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UNION LODGE (Nantucket)

Chartered by St. John's Grand Lodge

Location: Nantucket

Chartered By: John Rowe

Charter Date: 05/27/1771 I-185

Precedence Date: 05/27/1771

Current Status: Active


NOTES

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXXI, No. 7, May 1873, Page 223:

Perhaps no Lodge in the United States has so large a number of aged brethren and old masons, as Union Lodge on the Island of Nantucket — one of the oldest and most respectable Lodges in this jurisdiction. We give a few examples. Bro. James T. Chase heads the list, and was made a Mason in 1807, and is consequently of 65 years standing; Bro. George F. Bunker has been a Mason 53 years; George Swain, 52; Nathaniel C. Cary, 50; Henry Cottle, 49 ; Barzilia R. Weeks, 49; Charles P. Swain, 47 ; Frederick W. Folger, 44; of these, Bros. Bunker, Swain and Folger have been Masters of the Lodge, and Bro. Chas. P. Swain, its present Secretary, has filled that office for twenty-three years. They are all active working masons, and a credit to the old Lodge to which they belong, and were all in the ranks last year, at the celebration of its Centennial anniversary.

MEMBER LIST, 1802

From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 36:

  • R. W. Nathaniel Barrett, M.
  • W. James Coffin, S. W.
  • W. Edward Carey, Jr., J. W.
  • Jonas Coffin, Tr.
  • Chris. Hussey, Sec.
  • Benjamin Brown, S. D.
  • Samuel Barker, J. D.
  • John Pinkham, Steward.
  • John Gardner, Steward.
  • William Raymond, Tiler.

No. of Members, 42.

  • John Brock
  • Richard Carey
  • William Raymond, 2d.
  • Simeon Lang
  • Samuel Carey
  • Benjamin Coffin, 2d.
  • Obediah A. Bridge
  • John Hillman
  • David Joy, Jr.
  • William Coffin
  • John Allen, Jr.
  • John Coggeshall

CHARITABLE EFFORTS, 1868

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1, November 1868, Page 10:

In our former Communication, we hinted at the possibility of treating at greater length the subject of Charity, as manifested in the history of the Lodge whose name stands at the head of this paper.

We then called attention to the early and earnest efforts of the brethren, at the inception of the Lodge, to found a Charity Fund, if possible; or, failing in that, to have means to relieve the most pressing necessities of those who might become subjects of masonic relief.

As early as October, 1771, measures were adopted to secure moneys, to be paid into the Fund of Charity; and it was made imperative, by a deliberate vote of the Lodge, that visitors as well as members should contribute for the purpose.

It is quite possible that the seasons of the year produced some effect upon the minds of the brethren, for it is a noticeable fact, that the coming on of winter, and the following unpropitious first month of spring, were attended with a glow of charity in the Lodge-room that sent throughout the length and breadth of the island, the benignant light of that divine law which bespoke peace on earth, and good-will toward all mankind; neither did it stop here, for the mariner from distant shores, and different countries, often found relief when the pitiless ocean had cast him helpless upon the island.

At the meeting held April 6, 1772, it is recorded that thirteen persons were present; that five shillings were collected for charity money past due, and thirteen shillings from those present, — making eighteen shillings lawful money for the Charity Fund; and, on subsequent occasions, limited record is made of the kindness constantly held in the hearts of the brethren towards those who might need their aid and sympathy. In their prosperity, they did not forget those in adversity ; and, when the approach of winter was again beginning to manifest itself, they, on Dec. 16, 1773, —

  • Voted, That, for the relief of Brother Barrett, the sum of three pounds be sent to him by the secretary, and that six pounds be sent to the Grand Fund;

and again, in Feb. 7, 1774, it was —

  • Voted, That the charity to be paid, shall be three shillings each quarter for each member.

This same spirit of earnestness was present always in the meetings of the Lodge: years did not enfeeble it, time did not repress its activity; the good it hastened to accomplish in the beginning, it was steadfast to pursue unto the end ; its hands were not to be folded when the helpless cried for bread, its work was not ended when other burdens needed to be lifted, it never courted repose while sorrowing or sighing, or weariness or helplessness, or orphanage or widowhood came within the circle of its sympathies. Years of labor strengthened it; and at ten, at twelve, and at fifteen years after it had its home in the Lodge, it was as earnest to go into the family with its ministrations, as it had ever been to go to the individual. On Jan. 3, 1785, the Lodge voted twelve dollars to relieve one family; February, three pounds to relieve another, and, on May 2, seven dollars more, and loaned three pounds to another till able to pay; and in September, of the same year, ten dollars were placed at the disposal of a committee, to be by them expended for the relief of another family as circumstances might dictate, — and all this by a Lodge whose resources were necessarily limited, numbering on the roll, in 1772, thirty-nine members, and twelve years later having only twenty-four members present at the Annual Dinner on St. John's Day, in December.

It was not to charities like the foregoing that the brethren limited their attention, as the following extract from a letter to the Grand Lodge will show.

Under date of October, 1772, they write : "As for charity-money, we have none in our Lodge, by reason that we have had the misfortune to have a brother to support, he having been cast away on our Island the last winter, and very much froze, and was under the doctor's hands almost six months. We shall always be ready to deposit what charity-money in the Grand Fund we can, but we think it our duty to keep a small stock by us, as we are so liable to have distressed brethren fall on us for relief." How modestly did the brethren set forth their services in the cause of charity, and how steadily they maintained their right to be their own almoners, measuring their contributions only by the necessities which the future might send to them for relief. In 1778, their sympathies were excited in a new direction, and in October, of that year, they voted "that there be a letter written to some friends in Boston to do what could be done to liberate our brothers living now in captivity on board of prison-ships in New York." The result of this effort on their part was not manifested on the records, though it is to them a record of praise.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have
not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbals. . . .
And now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three ; but the greatest
of these is charity." - C.

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVII, No. 12, October 1868, Page 358:

Within the space, bounded on one side by the lines of youth, and on the other by those of old age, lie many hidden things, which the dimness of the one period and the mists of the other are powerless to unveil; but which await only the steadier gaze of manhood to make their revelations.

With some such thoughts in our mind we took up the early records of the Lodge at Nantucket, and read the beginning of the first page of a well kept and well preserved histoi^of one of the oldest Lodges in New England, as follows : —

"Nantucket, New England, May 9, in the year 5771. In our Lodge duly formed. Br. William Breck, Master; Br. Joseph Denneson, Senior Warden ; Br. Henry Smith, Junior Warden."

At this meeting we find that three candidates were duly initiated, and their names fully entered in the record.

The founders of this Lodge were, no doubt, careful and painstaking in all that belonged to Freemasonry; and whether in the character of Ritualists or Almoners, they paid strict attention to the full performance of their duties.

As early as October, 5771, at the Quarterly Communication, it was "Voted, that each member of this society shall pay one shilling lawful money, into the fund of Charity, at every Quarterly Communication"; following this, as if to give emphasis to the earnestness of their feelings on the subject, it was voted at the Quarterly Communication in January, 5772, "to meet the first Monday of every month for the space of one quarter, and each member to pay one shilling lawful money, at every meeting, for the fund of Charity," and it was further voted "that every visitor, after the first visit, shall pay one shilling lawful money, into the fund of Charity." This vote was repeated at the next Quarterly Communication in April 5772, and seems to have prevailed as a rule through many years of the history of this Lodge; indeed so well established did the Charity Fund become, that it was one of the first objects of care on every occasion when it was possible to increase it, by contribution, collection, or assessment.

This prudent forethought and management, at once enabled the brethren to afford relief to the sick, the destitute, and the distressed, with a liberality I think unparalleled, and a discrimination praiseworthy and satisfactory.

The record is fruitful with the story of bounties bestowed, and rich with the testimonials of gratitude in acknowledgement thereof; but though the example is worthy of more than a passing notice, we must defer to another time, further notice of their exemplification of the "greatest virtue, Charity."

In March 1772, it was voted "that each member serve in their terms as Treasurer, until they should get an established Treasurer, except five brothers, who had been elected a committee for the quarter."

At the meeting held November 11, 5771, it is recorded that William Johnson was initiated, passed on the 21st of the same month, and raised January 6, 5772, and on May 4, 5772, he attests the records (for the first time) as Secretary, and this practice is henceforth followed.

The founders of this Lodge were not drones in any sense of the word, and what they ought to do, they were careful should be done; a Lodge without the attendance of its members was, to them, no Lodge at all; duty claimed attention, and duty was attended to; so it was enacted on August 3, 5772, by vote, " that if any member absent himself from the Lodge one year, then that member shall be erased from the Lodge as a member." But this was not usually enforced until a committee was appointed to wait on brethren who absented themselves, to shew cause why they should not be deprived of membership ; and this usually secured an apology with a promise of attendance in the future.

The Brethren early recognized the advantage of having a well regu
lated Lodge, and on December 18, 5772, a Committee was appointed
" to examine the By-Laws, and see if they are sufficient for the regu
lation of the Lodge; and if they are not sufficient, to make amendments
as they shall see lit, and report accordingly." So careful were they in
this respect that they did not hesitate to inquire into the motives which
actuated the doing of-any deed that seemed likely to militate against the
individual, or aggregate prosperity of the Lodge, or its members, and 
hence with equal honesty and confidence in their own uprightness, they
appointed a Committee "to inspect the reasons those members have for
blacking a candidate;" and another to inquire into and settle the differ
ences existing between two of the brethren about a matter of business,
and whether they exceeded what we may regard as the scope of masonic
jurisprudence or not, they were generally successful in adjusting all
 difficulties to the satisfaction of all parties; peace they would have in
 their sphere, prosperity followed, and still continues in this time-honored 
Lodge. C.

From New England Freemason, Vol. I, No. 9, September 1874, Page 416:

Union Lodge of Nantucket.

We have recently been much interested in examining the early records of St. John's Grand Lodge from 1733 to 1792. We find in this volume much that is exceedingly interesting and which we should be pleased to lay before our readers. From this embarrassing abundance we select for this issue what relates to Union Lodge, of Nantucket, the fourth now in existence which was chartered by that Grand Lodge.

At the Grand Lodge or Quarterly Communication held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston on Friday the 26 day of April, 1771.

The Lodge was informed from the Chair that a number of Brethren belonging to Nantucket had petitioned for a Warrant to hold a Lodge in that Place; and said Petition being read, the Grand Master asked Counsel of the Lodge, who joined with him in Opinion that the Grand Secretary do acquaint the Petitioners by Letter, that Three Master Masons are necessary to the Constituting a New Lodge; also with the Expense attending the same; and desire them to nominate one of the Petitioners for their first Master.

The Petition above mentioned from Nantucket.

Nantucket, April 16, 1771.

To the Right Worshipful John Rowe Esqr., Grand Master Mason for North America.

Right Worshipful Sir,

We the Subscribers being sensible that it lies in our power to Propagate that Ancient & Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons here in this Place: And as we think it our indispensible Duty to use our best Endeavors to Propagate so noble an Art with all the strictness and regularity as becomes Members of a just and perfect Lodge; And Right Worshipful we are likewise sensible that no one ought to come to any light or knowledge by any Clandestine or unregular Method, that may tend to cast any Disgrace upon the Fraternity, which we shall always be sorry to hear of; And we shall always do our best Endeavors to promote so laudable a Society when it is established in due form. And now Rt. Worshipful Sir We desire and request of your Worship that if it is consistent with your will and pleasure that you would send us a Warrant so that we may have a just and perfect Lodge Consecrated here, so that when any Candidates offer themselves, we may be able to deal with them in due form. Right Worship [sic] our Motive is this, first our Duty to our Maker; secondly to our fellow men; thirdly to the Fraternity in general throughout the Globe; and Sir we would acquaint your Worship that there is several that hath offered themselves as Candidates thinking that we had power to deal with them & men of good Character. And now Right Worshipful we would have you to take the matter into your serious Consideration, and to act agreeable to the trust reposed in you, and if your Worship thinks we are worthy of a Warrant and will send us one, we your worthy Brothers in Duty Bound shall ever pray.

Willm. Brock, M. M.
Josh. Deniston.
Henry Smith.
William Worth.
Chrisr. Hussey, F. C.
Timo. Folger, Do.

P.S. We would desire your Worship to send us an Answer as soon as is convenient.

Reply of the Grand Secretary.

Boston, 27th April, 1771.

Mr. Christ. Hussey, at Nantucket:

Sir, At a Grand Lodge, or Quarterly Communication held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston on Friday the 26th Instant, a Petition from a Number of Brethren dated at Nantucket, April 16"', 1771, requesting a Warrant to hold a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in said Place, was Read; And after due Consideration thereon, the Grand Master with the Advice of said Grand Lodge, directed that the Grand Secretary do acquaint the Petitioners by Letter, that Three Master Masons are necessary to the Constituting a New Lodge; also with the Expense attending the same; And desire them to Nominate one of the Petitioners for their first Master.

In Obedience to said Direction I take this Opportunity thro' you Sir, to acquaint the said Petitioners with the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge relative to their Petition, and inform you that the Cost of a Deputation will be Three Guineas and an half, to be paid on the delivery thereof. I likewise desire you would let me know if there are Three Master Masons of your Number: and who you think fit to Nominate as your first Master. After 1 am made acquainted with these particulars, I presume the Grand Master will give Directions for a Deputation to be made out with all convenient Dispatch.

Interim I remain

Sir,
Your and the other Petitioners
Affectionate Brother
and very humble Servant,

Tho. Brown Gd. Sec.

Charter of Union Lodge.

[Seal.]

John Rowe, G. M.

To all and every our Right Worshipful and Loving Brethren, Free and Accepted Masons now Residing or that may hereafter Reside in Sherburne in the County of Nantucket in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. We John Rowe, Esquire, Provincial Grand Master of the Antient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for all North America, where no other Grand Master is Appointed,

SEND GREETING.

Whereas, Application hath been made unto us by several Brethren Free and Accepted Masons now residing at Sherburne aforesaid: setting forth that they think it their indispensible Duty to propagate the Royal Art with all the Strictness and Regularity that becomes Masons of a just and perfect Lodge; that they shall always use their best Endeavors to promote so laudable a Society when it is Established in due form: Therefore Pray that we would Constitute them into a Regular Lodge, and appoint our Brother, Captain William Brock to be their first Master.

Now therefore know ye, That We of the Great Trust, Power and Authority reposed in us by his Grace the Most Worshipful, Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort &c, Grand Master of Masons, have Constituted and Appointed our Right Worshipful and well beloved Brother Captain William Brock to be the first Master of the Lodge at Sherburne aforesaid, and do hereby impower him to Congregate the Brethren together, and form them into a Regular Lodge, he taking special Care that all and every Member thereof and all transient Persons admitted therein have been, or shall be regular made Masons: And that he appoint two Wardens and other Officers to a Lodge Appertaining, for the due Regulation of said Lodge for One Year; at the end of which he shall Nominate a new Master to be approved by the Lodge, at least two thirds of the Members in his favour, and said new Master shall Nominate and Appoint two Wardens and a Secretary for the ensuing Year, also a Treasurer, who must have the Votes of two thirds of the Members in his favour: and so the Same Course Annually.

And we do hereby give to said Lodge all the Privileges and Authority of other Regular Lodges; Requiring them to observe all and every of the Regulations contained in the Printed Book of Constitutions (except such as have been, or may bo Repealed at any Quarterly Communication or other General Meeting of the Grand Lodge in London,) to be kept and observed, as also all such other Rules and Instructions as may from Time to Time be transmitted to them by Us, or our Deputy, or Successors to either for the Time being: And that they do Annually send an Account in Writing to Us, or our Deputy, or Successors to either of Us for the Time being, of the Names of the Members of said Lodge, and their Place of Abode, with the Days and Place of Meeting, with any other things they may think proper to Communicate for the benefit of Masonry; And that they do Annually keep the Feast of St. John the Baptist, or St. John the Evangelist, or both, and Dine together on said Day or Days, or as near either of them as shall be most convenient; And lastly, that they do Regularly Communicate with the Grand Lodge in Boston, by sending to the Quarterly Communication such Charity as their Lodge shall think fit, for the Relief of Poor Brethren, with the Names of those that Contributed the same, that in case any such may conic to want Relief, they may have the preference to others.

Given under Our Hand and Seal of Masonry, at Boston, the 27th day of May, A.D. 1771, and of Masonry, 5771.

By the Grand Masters Command, Tho. Brown, Gr. Sec.

Richd. Gridley, D.G.M.
Jno. Cutler, S.G.W.
Abr. Savage, J.G.W.

Quarterly Communications

At the Grand Lodge or Quarterly Communication, held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston, on Friday, the 29th day of January, 5773. A Letter from Nantucket Lodge was Read, praying that said Lodge may be registered in the Grand Lodge Books by the name of the Union Lodge, No. 5. Voted unanimously that the Prayer of said Petition be granted.

At the Grand Lodge or Quarterly Communication held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, in Boston on Friday, the 30"' day of April, 5773, a Letter from Hiram Lodge, in New naven and a Letter from Union Lodge, No. 5, at Nantucket were Read; Voted that both said Letters be Recorded. Voted that the Grand Secretary retain the Six Pounds lawful Money he has received from the Nantucket Lodge for the Relief of Bro. Jeremiah Russell, in his own Hands untill he obtains a Receipt from said Bro: for said Sum.

The Letter from Union Lodge N' 5.

Union Lodge No. 5 in Nantucket, March 13th 5773.
To the Right Worshipful John Rowe Esq; Provincial Grand Master of Masons in North America.

Right Worshipful Brother:

By Order of the R' Worshipful Master of this Lodge I am to answer yours of the 1st. Jan; last, also of the 30th of the same Month, both which he has received together with the Petition of Bro. Russel.

The Remoteness of our Situation on an Island, the Difficulty of passing in Winter, we hope will be accepted as a sufficient Excuse for our Non-Attendance at the Grand Lodge according to Summons. Our Lodge is yet in its Infancy, the Members chiefly Seamen, and none of us blessed with a Fortune, our Lodge as yet not properly settled, furnished, &c, &c, Insomuch that it is out of our Power (at present) to transmit anything to the Grand Fund, but humbly hope that Maturity and the united Efforts of our greatest Abilities will in a short time enable us liberally to contribute thereto.

The calamitous Circumstances of Br. Russel we look upon well worthy of the immediate Commiseration & Assistance of every tender hearted & good Mason; have therefore voted the sum of 6£ to the Relief of our s. unfortunate Br., and the same transmitted to you pr. the Bearer hereof, M. Jos. Roby.

I am likewise directed to inform you, agreeable to our Deputation, that on the celebration of the Feast of St. John the Evangelist last past we proceeded to the Choice of New Officers, and there were elected

  • R. W. Master, Br. Timothy Folger, Esq.
  • S. W. Br. Tristram Barnard.
  • J. W. Br. Thomas Worth.

Also Members admitted since our last are Br. William Bunker, Josiah Coffin Junr., Zacheus Bunker, Phinehas Fanning, John Gardner, 2d, John Bard, Barrett Bard, Paul Pinkham, Robert Macy & Peleg Bunker all Inhabitants of this Island.

Right Worshipful Brother, Do us the Honor to Believe that every Member of this Lodge has the Honor of Masonry at Heart and will on all Occasions exert his utmost Faculties to promote the Royal Art.

By Order of Timothy Folger Esq., R. W. Master, I have the happiness to be your affectionate Brother and in Nantucket and Most obedient humble Servant Phinehas Fanning Sec;.

Quarterly Communications

At the Grand Lodge or Quarterly Communication held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston, on Friday the 28th day of January 5774. The Grand Secretary Read two Letters to the Lodge which he had received since the last Quarterly Communication from Union Lodge N" 5, at Nantucket, together with his Answer to one of them : which Letters were highly approved of by the Lodge, and ordered to be Recorded.

Letter from Union Lodge

P; Order of the Master.
To M; Thomas Brown
Merchant in Boston.
Nantucket 10th Novemb; 1773.

Much Respected Brother,

I am directed by our Lodge to inform you that some time in October ult., we received a Petition from one Philip Bass of Boston who is recommended to us by Bro. Nathl. Barber, (a truly worthy Member of our Society & in particular of this Lodge,) to be a worthy Mason & in Circumstances really necessitous, all which we cannot doubt, but as we are most of us intirely unacquainted with Bro. Bass who is an Inhabitant of Boston & immediately under the Eye of the Grand Lodge, we conceive that to be the Chanel thro' which our Charity ought to be conveyed. We shall most willingly contribute to the Necessities of Bro. Bass or any other Indigent. Brother. But those who are Inhabitants of Boston we conceive should be represented to us as such by the Grand Lodge. Request your Answer with your Sentiments on this matter as soon as convenient.

I am your affectionate Brother
and most obedient humble Servant
Phinehas Fanning, Sec .

Answer.

To M; Phinehas Fanning,
Secretary to Union Lodge N" 5 in Nantucket.
Boston, 30th November. 1773.

Worshipful Brother. I received a Letter from you bearing Date the 10th Instant wrote by direction of your Lodge, wherein you desire my Sentiments respecting a Grant of Charity requested from said Lodge by one Philip Bass of this Town.

I take this opportunity to acquaint your Worshipful Lodge, that I verily believe Cap. Bass to be a genuine Mason, and in other respects a Man of a fair Character, and that he is in necessitous Circumstances ; the Second Lodge in this Town, of which I have the honor to be a Member, looked upon all this to be fact, and made him a Grant very lately out of the Stock of the Lodge; your worshipful Lodge must however excuse me from presuming to dictate to them in a Matter wherein they are at perfect Liberty to act as to them appeareth expedient.

My Opinion coincides with theirs, that the Grand Lodge is the proper Chanel through which Recommendations for Charity ought to pass to the Lodges in this Jurisdiction, and I doubt not of their readiness in paying due Notice to such Recommendations wheu regularly Issued; but still, when any Brother petitions a particular Lodge for Relief, and they are satisfied with the Petitioner's Character & Circumstances, it lays intirely with them to grant him such a Sum as they think convenient, or none at all, if they find the State of their Lodge at a low Ebb.

I could heartily wish that the Lodges within this Jurisdiction did exert themselves as much to encrease the Fund of the Grand Lodge, as the several Lodges do in Boston; here, each Member pays one shilling lawful Money Quarterly for the sole purpose of Charity, and the whole Amount collected is deposited Annually in the hands of the Grand Treasurer; which method if adopted by the Lodges in general, would prove greatly Advantageous to individual Brothers who might by the Providence of God be reduced to indigent Circumstances ; for instance, if such a Brother should apply to a particular Lodge for Relief which had contributed to the general Fund of Charity, and it should not be in the power of that Lodge to afford him such Assistance as they knew the exigencies of his Condition required : in such case they might with strict propriety recommend him to the consideration of the Grand Lodge for further Relief. I cannot but recommend this Method to the candid deliberation of your Lodge and hope I shall not be deemed impertinent for so doing.

I sincerely wish your Lodge every Masonic Blessing and am with Esteem, their and your

Most affectionate Brother and very humble Servant
Tho. Brown Gr. Sec.

Another letter from Union Lodge.'

Nantucket, 16'" Decern; 1773.
To Br;' Tho; Brown,
Grand Secretary.

Worshipful Brother,

Received yours concerning Bro. Bass's Petition, &c., am much obliged to you for the favor; have laid the same before our Lodge, who have voted for the Relief of said Bro. Bass 3£. The Lodge also voted 6£ to be sent to the G. Charity Fund, which you will receive by the bearer hereof our Worshipful Master Br': Samuel Barrett. Our Lodge as yet (as you must be sensible) is in its Infancy our Members generally Seamen & rarely a full Meeting. We have not as yet attained to that stated method of Business & steady (Economy we hope soon to acquire. We shall immediately enter into some regular method of depositing Money in the Grand Charity Fund & make use of the first Opportunity to inform you thereof, which tho' it may be little, as we are poor, hope it will be accepted of. The Worshipful Grand Lodge may be assured that we shall never be backward to contribute to the general Fund according to the utmost of our Ability; and that we shall on all Occasions contribute to the utmost of our Power in promoting the royal Art.

I am likewise agreeable to our Deputation, to inform the most Worshipful Grand Lodge that on the first Monday of this Instant in our annual Meeting for the Election of Officers we proceeded to chuse for the current Year the following (viz1) Bro. Samuel Barrett, Master; George Calder, S. W.; John Sherman, J. W.; Christopher Hussey, Senr., Treasurer, & Phinehas Fanning Secretary, And that we at present enjoy that Unity, Harmony and Brotherly Concord which is the Foundation of Masonry and the Honor and Support of our Society. Am

By Order of the Worshipful Master with great Esteem
your affectionate Brother and most obedient humble Servant,
Ph. Fanning Secy.

Quarterly Communications

At the Grand Lodge or Quarterly Communication held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston on Friday the 27th. Day of January, 5775. A Letter from Union Lodge N'.' 5, at Nantucket was read and Voted that the same be Recorded.

Letter

Union Lodge, N° 5. Nantucket
28th Decemb;,5774.

Mr. Thomas Brown.

Worshipful Brother,

I am directed agreeable to our Deputation to inform the Right Worshipful, the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge, that in our Lodge proceeding the Celebration of the Feast of S! John the Evangelist, we proceded to the Election of Officers for the Year ensuing; when we made choice of the Following, viz.:

  • R. W. B. Timothy Folger, Esqr., Master;
  • W. B. Christopher Hussey, Senr., Treasurer; and
  • George Calder, S. W.
  • John Bearde, J. W.
  • Nathl Barrett, S. D.;
  • John Gardner, J. D.; and
  • Silvanus Pinkham and Jonathan Jenkins, Stewards.

On the 27th Decemb. we met at the Lodge Room to celebrate the Feast of S! John, from whence we proceeded in Procession to the Rev. Mr. Shaw's Meeting House, where the Beauties of Masonry, the infinite Profit & Advantage of Brotherly Love and Unity, were learnedly, elegantly and politely displayed in a Sermon, to a numerous and respectable Audience, by our Brother Zebulon Butler, the Subject whereof he made, Psalm 133, Verse 1st: "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in Unity." We then proceeded to a convenient place, where we dined together as Brethren; from whence we walked back to the Lodge Room in Masonick Procession ; the whole conducted with the greatest order, decency & propriety.

Wo have opened a Subscription for the Grand Fund of Charity, but by reason of the precariousness of the Times have thought proper to desist from collecting any money on .that head for the present. The Grand Lodge may be assured of the exertion of the utmost of our Abilities to further all such noble and generous Designs I am also directed to inform you the number of our members is Sixty five; which increase very fast, God grant that neither Ambition, Lust of Power, Faction, Discontent or any other offspring of the fatal Enemy of Masons may prevail to disunite the Hearts of Brethren, or prevent the increase of Unity, Love and Concord amongst us, or in any other manner abate the Ardour, with which I am your Affectionate Brother & humb. Servant.

by order of the Right Worshipful Master and Brethren

Christopher Hussey, Junr., Sec.

P. S. The R. W. and Brethren doth request the favor of your inserting our Procession &c. in the News Papers. Per C. H. Sec.

We intended to give some extracts from the records of Union Lodge, but are compelled to defer them until a future number.

From New England Freemason, Vol. II, No. 2, February 1875, Page 88:

A Singular Incident.—About fifty years ago, a boy, named Philip Wager, living near Chittenango, Madison County, New York, on his way to school, discovered a wayfarer, apparently in distress, by the roadside. The boy returned home and informed his father, who went and conveyed the aged way¬ farer to his house, where he died during the same night. There was nothing found upon him by which to identify him, except his Masonic diploma. It was dated Nov. 26, 1776, and signed by Samuel Barrett, W. M.; Geo. Calder, S. W.; John Gardener, J. W.; Wm. Brock, P. M., and Christopher Hussey, Treas. It was written in both English and Latin, on thick parchment. This document has lain concealed, among other papers of Mr. Wager, all these long years, scarcely ever having been opened, and never seen by any member of the Fraternity, until about four years since, when it became the property of Charles P. Wager, a grandson of Philip Wager, Sen., father of the boy above mentioned. On the margin of the diploma is the autograph of David Squire, written twice.

In the records of Union Lodge, of Nantucket, Mass., (which are in good preservation from May 9, 1771, to the present time,) the following entries are found: David Squire initiated July 1st, 1776, passed July 4th, 1776 (the very day of the Declaration of Independence, and raised August 5th, 1776. Through Oneida Lodge, No. 270, of Oneida Depot, Madison County, New York, these facts became known to Union Lodge, and a request was made that the diploma be returned; but only a copy could be obtained.

CHARITABLE EFFORTS, 1879

From Liberal Freemason, Vol. III, No. 9, December 1879, Page 260:

FOR SOJOURNERS.
A Leaf from the Record of Union Lodge, Nantucket.

This old Lodge is rich in deeds of charity, in which the stranger and the sojourner has been a frequent participant. In view of this, a good Brother in Nantucket secured from the venerable Secretary of Union Lodge a copy of so much of its record as refers to a case between it and Minnesota, about which he writes as follows: "On page 228, Vol. III. of the Liberal Freemason, I find an Article on 'What is due for Sojourners.' My attention has been called to the answers given by Minnesota, and I enclose a transcript from the records of Union Lodge."

To this we may add that the action of St. Paul's Lodge, of South Boston, referred to on page 250, of same number, makes two cases, at least, which apply directly to that jurisdiction, where none were thought to exist.

At a special meeting of Union Lodge, warned and held on Saturday evening, July gth, A. L. 5870, at 7 o'clock. Present, etc., Perry Winslow, Master; J. S. Barney, S. W.; David Bunker, J. W. Opened a Lodge of M. Masons. A letter from W. M of Minneapolis Lodge, No. 19, Minnesota, was received, in regard to our Bro. Edgar H. Lovell, which had been answered by our W. Master and Wardens. A telegram was received from Paul Fitzgerald, W. M.\of Minneapolis Lodge, No. 19, Minnesota, dated July 8th, 1870, announcing the death of Bro. Edgar H. Lovell that day at 8 o'clock in the morning, and inquiring, "What shall we do?" answer sent, "Give him a Masonic burial."

On motion Voted, That the W. M. communicate with them Bw telegraph, the first opportunity, and request them to give him a Masonic burial.

Closed at 9 o'clock.
Chas. P. Swain, Sect'y.

Regular Communication of Union Lodge, held Aug. 1st, A. L. 5870, at 7:30 o'clock.

Moved and seconded, by Bro. C. H. Jagger, That Union Lodge pay the bills from Minneapolis Lodge, Minnesota, incurred by Bro. Edgar H. Lovell in his last sickness, and also the funeral expenses; which was considered and discussed, and it was then moved, That the whole subject-matter be laid on Hhe table until our next meeting, which was carried in the affirmative.

Special meeting held Aug. 19th, A. L. 5870.


On motion, Voted, That the Lodge pay telegrams and express and expenses on account of Bro. E. H. Lovell.


On motion, Voted, That the subject in regard to the bills
from Minneapolis, Minn., be laid on the table until our next
regular Communication.

Chas. P. Swain, Sect'y.

Regular Communication of Union Lodge held Sept. 5th, A. L. 5870, at 7:30 o'clock.

Moved, That the subject in regard to our late Bro. Edgar H. Lovell, remain on the table till our next regular Communication. Passed in the affirmative.

C. P. Swain, Sect'y.

Regular Communication of Union Lodge, held October 3d, A. L. 5870, at 6:30 o'clock.

Moved and seconded, That Union Lodge pay the bills from Minneapolis Lodge, Minn., incurred by Bro. Edgar H. Lovell, En his last sickness, and also the funeral expenses, amounting to one hundred and twenty-two dollars fifty cents, which was carried in the affirmative. $122.50.

Voted, That the Committee on Charity, who have had the care of the business, be authorized to pay the bills.

Chas. P. Swain, Scct'y.

Regular Communication of Union Lodge, held Nov. 7th, A L. 5870, at 6 : 30 o'clock.

Voted, That Bro. S. W. Jos. S. Barney be requested to answer the letter received from Minneapolis and Naucipin Lodges, by the W. Master of each Lodge, in regard to the expenses incurred by the sickness, death and burial of Bro. Edgar H. Lovell.

C. P. Swain, Sect'y.


PAST MASTERS

  • William Brock, 1771
  • Andrew Worth, 1772
  • Timothy Folger, 1773, 1775
  • Samuel Barrett, 1774, 1776, 1780-1783, 1796-1798
  • George Calder, 1777, 1778
  • Jethro Hussey, 1779, 1787-1790, 1795
  • Josiah Coffin, 1784-1786, 1791, 1794
  • Abner Coffin, 1792, 1793
  • Nathaniel Barrett, 1799-1801; SN
  • James Coffin, 1802
  • William Coffin, 1803, 1804; SN
  • Benjamin Bunker, 1805
  • Peter Hussey, 1806, 1807; SN
  • James Gurney, 1808, 1809
  • Martin T. Morton, 1810, 1811
  • Henry Riddell, 1812-1815, 1822
  • Hezekiah P. Gardner, 1816, 1817; SN
  • Elisha Starbuck, 1818, 1819, 1821, 1838-1842; SN
  • Gorham Coffin, 1820
  • Benjamin Brown, 1823, 1824, 1836, 1837, 1843
  • William Coffin, Jr., 1825, 1835
  • Robert F. Parker, 1826-1829; SN
  • George F. Bunker, 1830-1832
  • George Swain, Jr., 1833-34
  • George Parker, 1844, 1845
  • Frederick W. Folger, 1846, 1847, 1853-1855
  • Charles Brown, 1848-1852
  • George W. Macy, 1856
  • John Sherman, 1857
  • Gustavus Gifford, 1858, 1860
  • Andrew J. Morton, 1859
  • Alexander B. Robinson, 1861
  • John H. Sherman, 1862
  • Charles F. Brown, 1863
  • Charles H. Jagger, 1864-1867
  • Joseph McCleave, 1868
  • Perry Winslow, 1869, 1870
  • Joseph S. Barney, 1871-1874; SN
  • Benjamin F. Brown, 1875-1878
  • Rueben C. Kenney, 1879
  • Henry Paddack, 1880-1882; Mem
  • George W. Defriez, 1883-1886
  • James A. Homes, 1887, 1888
  • Frederick W. Folger, 1889, 1890
  • Joseph C. Brock, 1891, 1892
  • Albert G. Brock, 1893-1895; Mem
  • Rollin M. Allen, 1896, 1897
  • Ellenwood B. Coleman, 1898, 1899
  • Henry P. Brown, 1900-1902; Mem
  • Reuben C. Small, 1903, 1904
  • Daniel C. Brayton, Jr., 1905, 1906
  • Charles H. Fishback, 1907
  • William F. Worth, 1908
  • Maurice W. Boyer, 1909
  • William T. Swain, 1910
  • Arthur A. Norcross, 1911, 1912
  • Alfred E. Smith, 1913, 1914; Mem
  • Louis Coffin, 1915
  • Reuben G. Coffin, 1916
  • Cyril S. Carriveau, 1917
  • Robert H. Chisholm, 1918
  • John McLeod, 1919
  • James A. Holmes, Jr., 1920
  • George M. Lake, 1921
  • William C. Brock, 1922
  • Randolph M. Swain, 1923
  • Edward P. Tice, 1924
  • Elmer F. Pease, 1925
  • Richard F. Dixon, 1926
  • Harding Smith, 1927
  • Elmer J. Blanchard, 1928
  • Francis E. Folger, 1929; Memorial
  • Roger F. Dunham, 1930
  • Joseph King, 1931
  • Harry Gordon, 1932
  • Alcon Chadwick, 1933
  • Winslow G. Pearl, 1934
  • Leroy H. True, 1935; N
  • Oscar B. Eger, 1936
  • James A. Norcross, 1937
  • William Hall, Jr., 1938
  • Nelson O. Dunham, 1939
  • George W. Jones, 1940
  • Ernest C. Thomas, 1941
  • Irving A. Severino, Sr., 1942
  • Edward Roy, 1943
  • Elias J. Lyon, 1944
  • Lincoln Porte, 1945, 1946
  • Ormonde F. Ingall, 1947
  • Melvin L. Ray, 1948
  • Herbert N. Gibbs, 1949
  • William R. Waine, 1950; SN
  • Albert G. Brock, II, 1951
  • Francis W. Pease, 1952; PDDGM
  • Walter C. Knott, 1953
  • Harold B. Ryder, 1954
  • Roger A. Young, 1955
  • James Nelson, 1956
  • Edward S. Roy, 1957
  • Arthur F. Vincent, 1958
  • William E. Grieder, 1959
  • Irving A. Soverino, Jr., 1960
  • Malcolm F. Soverino, 1961
  • Andrew E. Lowell, 1962
  • José F. Reyes, 1963; N
  • Clyde H. Blackwood, 1964
  • Lawrence K Miller, 1965
  • Manuel Machado, 1966
  • David D. Worth, 1967
  • Paul A. Bennett, 1968
  • Samuel Levine, 1969
  • Frederick S. Richrod, 1970
  • Linwood E. Proctor, 1971; N
  • James E. King, 1972
  • C. John Gilbert, 1973
  • Frederick W. Cook, 1974
  • David M. MacKenzie, 1975
  • Sherman E. McCaslin, 1976
  • Gerald D. Mainhart, 1977
  • Gerald L. O' Hara, 1978
  • Edgar T. Lindstrom, 1979
  • Homer F. Ray, III, 1980, 1981
  • William M. Joyce, 1982
  • Frank J. Pattison, 1983
  • Thomas M. Montgomery, 1984, 1987
  • Hendrick F. Cartee, 1985, 1992
  • Robert P. Grimes, 1986
  • L. Randolph Lee, 1988
  • William Yarmy, 1989
  • Frederick A. Richmond, 1990
  • Steven L. Cobb, 1991
  • Robert W. Sandsbury, Jr., 1993, 1994
  • Glynn E. Franklin, 1995
  • Michael R. Petrosino, 1996-1998 PDDGM
  • Nathan B. McMullen, 1999
  • John A. McKinnon, 2000
  • Scott R. Saunders, 2001
  • Robert G. Bates, Jr., 2002
  • Todd R. Stout, 2003, 2004
  • Richard E. Norton, 2005
  • Jeffrey S. McKinnon, 2006
  • James E. Grieder, 2007
  • Daniel D. Bartlett, 2008, 2009
  • Aaron B. Norton 2009
  • Peter M. Culbertson, 2010, 2012; DDGM
  • Michael T. Allen, 2011


REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Charter: 1771

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1871 (Centenary)
  • 1921 (150th Anniversary)
  • 1971 (200th Anniversary)
  • 1996 (225th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1890 1901 1922 1931 1941 1947 1970 1974 1982

HISTORY

  • 1871 (Centenary Historical Sketch, 1871-85; see extract below from MFM)
  • 1906 ("Historical Gleanings" from New England Craftsman; see below)
  • 1921 (150th Anniversary History, 1921-227; see below)
  • 1971 (200th Anniversary History, Historical Sketch of Union Lodge, 1971-319)
  • 1972 (Historical Sketch in Northern Light, January 1972)

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, MAY 1871

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXX, No. 10, August 1871, Page 289:

An old and in his time a popular writer on the geography of New England, and the local habits and peculiarities of its people, speaks of Nantucket as follows:

"Some of the most peculiar manners and customs of New England are found in the Island of Nantucket and the neighboring part of the continent. Nantucket is a happy settlement; not that it has precious metals in its bosom, or fertility in its soil, but because the people are simple, innocent, and contented. The sea is their patrimony, and they gather its bounties in the most distant parts. The whale fishery in New England was commenced by six persons in Nantucket; one watched on an eminence for the spouting of the whale, and when he discovered it, all would pursue in a small boat, and they seldom failed to tow the leviathan ashore. Gains extended the adventure, ships were fitted out, and the whale was chased from the temperate regions to the arctic seas, and followed to the remotest shores to the Pacific Ocean.

"Among the people there are none idle, and few destitute. The vices of commercial places are hardly known, and it is admitted all over New England to be a great presumption in favor of a man's honesty, that he comes from Nantucket. The Friends or Quakers, give to the language a simplicity of diction truly Doric; and, though they take some liberties with 'he Commonwealth's English, yet to speak in a more classic manner, would be held to savor of affectation and pretension, in a person brought up with them. The various relationships, and the kindly feelings, have introduced the custom of calling elderly people uncle or aunt, and the younger, cousin. Even a stranger soon falls into this habit. The people generally marry young, and few live in celibacy. They are social to a great degree, and are eminently distinguished for their frequent visitings to sup at each other's houses. They live more as though they made a large family, than a small community."

Such, according to our author, was the primitive and interesting character of the Island of Nantucket and its people, half a century ago. How much of the early customs and peculiarities of their ancestors are still retained by the present generation — how much of their simplicity and innocence; how successfully the "vices of commercial places" have been kept out from among them; how faithfully they have preserved the good old family "custom of calling elderly people uncle or aunt, and the younger cousin"; or how frequently they "sup at each others houses," giving to the entire community the delightful familiarity and domestic enjoyments of "a large family," we are not qualified to say; but if pressed for an opinion predicated on our slight acquaintance with them, it would be much in accordance with that given by our author in the above extract.

But be this as it may, our recent visit to the Island, in the fulfillment of our Masonic duties, has tended only to confirm the truth of their world-wide reputation as an enterprising, genial and hospitable people. So far as our own observation goes, they are still, in an unusual degree, one "large family" of friends and neighbors, influenced by a common sympathy; growing, perhaps, out of their comparatively isolated locality; cut off as they measurably are for a large part of the year, from mingling with any other than their own society — left, the young to their wits, the old to pleasant reminiscences of the past, when, at their wharves

"On either hand,
Like a long wint'ry forest, groves of masts
Shot up their spires."

But all this is foreign to our present purpose.

Freemasonry was first introduced into the Island in the year 1771, on the petition of William Brock, Joshua Deniston, Henry Smith, William North, Christopher Hussey and Timothy Folger — the first four being Master Masons, and the last two Fellow Crafts. A petition of this kind would hardly be admissible at the present day, but was not inconsistent with the usages of the Craft at the time it was granted, the theory then being that three M. M. could make a Lodge, five, including two F. C.'s form one, and seven including two E. A.'s, make it perfect. The petitioners say, "Being sensible that it lies in our power to propagate the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons here in this place, we think it our indispensable duty to use our best endeavors to propagate so noble an Art with all the strictness and regularity as becomes members of a just and perfect Lodge," and being "sensible that no one ought to come to any light or knowledge (of the Art) by any clandestine or unregular method, that may tend to cast any disgrace upon the Fraternity, which we shall always be sorry to hear of," they request, if consistent with the will and pleasure of the Grand Master, that he will send them a Warrant, "that we may have a just and perfect Lodge consecrated here, so that when any candidates offer themselves we may be able to deal with them in due form."

In answer to this request the following Warrant or Charter was sent to the petitioners; which, being somewhat quaint in its terms and different in its conditions from those now in general use in this country, we lay before our readers, the original of which was destroyed in the great fire at Nantucket in 1846, and was subsequently replaced by a modern Charter; it not being known, at that time, that a copy was in existence; and we may remark here, as a curious incident in this connection, that the loss of the original Charter, with the terms of which even the more aged members seem not to have been familiar, gave rise, a few years afterwards, to a singular belief that the authority for the Lodge was originally derived from the Grand Lodge of Scotland — an error which was firmly persisted in until irrefutably controverted by Grand Master Gardner, who, in his excellent speech at the dinner table on the occasion of the late celebration, presented the Master of the Lodge with an attested copy of the original document from the records of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts! to the surprise, and we doubt not to the gratification of all who had adopted the erroneous supposition. We presume that a parchment copy will now be made of it, properly attested, and carefully preserved against any similar misfortune in the future:

Copt of the Charter.

[Seal.]

John Rowe, G. M.

To all and every our Right Worshipful and Loving Brethren, Free and Accepted Masons now Residing or that may hereafter Reside in Sherburne in the County of Nantucket in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. We John Rowe, Esquire, Provincial Grand Master of the Antient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for all North America, where no other Grand Master is Appointed,

SEND GREETING.

Whereas, Application hath been made unto us by several Brethren Free and Accepted Masons now residing at Sherburne aforesaid: setting forth that they think it their indispensible Duty to propagate the Royal Art with all the Strictness and Regularity that becomes Masons of a just and perfect Lodge; that they shall always use their best Endeavors to promote so laudable a Society when it is Established in due form: Therefore Pray that we would Constitute them into a Regular Lodge, and appoint our Brother, Captain William Brock to be their first Master.

Now therefore know ye, That We of the Great Trust, Power and Authority reposed in us by his Grace the Most Worshipful, Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort &c, Grand Master of Masons, have Constituted and Appointed our Right Worshipful and well beloved Brother Captain William Brock to be the first Master of the Lodge at Sherburne aforesaid, and do hereby impower him to Congregate the Brethren together, and form them into a Regular Lodge, he taking special Care that all and every Member thereof and all transient Persons admitted therein have been, or shall be regular made Masons: And that he appoint two Wardens and other Officers to a Lodge Appertaining, for the due Regulation of said Lodge for One Year; at the end of which he shall Nominate a new Master to be approved by the Lodge, at least two thirds of the Members in his favour, and said new Master shall Nominate and Appoint two Wardens and a Secretary for the ensuing Year, also a Treasurer, who must have the Votes of two thirds of the Members in his favour: and so the Same Course Annually.

And we do hereby give to said Lodge all the Privileges and Authority of other Regular Lodges; Requiring them to observe all and every of the Regulations contained in the Printed Book of Constitutions (except such as have been, or may be Repealed at any Quarterly Communication or other General Meeting of the Grand Lodge in London,) to be kept and observed, as also all such other Rules and Instructions as may from Time to Time be transmitted to them by Us, or our Deputy, or Successors to either for the Time being: And that they do Annually send an Account in Writing to Us, or our Deputy, or Successors to either of Us for the Time being, of the Names of the Members of said Lodge, and their Place of Abode, with the Days and Place of Meeting, with any other things they may think proper to Communicate for the benefit of Masonry; And that they do Annually keep the Feast of St. John the Baptist, or St. John the Evangelist, or both, and Dine together on said Day or Days, or as near either of them as shall be most convenient; And lastly, that they do Regularly Communicate with the Grand Lodge in Boston, by sending to the Quarterly Communication such Charity as their Lodge shall think fit, for the Relief of Poor Brethren, with the Names of those that Contributed the same, that in case any such may conic to want Relief, they may have the preference to others.

Given under Our Hand and Seal of Masonry, at Boston, the 27th day of May, A.D. 1771, and of Masonry, 5771.

By the Grand Masters Command, Tho. Brown, Gr. Sec.

Richd. Gridley, D.G.M.
Jno. Cutler, S.G.W.
Abr. Savage, J.G.W.

It will be seen from the above that the Charter was granted on the 27th of May, 1771, and though we have no means of fixing the precise day when the Lodge was organized and went into active operation, the probability is that this took place immediately before, or on the following 24th of June; and that the Lodge continued to work under the Mastership of Bro. William Brock and his appointees, until the 26th of the ensuing December, when the R. W. Timothy Folger, Esq. was elected Master; John Calder, Senior Warden; John Bearde, Junior Warden; Christopher Hussey, Senr., Treasurer; Nathaniel Barrett, S. D.; John Gardner, J. D.; and Sylvanus Pinkham and Jonathan Jenkins, Stewards. The next day (27th) the Lodge celebrated the Feast of St. John; proceeding, says the Record, "in procession to the Rev. Mr. Shaw's Meeting House, where the Beauties of Masonry, the infinite Profit and Advantage of Brotherly Love and Unity were learnedly, elegantly and politely displayed in a sermon, to a numerous and respectable audience by our Brother ZebuIon Butler, the subject whereof he made Psalm 133, Verse 1st;" at the conclusion of which the Lodge "proceeded to a convenient place and dined together as Brethren." This was the first public Masonic celebration that ever took place on the Island, and the last, — the Lodge having in the intermediate time rounded off full one hundred years of its existence,— took place on the 24th of June 1871, being the anniversary of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, and of its own Centenary.

The occasion with its festivities — the two or three thousand strangers which it drew together — the presence of at least five hundred Masons, including two of the finest companies of Knights Templars in the country, in their rich and showy regalia, with flaunting banners and 'aspiring music—the wild excitement that pervaded the entire community— the public display of flags in the streets — and above all he munificent hospitality and kindly welcome everywhere manifested, marked the day as an epoch, not only in the Masonic but in the local and domestic history of the Island. It was an event which the old. will long remember and love to talk about, in coming years, and which the young will transmit to their successors as a day of joy, fruitful of pleasant reminiscences.

We have not space in our pages for details, nor is their omission a matter of importance, for they may all be found in the secular papers of the day. The festivities, ceremonies, or services,— the incongruity of the parts leaves us at a loss how to-classify the whole, — were opened on the preceding evening, in a large public tent, and in the presence of some six or eight hundred persons of both sexes, with what is called a "Sorrow Lodge" — a species of Lodge of which our Masonic Fathers were profoundly ignorant, and in which happy condition their successors of the present day might have remained, but for the aspirations of some of our ambitious Brethren to improve the old superstructure of the Order, by incorporating upon it the vagaries of the French and other Orients of Continental Europe. We might nevertheless be able to reconcile ourselves to this, as to other innovations, were the ceremonies confined to the Lodge room and kept within proper limits; but they are-ill adapted for public display, and the present exhibition of them was particularly objectionable, both in time and place, however impressively and eloquently the services may have been performed. The occasion which had called the Brethren together was a Festival, a day of congratulation and of joy, and it should not have been opened in! such a manner that the satirist might with some apparent truth say

"The funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables."

We were not present at these ceremonies, for the sufficient reason, and perhaps for others, that the Grand Lodge, with which Body we were connected, were not officially apprised of them. We understand however that they were conducted by one of the Chaplains of the Grand Lodge of New York, and according to a ritual neither known to nor recognized by, the Masonry of Massachusetts.

At the conclusion of these funereal services the audience dispersed, the citizens retiring to their homes, and the Brethren to the hotels and private lodgings provided for them. A reporter of one of the city papers the following day says, "very little sleep was enjoyed on Monday night, for the Sir Knights, hosts and guests were determined to extend courtesies one to the other, and accordingly serenading was the order of the night — like an Alexandrine line, with its "linked sweetness long drawn out!" Putting it in its mildest form, this was doubtless all very well, but, as a sequence, the connection, though natural, was not exactly in unison with its antecedent. The Latin poet understood the true relation of things bettor when he said —

"Singula qurcqiie locum tcueant sortita decenter—"

Let every individual matter becomingly retain the place naturally belonging to it.

At ten o'clk. on the following morning, Tuesday the 27th, a procession was formed, consisting of the M. W. Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth, with Grand Master Gardner at its head, under the escort of the De Molay Commandery of Boston, Sir E. T. Wilson in command, and the Sutton Commandery of New Bedford, Sir John A. Lee, commanding — the former numbering about one hundred and twenty-five members, accompanied by Gilmore's celebrated Band, with Gilmore himself at its head; and the latter with about eighty members and the New Bedford Brass Band. Both bodies were in elegant regalia, were ably handled, and never on any public occasion appeared to better advantage, or elicited more general or more worthily earned commendation. So far as we know, a company of Knights Templars never before appeared upon the Island. The presence of these two splendid bodies, therefore, on the present occasion, naturally excited the liveliest curiosity and interest among the many hundreds of men, women, and children who had never before witnessed a display, to them, so unique and brilliant.

Next following these bodies, was Paul Revere Lodge of North Bridgewater, in full ranks, with an excellent Band. Then came large delegations from the Lodges on the Cape, the names of which we are not able to give. Union Lodge with its W. Master Bro. Joseph S. Barney, and some aged Brethren in carriages, closed the procession, numbering some five hundred or more Brethren, the whole under the marshalship of Past Master Macy, of the celebrating Lodge. The bodies so formed took up the line of March at about 11 o'clock and proceeded through the length and breadth of the town; we are not sure that any particular street was omitted, or that any blade of grass that had strength enough to show itself above the horribly projecting and ankle-breaking paving-stones was left untrodden upon. It was however some compensation for this annoyance, that all along the route, flags were freely displayed; wreaths and buntings and hearty welcomes, enthusiastic cheers and bright faces were everywhere present. All outside the ranks appeared to be happy, and of course the sufferers could not be otherwise.

But "all's well that ends well;" and soon after one o'clock the procession entered the mammoth tent for dinner, where tables were spread for about a thousand hungry guests. These wore profusely and beautifully ornamented with flowers, and presented a picturesque and inviting appearance. The dinner was, about the usual average of such dinners, and was soon disposed of, when the intellectual part of the services began. This was of a high order, and far above the usual experience. Bro. A. P. Chapman of Boston, at the request of the Master of the Lodge, presided at the tables and discharged his duties in an unexceptionable and creditable manner. The first speaker was of course the M. W. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, and on this, as on all occasions when called upon in the discharge of any of his official acts, he acquitted himself to the acceptance of his audience and the satisfaction of his Brethren. He referred briefly to the first introduction of Masonry into the Island, sketching the history of the organization of : the celebrating Lodge, reading the petition to the Grand Lodge in 1771 for its warrant, and closing this branch of his remarks by presenting the Master with an official copy of the original document, as noticed elsewhere. He then spoke of the organization of a second Lodge on the Island in 1826, under the name of Urbanity Lodge, and of its final dissolution in 1841; and closed with an appropriate and fraternal address to the members of the surviving Lodge, expressing a hope that their successors, when another century shall have rolled by, will find themselves in as happy and prosperous a condition as the j present members find themselves to-day.

Other speakers followed; all of whom we should be pleased to notice individually did our room allow of it. Among them were R. W. Past Grand Masters Dr. Winslow Lewis and William Parkman, and Deputy Grand Master Charles Levi Woodbury, who made a very fine and humorous address. Speeches were also made by Sir Knights E. T. Wilson of the De Molay and J. A. Lee of the Sutton Commanderies, and others. But it must suffice here to say that all the speeches were of surpassing excellence. Some of them were exceedingly eloquent and effective, and were received by the vast audience present with the highest satisfaction.

At four o'clock the banquet closed; and, out of the usual course, and altogether at the wrong time, the audience were invited to. proceed in procession to the Methodist Church, there to listen to an address by Bro. Joseph S. G. Cobb of Providence, K. I. The services here mainly consisted in the singing by the audience of a centennial ode, written for the occasion by Bro. A. E. Jenks, M. D. of Nantucket, and the oration, by Bro. Cobb. The number present was not so large by some hundreds as it would have been had the usual order of proceeding on such occasions been observed. The Brethren were all tired out, as were the bands, and needed rest, and most of them took it. The address was a very fine, well written, scholarly production, of its kind; but it was not well adapted to the occasion. The brethren naturally expected, as they had a right to expect, that the orator would lay before them the history of the Lodge — tracing its origin and progress, and sketching the general characteristics of its leading members, who had successfully carried it through, unbroken and without reproach, for an entire century. The speaker gave them nothing of this, though he gave them a very beautifully written and well spoken essay on the general subject of Masonry; and on an ordinary celebration of St. John's Day, no exception could be taken to its appropriateness.

The services here were followed in the evening by a "Centennial Ball," in the "Mammoth Tent." Of this our contemporary of the Nantucket Inquirer says — "It was a scene of rare beauty and enchanting loveliness, never to be forgotten by any one who was fortunate enough to be introduced into that Mimic World of delicate fragrance, light, life and music !" We suppose this will be enough for our readers on this point. Dancing continued until a late hour and was undoubtedly highly enjoyed by all who participated in it.

Thus closed this memorable celebration. There are many interesting incidents and reminiscences connected with it, which we should be gratified to notice, had not this article already spread itself out to an unusual and inconvenient length. The whole was eminently successful, and our Brethren of Union Lodge have abundant reasons to be satisfied with it, as their visitors have to be satisfied with them, and their generous hospitalities.

We may state here, what might perhaps have been better done in another place, that the Lodge was originally established under the name of Nantucket Lodge, and continued to be so known until January 1773, when on the petition of its Members, it was ordered that the name be changed and registered in the Grand Lodge Books as Union Lodge No. 5. The Lodge at its beginning was popular with the people. It started in June 1771 with six members only; and in the following December it reported the number to be sixty-five!

HISTORICAL NOTES, FEBRUARY 1906

From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 5, February 1906, Page 154:

Union Lodge, Nantucket, Mass.
HISTORIC GLEANINGS

UnionN_ArthurHouse.jpg
The Arthur House, where the first meetings
of the Lodge were held.

We present our readers with extracts from the records of Union Lodge of Nantucket whose interesting history began in the early part of 1771. The first meeting of record was held May 9, 1771, but there were earlier meetings for the petition for a charter which was dated April 16. 1771. No record exists of the preliminary steps taken in the formation of the lodge, nor is it known where the petitioners received the degrees with the exception of one, Henry Smith, who was made a Mason in London in 1754 as is shown by his diploma now in the possession of the lodge. The petition for the charter was signed by four Master Masons and two Fellow Crafts. The language of the petition suggests that the petioners were closely, although informally, associated as Masons, for it says, "there is several that hath offered themselves as Candidates thinking that we had power to deal with them." The petition was received by the Grand Lodge at a Quarterly Communication held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston on Friday April 26. 1771 and the Grand Secretary instructed to "acquaint the Petitioners by Letter that Three Master Masons are necessary to the constituting a New Lodge: also with the Expence attending the same: And desire them to Nominate one of the Petitioners for their first Master." The cost of a "Deputation" as he stated "will be Three Guineas and a half, to be paid on delivery thereof."

The Charter of the Lodge was signed by John Rowe who was at that time "Provincial Grand Master of the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for all North America, where no other Grand Master is appointed." It will be remembered there was at this time another Grand Lodge in Massachusetts, called the Massachusetts Grand Lodge of which Joseph Warren was Grand Master; this Grand Lodge had been established Dec. 27, 1769 through the efforts of the Lodge of St. Andrew which was under the jurisdiction of fte Grand Lodge of Scotland.

The two Grand Lodges were united by mutual consent March 5, 1792.

The first meeting of record of Union Lodge was held nearly three weeks before its charter was granted. At this meeting three brothers were initiated. This irregular proceeding was probably in consequence of some assurance that their petition for a charter would be granted. First election was held Sept. 25, 1771 when the lower officers were chosen. Also Bro. Andrew Worth, Past Master, another brother was also chosen Past Master at the meeting in the following mouth. At this meeting it was voted that "each member of this Society shall pay One Shilling lawful money into the Fund of Charity at every Quarterly Communication."

Union Lodge was established at a critical moment in the history of our country: it was at a time when the people aroused by the oppressive acts of the mother country had successfully begun to resist the enforcement of obuoxous laws. The stamp act had been defied, stamps had been publicly burned, stamp officers forced to resign and the act itself repealed ; blood even had been shed in the streets of Boston by British bullets and the spirit of rebellion against British oppression rapidly growing soon after reached its culmination in the act of independence July 4, 1776.

Nantucket suffered greatly during the war of the revolution, its interests being almost wholly maritime were soon destroyed, many of the inhabitants by seizure of their vessels and destruction of their cargoes were much impoverished, while many of the crews were confined in British prisons and prison ships, causing in many instances great suffering in their families. It is evident from votes passed in the lodge that assistance was quietly rendered from time to time in cases of distress in families of members. A committee was chosen to examine into and report in cases of needed assistance. An example of the charity of the lodge at this time is shown by the record of December 28, 1798 — Voted: "that we do discontinue the use of Bread and Cheese in the Lodge and that which the Lodge hath on hand at this time be taken into the care of the committee chosen for the purpose and distribute the same accordingly all they should find Neady."

The extracts from the records that follow will give an idea of the subjects that interested the brethren of the early days and their way of doing business. It was a time of simple life and modest habits. The luxuries of modern lodge rooms and expensive collations had not been developed. Frequent allusion is made to the use of liquor at their meetings, yet, the brethren only followed the custom of the time which was quite the same on all social occasions whether of Masonic brethren or meetings of the clergy.

  • March 2, 5772 — Brother Thomas Worth resigned as Tyler, at a Lodge of Emergency. March 13. Voted, that the Brethren serve in their turns as Tyler, until we get an established Tyler, except the five Officers
  • August 3, 5772 — Initiated Nathaniel Barber, Jr. Then voted, that from this time all the Lodges that shall be called, for to Initiate, Pass or Raise a bruther, that Brother shall bear the charge of that night. Voted, that if any member absents himself from the Lodge a Year, then that member to be araised from the Lodge as a member.
  • December 18, 5772 — Voted the thanks of this Lodge to Bro. William McAllpine for his gift of William Calcotts Disquisition on the Principles of Masonry.
  • March 12, 5773 — Shown to the Lodge the Petition of Bro. Jeremy Russell of Boston with the letter recommendatory of the Gr. Secr'y. Voted, that this Lodge send to the Relief of Bro. Russell, the sum of £6 out of the fund of Charity.
  • February 28, 5773 — The following item is found in the Records of the Grand Lodge.
    • "A letter from Nantucket Lodge was Read, praying that said Lodge may be registered in the Grand Lodge Books by the name of Union Lodge No. 5. Voted unanimously that the Prayer of said Petition be granted.
    • "At a Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston the 30th day of April 5773. Voted, that the Grand Secretary retain the six Pounds lawful Money he has received from the Nantucket Lodge for the Relief of Bro. Jeremiah Russell n his own hands until he obtains a Receipt from said Bro. Russell for said sum. A letter from Union Lodge No. 5 at Nantucket was read as follows; Right Worshipful Brother — By order of the Right Worshipful Master of this Lodge, I am to answer yours of the ist. January last; also of the 30th of the same month, both which he has received together with the Petition of Bro. Russell. ** "The Remoteness of our Situation on an Island and the Difficulty of passing in Winter, we hope will be accepted as a sufficient excuse for our Non-attendance at the Grand Lodge, according to Summons. Our Lodge is yet in its Infancy, the Members chiefly Seamen, and none of us blessed with a Fortune, our Lodge as yet not properly settled, furnished etc. etc. Insomuch that it is out of our Power (at present) to transmit any thing to the Grand Fund, but humbly hope that Maturity and the united Efforts of our greatest Abilities will, in a short Time enable us liberally to contribute thereto.
    • "The calamitous Circumstances of Bro. Russell we look upon well worthy of the immediate Commiseration and Assistance of every tenderhearted and good Mason ; have therefore voted the Sum of 6£ to the Relief of our said Unfortunate Bro. and the same transmitted to you pr. the Bearer thereof, Mr. Joseph Roby."
  • June 23, 5773 — In our Lodge duly formed and tyled; Celebration of St. John tke Baptist. Proceeded to Celebrate it with Decency.
  • August 2, 5773 — Initiated James Coffin, 2nd. Voted, that he who Brakes a Glass shall replace it.
  • August 5, 5773 — Initiated George Bunker. At this meeting the first recorded rejection.
  • October 11, 5773 — Voted, that Bros. Christopher Hussey, Sen., Jethro Hussey and John Gardner be a Committy to Inspect into the Reasons those members have for Blacking a Candidate, where the number so Blacking does not Exceed Three; Those members so Blacking shall within one week after Blacking apply to one of the above Committy and give in their Reason for so doing; And in case of failure of such member applying to sd. Committy and giving their Reasons, the Candidate to be admitted as unanimous.
  • October 20, 5773 — Voted, that Bro. Secy procure a Quarter Cask of Wine for the use of this Lodge.
  • December 16, 5773 — Voted for relief of Bro. Bass the sum of three pounds. Voted that six pounds be sent to be deposited in the Grand Fund.
  • December 27, 5773 — In our Lodge duly formed and tyled. Proceeded to celebrate the Feast of St. John in due Order &. Decorum.
  • March 7, 5774 — Voted that the thanks of this Lodge be given to Brothers Jethro Hussey and Benjamin Bunker for their Present of a Silver ladle.
  • December 27, 5774 — Celebration of the Feast of St. John ye Evangelist. In our Lodge duly formed and Tyled. Presiding R. W. Bro. Samuel Barrett Master; W. Bro. George Calder S. W.; John Sherman J. W.
    • 11 o'clock A. M. Walked in Masonick Procession to the Presbyterian Meeting where we were entertained with a Truly Masonick, Polite & Elegant Discourse on Brotherly Love & Unity preached by Brother Zebulon Butler. After meeting proceeded in Procession to Bro. Sylvanus Pinkham's where we dined together, from whence returned back to the Lodge in the same Procession, the whole conducted with the greatest Decency, order and Propriety. Voted, unanimously the Thanks of this Lodge to Bro. Butler for a pious & Brotherly Sermon which breathes forth the genuine princip of Masonry, Charity and universal Benevolence.
    • The R. W. Samuel Barrett after a handsome Brotherly Charge delivers up the Chair to the New Master the R. W. Bro. Timothy Folger Esqr who was properly invested. The Officers of the 1ast year likewise resign tlieir Places to the New chosen who are also properly invested by the New Master.
    • Voted particularly, the united Thanks of this Lodge to the Mast. Wardens & other Officers of this Lodge for their strict attention the affairs of the Lodge & their faithful services therein the year past.
  • January 2, 5775 — Voted that a new Apron be presented to every nev Initiate Brother, at the expense of the Lodge, to be his, which he shall take care of and have no more from the Lodge.
  • February 6, 5775 — Voted that the same committee which was chosen last month to make the Lodge Room more Convenient, should Remain the same, and Treat with Bro. Jethro Hussey, and if he will Rent at a Reasonable Rate, to us, as long as one year after the altering of the same; and as much Longer time as boath Parties can agree, so as to make it worth while for the Lodge to do the same at the Expence of the Lodge.
  • April 17, 5775 — A Tost Drank to the Lodge No. 2 in Philadelphia in Returns to Bro. Jones of That Lodge to us; Ditto the absent and most worth Bro. Timy Folger, Esq. master of this Lodge; Ditto to the Absent Brothers of This Lodge.
  • May 1, 5775 — Voted that Bro. Sectry send for sum Wine Glasses for ye Lodge, and Bro. Jonathan Jenkins Gits made for the Lodge four Tin Candlesticks.
  • August 7, 5775 — Voted that Broth W. Win. Brock, Samuel Barrett & Chris. Hussey be a Committee to Talk with Bro. Seth Jenkins and no the Reason, if he hath any, for Absenting himself so long from the Lodge, and make their report next Lodge night. Voted that the same Committee do Treat with Major Brattle on Masonry, wheather he is one or not, and make a Report a Cordingly Next Lodge.
  • September 5, 5775 — The committee chosen last Lodge night to Treat with Bro. Seth Jenkins in Regard to his Absenting himself so long from the Lodge, make their Report that Bro. Jenkins holds himself a member with a Sincear Respect to the Craft and is Redy at all times to pay up his arrears; and they Report that Major Brattle saild for London before they had an Opportunity to talk with him on the subject.
  • November 6, 5775 — Voted that Bro. Josiah Coffin and Chris. Hussey, Jr. Doath purchase for the Lodge use a quarter Cask of Good Tenerife Wine.
  • July 9, 5776 — (First record of attendance at the funeral of a Brother.) Voted that ye Brothers of this Lodge do attend the funeral of Bro. Jethro Coffin at 5 o'clock P. M., there to form and walk two by two, in Brotherly Respect to the Deceased.
  • November 25, 5776 — A donation of a very fine Turtle Shell punch Ladle, presented by Bro. Benjamin Bunker, and the Thanks of the Lodge given him tor the same.
  • October 6, 5777 - The Lodge received a visit from James Otis.
  • October 21, 5777 — A committee was chosen to supply the Lodge with such stores, &c as may be necessary for the use of the Lodge.
  • November 3, 5777 — Voted that the Secty will do his indeavours to make sum Enquirs to Sworp Wine for Rum on the best Terms he can.
  • November 17, 5777 — Voted, that the Committee doath receive out the Charity money the sum of twelve pounds & hand the same to Bro. David Squires Wife by sum careful! hand as she being Dead full at this time.
  • December 15, 5777 — Voted that the Honours of Masonry be Drank, which was Performed with good Regularity by giving three Cheers.
  • December 27, 5777 — At 11 o'clock A. M. the Lodge was Opened & by the R. W. Orders formed in Masonick Procession and in Due Order walked thrice round the Lodge, which being done the Members took their places, and at i o'clock P. M. the Dinner was put on the Table, in the Lodge, where we Dined, with the greatest Order, Decency and Decorum.
  • February 2, 5778 — Voted, that the whole of 25 galls, of Catlett Wine Recvd by Bro. Joshua Bunker be all Bottled for Lodge use, and thai Bros. Shubael Worth, Jethro Hussey, Abuer Coffin 3rd. and Joseph Coffin do Prepare Bottles and Corks and get the above Wine and Bring into ye Lodge.
  • March 2, 5778 — Voted that the sum of five pounds be sent by Brother Joseph Chase for South Carolina & France as per Receipt be Take on Lodge Risque to be Laid out in Brandy.
  • May 4, 5778 — Voted, that Secretary Doath write a Letter in the Behalf of ye Lodge to Bro. Nathl. Barber, Jr. in Boston to procure a man for tin Releas of Bro Andrew Brock, now a Prisoner in New York.
  • October 5, 5778 — Voted, that a Committee of 3 Brothers, viz. Robert Folger, Paul Pinkham and Obed Bunker a Chosen to take ye Greatest care of the Chest of this Lodge & the furniture of ye same in case the Enemy is in sight of us Hear.
  • October 14, 5778 — Voted that their be a Letter wrote Down to Boston to some friend to liberate our Brothers being now in Captivity on board ye Prison Shipp in New York. A toast drank to the remembrance o, the absent Brothers of this Lodge and to all the fraternity round the world.
  • November 1, 5778 — Voted, that Bro. John Pinkham doth purchase one Cord Kenebeck wood and Cart, saw and Storeaway the same up in the Garet for Lodge use & render his bill for the same.
  • November 16, 5778 — After appointing a Committee to make arrangements for a dinner on St. John's day. Voted that every Brother doath meet at the house appointed by the Committee to accomodate us with ;i dinner on St. John's day, each Brother carrying his Apron and Jewil with him in his pocket to Cloathe at ye house whilst at dinner and then to Disperse and meet again at ye Lodge to proceed to Business.
  • January 4, 5779 — Voted that the Secretary doth send down to Boston for a Quarter Cask of Good Wine suitable for Lodge use, by the first convenient opportunity ; at the next meeting of the Lodge the Secretary reported that he sent to Boston, but could not purchase any without giving a very large price for the same.
  • April 15, 5779 — Voted, that fivety Paper Dollars be sent as an adventure out on acc. of this Lodge by Bro. Uriah Swain to be laid out according to his best Judgement for the advantage of this Lodge, and for his freight and commissions to be according to his laying the money out, and what in for us. A Committee to take care of the Furniture of this Lodge according to their best judgment in case the Enemy came.
  • July 19, 5779 — Entertained with a fine Turtle for supper.
  • September 5, 5779 — The Jibb hanks which Bro. Swain bought for the Lodge is voted to be sent off to the West Indies the first opportunity, on the best terms Bro. Secty. can do it upon.
  • December 5, 5779 — Voted, that we dine on St. John's Day at Mr. Ichabod Aldridges' with paying 15 Paper Dollars each, we finding our own Liquors for that use, if we have any. Voted, that the Stewards doth see up to said house for our use Gal. Rum and sum Sugar. (At this time the difference between paper & hard money was as 25 to 1)
  • December 4, 5780 — Voted, that the Brethren of the Lodge do dine on St. John's Day at the House of Bro. Timothy Coleman at four and sixpence hard, apiece, we finding our own strong Drink ; it is desired of Bro. Coleman to find the Sparrites sufficient, and to be paid by us.
  • March 5, 5781 — Voted, that we take twenty Gallons of Wine of Bro. Geo. Bunker at 4-6 ye Gl. for the Lodge use.
  • November 5, 1781 — Voted, we send by Bro. James Ramsdell to Git a Barrel of good Jamaica Rum as low as he can in Newport or Providence on acct. and risque as follows, for the Lodge 18 gallons, for Brother S. Barrett 5 gals., Bro. J. Gardner 2 gals., Bro. J. Hussey 3 gals., Bro. C. Hussey, Jr. 3 1/2 gals.
  • December 3, 5781 — Voted, that the Brethren of the Lodge Doath Dine together on St. John's Day ensuing at Bro. Caleb Bunker's at three shillings each Brother, we finding our own Liquors. Voted, that ye Brethren meet at this room at 10 o'clock forenoon, walk in masonick order from here to Bro. C. Bunker's house, if the weather is Pleasant on sd Day, if not pleasant to proceed on sum other way to git Their. It is fair to presume that the weather was pleasant, as the Brethren "walked in Masonick Procession," "and were very agreeably entertained with a Dinner all in good Order, from their Returned back in Forme to the Lodge room with Love and unanimity."

UnionN_CurrentHall.jpg
The current hall of Union Lodge.

  • October 2, 5786 — Voted, that the Brothers that do neglect attending tin Lodge on Lodge nights, and do continue in that neglect to the Society shall be wrote to by the Secretary and sent by the Tyler to even Brother so neglecting, notifying him that in case he doth not attend the Lodge, or render a satisfactory account of his neglect, shall be immediately and without any further notice, struck off the Book of Membership from the time of notice so sent him.
  • July 2, 5787 - Voted, that there be a Flagg made for the Lodge use to be hoisted on Lodge days on the Top of the House where the Lodge is held.
  • August 6, 5787 — The Flagg made and sett this day for the intended pin pose of notifying the Brothers that it is Lodge Night.
  • December 3, 5787 — Voted the thanks of the Lodge to Bro. Ebenezer Perkins for his Present of a Sword and Bayonet to the Lodge and is Reed from him.
  • June 24, 5791 - Dined in the Lodge Room at 1 o'clock Bro. Jethro Hussey Esq. Cloathed the Tables in good order and after the Repass was over and other Enjoyments, Voted, the thanks of the Lodge to Bro. Peter Macy for his Donation of a Sheep to be Drest, and was on said day.
  • September 3, 5792 — A candidate Mr. David McAlliston is postponed from this night to look into his character; if found good and he will call ii Lodge at his expense to be at. Voted, the Secretary looks into the above candidate and proceeds according as he may find, either calls ye Lodge or let it pass, and to see his Spirits be good which he offers in pay for his Initiation.
  • December 3, 5792 — Voted, that we have purchased for the Lodge use by the Stewards, two dozen of Wine Glasses of a small size; also is skins for Aprons.
  • March 6, 5793 — A Lodge of Emergency. Voted that Bro. Benjamin Walcott is hereby requested and is impowered to proceed and purchase of Alex. Gardner, his New Store, on the best terms in his power, for the use benefit and behoof of this Society of Masons. Brother Walcott reported, that he has treated with Alex. Gardner, and has bought his New Store in his own name, being for and in behalf of the members of this Union Lodge, on the following conditions; say Two hundred dollars paid on delivry of Deed and Two hundred dollars annually until the sum of Four hundred dollars be paid, with allowing him Interest from the date of the Deed until paid and discharged in full.
  • April 1, 5793 — Motioned and seconded and voted, that we have an Iron Stove for the new Lodge Room.
  • July 1, 5793 — In our new Lodge room being the first Night of our assembling, The Right Worshipful Master Bro. Abner Coffin compiled an Exordum on Masonry and Delivered from the Chair, at the Dedication of said Lodge-room which was approved of and may be seen in the Chest. Paid Bro. Daniel Whitney for 11 Vn lbs. Cheese at 5d, for Lime Juice 1/6.
  • December 27, 5793 — Walked in a Masonick Order from the Lodge-room to dine at Bro. Josiah Coffins Esq., was agreeably entertained and walked from hence back in Like Order to Lodge-room. 28 Dinners at 2/6.
  • January 5, 5795 — Voted, that in case any member of this Lodge, or a Visitor should at any time speak or divulge the Business or Transactions of said Lodge, he shall be expelled if a member, and not admitted as Visitors, for such proceedings.
  • November 2, 5795 — Voted, a Committee to treat with our Brother respecting his misconduct in abusing himself with making use too freely of Strong Drink Committee to report next Lodge night. On Dec 14 the Committee reported, that they proceeded with him on the subject, to which he entirely denied, and said he was taken with the Cramp and could prove it to their satisfaction. Report accepted.
  • November 7, 5796 — Voted, the thanks of the Lodge to Bro. Wilson Rawson for a handsome cup presented this night by him, with the Masons Arms on it.
  • December 27, 5796 — Formed ourselves in the Lodge Hall and walked in Masonick order from hence to the Presbyterian Meeting House, and received an Agreeable Oration dld. to us by our Brother Leonard, and after the service was over walked in like order to the Hall and Dined in agreeable manner. Dinner prepared by Lydia Long at 6/ each.
  • April 3, 5797 — Voted, a Committee of three Brothers to treat with Bro. Samuel Calden who has lately come to the Island from his Captivity, and to see if he wants Relief and report as it may appear. On May 1 the Committee reported that they waited on Bro. Calden, and he wanted no immediate assistance, and would have his hearty thanks returned the Lodge for the care and respect shown him.
  • September 4, 5797 — A letter from Bro. Paul Revere of Boston, dated 27th. August, informing us of our situation in the Grand Lodge as being looked on as a Clandestine Lodge by us Held, by not acting consistent to the Regulations of ye Grand Lodge, the above letter was read and under consideration. Voted, for the Secretary to write Bro. Paul Revere of the receipt of his letter informing him that further order will be taken by the Lodge hereafter. Voted, a Committee to look into the above letter and frame an answer for the purpose to be sent forward to the Grand Lodge, after the approbation of ye Lodge next month.
  • October 2, 5797 — The Committee chosen to write a letter to the Grand Lodge in Boston, in answer to a Letter received from Bro. Paul Revere, Master of said Lodge, the Proceedings was laid before the Lodge, agreeable to ye copy, not wishing to become a part of the Grand Lodge, for a number of Reasons to us. The same was read twice, and vote, that the Letter be sent forward to ye Grand Lodge, as Reported an by the Secretary, and under his sanction to the same.

A subsequent record shows that Paul Revere's conclusion that Union Lodge was a clandestine lodge was based on the fact that they had neglected to send in their charter for indorsement by the new Grand Lodge, created by the union and had neglected to pay their dues.

The situation is more fully stated by Bro. Alexander Starbuck as follows:

"St. John's Grand Lodge, under which Union Lodge was chartered, was instituted in 1733, under authority of the Grand Lodge of England. An unfortunate, and for a time a serious, schism arose among the Masons of the Mother country soon after 1750, the seceders claiming a more strict adherence to the old landmarks and calling themselves Ancient Masons, and terming the adherents of the parent Lodge Moderns. In this country the sympathizers with the so-called Ancients organized the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in 1769, under authority of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

The lines between the rival Grand Lodges in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay were sharply drawn, and for a long time they refused to have any intercourse with each other. Soon after the close of the Revolutionary War the desirability of having but one Grand Lodge became so apparent that in 1792 the union of the two was effected, under the name of "The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient & Hon'ble Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." Our Most Worshipful Brother Paul Revere, before the union, was a Prominent member of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, and it seems quite evident that the feeling against that Grand Lodge and its adherents was a long time in subsiding with the Brethren of Union Lodge.

Those Lodges that did not view with favor the union naturally were lax in paying their dues, and in June, 1793, the Grand Secretary was directed to write to those Lodges that were in arrears and impress upon them the necessity of immediate payment. September 9, 1795, a Committee was appointed to write to the Lodges that were still delinquent, and inform them that any Lodge not represented in the Grand Lodge and in arrears more than twelve months shall have no Masonic standing in the Commonwealth. This, of course, carried with it the deprivation of any right to visit or to be visited, and virtually was Masonic excommunication. On March 13, 1797, three Lodges still holding aloof, the Grand Lodge, with an extreme leniency, "Voted that a Committee be appointed to write to the Lodges held at Marblehead, Nantucket and Truro." The Committee appointed were the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Paul Revere, and Brothers Dunn, Dennie and Edwards. Evidently it was this letter that was referred to in the records of Union Lodge of September 4 and October 2."

  • October 7, 5799 — Voted, that we have new steps built to the Lodge, and that they go straight down to the southward, if they do not interfere too much on the road. Voted, that no members have a right to call for the key to have Music and Dancing. Voted, that the Hall be made no use of for any other purpose but for Masonry.
  • January 6, 5800 — A Committee of five Brothers to strike out some mode of showing Respect to our Brother, Gen. George Washington and to report on an adjournment for approbation.
  • January 7, 5800 — The Committee chosen to strike out a mode of Mournim in Respect to the memory of our Brother, R. W. George Washington Esq., made their Report, and the same was Read to the Lodge, for further Consideration. Voted, that the Report be accepted as it stands, with an addition to the same of Putting ye Masters Chair in Mourning, also the Senr. and Junr. Wardens the same way (About $45.00 was paid for black cloth). Voted, that the Eye he painted over the West Door and the words set in Lattin, "God said let there be Light, and there was Light."
  • April 6, 5801 — Voted, that Bro. Wilson Rawson should meet in this Hall on the Mark Mason Degree, agreeable to his appointment by his warrant for the same from the City of New York dated 7th. day of September 1797.

This reference to the Mark Degree is interesting as at that time the degree was quite new in this country, it had been known in St. Andrew's Chapter only about eight years. According to Gould it cannot be traced back in England previous to 1774, and 1778 in Scotland.

We do not know where Bro. Wilson Rawson received his warrant for introducing the degree but quite likely from Washington Chapter of New York which was exercising the functions of a Grand Chapter at about that time.


  • November 5, 5801 — Voted that we come under the direction and inspection of the Grand Lodge in Boston. Voted, a Committee of three to draw a Letter to said Grand Lodge, the same to be delivered and carried forward by Bro. Benj. Walcott, and to see what is necessary to be done for this Union Lodge No. 5 coming under the direction of ye Grand Lodge.
  • November 27, 5801 — Heard the report of the Committee who were directed to take the necessary steps toward joining the Grand Lodge in Boston, and voted that the Secretary be directed to make out a list of the presiding officers of the Lodge this present year, and number of members, to be forwarded to the G. L.
  • February 18, 5802 —V oted, that we choose a Committee to return the thanks of the Lodge to Brother Samuel W. Hunt for his services i» getting our Charter Endorsed by the Grand Lodge.
  • March 13. 5802 — Voted, that we purchase the piece of land between Esqr. Hammetts' and Dr. Gelstons' houses, belonging to Wm. Rotch, for which he asks $1200. Voted, that we chuse a committee of three brothers, with the Secretary to procure the money, on the best terms they can, for the purpose of purchasing the above mentioned lands Voted, that we build a Mason's Hall on the above mentioned land.
  • June 1, 5802 — Voted, that the thanks of the Lodge be returned to Bro. Zophar Haden for a donation, made the Lodge by him, of a representation Solomon's Temple, and of the trial and condemnation of our Saviour, by the Jews.
  • June 7, 5802 — Voted, that the committee who has the care of overseeing the building of the new Lodge, be authorized to have such an Inscription engraven on the Corner Stone of our new Lodge, as they shall think proper.
  • June 16, 5802 — Voted, that we lay the foundation Stone of our new Hall in Masonick order on the 24th. day of June inst at 12 o'clock noon.
  • June 24, 5802 — Celebration of St. John the Babtist. Brethren assembled at the Hall at 11 o'clock A. M. Atone o'clock the dinner was on the Table furnished in good order by Mrs. Lydia Coleman at $1. each. Assembled, forty six brothers, drunk a number of sentimental toasts well adapted to the occasion and closed in good order. Before dining at 12 o'clock precisely we proceeded in due form (clothed and equipd. compleat), to the ground of our new Lodge-room, where the Master by the assistance of his Senr. & Junr. Wardens laid the Corner Stone and then we returned to the Lodge and dined as mentioned above.

UnionN_FormerHall.jpg
The former hall of Union Lodge, built in 1803 and sold
during the Anti-Masonic Period.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1921

From Proceedings, Page 1921-227:

HISTORICAL SKETCH OF UNION LODGE.
BY BROTHER HENRY B. WORTH.

The situation of Union Lodge in 1871 furnished a rare amount of material for a Masonic historian. The records for a century were complete, having been rescued from the Great Fire of 1846. Among the living members were several who had attained an advanced age and whose memory and interest in the ancient institution were keen and unimpaired. Some of them probably had seen charier members of the Lodge. Such a fascinating story might, have been written as could be found in few places in New England. Yet all this was neglected and allowed to be lost.

Those in charge of the celebration considered that a Lodge of Sorrow was a more suitable feature. It was a memorial service such as frequently is rendered in modern times in all societies for members who have passed away.

On the field by the harbor-side, north of the Athletic Club and next to the bathing pavilion, was erected a large tent. The public was admitted and the service presented with all possible solemnity. dignity, and impressiveness. But the exercises were not accompanied by any historical function. It might be suggested that on the present occasion some of this loss could be repaired, so much at least as depended on written records.

To a great extent this was accomplished by Alex. Starbuck, of Waltham, several years since in a pamphlet prepared for the Nantucket Historical Society, called "A Century of Freemasonry," which was an annotated commentary on the records of Union Lodge. But this could not supply the recollection of the old men who had personal knowledge of much of the Masonic history during that century before 1871. It has not however been deemed advisable to reprint what the Starbuck history contained, but to have compiled a sketch referring to a few historic items not contained in that work.

According to traditions that seem trustworthy, the early meetings were held in a dwelling house at the end of Brock's Court, which extends west from North Liberty Street at its junction with Lily Street. The house, now taken down, may have been one owned by Andrew Brock, a relative of Capt. Wm. Brock, the first Master. An early candidate was Jethro Hussey, the owner of a house which stood cast of the Atheneum, where the bake shop is now located. Soon after Union Lodge was organized it began to meet in the chambers of this house, and here it convened over twenty years, Here a flag flying from a pole gave notice of meetings. When the Revolutionary War was over and affairs had begun to prosper membership had reached a satisfactory growth and Union Lodge decided to procure a better hall.

On the east side of Washington Street, thirty yards south from Main, opposite to the Town Offices, Alexander Gardner had built a new building with a store down stairs and the second floor suitable for meetings. This was purchased by the Lodge, March, 1793, and the title held by Trustees. In a few years this proved unsatisfactory, possibly being too near the wharves, and the Lodge made another change.

Next west of the Pacific Bank, then the residence of Esquire Hammett, was a lot which was purchased from Wm. Roteh in March, 1802. Here they built a commodious building, now standing on the same lot, the corner-stone of which with "inscription as called for," was laid with appropriate Masonic ceremonies June 24, 1802.

Three years and a half later the Lodge voted that the "corner-stone be removed out into full view." Then followed prosperous days for the Masonic fraternity. Here Union Lodge grew and waxed strong; here met Urbanity Lodge, in sport called the "silk stocking Lodge," from 1822 to 1830; here convened Rising Sun Royal Arch Chapter, between 1818 and 1828; here Unity Council of Royal and Select Masters held its convocations for two years subsequent to 1823, and here in those dark days when it was unpopular to be known as a Mason, when Union Lodge stood single and alone, a few stalwart members met in dreary solitude, and here finally in December, 1835, they voted to amend the By-Laws to provide for one meeting a year only, and to transfer their Lodge property to the Trustees of the Coffin School. It may be wondered where that corner-stone now rests. No information has been obtained that it. was ever removed. Perhaps it still supports the old Lodge building where it was placed one hundred and twenty years ago.

Th next hall occupied by the Lodge was a room in the old Atheneum Building which was burned in the Great Fire of July, 1846. When it appeared that this wild conflagration might reach the Atheneum some of the members of Union Lodge gained admission and rescued the property that could be moved, including the case that contained the Charter, but when this was opened, it was empty and the ancient document has never reappeared. Years afterwards some of them told the story to younger men and said "Some day, you boys may see the Charter, for an enemy of Union Lodge took it out of the case and there were several that could have entered that room. Perhaps it was not destroyed." So bitter was the feeling among the opponents of Freemasonry at Nantucket!

In the meantime the Lodge building on Main Street was occupied by the Odd Fellows and Union Lodge became tenants from the date of the Great Fire to November of that year when it moved to the hall in the building of the Commercial Insurance Company. which is the brick building at. the foot of Main Street owned by the Pacific Club.

In 1863 the Lodge again became tenant of the Odd Fellows in the block on Center Street were they remained until 1S!)0 when Henry Paddack donated to them the property at the corner of Main Street and Union.

If anyone examines the records of Union Lodge he will be impressed with the great interest taken by the members during the first thirty years in the subject of wine and liquors. Not: only do the records indicate that they were the most important item of the Lodge activity, but the Secretary always seems to spread upon the records nil details, tin- quantity on hand, the amount: consumed, and the cost. The Stewards' apartments were like a tap room of an Inn with Teneriffe wine by the barrel and South Carolina rum by the gallon. Visitors were required to pay one shilling after the first visit and at one time the candidate paid the expenses of the evening. The Secretary was ordered to "swap" wine for rum on the best terms he could. They had numerous toasts that they drank with great frequency. During the Revolution the Lodge was informed that in Boston wine cost a very great sum. Occasionally after dinner when many sentimental toasts had been drunk, the Secretary would record the fact that the members dispersed in good order and decency. But all this conviviality finally came within the limits of restriction. Repressive regulations were adopted. Intoxication was recorded as the reason why some were excluded. Soon after 1800, following the .sentiment that was growing in society everywhere, regulations more and more drastic were adopted until the records omitted all mention of the subject.

In the Starbuck history is given all that could be found about Rising Sun Royal Arch Chapter, but the records of this body were reported lost and possibly might have been destroyed in one of the conflagrations of the Masonic Temple in Boston.

One of the Masonic degrees mentions treasures buried in the secret vault. A few years ago Mrs. Caroline Lovell died in an old house on Lily Street, which she inherited from her father, James Franklin Chase. The late Edward G. Thomas, a relative in the family, was examining some old boxes in the garret and in one was a book which he recognized as containing familiar sounding records. It was at once deposited in the safe of the Pacific Bank and is today carefully preserved. If was the record of Rising Sun Chapter, kept by James Franklin Chase as Recorder and deposited by him in the attic of his home in 1828, where it remained forgotten and unknown over eighty years.

While this Chapter was a body separate from Union Lodge, yet the relations were so close that it becomes a part of the Lodge history and may appropriately be included herein.

The petition for Dispensation, dated May 9, 1818, was signed by:

  • Rev. Seth F. Swift
  • Rev. James Gurnet
  • John Brock
  • Josiah Banker
  • David Myrick
  • Thomas Cary
  • Thaddeus Coffin
  • Jonathan Colesworthy
  • Wilson Rawson

The Dispensation was granted June 9, 1818. This group was distinguished as Swift was minister of the Unitarian Society and Gurney of the North.

Capt. Wilson Rawson was a mariner and a devotee of Freemasonry, He belonged to all the local bodies and was the promoter of Chapter and Council.

The Chapter was consecrated Nov. 25, 1818, the public services being held in the Second Congregational Meeting House (Unitarian), the discourse being delivered by Rev. John W. Hardy, minister of the Methodist. Church. The officers installed were:

  • Rev. SEth F. Swift, H.P.
  • Thaddeus Coffin, K.
  • Zaccheus Hussey, S.
  • Peter Chase, T.
  • James F. Chase, Sec'y.
  • Aaron Mitchell, R. A. C.
  • Gorham Coffin, C. H.
  • Martin T. Morton, P. S.
  • Elisha Starbuck, 3 V.
  • Hezekiah B. Gardner, 2 V.
  • Rosweli, LeBrett, 1 V.
  • John Brock, Sent.
  • Wilson Rawson, T.

The office of High Priest was held by:

  • Martin T. Morton, 1819, 1820
  • Elisha Starbuck, 1821, 22, 23, 24, 25
  • Peleg S. Folger, 1826
  • Henry M. Pinkham, 1827

At the last election of officers, Nov. 10, 1828, the following were chosen, but not installed:

  • Robert F. Parker, H. P.
  • W. M. Morse, K.
  • Benjamin Pike, S.
  • Caleb Cushman, Sec 'y.

Sept. 1, 1824, the Chapter voted to return regalia and funds to the Grand Chapter, but the Secretary refused to enter the vote. Nothing appears on the records to explain this action, but no meetings were held until August, 1825, a committee in the meantime from the Grand Chapter having visited Nantucket, and meetings were resumed. The last record is dated Feb. 12, 1827, but there were meetings in 1828, not recorded.

One of the hostile influences that opposed Freemasonry on Nantucket was a most vigorous, determined, and intelligent meeting of the Society of Friends, unusually large in comparison with the size of the town, and at one time comprising two thriving societies.

Their discipline contained (inn and explicit command ment forbidding members joining Hie Masons. A considerable number disregarded lliis admonition, and were not excommunicated; possibly because it was not discovered. But the case of Capt. Levi Joy became known after he moved to Hudson, N. Y., in 1802. The Quaker meeting at that place was requested to investigate. After some evasive replies from Capt. Joy and as firm rejoinders from the Nantucket Friends that they had learned all circumstances about his initiation, lie was compelled to admit that "he was once among the Freemasons and never but once and has no desire to meet with them again and does not consider himself one of that Society." This explanation seems to have been satisfactory.

In 1773 Jethro Hussey was questioned "for allowing a Freemason's Lodge in his house, and he gave them no satisfaction except that he will endeavor to have it removed as soon as he can." Not long after they excommunicated him for attending a place where fiddling and dancing were carried on.

On December 11, 1797, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts passed the following vote:

"That a new charter be granted to the Lodge held at Holmes' Hole, Martha's Vineyard, by the name of King Solomon Lodge of Perfection." (2 Mass. 112.)

Holmes' Hole, as tho.se familiar with the geography of Martha's Vineyard will recognize, is the name of a piece of water, but the settlement referred to would be what is now known as Vineyard Haven.

The new Charter carried with ii a new name, King Solomon's Lodge in Perfection. The old name never again appears in the records. There are occasional references to King Solomon's Lodge in Perfection in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge until 1822 when it is recorded that its Charter was surrendered. Unfortunately the charter and accompanying papers have shared the fate of many other valuable Masonic documents which have been destroyed in the fires which have from time to time laid waste our Temples. We have therefore no information about this Lodge excepting that contained in the meager references lo which I have alluded. Our curiosity is excited by the fact that there are several references in the earlier years to correspondence with the Lodge and the appointment of committees thereon, hut unfortunately the correspondence has not been preserved and the reports of the committees, if they were ever made, do not appear in the records. Undoubtedly if the records at that time had been kept as fully as they are at present we should haw much valuable historical information.

But what was "the Lodge held at Holmes' Hole by the name of King Solomon Lodge of Perfection?" Clearly it was a body recognized as Masonic and regular, h is equally clear that it was not working under a Charter from either St. John's Grand Lodge or the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. In a list of the Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts contained in the Proceedings for September 10, 1804, King Solomon's Lodge in Perfection appears and the date of its Charter is given as 1791, but without month or day. In the case of every other Lodge in the list the precise date of the Charter is given. The inference is that the original Charter was not in existence or at least not accessible to the Grand Secretary, and that the date 1791 rests on tradition. The tradition was probably accurate as there would undoubtedly be original members of the Lodge still living.

The important point is that its existence as a Masonic body antedates the Union of 1792. It is reasonably clear, however, that it was not one of the constituent Lodges of either St. John's Grand Lodge or the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. There is no reference to it in the Proceedings of Si. John's Grand Lodge, and so far as we know the last Lodge chartered by St. John's Grand Lodge was Union Lodge, of Danbury. Conn., in March, 1780. A list of the constituent Lodges of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge appears in 1 Mass. 32 and this body is not among them.

The problem is what could have been the nature of a Lodge recognized as being sufficiently regular to receive a new Charter in 1797, such Lodge having existed since 1791 and not having been chartered by either St. John's Grand Lodge or I lie Massachusetts Grand Lodge.

The answer seems to be that it was exactly what its original name indicates — a Lodge of Perfection — and as such by far the earliest Scottish Rite body in existence in Massachusetts. It undoubtedly received its Charter from Moses Michael Hays, who was Grand Master of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge from 1788 to the union of 1792. Hays was not only Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, but be was the highest official of the Scottish Kite in this part of the United States. In 1761 the Council of Emperors of the East and West, 25°, then the presiding body for the Scottish Rite of the world, issued a commission as Inspector General to Stephen Morin. authorizing him to introduce the Rite into the West Indies and the United States. Morin in turn under the authority of bis commission deputized Henry Andrew Francken to exercise the same authority and he, under date of December 6, 1768, issued a commission with like powers to Moses Michael Hays as Deputy Inspector General. Under this commission Hays had full and unquestionable authority to organize and institute bodies of the Scottish Rite in any place not within two leagues of already existing bodies of the same grade. This original commission is in the possession of this Grand Lodge.

There are no records in existence of any exercise by Hays of the powers conferred by this commission. From the evidence here presented it seems, however, to be conclusively shown that Hays did in 1791 organize a Lodge of Perfection under the very appropriate name of King Solomon Lodge of Perfection at Holmes' Hole. A nucleus for such a body would be found among the seafaring men Who had taken Scottish Rite degrees in the West Indies. Hays' action would not only be strictly regular under the terms of his commission, hut would he entirely consistent with the position which he then held as Grand Master of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge for the reason that, the body so organized would be a Scottish Kite body and as such not an invasion of Grand Lodge jurisdiction.especially as in this time the Scottish Rite conferred the symbolic degrees. Its regularity as a Scottish Rite body and the Consequent fact that its members must all be Master Masons would be ample justification for the issue of a Charter to it as a Lodge if it desired to give up his work in the higher degrees and become a symbolic Lodge. Apparently six years of experimentation sufficed to convince these Brethren that Martha's Vineyard was not a proper place for Scottish Rite activities. There was not at that time any Lodge on the island and therefore these Brethren wisely decided to abandon the Scottish Kite experiment and become a symbolic Lodge.

Thus our ancient records enable us to recover an interesting but long forgotten chapter of our Masonic history and to show with apparent conclusiveness that the first Scottish Rite body in Massachusetts was King Solomon Lodge of Perfection, existing, perhaps it. would be too much to say flourishing, in Holmes' Hole, on Martha's Vineyard, from 1791 to 1797.

The Scottish Rite Charter would be surrendered to Hays, not turned in to the Grand Lodge, and this would account for the incompleteness of the date in the 1804 list.

200TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1971

From Proceedings, Page 1971-333:

By Worshipful George W. Jones.

It was the year 1771. More and more persons in the English American colonies were becoming restless and dissatisfied with the taxes imposed under the King and Parliament.

The Stamp Act of 1765 had caused strong opposition and after this Act was rescinded the Townsend Acts had been passed causing further solidification of that opposition.

The so-called Boston Massacre and the resulting unrest continued to irritate the situation.

Nantucket was in a particularly singular situation. Dependent as it was on whale oil for its existence and having as its principal market the English consumption of this product, it tended to be less anxious to see bonds with the Mother country severed. At this time, Nantucket was enjoying a period of economic success. Its whaling fleet numbered approximately 150 vessels and most of the inhabitants were employed in supporting this fleet by a number of connected industries as boat building, sail making, ship rigging, food supplies, candle making, and oil processing, etc.

There was close relationship between our merchants and those of England who were purchasing a large percentage of our whale oil and candles. It is not difficult to imagine that those people in direct contact with England were familiar with the Masonic Lodges at many English ports. That the advantages of belonging to this order in friendly relationship which helped in their trading, was evident.

Let me say that many of the following remarks are supported by the history of Union Lodge, written and published by our late Brother Harry B. Turner in 1941, a very comprehensive coverage of this subject.

At a Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication held at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston on Friday, April 26, 1771, Rt. Worshipful Richard Gridley, Esq. D. G. M., being then acting for the Grand Master, the Lodge was informed that a number of Brethren belonging to Nantucket had petitioned for a warrant to hold a Lodge in that Place. (1771 Mass. 183-187)

The Petition read as follows:

To the Right Worshipful John Rowe Esq. Grand Master Mason for North America.
Right Worshipful Sir,

We the Subscribers being sensible that it lies in our Power to Propagate that Ancient & Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons here in this Place: And as we think it our indispensible Duty to use our best Endeavors to Propagate so noble an Art with all the Strictness and Regularity as becomes Members of a just and perfect Lodge: And Right Worshipful we are likewise sensible that no one ought to come to any light or knowledge by any Clandestine or unregular Method, that may tend to cast any Disgrace upon the Fraternity, which we shall always be sorry to hear of; And we shall always use our best Endeavors to promote so laudable a Society when it is established in due form. And now Rt. Worshipful Sir, We desire and request of your Worship that if it is consistent with your will and pleasure that you would send us a Warrant so that we may have a just and perfect Lodge Consecrated here, so that when any Candidates offer themselves, we may be able to deal with them in due form. — Right Worshipful our Motive is this, first our Duty to our Maker; secondly to our fellow men; thirdly to the Fraternity in general throughout the Globe; and Sir we would acquaint your Worship that there is several that hath offered themselves as Candidates thinking that we had power to deal with them, & Men of good Character. And now Right Worshipful we would have you to take the Matter into your serious Consideration, and to act agreeable to the trust reposed in you, and if your Worship thinks we are worthy of a Warrant and will send us one, we your worthy Brothers in Duty Bound shall ever pray.

(Signed)

  • William Brock M.M.
  • Joseph Deniston
  • Henry Smith
  • William Worth
  • Christopher Hussey F.C.
  • Timothy Folger

Nantucket, April 16, 1771

P. S. We would desire your Worship to send us an Answer as soon as is Convenient.

It was agreed that the petitioners be informed by letter that three Master Masons would be required to form a Lodge and that finances be adequate to support such a Lodge and that one of the Petitioners should be nominated for the first Master. It will be noted that only one of the petitioners was indicated as being a Master Mason. We know, however, that Henry Smith was a Master Mason having been raised to that rank at Dundee Aimes, Napping, London, Eng., March 15, 1762, and another Master Mason must have been among the petitioners or was enlisted subsequently for on May 27, 1771, a Charter was issued to the Brethren who had signed the petition.

At that time, John Rowe, Esq., held the office of Provincial Grand Master of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of all North America and it was at his command that the original charter was granted. The original charter was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1846 but a copy is held in the Grand Lodge of Mass. records. The original charter reads as follows:

John Rowe, G. M.

To all and Every our Right Worshipful and Loving Brethren, Free and Accepted Masons now Residing or that may hereafter Reside in Sherburne in the County of Nantucket in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. We, John Rowe Esquire, Provincial Grand Master of the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for all North America, where no other Grand Master is appointed. Send Greeting. Whereas, Application hath been made unto us by several Brethren Free and Accepted Masons now residing at Sherburne aforesaid; setting forth that they think it their indispensable Duty to propagate the Royal Art with all the Strictness and Regularity that becomes Masons of a just and perfect Lodge; that they shall always use their best endeavors to promote so laudable a Society when it is Established in due form: Therefore pray that we would Constitute them into a Regular Lodge, and appoint our Brother Captain William Brock to be their first Master.

NOW THEREFORE KNOW YE,

That We of the Great Trust, Power and Authority, reposed in us by his grace the most Worshipful Henry Somerset, Duke of Beauford, etc., Grand Master of Masons, have Constituted and Appointed our Right Worshipful and well beloved Brother Captain William Brock to be the first Master of the Lodge at Sherburne aforesaid, and do hereby impower him to Congregate the Brethren together, and form them into a Regular Lodge, he taking special care that all and every member thereof, and all transient Persons admitted therein have been or shall be regular made Masons and that he appoint two Wardens and other Officers to a Lodge Appertaining, for the due Regulation of said Lodge for One Year: at the end of which he shall Nominate a new Master to be approved by the Lodge, at least two-thirds of the members in his favour, and said new Master shall nominate and appoint two Wardens and a Secretary for the ensuing year, also a Treasurer, who must have the Votes of two-thirds of the Members in his favour; and so the same Course Annually.

And we do hereby give to said Lodge all the Privileges and Authority of other Regular Lodges; Requiring them to observe all and every of the Regulations contained in the Printed Book of Constitutions (except such as have been or may be Repealed at any quarterly Communication or other General Meeting of the Grand Lodge in London), to be kept and observed, and also all such other Rules and Instructions as may from Time to Time be transmitted to them by Us, or our Deputy or Successors to either of Us for the Time being; And that they do Annually send an Account in Writing to Us, or our Deputy, or Successors to either of Us, for the time being of the Names of the Members of said Lodge, and their Place of Abode, with the Days and Place of Meeting, with any other things they may think proper to Communicate for the benefit of Masonry; and that they do Annually keep the Feast of St. John the Baptist, or St. John the Evangelist, or both, and Dine together on said Day or Days, or as near either of them as shall be most convenient; and lastly, that they do Regularly Communicate with the Grand Lodge in Boston, by sending to the Quarterly Communication such Charity as their Lodge shall think fit, for the Relief of Poor Brethren, with the Names of those that Contributed the same, that in case any such may come to want Relief, they may have the preference to others.

Given under our Hand and Seal of Masonry at Boston the 27th Day of May A.D. 1771 and of Masonry 5771.
By the Grand Master's Command


Note: The preceding correspondence and the text of the Charter can be found in the printed proceedings of the Grand Lodge. (1771 Mass. 184-187)

The question has been raised from time to time as to why we operate under the title of Union Lodge, F. & A. M. rather than A. F. & A. M. A full explanation of this peculiarity is found in a letter from the Grand Secretary, Frederick W. Hamilton, dated January 19, 1928.

January 19, 1928

Replying to your query about the name used by your Lodge. Union Lodge as you know, was chartered in 1771 by the St. John's Grand Lodge. The St. John's Grand Lodge was a Provincial Grand Lodge working under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England. The Grand Lodge of England was a "Modern" Grand Lodge and did not use the word "Ancient" in its title or in the title of its subordinate Lodges.

The Massachusetts Grand Lodge, which held by authority of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, considered itself "Ancient" and used the "A. F. & A. M.". Lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, after 1792 used the "A. F. & A. M." Union Lodge, and I think some others, have continued to use the old designation. I have serious doubts as to the wisdom of doing so. It seems to me quite possible that as the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts uses the title "A. F. & A. M." the question of the regularity of visitors might be raised if the Lodge from which they came used "F. & A. M."

Yours fraternally,
(Sd) Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary

As far as we know no question of "regularity" has ever been raised by other Lodges visited and I venture to say that literally hundreds of other Lodges have acted as hosts to our members.

Strangely, the name Union had not appeared in the records until 1774. Previous correspondence referred to this Lodge as "our Lodge" and on occasion as "St. John's Lodge in Nantucket."

The following correspondence gives some explanation as to when the name Union was adopted.

Nantucket, Octr. 19, 1772

Right Worshipful,

I received your favor of 22nd Sept. wherein I am ordered to attend you with my wardens on the Fourth Friday of this month, But as our Business is Such that we cannot attend, would beg you would excuse us; as for Charity money we have none in our Lodge, by reason that we are but Young and Likewise have had the misfortune to have a Brother to Support, he having been Cast away on our Island the Last Winter and very much Frose, and was under the Doctor's hands almost Six months, — we shall always be Ready to Deposit what Charity money into the Grand fund we can. But we think it our Duty to Keep a small Stock by us, as we are so liable to have Distressed Brethren fall on us for Relief. We are informed from the Grand Secy., by Bro. Dennison that we might name and number our Lodge as we thought proper, accordingly we have named it the Union Lodge, No. S and pray your approbation thereof — and agreeable to our Deputation we have here annexed a list of the members of our Lodge. And Right Worshipful you may Rely on it that we shall always acquaint you of anything we shall think will be for the Benefit of Masonry.

I am Yours Affectionately,
By Order of the Master,
Wm. Johnson, Sectry.

The Lodge henceforth operated under the name Union Lodge, and from 1773 to 1804 it also used the number S in addition to that name.

In the year 1804 all numbers for Masonic Lodges in this state of Massachusetts were abolished.

It is interesting to note that the small marble block used at one of the Warden's stations carries the No. 5 carved into its surface, a reminder of those early days.

MEETING PLACES

I suppose it is not uncommon for a Lodge to change its meeting place but over the years Union Lodge seems to have been above average in this matter. During its existence the Lodge has had a number of meeting places.

Early meetings were held in a house which stood on the south west corner of Liberty and North Liberty Streets, later to become "Tom Field's Mill." How long meetings were held here is not known but in 1783 the meetings were being held in the home of Jethro Hussey on the corner of India and South Water Streets, (property now owned by the Nantucket Atheneum Library.)

Jethro Hussey was a Quaker and that sect was opposed to secret societies. He was warned to desist allowing such meetings in his house. Apparently, it was not then known by the Quaker overseers that he was, himself, a Mason. Apparently, he was closely watched and after having been found present where fiddling and dancing were carried on, he was excommunicated. Union Lodge continued to meet there and Jethro Hussey later became Master of the Lodge.

At this time, Lodge meetings were called by hoisting a flag on the house.

Our Brethren apparently were not opposed to socially imbibing for we find in the records, the appointment of a committee to purchase for the Lodge, one-quarter cask of good wine. We find that in April, 1776, it was voted "that the word intoxication should be erased from the by-laws and that no Brother should presume to swear in the Lodge."

Following the use of the Jethro Hussey house as a meeting place, we learn that the Lodge met in a house which stood in Coal Lane, near where the Wannacomet Water Company's garage now stands.

On March 6, 1793, Bro. Benjamin Walcott was impowered to purchase Alexander Gardner's new store which stood where the Swain building now stands at the corner of Washington and Salem Streets. The price was 180 pounds or approximately #600. at that time. This was a two-story building; the Lodge occupied the upper floor and the lower floor was used as a store. In 1802 it was decided to build a new lodge building on land purchased from William Rotch just west of the present Pacific Bank. The easterly two-thirds of this building still stands on the site and is owned by the Pacific National Bank. The corner stone was laid on June 24, 1802. Our Masonic bodies used this building for their meetings. Urbanity Lodge from 1822 to 1830; Rising Sun Royal Arch Chapter from May 1818 to November 1828; and Unity Council of Royal and Select Masters from 1823 to 1826.

Union Lodge went through a difficult time from 1828 to 1842. Only three new members were raised and in 1837 the membership stood at 47.

Financing the new temple was difficult and, in addition, it was during this time that Pliny Merrick, Esq. of Worcester, formerly a Mason and later to become a member of the Supreme Court, exposed the Masonic ritual from a public platform and attempted to bring about the dissolution of the Grand Lodge and the confiscation of its properties.

This attempt was frustrated when the Grand Lodge transferred its property to Trustees and surrendered its charter of incorporation to the General Court. Following the example of the Grand Lodge, Union Lodge transferred its property to the Coffin School Trustees. Ownership of the then existing property was held by and known as the "Coffin School Fund," and the trust did not entirely terminate until 1921.

Following this action in 1835, the Lodge moved and held its meetings in the original Atheneum building which was destroyed by fire on July 13, 1846. The original charter and Bible were lost in this fire. For four months following the fire, meetings were held in the old hall on Main Street as tenants of the Odd Fellows. Then a move was made to the third floor of what is now known as the Pacific Club which had been built by Wm. Rotch in 1772. There it continued to operate until 1863 when it again became a tenant of the Odd Fellows in their new building, Sherburne Hall, on Centre St.

Union Lodge made its move from there to its present hall in 1890 when that structure was built. Acquisition of this building was the result of an agreement with Bro. Henry Paddack who owned the brick building then standing on the site and used by him in the conducting of his painting business.

EXCERPTS FROM THE RECORDS

Some excerpts from the records furnish us with actions taken and problems encountered by our Brothers during the earlier years of the Lodge's existence:

Jan. 2, 1775, Noted that a new apron be presented to every new initiated Brother, at the expense of the Lodge, to be his, which he shall take care of and have no more from the Lodge.

March 20, 1775, Noted that every Brother on his being passed to a Fellow Craft in this Lodge and desiring to become a member of the same, shall be admitted, provided a ballot of at least two-thirds of the members present be in his favor, he paying into the Charity fund the sum of three shillings, lawful money. Noted, that any person being initiated into this Lodge shall pay on his admittance, ten dollars and for the Lodge to accommodate him with a certificate on his first, second, or third degree, on either of them, on parchment.

The first Masonic funeral on Nantucket was held on July 9, 1776, over the remains of Brother Jethro Coffin, five days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

During the Revolutionary War period, many excerpts from the records show help given to families of members taken prisoners by the English and endeavors made to gain freedom for Brothers held prisoners on ships in New York.

Nov. 3, 1781, Noted, that we sent Bro. James Ramsdell to get a barrel of good Jamaica rum as low as he can in New York, or Providence, on account and risk as follows: for the Lodge acct., 18 gals, four Brothers agreeing to take the balance of 13 1/2 gals.

In 1797 the Lodge was informed by a letter from Most Worshipful Brother Paul Revere, Grand Master, that we would be considered a clandestine Lodge by not acting consistent to the regulations of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. After some correspondence and a considerable lapse of time our charter was endorsed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts on December 14, 1801. (1801 Mass. 190)

The Lodge was in mourning for Bro. George Washington from January to the end of March, 1800.

The St. Johns' Day dinner of 1809 listed the following items on the bill of fare: "Plum, apple, and plain puddings, baked and boiled; also corned beef, legs of pork, hams, tongues, roast turkeys, ducks, chickens, and shoat, with vegetables and pickles suitable for the above. Table drink beer and cider." Price of the meal was 5 shillings, 6 pence.

Dec. 27, 1809, "Formed a procession and walked to the new South Congregational meeting house where we received the benefit of prayer and had a Masonic discourse delivered by Bro. Seth Swift and then returned to the hall where there was a very respectable number. Dined together in love and harmony; after dinner sung a song, told a story and enjoyed ourselves with a glass of wine and a pipe of tobacco. Then called to labor and installed officers."

On Dec. 9, 1818, ten candidates were raised to the degree of Master Mason, possibly the greatest number to be raised at one meeting by this Lodge.

The first record of admission of ladies to the Lodge room was at the first public installation on Dec. 27, 1822. The first record of an official visitation by Grand Lodge officers was made on Feb. 6, 1826.

Only one meeting was held during the year of 1838, one during 1839, and one during 1840. In 1841 there were four meetings. In 1842, a vote was passed to meet monthly.

In the fire of July 13, 1846, which laid waste the northeast quarter of the town, all properties of Union Lodge, except the jewels and records were destroyed. From July to November of that year, meetings were held in Odd Fellows Hall, then in what was formerly the Masonic building at the rear of the Pacific Bank by the generous offer of that fraternal organization, free of charge.

During the period from 1818 to 1823 other Masonic bodies were formed: In 1818, Rising Sun Royal Arch Chapter; in 1820, Pacific Lodge; in 1822, Urbanity Lodge; in 1823, Unity Council. When the anti-Masonic incident occurred with its public scorn and criticism, all of these organizations surrendered their charters and only Union Lodge continued to function. A more complete description of these groups can be found in Brother Harry Turner's history of Union Lodge.

Over the years many members of Union Lodge have attained great age, perhaps the most remarkable of these was Bro. James F. Chase, who was a Mason for seventy-five years and regularly attended meetings until loss of his eye sight compelled him to accept retirement in his own home. The record shows his attendance at the meeting in September 1876 at the age of 93. On June 14, 1882, members of Union Lodge paid a social visit to Brother Chase and the record notes that he was "one of the oldest Masons now living in the United States and so far as is known, in the world." Brother Chase was then in his 99th year and his 75th year as a Mason. He died the following month and was interred in the Friends' burial ground. The record states that Masonic service was performed outside the enclosure, not being allowed inside by the rules of the Society of Friends.

As the one-hundredth anniversary of the Lodge approached, Wor. Master Joseph S. Barney brought the matter before the Lodge in 1867 and was authorized to assume full charge of the affair.

In January, 1871, it was voted that "we have a grand supper, that we have an orator and music and that it be public." Later it was voted to observe the anniversary on St. Johns' Day (June 26th) and to invite other Lodges to join in the observance, also the families of all Brethren and that tea and coffee be substituted for liquor at the dinner. New regalia and new aprons were to be sewed and worn at the celebration.

Under the guidance of Wor. Master Barney, a Lodge of Sorrow was held, although permission to hold such a Lodge was not granted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

It was a very impressive affair and a description of this ceremony which was held under a large tent in the then vacant lot on the corner of what is now Beach Street and Harbor View Way, is given in Mr. Turner's history. The ceremony was very well attended and the walls of the tent were rolled up to allow the public to view the solemn procession. Many came down from the mainland to attend, among them the DeMolay Commandery Knight Templars of Boston; Paul Revere Lodge of North Bridgewater, (now Brockton) and Sutton Commandery of New Bedford. At least three bands accompanied these branches of the Fraternity.

In additional activities, the Methodist Church acted as host in public exercises held at this church on Center Street. A public dinner was held under the big tent where places were laid for 1000 persons and a ball was held there in the evening, attended by 600 couples.

Considerable criticism of the Lodge of Sorrow was made by the Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in an article in Freemason's monthly magazine, but there seems to be no records of an official reprimand.

The centennial anniversary was of great historical importance to Union Lodge. (1871 Mass. 84-85) Mr. Turner, in his history brings out the following points:

  • The Lodge was formed before there was a U.S.A.
  • The western boundary of the Massachusetts Colony was the Allegheny mountains.

Union Lodge had seen this country grow to encompass the breadth of a continent and its members settle in many communities across this broad land.

Members had fought on land and sea in three wars, and had help build the Nantucket Whaling industry to the leading whaling center of the world.

With the wealth of material available in the minds of living members at that time, it is unfortunate that no one had composed a history of the many interesting things that had happened in this organization over these years from 1771-1871 and which were lost to future generations by this omission.

Union Lodge moved to its present building from Odd Fellows Hall in 1890 and it may be well to review the acquisition of this structure. The Great Fire of 1846 started near this location and the buildings standing on this site at the time were, along with hundreds of others, destroyed completely. Shortly after the fire a one story brick building was constructed on this corner. Bro. Henry Paddock established a paint shop there and continued to do business there until the late 1880's. Upon his retirement he offered the building and property to the Lodge with the only stipulation that an annual payment of $350. be made to him and his wife as long as either should live and that the Lodge assume any cost of improvements.

His offer was accepted at once and bonds were issued to cover the cost of constructing a second story and lodge hall. Brother William T. Swain was awarded the contract for construction for the sum of $4950. Total cost of construction and furnishings amounted to $7935.25.

The Lodge opened on Wednesday evening, December 3, 1890 for inspection by the Brethren and their families. The bonds and debts were all successfully paid off during the ensuing years.

We are indebted to the generosity of Bro. Paddack for the original gift and many brothers who helped financially and by their efforts in accomplishing this work.

For many years the U. S. Government rented the lower floor and it was used as the Post Office from May 31, 1900 to January 8, 1936 when the present Post Office was activated.

Subsequently, the first floor was renovated, new show windows and recessed door way were installed and the space rented to our present tenant Buttner's Dry Goods Store.

In 1965 the building next west of the Lodge building was acquired by the Nantucket Historical Trust and the Lodge was able to rent the second floor for a larger and much needed banquet hall and kitchen. The original banquet hall on the third floor of the Lodge building had become too small as the membership had increased. Now, by opening up the division wall between the two buildings, a direct access from the anteroom to the new dining hall was obtained.

SOME INTERESTING EVENTS CONNECTED WITH UNION LODGE
  1. Robert Ratcliff, who became a member of Urbanity F. & A. M. Lodge sometime between 1820 and 1830, was cast ashore here from the wreck of his ship. He was an Englishman and was a member of the crew of the English line of battleship Northumberland when she carried the exiled Napoleon to St. Helena in 1815. He lived on Nantucket for the remainder of his life, married a Nantucket woman, and as a master rigger, was a successful and esteemed businessman. He died in 1882 and was buried with Masonic Service in the Prospect Hill Cemetery, February 22nd.
  2. In the town of Chittenango in upper New York State, around 1820, a boy named Philip Wager discovered, on his way to school, an old man sick and in distress by the side of the road. Returning to his home he notified his father and the man was brought back. He died there that night. The only possession found on his body was a certificate which read as follows:

"And the darkness comprehendeth it not. In the East, a place of Light where reigns Silence and Peace. From Union Lodge No. 5 situated at Nantucket, New England. To the right Worshipful Masters, Worshipful Wardens and beloved Brethren of all regular Lodges of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons to which these may come,

Greetings: This is to certify that the bearer hereof, our Brother, Captain David Squire, hath been, by us, raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason whose zeal for the Royal Craft endures us to recommend him to all the True and Faithful wheresoever dispersed; and we have required our Brother to sign his name in the margin of the Certificate, so that the same may be demanded of him as a proof that it hath not fallen into suspected hands.

Given under our hands and seal of our Lodge this twenty-fifth day of November, Anno Mundi 5776, and of Salvation 1776. Samuel Barrett, Master; George Colder, Sen. Warden; John Gardner, Jr., Warden; William Brock, Past Master; Christopher Hussey, Treasurer."


Fifty years were to pass before this document again came to light here. In 1873 a letter was received from Oneida Lodge No. 270, of New York, telling of the discovery of this document, written on parchment, in a drawer where it had apparently been placed, possibly fifty years before. It was found by Charles P. Wager, grandson of Philip Wager, Sr., who had succored and finally buried Captain Squire.

The Secretary of Union Lodge replied to this letter acknowledging the fact that Capt. Squire had been raised in this Lodge on August 5, 1776. Subsequently W. M. W. Hector Gale of Oneida Lodge No. 270 visited Union Lodge and presented this historic document.

  1. No outstanding items appear in the records during the
Civil War period other than the noted losses of members in
the armed services. It is noteworthy, however, that in addi
tion to these losses, perhaps never have there been so many
deaths among the older members as during these war years.
The records show a death occurring almost every month and
in several cases, twice in one month, while in one instance, two
Masonic funerals were held in one afternoon.

In spite of these losses there was an increase in interest and many applications for membership were received.

  1. A very severe easterly storm on December 15, 1896 caused
the sea to break through the beach at the head of Nantucket
Harbor making another island of Great Point and Coatue. This
breach stayed open for a number of years and was the source

of constant argument as to whether or not nature would again close this opening.

During this period Bro. Edwin J. Hulbert, a well known scientist, after a friendly argument with Worshipful Brother Ellenwood B. Coleman in 1897, made a wager with him that it would close within a year. The loser of this wager was to entertain Union Lodge members at a banquet. Approximately a year passed with no evidence that the beach would again be joined and on November 24, 1897, Brother Hulbert, having acknowledged defeat, financed the agreed upon banquet, which was held on that date and was duly programmed as "The Feast of the Haulover."

The opening actually lasted for many years thereafter, and did not close until 1908. It had been open for twelve years.

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

The 100th anniversary was previously mentioned. (1871 Mass. 84-85) The 125th coming in 1896 was very quietly noted and celebrated only with an informal gathering on June 1, 1896.

After raising their candidates, the Secretary was requested to read from the early records of the Lodge excerpts, giving some idea of the manners and customs of our brethren during the early days of its formation. This seems to have been the only note taken of this memorable event.

The 150th anniversary was celebrated in quite a different manner. (1921 Mass. 212-234) Committees were formed to plan for speakers, accommodations, transportation, entertainment, church services, banquet, decorations, parades, finance. These committees worked long and arduously under the direction of Wor. Master George M. Lake and the celebration was a grand success. The business men of the town cooperated, along with many other members of the community. Flags were flown, one being a 36' emblem from the battleship Virginia which was suspended across Main Street.

Attending were members of the Grand Lodge, the Governor of Massachusetts, Channing Cox and Suite, Sutton Commandery No. 16 Knight Templars, of New Bedford, bringing their band and many representatives from other Lodges.

The visitors began arriving Saturday, June 25th on the evening boat, and for the next two days a gala celebration was held. A Band concert on Main St. was held on Sunday afternoon; parade to the Sea Cliff Inn and from there to the First Congregational Church for the anniversary service lead by members of Union Lodge and the New Bedford Commandery with band. Monday morning saw our guests taking a sight seeing tour of the Island in cars put at their disposal by members of Union Lodge. In the afternoon a parade was lead through the main streets of the Town by the Knights and their band. It was the largest gathering of members of the Masonic Orders ever known on Nantucket.

The final act of the celebration was the banquet held at the Sea Cliff Inn on Monday evening and attended by nearly 400 Masons, at which, remarks were made by Governor Cox, Deputy Grand Master, Claude L. Allen and Past Grand Master Brother Abbott and others.

We now pass from the times of record to the time of remembrance of many, if not all, of our members, and as this is one commemorating the early years of our Lodge, I intend to condense, to a great degree, the period from the early 1940 to the present. One of the most difficult things in this regard is to pick out the events of interest to most of us here.

It was my pleasure to have been Master of the Lodge in 1940 when, at our regular meeting of June 3rd, Brothers Lin-wood Proctor and Albert Brock were raised as Master Masons. Both of these Brothers have been interested workers and both have served as Masters of Union Lodge. Bro. Brock in 1951 and Bro. Proctor who is our present Worshipful Master. Brother Brock comes from a long line of Brocks who have served this Lodge.

Early in 1942, Wor. Bro. Arthur Norcross notified the Lodge that the work was completed on the framing of the Masonic Chart which appears on the north wall of the hall. This Chart, picturing the emblems of our order, was originally painted on the plastered wall of the Lodge Room when our meetings were held in the Roche building (now the Pacific Club) at the foot of Main Street. It had been carefully removed and placed in its present location, the painting retouched by Wor. Bro. Olney Dunham and has remained as one of our prized possessions connecting us with our past.

First notice of plans for the 175th anniversary celebration was shown in the records of September 3, 1945 and, at that meeting, Wor. Bro. George M. Lake was appointed as Chairman for the celebration.

On Saturday, June 22, 1946, the celebration started as the Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg with 20 other members of the Grand Lodge, arrived by boat and were escorted by Union Lodge members, Sutton Commandery of New Bedford with the Shedad Grotto Band of Brockton, to their accommodations at the Sea Cliff Inn, by way of Broad, Federal, Main, Centre Streets, and Cliff Road. (1946 Mass. 222-225)

The official visitation was made in the Lodge at 6:00 p.m. and after adjournment at 6:30, all returned to the Sea Cliff Inn for the prepared banquet. Wor. Bro. Porte introduced Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg who acted as toastmaster, and introduced to the assembly other members of the Grand Lodge and Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Adjournment for the evening followed a speech by Wor. Master, Lincoln Porte.

Sunday was a day in which we were privileged to enjoy the company of the visiting Brothers and show them around the island. The tour ended at the Wauwinet House where a shore dinner was served. The Grand Master left us on the 4:00 P.M. boat and from that time until 6:00 P.M., the She-dad Grotto Band gave a concert in front of the Atheneum Library for the benefit and enjoyment of the townspeople.

Wor. Reverend D. Joseph Imler, Grand Chaplain, preached at a service of Worship held at the First Congregational Church in the evening, after which a return march was made to the Sea Cliff Inn.

Monday morning at 8:00 A.M. saw the Grand Lodge Officers assemble at the Sea Cliff Inn and escorted by Sutton Commandery to the Steamboat Wharf where they left for home.

Acceding to a request received from Sherburn Chapter #182, Order of the Eastern Star, it was voted, at the regular meeting held April 5, 1948, that they be allowed to rent our hall for their meetings. This became the first time in the history of the Lodge that permission had been granted for such use by a woman's organization and bespeaks the respect held by the Lodge for this organization.

Pressure, if any, brought on the Lodge members, must have been a domestic one and not, I am sure, connected in any way with Women's Lib.

On March 7, 1955 at a regular meeting, the Brothers witnessed something quite unique. Past Master Irving A. Soverino raised his two sons, Irving A. Jr., and Malcolm. I find no record where a father (himself a Past Master of Union Lodge) ever raised two sons at the same meeting. Both of these candidates went on to become fine Masters of this Lodge in their own right. Later in the year, September 10th at a Special Communication, White Plains Lodge No. 473 of White Plains, New York, conferred the Master Mason Degree on three of their own candidates in accordance with the ritual of the Grand Lodge of New York. The necessary permission had been granted by both the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and the Grand Lodge of New York.

During these more recent years, we have been honored by visits from a number of our Grand Masters, among them being: Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer in 1941; Most Worshipful Samuel Wragg in 1946; Most Worshipful Thomas S. Roy in 1952; Most Worshipful Claude L. Allen in 1954; Most Worshipful Whitfield W. Johnson in 1956; and our present Grand Master, Most Worshipful Herbert H. Jaynes.

And now let me recall some of the members of this Lodge who, through their loyalty and efforts, have, during this later period, strengthened the Lodge and made it a continuous asset to this community. Our District Deputy Grand Masters: Rt. Wor. Alfred E. Smith, 1913-1914; Rt. Wor. Francis E. Folger, 1929; Rt. Wor. Leroy H. True, 1935; Rt. Wor. William R. Waine, 1950; Rt. Wor. Jose F. Reyes, 1963, (who also serves as Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Brazilia (Brazil) near the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts); Wor. Bro. George M. Lake who was Master during our 150th anniversary celebration and general chairman of our 175th; Wor. Bro. Lincoln Porte, Master during our 175th anniversary and general chairman of this, our 200th anniversary celebration; Wor. Bro. William C. Brock who served this Lodge faithfully as its Secretary for twenty-two years and was very rarely absent from a meeting; Bro. Lester Harris, a familiar figure "outside the door armed with the proper implement of his office" for 35 years.

And in memory of the older members, two outstanding characters to be met during the third degree, Wor. Bro. Arthur A. Norcross and Bro. James A. Backus. Bro. Backus, although living about 10 miles from town seldom missed the opportunity to be at his proper station during the third degree. Some of us well remember his presence there and his zeal in performing his responsibilities.

And then there was an artisan, a carpenter, whose attendance was a model for those many candidates he helped as instructor in their lectures. Bro. John McLeod was never too tired to perform the duties of that position.

Many more names might be added to the foregoing ones mentioned as the Lodge has grown and prospered by their diligence and care, but space does not permit. Each member may bring to mind many members who have contributed toward the success of Union Lodge.

I close with the hope that our honored guests from the Grand Lodge and members of other Lodges, may enjoy their stay with us here on the Island, and return to visit us here should the opportunity present itself.

HISTORICAL SKETCH, JANUARY 1972

From Northern Light, Vol. 3, No. 1, January 1972, Page 12:

Nantucket Lodge Starts 3rd Century

As we approach the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, it is interesting to note that Masonic Lodges in Massachusetts, and in some other Colonial States, are marking their bicentennials now.

We wish to acknowledge the 200th Anniversary of Union Lodge F. & A. M. of Nantucket. Mass.. as a carefully planned, well executed, and well attended two-day observance. It was a magnificent display of Masonic unity, and the Lodge is somewhat unique as one of the few that exists on a small island.

The Saturday program was highlighted by a colorful parade led by the Palestine Temple Shrine Band of Providence. R.I. Most Worshipful Herbert H. Jaynes, Grand Master of Massachusetts, was the guest of honor, and Worshipful Master Linwood Proctor of Union Lodge presided. The traditional banquet was served at Nantucket High School by ladies of the Eastern Star, followed by entertainment and the Grand Master's address.

The Sunday morning religious observance was held at the North Congregational Church, also well attended. An attractive large souvenir program was printed, a special 200-year history was prepared by George W. Jones, the Master in 1940, and the Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror used much of its front page and three inside pages for the Lodge activities and history. This weekly is in its 150th year.

Presentations included a resolution from the Massachusetts House of Representatives by Rep. Arthur L. Desrocher and a set of three gavels by Past Master Nelson O. Dunham (one has stone from King Solomon's quarry, one has cedar from the Cedars of Lebanon, and one olive wood from a tree on the Mount of Olives). Past Master José Reyes of the Philippines presented to the Lodge a plague with square and compasses and presented to Grand Master Jaynes a lightship basket. Union Lodge was founded in 1771, a time of great unrest in the Colonies and when Nantucket depended greatly on whale oil commerce with England. There were 150 boats in the Nantucket whaling fleet and most livelihoods were earned from this and its allied industries.

Petition for the Lodge was presented at the Quarterly Communication of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in Bunch of Grapes Tavern, Boston, April 26, 1771. The original charter was granted in 1771 by John Rowe, Provincial Grand Master of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of all North America. This came under the sponsorship of St. John's Grand Lodge working under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England which was a "Modern" Grand Lodge and did not use the word "Ancient" in its title or in any of its subordinate lodges.

The Massachusetts Grand Lodge now holds its authority from the Grand Lodge of Scotland which considers itself "Ancient." All Lodges chartered by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge after 1792 are A. F. & A. M.

The official name originally was Union Lodge No. 5, F. & A. M., but Lodge numbers in Massachusetts were abolished in 1804. so it continues as Union Lodge. F. & A. M.

Union Lodge has met in a number of places, in homes during its early years when its meetings often were called by hoisting a flag on the house or meeting site. Jethro Hussey, a Quaker, was host for several meetings in his home and was excommunicated from his church "after being present where fiddling and dancing were carried on."

In 1793. the Lodge purchased a store building for $600, rented out the first floor, and met on the second. In 1802, a site was purchased and a hall was built with the cornerstone being laid June 24, 1802. Other Bodies met in the same hall during the 1820's and later; part of this hall still stands and is used by a bank.

The most difficult years were 1828 to 1842 when only three members were raised. There were only 47 members listed in 1837. Fire destroyed much of the building on July 13. 1846. and the original charter and Bible were lost. Arrangements were made for a brick building and the Lodge continued.

The first Masonic funeral on Nantucket was conducted July 9, 1776, for Brother Jethro Coffin. Much help was given both Brothers and their families during the Revolutionary War, and aid in freeing prisoners was commonplace.

The St. John's Day dinner menu of 1809 included "plum, apple, and plain puddings, baked and boiled; corned beef, legs of pork. hams, meat tongues, roast turkeys, ducks, chickens, and shoat, with vegetables and pickles suitable for the above. Table drink was beer and cider."

An historic night was March 7, 1955, when Past Master Irving A. Soverino (1942) raised his two sons. Each has since served as Master — Irving. Jr., in 1960, and Malcolm F. in 1961.

BICENTENNIAL LODGES IN MASSACHUSETTS

  • Saint John's, Boston, 1733
  • Lodge of Saint Andrew, Boston, 1756
  • Philanthropic, Marblehead, 1760
  • Saint John's, Newburyport, 1766
  • The Massachusetts, Boston, 1770
  • The Tyrian, Gloucester, 1770
  • Union, Nantucket, 1771

HISTORICAL NOTES, 1983

From TROWEL, Fall 1983, Page 22:

UNION LODGE
written by Robert W. Williams III

"He's a flying fish sailor and he comes from Hong Kong," or China, Turkey, England or another nation. But, more than likely, his ship's home port 200 years ago was the island of Nantucket. The farthermost of two large islands off Cape Cod, with its houses covered with salt-stained shingles that no paint manufacturer has ever been able to duplicate in color, is a vacationer's paradise with a rich Masonic heritage.

Chartered in 1771 by Most Worshipful John Rowe (Grand Master of St. John's Provincial Grand Lodge 1768-87), Union Lodge, F. and A.M., has met continuously. From 1773 to 1804 the Lodge used the Number 5 in addition to the name. Numbers for Massachusetts Lodges were abolished in 1804. The Number 5 may be seen today on a small block at a Warden's station in the Lodge. The natives were restless on Nantucket in 1771, the result of the Stamp Act, Boston Massacre and the result of other impositions by the British. Nantucket was in a particularly singular situation. Dependent upon whale oil for its existence and as a principal market to the English, whalers were less anxious to have the bond with the mother country severed. With a fleet of 150 vessels, islanders knew nothing but the whaling industry; i.e., boat building, sail making, food supplies, etc.

It is not difficult to imagine the people in direct contrast with England were familiar with the Masonic Lodges at many English ports. Much of Union Lodge's link to the past is missing, as evidenced by writings of Brother Harry B. Turner in 1941 and Worshipful George W. Jones in 1971.

The following appeared in the January, 1983, notice of Union Lodge:

"200 years ago on Feb. 6th our Brother in Union Lodge, Capt. William Mooers, sailed his Nantucket whaleship Bedford up the Thames River and dropped anchor within a stone's throw of the Tower of London. This was the first time the new American Flag had been shown in Great Britain.

"In America the war was over but the Treaty of Paris had not been signed and to many in Britain, America was still the enemy. The record does not show that Capt. Mooers had given thought to receiving help, if needed, from his brother Masons, but he probably had considered this. Masonry was very strong in England as well as in this country and he knew that even amongst the enemy he would find brothers."

In 1783 meetings of Union Lodge were held in the home of Jethro Hussey, who was a Quaker, a religious sect that prohibited its people to join secret societies. When the church finally proved Brother Hussey was a Mason he was excommunicated. He later was Master of the Lodge and hoisted a flag above his house when he chose to summon the Brothers to a meeting.

On March 20, 1775, a by-law required every Brother being Passed to Fellow Craft to be elected by two-thirds of the members present in his favor and the candidate making payment of three shillings to the Charity Fund of the Lodge.

Brother Jethro Coffin was given the first Masonic funeral on Nantucket. He died five days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Lodge assisted many families whose men had been taken prisoner by the British during the Revolutionary War.

Records of December 9, 1818, indicate ten candidates raised. Women were first admitted into the Lodge room at a public installation of officers December 27, 1822.

During the anti-Masonic era only one meeting was held in 1838 through 1840; four in 1841. In 1842 a vote was passed to meet monthly.

Union Lodge suffered like others when the July 13, 1846, fire destroyed the northeast section of town. Only the jewels and records were salvaged.

Brother James F. Chase held membership for 75 years. He died in his 99th year and had attended Lodge regularly through age 93. Interred in Friends' burial ground, the Masonic service was performed outside the enclosure, according to a ruling of the Society of Friends.

When the Lodge observed its centennial in 1871 new aprons were sewed and worn and tea and coffee substituted for liquor at the dinner for St. John the Baptist Day. At a public dinner for the Lodge's anniversary places were set for 1,000 persons. Some 600 couples attended a ball.

Robert Ratcliff, member of Urbanity Lodge, F. and A.M., was cast ashore from a shipwreck. He was a crewman on the English battleship Northumberland when she carried the exiled Napoleon to St. Helena in 1815. Brother Ratcliff married a Nantucket woman, operated a successful business, and died on the island in 1882.


OTHER

  • 1801 (Charter endorsed, II-190)
  • 1823 (Petition to Grand Master for ruling, II-423)
  • 1841 (Petition for remission of dues, IV-518; Committee report on Nantucket, IV-529)
  • 1846 (Replacement of original charter destroyed by fire, V-93)
  • 1985 (Grand Lodge presentation, 1985-30)

EVENTS

OFFICER LIST, JULY 1818

From New England Galaxy, Vol. I, No. 39, 07/10/1818, Page 3:

Officers of Union Lodge, Nantucket:

  • R. W. Elisha Starbuck, Master.
  • W. Henry Riddle, S. W.
  • W. Roswell Lebrett, J. W.
  • Peter Chase, Treasurer.
  • James F. Chase, Secretary.

OFFICER LIST, DECEMBER 1825

From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. II, No. 15, April 1826, Page 113:

Officers of Union Lodge, Nantucket, installed Dec. 27, A. L. 5825:

  • Bro. Robert F. Parker, R. W. M.
  • Bro. George F. Bunker, W. S. W.
  • Bro. David Vottle, W. J. W.
  • Bro. I. W. Whitman, Esq., Tr.
  • Bro. James F. Chase, Sec.
  • Bro. Peter Chase, Mar.
  • Bro. John H. Pease, S. D.
  • Bro. William H. Coffin, J. D.
  • Bro. Benjamin Bunker, S. S.
  • Bro. P. C. Myrick, J. S.
  • Bro. W. Rawson, Tyler.
  • R. W. David Parker, of Boston, Proxy in G. L.

OFFICER LIST, FEBRUARY 1829

From Amaranth, or Masonic Garland, Vol. I, No. 11, February 1829, Page 351:

Officers of Union Lodge, Nantucket:—

  • Robert F. Parker, M.;
  • George F. Bunker, S. W.;
  • Harvey Hartshorn, J. W.;
  • Peter Chase, T.;
  • James F. Chase, S.;
  • George Swain, Jr. S. D.;
  • David Cottle, 3. D.;
  • William Coffin, Jr. S. S.;
  • Peter C. Myrick, J. S.;
  • William Hiller, M.;
  • Wilson Rawson, T.

GRAND MASTER'S VISIT, SEPTEMBER 1861

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXI, No. 1, October 1861, Page 5:

This is one of the oldest, as it is one of the most respectable Lodges in Massachusetts. It received its Charter in May, 1771, and has consequently been in existence ninety years: and it is a remarkable circumstance that it to-day holds the same relative rank among the Lodges in the State that it held on the day of its inauguration in 1771, viz.: number Five. This is to be accounted for by the fact that several of the earlier Lodges had previously ceased to exist, while others, located out of the State, though within the jurisdiction, were subsequently transferred to the roll of other Grand Lodges. We have not the means at hand of sketching even a brief history of the "island Lodge," but our impression is that it has never at any period of its existence ceased to hold its regular monthly meetings: and we are quite certain that there are few, if any, Lodges in the jurisdiction, located within fifty miles of Boston, that have been so often represented in the Grand Lodge, or more punctual in the payment of their quarterly dues. This is the more creditable to the Lodge, when it is remembered that Nantucket is something more than a hundred miles from Boston and about thirty from the main land, and that until within a very few years past several days were required to perform the journey between the two places.

The communication is now by railroad and steamboat; and at the proper season of the year the trip is a very agreeable one. At least we found it so in a recent excursion there, in company with the M. W. Grand Master. The passage across the " sound" is performed by a staunch and well-appointed steamer in about two hours and a quarter, and in a smooth sea is a delightfully pleasant sail, though we can readily imagine that it may occasionally be otherwise to persons of a bilious temperament.

The island is about fifteen miles in length and from three to five in width. The town is pleasantly situated at the head of a fine harbor, on the north shore, and contains, we think, about six thousand inhabitants, the whole population of the island being between eight and nine thousand. It bears evidence of having once been a flourishing and prosperous place; but the falling off of the whale fisheries has seriously affected it in all its business relations. The great fire of 1846, which swept away the largest part of the business section of the town, destroying about a million of dollars in property, was a calamity from which the island has never recovered ; and if we add to these the heavy losses sustained by the more wealthy and business men of the place, by the French cruisers, for which our own Government has never yet been honest enough to award any indemnity, we need not look further for the reasons for the present un-promising condition of the business character of the place. But notwithstanding all these misfortunes and drawbacks, the people seem to be comfortable livers and contented. We understand they are turning their attention to manufacturing and agricultural pursuits. The soil, to the eye of the stranger, does not hold out any very strong indications of success in the latter business, though we are told very good crops are obtained from it.

In the evening of the day of our arrival on the island we met the Brethren at the Lodge-room. The attendance was large, and our reception cordial. Having been introduced into the Lodge, the W. Master, Brother Robinson, addressed the M. W. Grand Master as follows :—

Most Worshipful Grand Master — Partaking largely in that feeling of respect and regard which ii so justly due, and is so universally entertained for the distinguished head of our ancient and honorable Order in our beloved Commonwealth, who, with such untiring fidelity and zeal, with each credit to himself and benefit to the Craft in general, so successfully performs the important and responsible duties of his honorable and exalted office, we would beg leave to express to you our high appreciation of the honor conferred upon us by this agreeable visit, and the satisfaction it gives us as an evidence of your favorable consideration and regard; and we would hereby most cordially extend to you a sincere and hearty welcome.

In justice to ourselves, permit me to say, Most Worshipful, that during the past year we have passed through a season peculiarly depressing in its influences upon the prosperity of Masonry in all sections of our State, to a greater or less degree, but especially so among us here. The great and terrible National crisis which is upon us, is of itself sufficient to retard the progress of the Order, and when we add to this the local influences bearing upon us in the constant and rapid decline of our business resources as a town, it may afford some excuse should we be compelled to confess to some falling off or suspension of interest in the Lodge, and consequently some degree of inefficiency in its working condition.

We trust, therefore, Most Worshipful, that under all the circumstances, without going farther into detail, you will be pleased to look leniently upon whatever may seem to detract from or lessen our claim to that degree of working efficiency, to which we have heretofore felt entitled, by your cheering words of encouragement upon a former occasion, as well as by the credit awarded us by our lamented Bro. Baxter, late D.D.G.M. for this Masonic district. But although our working-tools may have grown somewhat rosty and dull from lack of work, we trust the valuable lessons they symbolize and inculcate will ever continue to be our rule and guide, and that when we meet you again it will be under happier auspices, and under brighter skies.

And to you, Right Worshipful Brother Moore, as Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, "known and read of all Masons", if not of "all men," we would also offer our warmest greeting and welcome upon this your first visit to our Lodge, and to our sea-girt island home.

Permit me to add also, that although but few of us have before had the privilege of meeting with you in person, yet knowing of your long and valuable services ac an officer of the Grand Lodge; of your deep research and extensive information upon all matters of Masonic history and jurisprudence ; of the invaluable additions to the literature of the Order which have emanated from your pen; in a word, of your long continued and faithful devotion to the cause of Masonry, we find it hard to convince ourselves that this is indeed the first time we have met.

We therefore greet you with the welcome, not only of Brethren of the Order, but of old acquaintance and friendship, — and we would express the earnest hope that the day may still be far distant in the future which shall deprive the Grand Lodge of the services of so able and efficient an officer, and the Fraternity at large of the counsels and assistance of so worthy and faithful a member.

Responses to the above were made by the visitors, and brief and appropriate addresses were made by Judges Marston and Day, (who were in attendance on the Superior Court,) and by members of the Lodge: among the latter were several who had been Masons from thirty to forty years; one, we think, fifty-six years. The meeting was an exceedingly interesting one, and we cannot doubt that it was also a profitable one, to both the Lodge and visitors. The hall is neat, comfortable and convenient, and we could discover no reason why the Brethren should not enjoy their meetings, and feel a just pride in the continued prosperity and excellent condition of their ancient and respectable Lodge.

INSTALLATION, DECEMBER 1870

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXX, No. 4, February 1871, Page 126:

At the annual meeting of Union Lodge, F. A. M., holden in Sherburne Hall, the 5th inst., the following named officers were elected for| the ensuing year : —

  • Joseph S. Barney, W. M.
  • Charles H. Jaggar, S. W.
  • Benjamin F. Brown, J. W.
  • George Swain, Treasurer
  • Charles P. Swain, Secretary
  • Alexander B. Robinson, S. D.
  • Wm. B. Starbuck, J. D.
  • George S. Wilber, S. S.
  • Seth M. Coffin, J. S.
  • George W. Macy, M.
  • Wm. H. Weston, Organist
  • Francis B. Smith, Tyler
  • Edmund B. Fox, Chaplain.

Regular meetings each month.

OFFICER LIST, DECEMBER 1871

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXXI, No. 4, February 1872, Page 127:

Nantucket — At the annual meeting of Union Lodge, in Sherburne Hall, the 4th of Dec. the following named officers were elected for the ensuing year: —

  • Joseph S. Barney, W, M.
  • Benjamin F. Brown. S. W.
  • William B. Starbuck, J. W.
  • George Swain, Treasurer
  • Charles P. Swain, Secretary
  • Alexander B. Robinson, S. D.
  • Robert F. Kent, J. D.
  • George S. Wilber, S. S.
  • Seth M. Coffin, J. S.
  • George W. Macy, M.
  • John W. Hallett, Organist.
  • Francis B. Smith, Tyler.
  • Rev. George A. Morse, Chaplain.

Regular meetings, first Monday of each month.

INSTALLATION, DECEMBER 1877

From Liberal Freemason, Vol. I, No. 11, February 1878, Page 350:

At the annual meeting of Union Lodge, F. and A.M., holden in Sherburne Hall, on the 3d December, the following-named officers were elected for the ensuing year, and duly installed on Wednesday evening, {January} 26th: Benjamin F. Brown, W. M.; Reuben C. Kenney, S. W.; Henry Paddack, J. W.; James A. Holmes, S. D.; George W. Defriez, J. D.; George Swain, Treasurer; Charles P. Swain, Secretary; Henry C. Pinkham, S. S.; William T. Swain, J. S.; George W. Macy, M.; Charles H. Jaggar, Chaplain; John W. Hallett, Organist; Jonathan O. Freeman, I. S.; Francis B. Smith, Tyler.

Regular meetings, first Monday of each month . . . The Masonic charity and genuine Christian work of our Brethren, their wives and daughters, of Nantucket, has been heavUy taxed by reason of the storms and shipwrecks of the winter; but, as of old, each and all have proved equal to the emergencies. We take great pride in the true Masonic character of Masonry on the island, and refer to it with pleasure.

INSTALLATION, DECEMBER 1879

From Liberal Freemason, Vol. III, No. 11, February 1880, Page 348:

At the annual election of officers by Union Lodge F. & A. M., the following were chosen for the year 1880: Henry Paddock, M.; George W. Defriez, S. W.; Edward B. Coffin, J. W.; Benjamin F. Brown, S. D.; Albion K. Bucknam, J. D.; George W. Macy, Marshal; George Swain, Treasurer; Charles P. Swain, Secretary; Henry C. Pinkham, S. S.; William T. Swain. J. S.; Benjamin F. Williams, I. S.; John Chinery, O. S.; John W. Hallett, Organist; J. B. Morrison and Daniel Round, Chaplains.

PRESENTATION, SEPTEMBER 1885

From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IX, No. 6, September 1885, Page 188:

The members of Union Lodge, F. and A. M., were recently treated to a pleasant surprise when Brother Daniel C. Brayton, U. S. N., who had returned from a cruise in the Mediterranean, presented the Lodge with a handsome gavel and ashler, which will be highly prized for many reasons, chief among which will be the fraternal thoughtfulness that suggested the gift, and for the historic origin of the two articles. The head of the gavel is of olive wood, procured at the Mount of Olives, and was made in Jerusalem, being highly polished. The handle is made of wood procured from a tree on the bank of the River Jordan, and was also made at Jerusalem. The ashler is of red stone, quarried at Beyrout, Mount Lebanon, the seaport of Damascus, on April 14th. last, and was procured there by Mr. Brayton, who had it manufactured into a cube and polished on three sides. The members of the Lodge expressed their gratification and thanks to the donor, and gave evidence of their deep appreciation of the brother's remembrance of them while absent in foreign lands, in various ways.

INSTALLATION, JANUARY 1888

From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XI, No. 11, February 1888, Page 350:

Officers of Union Lodge, F. and A. M., were installed Monday evening, January 2d, by D. D. G. M. Henry Paddack: Jas. A. Holmes, W. M.; F. Willett Folger, S. W.; Joseph C. Brock, J. W.; Geo. H. Brock, Treas.; Henry Paddack, Sec'y; Albert G. Brock, S. D.; B. F. Williams, J. D.; Wm. B. Starbuck, S. S.; Eben W. Francis, J. S.; Alex. Macy, Chap.; Geo. E. Mooers, Marshal; Geo. E. Thomas, I. S.; John Chinery, Tyler.

INSTALLATION, JANUARY 1986

From TROWEL, Spring 1986, Page 18:

Grand Master Installs at Union Lodge, Nantucket

From R. W. Leroy H. True, Secretary of Union Lodge, Nantucket, comes word that the presence of the Grand Master was a great drawing card when the semipublic installation of Officers was held this year, with some eighty members and guests turning out for the occasion.

Large attendances are not easily obtained at Nantucket since nearly half of the membership is off-island. In earlier days many of the Brothers were seafaring men, but in recent years they stay in Florida during the off-season. Many joined the Lodge while in government service on the island and have retained their membership, although they now live elsewhere. Union Lodge has no neighboring Lodges from which to draw visitors for special occasions.

The Grand Master installed Wor. Robert P. Grimes as the 214th Master of the Lodge. In attendance was R. W. Francis W. Pease, D. D. G. M. of the Nantucket 31st Masonic District, along with R.W. Robert E. Godbout, Jr., who serves as Grand Marshal for the Grand Master.

INSTALLATION, JANUARY 1990

From TROWEL, Spring 1990, Page 29:

Union Lodge F. and A. M. Installs Officers for 1990

In a very impressive semi-public ceremony, more than 150 Masons and friends witnessed the installation of the new officers of Union Lodge with Past Grand Masters Donald W. Vose and Stanley F. Maxwell officiating. Bro. Vose also told of the purpose of Freemasonry with an emphasis intended to dispel the opinions of too many non-Masons that the Craft is one of secrecy and a religious sect. "We are simply trying to improve the lot of men through character building and to extend some financial generosity to those in need."

Officers installed: Frederick A. Richmond, Master; Steven L. Cobb, Senior Warden; and Robert S. Cook, Jr., as Junior Warden; Gerald L. O'Hara, Treasurer; R. W. Francis W. Pease, Secretary; Rev. Bro. Frank J. Pattison, Chaplain; William Yarmy, Marshal; William J. McCarthy, Junior Deacon; Robert W. Sandsbury, Jr., Senior Steward; Gary E. Trainor, Organist, and James E. King, Tyler.

Linwood E. Proctor presented retiring Master William Yarmy with a Past Master's apron and R. W. Francis W. Pease presented the retiring Master with a Past Master's jewel that had once been proudly worn by Wor. Elmer E. Pease, Master in 1925.

District Deputy Peter G. Richter of Bourne paid special tribute to Leroy H. True for serving as the secretary for 16 years. A noted Nantucket historian, R. W. True, was given a rising reception for his faithful services. The gathering adjourned to the Harbor House for dinner and sociability.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


DISTRICTS

1803: District 12 (Islands)

1821: District 12

1835: District 8

1849: District 8

1867: District 15 (Barnstable)

1874: District 14 (New Bedford)

1883: District 27 (Nantucket)

1911: District 31 (Nantucket)

1927: District 31 (Nantucket)

2003: District 20


LINKS

Lodge web site

Massachusetts Lodges