
- William Pearce, 1808
- Zenas Cushing, 1811, 1812
- Elias Davison, 1813-1816
- Samuel Pearce, 1817-1820
- William Ferson, 1825-1828, 1843, 1844
- Rufus Leighton, 1829-1834
- DARK 1834-1843
- Thomas Ireland, 1845, 1846
- John S. Johnson, 1847-1850; SN
- Daniel T. Babson, 1851, 1854
- John Ayers, Jr., 1852, 1853
- Fits J. Babson, 1855-1858
- David Allen, Jr., 1859, 1860
- A. J. Center, 1861, 1862
- John Lloyd, 1863-1865
- William Babson, 1866, 1867, 1880, 1881
- Daniel Marsh, 1868
- Isaac A.S. Steele, 1869-1871, 1881, 1890, 1891; Mem
- Robert R. Fears, 1872, 1873
- John Corliss, 1874, 1875
- James Clark, 1876, 1877
- Charles H. Boynton, 1878, 1879
- Leonard J. Presson, 1882-1884
- E. Archer Bradley, 1885, 1886
- Herbert C. Taft, 1887-1889; Mem
- David O. Frost, 1892
- Joseph H. Rowe, 1893, 1894
- William Emerson Parsons, 1895, 1896; Mem
- William H. Rider, 1897, 1898
- Charles H. M. Hazel, 1899, 1900
- John J. Ropper, Jr., 1901, 1902
- Aaron C. Lloyd, 1903, 1904
- Almon B. Cook, 1905, 1906
- Loren H. Nauss, 1907, 1908
- Edgar S. Taft, 1909
- Prescott A. Leavitt, 1910, 1911
- Walter S. Tarr, 1912, 1913
- Henry Wilson, 1914
- Walter C. King, 1915
- Edson H. Ricker, 1916
- William J. MacInnis, 1917
- George H. Bibber, 1918
- George F. Merrill, 1919
- Earl O. Phillips, 1920
- Herman W. Spooner, 1921
- Charles T. Smith, 1922
- Addison G. Brooks, 1923
- J. Hollis Griffin, 1924
- Harold S. Maddocks, 1925, 1927; N
- Harold C. Wolfe, 1928
- Walter P. Day, 1929
- Walter F. Lufkin, 1930
- John A. Irwin, 1931
- Everett A. Powers, 1932
- John D. MacDonald, 1933
- John W. Day, 1934
- Weston U. Friend, 1935; N
- Alfred G. Ireland, 1936
- Raymond L. Hodgkins, 1937
- Melvin S. Gaffney, 1938
- Elliott Anderson, 1939
- Frederick C. W. Handy, 1940
- Earle G. T. Merchant, 1941
- Horace D. Morton, 1942
- Burt L. Town, 1943
- Earl F. Tribou, 1944
- M. Don Betts, 1945; SN
- Robert H. Wilson, 1946
- Norman H. Thurston, 1947
- Robert F. Churchill, 1948
- Gardner H. Smith, 1949
- John M. Wilkins, 1950
- Chester E. Gabry, 1951
- Robert H. Coull, 1952
- Robert B. Coull, Jr., 1953
- Sumner G. Ropper, 1954; N
- William J. Dean, Jr., 1955
- Kenneth K. Landergren, 1956
- George R. Herdman, 1957
- Edward J. MacLeod, 1958
- Victor J. Vicari, 1959
- Stuart G. Lane, 1960
- Clair E. Wetmore, 1961
- Raynor G. Adams, 1962
- Eugene A. Roberts, 1963
- Everett A. Powers, Jr., 1964
- Richard W. Davis, 1965
- Wesley C. J. Schuster, 1966
- Ralph W. Anderson, Jr., 1967
- Leonard H. Oakes, 1968
- Allyn F. Smith, 1969
- George D. Allen, 1970
- Robert A. Parker, Jr., 1971, 1982
- Harold J. Josephson, 1972
- Larry W. Sherman, 1973
- William C. Brown, 1974
- Brian C. Spinney, 1975
- John W. T. Flannagan, 1976
- Peter A. Kerr, 1977
- Ronald J. Gerring, 1978, 1981; PDDGM
- Robert E. McKechnie, 1979
- C. Dean Currier, 1980
- Stephen E. Linsky, 1983
- H. Philip Sawyer, Jr., 1984
- Donald E. Powers, Jr., 1985, 1986
- Calogero J. Sanfilippo, 1987, 1993
- Peter A. Todd, 1988
- Myron S. Yorra, 1989
- Daren M. Donovan, 1990
- Robert A. Landoni, Jr., 1991
- Marc R. Sanidas, 1992
- William P. Grandmont, 1994
- Robert A. Landoni, Jr., 1995
- Stephen E. Linsky, 1996; PDDGM
- Peter A. Todd, 1997, 1998
- Michael A. Bierch, 1999
- Arthur J. Sheehan, 2000
- Walter T. Murphy, Jr., 2001
- Tobias D. Benn, 2002
- Bruce J. Landergren, 2003
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Note on Enrollment of Charter: 1795
- Petition for Restoration of Charter: 1843
- Consolidation Petition (with Acacia Lodge): 2003
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1865 (Parkman; Hall dedication)
- 1881 (Lawrence)
- 1886 (Howland)
- 1891 (Wells)
- 1907 (Blake)
- 1910 (Flanders; Reception for Deputy Grand Master William Rider)
- 1912 (Benton)
- 1918 (L. Abbott); Patriotic night)
- 1920 (Prince; 150th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1930 (H. Dean; 160th Anniversary)
- 1935 (Allen)
- 1945 (Wragg; 175th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1959 (A. Jenkins; Hall Dedication; Special Communication)
- 1970 (Jaynes; 200th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1975 (Maxwell)
- 1980 (Melanson)
- 1996 (A. Johnson)
- 2003 (Hicks; Consolidation; Special Communication; not in Proceedings)
In the Pringle History in 1920 Proceedings, the Lodge was reported as returning the Charter to Grand Lodge "for safekeeping" on February 13, 1834.
- 1870 (Centenary History; not in Proceedings)
- 1880 (Historical Sketch; from Liberal Freemason; see below)
- 1885 ("The Beginnings of Tyrian Lodge"; from Liberal Freemason; see below)
- 1920 (150th Anniversary History, 1920-27; see below)
- 1945 (175th Anniversary History, 1945-14; see below)
- 1959 (A Historical Sketch of Freemasonry on Cape Ann, 1959-346; see below)
- 1970 (200th Anniversary History, 1970-346; see below)
HISTORICAL SKETCH, MAY 1880
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IV, No. 2, May 1880, Page 46:
The petitioners for the erection of Tyrian Lodge were Philip Marett, John Fletcher, Andrew Gidding, George Brown, David Parker, Barnett Harkin, and Epes Sargent, Jr., "all Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, resident in Gloucester, New England "; no where in the Charter does the word "Massachusetts" appear.
The original document, handsomely written on parchment and carefully preserved, is dated, "this second day of March, in the year of our Lord, 1770, and of Masonry, 5770," and signed by
- Joseph Warren, Grand Master
- Joseph Webb, D'y G. M.
- Moses Deshon, S. G. W.
- Ezra Collins, J. G. W.
- Paul Revere, S. G. D.
- Samuel Danforth, J. G. D.
"Recorded in the book of the Grand Lodge." - Wm. Palfrey, Grand Secretary. Composition of Two Guineas for the above to Samuel Barrett, Grand Treasurer.
The first organization of the Lodge was as follows: Barnett Harkin, W. M.; George Brown, S. W. ; John Fletcher, J. W.; Epes Sargent, Jr., Secretary; Eben Parsons, S. D.; David Parker, J. D.; Eben Parsons became Treasurer in 1771, and in the same year, Daniel Collins, Tyler.
The first work done by the Lodge was March 20th, 1770, when Cornelius Fellows and Philamon Stacy received the E. A. Degree.
From the time of its organization to April 6, 1880, the Lodge had made 559 Masons, and admitted to membership 61 others who were made Masons in other Lodges, many of them from without the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, making a total of 620 Masons, representing both hemispheres, and practically illustrating how "Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion."
It has had 29 Masters, 45 Senior Wardens, 56 Junior Wardens, 21 Treasurers, and 35 Secretaries. Its present membership is 122.
The Lodge did no work after Nov. 7th, 1828, until Feb 6th, 1844, a period made memorable in the annals of Masonry by the appearance and influence of Anti-masonry.
On Feb. 13, 1834, the following vote was passed;
"At a meeting of the Lodge, voted: That we surrender our charter to the M. W. Grand Lodge."
and on Dec. 13th, 1843, the Grand Lodge voted to restore it; which included also the By-Laws, Records, Seal, and Regalia, and these were received by the Lodge on the 27th of the same month.
Of its twenty-nine Masters, the first one served eleven years in all, in three separate terms ertding with 1786. William Person also served three separate terms, commencing in 1821, for three years, in 1825, for f our years, and again with the restoration of the charter, and ending with 1844. The first Tyler served one year, and subsequently as S. D. in 1777-8, J. W. in 1779-82, a part of 1786 and in 1787, S. W. in 1783-84, 1788-94 inclusive, Treasurer in 1797-8-9 and 1800, and lastly as J. D. in 1826, or twenty years in official capacity.
We have alluded, on page 29, to the fact that the Lodge has renewed its energy, and placed seven of its Past Masters in office. Wor. Brother William Babson, who was Master in 1867 and 1868, is again Master, with Past Masters R. R. Fears and John Corliss for Senior and Junior Wardens, respectively. The Deacons and Stewards are also Past Masters, and all these officers are competent to work the Lodge creditably, some of them with exceptional excellence.
Out of the Lodge others have grown, and in its immediate location, meeting in the hall, and sharing the expense thereof, is William Person R. A. Chapter, noted since its organization in 1871, for the high standard of its membership and the superiority of its work. On the 6th and 7th of April last, Lodge and Chapter respectively, first occupied their new apartments, on the elegance of which we have previously remarked.vBurned out in the fall of 1879, and rebuilt on improved plans, they may be described as follows:
On the floor with the main hall and connecting with it, are three anterooms; the first of these is a reception room, entrance to which is from the entry-way, or stair-way. This room is somewhat irregular in shape, in consequence of providing for toilet purposes adjoining; but is in size about 16 feet by 16. From this a doorway leads to the second anteroom, and from this to the third, or candidates room. Entrance from these two to the main hall is direct, and is opposite to the East, but the brethren are all required to enter from the second ante-room, the door of which is at the left of the S. W. The second ante-room is 12 by 18, and the third or preparation room is 12 by 14 feet in si/e. The Lodge room proper is 43 feet long, 30 feet wide, and the height of ceiling on this entire floor is 16 1/2 feet. Back of the East is a narrow-open space, reached through doorways which may be opened to admit air from the windows in the front of the building.
The walls are frescoed, with a dado in plain colors, easy to the eye but pleasing to the sense, and the ceiling is more elaborately decorated with devices that emphasize the lessons of the craft.
From the centre of the ceiling is suspended a very beautiful 30 light chandelier in gilt. The burners are arranged in two tiers; the lower one has six groups of four burners each, and the upper one six single burners, all equidistant from the centre.
The arch in the East which supplants a canopy is particularly unique; in its centre is a Key-stone on which is the letter G, and the whole is supported by two Corinthian columns. The pedestals, together with all the Lodge room furniture, except the Master's chair and the altar, are new, as also are the carpels and fittings throughout. The banquet hall, with kitchen and convenient closets in the upper story are neatly finished and a great improvement over those in the structure burned.
In looking over the By-Laws of the Lodge, our eye eaught sight of what we have never seen elsewhere, but what may be regarded as an evidence of the practical care of the Lodge in preparing for the work which may come before it. We quote as follows:
"We, the undersigned, members of Tyrian Lodge, hereby signify our desire to have a Masonic burial at our decease."
To this twenty signatures were appended.
On the occasion of the first meeting of the Lodge in the new quarters, thirteen different Lodges were represented, and four Grand Jurisdictions. Thus has the Tyrian Lodge risen from the ashes of its former Temple, with the conviction born of knowledge and duty, that the glory of its latter house shall be greater than that of the former.
HISTORICAL SKETCH, JUNE 1885
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IX, No. 3, June 1885, Page 65:
THE BEGINNING OF TYRIAN LODGE.
While on a somewhat recent visit to William Ferson Royal Arch Chapter in Gloucester, Mass., opportunity offered to make a brief examination of the early records of Tyrian Lodge, F. and A. M., the first of the three to receive a charter from Grand Master Joseph Warren.
The records are particularly well kept, and show a degree of care highly creditable to all concerned in bringing the Lodge into existence.
"At a meeting of the Brethren of Tyrian Lodge assembled by virtue and authority from the Grand Lodge of Boston, at the House of Widow Sargent, Gloucester, March 9, 1770.
- "Voted, That Brother Epes Sargent, Junior, be Secretary of Tyrian Lodge.
- Do 2. That Brother Barnett Harkin be Master of Tyrian Lodge.
- Voted 3. That Brother George Brown be Senior Warden of Tyrian Lodge.
- Voted 4. That Brother John Fletcher be Junior Warden of Tyrian Lodge.
- Voted, That the above Brethren hold their respective offices till others be chosen in their stead."
A committee was appointed at this meeting "to regulate and form a code of By Laws—for the good government of the Lodge."
The records present the following "Bill of costs of certain Jewels, etc., requisite for the Tyrian Lodge received from Boston from Brother Paul Revere, amounting as below." One box, £4.15; three candlesticks, £22.5, = £27. Painted flooring, £13.10; balloting box, £2.10; truncheons and gilding,£2.10, =,£18.10. Jewels, £13.10. Ribbon, £1.10. Book, £3.5; 12 aprons, the total cost being £76.5.
"Voted. That the sum aforesaid be transmitted to Brother Paul Revere, and that it be paid to-morrow into the Secretary's hands for that purpose, and the particular sum or sums each brother advances is to be refunded to him out of the Lodge stock."
This concludes the business reported in the first record of the Lodge meetings.
The next meeting of the Lodge was held at the house of Widow Sargent on March 16th, 1770, the Master and Wardens elected at the first meeting were present, together with Brothers Andrew Gidding, David Parker, Philip Marett and Epes Sargent, Jun.; these and the Master and Wardens make the seven who were the charter members of the Lodge.
At this meeting it was "proposed that Brother Andrew T. Phipps be passed a Fellow Craft; but the Lodge voted that Brother Phipps be not passed a Fellow Craft."
The reasons for or against do not appear; it may be inferred, however, that Brother Phipps had received the Degree of E. A., somewhere else, and the Lodge did not care to take the responsibility of advancing him.
Paul Revere's account seems to have been settled for £9.-11, 9, a part being an extra charge, and remitted on aprons loaned by six brethren. It is entered in the first record that the whole sum was £10.3,5, L. M., which very likely means "lawful money," and shows that the currency was worth less than one seventh as much.
The record reads, "proposed Capt. Cornelius Fellows and Mr. Philemon Stacy to be entered and received Apprentices, and both were accepted March 23, 1770, and each paid 48s, for his making."
At the meeting of March 23d, 1770, a code of "By Laws was presented, accepted and prepared;" this code was contained in twenty-four sections, and forty-nine names are signed to it.
By the way of a contrast of forms, it is interesting to note the opening of the record of each meeting. The curious can compare the following phrases with those now used for similar purposes.
"The Last in the Quarter." "The first in the Quarter." "A Lodge held on the night of St. Andrew." "At an Especial Lodge." "The Second in the Quarter." "The Third in the Quarter."
"At the Anniversary Meeting of the Tyrian Lodge assembled on St. Andrew's night for the choice of officers at the House of Bro. James Prentice, November 30, 5772."
This Brother was the eighteenth candidate admitted into the Lodge, and he received the degrees on June 2d, 17th, and 17th, and became a member June 22d, 1772.
The first book of records ends with the meeting held December 2d, 1788. at the "House of Capt. Philemon Harkell," and up to that date the Lodge had accepted seventy-seven candidates; of these eleven received only the first degree, and two the first and second; why we do not know, but the heavy loss of life consequent on pursuits on the ocean was no doubt a chief cause, but the record stands to perpetuate their good intentions.
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1920
From Proceedings, Page 1920-26:
By Bro. James R. Pringle.
One hundred and fifty years ago Tyrian Lodge of Freemasons was instituted in this seaport community. George III reigned and we had not yet severed the bonds which united us to the Mother Country. The history of this truly ancient and honorable Lodge, the oldest organized secular body, is the history of the town and city during the greater part of its civic and commercial life. Its leading business and professional men have been honored by being embraced in its membership and in turn have reflected honor upon the Fraternity.
In every war, on sea and land, Tyrian Lodge has given of its best. The zeal and patriotism of its members contributed in no small measure to the accomplishment of independence. Its record in the War of the Rebellion is one of the most inspiring features of its annals. In the recent World War forty-five of the membership responded to the call. And, spanning the century and a half, it may be pertinent to state here that during the recent disorder in Boston, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the following day, true to its traditions was the first body in meeting assembled to tender to the chief executive and officials of state and city the assurance that behind them in their efforts to restore law and order stood solidly the Grand Lodge and eighty-five thousand Masons of Massachusetts.
The beginnings of Freemasonry in New England antedate 1733. In that year, Henry Price, an Englishman, was authorized to form a Provincial Grand Lodge. It was natural that it should reach Gloucester, whose interests, wholly maritime, brought owners and masters in contact with people of the civilized world. There were Masons here before 1770. Even at that early date Lodges had been established in the regiments of the British army stationed in New England. Warrants for the formation of such were issued in the expedition against Louisburg to the twenty-eighth regiment of foot, stationed at that place, and is the expeditions against Crown Point and Canada in 1758 and 1759, in all of which Gloucester companies were represented— at Louisburg by land and sea.
It is certain that one at least of the charter member of Tyrian Lodge received his initiation into the Fraternity while on one of these expeditions, and probably several others. Seafaring men without doubt received their knowledge of the Craft while on foreign voyages.
It was in this manner that the seeds of Universalism were planted in this country. A sailor returning from London to Gloucester in one of Winthrop Sargent's ships, brought with him a treatise by James Relly, of London, founder of Universalism. This book, circulated from house to house, made a profound impression upon the community and prepared a welcome for John Murray a short time after his arrival in this country.
Gloucester at that time included all Cape Ann, the population being about three thousand, the greater part being concentrated at the "harbor," so-called. It was enjoying its first period of peace and prosperity consequent upon the signing of the treaty of Paris in 1763. Prom the beginnings the colonies had been engaged in a continual struggle with the French and Indians. The conclusion of this compact gave England the dominant hand in North America and apparently ensured permanent tranquillity.
With the freedom of the seas, for the first time in its history, the ships of its merchants penetrated the markets of the world. In 1768, Essex County sent fifty thousand quintals of fish to Bilboa and the Mediterranean and received in return the products of the East. Its merchants throve and the people prospered. The large, three-storied mansions of the merchant princes belong to this period. Cornhill, now Middle Street, was the favored section chosen by the wealthy as sites for their dwellings. Their ample gardens, resplendent with those flowers dear to the grandmothers, extended to the Front, now Main Street; with wealth came that refinement and culture which wealth coupled with peace makes possible. It is a pleasing picture that the historian may paint of life in Colonial times from 1750 to the Revolution. The prosperous merchants sent their sons to Harvard and their daughters received that education which befitted those born to their degree. Therefore we find that early in 1770 some seven of the Craft residing in town gathered together and made application to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a Charter for a Lodge. This was made to Joseph Warren, Gran$ Master in Boston and one hundred miles circumjacent to the same by patent from George, Earl of Dalhousie, Grand Master of Masons in Scotland, duly authorized, etc.
At that time there were two Grand Lodges in New England, that instituted in 1733, before alluded to, and the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, whose formation was authorized under the Scottish constitution. The latter was distinctively a patriotic body in membership. The older Grand Lodge, whose membership comprised the substantial and influential of the community, was avowedly Tory or Royalist in sympathies. The Gloucester Brethren evidently espoused the patriotic side, although the grandfather of Epes Sargent, Jr., was a prominent adherent of the Crown.
The petitioners were Philip Marett, John Fletcher, Andrew Gidding, George Brown, David Parker, Barnett Harkin, and Epes Sargent, Jr., "Free and Accepted Masons," who prayed that they and all others whom they should find to be duly qualified should be constituted and erected into a Masonic Lodge to be known as Tyrian Lodge. This Charter is signed by Joseph Warren, Grand Master; Joseph Webb, Deputy Grand Master; Moses Deshon, Jr., Senior Grand Warden; Ezra Collins, Junior Grand Warden; Paul Revere, Senior Grand Deacon, and Samuel Danforth, Junior Grand Deacon; dated March 2, 1770, and so inscribed in the records of the Grand Lodge.
It was the first Charter issued by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge and the records up to 1792 are inscribed "Tyrian No. 1." On March 5 of that year the two Grand Lodges united and formed the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as we know it today, Tyrian thereby losing its numerical standing.
It is interesting to note that the Grand Master of the amalgamated Grand Lodges was Paul Revere, whose name appears on the original Charter as Senior Grand Deacon. His signature, authenticating the change and validating the Charter, appears on the back of that document.
At the first meeting, held at the house of Widow Sargent, the Lodge organized by choice of the following:
- Worshipful Master—Barnett Harkin.
- Senior Warden—George Brown.
- Junior Warden—John Fletcher.
- Secretary—Epes Sargent, Jr.
These Brethren laid deep and abiding as its granite hills the foundation of Masonry on Cape Ann. What manner of men were they? Something more than curiosity prompts inquiry as to the history of these pioneers and pathblazers of the Fraternity.
From the records of the Grand Lodge, old documents, and historical and family publications and tradition handed down to some of the elder Brethren, I have been able to assemble some facts concerning these fathers of the Lodge.
Barnett Harkin, elected first Master, and for the years 1771, 1776, 1778, 1782, and 1786, was a schoolmaster and surveyor, his name being affixed in the latter capacity to old deeds. Little is known of him although diligent investigation has been made. The name is not in the list of settlers here up to 1750. That lie was a man of more than ordinary prominence is evidenced by his being signally honored by a Lodge of his peers as first Master. He is alluded to in the records of the first meeting as Junior Grand Master, but that title was purely honorary and a custom of the time as he was never a member of the Grand Lodge. Further evidence of the esteem in which he was held in the community is his election as selectman in 1779, 1780, 1782, and 1783. His brother was a schoolmaster at Squam and specimens of his penmanship in the legible hand of a scrivener of the period are extant. A well authenticated tradition comes down on the distaff side of the family that the Harkins came from the North of Ireland. This is quite probable, as the Scotch-Irish, so-called, carried with them from Scotland the Kilwinning rite. His death is duly recorded in the Lodge records, but no mention is made of his burial nor can any memorial to him be found. Neither he nor his brother appears to have left male descendants and with their passing the name disappears on Cape Ann.
Epes Sargent, Jr., the first Secretary, was a scion of one of the wealthiest and most aristocratic families of the town. He was a graduate of Harvard in 1766. Just after graduation he went to sea as supercargo in his father's ships prior to settling down to business on land. The records of the Grand Lodge state that he was made a Mason in the Lodge of St. Andrew, Boston, in 1769. He was Master of Tyrian Lodge in 1772, 1773, 1774, 1779, 1780, and 1781. He was appointed by President Washington in 1790 the first collector of the port. He died in Boston in 1822.
The first signer for the Charter is Philip Marett. The records of the Grand Lodge show that he received his degrees in the Lodge of St. Andrew, Boston, in 1760 and was "in the Grand Lodge November 6, 1772." Thomas Marett, a brother, a schoolmaster, was a native of Cambridge and a graduate of Harvard in 1761. The Maretts do not appear in any list of settlers and probably were here for a short time only. Philip appears to have been a man of means and subscribed one half of the money advanced to Paul Revere for the jewels and other appurtenances of the Lodge. He was one of its most loyal promoters. The name died out in the town with their death or removal.
John Fletcher was a sea captain, and came from Newburyport. At the siege of Crown Point he appears as a lieutenant and was probably made a Mason in one of the army Lodges there by Abraham Sawyer, Master in 1760. In 1781 and 1782 we find him as a member of St. John's Lodge in his native town, Newburyport. The name prefix, John Fletcher, persists here to this day.
Andrew Gidding, or Giddings, another of the petitioners, was the commander of a company of eighty from the town in the attack on Ticonderoga in 1758. He was the first of a long line of patriots in high military and naval position who have reflected the highest honor on the illustrious roll of this ancient and patriotic Tyrian Lodge. He, as in the case of Capt. John Fletcher, probably received his degrees in Masonry in an army Lodge while in the service. He was a descendant of a settler who was here in 1690.
George Brown, another of*the seven, was of the soil, a descendant of one of the early settlers and of prominence as is attested by his elevation to the first Senior Wardenship.
David Parker, the seventh, was a resident of not many years' standing.
The first meeting was held at the house of Widow Sargent and also the succeeding meetings to May 29, 1770. The location of this local shrine of Masonry has been in doubt, but as the result of research I am satisfied that it was in the mansion house of Col. Epes Sargent, grandfather of Epes, Jr., the first Secretary.
The processes by which this conclusion is reached as establishing this important point are as follows: The number of Sargent houses standing at the time was ascertained and then that identified as owned by the "Widow Sargent. Col. Epes Sargent, builder of the mansion on the corner of what are now Main and Pleasant Streets—the site of the present custom house and post office—was the merchant prince of the town. He was twice married, his second wif e being Catherine Winthrop Browne, of Salem, then a widow. She was a descendant of an aristocratic family, the Winthrops. Although all Colonel Sargent's extensive possessions, wharves, ships, and other property were in Gloucester, he removed to Salem, after his second marriage. He died there in 1762 and his remains were brought to this city and interred in the family lot in the Bridge Street burying ground. His wife, doubly bereaved, became known as the Widow Sargent, after the custom of the times. It was not until 1776 that his property was divided among his children and to Epes Sargent, Jr. came the Widow Sargent's house.
At that time there were no halls available for Lodge purposes and only the larger rooms of the mansions of the wealthy were suited for such occasions. It was natural that Epes Sargent, Jr. should secure for the time being an apartment for the purpose in his grandfather's house, soon to become his own.
This building, which is familiar to those of the elder Brethren as the "Webster house, was, in 1853, removed to the rear of the present post office where it was used as a hotel. About twenty-five years ago it again succumbed to the march of progress and was removed to its present location, 15 Liberty Street. It is now the property of Charles A. Bussell. Thus the first Masonic Lodge was held less than a stone's throw across the street from the now permanent home of the Lodge.
With a fine sense of fitness Tyrian was the name selected for the Lodge after that ancient city whose fame persists to this day. Its merchants throve on land and sea. They were large visioned, courageous, and ready for any adventure. Their argosies, richly freighted, clove every, sea where commercial tribute was to be levied. Its purple dye was the attribute of emperors and the wealthy of all climes. Riches poured into its coffers from every quarter. Its symbol — the Tyrian Neptune with trident. What more natural than that this name should be chosen for this New England seaport Lodge which well might emulate those sturdy virtues which brought wealth and renown to the famed Mediterranean metropolis? Appropriately, several years ago, the Tyrian escallop shell, an heraldic symbol chosen by'the Crusaders, was adopted as the Centennial emblem of the Lodge.
At the first meeting, March 9, 1770, it was voted that a bill for certain jewels received from Brother Paul Revere be paid. These included in addition to the jewels in a box, three candlesticks, painted flooring, balloting box, truncheons, aprons, books, etc., the cost being ten pounds three shillings and five pence. This amount was advanced by the charter members, who were afterwards reimbursed by the Lodge, the largest contributor being Brother Philip Marett.
Paul Revere, the patriot Huguenot artisan who a few years afterwards immortalized himself, evinced the liveliest interest in the welfare of the newly constituted Lodge, so much so that April 24, 1770, it was voted that "the thanks of the Lodge be returned to Brother Paul Revere for the zeal and activity he has shown in the establishment of this Lodge."
At that first meeting Capt. Cornelius Fellows and Philemon Stacy were proposed as entered apprentices and were accepted and therefore have the honor of being the first candidates balloted for and received into the Lodge. Captain Fellows came from a family then prominent and numerous in military and civic affairs, representatives in the male line being here until within fifty years. Philemon Stacy likewise was a man of good family and education.
The social side was early made prominent. The celebration of the Festival of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 1773, was indeed a red letter day in the history of the Lodge and the town. Tyrian Lodge maintained close relations with the Grand Lodge, which in many ways had manifested a fraternal solicitude for the Lodge on Cape Ann.
On June 8, Brother Philip Marett was deputized to apply to the Grand Lodge for leave and advice to celebrate the festival in a "publick manner." This was accorded and preparations made.
The Secretary of the Lodge has left a very interesting and graphic account of the affair. There assembled at the tavern of James Prentice, then the Lodge headquarters, "with all their honours," Right Worshipful Brother Joseph Webb, Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Paul Revere, Senior Grand Warden, and Right Worshipful Barnett Harkin, Junior Grand Warden, the Master and Wardens and members of St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, and visitors, including a delegation of ladies.
While no mention is made of the manner of their coming, in all probability the party were transported to and from Boston by sea down the beautiful North Shore. "The season," the Secretary assures us, "was one of uncommon beauty," and this manner of travel no doubt added pleasure to the visit. In addition the townspeople and those of the countryside were attracted to this novel spectacle.
The Grand Lodge was opened in Ample Form, for the first time in this town, and it was voted that the Grand Lodge go in procession around the harbor to Rev. Mr. Chandler's meeting house. So, preceded by the Grand Stewards armed with their staves of office to clear the way to the "meeting house," they listened to a "very pertinent address" by Rev. Mr. Chandler, who took his text from the First Epistle of John, third chapter, twenty-third verse. After the sermon they returned to the Lodge-room, where the thanks of the Grand Lodge was voted to the officiating clergyman, and the visiting officials of the Grand Lodge constituted themselves a committee to perform that office. An "exceeding elegant dinner was served," at which were present as invited guests all the clergy of the town. The Secretary closed his illuminating account of the occasion in the following glowing language:
"The remainder of the day and evening was spent in all the pleasures that flow from social intercourse when felicity, harmony, and innocent freedom preside. Add to these the uncommon beauty of the season, the brilliant appearance of a numerous concourse of gentlemen and ladies from Boston and the neighboring towns, the universal satisfaction and applause marked on the countenances of persons of every rank and condition and their emulous endeavors to make the day illustrious rendered the commemoration remarkable as it was happy."
Aside from the assemblage of any military company for service in colonial wars, this was the first public procession of any kind in the town. The route "around the harbour" from the Prentice Tavern was down Pleasant Street and Front or Main, coming up what is now Washington through Middle Street to the First Church on the site of the First Parish (Unitarian') Society.
Such is the pleasing portrait of life in this sea browned commercial town prior to the trying period of the Revolution.
We may draw a picture of the participants. The social lines of cleavage were more closely defined than at present. The wealthy and dominant classes held a position closely analogous to that of the landed gentry of England and were looked up to and respected accordingly. In fact the note of precedence was sounded and marked largely by the royal governors and high officials of the Crown residing in Boston, and this scheme of things affected the entire social fabric of the colony.
The apparel of the wealthy was more imposing and picturesque than at present. The men in full dress wore brightly colored coats, waistcoats, and knee breeches, with silken hose and silver buckled shoes. Long queus were the style of the period. The women then as now were gowned in those hues which the sex have always affected. The ships in their return cargoes brought home the finest fabrics of the looms of Europe and the East.
Those of humbler station wore homespun and as they lined the roadside viewing the impressive pageant of the Grand Lodge, visiting, and local Brethren in the fall regalia of office, the spectacle as the procession wended its way through the narrow streets of the town was one which was recounted at firesides for many a day thereafter.
After labor came refreshment, and the records of the Lodge bear witness that much of the refreshment was of a variety which, in view of recent events, will lead some to hark back lovingly to the good old days. Bowls of punch, flip, and the various decoctions of the period were provided for in ample quantity and the "expense was often borne by the candidates." The incoming shipping brought tuns of Oporto, brandy, Jamaica rum, and all the spices which went into the composition of those delectable beverages now passed into history.
As bearing upon this point it may be stated that when the Lodge committee made terms with Jonathan Low to take occupancy of quarters in his tavern, he stipulated that the compensation was to be one dollar per each Lodge, night, with punch at two and threepence per bowl, wine at two and sixpence, hot suppers or dinners at two and threepence (cyder included), and when ardent spirits are supplied, sixteen shillings per gallon with no expense for service or rooms if the expense of the evening for liquors amounted to twenty-four shillings.
The forefathers brought from Merrie England, the social usages of the land. Church raisings, public and private ceremonies, and assemblages of all kinds were liberally supplied with liquid refreshment of this sort. Even during the trying times of the Revolution the elder Brethren who kept alive the hearth fires were mindful of the solace which follows labor. July 6, 1779, Brother Thomas Sparling was deputed to buy a cask of sherry for the use of the Lodge and February 1, 1780, a committee was commissioned to purchase "a cask of good wine." Whether this adjective reflected on the reputation of Brother Sparling as a connoisseur of wines is a matter open to conjecture.
December 5, 1797, the thanks of the Lodge are voted Brother William Pearce for his "donation of a very genteel case filled with wine, brandy, etc., and it was directed that an inscription be placed thereon to perpetuate the generosity of the donor." A few years later the gift of a punch bowl to the Lodge brought forth a similar testimonial to the giver.
During its first four years, up to the beginning of the Revolution, the Lodge enjoyed a season of progress and prosperity. With the coming of the strife which resulted in independence, Tyrian Lodge of Masons contributed its best on sea and land, and made every sacrifice to that supreme end. Gloucester in 1775 was a place of peace and plenty; all classes were prospering. Before the end of the Revolution it had exhausted its every resource. On sea and land the struggle descended and took the heavy toll of men and money which war always exacts.
We thrill and thrill rightly at the story of the stand at Lexington Green and Concord Bridge — and pay tribute to the heroism of the' embattled farmers.
But impressive as were the lessons from this spirited defense of a few hours' duration, let me briefly call attention to the beleaguered inhabitants of the seacoast of New England from 1775 to the conclusion of peace in 1783. At the battle of Bunker Hill, where our beloved Grand Master, General Joseph Warren, fell, there were three companies from Cape Ann, one commanded by the Master of the Lodge, Capt. Nathaniel Warner, who left the Master's chair to rally his troops for the struggle. In the following August a force from a British squadron attempted to take the city from the northward, landing on the manor farm of Col. Peter Coffin, a member of Tyrian Lodge. He marshaled the people of the countryside with his negro slaves and made such a spirited resistance that the attacking party were driven off and the attempt foiled.
A few days later Captain Linzee of the sloop of war Falcon sailed boldly into the harbor and bombarded the town. Attempts to land troops to capture the town, al Vincent's Point and at Fort Point, were repulsed. In this defense Masons were prominent. Two men were killed. Had the place been taken, the entrance to Boston bay might have been sealed and the patriot cause vitally threatened.
On the sea practically its entire fleet under command of the redoubtable Capt. William Coas, the Somes, Pearces, Pearsons, John Beach, and others, all members of' the Lodge, inflicted the greatest damage on the shipping of the enemy and contributed in no small measure to the causes which ultimately resulted in independence.
The time from 1775 to 1783 — the declaration of peace — was indeed a period which shook the town to its foundations.
Through it all, however, the Lodge managed to maintain its existence, although suspension of activities was contemplated, as is evidenced by the discussion at a meeting called July 31, 1776, "to consult what is proper to be done respecting the Lodge; that, as the confusion occasioned in this, as well as in other communities, by the unnatural and cruel war in which we are engaged renders it impossible for the Lodge to convene at stated times to chuse officers, etc. The result was that upon the mature consideration the Lodge concluded to meet and continue Lodge."
At times officers were not chosen because, as the records put it, the "attendance was too thin." In those days all the Brethren were recorded as present or accounted for and the larger list was of those at sea or absent, no doubt-in war time activities.
A significant note during this period is recorded January 2, 1781, that "Brother Stephen Bruce as Proxy for the Lodge vote for the election of General Washington as 'Grand Master General.' "
With the advent of peace commerce immediately revived. There was a great demand for New England products and by 1790 we find forty vessels owned here and engaged in foreign commerce. Wealth again poured into the coffers of the merchants and this is reflected in the prosperity of the Lodge, which took on renewed activity.. The effects of the war were soon obliterated, and for a long period of years this prosperity was interrupted only by the French aggressions on sea in 1798, which interruption was short-lived.
A pleasant feature of the times established before the Revolution and continued for a long term of years was the celebration of the Festival of St. John, "according to our laudable custom" as one Secretary puts it. These festivals were held at Eastern Point, which place was at the time of my boyhood a favorite spot for such diver sion. At times a fish dinner was the prescribed fare, cooked, no doubt, as only Cape Ann cooks can prepare seafood. These occasions were conducive to the highest enjoyment. What is more appetizing than codfish, clams, lobsters, etc., baked in seaweed, on a rare June day by the seashore? Truly a Lucullian feast at an idyllic place — Niles Beach.
One cloud, however, appeared on the horizon for on December 81, 1799, the record proclaims the death of General Washington, the first President, and "Father of his Country." The Brethren voted to wear a badge of mourning and to go in procession to the First Parish Church and hear a sermon in his honor. It was further "voted that the Brethren wear white stockings with shoes, should weather be fair." The Lodge roster shows the largest attendance in its history to that date. Every member who could do so evidently made it his duty to be present. The Lodge contributed ten dollars that "due honor be done at the funeral of our late Grand Master, General Washington." (Note: This was an error. Washington was never a Grand Master. The attempt to set up a General Grand Lodge failed.) A few months later Brother Gorham Rogers presented the Lodge with a bust of the eminent Patriot-Mason.
Just here it may be well to treat, for the purpose of continuity, the matter of the successive abiding places of the Lodge.
After the first communications, from March 9, 1770, to May 29, 1770, at the house of Widow Sargent, the meetings were held at the tavern of James Prentice, which was located on the site of the First Baptist Church, corner of Middle and Pleasant Streets, although there is excellent tradition that Prentice once occupied what was a little later known as the Broom Tavern, on Middle Street, which stood on tin1 site of the house erected some years ago by the late Dr. S. F. Quimby, the old tavern being removed to 8 Acacia Street. These taverns, situated at the easterly end of Cornhill, now Middle Street, constituted the gathering place of the sailors, sojourners, and others of the town. They were the club houses of the period.
After that the meetings were held successively at the houses of Andrew Sargent, which was on the site of Barker's drug store, corner of Main and Hancock Streets, then at Capt. Philemon Haskell's tavern in Middle Street, better known in recent times as the George Steele house; then at the tavern of Nathaniel Sargent, which occupied the site of the brick residence of Dr. Albert S. Garland, until August 5, 1794, when the Lodge removed to the hall of the newly erected Proprietors Schoolhouse in School Street. This building, of the hip roofed type, was standing until about twenty years ago, when it was demolished to make room for the residence of Brother William G. Brown. It was called Masonic Hall. The rental was twelve shillings per year. The stay was short.
The following November they returned to the former quarters in Nathaniel Sargent's, where they remained until March, 1800, when they removed to the tavern of Jonathan Low in Market Square, foot of Washington Street, opposite what was recently known as the Puritan House on the site of Bott Bros.' harness making establishment. This tavern was among the first to go in the town's first "big fire," September 30, 1830.
There they remained for five years and a half, when they again returned to Masonic Hall, School Street, where (hey made a stay of nearly six years, removing to a hall near their former location in the Jonathan Low tavern in Market Square, the term of occupancy being to October, 1827, when they, for the third time, took lease of the Masonic Hall, where they remained until the anti-Masonic agitation in 1834, during which the Lodge meetings were suspended for ten years.
The Rechabites, a temperance organization, took occupancy of the Masonic Hall in School Street during the suspension of the meetings and when they were again resumed the Lodge again found quarters therein. Meetings were also held in the spring of 1844 in the hall over the engine house in Church Street. Then the records show that the Lodge secured quarters in common with the Rechabites in Masons Hall in Front, now Main Street. The location of this hall has been determined by our fellow citizen, Alexander Pattillo. His parents lived at the time in the lower part of the hall in School Street. Both organizations occupied what was then known as Franklin Hall, the only hall on the street. It occupied the site of the eastern half of the Taft Hotel, nearly opposite the present Odd Fellows Building. In the rear was a smaller building, Athens Hall, reached by an alley.
Their stay here was to December 1, 1854, when they moved across the street to the Odd Fellows Hall, which they occupied until June 1, 1858, when they leased a hall in Burnham's Block, adjoining the present Gloucester National Bank Building, opposite Wetherell's Block, where they remained until the great fire of February 18, 1864, when they were burned out. Fortunately the Charter, jewels, and records were saved.
After this they returned to the Odd Fellows Block for one year, coming back to the hall in the rebuilt Burnham's Block, February 1, 1865, which was dedicated with ceremony, members of the Grand Lodge being present.
In 1874 the Lodge took occupancy of a hall in the upper story of the Gloucester Bank Building, corner Main and Duncan Streets.
For the second time they were burned out, September 28, 1879. This fire broke out at five in the morning in a large building occupied by an oiled clothing manufactory. Fortunately, members of the Lodge, alive to their duty, rescued the Charter and records and valuable relics just in time to prevent destruction, since which time care has been taken to prevent any such disaster. After a year's absence in their former quarters in the Odd Fellows Block they returned to their rebuilt hall in the bank building. There they remained until January, 1895, when they secured lease of the hall in the building which is now a permanent Masonic Lodge home.
The Lodge early took action to secure a home of its own. December 7, 1773, a committee was appointed comprising Eben Parsons, John Rust, Solomon Gorham, Nathaniel Warner, and Timothy Wyer, "to look out for a peas land to build a lodge and to count the cost of the building and to make a subscription and lay it before the lodge at the next meeting."
This committee made good progress, for in the records of February 2, 1774, occurs the following entry: "the committee chosen the 7 Dec. last reports that Brother Gorham is content that we shall have aney peas of land of his property that the lodge seas fitt for building a lodge."
This is to be construed that Brother Gorham offered, free of charge, such part of his property as the Lodge desired for a building site, but action halted, no doubt because of the impending struggle.
Twenty-four years later, April 3, 1798, it is recorded that the "committee appointed to draw up plans for a house for the lodge had attended to that duty and presented specifications for a structure 40 feet by 22 feet wide." These, after consideration, were lengthened four feet and increased one foot in width, the estimated cost being two thousand dollars. Tt was voted to raise the money by selling shares at ten dollars each, to be redeemed on the serial plan, the Lodge to subscribe for fifteen shares. A committee was appointed to canvass for subscriptions, but nothing came of this. After being burned out in 1864 the matter of a permanent home was revived and it was voted to "see if a suitable lot can be purchased on which to erect a Masonic building." Again the matter fell through and the newly constructed Burnham Hall was leased for eight years. The project was mooted at various times since, but in 1919 was solved by the acquisition of the present quarters and building by the Masonic Building Corporation, as a home for the Masonic bodies of the city. Thus the Lodge enters upon its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary housed under its own rooftree.
Many of the prominent members of the Lodge were also influential in the affairs of the Independent Christian (Universalist) Society. Both were established in the same year. Accordingly when the cornerstone of the present structure was laid, September 5, 1805, the Lodge was invited to participate in the ceremonies. The Worshipful Master who officiated at the laying of the stone was John Tucker. The records state that "the Lodge being opened in due form the procession proceeded through Middle Street to the appointed place and placed the cornerstone in Masonic form, after which Rev. Bro. Thomas Jones made a pertinent and well adapted prayer suited to the occasion. The Brethren then proceeded to Brother William Pearce's and partook of a cold collation. Being agreeably refreshed they returned to the Lodge-room, when the Lodge was closed in usual form."
New England has no finer example of the ecclesiastical architecture of the colonial period than this structure, which shows the chaste influence of Inigo Jones, Sir Christopher Wren, and other prominent Masonic architects of the early Hanoverian period, with whose work Masonic shipmasters and merchants became familiar during their voyages to England.
Rev. Brother Thomas Jones, alluded to above, was in many ways a remarkable man. The second pastor of the church, his long ministry was characterized by a harmony and prosperity in the parish which ensured it a commanding position in the religious life of the community. Rev. Brother Jones was a Welshman and a lover of freedom. In his congregation was a negro, Gloster Dalton.
In those days it was the custom to hold slaves here in the North. At the death of Dalton, the clergyman made the following entry in his diary: "April 11, 1813, died, Gloucester Dalton, an African. In this country from youth. Supposed to be 90 years old or upwards. The said Gloster Dalton was an honest, industrious man. He was a believer in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, and belonged to the Independent Christian society many years. He was a native of Africa and brought away as a slave (so-called). For there are no slaves! All men are born free!!! T. Jones." Courageous words these at a time when it took courage to avow such sentiments. Their declaration deserves to immortalize his name both as a Mason and a lover of mankind.
The bark of Freemasonry in New England had, up to 1834, speeded on smooth seas and before favoring winds. It was now to enter upon a season of storm and stress, of trial and vicissitude. This was the time of the anti-Masonic agitation which swept the country from 1834 to 1844. During that period it was thought prudent that Masonic Lodges cease activities until sanity and reason reasserted their sway. It was then that many of the ancient records and landmarks of priceless value were destroyed or lost beyond recall.
Tyrian Lodge was exceedingly fortunate in having near the helm, just as the storm broke, one literally "raised up" for the crisis. It is to him that the Lodge is undoubtedly indebted for the preservation of its Charter, the only one now in existence signed by the patriot Grand Master, Gen. Joseph Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill, and the jewels, the handicraft of Paul Revere, together with the original receipt therefor, and its invaluable records.
February 13, 1834, it was voted to return the Charter to the Grand Lodge for safe keeping and to sell the Lodge furnishings except the jewels, which were retained in possession of the officers, together with the records, and it was "voted to adjourn without date."
December 6, 1843, the tempest having subsided, Dr. Ferson was delegated to secure the return of the Charter in order to resume the sessions of the Lodge. Owing to circumstances, which space forbids recounting, the task was one which required rare tact and diplomacy, but Dr. Ferson successfully accomplished his mission. His detailed report of these negotiations was mislaid for a long period, but in 1881 was found and inserted in its proper place in the Lodge chronology. It deserves the perusal of all the Brethren.
Dr. Ferson was Master of Tyrian Lodge in 1821, 1823, 1825,1828, 1843, and 1844. He was a native of New Boston, New Hampshire, of Scotch-Irish stock, originally from Argyleshire, the family emigrating to the north of Ireland, thence to America in 1723. He was born in 1797 and was educated for a physician. He came to Sandy Bay, now Rockport, shortly after completing his studies and in 1820 removed to the harbor (Gloucester), having received an appointment in the Custom House which he held until 1829, after which he was engaged in general clerical work, was the treasurer of the Savings Bank, served three years as member of the Governor's council, one year as senator, and in other like capacities. He was a man of strong character, and marked ability. After the abatement of the agitation he reassembled the Brethren. The ancient Charter, records, and jewels were brought forth. The occasion was memorable and impressive. The records state that the Lodge "after a very painful lapse was opened in due form," that Worshipful Brother Ferson was in the chair and after some feeling and pertinent remarks the Marshal was directed to read "our ancient and truly revered Charter." The feelings of the assembled Brethren can be imagined.
At the election which followed, the Secretary pro tern., in appending the list of the officers, caused the name "WILLIAM FERSON" to occupy double space, inscribed in old English text, that whoever reads may know that he was a man whose name should ever stand out in the memory of the Craft. His funeral occurred December 6, 1853, the Lodge attending. Interment was in the old Universalist burying ground on Church Street, and the Lodge subscribed for a monument in his honor. Afterwards the remains and memorial were transferred to Oak Grove Cemetery. Fittingly, William Ferson Royal Arch Chapter bears his name. A window of stained glass has been placed, in his memory, in the Independent Christian (Universalist) Church.
The call to arms in 1861 found Tyrian Lodge; ready, and before the embers of that Titanic struggle had died out at Appomattox it achieved a record which will stand out on its pages as long as men and Masons endure.
- As in 1775, when Nathaniel Warner left the chair to command a company at Bunker Hill, so did the Master for the year then closing, David Allen, Jr., by general acclaim one of the bravest of the brave. He was commissioned April 19, 1861, and was on the high road to promotion from a colonelcy when an enemy bullet laid him low. It was during a lull in the firing at the Wilderness in 1864. He had gone forward to look to the welfare of his men when he received the fatal shot, and made the sacrifice greater than which no man may make. A veritable Chevalier Bayard, above fear and beyond reproach. His remains were brought Home and placed in Oak Grove.
- The captain of Company G, eighth regiment, one of the units of the "minute men," was Addison Center, afterwards of the customs house staff. His was the natural reserve of the scholar and by brush and pigment he has left behind valuable historical material, numerous portraits of his contemporaries and Brothers.
- Col. Andrew Elwell, originally a lieutenant in Company G, formed another unit, and saw hard service, as commander of the twenty-third regiment. Who does not recall the genial Colonel but to evolve a picture of those qualities which make life worth while?
- Col. David W. Low, afterwards postmaster, recently deceased, was a lieutenant in this historic organization, afterwards commander of Company D of the thirty-second, a man of unflinching loyalty and tenacity of purpose.
- Col. Benjamin F. Cook, who until a few years ago was a familiar figure, some time mayor, senator, etc., caught up the banner of the gallant twelfth when all its officers had been stricken down and marshaled his men on to victory. An exponent of good cheer and a man of note in his generation.
- Capt. Edward A. Story, a lieutenant of Company G, went to the front as a minute man, and was afterwards of the twenty-third. Who of two decades ago does not recall the cheery greeting and hearty handshake of Capt. "Ed" Story 1
- Capt. Edward L. Rowe, a leader in the community, and also a pioneer in his line of endeavor.
- Capt. Fitz J. Babson of the twenty-third regiment, who served gallantly.
- Capt. Edwin Hazel, who took his degrees in the Lodge just prior to going to the front, to whom Colonel Cook pays high tribute while at Gettysburg, and who was thrice wounded at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg — and when I say that, no commentary on the bravery of the man is necessary.
- Capt. Joseph A. Moore who, seemingly having discovered the secret of perpetual youth, is still with us—three years at the front.
- Capt. James A. Cunningham, of Annisquam, afterwards General Cunningham.
All of the old Tyrians who sprang from the Lodge-room to the national defense and proved on many a hard-fought battlefield that patriotism and Masonry are synonymous.
And this by no means exhausts the list. Many, though not in so conspicuous a position, proved themselves brave and honorable men, worthy of their country and of their Mother Lodge. Almost literally, its membership was drained to furnish men for the common cause. Five years of history such as is given few institutions to emblazon on their banners.
In 1867 William Babson was elected Master and with his coming there was an infusion of new life into the Lodge. Mr. Babson on assuming the chair secured the presence of the Grand Lecturer and rehearsals of the officers were held, the outcome being that the work was placed upon a high plane. In the succeeding years, Tyrian Lodge has flourished. Representative citizens have been its active members; substantial men of character and influence who upheld the traditions and dignity of the Craft.
In many respects it was a remarkable community group, men of strong personality who were dominant in the civic and commercial life of the period from 1870 onward, and at a time when the fortunes of this city were at their zenith. Now that the greater part have passed into the perspective of history, we of a younger generation who knew them may the more appropriately pay tribute to their worth.
Perchance, when another golden milestone of the Lodge shall have been reached, these lines may meet the eye of the chronicler of that event, and he may thereby gauge correctly their caliber. If so, my recompense will come if in any way I have kept green their memories and virtues. I should feel my duty on this occasion ill performed had I neglected to do so.
I have alluded to Capt. Fitz J. Babson, Master of the Lode in 1856, as a veteran of the Civil War. Cast in large mould, he was a stalwart of the stalwarts, as was the phrase of his day. As collector of the port after the Civil "War, he became a man of national reputation as a staunch defender of the fisheries, on which he was an authority. A convincing orator, a publicist of wide fame, sincere in his convictions, steadfast in his friendships, he was a man to whom Gloucester was indebted in his day and generation. His poem on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary was a production of merit.
William Babson, Master in 1867 and 1868, and also in 1880 and 1881, to whom it may be said that Tyrian Lodge owes its renaissance, was a man of dignity and education. Practically all his life was identified with the Gloucester bank as cashier. In 1870 he gave the historical address on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary, a valuable and scholarly production.
The one hundredth anniversary, the century milestone of the Lodge, was reached March 2, 1870, and was celebrated in a manner commensurate with its importance. The Grand Lodge was represented by Rt. Worshipful Grand Senior Deacon, General William Sutton and District Deputy Gen. George H. Pierson, who responded to appropriate toasts at the banquet, which was held in Rogers Hall, Main Street, now Cape Ann Savings Bank Hall.
The festivities began at two o'clock in the afternoon and were attended by a public procession, which was followed by a grand ball, which continued until three o'clock next morning. For the latter occasion Rogers Hall and Center Hall, in the adjoining block, were connected by a bridge. Among the entertainers at the banquet were two young men, then on the threshold of careers in which they were to achieve note, Henry C. Barnabee and Howard M. Dow.
Seven of the Brethren present at the event, survive. Charles C. Cressy, who served on the ball committee and was postmaster in 1889 and 1890, Francis Bennett, Joseph M. Parsons, then an officer of the Lodge, John McEachin. a veteran of the Civil War who served with honor in the navy, George H. Davis, Frederick G. Strong, of Cambridge, and Edward S. Anderson, of Boston. Brothers Parsons and Davis are now affiliated with the daughter Lodge, Acacia, of East Gloucester.
The Master on that occasion was Hon. Isaac A. S. Steele, who some years ago passed to the beyond. He was also Master in 1882, and again on the occasion of the one hundred and twentieth anniversary in 1890, a sequence of honors which testified to his standing with the Brethren. Of commanding presence, strict integrity, the social quality accentuated, he exemplified the good citizen, firm friend, and loyal Mason.
Hon. Robert R. Fears was Master of the Lodge in 1872 and 1873 and the first mayor; Hon. Allan Rogers, second mayor; Hon. William H. Wonson, 3d, prominent merchant and mayor; the Pressons brothers, three, David, collector of the port; Leonard J., postmaster, and in 1883 and 1884, Master of the Lodge; Charles B., the banker, all man of large caliber and genial personality. In this kindred group, too, must be included William Frank Parsons, of genial wit and welcome presence.
Capt. William Thompson, indeed a hardy Norseman, splendid representative of a race which has done so much for the upbuilding of this city in the past thirty years. A mariner of intrepid courage, a valued citizen and staunch friend.
Another member of the Lodge was a remarkable man who shared with Captain Babson the honor of being the expounder and defender of the city's industry. I refer to Hon. Sylvanus Smith, who, although holding no office in the Lodge, was honored by his fellow citizens by election to various positions of importance and trust. His boyhood was spent on the ocean. He became one of the leading merchants. Possessed of a marked literary faculty he left behind publications and material of authoritative value to the fisheries.
And then the Procter brothers, Francis and George H., toilers in the vineyard journalistic, who sought surcease from labor in the fellowship of the Lodge-room. And this calls to mind another whose solace was within its precincts, a man of gentle mien, reserved, kindly, a scholar and thinker, Isaac D. Clough.
I had half forgotten that jovial sailor, Capt. Sargent S. Day, who, I was about to say, was the last of that long line of blue-sea-going square-rigged captains, Masons all, who carried the name and fame of Gloucester to the Ultima Thules of the earth. Had I said so a few years ago the statement had gone unchallenged. But now the American merchant marine redivivus! — a new birth of its former glories which will carry the Stars and Stripes to every harbor of the seven seas as long as Old Glory shall wave.
Samuel V. Colby, a naval veteran who, were he with us today, would rejoice and be exceeding glad in view of certain developments—one of the pioneer Prohibitionists.
Nor must this chronicle overlook the patriarch of the Lodge, the venerable John Hodgkins, at once its guide, philosopher, and mentor for nearly a half century, Andrew Jackson Rowe, James S. Clark, and John Lloyd, among the last of the old guard.
Among this notable group is one who deserves more than passing mention—I refer to the late John Corliss, who was Master of the Lodge in 1874 and 1875. He was one of Gloucester's foremost citizens, relied upon to represent the city on formal occasions. A courteous gentleman and polished orator, his opinions were voiced witli authority and received with respect.
I recall the grand banquet in City Hall on the occasion of the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of incorporation of the city in 1892. Speakers of national reputation were present—all at their best. Henry Cabot Lodge, J. R. Soley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor Russell, General Butler, Admiral Bancroft Gherardi, Hon. Charles Levi Woodbury, and others. The toastmaster was our honored Worshipful Brother, Rev. Dr. Rider. The sixth toast following the speech of Senator Lodge was "The Old Town." "Said I not that Gloucester had, in herself, abundant honor? Her greatest honor her manly sons." Mr. Corliss responded. His speech was a classic and he acquitted himself in a manner which left nothing to be desired. During his remarks lie stated with much evident pride and feeling, "I am personally identified with three of the oldest organizations of the city. I may be pardoned ... if I very briefly allude to them. . . . Tyrian Lodge of Masons, established in 1770. . . . The Independent Christian Society, in 1774. . . . Gloucester bank . . . the oldest financial institution in the city, established in 1796."
While in the Orient, some years ago, death overtook him at Mandalay. There his remains were consigned to Mother Earth, far from this New England seaport of his birth, which he loved with every fiber of his being. Masonry on Cape Ann owes much to John Corliss. May we in spirit lay the sprig of acacia on the mound in that fair clime: "An' the sunshine; an' the .palm trees; an' the tinkly Temple bells— On the road to Mandalay—"
Not all of that sterling band have passed on to the undiscovered bourne. The years have passed lightly over the shoulders of some who were their associates and contemporaries. With us tonight—may his days be long in the land—is one whose voice stentorian has ever been heard in denunciation of the wrong, and whose tongue, silvern in advocacy of the right, a veritable bulwark of Masonry. Need 1 say I refer to our honored friend, Rt. Worshipful Brother Rev. Dr. William H. Rider? I have mentioned these men for, after all, the history of an institution is the achievement and character of its membership.
Emerson says that the flower of civilization is the finished man, the man of sense, of grace, of accomplishment, and social power. Of a verity may this be said of those who carried forward the fortunes of Tyrian Lodge in the past half century.
Prom a Lodge of seven one hundred and fifty years ago you have grown to a membership of three hundred, although mere bulk is not an objective in Masonry. Nine of the member Brothers have been awarded the Henry Price medal for Masons who have been Lodge members of a half century or more. Rt. Worshipful Brother William H. Rider, Rt. Worshipful Brother William Babson, David W. Low, Addison Wonson, Andrew Jackson Rowe, Francis Bennett, Augustus Cunningham, and Charles C. Cressy. All, with the exception of Dr. Rider, have completed their full half century as members of Tyrian Lodge. Brothers Babson, Low, Wonson, Rowe, and Cunningham have answered the final summons.
The oldest member is Charles C. Cressy, who received the degrees in Boston in 1865, but who, a short time after, affiliated with Tyrian Lodge. The oldest initiate is Francis Bennett, made in 1867, and to whom the writer is indebted for helpful information in preparing this paper.
During its long career many interesting relics have been accumulated in the Lodge archives. An enumeration of these would make a catalogue for which this article, necessarily limited, has not the space. The oldest diploma, in its possession, issued by the Lodge, is that of William Tarbox and is signed by Barnett Harkin, Master in 1787. There is a replica of the original seal of the Lodge. A gauge, now in use, was presented to it one hundred and ten years ago. It has two gavels, one made from wood from the frigate Constitution presented by Brother John McEachin and the other, on the occasion of the one hundred and forty-second anniversary celebration, by the Grand Master, Colonel Benton, made of cedar from Mt. Lebanon, secured by him while on a tour of the Holy Land. I have received from a member of the Sargent family a photograph of a Past Master's certificate which was issued to Fitz William Sargent, Master of the Lodge in the years 1799 to 1801, and which, in turn, I will present to the Lodge. It is an ornate sample of the engravers' art of the period. The original certificate, in its frame, will be placed on the walls of the Sargent house in Middle Street.
The notices sent out in recent years are from a plate originally engraved by Paul Revere and bearing his name. The copy from which the duplication was made is dated March 4, 1811, and calls for a meeting at the Hall of Mr. Daniel Rogers, John Tucker being Master. Blank spaces are left in this plate for dates, names, and places to be written in. It bears the designation of Tyrian Lodge No. 1, which is evidence that it. was made before 1792, when the two Grand Lodges united. It was probably included in tin-early consignment of supplies from Paul Revere and the printing done in Boston. Some years later the records show that a deputation is authorized to interview Mr. Paul Revere and obtain from him the "lodge plate. This probably refers to the plate on which the notice is printed.
During the recent World War, coming in from sea at a time when the clouds of adversity bulked large on the horizon of the Allies, I read the news that General Allenby and his gallant army had crossed the desert and taken Jerusalem. And most significant came the added tidings, some days later, that the Masonic officers of the army had assembled in meeting on Mount Moriah. To the reflective Mason this news was of tremendous, I may say, of epochal importance. Mount Moriah, the cradle and shrine of Masonry, was theirs — is ours — for all time! No longer may the eastern and western divisions of Christianity wrangle and riot in the holy season, in holy places, to the delight of the Moslem.
These thoughts summoned the memories of the Crusaders of old, Godfrey De Bouillon, Richard the Lion Hearted, Peter the Hermit, and the Children Crusaders. For their goal had been reached; their sacrifices vindicated. Jerusalem the Golden and Mount Moriah, the Shrine of Masonry, were at last secure! How many Masons then realized or now realize the tremendous import of this event, still shadowed by armistice!
And as I reflected came the lines of that poem uppermost in the minds of all: Take up the quarrel with the foe . . . To you with failing hands we throw The torch ... If ye break faith We shall not rest though poppies blow— and I wondered whether speaking through that gifted soul, John McCrae, the spirit of some old Crusader voiced the cry, "Fight on," which was to stimulate anew the hosts of right to attain the aim of the centuries.
Such is the fruition and accomplishment which has come to the Masonic brotherhood of the world. Ours now the guardianship of those shrines which men and Masons hold sacred.
To you of the present and the Masons of Tyrian Lodge yet to come! One hundred and fifty years ripe with achievement, resplendent with patriotism, and significant of purpose achieved is your rich, heritage and patrimony! These challenge your endeavor and demand your highest, effort! Yours to guard the portals of the future!
As I look into the faces of the younger members present, representing as they do the flower of the business, professional, and civic life of the city, I am convinced that the same high purpose which stimulated your predecessors animates you, and that in your hands Tyrian Lodge is safe and will "go forward" to still higher achievement.
175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1945
From Proceedings, Page 1945-14:
By Right Worshipful Addison G. Brooks.
Adequately to portray the life of an institution during a century and three-quarters is a task beyond the scope of any historian who is so sharply limited in time as the present writer chooses to be.
When I was asked to prepare and deliver the history, which seems to be an inevitable feature of an anniversary program, I was reminded of the many historical papers I have heard read at similar functions and, remembering how hard it was to keep awake to the bitter end, resolved, if it be possible, to compress one hundred and seventy-five years of history into ten or fifteen minutes of high lights which, while they would not pretend to treat the subject with the completeness of our able historian of twenty-five years ago, our late Brother James A. Pringle, might yet succeed in presenting to us a recognizable portrait of our Lodge in the past, present and future.
It is probable that there were on Cape Ann from the earliest days of modern, organized Freemasonry, which dates from 1717 in England, men who were members of Lodges in the Mother Country. Certainly there must have been some soon after 1733, when Viscount Montague, then Grand Master of the Masons of England, gave Henry Price a dispensation to charter Lodges in New England and, in fact, all North America. At that time there were only two Grand Lodges in the world—England and Ireland. Later the Grand Lodge of Scotland was constituted, but our Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts is universally and practically unanimously conceded third place in the precedence of the organized Freemasonry of today.
In 1769 the Earl of Dalhousie, Grand Master Mason of Scotland, gave a dispensation to Dr. http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=GMJsWarren Joseph Warren ]to charter Lodges in part of the same area which Henry Price had encompassed with his St. John's Grand Lodge. Warren lost no time in acting under his dispensation, and the first Lodge he chartered was ours, which was constituted on March 2, 1770, under the jurisdiction,of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
It has been said that the St. John's Grand Lodge was of Tory leanings, while the Massachusetts Grand Lodge inclined to the Colonial side. Be that as it may, the roster of the junior Grand Lodge is studded with names of patriots. So it is easy to see why the handful of Free and Accepted Masons in Gloucester elected to petition the Massachusetts Grand Lodge for a charter on February 23, 1770. Apparently there was no probationary period of operating "under dispensation," for on March 2nd of the same year, Tyrian Lodge No. 1 was constituted.
Those of you who have carefully examined the attested copy of the charter which hangs in the East of the lodge-room will have noticed a blank space in the list of petitioners. Brother Pringle mentions seven petitioners. There are, indeed, seven names on the charter, but that blank space originally contained an eighth name, which has always interested me. He who reads may see the other seven, but who was the Brother whose name was erased after the charter was issued?
Our late Brother, Worshipful Edgar S. Taft, stated twenty-five years ago tonight that this mysterious petitioner was one Andrew Van Phillips, who was at that time an Entered Apprentice. What he did to cause his name to be expunged, we shall never know I fear, but the Lodge records show that he visited it once, and he was later expelled from Masonry without having been actually a member of Tyrian Lodge, nor a Master Mason, so far as we know.
Barnett Harkin, a school-master and surveyor, was elected Master; George Brown, Senior Warden; John Fletcher, Junior Warden; and Epes Sargent, Jr., Secretary. Evidently Philip Marett, Andrew Gidding and David Parker had no aspiration to leadership, not being permanent Cape Anners, and Brown and Fletcher, although honored by election as Wardens, never became Master.
The first meeting of the new Lodge was held on March 9, 1770, at the palatial home of the "Widow" Sargent, at the corner of Main and Pleasant Streets, where the Customs House later was erected. The Sargent mansion was then moved up Pleasant Street to the rear of the Customs House, and about fifty years ago, to Liberty Street, where, as "The Block," it still stands!
Worshipful Paul Revere made the officers' jewels and engraved a notice cover which is still used for the Lodge anniversary communication, in addition to signing the original charter as Senior Grand Deacon of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. His name appears again on our charter when, as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, formed by the fusion of the two concurrent Provincial Grand Lodges, he endorsed it.
It is perhaps idle to speculate as to the reason for selecting "Tyrian" as the name of the Lodge, but Gloucester and Tyre were both noted seaports, and Tyrian purple was a famous color. Also, of course, Tyrians play an important part in the ritual. Suffice it to say that it is a fine, dignified name, whether used alone or prefixed by "The."
On that issue there has been much controversy. The Lodge seal,bears the words "Tyrian Lodge, Gloucester, N. E." Revere's notice design says "The TYRIAN Lodge No. 1," but the use of the word "the" before the name was and is still customary among English Lodges. The fact that Revere engraved "the" in small letters, while "Tyrian" is in capitals, seems to me to signify that "Tyrian" was the real name of the Lodge, with "the" as a definite article preceding it according to custom. The charter makes the same distinction. However, I do not wish to resurrect an issue which seems to have been decently buried. By common consent, we speak of our Lodge as "The Tyrian" and we might as well continue to do so, just as we say "The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge."
As many English Lodges do to this day, our Lodge, after moving from the Sargent mansion, met at a succession of Taverns, the first where the Baptist.Church now stands, another on the site of the George Steele house on Middle Street, another where the brick house opposite the Baptist Church now stands, another at the West end of Main Street, opposite what is known as the Puritan House corner. These Tavern occupancies were interspersed with sojourns on School Street in a school house which became known as "Mason's Hall."
For many years the Lodge thus migrated from place to place, among them a location opposite the present Oddfellows' Block, then in that block for a year, then to Burnham's Block, on the site of the W. T. Grant Store. After being burned out there, it went back to the Oddfellows, then back to Burnham's, then to the Gloucester National Bank building, where it was again burned out. After this fire, when again its records and relics were rescued, the Lodge went back to the Oddfellows, then back to the Bank. Finally, in 1895, it moved into the apartments it now occupies, and where it hopes to remain for many years to come.
During the years of Anti-Masonic activity, from 1834 to 1843, the Lodge was in recess, its charter, being held for safekeeping by the Grand Lodge. What might have been a serious situation was averted by the zeal of Right Worshipful William Ferson, and the precedence of the Lodge remains unbroken. Aside from that interlude, the Lodge has had an uninterrupted sequence of communications for one hundred seventy-five years.
In each of the wars in which our Country has engaged, members of our Lodge have participated with distinction. The Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the War with Spain, the First World War, and now this second World War, have drawn the flower of our young manhood into action. A complete roster would be most impressive, but we may content ourselves for the moment with the inspiring thought that, in every crisis, men imbued with the high principles of our Craft have risen to the defense of the institutions they held dearest.
It is interesting also to note how many names written large on the pages of Gloucester history have also been prominent in the affairs of our Lodge. Always it has been true that men with the ability to achieve distinction in the community have found their
high level in Masonic associations. That is certainly to be said of those who wrought the pattern of our community's history. The list of our Past Masters is studded with such names.
Several of these names are also identified with the history of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Eight of our Past Masters, Right Worshipfuls William Ferson, John S. Johnston, Isaac A. S. Steele, Herbert C. Taft, William Emerson Parsons, William H. Rider, Addison G. Brooks and Harold S. Maddocks, have served as District Deputy Grand Masters. Three, Right Worshipfuls William Ferson, William Babson and Addison G. Brooks, have been elected Senior Grand Warden. One, Right Worshipful and Reverend William H. Rider, was appointed Deputy Grand Master.
It is an interesting commentary on our way of life and the accelerated pace of the present century that of our seventy-four Past Masters, thirty are now living. For the first twenty-five years of its existence, the Lodge had four Masters, each of whom served in that position for six years or more. During its second quarter-century, the Lodge had seven Masters, and five during the third. During the last quarter of its first century, nine Masters served, and ten covered the first twenty-five years of its second century. Then, with the dawn of the nineteenth century, we see a change. During the twenty-five years from 1895 to 1920, the Lodge had seventeen Masters, and during the last quarter-century there have been twenty-four, including our Presiding Master.
Not since 1914 has a Master served more than one term, except for the situation in 1927, when there were no lawfully available line officers and a Past Master, Right Worshipful Harold S. Maddocks, bridged the gap by accepting election.
Does this mean that Masonic interests now command a less proportion of our time than in the old days ? I fear that is the inevitable conclusion. Our lives are far more complex than were the lives of our fathers, in that there are many more outside activities clamoring for a share of our time. Yet a day is still a day, and a week still has only seven days in it. We crowd ourselves with engagements and begrudge the effort necessary to attain maturity in any one field of activity because we are anxious to try something new.
For that reason, is our Fraternity in danger? It has survived for thousands of years, and even today, in remote places where the spirit of the pioneers still lives, it is a nourishing institution. But do the old traditions fail of adaptability to the present-day pace of life in our large cities? Even here in Gloucester—and we are typical—it is hard to fill the benches at our communications.
If Freemasonry were the only institution of unquestioned worth which has so suffered, one might feel with reason that its present state betokens something wrong with its structure or its appeal to men. But the Church itself has been subjected to the very same influences with similar results. We have heard it said that formal religion was an anachronism in the careless, materialistic age which preceded the great War in which we are now engaged.
I prefer to think that it is not the Church nor Freemasonry which has ceased to have force. Religion and the instinct for brotherhood have both been part of man's make-up since man has lived. Yet man has evolved in a series of uneven cyclical changes from the primitive half-brute of the stone age to the so-called cultured citizen of our present-day complex world. And his religion and his manner of living with his fellows have also been subjected to a comparable evolutionary process.
Yet through these changes in creeds and dogmas fundamental religion as we Masons profess it has maintained its integrity. So has Freemasonry survived repeated swings of the pendulum since its birth behind the mists of Time.
When the false and superficial encrustations which tend to grow on our souls during periods of easy irresponsibility are stripped away by an emergency like the present struggle, we find that our fundamental nature is still sound, that we are still capable of seeing things in their true values without distortion. No matter how cynical we have pretended to be, when our emotions are stirred to the depths, we still find God in our hearts.
So it is also with our zeal for brotherhood. As life became more complex, we rather took for granted many things which we once practiced consciously. But are we not today exemplifying the fact that our ideals of brotherhood are still unblurred? Are we not going beyond the primitive instinct for self-preservation in our present desperate struggle to effect a community of interest among all the nations of the World?
So I still have faith, as you should, in the basic soundness of our profession as Masons. I still feel confident that the present era of relative inattention to the operation of our Craft is only a passing phase, and that men will again find comfort and solace in the sort of brotherly contact of which these sterner days must remind them.
Let us look with reverence and admiration at the achievements of those who kept our altars lighted through the vicissitudes of past ages. But let us not be satisfied with reverence and admiration. Let us rather take the achievements of our fathers in the Craft as a challenge to us to build as truly as they did.
Even as we read history, we are inevitably making history in our turn. If we each resolve to live our Masonry, and shape well and square the Ashlers which we fashion, we need not worry about the future. For our sons and their sons will accept the challenge we lay before them and the universal brotherhood we practice will be the golden rule of all mankind.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF FREEMASONRY ON CAPE ANN, DECEMBER 1959
From Proceedings, Page 1959-346:
By Brother Jay J. Dean.
The foundation of Freemasonry on Cape Ann occurred during the period prior to the War for Independence, two centuries ago. This was a period of political unrest; the feeling of patriotism and the desire of freedom from the Crown were gaining momentum. A town of 4000, Gloucester was a leading seaport of commerce and fishing, a haven of patriotism.
Freemasonry was brought to this country in the early 1700's by the British soldiers and their Military Lodges. The first Grand Lodge in Massachusetts was established in 1733, and prior to the Revolution was associated with the Tory or Royalist element. In 1769, a second Grand Lodge was instituted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland with Dr. Joseph Warren as Grand Master; it became closely associated with the Patriot cause.
On February 23, 1770, seven Freemasons of Gloucester petitioned the new Grand Lodge. On March 2, Tyrian Lodge #1, New England, was chartered. The petitioners and charter members were Philip Marett, John Fletcher, Andrew Gidding, George Brown, David Parker, Epes Sargent, Jr., and Barnet Harkin, who was installed as Worshipful Master.
Joseph Warren signed the Charter, the only one in existence today with his signature. It was also signed by Paul Revere, Senior Grand Deacon. After the two Grand Lodges united in 1792, Paul Revere, as Grand Master in 1797, validated the Charter by his endorsement. Subsequently, the numerical designation of Lodges in Massachusetts was dropped.
The first meeting of The Tyrian Lodge was held at the house of Widow Sargent, March 9, 1770. Captain Cornelius Fellows and Philemon Stacy were proposed and accepted as Entered Apprentices, the first to be received. A bill from Paul Revere was read at this meeting, covering 1 box, 2 candlesticks, painted flooring, ballot box, truncheons and gilding, jewels, ribbon, a book and 12 aprons for a total sum just over ten pounds. On June 24, 1773, the Festival of St. John was authorized to be celebrated in a public manner with a grand outdoor parade. This was the first spectacle of its kind with all Grand Lodge Officers marching, led by Joseph Webb, Grand Master, Senior Grand Warden Paul Revere, and our own Barnet Harkin as Junior Grand Warden.
Barnet Harkin, the first Master, was the town's schoolmaster, a surveyor and a selectman for several years. He served as clerk of the Universalist Church from 1788-95, having been very active in the founding of that society.
Epes Sargent, Jr., the first Secretary and a graduate of Harvard in 1766, was made a Mason in 1769 in the Lodge of Saint Andrew, Boston. He was an active Patriot of Royalist descent and was rewarded by George Washington, who appointed him first collector of the Port in 1790.
Due to the Patriot activities the Provincial Congress was moved to Salem, and in March 1775, recommended the creation of the Minute Men. Worshipful Nathaniel Warner, Master of The Tyrian Lodge, organized the Minute Men; but after the Battle of Concord and Lexington, he disbanded them and organized a company of 225 men for regular duty. Captain Warner left the Chair and led his company at the Battle of Bunker Hill. From the Battle of Bunker Hill until the present time, the Freemasons of Cape Ann have been called upon several times to serve their country in time of war. Distinguishing themselves and bringing honor to the Fraternity, some of them gave their lives for the preservation of the American heritage.
The Lodge continued its activities through the Revolution even though the town was at its lowest ebb financially, having been drained of its best men and its shipping.
During the early years the social note dominated the Lodge. According to the custom of the day, the choicest wines and liquors, brought from foreign ports, were at hand after labor. It is recorded in July 1779 that Brother Thomas Sparling was deputized to buy a cask of sherry, and in February 1780, a committee was commissioned to purchase a cask of good wine.
At the death of Worshipful George Washington, the Brethren voted to go in solemn procession, wearing a badge of mourning, to the First Parish Church to hear a sermon in his honor. To make the ceremony more impressive, it was voted to wear white stockings with shoes should the weather be fair. Evidently it was, for the Lodge roster shows the largest attendance on that date. It is most likely that the normal dress was riding boots rather than shoes and stockings.
During the era of the early 1800's the Lodge enjoyed a period of good times and growth as the town grew and prospered. However, a political upheaval known as the Anti-Masonic Party brought activities to a standstill, and the Lodge was even dormant from 1834 till 1843. It was during this period that many Lodges succumbed and that priceless landmarks and records were lost. This might have been the fate of The Tyrian Lodge had it not been for one man, Worshipful William Ferson.
Dr. William Ferson settled first in Sandy Bay and then a year later in the Harbor Village proper. He was a member of The Tyrian Lodge for about a year before his election to Master in 1821. When the outlook of Masonry seemed the blackest, he gathered the charter and other treasures of the Lodge and saw that they were secure in the vault of the Gloucester Bank. In 1843 he was responsible for the resumption of activities, being again elected Master. Later he was honored by the Grand Lodge by being elected Senior Grand Warden.
The village of Sandy Bay became the separate Town of Rockport. The Brethren there, recognizing the need for their own Lodge, instituted Ashler Lodge in 1851, with Eben Blatchford as Worshipful Master.
Activity increased and Freemasonry was growing; for example, the Civil War brought with it the many Military Lodges attached to the regiments in the field. The period from the end of the War to 1900 was to see the development of Acacia Lodge, the York Rite Bodies, and the Eastern Star; thus Gloucester Freemasonry had reached maturity.
Acacia Lodge was instituted in 1865. The idea for a second Lodge had been building for a year or so before. There were nineteen original members who signed the petition. The Lodge was constituted in 1866 with Worshipful Fitz J. Babson, Master; George P. Honnors, Senior Warden; and William H. Steele, Junior Warden. Wor. Fitz Babson was a Past Master of The Tyrian Lodge and had an outstanding war record. He served Acacia Lodge as Master for three terms. The early meetings of Acacia were held in Gloucester proper and for several years in the same hall with The Tyrian. In 1875, the question came up of a third Lodge to be located in East Gloucester. Consequently, in December of that year, it was voted by Acacia Lodge to move to that area of the City and on April 6, 1877, the first meeting was held in the new Masonic Block in East Gloucester.
The one hundredth anniversary of The Tyrian Lodge, celebrated in 1870, was a gala event. It is also claimed that the plans for William Ferson Royal Arch Chapter were laid at this celebration. The dispensation issued for the institution of the Chapter did not occur until December 13, 1870. The petition was signed by thirteen Royal Arch Masons. William Babson, who was a Past Master of The Tyrian and who later served as Senior Grand Warden, was appointed the first Excellent High Priest. He served the Chapter six terms in this office. Allen Rogers was King and Henry Center, Scribe; Albert L. Steele was the first Secretary of the Chapter. During the time the Chapter was acting under dispensation, it held forty meetings and exalted thirty candidates.
Bethlehem Commandery, No. 43, Knights Templar, was instituted October 29, 1890, after a petition signed by thirty-five Knights was presented to the Grand Commandery. The first Eminent Commander was Edgar S. Taft; Edwin Archer Bradley was Generalissimo and David S. Presson, Captain General. The first two Commanders often provided the necessary guidance throughout the first forty years of the Commandery's existence.
The Commandery was a very active group in its early days, participating in street parades and outings as often as possible. The first Christmas observance was held in 1893.
The Reverend William H. Rider, who served the Commandery for almost a quarter of a century as its first Prelate, instituted the custom of the Commandery's going to church as a body on Easter. This custom continued into the early thirties. Lately, the Commandery has attended services at the Commander's church on Ascension Sunday. The Reverend William Rider served the Grand Lodge as Deputy Grand Master, the highest position ever attained by a Cape Ann Mason.
The Eastern Star came to Gloucester in 1888, when Martha Washington Chapter, No. 21, was instituted with forty-three members. The first Worthy Matron was Mary G. Lloyd, with John P. Lloyd as Worthy Patron, and Associate Matron, Annette P. Wonson. The first meeting was held at the Phoenix Hall on Duncan Street. The Chapter has always been available to assist the Masonic bodies and to provide aid during the wartime periods. Its membership grew to 343 at its fiftieth anniversary in 1948 and now stands at 471.
Through the years, the Masonic bodies have continued to grow, at some times more rapidly than at others. Also, there have been periods of contraction, as was seen during the great depression of the thirties. Acacia Lodge showed 100 members in 1890 at its 25th Anniversary and now has grown to 417. The Tyrian Lodge now numbers 394 members. The Chapter and Commandery reached their peak in the 1920's with 306 and 220 members respectively. They now record 246 and 168 each. The outstanding year in the Chapter was 1914 when Frank S. Elliott was High Priest and when forty-four Brethren were exalted Royal Arch Masons. Frank Elliott, a member of the York Cross of Honor, served the Grand Chapter as Grand King in 1920. More recently, Addison G. Brooks served the Grand Lodge as Senior Grand Warden, the third from The Tyrian Lodge to hold this position. Again in 1946, Cape Ann Masonry was honored when D. Ralph Lynch served as Grand Scribe of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter.
Cape Ann Chapter Order of DeMolay for boys was organized in 1934 and became inactive during World War II. Reorganized in 1948, it is sponsored by William Ferson Royal Arch Chapter. The Tyrian Lodge sponsors Gloucester Assembly No. 41, Order of Rainbow for Girls, which was founded in 1936. These two organizations have been very active, accomplishing a most important task in helping to build sterling character among our teenagers.
Several celebrations of great importance have been held throughout the years. One of the high points in the Commandery's history was Monday, June 24, 1929, St. John's Day, when about 100 Sir Knights were hosts to the Grand Commandery and to over 700 Sir Knights from twelve visiting Commanderies, at an outing at Stage Fort Park. Another important event was marked on St. John's Sunday, 1937, when over four hundred Cape Ann Masons escorted the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Claude L. Allen of Melrose, and Annisquam, to the Universalist Church for divine service. It was on this occasion that the Commandery provided its first escort to the Blue Lodges, now an annual St. John's Sunday feature. Others were the 75th anniversary of Acacia Lodge in 1940, the 175th of The Tyrian Lodge and 75th of William Ferson Chapter, both in 1945. The latest, and maybe the most important one, was the laying of the corner-stone of the Gloucester Masonic Temple on Sunday, August 16, 1959, by Most Worshipful Andrew Gray Jenkins, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.
The search for permanent quarters dates back to the days of the founding of The Tyrian Lodge. The first meeting was held in the Widow Sargent House, which is said to have been located at the corner of Main and Pleasant Streets, where F. W. Woolworth's store is now located.
In 1773, a committee was appointed to investigate and report on a piece of land and on the cost to build a lodge hall. The report was made but no action taken. Twenty-four years later another committee reported plans to build a lodge hall 40 by 22 feet, but again the plans fell through.
On May 6, 1794, it was voted to empower a committee to hire the hall over the new school room upon the best terms, not to exceed twelve dollars per annum. This was accomplished, it being known as Mason's Hall; but the members were dissatisfied and soon returned to the custom of meeting at private homes. This custom continued no doubt until after the Anti-Masonic storm had subsided, when the membership grew to the point that necessitated a hall.
The first home of Acacia Lodge was in the Burnham Block; but in 1870, Acacia joined The Tyrian at their hall in the Hough Block. In 1877, however, Acacia moved to East Gloucester, occupying the Masonic Hall there, first renting but later purchasing on May 4, 1917. Worshipful Brothers John J. Lowrie and Carlton W. Wonson rendered valuable service in negotiating the purchase. This home served Acacia adequately through the many years until its sale in June 1959.
The Tyrian Lodge and William Ferson Chapter rented the Gloucester National Bank Building, second and third floors, for a number of years, being joined by the Commandery upon its organization. With the necessity for additional space, these bodies sought new quarters. In February 1895, they moved to the Ferguson Block. At this time, they were joined by the Eastern Star. The Ferguson Block was to be their home for the next half century and at one time seemed to be the permanent solution. At first they rented; then in 1919, a favorable opportunity presented itself, and the building was purchased for $60,000. The Gloucester Masonic Building Corporation was organized as the owner. The building was sold in 1945 for $93,000, and part of the profit was a favorable lease on the third floor for a 25-year period. However, a disastrous fire on January 14, 1955, cancelled the lease; and the new terms offered by the owners were unacceptable.
All the bodies, with the exception of William Ferson Chapter and the DeMolay, accepted Acacia's offer and have met at their hall ever since, which, serving so many organizations, has become overtaxed. The Chapter and DeMolay have since met at Oddfellows Hall on Main Street.
The first real attempt at creating a new temple was in conjunction with the Stop and Shop food chain at their new store at Duffy's Oaks in Bass Rocks. For over a year, much time and effort were put into this project which would have resulted in a lodge hall over the store. However, the plan proved too expensive. The Corporation then secured the Hildreth School from the City of Gloucester with a conditional reverter attached to the deed for $1.00, and plans to remodel and renovate were made. These were also rejected.
The third attempt was to erect a new building of simple cement block construction, rough plans and estimates having been submitted to the Corporation. The Trustees appointed an advisor}' group of community leaders and interested Masons to help them. These two groups met together several times, resulting in the outright purchase of the Hildreth School property for $2500, the engagement of an architect, the drawing of preliminary plans and the making of estimates for this building which we are now dedicating. On August 19, 1958, The Tyrian Lodge, William Ferson Chapter, and Bethlehem Commandery accepted the plans and estimates, and authorized the Corporation to proceed with the razing of the school building and the construction of the Temple. Tn the spring of 1959, Acacia Lodge joined the Corporation.
This building, which completes the dreams of Masons on Cape Ann, was constructed by the Rockport firm of Hobbs and Mackey at a cost of $89,000. The total project, including land, fees, and furnishings will cost nearly $120,000. The raising of the necessary funds was accomplished under the direction of Carroll K. Steele. The membership contributed over $65,000, the balance having been previously voted from the permanent funds of the bodies.
It is the hope of all Cape Ann Masons that with this wonderful new Temple housing all the Masonic and affiliated organizations of Gloucester, new heights will be attained and that its third century will be even more prosperous.
200TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1970
From Proceedings, Page 1970-346:
By Worshipful Earle T. Merchant.
During the year of 1970, The Tyrian Lodge of Masons celebrates its 200th Birthday.
We arc told that shortly before the institution of our ancient Lodge, a period of great prosperity existed in the American Colonies, our own city being well established as a prosperous fishing community, and the general area thriving on sea-going commerce.
In 1733, a Grand Lodge of Masons was instituted in Massachusetts by Henry Price and a group of Englishmen, and this Grand Lodge as might be expected, found its members greatly sympathetic with the ruling authorities in the homeland. At a later date, another Grand Lodge was instituted in our State, this one authorized and chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and those acting in this Grand Lodge were largely composed of the American patriots who rebelled against the tyranny imposed by the rulers in the homeland.
The Tyrian Lodge was chartered March 2, 1770 by this Scottish Massachusetts Grand Lodge, and was assigned the Number One, the records of that Grand Lodge show.
On our anniversaries in March of each year, we use a plate engraved by Paul Revere and bearing his signature as the "cover" for our notices to the membership. That engraving includes the words, "The Tyrian Lodge No. 1."
Those granted a charter were seven in number, namely: Phillip Marrett, John Fletcher, Andrew Gidding, George Brown, David Parker, Barnet Harkin, and Epes Sargent, Jr.
Our own records, up to the year 1792, are recited to be the records of "Tyrian No. 1."
On March 5, 1792, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was formed by the union of the two existing Grand Lodges. This posed a problem. How to determine the precedence of the several Lodges in each of the two Grand Lodge Jurisdictions? This dilemma was solved by the simple expedient of deciding to scrap the system of issuing numbers to the separate Lodges, but instead, to determine each Lodge's precedence by the date of their charters.
On this basis, The Tyrian Lodge lost its precedence to four Lodges, and the precedence of the first five Lodges in Massachusetts and the date of their respective charters are: First, Saint John's Lodge of Boston, 1733; Second, Saint Andrew's Lodge of Boston, 1756; Third, Philanthropic Lodge of Marblehead, 1760; Fourth, Saint John's Lodge of Newburyport, 1766; and Fifth, The Tyrian Lodge of Gloucester, 1770.
We thus became fifth in precedence, and Massachusetts became the only State whose Masonic Grand Lodge does not number its subordinate Lodges.
The charter was signed by the legendary heroes of the Revolutionary War, Dr. Joseph Warren, Grand Master, and Paul Revere, Senior Grand Deacon; and several years after the union, Paul Revere, as Grand Master, signed the back of our charter validating it as an integral Lodge of the newly formed Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
This ancient document, for some years now, has been kept in the vault of a local bank, to be taken out only every quarter of a century, and left for that one night only, under glass on the Treasurer's desk. A duly authorized copy is present at all other periods.
The first meeting of our Lodge was held March 9, 1770, at Widow Sargent's house, at which time they elected Barnet Harkin, the town schoolmaster, a surveyor and Town Selectman, as their first Worshipful Master.
One of the great unsolved mysteries here Masonically, is the location of the grave of this first Master. In the records of August 31, 1796, there appears a detailed account of his burial, with a complete list of those present, and the account described leaving the home of Brother Nathaniel Sargent, where the meeting was held, and proceeding in "Masonic Order to the grave," where part of the services were read by Brother John Gorham Rogers, but no mention of the burial place is mentioned, nor has it ever been located, though 174 years have passed since then.
They had their troubles in their early years with locations for their meetings.
The first meeting place. Widow Sargent's house, is believed to have been located where the Woolworth Store presently stands, at the corner of Main and Pleasant Streets.
In 1773, the Lodge appointed a committee to investigate and report on the cost of a parcel of land and the cost of constructing a Lodge building thereon, and to take a collection for that purpose, and report to the Lodge at its next meeting. The committee reported, but no action was taken.
On May 6, 1794, it was voted to empower a committee to hire the Hall "Over the New School Room" for a hall upon the best terms not to exceed twelve dollars per annum. Think of it a moment — a sum just one hundred times less than the sum that was paid for rent of our Main Street quarters in 1955 before the fire. The Lodge did indeed secure those quarters for a very short time, and it was then known as "Mason's Hall"; but they were dissatisfied, and soon returned to the custom of meeting at private homes.
In 1797, three years later, another committee reported with plans for a building, forty by twenty-two feet in measurement, but this plan also was not approved.
In 1919, the structure on Main Street was obtained by deed and held by the Gloucester Masonic Building Corporation. It was known as the "Ferguson Block", and the third floor was used as Lodge Quarters for The Tyrian Lodge and other allied Masonic activities and organizations until Friday, January 14, 1955, when fire occurred, shortly after which, we left the building.
During the period of location insecurity, from March 1, 1955 through and including December 1, 1959, The Tyrian Lodge met at the East Gloucester Quarters of our fellow Masonic Lodge, Acacia Lodge, with these exceptions: By the courtesy of the late John Hays Hammond, the Anniversaries of The Tyrian Lodge held, respectively, on March 1, 1955, March 6, 1956, March 5, 1957 and March 4, 1958, also the Semi-Public Installations on January 7, 1958 and January 6, 1959, were held in the Great Hall of the Hammond Castle Museum on Hesperus Avenue, and at the first of these Anniversaries, in 1955, it was a distinct thrill which I vividly remember, standing on that very high raised dais, and reading a historic paper in commemoration of the 185th Anniversary of the Lodge.
Meanwhile, the search went on for new quarters, including the taking, but not using, an option on land now occupied by Stevens Motor Company, our local Ford car agency; participating in a hearing December 27, 1955, whereby the so-called Duffy's Oakes area was zoned for business, and it was seriously considered taking ownership, building a store for Stop and Shop, and constructing a Temple on the second floor, receiving rent income from Stop and Shop, which concern made a very fine offer, including increases in rent based on volume of business.
A city requirement as to type of access road which would be required to be built, however, blocked the Masonic interests from this project, due to its great cost.
Then, after negotiations with the City, in our notice of March 4, 1958, it was announced that the Masonic Building Corporation had arranged to purchase the Hildreth Primary School on Eastern Avenue, and that this building would be open for inspection and to examine plans and estimates for its conversion to a Masonic Temple.
Meanwhile, Acacia Lodge had also lost their quarters by fire, and they joined us with the other allied organizations, and with all pitching in under the direction of a great organizer, Brother Carroll K. Steele of The Tyrian Lodge, funds were raised both by the generous gifts of individual members of all organizations, and substantial sums from the Permanent Funds of The Tyrian and Acacia Lodges, William Ferson Royal Arch Chapter, Bethlehem Commandery No. 43, Knights Templar and Martha Washington Chapter No. 21, Order of Eastern Star. Enough was raised to construct a new Temple and endow it with the beginning of a maintenance fund.
Accordingly, the Masonic Building Corporation tore down the Hildreth Primary School on Eastern Avenue, leaving its foundation intact and usable, and built our present Temple.
On August 19, 1958 at a joint meeting with all interested organizations, we voted to use two-thirds of our Permanent Fund for this project.
On Sunday August 16, 1959 at 1:30 P.M., Cornerstone Laying Ceremonies were conducted by Most Worshipful Brother Andrew Gray Jenkins, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and Worshipful Brother Joseph J. Vicari was the presiding Worshipful Master. The Dedication Ceremony was held on December 10, 1959 with one of Lufkin's baked halibut suppers served at Gloucester High School. The semi-public celebration was held at the new Temple, with Most Worshipful Grand Master, Andrew Gray Jenkins, and his line of Grand Lodge Officers participating. The Weber Quartette was presented as the entertainment feature.
On January 5, 1960, The Tyrian Lodge held its first regular Communication at the new Temple, with a semi-public Installation of Officers.
This brings us up to date as to our quarters, which we now share with Acacia Lodge, William Ferson Royal Arch Chapter, Bethlehem Commandery No. 43, Knights Templar, Martha Washington Chapter No. 21, Order of Eastern Star, as well as a very fine group of girls, Gloucester Assembly No. 41, Order of Rainbow for Girls, organized under the sponsorship of The Tyrian Lodge, and the Order of DeMolay, represented by the boys of Cape Ann Chapter.
But to get back to the early days of our Lodge, at the first meeting of the Lodge, a bill from our honored patron, Paul Revere of Boston was read for: 1 box, 2 candlesticks, painted flooring, balloting box, truncheons and gilding, jewels, ribbon, a book, and 12 aprons, for a total sum of just over ten pounds.
On April 24, 1770, it was voted: "That the thanks of The Tyrian Lodge be returned to Brother Paul Revere for the zeal and activity he has shown and exerted in the establishment of this lodge," and it was further voted: "That Brother Paul Revere represent us in the Grand Lodge at the ensuing Quarterly Communication." He continued to act as our Proxy to the Grand Lodge for several years.
On June 24, 1773, the Festival of St. John the Baptist was celebrated by a Grand Lodge Meeting held here, with all Grand Lodge Officers marching in a parade through our streets, with Grand Master Joseph Webb, Senior Grand Warden Paul Revere, and our own Barnet Harkin as Junior Grand Warden. Services were held in Mr. Chandler's Meeting House — the present location of Gloucester's Jewish Synagogue on Middle Street.
On December 22, 1777, Worshipful Barnet Harkin was informed by letter from the Grand Lodge, of the election of Brother Paul Revere as the Worshipful Master of St. Andrews Lodge in Boston, and requesting The Tyrian Lodge to choose another representative in his place as a Proxy. The Lodge chose Brother Phillip Marrett, and the Lodge voted: "that the Lodge should give Brother Revere their thanks for his past services to this Lodge, and to congratulate him on his accession to the Chair of St. Andrew's Lodge."
They had difficulties from time to time with human error and the elements.
In the Records of August, 1783, it was said: "No Lodge held this night, one of the Brethren haveing the keys being oute of Town."
In December, 1786, this Record: "No Lodge held on account of a Grate Snow Storme."
On February S, 1788, it was said: "No Lodge held this nite being Extreem Coald and Stormey."
They were duly careful not to admit to their meetings any clandestine masons, as will appear from the records of December 1, 1772, as they told one applying to the Tyler as a visitor that, and I now quote from the Record: "they never made a practice of admitting modern masons, and was very sorry they could not act on that point, until they had taken the Sentiments of the Grand Lodge."
The exhortation to Stewards that it was their duty to see to it that the means for refreshment be not converted to intemperance and excess had its basis in realism, for quite often in the expense accounts shown in those early meeting records were bills authorized and paid for jugs or casks of wine and spirits for refreshments.
In modern times, this being a seaport community, it has from time to time happened that considerable time passed before all degrees could be conferred on those plying the seas, particularly fishermen.
On April 4, 1780, the records show that Jonathan Wharf was voted on and given the first degree because "he is soon bound to sea."
They had monetary troubles and inflation, even in those days, many references being made to payment in a certain amount of paper dollars and hard dollars, and in April, 1781, they authorized the exchange of certain money on the basis of eighty for one.
They listed those present and those absent, at many of their meetings, ascribing excuses for the absentees, — out of town — and other reasons.
During the Revolution, the Lodge continued its activities despite the war. They met on July 30, 1776 and decided to elect officers and voted to continue the Lodge in spite of, and I now quote: "confusion occasioned in this as well as all other communities by the unnatural and cruel war in which we are engaged," and on August 6, 1776 the election was held, and the Lodge activities continued unabated despite the war.
The first members balloted for and received into the Lodge were Captain Cornelius Fellows and Philemon Stacy, and the Entered Apprentice Degree was conferred upon them at the first meeting.
According to the research of our late Brother James Pringle, a former historian, when General George Washington died, the Lodge voted to go in solemn procession, in mourning, wearing white stockings, to hear a sermon in his memory at the First Parish Church — now the Gloucester Jewish Synagogue on Middle Street.
Not only were the founders of our ancient Masonic Lodge sponsored by our early American patriots, but the members of this Lodge through the years have served their country both in peace and war.
Epes Sargent, Jr., who received his degrees in St. Andrews Lodge, Boston, and who served as the first Secretary of the Lodge, had his patriotism recognized by George Washington as President, by his appointment in 1790 as the first Collector of the Port of Gloucester.
One thing bothers me. We have the jewels handed down through the ages as the handiwork of Paul Revere, the jewels of the Master and two Wardens in silver. But in a Sunday Boston newspaper account of a few years ago, your historian recalls reading the story of jewels made for a Masonic Lodge in the Middlesex section by Paul Revere, and my memory seems to recall seeing either a picture or account, showing more than three jewels, in fact, a complete set of officers' jewels.
Now, since Paul Revere was one of the most ardent sponsors of our Lodge and made the jewels, as recorded in the first meeting, it seems logical to mc that he must have made more than the three jewels we now have. If so, and if he made a complete set for the Lodge, what could have been the fate of the remaining jewels?
Probably one of the most significant changes in our By-Laws in modern times occurred, when on November 1, 1960, a change was voted, barring all who thereafter should become members from the so-called automatic life membership. As we now start a third century, we can look back with great pride upon the calibre of men who were the officers and members of The Tyrian Lodge through the years, their personal contributions to the Lodge, their community and their country, and the influence for good of the Lodge in the community, and with this as a background and the high standards set and maintained for the past two hundred years, we may, I feel, look forward confidently to the continuance of these standards in the future history of our ancient and revered Masonic Lodge home, which, I feel sure, will continue to prosper for yet untold centuries to come.
We all believe in the being and existence of a God, and we may confidently leave the future of our Lodge in His Hands, and in the good works of our successors, to whom we wish godspeed in their efforts.
- 1804 (Petition for release from dues, II-255)
- 1814 (Petition for charity for prisoners of war, II-614)
- 1819 (Petition for charitable assistance, III-252, III-257)
- 1820 (Report on charitable request, III-266)
- 1821 (Report on arrears, III-341, III-368)
- 1834 (Communications, IV-357)
- 1835 (Committee Report, IV-381)
- 1844 (Committee Report, IV-683)
- 1911 (Presentation of copy of charter and minutes, 1911-224)
- 1913 (Issuing of Centenary Warrant, 1913-214)
INSTALLATION, DECEMBER 1825
From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. II, No. 3, January 1826, Page 17:
The officers of Tyrian Lodge were publicly installed, in due form, at Gloucester on Wednesday evening the 26th ult. at Union Hall, in presence of a large number of respectable gentlemen and a brilliant assemblage of ladies. The Rev. Mr. Bartlett, of Marblehead, R. W. D. D. G. M. with his G. officers, having formed a Grand Lodge, presided on the occasion, and performed the ceremonies of installation.
After a select choir had sung an ode, and the Throne of Grace had been addressed by the R. W. G. Chaplain of the G. Lodge, the Rev. Mr. Dean of Boston, delivered an eloquent and interesting address on the origin, progress and principles of the fraternity, replete with masonic knowledge and information, in an easy, pleasing and graceful manner; and was listened to with profound attention and delight. The interest of all the performances of the evening was heightened by being delivered extemporaneously.
The Rev. Mr. Bartlett, with his offers, then installed the W. Master, Wardens and officers of Tyrian Lodge in a graceful, yet solemn and impressive manner; and in a very happy flow of language and easy address, pathetically charged the several officers to the performance of their respective duties, agreeably to the principles of the order. The manner in which the G. Chaplain assembled the officers of the past year around the altar, previous to resigning their jewels, to return thanks for the harmony which prevailed during their term of office, and that in which the officers elect again repaired there to invoke a blessing of heaven on them during the year ensuing, was attended to with peculiar interest for its solemnity.
Although this lodge has been chartered above fifty-five years, and is one of the oldest in this state, this was the first public installation of its officers; and no ceremony has been witnessed with so much interest, or received such marks of approbation, for many years.
- R. W. William Ferson, Master.
- W. Rufus Leighton, S. Warden.
- W. Henry Smith, J. W.
- W. William Pearce, Treasurer.
- W. William Stevens, Secretary.
- Bro. Jesse Wilson, S. D.
- Bro. Thomas Ireland, J. D.
- Bro. Joseph Procter, S. S.
- Bro. John Somes, J. S.
- Bro. Aaron Plumer, M.
- Bro. Ephraim Smith, Tyler.
FIRST COMMUNICATION AT NEW BUILDING, APRIL 1880
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IV, No. 1, April 1880, Page 29:
Early in the fall of 1879, the Bank building in Gloucester, Mass., was destroyed by fire. This involved the destruction of the Masonic apartments located therein, together with all the furniture, except the altar and the chair of the W. M. The charter of Tyrian Lodge, dated March 2d, 1770, and signed by Joseph Warren, G. M., and the ancient Jewels were also saved.
At the first communication held in the new apartments on April 6th, 1880, these were used and exhibited with much satisfaction. The space at command in this number will not admit of a description of the premises. They are, however, admirably adapted to the wants of the good olA Lodge, and of William Person R. A. Chapter, whose members have united zeal, fidelity, and experience to complete as well arranged apartments, for Masonic purposes, as can be shown in the State. In a future number we shall describe them more at length.
We gladly accepted an invitation from W. P. Wm. Babson, Master, borne to us by W. Bro. R. R. Fears, to attend the first meeting, at which was present a large proportion of the members, many visitors from other lodges, together with invited guests. The work on the first degree was impressively rendered, remarkably so, in view of the newness of the appointments, and the very large attendance. We noticed in the line of officers, that seven of them each wore a Past Master's Jewel. This was in consequence of a determination on the pari of the brethren to increase the interest in Lodge matters, and as a means they selected for official stations those whom they had already proved to be true and trusty workmen.
A collation was served in the banquet hall at the close, when a number of speeches, pleasant and congratulatory, were made.
FEAST OF ST. ANDREW, NOVEMBER 1880
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IV, No. 9, December 1880, Page 287:
Tyrian Lodge, A. F. and A. M., celebrated the feast of St. Andrew at their hall on the evening of November 30th, and elected the following officers for the ensuing year: Wm. Babson, W. M.; Robert R. Fears, S. W.; John Corliss, J. W.; Robert A. Tibbets, Treas.; William P. Dolliver, Sec.; Isaac A. S. Steele, S. D.; Charles H. Boynton, J. D.; John Loyd, S. S.; James Clark, J. S.; H. Frank Sanford, Marshal; Solomon Sargent, Tyler. All the working officers above elected are Past Worshipful Masters of Tyrian Lodge. We made a note of this interesting fad last year, and are glad to hear of the success attending this Lodge of 1770.
142ND ANNIVERSARY, MARCH 1912
From New England Craftsman, Vol. VII, No. 7, April 1912, Page 232:
142d Birthday of Tyrian Lodge
The one hundred and forty-second birthday of Tyrian Lodge, Gloucester, Mass., was celebrated with special attention Saturday, March 2d. Grand Master Everett C. Benton and other members of the Grand Lodge assisted in making this a notable occasion among other festive days in the career of this ancient lodge. Tyrian Lodge was chartered March 2d, 1770.
Before American independence was achieved, Tyrian Lodge was a flourishing organization. With the exception of the town government it is the oldest civic organization of Cape Ann. From its 142d year, it looks back on an ancient and honorable career in the community.
The assembly on this occasion was notable by including many of the elder brethren to whom the lodge extended a warm hand. Among them was Gloucester's esteemed fellow citizens, Andrew Jackson Rowe and Capt. Sylvanus Smith, the oldest members of the lodge, the latter who is in his 83d year being a representative of four living generations of Free Masons.
The Grand Master and suite were received shortly before 7 o'clock. They were escorted to the lodge room by a committee consisting of Hon. Isaac A. S. Steele, E. Archer Bradley, Edgar S. Taft, C. H. M. Hazel of Tyrian Lodge, and Willard S. Pike and George D. Morey, both Past Masters of Acacia Lodge of East Gloucester. On being escorted to the lodge room. Worshipful Brother Steele introduced Most Worshipful Everett C. Benton, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, to Worshipful Master Tarr, the Grand Master in turn introducing his suite, consisting of H. P. Ballard, Senior Grand Warden; W. H. H. Soule, Junior Grand Warden; Thomas W. Davis, Recording Grand Secretary; Charles H. Ramsay, Grand Treasurer; Louis A. Rogers, District Deputy Grand Master of the Ninth Masonic District and Worshipful William H. Supples, acting District Deputy Grand mMrshal. Rev. William H. Rider, D. D., Past Deputy Grand Master, Worshipful W. W. Chute, Past Master of Massachusetts Lodge and Brother Charles H. Barton, Senior Warden, representing the Lodge of St. Andrew.
Worshipful Master Tarr welcomed the grand lodge in cordial terms and expressed appreciation of their assistance on this celebration of the 142d birthday of Tyrian lodge. Grand Master Benton responded to the welcome in happy terms, gracefully referring to Wor. Bro. Steele who was introduced as the Master of the Lodge at its 100th anniversary and said that Worshipful Master Walter S. Tarr has to be congratulated on being at the head of such an historic lodge.
After further formalities the lodge adjourned to the banquet hall where a substantial banquet was served. At the end of the banquet Worshipful Master Tarr introduced the speakers of the evening, the first being Grand Master Benton who spoke of his pleasure in being present. He commended the lodge for its useful career and said he brought to them as Grand Master "the personal good wishes of more than 62,000 of our brethren, who wish you God-speed in your work and we hope that the next 142 years of your existence will be more pleasurable and enjoyable than has its honored past. You have come down page by page with the history of Gloucester and its courageous people. We rejoice in your prosperity. We are proud of you and among the membership of the grand lodge you contribute those who are of its best brethren. I am pleased to be here tonight."
Here Grand Master Benton unwrapped what proved to be a cedar gavel, which he presented to Worshipful Master Tarr. Continuing he spoke as follows:
"Worshipful Master, wardens and members of Tyrian Lodge:— The gavel which I desire to present to Tyrian Lodge, with my fraternal regards and good wishes is from 'the timber felled and prepared in the forests of Lebanon.' The log from which the gavel is made was imported for Massachusetts Consistory in 1910, during my term as commander-in-chief and was exhibited at a meeting of the Consistory on April 22, 1910. It was brought down from Mt. Lebanon by members of Mt. Lebanon lodge, Beyrouth, Syria, Asia Minor. It came from the same forest where centuries before the timber was secured for the building of the ark and later both temples at Jerusalem. It was shipped on February 4, 1910, and arrived in Boston March 20, 1910, and *rom the time it was first taken from the forests of Lebanon until it arrived at the Masonic Temple in Boston, it was never for a moment handled by any other person, or in the custody of any one except a Mason.
"Please receive it as a slight token, not only of the kind regard which your grand master has for you and all your brethren, but also as a token and measure of love from brothers, not only in this country but from across the sea."
Worshipful Master Tarr in accepting the gift stated that it was indeed an honored pleasure to be the recipient of such a token and assured Brother Benton in behalf of the lodge that it would be cherished as one of Tyrian's most valued heirlooms.
Other speakers were: Senior Grand Warden Harry P. Ballard; Rev. W. H. Rider, D. D., Past Deputy Grand master; Grand Secretary Thomas W. Davis; Senior Warden Charles H. Baker of the Lodge of St. Andrew, Boston, the mother lodge of Tyrian Lodge, and Wor. Bro. W. W. Chute of the Massachusetts Lodge, the sister lodge of Tyrian. Rev. Brother Rider, always eloquent and hopeful spoke in a most happy vein saying in part:
"We say this is the 142d anniversary of Tyrian Lodge, but who shall give the number of anniversaries of the Masonic principles so dear to us, to our fathers and those destined to be to our children, and which we know will live forever. In that delightful poem of Tennyson, "The Brook," occurs the oft quoted line, "Men May Come and Men May Go but I Go On Forever." And so Masonry will continue forever, lone after our memories are forgotten. Other men will come after us because there are some things in the world that never change, some things as everlasting as the hills.
"No matter what may be said in the easy and compromising talk of today, there are some things that belong to the forever. Some things you can only define by the forever. They come from out the bosom of the infinite and are as lasting as the stars.
"Thus the glory of this hour to me is the promise of this continuance. What has drawn you and me together? What has made Masonry such a power in this community in this and others? Those enduring qualities which go down deep in the hearts of mankind, in to the dim corridors of time, so far clown, that the mind staggers at the thought of the distance. Men will continue to thus assemble as we are tonight in that spirit of beautiful togetheredness, which to my mind is like the vision of St. John.
"The hopeful and the beautiful thing about our fraternity is that no one can tell its origin any more than one can tell the origin of the Infinite, in whom we put our trust. No one can tell this end until they can tell the end of time. Kipling has gracefully expressed this sentiment in these lines:
"For East is East and West is West,
And never the twain shall meet
Till earth and sea stand presently,
At God's great judgment seat.
"But there is neither East nor West,
Pride nor breed nor birth
When two strong men stand face to face,
Though they come from the ends of the earth."
"This has been the genius of our fraternity from the first. Two men met on the great Southwest desert and one says 'Howdy' and they pass on.
"Two other men meet in this desert and look one another in the face and by signs, known only to God Almighty, they give the benediction and pass on. Both recognize the same qualities and both stand for the same thing.
"I congratulate you Worshipful Master, not only on the present position of your lodge but on the promise of continuity, and I ask you to revere more and more and to believe in those things our fathers believed, and which our children will believe in the future. I was pleased tonight in conversation with Capt. Smith to learn that he comes of four generations o1 Masons which tells of that rich inheritance that has been handed down to his children.
"I doff my hat to any man who is a Master Mason and that is the most we can accord any man who continues to dwell in the rich beauties of our fraternity.
"Those are the ties which bind us together. Those are the ties which will bind us together in the by and by."
A pretty incident of the evening was the presentation of a bouquet of flowers to the oldest members of the lodge which came about as follows: At a convenient point in the ceremonies Worshipful Master Tarr presented Grand Master Benton with a beautiful bouquet of American beauty roses. Then the Grand Master did a very graceful thing.
Asking if Andrew Jackson Rowe, the oldest mason, was present, and Brother Rowe answering affirmatively he presented the latter the bouquet as a gift to Brother Rowe's daughter, the flowers being emblematical of the beauty of his loyalty and interest these many long years to Tyrian Lodge and Masonry. Mr. Rowe responded briefly and feelingly and the incident brought out great applause.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- William Babson, Senior Grand Warden 1882
- M. Don Betts, DDGM, District 9 (Gloucester), 1962, 1963; SN
- Addison G. Brooks, DDGM, District 9 (Gloucester), 1926; District 9 (Gloucester), 1927; Senior Grand Warden 1933
- William Ferson, DDGM, District 2, 1850-1851; Senior Grand Warden 1852
- Weston U. Friend, DDGM, District 9 (Gloucester), 1950, 1951; N
- Ronald J. Gerring, DDGM, District 9 (Gloucester), 1986, 1987
- John S. Johnson, DDGM, District 2, 1853-1856; SN
- Stephen E. Linsky, DDGM, District 9 (Gloucester), 2002; District 10, 2003
- Harold S. Maddocks, DDGM, District 9 (Gloucester), 1938, 1939; N
- William Emerson Parsons, DDGM, District 9 (Gloucester), 1916, 1917; Memorial
- William H. Rider, DDGM, District 9 (Newburyport), 1903, 1904; Grand Chaplain 1902-1909; Deputy Grand Master 1910
- Sumner G. Ropper, DDGM, District 9 (Gloucester), 1974, 1975; N
- Isaac A.S. Steele, DDGM, District 9 (Newburyport), 1895; Memorial
- Herbert C. Taft, DDGM, District 9 (Newburyport), 1890, 1891; Memorial