History of St. John's Lodge 22 F. & A. M.

 

 

 


Undoubtedly, planning for our Lodge started in the late 1700ís since the first charter was requested on September 3, 1800. Grand Lodge lost the first petition and a second was requested on November 18, 1801.

1802-February 20th, received charter as # 90, and on June 2, 1802, the Lodge was duly organized. We approved Friendship Lodge No 118. From June 2, 1802 to December 31, 1802 there were 39 who petitioned for membership. Of these 21 were accepted, 13 withdrawn and 5 actions was deferred. During this period, degrees were conferred on 17 candidates. The Lodge first met in the Garret (third floor) of St. Johnís Tavern on June 2, 1802. The building is still standing. The Lodge opened at 2:00 p.m. or at the will of the Master, and often continued well into the night hours. For many years it was a common practice for members to borrow funds from the Lodge, and often petition fees were covered by notes redeemed at a later date.

1803-Mrs. St. Johnís, wife of the Master, paid $2.75 for care of the rooms for the year. The Lodge records show 57 members.

1804- Purchased articles necessary for conduct of Lodge for $40.00. Celebrated St. Johnís Day with Franklin Lodge.

1805-A Brother was suspended for three months on conviction of intoxication. On February 17th, St. Johns Mark Master Mason Lodge No. 26 was established. W:. Bro. St. Johns paid a shilling a night for keeping fires and tiler paid 75 cents per meeting for tiling. $2.25 paid to clean lodge for the year and raised $3.00 next year. Hired a lecturer for $60.00 and $30.00 for apparatus.

1806-Spitting boxes were purchased. We approved formation of Rising Sun Lodge in Northumberland.

1808-Brother was brought to trial for having sat in another Lodge with an Indian. Offending Brother suspended for several weeks.

1809-Voted to charge Bros. Refreshed with liquor six pence; those refreshed with eatables, 1 pence: and that eatables were not to be served exception orders of W.M. or J.W, or vote of the Lodge.

1811- Approved petition to establish Luzerne Lodge and lent them $100.00.

1814-Lodge funds were noted and totaled $1127.00 Voted to establish a library and we appropriated $400.00 for purchase of books. A Brother was appointed to collect outstanding noted and to be paid 5% commission on amounts collected. Library officers named.

1815-A Brother borrowed $30.00 to buy a cow. First record of having a G.L. officer visit the Lodge. He was Ebenezer Wadsworth, who, in 1825 is recorded as Grand Visitor.

1816-Paid G.L. $63.25 for 106 Brothers initiated from 1802-1814. October 1st, first meeting held in the new location, the Universalist Church, in Porters Corners.

1818- Paid G. L. $19.871/2 due for period June 1, 1816 to June 1, 1817, and got a receipt for payment $34.25 for June 1, 1814 to June 1, 1816

1820- Three Brothers suspended for intemperance.

1821- Agreed to petition requesting Rising Sun Lodge No. 185 be moved to Saratoga Springs. It was this year that there is the first record of our Lodge sending a representative to the G.L.

1823- A Masters Carpet was purchased for $20.00. In 1825 this was exchanged for a carpet containing an Ark. This is the painting now hanging in our entrance hall. Cost of wood for the year was 75 cents and cost of candles for lighting, $2.00. Many extra meetings in the fall. Some convened for 5 minutes in the p.m. and then adjourned to be continued in the evening. 20 new members were initiated. Approved Lodge No. 446 in Corinth. (Disbanded in 1826)

1824- 24 new members received. Built horse sheds and painted buildings.         

1825- March 4, 1825, St. Johns Chapter No 103, R.A.M. was organized, and St. Johns Mark Master Lodge No. 26 went out of existence. Corinth Lodge No. 446 was chartered. Purchases: oil lamps, door locks, and bench cushions.

1826-St. Johns Chapter 103 R.A.M. was loaned $61.00 for purchase of robes for Chapter use. Library books costing $99.50 purchased.

1827- A Brother was admonished and ordered to pay another Brother or his wifeís children $5.00 for damages sustained in a horse trade.

From 1826 until 1840, activities were limited, due to the controversy existing in connection with the Morgan matter. However, St. Johns Lodge No. 90 continued to meet and work during this period. Briefly, during this period activities included:

1828- Expression of disapproval for Friendship Lodge No. 118 surrendering their Charter. Took in 2 new members. 230 names on our rolls.

1829- Only 4 Communications during the year.

1830- Treasury balance was down to $7.12. Only 7 meetings.

1832- There was only 2 meetings for the year.

1833- In July, all members who had not been attending meetings were summoned to attend as required by By-Laws. Several were excused for not attending. Brothers managed to meet ten times.

1834- Twenty- four members paid dues and treasury balance was $7.06 Again only two meetings were held.

1835- Only 3 communications during the year.

1836- John S. Weed, a G.L. representative addressed meeting on March 30, and by resolution, was made a member of St. Johns Lodge. This year 30 members paid dues, and treasury balance was $13.20.

1839- Jugs and decanters were sold for 92 cents, evidently indicating that at this stage liquor would no longer be served in Lodge.

1840- June 10, Lodge opened as St. Johns Lodge No.22, F.& A.M.. Our old No 90 was given to Brothers from the discontinued Friendship No 118 and Franklin No. 37, for a new Franklin No.90. This change was made by G.L. and did not affect the original charter. (Chartered June 3, 1842)

1843-A representative was sent to G.L., with instructions to inform G.L. a roster of members would be furnished G.L., and $1.00 would be raised for each of these members.

1844-Many members were suspended for no payment of dues.

1845-We began opening on Third Degree in conformance with G.L. ritual. Prior to1845 we opened on first degree and proceeded to Second and Third

1846-Voted to meet twice rather than once each month.

1849-John S. Weed paid $6.25 in full amounts due Grand Lodge. Officers: John St. John,W.M.; J. Rockwell, S.W.; P. Johnson, J.W.; J. Blackleach, Sec.; J. Vail, Treas.; B. Worden, S.D.; D. Hicks, J.D.; F.Weed and A. Chatfield, Stews.

1850-John S. Weed appointed to inform Masonic Convention at Albany on February 7, 1851 that St. Johns Lodge had approved resolution to establish a Masonic Asylum. This is what we now know as the Masonic Home in Utica, NY, where first guest was received May1, 1893.

1855-At this period, it became quite the fad to elect noted Masons of other Lodges Honorary Members. This Lodge so elected 8 in 1855 and 18 in 1856.

1863-Annual dues raised from 50 cents to 75 cents, the first increase since organization of the Lodge.

1867-Members assessed $3.00 each for erection of a Grand Lodge Temple in New York City. Approval was given to establish a new Lodge in Corinth known as Corinth Lodge No. 683.

1869-St. Johns Lodge No.22, F. &A.M. was incorporated.

1870-Present Lodge property purchased for $912.50. Repairs and furnishings cost $ 1129.89 for total $2042.39. St. Johns Chapter No. 103 R.A.M. donated $75.00, member donations totaled $269.50, and Lodge funds $657.02 plus notes for $1013.87 given. Four brethren financed this purchase. Moved Lodge on January 19th to the present location and held first meeting.

1872-The library, which had cost in excess of $500.00, was sold at auction for $30.00. It was voted to change the time of opening from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.

1873-Dues increased from $1.00 to $1.50.

1874-Visitors room added to building at a cost of $324.22

1878-Voted to suspend Communications from last in June to first in September.

1889- Approval given again to establish Lodge at Luzerne and to establish a Masonic District to include Essex and Clinton Counties.

1891- Representative sent to Utica for cornerstone laying ceremonies for the New Masonic Home, which was dedicated October 5, 1892.

1893- arrangements to get, wherever possible, portraits of all Past Masters of St. Johnís Lodge.

1900- Signed for establishment of Gansevoort Lodge.

1901- Day for Communications changed from Wednesday to Tuesday.

1902- Day for Celebration of the 100th Anniversary. Present were 67 members and 40 visiting Brethren on this Celebration on June 2nd.

1903- Approved establishing a Lodge at Gansevoort for the second time.

1904- A.M. Hollister appointed DDGM- the first member of this Lodge to receive a Grand Lodge appointment.

1905- Dues raised to $2.00

Contributed to memorial window for Masonic Home Chapel.

1913- Started   to make payments for the purpose of reducing Grand Lodge debts. Between 1914 and 1918, this Lodge contributed $791.00 for that purpose.

1915- After receiving E.A. and F.C. degrees, a ballot rejected the candidate for conferring the M.M. Degree. During 1915, 4 more ballots were taken, in 1916 and

1917, one ballot each year in 1918, three ballots and in 1919, two ballots. The second ballot was clear; the candidate was raised to M.M., and in 1936 was unaffiliated for non-payment of dues.

1918-Dues were increased to $3.00 Harold E. Hollister, son of A.M. Hollister, had all three degrees conferred the evening of April 25,by special dispensation from G.L. The candidate was about to enter the armed services, which brought about the necessity for this unusual procedure.

1919-On vote taken on petition to move St. Johns Lodge No 22 to Corinth, tally was 51 for and 80 against. St. Johns Chapter No 613, O.E.S. was organized.

1921- Approval given for the establishing a new Lodge in Corinth. This Lodge was organized in 1922 as Corinth Lodge No. 987. At that time 82 members transferred from St. Johns Lodge No.22 to the new Lodge. St. Johns Lodge presented the new Lodge with $50.00.

1925-Lodge building was wired for electricity. A new carpet and linoleum was purchased for $50.00. It was voted that in the future members would pay for refreshments served them following Communications.

1926-It was voted to present future candidates with Bibles.

1927-June 4, Celebration of 125th Anniversary. Present were 52 members and 73 visiting Brethren from 18 other Lodges. Dues were raised to $5.00

1932-Dining Room addition was built at a cost of $1,560.00

1943- W. Bro. George M. Robinson was appointed to Grand Steward

1945- Water was piped into the Lodge building.

1946- Rollin M. Moody was appointed DDGM.

1947- Kitchen addition was built at a cost in excess of $5,000.00. Funds were borrowed for construction costs and were fully repaid over a period ending in 1953.

1948-W. Bro. Arthur W. Johnson had willed the Lodge $3,780.00, and this amount was used to reduce kitchen addition indebtedness. It was voted to hang portraits on the dining room walls.

1951- It was voted to make all 50- year members, Life Members not subject to dues or assessments.

1952- June 2, The 150th Anniversary was celebrated. There were 44 members and visiting Brethren present at the afternoon Communication. Of these 17 were Past Masters of St. Johns Lodge No. 22 4 were Past Masters of other Lodges, and there were 7 Past and Present Grand Lodge officials. The evening program, open to the public, was conducted in the Baptist Church and the church was filled to capacity. Later in the year, W. Bro. Arthur I Bumstead was appointed Representative of the Grand Lodge of Kansas at a meeting of the Grand Lodge of New York.

1953- W. Bro. Frank N. Wells inaugurated the program of having a Master square lapel pin passed from outgoing Master to new Master at the annual installation ceremonies. Dues were increased from $5.00 to $7.00 annually Ėour present rate. of dues.

1959- Addition to the north side of the building was completed at approximate cost of $4,500.00 to the Lodge. Donations of money, services, equipment and supplies kept the Lodge cost to this figure.

1960- Facilities were provided for the local post office at a cost of $5,335.51. There were 22 new members added to the roster of the Lodge. This represents the second largest increase in membership in the history of this Lodge. During the summer and early fall months, the dining room was repainted, the kitchen remodeled, and a cabinet built for displaying Lodge relics. A fund was started for the purchase of new carpeting for the Lodge room. It is estimated that this carpeting will cost $1200.00.

1962- We celebrated then 160th anniversary of the Lodge. Following a broiled steak dinner served to about 125 members and visitors an address was delivered by the Past Junior Grand Warden and present Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge. The issuing of a monthly newsletter was started. New carpeting was installed prior to the Celebration. Cost of the carpeting was $1,087.50. All but $186.47 of this amount was raised by donations.

1965- William H. Atwood was appointed District Deputy Grand Master; only the second Brother from our Lodge to receive this honor.

1976- H. Gifford Bull was appointed the Grand Director of Ceremonies. Many of the Brethren attended the various district meetings, throughout the year, with our Grand Director of Ceremonies.

1977- The dining room was paneled in preparation for the 175th Anniversary Celebration. A large number of Brothers and guests attended the Anniversary dinner at the Greenfield Fire House. The remainder of the program was conducted at the Lodge and concluded with a talk from Laverne Getman, R:. W:. Senior Past Grand Warden.

1979- Harold Vanderwalker was appointed District Deputy Grand Master. Our Right Worshipful had a fine year capped with his homecoming dinner at the Lodge on April1, 1980. Francis Harrington received a Dedicated Service Award and Apron.

1981- There was a great deal of discussion and investigation into the possibility of selling our antique painting, "The Masterís Carpet". The painting was originally obtained in 1825 and recently appraised at $1,300.00 A full size reproduction was painted and later purchased by Brother Francis Harrington. The Brethren finally voted against selling the painting.

1982- Four candidates received their degrees. We started collecting food for the needy in town and contributed it to the local Food Pantry. Our once famous library was reactivated. A poison control awareness program (distribution of information to over 1, 000.00 community residents) was handled by Brother Terry Morgan and received Grand Lodge recognition. A new water pump and tank were installed and the dry well for the septic system was replaced.

1983-4- The front of the building as well as the Lodge Room was repainted and Masonic Road signs were placed at the end of town. The Tenant Contracts were completely updated, relieving a large financial burden. Seven Brothers received their Master Mason Degrees. Corinth Lodge No.987 stared holding their meeting in our Lodge Room. The parking lot was again filled and leveled.

1985- Dining room and vestibule floors were refinished. Meetings with 30 or more Brothers were: D.D. Visit, Old Timers Night, and Grand Lodge Night. An Interlodge Fellowship Chairman, the Master had 80 guests at the first District Dinner. Several candidates were raised in the fall. A New Masonic sign was placed over the front door and the two original signs in the peak of the building were repainted. Several newsletters were mailed to the Brethren. A Marquee showing the Masonic Bodies was placed next to the front door.

Many Brothers have helped with this history, from secretary who carefully logged the minutes of each meeting to those who actually contributed to this brief history: Bro. Arthur I. Bumstead, W:. Stuart Sturgess, W:. Clayton Brown, Mrs. Francis William, W:. Terry A, Morgan (his wife Sandra and daughter Elizabeth)

 


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