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Location: Melrose; Malden (1866); Melrose (1867)

Chartered By: John T. Heard

Charter Date: 09/10/1857 VI-122

Precedence Date: 08/28/1856

Current Status: Active


  • Baalbec Lodge merged here, 09/07/2001.
  • Fidelity Lodge merged here, 08/11/2017.


  • Joseph D. Dennis, 1856, 1857
  • Freeman Baker, 1858-1860
  • Samuel O. Dearborn, 1861; SN
  • Levi S. Gould, 1862, 1863, 1881, 1882
  • Daniel Norton, Jr., 1864-1866
  • Albert B. Perkins, 1867, 1868
  • Walter Littlefield, 1869, 1870
  • Charles H. Isburgh, 1871, 1872
  • William A. Remick, 1875-1877
  • Charles H. Edmonds, 1878
  • Granville M. Thomas, 1879, 1880
  • Herbert H. Westgate, 1883, 1884
  • Sidney H. Buttrick, 1885, 1886
  • J. Richmond Barss, 1887, 1888
  • Walter I. Nickerson, 1889, 1890
  • William A. Waterhouse, 1891, 1892
  • Elisha B. Sears, 1893
  • Oscar F. Frost., 1894, 1895
  • Frank E. Orcutt, 1896, 1897
  • George E. Fenn, 1898, 1899; Mem
  • Harry Hunt, 1900, 1901
  • Charles L. Sprague, 1902, 1903
  • Herbert J. Perry, 1904, 1905
  • Charles N. Shute, 1906, 1907
  • William Wooldridge, 1908, 1909
  • Frederick T. Grant, 1910, 1911
  • Wilfra L. Swindlehurst, 1912, 1913
  • Horace E. Child, 1914, 1915
  • Claude L. Allen, 1916; N
  • Sanford Crandon, 1917, 1918; Mem
  • George E. Damon, 1919, 1920
  • Clarence T. Ferna, 1921, 1922
  • Harry F. Sears., 1923, 1924
  • Herbert T. Gerrish., 1926
  • R. Walter Terhune, 1927
  • Arthur W. Clark, 1928
  • Leonard F. Whidden, 1929
  • James Davis, 1930
  • George A. Barrows, 1931
  • Walter W. Hathaway, 1932
  • Thomas L. Thistle, 1933
  • Howard G. Todd, 1934; N
  • Kenneth L. Barrett, 1935
  • Charles F. Brackett, 1936
  • Thomas R. Vannah, 1937
  • Roscoe C. Wallace, 1938
  • E. Sumner Bailey, 1939
  • Donald E. Fletcher, 1940
  • Charles A. Hunter, 1941
  • Herbert N. Faulkner, 1942; N
  • Ernest W. Hinchcliffe, 1943
  • Ralph S. Perkins, 1944
  • Benning L. Wentworth, 1945
  • Matthew M. Cox, III, 1946
  • Galen W. Hoyt, 1947
  • C. Andrew Wing, 1948; N
  • Albert F. Ford, 1949
  • Harold E. Mew, 1950; SN
  • Norman P. Robinson, 1951
  • Archer C. Bowen, 1952
  • Donald A. Welch, 1953
  • Walter S. Palmer, 1954
  • Foster Perry, 1955
  • Theodore K. Cathcart, 1956
  • William S. Pitzer, 1957
  • Robert F. Hunter, 1958
  • George L. Kinsey, 1959
  • Cortland B. Bacall, 1960
  • Robert E. Steer, 1961
  • Richard A. McLellan, 1962
  • Loring W. Mann, 1963
  • Norman A. Graf, 1964
  • Philip H. Adams, 1965
  • John W. Dahl, 1966
  • Robert F. Garner, 1967
  • W. Curtis Rogers, 1968
  • Frederick Spollett, 1969
  • Manning L. Balcom, 1970
  • Donald B. Maclachlan, 1971
  • Roger W. Waugh, 1972
  • Theodore K. Cathcart, Jr., 1973
  • William H. Burns, 1974
  • Winthrop L. Hall, 1975;
  • Michael C. Nickerson, 1976
  • Harvey J. Waugh, 1977
  • David P. Henry, 1978; PDDGM
  • Martin Finigian, 1979
  • Charles A. Wing, III', 1980
  • Alan P. Bemiss, 1981
  • David W. Hamilton, 1982
  • Robert S. Sedlacek, 1983
  • Frank A. Adragna, 1984
  • Douglas J. Tibbetts, 1985
  • Craig H. Hess, 1986
  • Francis P. Mitrano, 1987; PDDGM
  • William J. Dias, 1988
  • David J. Killam, 1989
  • Donald A. Batson, 1990
  • Peter M. Perkins., 1991
  • Paul H. Perkins, 1992; PDDGM
  • George J.. Saideh, Jr., 1993-94
  • Carl H. Gylfphe, Jr., 1994
  • Charles W. Smith, Jr., 1995
  • Jerome J. Kaufman, II, 1996
  • Michael J. McLane, 1997
  • John R. Dunnell, Jr., 1998
  • Alan C. Brown, 1999
  • James N. Orgettas, Jr., 2000; PDDGM
  • Victor Garofalo, 2001
  • Jean Oberde Falaise, 2002
  • James K. Brayden, 2003-2005
  • Pericles Calias, 2006
  • Dana L. Litman, 2007
  • Richard E. Pitts, 2008-2010
  • Paul C. Blasi., Jr., 2011, 2012
  • Guy A. Mitrano, 2013
  • Thomas E. Watson 2014
  • Richard E. McElhinney, 2015
  • Salvatore Firicano, 2016
  • Michael Simons, 2017
  • Peter Henry, 2018
  • David Fletcher, 2019


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1856
  • Petition for Charter: 1857
  • Consolidation Petition (with Baalbec Lodge): 2001


  • 1906 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1956 (Centenary)
  • 2007 (150th Anniversary)



1858 1888 1899 1907 1913 1921 1922 1943 1948 1949 1951 1952 1953 1955 1958 1968 1973 1976 1981 1989 1996 2010 2013 2014


  • 1956 (Centenary History, 1956-309; see below)
  • 2007 (150th Anniversary History, 2007-68; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1956-309:

By Worshipful Galen W. Hoyt.

One hundred years have come and gone since the birth of Wyoming Lodge. Three generations of men have carried her banner and directed her affairs and another already lifts its hands to take up the work and carry on into the future. All who were here at the beginning have long since gone to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns, but their work and efforts still survive. In the records we read of the character of our founders, their purposes, their pleasures and trials in life, and as their successors, it is our privilege to witness the fulfillment of their hopes and to rejoice that Wyoming Lodge still stands at the end of a completed century an honor to the founders, a monument to our fair city and an assurance to us of the lasting values of Freemasonry.

In the year 1856, New England was at the height of her Golden Age with Longfellow, Emerson, and Lowell carrying her literary fame across the world. The Republican Party was about two years old, seven states west of the Mississippi had not been admitted to the Union, Abe Lincoln had not reached Congress, and Melrose in this era was a village of about 2,000 inhabitants with a tax rate of $8.30 and a levy of $11,900. The men and women of that day made much of thrift, integrity and application of their talents. They took things seriously, for in their world there was much to be done. The first impulse that moves our thoughts at this time is a desire to know something of the men who were the founders of Wyoming Lodge. This is a very difficult task, for these men were men of action and said very little of themselves or their work. We do not know what special influence in the year 1856 prompted our Brethren to found Wyoming Lodge, but history tells us that five Brethren met with Rev. Bro. Joseph S. Dennis at his home on July 28, 1856, to discuss plans for a Masonic Lodge in Melrose. Present at this meeting were Brothers Dennis, Smith W. Nichols, William Low, Sumner F. Barrett and Francis Bugbee. The next meeting was held in the attic of Lyceum Hall on August 2, 1856, and was attended by Brothers Joseph S. Dennis, Francis Bugbee, Sumner F. Barrett, Lorin L. Fuller, W7illiam H. Morse, and Hon. John Treat Paine.

This was an important meeting, for these men knew that if a Masonic Lodge was to prosper and survive in Melrose, it must be built on solid ground. Bro. Dennis submitted the following three questions to the men present:

  1. Will the Grand Lodge grant a dispensation?
  2. Can we meet the expense of procuring a lodpe room and furnishing it in a manner worthy of ourselves and the order?
  3. Can we sustain the institution in this village through a series of years?

On the first question Bro. Nichols was appointed to confer with the Grand Lodge.

The second was unanimously answered in the affirmative.

As an answer to the third question, the Brethren pledged themselves to be faithful to the extent of their ability.

On August 18, 1856, another meeting was held at the home of William Bogle, at which time the question of what name shall be given to the Lodge was raised. There were three names submitted: Wyoming, St. Andrew and Eshcol. The names submitted were written on slips of paper and the Brethren present requested to mark their preference. The tabulation showed Wyoming with six votes and St. Andrew with two. The name of "Wyoming" was declared the choice of the Brethren.

Wor. Bro. Nichols, who was to confer with the Grand Lodge, faithfully discharged his duties, and on August 28, 1856, a dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge of Masons in in Massachusetts and Brothers:

  • Joseph Selman Dennis
  • Smith W. Nichols
  • Lorin L. Fuller
  • Francis Bugbee
  • Nath'l W. Hobbs
  • Joseph Phelps
  • John W. Bowditch
  • William H. Morse

were empowered to convene under the name of "Wyoming Lodge," and to Initiate, Craft, and Raise Masons.

Under the dispensation, the first meeting of Wyoming Lodge was convened in an attic room in Lyceum Hall and with very primitive furnishings. Bro. Bogle loaned an arm chair for the Master and Saint Andrew's Lodge of Boston loaned three brazen candle sticks, which were cast by Paul Revere. Chairs for the remaining officers were all borrowed, as well as the Bible. Visitors sat on empty boxes and nail kegs. These conditions did not prevail for long, however, as a committee consisting of Bro. Bowditch and Bro. Levi Gould were appointed to report on furnishing the lodge-room in a more appropriate manner. Bro. Bowditch took it upon himself to do the job and his report to Bro. Gould showed a spirit that could only mean success.

His report is as follows:

Brother Gould:

At the last meeting we held in the attic of the old Lyceum Hall, on Main Street, sitting on nail kegs, a committee was chosen to see what it would cost to furnish and fit up the hall and ante-room for Masonic purposes, and to report the next Wednesday evening. I was chairman of the committee. We concluded to go ahead and furnish the hall. At my own expense I had a carpenter make the platform, and I also bought the carpets of Mr. Tenney, over the Boston & Maine Railroad. On my order, Beal and Hooper made the desks, Mr. Currier the canopy, Mr. Marden the shades and draperies, and Mr. Spaulding furnished the chandelier and lights. I was stuck on the jewels, but happened to remember that Bro. Thomas Pratt of Reading had in his possession the jewels of the old Reading Lodge, Good Samaritan, which he kept when the charter was surrendered in anti-Masonic times. He let me have them, I giving a receipt for safe keeping.

On the Wednesday evening following, I was called upon in the ante-room for my report by Wor. Master Dennis. Taking the key of the hall and opening the door, I said, "This, Worshipful Master, is my report."

John Bowditch

On October 12, 1856, Wyoming Lodge received its charter from the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts with the following names as charter members:

  • Rev. Bro. Joseph Selman Dennis
  • Bro. Francis Bugbee
  • Bro. William Bogle
  • Bro. Henry E. Robinson
  • Bro. Sumner F. Barrett
  • Bro. John W. Bowditch
  • Bro. William H. Morse
  • Bro. Nathaniel Hobbs

The Lodge continued to convene in Lyceum Hall until February 11, 1863, on which date the Lodge voted to lease the hall in the Waverly Building opposite the Melrose Depot. A five-year lease was entered into with John G. and David Webster. The new Lodge room was sumptously furnished and paid for by popular subscriptions and dedicated by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, William Parkman, on April 29, 1863.

Under the dispensation granted by the Grand Lodge, and at the meeting held on September 10, 1856, the first application for degrees was received from Albert B. Barrett. He was raised on December 12, 1856. The candidates elected and on whom the degrees were conferred in the first years were:

  • Albert B. Barrett
  • James Beckett
  • George Trowbridge
  • Charles C. Dike
  • Freeman Baker
  • Daniel Norton, Jr.
  • Charles F. Estee
  • Alonzo V. Lynde
  • Ralph H. Wickham
  • John Carter
  • Samuel S. Houghton
  • William Farnsworth
  • John H. Dike
  • Levi S. Gould
  • John H. Curpier
  • Richard W. Emerson
  • Joseph Robbins
  • James Knott
  • Samuel Ellison
  • Lyman Dike

  • George W. Heath

Some of these men were eminent in Masonry and others in various walks of life, as shown in the following brief sketches:

  • Charles F. Estee
    • Held a commission from Abraham Lincoln to organize and preside over the Department of Internal Revenue.
  • Lyman Dike
    • A wealthy citizen of Stoneham, organized a regiment for the Civil War and was commissioned a Colonel.
  • Capt. John H. Dike
    • Was in command of his company of Stoneham Volunteers in the bloody march of the "Old Sixth" through Baltimore and was left in the street as dead, but was saved by the interposition of a faithful Brother. At the regular communication of Wyoming Lodge on May 29, 1861, on motion by Bro. Estee, it was voted that the first three officers of the Lodge be appointed a committee to ascertain the names of the Brother Masons and other residents of the City of Baltimore who protected and cared for our Brother, Capt. John H. Dike of the Stoneham Light Infantry. The committee was also authorized to forward to the Brother, if found, a suitable acknowledgment of their appreciation of the fraternal care which was given to Bro. Dike in his hour of extreme peril.
  • Freeman Baker
    • Was the second Master of Wyoming Lodge. He conducted a dry-goods business in Boston, and at one time was associated with S. S. Houghton. He was the finest ritualist of his day in both the Lodge and Chapter.
  • Samuel S. Houghton
    • Was a great merchant who established, and, until his death, was at the head of the noted firm of Houghton & Dutton of Boston.
  • Levi Swanton Gould
    • Was born in Dixmont, Maine, on March 26, 1834. He was educated in North Maiden (now Melrose) where he resided for many years. (His father, Levi Gould, M. D., was the first physician in this section and one who did much in organizing the Melrose Congregational Church.) Bro. Gould was elected Master of Wyoming Lodge four times. He was first elected on September 10, 1862, and again on September 14, 1863. September 28, 1881, when Thomas McCoubry, who was duly elected Master, declined to serve, Bro. Gould once more was called upon and duly elected Worshipful Master. On September 27, 1882, he assumed the East of Wyoming Lodge for the final time. In 1861, Bro. Gould was summoned to Washington, where he served as clerk in the office of the Secretary of the Treasury. In the Town, and later the City, of Melrose he held a multiplicity of important offices, all of which, both in private and civic affairs, mark the career of a man dedicated to the service of his fellow men.
  • Smith W. Nichols
    • Was a mason by profession who came to Melrose from Boston. He was Past Master of Saint Andrew's Lodge of Boston, and it was largely through his efforts that Wyoming Lodge was formed. lt is said by historians that he deserves the title of being the "Father of Masonry in Melrose." He did much to assist while the Lodge was in infancy. Two of his sons served in the Civil War, Lt. George C. Nichols and Commander Smith W. Nichols, Jr.
  • Daniel Norton, Jr.
    • Was very prominent in civic affairs. He served as Chairman of the Board of Selectmen for many years. He was born in Newburyport on June 4, 1823. Bro. Norton was an example of honesty, capability and a faithful citizen who performed every duty, public or private, with the utmost diligence. He was raised in Wyoming Lodge on February 11, 1857. He served as Inside Sentinel, Senior Steward, Junior Deacon, Senior Warden and Wor. Master from 1864 to 1867. Other offices which he held were: Treasurer of Wyoming Lodge, 1872-1873; Trustee of the Charity Fund, 1874-1900; Trustee of Wyoming Lodge, 1874-1900; Treasurer of Trustees, 1875-1900.
  • Joseph Robbins
    • Received his Master Mason Degree on February 11, 1857. Bro. Robbins attained his Masonic distinction in Illinois, his adopted state, having occupied the chair of Grand Master for the State of Illinois.

There were eight names borne on the Charter of Wyoming Lodge, and it would be a pleasure if we could now for a moment lift the veil of the past and look upon these men who organized this Lodge. We would join in their councils and learn the reasons for their undertakings, and in particular, what they expected to find in this association of Masons. However gratifying such an experience might be, it is beyond our power and history alone can now tell us of the accomplishments of these men.

  • Rev. Bro. Joseph S. Dennis
    • The first named on our Charter and the first Master was the Rev. Joseph Selman Dennis. Rev. Bro. Dennis was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on September 24, 1820. His parents were poverty-stricken people and could not offer much to their son in the way of an education. He, therefore, was self-educated, studying with John Boyden for the ministry while working in a woolen mill in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He had no formal education, but was ordained a minister of the Gospel and served as the Universalist minister in the Melrose Universalist Church. His pastorate in Melrose was from April 18, 1856, to July 1, 1858. He left Melrose and accepted a pulpit in Boston and in 1863 he left the ministry and studied law in Chicago, Illinois, where he became a very successful patent lawyer. He died in Chicago on November 24, 1900.
  • William Bogle
    • The second man named on our Charter is Bro. William Bogle. Bro. Bogle came from Glasgow, Scotland. He was a hairdresser and wig-maker in Boston. He lived in North Maiden and went to his business by stage coach which made three trips a week from Reading, Mass. His store in Boston was near Filene's present location. He enjoyed the distinction of having suggested the name of Melrose, although his title was challenged by many residents who claimed the honor belonged to the pastor of the Protestant Methodist Church.
    • He was the father of Lt. Col. Archibald Bogle, who commanded the 35th Regiment of Colored Troops in the Cival War. He was connected with the Masonic Fraternity for over forty years and was a most consistent, liberal and respected member. As a citizen, he was fair in his dealings with his fellow men. In his deliberations of the Town of Melrose, he was a prominent figure for many years. His suggestions were always accorded the most respectful consideration.
    • He received his first degree in Scotland and was raised in the Lodge of Saint Andrew in Boston, Mass., on June 14, 1849. He was also a member of Columbian Lodge, from which he demitted and became a member of Wyoming Lodge on May 28, 1879.
  • John Bowditch
    • A Charter member who came from Reading, Mass., and was a very popular conductor on the Boston & Maine Railroad. From his extensive acquaintances, he was able to be of great service in the infancy of Wyoming Lodge. He was the Junior Deacon in 1856 and the Senior Warden in 1857, but he declined the office of Worshipful Master. He was a member of Mount Tabor Lodge of East Boston.
  • Francis Bugbee
    • Was elected the first Treasurer of Wyoming Lodge. He was Town Clerk of Melrose from 1853 to 1856. His principal occupation was that of storekeeper. The firm of Bugbee & Barrett was established and carried on a grocery business at about the location of the present Haslam's Drug Co.
  • Henry E. Robinson
    • "Uncle Henry," of beloved memory, was the dear old Tyler and custodian of the Masonic Apartments.
  • Sumner F. Barrett
    • Bro. Barrett was born in Boston on May 9, 1809. His Masonic record is remarkable in that he was active covering a period of over a half century. He was raised in Star of Bethlehem Lodge in Chelsea, Mass., on August 18, 1845. He was also a Charter Member of Mount Tabor Lodge of East Boston, as well as Wyoming Lodge of Melrose.
  • William H. Morse
    • Very little can be found regarding this member. A resident of Melrose for many years and a member of Melrose Congregational Church, he resided on Myrtle Street.
  • Nathaniel Hobbs
    • Bro. Hobbs was a member of Jordan Lodge of Danvers (now Peabody). He was born in North Berwick, Maine. He was a resident of Melrose for thirty-four years and on leaving this city, he returned to his native state and became Judge of Probate for York County.

It was not long after Wyoming Lodge was chartered that the war between the States broke out, and many young men from this Town answered the call.

It was not unusual during this period for the Worshipful Master to confer all three degrees in one evening. This was undoubtedly done to permit the candidates to become Master Masons before leaving for military service.

Such was the case of the son of William Bogle, who received all his degrees in one evening. The records state that a dispensation was received from the District Deputy Grand Master of the Eleventh Masonic District empowering Wyoming Lodge to confer the several degrees upon Archibald Bogle and Sidney L. Smith. Lodge opened at 6:00 p.m. and closed at midnight.


On May 9, 1860, the Lodge was made the recipient of a beautiful gavel presented by Bro. Lorin L. Fuller, upon which was inscribed, "Henry Price Pear Tree, 1760, Presented to Wyoming Lodge by L. L. Fuller, April 19, 1860." The Brother prefaced the presentation by a few very happy and interesting remarks and with the following historical allusion to the precious relic from which the instrument was wrought: < blockquote> This pear tree was planted at West Cambridge, then called Menotomy, in the year 1760 by Henry Price, Esq. He was the first Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and this tree was transplanted by him in Townsend, Mass., where he lived and later died. A tombstone in this town may now be found commemorative of this event. </blockquote>

Bro. Lorin L. Fuller was a Representative in the General Court in Massachusetts from Melrose in 1859. He was also Eminent Commander of LIugh de Payens Commandery and an early Mayor of the City of Maiden.


On January 11, 1866, the Waverly Building, then considered the finest in Melrose, burned to the ground and Wyoming Lodge suffered a severe setback. The Secretary of Wyoming Lodge records the catastrophe as follows:

An informal meeting of the members of Wyoming Lodge and the citizens of Melrose generally were called together on Thursday evening, January 11, 1866, in the open air in the vicinity of Waverly Building by the alarm of fire, to view the destruction of the stately building by the devouring elements and in the conflagration to witness the loss of our beautiful hall, with all its costly furniture and valuable belongings which had come to be not only a source of pride and joy to ourselves, but the admiration of brethren and friends around.

Nearly everything was consumed except the Bible, Jewels, Regalia and the records, and a few other things being snatched as it were from the burning by some brethren and friends who were early on the spot. (Bro. Stantial, disregarding all orders, was the one who rushed into the burning building and brought out these valuable records.)

By this sad calamity, we are without a home, but for the present are thrown upon the liberality of neighbors and friends. We trust ere long we shall have a place wherein to assemble and Wyoming Lodge will continue to maintain its present rank among its brother lodges, which it has so nobly gained in a few years of its existence.

George C. Stantial, Secretary

After the disaster, the Lodge held one meeting in what was known as Concert Hall near the corner of Main and Essex Streets. The building was the old Methodist Episcopal Church, formerly standing on the corner of Main and Green Streets and built in the year 1818.

Mount Hermon Lodge of Medford graciously offered the use of its hall as did Mount Vernon Lodge of Maiden. The Lodge voted to accept the invitation of Mount Vernon. On February 12, 1866, Most Worshipful Grand Master Charles C. Dame granted permission to Wyoming Lodge to hold their meetings in Maiden until suitable rooms were available in Melrose.

It is of interest to note at this particular time that Bro. Levi Gould requested the Worshipful Master to make a report to the Lodge regarding the insurance money received by Wyoming Lodge. The report showed that the value of the property destroyed totaled $9,000, on which there was insurance of only $3,000. After this report to the Lodge, the first vote taken was to loan the insurance money when received to Bro. Heath, on call, at 7.3% interest and on such security as shall be satisfactory to the first three officers of the Lodge. Wyoming Lodge continued to hold its meetings in Maiden and the first mention of procuring quarters in Melrose is noted in the minutes of the regular communication of March 12, 1866.


On January 31, 1866, the Waverly Masonic Association was chartered by the General Court of Massachusetts and at the March 12th meeting, several members proposed that the Worshipful Master subscribe to $3,000 in capital stock of the association. This was so voted although one Brother who arrived late at the meeting tried unsuccessfully to have the vote reconsidered.

Bro. Daniel Russell, President of the Waverly Masonic Association, stated at a special communication that Wyoming Lodge should have charge of laying the corner-stone of the new Masonic Building in Melrose and that Mount Vernon Lodge of Maiden and Waverly Royal Arch Chapter be invited to join with them. A committee consisting of Brothers Daniel Russell, George W. Heath, Lorin L. Fuller, Charles Copeland, F. A. Messenger and Daniel Morton, Jr., was appointed to make all arrangements for the occasion. The corner-stone of the new Temple was laid on June 25, 1866, and on April 24, 1867, the building was completed.

The last meeting in Maiden as a guest of Mount Vernon Lodge was held on April 18, 1867, and at this meeting the members voted to rent the quarters in the new Temple at a cost of $500 per year and to share in the cost of defraying the heating and lighting expense.

At the dedication of the new Temple, one of the great days in local history, Melrose witnessed the largest gathering ever drawn to Melrose. The new Melrose Masonic Temple was for many years considered the finest Masonic Temple in New England, and now in its 90th year and in the process of being completely renovated, it is well to record here a fitting tribute to the courage, faith and vision of the men who made our present Temple possible. It is also fitting that we should record for future generations on this 100th anniversary a description of the Temple as it was built by these men. The description, given by Bro. George H. Dearborn, and which is taken from the scrap-book kept by Bro. Dearborn, is most appropriate. He quotes as follows:

The principal hall is known as Wyoming Hall and is superbly furnished. For elegance, taste, capacity and convenience, it will rival any similar hall in the country. The ceiling is slightly arched and covered with beautiful fresco work, the center piece being a circle dotted with golden stars. The carpets are the richest that could be obtained and were imported for this special purpose. The hall is entered from the west and the space between the doors is occupied by a large painting representing the ruins of the Temple. On the south side are three paintings, the center of which represents Faith, and on either side of this are the inner and outer doors of the Temple. On the north side is the fine organ, on the left of which is a painting representing the brazen pillars and on the right a painting in which the Five Steps of Architecture are shown. At the east end and on the left of the Master's Chair is the painting of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. On the right of the Master's Chair is a black canopy, one of the finest pieces of workmanship in the country. It is surmounted with the letter "G" having golden rays diverging in every direction. Below this on either side are two gilded statues of children. The furniture in the hall is of superior quality and was made especially for Wyoming Lodge by M. W. Toussaint of Boston. The organ cost $2,500 and was presented to the Lodge by Bro. Daniel Russell. The chandelier, which is an immense bronze casting, has 40 burners. The globes are engraved with Masonic emblems and cost $1,000 and were the gifts of Bro. George W. Heath. The Master's Chair cost $400 and was the gift of Bro. F. A. Messenger. The Warden's Chairs were presented by S. S. Houghton and L. G. Coburn. The marble clock was a gift from Charles Copeland.

The account also continues with a description of the other rooms including the Armory of the Encampment. The floor of this room is laid with alternate strips of black walnut and maple and in the center, under the chandelier, various kinds of woods are inlaid forming a cross. Mention is made of the magnificently carved outer doors on the ground floor, which were a gift of Bro. Washburn Emery, who became a Mason late in life and not long before his death. Many members here tonight can well remember the stores on the first floor and perhaps recall the fire engine that clattered out of the rear lower basement.

The first regular communication of Wyoming Lodge was held in the new Temple on Monday evening, May 13, 1867. The first applications for the degrees were received from Wingate P. Sargent, William F. Poole and Deacon Curtis C. Goss. Candidates for the degrees were constantly knocking at the door, and in its new home Wyoming Lodge continued to prosper.

In 1874 the Waverly Masonic Association, desiring to dispose of their holdings, offered to sell the Temple to Wyoming Lodge. This was a matter of great concern and many heated discussions followed. On November 4, 1874, a "Masonic Summons" was sent to all members summoning them to appear at Masonic Temple, Melrose, there being very important business to come before the Lodge in connection with the purchase of the property of Waverly Masonic Association. (The nature of a summons is such that it admits of no excuse for non-attendance, except actual inability.) Many members at this meeting expressed opinions regarding the value of the property and particularly Bro. George W. Heath, who expressed his opinion strongly as to the safety of the investment. He also predicted the breaking up of Wyoming Lodge should the building pass into outside ownership. Committees resigned and new ones were appointed, but on December 31, 1874, the Waverly Masonic Association transferred ownership to Wyoming Lodge.

Trustees were immediately elected to hold the property. (J. D. Wilde, W. P. Sargent, Daniel Norton, Jr., Levi S. Gould, all of Melrose, and C. B. Bryant of Stoneham, S. 0. Richardson of Wakefield, and R. M. Yale of Maiden.)


In June 1867, Wyoming Lodge participated in the dedication of the new Masonic Temple in Boston, when the President of the United States, Andrew Johnson, a member of the Fraternity, honored the occasion with his presence. This Temple was destroyed by fire and has since been replaced by the present Temple.


As far as the records inform us, the affairs of the Lodge were prosperous and its members continued to meet in perfect harmony, but considerable controversy and much information was being circulated at this time regarding the jewels worn by Wyoming Lodge officers. To this end, Wor. Levi S. Gould was appointed a committee to report on the history surrounding the acquisition of the jewels. His report is most interesting and reads as follows:

To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Members of Wyoming Lodge.

The undersigned, a committee appointed to prepare a history of the set of jewels worn by the officers of this lodge, thinking that something more than a bare statement of fact might be of interest to the Brethren, I have taken the liberty to introduce here in certain collateral, matter which I trust may prove of sufficient value to justify the interpolation. We find that the jewels in question were in use by Good Samaritan Lodge of Reading as early as June 10, 1816. This lodge succumbed to the ruthless persecution of the enemies of Masonry and was not represented in Grand Lodge after 1842. A similar fate awaited Mount Moriah Lodge of South Reading which existed half a century, having received its charter on March 4, 1798, but yielded to the inevitable and dropped out in 1848. It is, however, a matter of note that this lodge was not represented in Grand Lodge by any of its officers later than September 19, 1829, and it is reasonable to conclude that its regular meetings were suspended about the same time, although it was not dropped from the list until 1848 at which time we find that the Grand Lodge, having demanded the charter of a Brother in whose custody it had been placed and l^eing refused expelled him from the rights and benefits of Masonry and expunged the lodge from the record. Subsequently, the charter was returned to the Grand Lodge in good condition.

Other lodges in our vicinity, notably Freedom of Woburn and Mt. Hermon of Maiden, were consumed in the same flames of bigotry, hatred and persecution. Mt. Hermon Lodge disappeared from our Masonic District as early as 1834 and Freedom Lodge in 1849, having suspended its meetings several years previous. Few among us realize the fearful cost to those of our Brethren who a half century ago remained faithful to Masonic ties. Political preference was impossible and social ostracism prevailed in many localities. Public passion and prejudice was goaded on by designing politicians with a method in their madness and by Ministers of that blessed gospel of the Son of Man of which Masonry in all ages has been a most consistent and effective ally. Some of the brethren, too honest to recant, suffered in their church connections while others were financially ruined. Reading and South Reading was called the very hot bed of anti-Masonry. Bro. Thomas Pratt, custodian of the jewels, was relentlessly pursued as to oblige him to abandon his business. The records show that the jewels were obtained from a Brother of Good Samaritan Lodge having authority, who placed the price at $46. A draft was drawn on May 3, 1860 by Bro. George W. Heath, Treasurer, payable to Thomas Pratt.

Under the date of October 25, 1899, more information is recorded regarding the jewels. It appears that the jewels were of such design that it was impossible to tell to which office they belonged. A committee had been appointed and had new ones made and the old jewels placed in the library for safekeeping. The summary is as follows:

The jewels of Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer and Secretary, are the original jewels of Good Samaritan Lodge of Reading. The jewels of Chaplain, Marshal, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Senior and Junior Stewards, Inside Sentinel, Organist and Tyler are new jewels made to conform as near as possible to the old set.

June 14, 1867

A petition had been forwarded to the District Deputy Grand Master asking that a dispensation be granted to organize a lodge of Freemasons at South Reading (now Wakefield) with 48 signatures, of whom 17 were members of Wyoming Lodge. The Worshipful Master referred this to a committee of five consisting of Freeman Baker, Levi S. Gould, Smith Nichols, D. D. Foster of South Reading and G. L. Dike of Stoneham. This committee met on January 16th in Good Templars Hall, Melrose, to consider the matter and to hear what the Brethren had to offer for or against the proposed movement and to make a report at the next regular meeting of Wyoming Lodge. Their report was as follows:

In view of all the circumstances, it is not for the interest of Masonry that a new lodge be instituted in South Reading at the present time upon said petition.

December 28, 1887 Twenty years later, note was made of a petition of 57 Masons of Wakefield to the Grand Lodge asking for a dispensation to form a new Masonic Lodge in Wakefield, Mass., to be known as Wakefield Lodge. This was presented by William S. Mason of Wakefield asking that the petition be recommended by Wyoming Lodge. On motion duly made and seconded, the members of Wyoming Lodge voted to recommend the petition. This Lodge is now Golden Rule Lodge of Wakefield.

It is well to record here some of the events that took place during the term of office of our oldest surviving Past Master, Worshipful Frederick T. Grant. Bro. Grant was elected Master on September 28, 1910, and served until September 27, 1912.

The membership when he assumed office was 456. The Lodge appeared to be prosperous. He transferred the sum of $655 during his first year in office to the Charity Fund, contributed $100 to the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial and $100 to the Masonic Home.

In his report to the Lodge he stated that the Charity Fund of Wyoming Lodge is a monument and insured us of a sufficient amount to practice the teachings of Charity whenever the occasion may require, the balance being $3,236.60. He continued to practice charity, for the records state that he contributed $500 to the Masonic Home and collected $948 from the members, making a total of $1,448. The sum of $150 was also sent to the new Melrose Hospital. On April 24, 1912, Wor. Bro. Grant appointed a committee to confer with the Grand Master and to cooperate with him on the important occasion of laying the corner-stone of the Melrose Memorial Building.

On May 30, 1912, a special communication of Wyoming Lodge was held for the purpose of receiving the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Everett C. Benton, and his officers and escorting them to the building site of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building, where the Grand Master and 72 Sir Knights were in line under Eminent Commander Alonzo Hall. There were 126 members of Wyoming Lodge, 72 Knights Templar and 31 Grand Lodge Officers in line.

We pay homage at this time to one who so successfully administered the affairs of Wyoming Lodge and to Bro. Grant, we wish continued good health and happiness for many years.


In 1906 Wyoming Lodge celebrated its "Fiftieth Anniversary." The officers were:

  • Wor. Herbert J. Perry, Master
  • Bro. Charles N. Shute, Senior Warden
  • Bro. William Wooldridge, Junior Warden
  • Bro. Frank W. Foster, Treasurer
  • Bro. George C. Stantial, Secretary
  • Bro. Oscar F. Frost, Marshal
  • Bro. Rev. Paul Sterling, Chaplain
  • Bro. George E. Babson, Senior Deacon
  • Bro. Frederick T. Grant, Junior Deacon
  • Bro. Wilfra L. Swindlehurst, Senior Steward
  • Bro. Horace E. Child, Junior Steward
  • Bro. Claude L. Allen, Inside Sentinel
  • Bro. Daniel Russell, Organist
  • Bro. J. P. Weston, Ass't Organist
  • Bro. Edwin C. Gould, Tyler

Both Brothers Frederick T. Grant and Claude L. Allen served on the General Committee. Also on other special committees Bro. Grant was a member of the Decorations Committee and Bro. Allen served on the Printing Committee.

This 50th anniversary opened with devotional services at the First Congregational Church with an address by Rev. Bro. Edward A. Horton, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge.

The banquet was served in the auditorium of City Hall, followed by an address of welcome by Worshipful Master, Herbert J. Perry. Bro. George R. Jones acted as Toastmaster. The speakers included the following:

  • Most Worshipful Grand Master, John Albert Blake
  • Mayor of the City of Melrose, Bro. Charles J. Barton
  • Secretary of the Commonwealth, Bro. William M. Olin
  • Historian of Wyoming Lodge, Wor. Levi S. Gould
  • District Deputy Grand Master, R. W. Walter F. Medding
  • Bro. Nathaniel Hobbs, "Fifty Years Ago"
  • Chief Usher, Bro. Willis C. Goss

At the May 22, 1907, meeting, Wyoming Lodge voted its approval of the Grand Lodge plans to establish a Masonic Home and provided that the Lodge would contribute $100 annually if it was to be located within ten miles of Boston. It was not until January 27, 1909, that this vote was rescinded and on motion by Wor. Bro. Frederick T. Grant, it was unanimously voted to contribute $500 for the Home. The total contributed by both the Lodge and the members was $1,448.

Wyoming Lodge continued through the years to assist in many worthy causes such as:

  • The Chelsea Fire
  • California Earthquake
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial
  • Melrose Hospital
  • George Washington Memorial
  • Melrose War Chest
  • Grand Lodge War Fund

  • Fitch Home

These and many others were given assistance through the charity of the members of the Lodge.


On September 25, 1918, a letter was read asking for the recommendation of Wyoming Lodge for the institution of a new Lodge in Melrose to be known as Fidelity Lodge.

A committee consisting of Wor. Brothers Horace E. Childs, Oscar F. Frost, Claude L. Allen and Brothers Edward E. Babb, Charles W. Dennett, Alfred H. Eldredge was appointed to consider the petition and report at the October meeting. At the October meeting, Bro. Merton D. Williams read a letter asking for the reccommendation of Wyoming Lodge. The report of the committee was as follows:

To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Members of Wyoming Lodge.

Your committee appointed to look into the matter of the formation of a new lodge in Melrose beg to report that several meetings have been held at which a committee for the petitioners was present to answer such questions as would furnish full information in regard to their request, after which your committee carefully discussed the matter from all angles and return herewith to Wyoming Lodge a full and favorable report and recommend that the request of the petitioners be granted.

Wyoming Lodge has been honored by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts in the appointment and election of many of its members for certain duties and has received in return the loyal support of these members of whom we are justly proud. M. W. Claude L. Allen: Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts 1935-1937.

He first served as Master of Wyoming Lodge in 1917-1918 and as Commander of Hugh de Payens Commandery, Knights Templar, 1918-1919, and advanced through the several offices to that of Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. His service to Masons in Massachusetts and the country include the following:

  • Master, Wyoming Lodge, A. F. & A. M.
  • District Deputy Grand Master 7th Masonic District
  • Grand Representative of Ireland
  • Grand Representative of Sweden
  • Deputy Grand Master
  • Grand Master
  • Commander, Hugh de Payens Commandery, K. T.
  • Sovereign Prince, Giles F. Gates Council, Princes of Jerusalem
  • Active 33°, Supreme Council, A. A. S. R., N. M. J.
  • Deputy of Supreme Council for Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts College, Societas Rosicruciana, Senior Substitute
  • Magus, High Council

Grand Lodge appointments as District Deputies for the Melrose 7th Masonic District include the following:

  • R. W. Samuel O. Dearborn
  • R. W. George E. Fenn
  • R. W. Claude L. Allen
  • R. W. Sanford Crandon
  • R. W. Harry E. Dearborn
  • R. W. Howard G. Todd
  • R. W. Herbert N. Faulkner

Wyoming Lodge also points with pride to many other members who through their interest in Masonry and their zeal for its advancement have served with honor other branches of this great Fraternity. All honor to these men and may their names ever remain a roll of honor for the service which they so ably performed.

It is not necessary to go into the details of the last fifty years. To many of our members its events seem very near, for we have several whose membership covers the entire period. Many members present can recall the faces of Wor. Herbert J. Perry, Master of the 50th Anniversary, Charles Shute, William Wooldridge, Wilfra Swindlehurst, Horace Child, Sanford Crandon, George Damon, Clarence Fernald, Harry E. Dearborn, Herbert Gerrish, R. Walter Terhune, James Davis, Thomas R. Vannah, E. Sumner Bailey, Matthew M. Cox and many others who could be mentioned among those who did the work and made the history of the Lodge in the latter half of the century.

During the last fifty years, our country has passed through the trying scenes of two world wars. Wyoming Lodge members upheld the traditions of the Fraternity and many answered the call to duty. It was interesting to note the number of our young men who volunteered their services to their country and also sought admission at the same time to Wyoming Lodge.

Freemasonry stood for Brotherhood, as it meant a loving word and a helping hand. A multitude of experiences have proven the wisdom of this statement. Noone would attempt to estimate the influence of good exerted by Wyoming Lodge in this community over the space of a century. Members of Wyoming Lodge have always played an important part in the management of our City.

Brethren, this completes a brief history of Wyoming Lodge. Age has brought no infirmity. Time has only increased its vigor and crystalized the hopes and ideals of its early years. I have tried to lead you as rapidly as possible through some of the events that have happened in the space of one hundred years. We now stand at the end of a completed century, gratefully recognizing the hand of one who directs our ways in all our undertakings and believing with confidence that the same Divine Providence will guide and direct us in the years to come. May we face the responsibilities of a new century with the same devotion as our founders, emulating their fidelity, practicing their virtues, and contributing our best efforts for the success of Wyoming Lodge, whose chief purpose is to make mankind better and happier.


From Proceedings, Page 2007-68:

By Rt. Wor. Paul R. Perkins.

Most Worshipful Grand Master, Worshipful Master, Brethren of Wyoming Lodge and Friends:

Fifty years ago was a tremendous occasion in the City of Melrose. To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Masonry in Melrose, a parade was organized on the Sunday before the Celebration. The procession, which consisted of a Knight Templar uniformed escort, the Aleppo Temple Shrine Band, Most Worshipful Grand Master Whitfield W. Johnson, Master and Officers of Wyoming Lodge, Master and Officers from the Melrose and Malden Masonic Districts, High Priest and Officers of Waverly Chapter and Illustrious Master and Officers of Melrose Council, began at the Masonic Hall, went through the town and ended at Memorial Hall. Following the parade, there was a devotion ceremony in Memorial Hall. The regular Communication was held on Wednesday, October 24, 1956. The meeting was opened on the third degree in the First Methodist Church at 6:00 pm with an attendance of nearly 300. The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Whitfield W. Johnson was received at 6:15 pm. There was a dinner at Memorial Hall followed by several speeches, which continued until the closing of the Lodge at 10:00 p.m. On Friday, October 26, 1956, the festivities were continued with an Anniversary Ball held in Memorial Hall.

Masonry in Melrose has stood the test of time. Melrose has gone from a village to a city and has endured many changes over the last fifty years. M. W. Bro. Allen alluded to many landmarks in his address that are no longer present; The Melrose Hospital is now the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Haslam’s Drug Store is now a bank, and the old Melrose High School is now the brand new Melrose Middle School. Freemasonry in Melrose, notwithstanding, still survives and is flourishing.

Over the last fifty years there have been many events of note. Back in the late 1960’s our very own Rt. Wor. Harold E. Mew co-founded the S. M. D. program. This unique program started out in a garage in order to assist people of the local community who were in need of medical equipment at no cost. Through the vision of Rt. Wor. Bro. Mew and the dedication of subsequent Masons, the program has since grown to handling thousands of pieces of equipment, spread out over many states, and has been involved with several international donations. When the restructuring of the Districts took place in 2002, the name of this program was changed to H. E. L. P. (Hospital Equipment Loan Program) and the Lodges from the 4th and 13th Masonic Districts became active participants in the maintenance of this incredible program.

June 5, 1983. Grand Lodge’s 250th celebration included a visit by Grand Master, Most Wor. J. Philip Berquist, for a St. John’s Sunday service at the First United Methodist Church, with Fidelity and Wyoming Lodges combined.

May 31, 1989. Wyoming Lodge held a recognition night to match no other. Wor. William Dias recognized 45 brothers for outstanding contributions to Wyoming Lodge and to Masonry in general. Melrose Assembly of Rainbow performed a Father’s Degree and Melrose Chapter Order of DeMolay performed a Mother’s Degree. Bro. Peter M. Perkins, chairman of the event, distributed the awards with Most Worshipful Albert T. Ames in attendance.

June 2001. Wyoming Lodge gained new members through a merger with Baalbec Lodge. Baalbec Lodge came with much history to complement that of Wyoming. Baalbec Lodge was charted in 1852 and had many notable members over the years. One member has been particularly influential within Wyoming Lodge. Wor. James K. Brayden is the senior Past Master of the Lodge and is the only member to serve both Lodges as Master. The members of Wyoming Lodge are eternally grateful to Wor. James K. Brayden for his service. He has there stood a just and upright Mason, one worthy of our emulation.

Wyoming Lodge has carried on over the years and has served our community well. We have much to be proud of. We have had a very active membership not only in our Lodge but in other Masonic Bodies. The Lodge has raised nearly three thousand Brothers in our history. Fifty years ago the Wyoming Lodge membership was 833 members. The Lodge membership now is 240. Like all Lodges, membership has declined, but in our 150 years, we have never had a year where we did not raise at least one candidate. In fact, this year we will have raised five candidates and have had three new affiliations. Under the leadership of Wor. Pericles Calias, and with the assistance of the officers, Wyoming Lodge has had a fantastic anniversary year. We have built a solid foundation on which to grow our Lodge to its bicentennial and beyond.

Wyoming Lodge has been honored by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts in the appointment and election of many of its members for certain duties and has received in return the loyal support of these members of whom we are justly proud.

  • Grand Master
    • Most Worshipful Joseph Robbins, Illinois
    • Most Worshipful Claude L. Allen, Massachusetts
  • District Deputy Grand Master
    • R. W. Samuel O. Dearborn
    • R. W. John Stalker
    • R. W. Edward G.Graves
    • R. W. George E. Fenn
    • R. W. Claude L. Allen
    • R. W. Sanford Crandon
    • R. W. E. C. Bagley
    • R. W. Harry E. Dearborn
    • R. W. Arnold B. Crosby
    • R. W. Howard G. Todd
    • R. W. Henry M. Carlson
    • R. W. Gustave Schlaug
    • R. W. Herbert N. Faulkner
    • R. W. C. Andrew Wing Jr.
    • R. W. Harold E. Mew
    • R. W. James Sirios
    • R. W. Francis P. Mitrano
    • R. W. David P. Henry
    • R. W. Paul R. Perkins
  • Deputy Grand Master
  • Senior Grand Deacon
    • R. W. George E. Fenn
  • Junior Grand Deacon
    • R. W. Sanford Crandon
  • Junior Grand Steward
    • R. W. Harold E. Mew
  • Grand Steward
    • Wor. Alan C. Brown
  • Grand Sword Bearer
  • Grand Standard Bearer
    • Wor. Walter S. Palmer
  • Henry Price Medal Recipients
  • Joseph Warren Medal Recipients
    • R. W. Sanford Cranden
    • R. W. Harold E. Mew
    • Wor. Benning L. Wentworth
    • Wor. David J. Killam


  • 1858 (Petition to alter meeting night, approved; VI-168)
  • 1866 (Petition to alter meeting location due to fire, approved; VII-138)
  • 1881 (Petition on jurisdiction, 1881-221)
  • 1882 (Petition on jurisdiction, 1881-25)
  • 1912 (Dedication of soldiers' and sailors' monument, 1912-76)



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVII, No. 1, November 1857, Page 6:

A new Lodge was constituted by the Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth, at Melrose, on Monday, the 12th Oct. ult., under the above pretty name. The occasion was one of more than usual interest; and the ceremonies of consecrating the Lodge, installing its officers, and dedicating its new hall, were performed by the M, W. Grand Master, J. T. Heard, Esq., assisted by the Grand Officers, in a very handsome, appropriate and impressive manner. At the conclusion of which, the Grand Master delivered an eloquent and highly practical address, occupying about forty minutes. It was replete with instructive suggestions and wholesome advice, which, if properly regarded, as we feel assured they will be by the Brethren for whose guidance they were more particularly intended, will contribute largely to the prosperity of the Lodge and the welfare of the Institution throughout the Commonwealth. The ceremonies in the Lodge-room having been concluded, the Brethren present were invited to an adjacent hall, where an elegant collation was spread for their refreshment; and to which they were appropriately and eloquently welcomed by the Rev. Brother Dennis, W. Master of the new Lodge. At the proper time, short speeches were made by the Grand Master and several of his officers; when the Grand Lodge returned to the city, feeling that they had spent an agreeable evening for themselves, and, as they trust, a profitable one for Masonry.

Melrose is about five miles from Boston, and is one of the many beautiful and thriving suburban villages which add so much to the attractiveness of the environs of the metropolis. The hall in which the new Lodge is to hold its meetings, has been fitted up with much taste, and though not large, has an air of comfort about it that is not always to be found in rooms of greater pretensions. We wish our Brethren eminent success and unalloyed happiness in their new enterprise.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXII, No. 8, June 1863, Page 249:

Dear Brother Moore — One of the most pleasant Masonic gatherings that it has been my good fortune to witness, occurred at Melrose on the 29th of April last. It was at the dedication of the new Hall of Wyoming Lodge. Before entering upon an account of the evening's entertainment, let me give you a slight description of the Hall and other apartments. The dimensions of the main Hall are 39 by 50 feet, and of sufficient height to correspond; making it commodious and beautifully proportioned. In connection with this Hall, there is a smaller one, to be used for sodality and committee meetings, as occasion may require; a room for preparation, and another for the convenience of the Brethren, suitably furnished. A large banquet hall finishes the suite of apartments. The Brethren of the Lodge have spared no pains or expense in furnishing these apartments, and nothing conducive to the comfort of the members or their visitors, has been omitted. The main Hall has been fitted up in a most beautiful and costly manner; the East, formed by a deep recess, is finished by drapery, arranged after an appropriate and rich design. The chairs for the first three officers, (gifts of individual members,) are elegant in their construction; three pillars, which appear in their appropriate places, are of black walnut, and beautiful in workmanship, the necessary emblems, as well as the ceiling, (painted from designs furnished by a Brother,) produce, under the brilliant light from a large chandelier, a splendid effect; the Settees, or couches, around the Hall, made expressly for the purpose and place, unite ease and elegance in their construction, These different arrangements, together with the rich carpet that covers the platforms and floor, produce a "perfect, beautiful and complete whole." It is, without exception, the finest Hall in the State, for comfort, size and elegance. But how shall I give you an idea of the Dedication, and (he arrangements which had been made by the committee for the pleasure of the Brethren and their guests'! To be folly appreciated the whole should have been witnessed; and those who were present, I think, trill never forget the pleasures of that evening.

"You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,

But the scent of the roses will cling to it still."

So with this — the occasion has passed, but the memory of it will remain in many hearts as long as life itself. The brilliantly lighted Hall, with the different objects brought together in such harmonious contrast; the array of female beauty; the strains of melodious music, from a band stationed in an ante room, formed a scene, for the eye and ear, that is seldom witnessed within the portals of the Lodge.

The ceremonies of Dedication were performed by the Officers of the M. W. Grand Lodge, and I think, if I may be allowed to judge, were performed with more than usual ability. The M. W. William Parkman, Esq., after completing the ceremony of Dedication according to the beautiful ritual of our Order, made some very happy and congratulatory remarks to the Lodge, which were listened to with pleasure, by the intelligent assembly of ladies and Brethren, numbering nearly three hundred. He commented-upon the purposes of oar Institution, in the inculcation of all the social and moral virtues, and closed with a very beautiful illustration, saying —

From the North, hear all men — in the name of Water, pure, refreshing to as all, I dedicate this Hall to the purposes of Friendship. May it be to all the members a place where sacred friendship shall teach all to abrogate self for his fellow; each in his turn helping and being helped — blessing and being blessed. From the South, hear all men — in the name of Fire I solemnly dedicate this Hall to the purpose of Love, and may the fire this day kindled upon its altar, continue to burn as a constant oblation to Deity, and may it warm and stimulate every member to provoke his Brethren to good deeds and virtue; and may that blessed Book of Books that is ever spread upon its altar, be the rule and guide of all our actions. From the East, hear all men - to the promulgation of Truth I solemnly dedicate this Hall — and may this corn which I now scatter (scattering corn on the floor) be emblematical of the truth that shall pour from the East of this Lodge, and may those truths, so scattered, yield abundant increase; some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred fold. From the West, hear all men — in the name of Faith, Hope and Charity, I now solemnly dedicate this Hall, and as I scatter these beautiful flowers (here the Grand Marshal scattered a magnificent bouquet over the floor of the Lodge) upon the common pathway, may it be emblematical of the flowers of Faith, Hope add Charity, this Lodge may constantly spread under the bleeding feet of suffering humanity every where, but more especially to the household of our faith. And finally, may the Great Giver of all good bounteously endow this Lodge with the Corn of Nourishment, the Wine of Refreshment, and the Oil of Joy."

After the ceremonies of Dedication were completed, remarks were made by several Brethren, on the principles of the Institution, and also appropriate to the occasion. A splended Bible, Squsre and Compasses were then presented to the Lodge by Rev. Benjamin F. Boles, in behalf of the ladies, which were accept, ed by the W. Master, Bro. Levi S. Gould, in an appropriate manner.

The Brethren, with their ladies, then formed a procession, and proceeding to
the banquet Hall, partook of a supper, prepared by that well known caterer of
your city, J. B. Smith. The great feature of the table was the profusion of flow
ers, forming a magnificent spectacle, and wafting their perfume upon the air.
After sufficient time had been allowed for refreshment, (the Hall in the mean
time having been arranged for the purpose,) dancing commenced, and the 
small hours of night beheld a brilliant and happy assembly.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXV, No. 4, February 1866, Page 128:

The new and elegant Masonic Hall at Melrose was destroyed by fire on the evening of the 4th of January last. It was one of the finest halls In this State, and had been fitted up at a heavy expense. It was occupied by Wyoming Lodge, Waverly B. A. Chapter, and Hugh de Payens Encampment of Knights Templars. The fire broke out in the lower part of the building, which was occupied for stores, and is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary.

The different Masonic bodies named lost a portion of their regalia and a fine new organ, which had been placed in the hall but a few days before. The entire loss, above Insurance, will not probably exceed four thousand dollars. We understand that the Brethren at Melrose are taking the necessary measures to secure the erection of a building of their own to be appropriated exclusively to Masonic purposes.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXV, No. 9, July 1866, Page 281:


The ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the new Masonic Hall, near Wyoming Station in Melrose, took place on the afternoon of June 25; and, notwithstanding the extreme heat, there was a very good attendance, large numbers of ladies and gentlemen going from Boston and neighboring places to witness the peculiar services incident to such occasions. About three o'clock a procession was formed on Main Street, near Lyceum Hall, in the following order: Detachment of Police; Joseph H. Wait, Chief Marshal; Gilmore's full band; Hugh de Payens Encampment of Knights Templars of Melrose, L. L. Fuller, M. E. G. C.; Wyoming Lodge, Melrose, Daniel Norton, Jr., W. M.; Mt. Vernon Lodge, Malden, J. W. Chapman, W. M.; M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Charles C. Dame, M. W. Grand Master; Detachment of De Molay Encampment of Knights Templars, Boston, William F. Davis, M. E. Grand Commander.

The procession passed through the principal streets to the site of the new hall. Many of the houses were decorated with national colors in honor of the occasion.

The exercises of consecration commenced with the singing of a hymn by a quartette formed for {he occasion; after which the opening exercises by the officers of the Grand Lodge took place according to the customary formula. Prayer was offered by Rev. J. W. Dadmun, the Grand Chaplain, which was followed with the singing of an original hymn, written by Sir Knight J. L. Sullivan.

The inscription on the plate to be deposited under the corner-stone was then read by R. W. Br. John McClellan, Grand Treasurer. A manuscript history of the Masonic Order in Melrose, prepared by Br. L. S. Gould of Melrose, was read by him, and a copy of it deposited in the box. The corner-stone was then put in its proper place with the usual ceremonies, and the services were concluded with the doxology and a benediction. The banquet was an elegant affair. For taste and beauty in its arrangement, in the decorations of the tables, and in the bountiful supply of the luxuries and delicacies with which they were spread, we have never seen it surpassed. It was held under a large tent or marquee, pitched in a vacant grass plat, and comfortably accommodated about eight hundred ladies and gentlemen. The flowers were in great profusion and variety, and were principally from the inexhaustible conservatories of Br. Charles Copeland of Melrose. Four hundred boxes of the finest strawberries the market affords, more than three hundred quarts of ice-cream, and cake without measure, found a ready demand, in addition to the salads and other ordinary accompaniments. The whole of this part of the festivities was under the excellent management of Messrs. Copeland and L. L. Tarbell, and it could not have been improved.

Br. N. E. Bryant of Hugh de Payens Encampment presided at the tables, and welcomed the guests in brief and appropriate terms; and at the proper time short speeches were made by Brothers Bryant, Dame, Norton, Parkman, Dadmun, and one or two others.

The work upon the temple was commenced on the 9th of May, and the progress has been most satisfactory. It will be one hundred and six feet in length, fifty-nine feet in width at the centre, and fifty-one feet at the ends, being somewhat larger than the old hall. It will be forty-eight feet in height to the plates, and will be covered with an Italian roof. The hall, located in the second story, is to be twenty-one feet in height. The lower story is to be finished for stores, and fifty-three feet of the basement, at the south end of the building, will be used for the same purpose. The walls are to be built of concrete masonry, resting on granite under-pinning, and the outside will be covered with mastic. Messrs. Ephraim Moulton and Thomas Hawkins of Melrose are the contractors for the mason work, and Messrs. Tibbetts and Hollenback of Boston are employed on the carpenter's work. The architect is Mr. John Stevens. The building will cost about $30,000, and it is expected that it will be completed in November next. It will be used by the Wyoming Lodge, Waverley Royal Arch Chapter, and the Hugh de Payens Encampment of Knights Templars of Melrose.



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVI, No. 7, May 1867, Page 204:

The new and more than beautiful hall just erected by the brethren at Melrose was formally dedicated by the M.W. Grand Lodge of this State on Wednesday, the 24th of April, ult. The ceremonies were witnessed by a large concourse of brethren and ladies from the city and neighboring towns, and were concluded by one of the most elegant and splendid banquets we have ever participated in. It is sufficient, perhaps, to say of it that it was furnished by Messrs. Copeland & Tarbell, the popular and gentlemanly lessees of the lower stories of the new Masonic Temple in this city. It was truly a recherche affair, and altogether worthy of the high reputation of those brethren in a line of business in which they have attained distinguished eminence. The usual congratulatory addresses and speeches were made in the course of the evening, and the occasion was one full of enjoyment.

We are indebted to a city contemporary for the following description of the new hall: —

"Those who remember the destruction by fire on the night of Jan. 11, 1866, of the beautiful hall of the Waverly Masonic Association, in Melrose, will hail with delight the announcement that the loss has been made good by the erection of one of the finest masonic assembly halls in the State. The calamity which deprived the association of its old hall near the Melrose depot was indeed a sad one, but the enterprising members of the Waverly brotherhood looked upon it as only one of the many misfortunes which they seek to repair, and before the embers of the conflagration had been quenched the initiatory measures had been taken toward the erection of new and more commodious quarters. In alluding to the new structure, it would, perhaps, be well to say that Masonry in Melrose had its birth in 5856, according to the Masonic calendar, when Wyoming Lodge was instituted. During the winter of 5862-63 Waverly Royal Arch Chapter was formed there, and both Lodge and Chapter worked to such a successful degree that Hugh de Payens Encampment became prominent and honorable. All was then in the full tide of prosperity, Lodge, Chapter, and Encampment, when the conflagration alluded to destroyed their beautiful hall and nearly all the property it contained. Instead of building upon the site of the old hall, an eligible location was decided upon about half a mile or more distant, near the Wyoming Railroad Station, on the line of the Boston and Maine Railroad.

The land upon which the building is erected was given by Brs. E. F. Sears and J. E. Westgate, and Messrs. W. P. Sargent and D. W. Wilcox; operations to build were commenced in May, 1866, and on the 25th of June, the corner-stone was laid under the direction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Apart from its usefulness to the Waverly Association, the building ranks among the most imposing and neatest in the town. Situated on a slight eminence, it is itself prominent, and from any portion of it can be commanded an almost unobstructed view of the surrounding country. The material is concrete, the style Italian, the roof slate, and the finish of the whole is an admirable imitation of green sand-stone, relieved here and there with blocks of darker hue. The. entrance from the street to the hall proper is spacious and convenient. The first or street floor affords ample accommodations for three first-class stores, as well as a large tenement for the residence of the janitor of the building. The second story, which is reached from the entrance proper by means of a short flight of stairs loading to an extensive corridor, is given up wholly to masonic purposes. Besides the coat and hat room, the smoking and waiting room, and the reception-room, it also comprises a banquet-hall forty-seven by thirty-five feet, together with kitchen, pantry, &c, and the Encampment armory, the latter furnishing accommodations for upward of two hundred members. All of these are uniformly fitted up with black walnut furniture and ornaments, and the walls are most tastefully and modestly frescoed. The third, or upper story, is probably the principal or most attractive portion of the building. The hall or corridor at the top of the stairs is elaborately finished, and furnished with a large case which is to contain in a displayed form the banners of the different Orders. On this third floor are two halls — one designated as the Waverly, and the other as the Wyoming, the latter being the largest and most elaborately furnished and fitted. The Waverly is forty-seven by twenty-three, is finely frescoed, and beautifully furnished, and a few repaired settees here are the only relics of the hall destroyed by fire. The other hall, the Wyoming, is sixty-four by forty-seven feet, and, in its furnishing and fitting up, every thing has been supplied which skill, taste, and a liberal expenditure of money could command. The fresco decorations by Mr. Henry Collenburg of New York, are brilliant, almost dazzling; the finishing in black walnut is rich, particularly the canopy (manufactured by Br. W. Toussaint of this city) at the head of the hall, which is also decorated with a couple of gilt figures. On the walls are large and beautiful fresco representations of Faith, Hope, and Charity; and on one side of the hall is a first-class twenty-five hundred dollar organ, presented to the Association by its President, Mr. Daniel Russell. Another conspicuous feature of this hall is a chandelier of forty burners, the gift of Mr. George W. Heath, one of the Directors. The carpets are all of the best material, and those in some of the rooms were specially imported.

The whole building is heated by steam, and the other arrangements and conveniences are equally modern and comfortable. The cost of the building will be about $50,000, and some $10,000 or $15,000 more has been expended in fitting and furnishing it. The interests of the Association in the erection of the building have been guarded by such men as Mr. Russell, Lorin L. Fuller, and F. A. Messinger, and in consequence of their attention to duty as the Building Committee, the Waverly Association will find much of which to be proud and thankful.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XI, No. 1, October 1915, Page 19:

Recent improvements to the Masonic Temple at Wyoming, Mass., have caused some inquiries regarding the history of the building which is more imposing and much grander in appearance than the usual Masonic edifices of a half century ago that was erected outside of the large towns and cities of the State.

A local paper has published an account of the laying of the cornerstone, June 25, 1866, as given in the Boston Courier of that date from which we select the following information.

"The principal officers of the Grand Lodge at that time were: Charles C. Dame, Grand Master; William Sutton, Senior Grand Warden; Wyzeman Marshall, Junior Grand Warden; John McLellan, grand treasurer; Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary; John W. Dadmun, Grand Chaplain and W. D. Stratton, Grand Marshal. The ceremony was preceded by a procession of Hugh De Payens Commandery, K. T., of Melrose; Wyoming Lodge of Melrose; Mt. Vernon Lodge of Malden; and the Grand Lodge. After the ceremony of laying the stone was finished, a banquet was served under a mammoth tent.

After all had been comfortably seated, the assembly were called to order by Daniel Norton, Jr., W. M. of Wyoming Lodge, who, in an appropriate and brief speech, introduced Sir Knight N. B. Bryant of Hugh de Payens Encampment, whose speech consisted in an invitation to the company to fall to and partake of the good things set before them; this was most promptly complied with and one hour passed very pleasantly and rapidly in attending to the wants of inner man, as well as in social intercourse and intermingling of the brethren with the fairer sex, during the latter part of this time.

Addresses appropriate to the occasion were made by Grand Master Charles C. Dame, Past Grand Master William Parkman, L. S. Fuller, commander of Hugh De Payens Commandery, K. T., (then called Encampment) and Rev. John W. Dadmun.

Everything during the day passed off most satisfactorily, for which too much praise cannot be awarded to the efficiency and skill displayed by Chief Marshal Jos. H. Waitt and his aids in carrying out the duties of their respective stations, and also to the Committee of Arrangements, for the excellent manner in which they attended to the management of all the preliminaries and details.

In the evening the brethren of Melrose and those from abroad, accepted the generous invitation of Sir Knight Daniel Russell, and repaired to his elegant mansion near the Wyoming depot, where a second sumptuous repast was served and where the twilight hours were spent in lounging about his spacious grounds and listening to the dulcet strains of Gilmore's band as they were thrown out upon the evening air, and listening to the feast of reason and the flow of soul, from the lips of Hon. E. C. Baker, of Medford; Hon. E. L. Norton, of Charlestown; Hon. N. B. Bryant, of Melrose; Thomas Winship, Esq., of Reading, and other distinguished gentlemen. The charming music and the speaking drew quite a large crowd together, and the scene presented was worthy a painter's brush, the pale rays of the moon bringing fully to mind the poet's words,

"If thou wouldst view Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moonlight."


From New England Craftsman, Vol. II, No. 1, October 1906, Page 21:

The Fiftieth Anniversary of Wyoming Lodge, Melrose, Mass., was celebrated in ample form September 9 and 10. The exercises on Sunday the 9th were of a devotional character and were held in the Congregational Church where a sermon was delivered by Rev. Brother Edward A. Horton, Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

The Rev. Thomas Sims, pastor of tne Congregational Church; the Rev. Paul Sterling, rector of Trinity Church ; the Rev. D. M. Lockrow, Pastor of the Highland Baptist Church, and the Rev. Charles H. Stackpole of Boston, all members of the lodge, took part in the exercises.

The music for the occasion was furnished by the lodge chorus, and the program was one of the finest ever heard in the city.

On Monday evening September 10th the anniversary exercises were continued with a grand banquet and literary exercises in the City Auditorium which was an occasion of great interest to the Masons of Melrose. The hall in which the banquet was served was handsomely decorated with flags and bunting, potted plants and flowers, electric lights, banners, etc.

After an informal reception, in the city offices, the company to the number of 450, proceeded to the large hall above, and gathered about the tables, which were laid on the floor and in the balconies. The divine blessing was invoked by Rev. Dr. Sims. At the head table were seated, the speakers of the evening, and also Brother Rev. Oliver A. Roberts; Wor. Masters B. J. Hinds of King Cyrus Lodge, Stoneham; G. A. Judd of Palestine, Everett; Joseph Wiggin, Mt. Vernon, A. M. Harris, Converse, both of Maiden; W. P. Shepard, Golden Rule of Wakefield; W. Herman P. Elhert, Germania Lodge, Boston; W. Harry P. Ballard, Dist. Dep. Grand Marshal; W. Frederic L. Putnam, Grand Lecturer, and Bro. R. Watson Emerson, one of the members, who joined in 1856. Several of these were accompanied by their ladies. The Past Masters of Wyoming Lodge and their ladies were seated at one table, and the present officers and ladies at another. Among the returning Past Masters, were Charles C. Dike, 1873-75, Charles H. Edmonds, 1878-79, and Elisha B. Sears, 1893-94. Among others present were Rev. D. M. Wilson of Northfield, Mass., the guest of Brother G. C. Stantial, and Fred Bedlow of Dallas, Texas, the guest of Brother Fred L. Putnam.

After a pleasant hour at the tables, Wor. Master H J. Perry welcomed the company and introduced Hon. George R. Jones as toast-master. M. Wor. G. M., J. Albert Blake responded for the Grand Lodge and congratulated Wyoming lodge on its 50th birthday and also eulogized the principles of Masonry.

His Honor, Mayor Charles J. Barton, tendered the welcome of the city and stated his belief that Wyoming Lodge had greatly aided the past half century in making Melrose better, if not bigger and busier.

"The Commonwealth" was responded to by Hon. William M. Olin, secretary of state and also P. M. of Columbian Lodge of Boston.

Hon. Levi S. Gould, Past Master and Historian

Worshipful Brother, Hon. Levi S. Gould, who has served his lodge in two different terms as Master was warmly greeted as he rose to respond to'the toast "Our Historian." We quote the following from the closing words of his address:

"While we justly honor our institution for what it has accomplished for the preservation of the arts and sciences in the dim ages of the past, let us realize this fact, that no ennobling thought and no inspiring aspiration taught in masonry, is superior to the teachings of the church of Christ, because Masonry is in no sense a religion but only a help-mate thereof. Therefore encourage the opinions of none who would place his lodge on a higher place than that of the church; indeed it should be considered subservient thereto in its every attitude for the moral uplift and spiritual enlightenment of mankind. It cannot be denied that a powerful fascination attracts and holds us to the secret work of this fraternity. Influenced by novel and agreeable surroundings, lofty motives and practices beyond reproach the charm is rarely broken, but waxes stronger in those holy bonds of friendship which are severed only at the portals of the grave. Amid such surroundings your "historian" has seen 50 happy years pass gaily by to disappear in the black darkness of oblivion, but they have left a train of light and hope and confidence behind to illumine the joyful pilgrim, as he girds his loins afresh to reach another station in the pathway of life. Faithful then to the principles of charity, which are reciprocal love; faithful to the dictates of conscience, which is to render unto God, and unto all men their just due; faithful to every duty inculcated here, may we pass on to that reward which awaits us all at the hands of our heavenly Judge."

R. W. Walter F. Medding, D. D. G. M., responded for the Seventh Masonic District and the toast of "Fifty Years Ago" brought to his feet Brother Nathaniel Hobbs, the only surviving charter member of the lodge. Brother Hobbs showed he had not forgotten his old time gallantry as he complimented the ladies as the "flower and beauty of Melrose."

Wyoming Lodge issued, in connection with this celebration, a very finely designed souvenir of the occasion. It contains among other interesting matter, large pictures of Wor. Bro. Joseph S. Dennis, the first Worshipful Master 1856-1S58; of the present Wor. Master Bro. Herbert J. Perry; of the Masonic Temple and a large group picture of tne present officers of Wyoming Lodge; also smaller pictures of the 24 past masters of whom 14 are now living.

The present officers of the lodge are:- Herbert J. Perry, W. M. ; Charles M. Shute, S. W.: W. Woodridge, J. W.; Frank W. Foster, Treas.; George C. Stantial, Sec.; Oscar F. Frost, M. ; Rev. Paul Sterling, Chaplain; G. E. Babson, S. D.; K. T. Grant, J. D.; W. L. Swindlehurst, S. S.; H. E. Child, J. S.; Claude E. Allen, I. S. ; Daniel Russell, Organist; J. P. Weston, Asst. Organist; Kdward C. Gould, Tyler. The trustees are Daniel Russell, Chairman; Harry Hunt, Sidney H. Buttrick, Treas.; Levi S. Gould, W. P. Sargent, W. A. Waterhouse, H. E. Child.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 7, April 1908, Page 261:

Burning of a Mortgage

Wor. Charles N. Shute

Interesting and enjoyable exercises were held in the spacious apartments of Wyoming Lodge, Melrose, cm the evening of March 16. It was the occasion of the burning of the six thousand dollar mortgage and note. The sixty-thousand dollar property now stands free and clear of all debt, in the name of Wyoming Lodge, A. F. & A. M.

The large Lodge-room was provided with long tables at which 300 Brethren sat down and partook of one of Dill's popular banquets. After the feasting, the Worshipful Master, Charles N. Shute, introduced the post-prandial exercises by burning the mortgage and note and by introducing Wor. Harry Hunt as toastmaster. Several Brethren were introduced who made remarks appropriate to the occasion, among whom were Worshipful Brother Oliver A. Roberts, Levi L. Gould, Frederic L. Putnam and the District Deputy Grand Master, Rt. Wor. Harry P. Ballard. The Brethren were very enthusiastic during the exercises and reverently stood, while the venerable papers were being transmitted into carbon.

Vocal and instrumental music added to the interest of the occasion.

Melrose Masonic Temple

Melrose is a growing city; Wyoming Lodge is free from all debt; its membership is largely composed of active business men; and the future of Wyoming Lodge seems to be assured as abundant in its peace, harmony and prosperity.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XI, No. 7, April 1916, Page 239:

Wyoming Lodge, Melrose, is a live body socially as well as fraternally, and the courtesy of the members to the ladies is proverbial, many delightful occasions having been tendered them in the past. The annual ladies' night was given on Wednesday, March 29 and it was one of the most successful ever given by the lodge. At 6.30 o'clock a banquet was served in the spacious lodge room, covers being laid for 335 people, all of which were turned and many other tickets were desired which of necessity were not available, on account of lack of room. The members, and their ladies with a limited number of specially invited guests marched to the room to the strains of music by a trio consisting of Miss Stella Durrell, piano; Miss Anna Golden, violin; and Miss Mildred Ripley, cello, and many expressions of surprise and delight were heard as the handsomely decorated apartments and the attractive tables were seen. The room was elaborately decorated with potted plants, cut flowers and a special decoration of flags furnished by Bro. Rufus D. Kilgore which he subsequently presented to the trustees of the Masonic Temple to be cared for by them and to be used by the bodies meeting there as occasion may occur.

Rev. Bro. Thomas Sims invoked the divine blessing, after which an hour was devoted to the full enjoyment of the good things provided by the caterer, which pleasure was much enhanced by the spirited music of the trio. When all had been satisfied in this particular, Bro. Sanborn Crandon, Jr., Junior Warden of the lodge, superintended the removal of the tables, and in a trice the room was converted into a concert hall and the audience comfortably seated to enjoy the high class entertainment which followed. Worshipful Master Horace E. Child briefly welcomed his guests, and presented Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, who received a very demonstrative welcome. Opening his remarks with a group of singularly appropriate anecdotes he closed with one of his well worded and earnest speeches which are always so full of inspiration to the craft and so characteristic of the enthusiasm of the most worshipful Grand Master. No words were needed to tell the speaker how much his presence and his voice were appreciated, as this was apparent by the hearty applause with which he was honored as he took his seat.

A musical program with readings followed. It was one of the most pleasing social events ever given in the Temple and called forth expressions of pleasure on all sides.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XV, No. 12, September 1920, Page 373:

The historical address delivered by Brother George R. Jones at the celebration of the one thousandth communication of Wyoming Lodge, A. F. & A. M., will be read with interest by the Masons of this vicinity, and we have pleasure in reproducing it herewith:

Brethren of Wyoming Lodge: —

I have felt it a great honor to be asked by our Worshipful Master to deliver a brief historical address as part of the exercises of this, our One Thousandth Communication. Certainly it is fitting to pause a few moments during the course of this busy evening, when we are so proudly welcoming our brothers who have served their country with such honor to themselves and to us in the Civil, Spanish-American, and World Wars, to pay our tribute of respect and affection to the brothers of days gone by, who in self devotion, courage, faith, and vision quite nearly approaching the sublime, laid in the foundations of the magnificent structure of Wyoming Lodge. The preliminary meeting, with five brethren present, was held in the home of Rev. Joseph S. Dennis, afterward first Master of the Lodge, on the evening of July 28, 1856. The second meeting was held in an ante-room of the old Lyceum Hall, on August 2, following with six present, including William Bogle. I pause to speak a word for Brother Bogle, a very significant citizen in his day, who six years before, when the town was incorporated, had given to it the name "Melrose," a name dear to him from old association. He had taken his Entered Apprentice Degree in Campbelltown Masonic Lodge, in his native Scotland, before coming to America. On becoming an American citizen he took all his degrees and w'as raised in St. Andrews Lodge, became a member of Columbian Lodge and a charter member ol Wyoming Lodge, and a member of St. Andrews Royal Arch Chapter and Boston Commandery in 1850.

At this meeting August 2, 1856, it was unanimously voted that the word "Wyoming" be chosen as the name of the Lodge.

In this connection I have been anxious to solve the mystery surrounding the origin of this word, and have spent some time in the study. Worshipful Brother Levi S. Gould has told me that he never knew just where the word originated or its meaning. Our historian, Mr. E. H. Goss, in his History of Melrose, makes no attempt at solution, neither have I found any of our old residents who had any knowledge of it. The clue is found in visualizing the topography of the territory now comprised within the limits of our city, as it was known to the Indians and early settlers.

This reveals to us extensive plains covered with wild grass extending betw'een the hills from the marshes at Malden well to the north of Ell pond. As appears upon our city seal, this territory was called "Pond Fielde" as early as 1638, and letters from settlers to friends in England, printed in Corey's "History of Malden," speak of the Indians burning over these plains at certain periods, the result as one writer says, "making the country very beautiful and commodious."

Comparing our Wyoming with other Wyomings in different parts of the country we notice a similar topography. The State of Wyoming is made up of great grazing plains between the hills. The beautiful section known as Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania is singularly like our ow'n. It was the scene of Washington's first military exploit in 1754 and later in 1778 of the Wyoming massacre, a tragedy creating deep feeling at the time even in England, and immortalized by the Scottish poet, Campbell, in his very popular ballad, "Gertrude of Wyoming," published in 1806.

I quote the opening verse of this ballad:

"On Susquehanna's side, fair Wyoming!
Although the wild flower on thy ruin'd wall,
And roofless homes, a sad remembrance bring
Of what thy gentle people did befall;
Yet thou wert once the loveliest land of all,
Sweet land, delightful Wyoming."

Pursuing the study further I find that the Indian name for these wild plains was Wauwama," to which if they spoke of great plains was added "maugh." "Wauwama maugh" or "Great Plains" was then the Indian name of Melrose, which the early explorers would easily shorten into Wyoming.

The charter members of Wyoming Lodge performed an act of greater appropriateness than they, so far as any record shows, were aware of in perpetuating this beautiful and historic name. Subsequent meetings were held until the final arrangements were perfected, and on August 28, 1856, a dispensation was issued by the M. W. Grand Lodge to Bros. J. S. Dennis, S. W. Nichols, S. P. Barrett, L. L. Fuller, Wm. Bogle, J. Phelps, W. H. Morss, F. Bugbee, N. Hobbs, John Bowditch, and H. E. Robinson, empowering them to convene under the name of Wyoming Lodge, and to initiate, craft, and raise Masons. It was a day of small and crude beginnings. The Lodge room was in the Lyceum Hall building, the first business meeting under the dispensation being convened September 10, 1856. The first meetings of the Lodge were held under adverse circumstances, empty nail kegs being used for chairs in the East, West and South, while the brethren sat on the bare floor.

This humble origin of Wyoming Lodge has ever been proudly referred to; surely it was not cradled in the lap of luxury.

At this point I wish to quote from what seems to me a model report, having to do with furnishing the Lodge room, made by Brother John Bowditch, later one of the Eight charter members. The letter from which I quote is addressed to Brother Levi S. Gould, and reads as follows:

"Brother Gould:

"At the last meeting we held in the attic of the old Lyceum Hall, on Main street, sitting on nail kegs, a committee w'as chosen to see what it would cost to furnish and fit up the hall and ante-room for Masonic purposes, and to report the next Wednesday evening. I was chairman of the committee. We concluded to go ahead and furnish the hall. At my own expense I had a carpenter make the platforms, and I also bought the carpets of Mr. Tenney, over the Boston & Maine Railroad. On my order, Beal and Hooper made the desks, Mr. Carrie the canopy, Mr. Marden the shades and draperies, and Mr. Spaulding furnished the chandelier and lights. I was stuck on the jewels, but happened to remember that Bro. Thomas Pratt of Reading had in his possession the jewels of the old Reading Lodge, Good Samaritan, which he kept when the charter was surrendered in anti-Masonic times. He let me have them, I giving a receipt for safe keeping.

"On the Wednesday evening following, I was called upon in the anteroom for my report by Wor. Master Dennis. Taking the key of the hall and opening the door, I said, 'This Worshipful Master is my report.'

A spirit like this meant an assured success. Before the dispensation period had expired, on October 12, 1857, Wyoming Lodge was duly constituted and received its charter from the Grand Lodge, the following being named as charter members: Brothers J. S. Dennis, Francis Bugbee, Wm. Bogle, H. E. Robinson, J. Bowditch, W. H. Morss, S. F. Barrett, and Nath'l Hobbs. The Lodge was formally dedicated on this date. After five years of prosperity it became necessary to secure more spacious accommodations, and a lease for five years of the upper story of the original Waverly building, opposite the Melrose depot, was entered into with the owners, Messrs. John G. and David L. Webster. The rooms were fitted up with the most costly equipment, and with great elegance and taste. They were solemnly dedicated by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Wm. Parkman, M. W. Grand Master, on the evening of April 29, 1863.

It is interesting to note that the name Waverley, perpetuated in Waverly Royal Arch chapter chartered September 30, 1863, appears to have come from the association of David L. Webster, and Wm. Bogle, who were two of a committee of three appointed by the moderator of the town meeting in March, 1850, and empow'ered to report an appropriate name for the new town. Mr. Bogle perpetuated the name of his beloved Melrose, immortalized by Sir Walter Scott. Mr. Webster named his new building, then the finest in the town and on practically the same lines as the present building from Sir Walter Scott's masterpieces, the Waverley novels. Wyoming lodge now entered upon a career of great success. Many true and good men sought admission to its rights and benefits. The country was torn with Civil War, the perpetuity of the Union trembled in the balance. Masonry seems to have made a peculiar and profound appeal in that day just as it has in these recent years. Hugh de Payens Encampment was chartered and consecrated February 14, 1886, in Freemason's Hall, Boston. Lodge, Chapter and Encampment were now in the full tide of success and prosperity, and Masonry in Melrose seemed to have reached the zenith of its power when sudden disaster overtook and nearly crushed it. Thursday evening, January 11, 1866, the Waverley Building was burned to the ground. Only the jewels, a part of the working implements of each body, and the records were saved. All else was destroyed.

I pause a moment for a word of tribute to Brother George C. Stantial, who had been chosen the Secretary of the Lodge in 1864, and who at this time entered the building at the risk of his life, after it had been declared unsafe, and everybody forbidden admission. Disregarding the order, he rushed in and succeeded in reaching the safe in which the records were kept, including the first volume, w'hich 1 hold in my hand, containing the original by-laws, and carried out all the records to safety. During the first year of Bro. Stantial's incumbency of his office he w'as absent from the Lodge meetings on only three occasions. Afterwards, for the more than forty years he held the office, he never missed a meeting, a record unparalleled and unapproached.

The hospitality of Mount Vernon Lodge, Malden, was accepted for the time being. Considerable controversy arose as to the location of the new Masonic Temple, many preferring the old site opposite the Melrose depot. This present lot was the free gift of Brother E. F. Sears and J. E. Westgate and Messrs. W. P. Sargent and D. W. Wilcox, their generosity apparently deciding the issue.

I have before me a very interesting volume, the first scrap book kept by Mr. George H. Dearborn, Editor of the Melrose Free Press; and the account therein of the laying of the corner stone of Masonic Temple, June 25, 1866, is the first regular newspaper work that he did as correspondent of the Boston Courier. From this account we learn that the ceremonies were witnessed by the largest assemblage ever drawn together in Melrose. Several Lodges and Encampments were represented in the procession which was headed by Gilmore's Band. I regret to notice that the heat of the day caused the succumbing of faithful John Bowditch, before referred to, and now the standard bearer of Hugh de Payens Encampment. He became unconscious and powerful restoratives had to be applied. I have also here the copy kept by Mr. Dearborn of the original History of Masonry in Melrose prepared by Brother L. S. Gould and placed in the sealed box under the corner stone. I gather from Mr. Dearborn's account that although the day was hot the brethren did not go hungry. Describing the dinner in Yale's Mammoth tent he says: "After all had been seated the assembly was called to order by Daniel Norton, Jr., W. M. of Wyoming Lodge, who introduced Sir Knight N. B. Bryant of Hugh de Payens Encampment, whose speech consisted in an invitation to fall to and partake of the good things set before them, the invitation being most promptly complied with. At the close of an hour Sir Knight Bryant, called the company to silence, and after making an eloquent speech in which he alluded to the rosebuds of creation, the ladies before him, concluded by introducing Charles C. Dame, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge."

Further on Mr. Dearborn says: "In the evening the brethren of Melrose and those from abroad accepted the invitation of Sir Knight Daniel Russell, and repaired to his elegant mansion near the Wyoming depot, where a second sumptuous repast was served up, and where the tw'ilight hours were spent in lounging about the spacious grounds and listening to the dulcet strains of Gil-more's band as they were throw'n out upon the evening air, and to the feast of reason and flow of soul from distinguished guests. The charming music and the speaking drew a large crow'd, and the scene presented was worthy of a painter's brush, the pale rays of the moon bringing fully to mind the poet's words:

"If thou wouldst view Melrose aright,
Go visit it by pale moonlight."

The description by Mr. Dearborn of the dedication of the completed building, Monday, April 24, 1867, is very elaborate. The cost with furnishings was approximately $50,000. For many years it was acknowledged to be the finest Masonic Temple in New England, even now unsurpassed in dignity, and the Mecca of every Mason in the country visiting Boston. Let us remember that at this time the population of Melrose as less than one thousand people, and then pay our fitted tribute to the courage, faith and vision of the men who made our Masonic Temple possible. The largest subscribers were Wyoming Lodge, $3,000; Waverley R. A. Chapter, $1,000; Daniel Russell, G. W. Heath, Chas. Copeland, each $1500; C. B. Bryant, John Hill, F. A. Messenger, John Botume, Cyrus Wakefield, each $1,000. There were several subscribers of $500, including S. O. Dearborn, father of George H. Dearborn, and S. S. Houghton. In addition to these subscriptions there were numerous costly gifts as seen by the following descriptions: "The principal hall is called Wyoming Hall and is superbly furnished. For elegance, taste, capacity and convenience, it will rival any similar hall in the country. The ceiling is slightly arched and covered with beautiful fresco work. The centre piece being a circle of back ground dotted with golden stars. 'The carpets are the richest that could be obtained, and were imported fox this special purpose. The hall is entered from the West, and the space between the doors is occupied by a large painting representing the ruins of the Temple. On the South side are three paintings, the centre of which represents Faith, and on either side of this are the outer and inner doors of the Temple. On the North side is a fine organ the body of which is placed in the wing of the building. On the left of the organ is a painting representing the Brazen' Pillars, and on the right a painting in which the Five Orders of Architecture are shown. At the east end on the left of the chair in the "East" is a painting "John the Baptist" and "John the Evangelist," and on the right "Hope" and "Charity" are represented. Over the chair in the "East" is a black walnut canopy, one of the finest pieces of workmanship in the country. It is surmounted with the letter "G" having golden rays diverging in every direction. Below' this on either side are two gilded statues of children. The other furniture in the room is of superior quality and was made by M. W. Toussaint of Boston. The organ cost $2500, and was presented by Daniel Russell. It was made by Messrs. Hammill of Cambridge. The Chandelier, which is an immense bronze casting, has forty burners. The globes of w'hich are engraved with Masonic emblems, cost $1,000, and is the gift of G. W. Heath. The chair for the "East" cost $400, and is the gift of F. A. Messenger. The other two were presented by S. S. Houghton and L. G. Coburn. The marble face clock was presented by Chas. Copeland. The frescoing of the rooms cost $3000, and is the work of Mr. Collingburg of Hoboken, N. J. The Masonic Temple will be the home of Wyoming Lodge, 100 members; Waverley Royal Arch Chapter, 200 members; Hugh de Payens Encampment, 150 members; and a new' association called The Melrose Council of Select Royal Super-Excellence." The account also contains a description of the other rooms including the armory for the Encampment. "The floor of which is laid with alternate strips of black walnut and maple, and in the centre under the chandelier various kinds of wood are inlaid, the design representing a cross." I ought here to mention the magnificently carved outer doors on the ground floor which were a gift in more recent years of Bro. Washburn Emery, who became a Mason late in life, not long before his death.

And now Worshipful Master and Brothers, I have taken in this recital all the time that can be spared from the exercises of a busy evening. We have reverently removed from their niches a few plain, noble urns in which are enshrined the memory of the brothers Who with large vision and deep underlying faith founded this Lodge and laid the foundation of its imposing superstructure; for a few moments reverently brushed away the dust, and now place them back in their abiding places there to remain until on some future occasion they may be taken down again.

This memory is bright with the radiance of an assured immortality, and over it the grave has no power. Underlying all is the great principle that sacrifice is essential to the on-going of civilization and the development of all human enterprise, whether it be of individuals or organizations. It is fitting that the one thousandth communication of Wyoming Lodge should come in the year we are celebrating the 300th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims. I never felt the deep meaning of their sacrifice as when at the close of an August afternoon I walked through the town of Delfthaven in old Holland; the brick-paved streets arched with great elms, the low browed houses with their tile roofs green with moss, the blackened walls crumbling with age, and stood upon the little stone pier from which the Mayflower received her precious freight. Compare the scene of their landing in December on the wintry, cheerless, and inhospitable shores of Massachusetts Bay, with that which greets the returning traveller as he comes into New York past the Statue of Liberty; a scene the overpowering immensity of which is equalled nowhere else in all the world, a scene which quickens the heart beat and brings a great surge of patriotic feeling.

Back of it all is the heroic sacrifice of the men and women on the bleak shore at Plymouth in pitiless December, in pain, travail, and poverty laying the foundations on which has been reared the majestic fabric of the United States of America.

So in the background of the radiant Christianity which is the only hope of our civilization is the manger cradle of Bethlehem and the cross of Calvary.

So in the background of the great material prosperity of Wyoming Lodge, is the picture of the privation, narrow circumstance, faith, sacrifice and vision of its founders.

The height of material prosperity mav not be the greatest period in the life of nations, men, or organizations. With its appeal to ease and luxury it is rather the period of greatest danger. Greece was not so great at the height of the glory of its art and literature, as in the hour of its distress, when its little army at Thermopylae flung itself on the host of Persian invaders. One of the greatest periods in American history is the winter at Valley Forge w'hen the little army of Washington became so reduced, that the crust of the snow was reddened by the blood from their ill-clad feet. Then the true heroism of America, and the genius of her great commander shone forth resplendent.

In this crisis of civilization a peculiar duty is laid upon every member of Wyoming Lodge. The true end of Masonry is the development of good men and true, always on the level, faithful, law abiding, patriotic, God fearing. When ancient Rome was in the height of its greatness, the resistless on-going of its civilization Was symbolized by the sacred fire constantly burning on the altar of Vesta. When that fire went out its greatness was gone forever, and its civilization crumbled into ruin. So will it be with our civilization, unless we keep the sacred fire of duty and service constantly burning upon the altar of a patriotic faith. The Past is as nothing, all its hard battle and dear bought triumphs, unless w'e by steadfast emulation reproduce it in the life of today.




1856: District 3

1857: District 11

1867: District 2 (Charlestown)

1872: District 17 (Woburn)

1883: District 7 (Lynn)

1911: District 7 (Malden)

1927: District 7 (Melrose)

2003: District 4


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