Beth-Horon Lodge History

  • Established November 15, 1870, in Brookline, MA.

  • Constituted October 23, 1871 in Lyceum Hall in Brookline, MA.

  • Seal of Beth-horon adopted on May 13, 1874 representing an oriental scene in the pass of Beth-horon on the road from Joppa to Jerusalem with the "All Seing Eye" above and the inscription "Unde venire auxilium nostrum" (Whence cometh our help).

  • The name Beth-horon is of Hebrew origin, "Beth" signifying house and "horon" cavern in the hills; specifically meaning temple, or house of worship.

  • Merged with Nehoiden Lodge in July of 2010.

Below are links to two detailed histories of Beth-horon Lodge. 

 

The first was written for the Lodge's 50th Anniversary Br. Rt. Wor. Emery B. Gibbs in 1920 while the second was written for the 100th Anniversary of Beth-horon by Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry in 1970.

History of Beth-horon Lodge: 50th Anniversary Editition

    By: Rt. Wor. Emery B. Gibbs

History of Beth-horon Lodge: 100th Anniversary Edition 

    By Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry

Beth-Horon Lodge Logo.JPG

History of Beth-horon Lodge

By Right Worshipful Howard E. Perry

 

We are most grateful to Rt. Wor. Emery B. Gibbs for his excellent history of the first fifty years of which the following is a summary. (1920 Mass. 414-437)

 

On November 15, 1870, a formal dispensation was granted by Grand Lodge as a matter of record.

 

The first regular communication of Beth-horon Lodge under dispensation was help in Lyceum Hall in Brookline on Tuesday, December 13, 1870. Present were Wor. Master George F. Homer; Sr. Warden Benjamin F. Baker; Jr. Warden, James E. Edgery, and Brethren William K. Melcher, Marshal Russell, Martin Kingman, William Aspinwall, Thomas H. Bacon, John W. Chandler, Charles O. Foster and Rufus G.F. Cangade – eleven in all.

 

The Master made his appointments, but no mention is made of Inside Sentinel, Tyler, or Chaplain. The application for degrees of Horace James was read. On Monday, October 23, 1871,

 

Most Wor. William Sewall Gardener, Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and a distinguished suite visited Beth-horon Lodge in Lyceum Hall and constituted and formed the same into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.

 

The Grand Master then installed the following officers: George F. Homer, Wor. Master; Benjamin F. Baker, Sr. Warden; James W. Edgerly, Jr. Warden; Marshall Russell, Treasurer; William Aspinwall, Secretary; William K. Melcher, Sr. Deacon; Charles H. Drew, Jr. Deacon; Rufus G.F. Candage, Marshal; Charles K. Kirby, Sr. Steward; Thomas R. Shewell, Jr. Steward;

 

Martin Kingman, Inside Sentinel and William A. Goodwin, Tyler. On November 14, 1871, was held the first regular communication under the charter with sixteen brethren present. On September 24, 1872, at a special communication, the District Deputy Grand Master of the Fourth District with his suite visited the Lodge and made his annual official examination.

 

There were thirty brethren present. On March 11, 1873, Wor. George F. Homer is mentioned as Chaplain. This is the first time in the records that the presence of a Chaplain appears. On March 10, 1874, a Seal for the Lodge was adopted. It is a representation of an oriental scene in the pass of Beth-horon on the road from Joppa to Jerusalem.

 

Above the scene is the All Seeing Eye and the motto “unde veniret auxilium nostrum” (Whence cometh our help); the whole alludes to the Lodge with its sheltering doors and to Him in whim we reverentially put our trust. The name Beth-horon is of Hebrew origin. “Beth” signifying house, and “horon” cavern in the hills – specifically meaning temple of house of worship. History of Beth-horon Lodge Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry, 1970

 

On September 14, 1875, the first meeting was held in the new hall at the corner of Harvard and School Streets. Oliver Cousens, owner of the building, was elected to take his degrees. On September 28, 1875, at 4:00 p.m. at a special communication, the Most Wor. Percival Lowell Everett and a distinguished suite dedicated the new hall.

 

Present for the dedication were twenty-three members and one hundred and twenty-five visitors – ladies and gentlemen. At 7:00 p.m. Rt. Wor. George F. Homer, D.D.G.M. of the Fourth Masonic District was received with hi8s suite and made his official inspection.

 

On December 28, 1875, at a special communication Rt. Wor. George F. Homer installed the officers of the Lodge. The Lodge had a membership of sixty. On April 15, 1876, at a special communication, the Worshipful Master announced the death of Rt. Wor. George F. Homer.

 

At a special communication on January 2, 1878, Most Wor. Charles A. Welch installed the officers at a public installation. At the banquet there were one hundred and fifty or more.

 

A committee was appointed on April 8, 1879 to see if a reduction of rent could be obtained.

 

They reported that the new landlord, F.F. Morton, would reduce the rent to $350.00 per year for two years and the fee for his degrees if found worthy. His application was read and he was elected May 13, 1879.

 

At the annual meeting on December 12, 1882, the finance committee presented their annual report allowing a favorable condition of its pecuniary affairs and a bright prospect in the future. After the election, it was voted that the installation be public.

 

The rooms were filled with ladies and gentlemen as Rt. Wor. Henry G. Fay, Past Jr. Grand Warden, installed the officers. On April 11, 1899, Bro. Edward W. Baker gave $100.00 for the Charity Fund in memory of his father.

 

This was the beginning of Beth-horon’s Charity Fund, now being held by the Trustees. After 27 years in Masonic Hall, the Lodge moved. From September 1902 to March 1903 the Lodge was a guest of Bethesda Lodge of Brighton.

 

In March 1903, Beth-horon Lodge met in new apartments at Brookline National Bank at the corner of Harvard and Kent Streets.

 

The apartments were formally dedicated on April 7, 1903 by Most Wor. Baalis Sanford. More than 200 Brethren were present.

 

The largest attendance on record was an official visitation of the D.D.G.M. on November 11, 1913 – 110 members, 162 visitors and a suite of about 30. Over 300 present and Wor. J. Everett Brown was the presiding Master.

 

On November 15, 1920, at a special communication, Beth-horon Lodge celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary with Most Wor. Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master of Masons of Massachusetts officiating. (1920 Mass. 413-438) An interesting event in connection with the celebration of the 50th Anniversary was the institution of a new Lodge, named “Brookline Lodge.”

 

The brief ceremony was performed by Rt. Wor. James Young Jr., History of Beth-horon Lodge Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry, 1970 3 of 7 D.D.G.M. of the Fifth Masonic District.

 

The principal officers of the new Lodge – all members of Beth-horon Lodge were: Wor. J. Everett Brown, Master; Wor. Frederick A. Leavitt, Sr. Warden; Rev. Bro. J. Ralph Magee, Jr. Warden.

 

They were inducted into office and the proclamation was made by the D.D. Grand Marshal. On December 12, 1922, there was a memorial service for Wor. Alfred G. Sanborn, the last living charter member.

 

It is interesting to note the first two degrees were conferred upon the same candidate on the same evening, November 11, 1924. On December 9, 1924, Most Wor. Leon M. Abbott, Past Grand Master and Honorary member of Beth-horon Lodge, officiated at a dedication of a tablet in honor of members who served in World War I.

 

In 1925, Bro. S. R. Allen, Chief of the Brookline Fire Department, and Bro. H. A. Rutherford, Chief of the Brookline Police Department, were Lodge Brothers; and on October 13, 1925 the application was read for Charles Lewis Hapgood, who was elected on November 10, 1925. On April 13, 1926, the vacancy of Treasurer was filled by special dispensation.

 

Wor. Leon L. Allen was elected and installed and remained as Treasurer for 33 years until succeeded by Wor. Everett A. Williams on September 8, 1959.

 

There was a special resolution upon the death of Wor. Charles Amos Woodbury Spencer, and a page in the records set aside. The Past Master raised the last candidate to the sublime degree of Master Mason on June 8, 1926.

 

This is the first mention of a Past Master Night.

 

On April 10, 1928, it was moved that Beth-horon Lodge apply to the Grand Master for permission to hold a Lodge of Instruction in conjunction with other Lodges of the Fifth Masonic District as provided for in the Grand Constitution.

 

The motion was rejected. Wor. C. A. Bowditch was presented a substantial gift in recognition of his service as Secretary for 31 years on December 11, 1928. On October 8, 1929, visiting officers of Brookline Lodge conferred the Fellow Craft Degree on four candidates.

 

December 10, 1929, Rt. Wor. Amos L. Taylor, D.D.G.M. of the Fifth Masonic District, paid the Lodge an official visitation and presented Fifty-year Medals to Wor. Charles A. Bowditch and Bro. W. B. Webber. Rt. Wor. F. B. Richardson and Wor. C. A. Bowditch were elected Honorary Members. On April 8, 1930, it was voted to allow United Lodge of Cambridge the use of our rooms for their meeting place.

 

On November 11, 1930, Most Wor. Herbert W. Deans and the Officers of the Most Wor. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts paid Beth-horon a fraternal visitation. Anescort committee was formed with Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott as Chairman. Most Wor. Bro. Abbott reviewed the History of Beth-horon History of Beth-horon Lodge Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry, 1970 4 of 7 Lodge. Rt. Wor. Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary, spoke on the Grand Lodge functions and its goals in benevolence and charity.

 

Most Wor. Herbert W. Dean then gave a talk on the Charity and Service work of Grand Lodge and also some very interesting facts on his recent trip around the world. On December 9, 1930, Wor. R. G. Sykes announced that due to ill health, Wor. C. A. Bowditch, Secretary, would no longer be able to continue in that office.

 

Wor. A. P. Waterman was elected Secretary and the remaining officers, elected and appointed, were installed. It was voted to elect Wor. Charles A. Bowditch Secretary Emeritus of Beth-horon Lodge after 33 years of devoted and faithful service.

 

On January 12, 1932, Rt. Wor. Alfred P. Waterman, D.D.G.M. of the Waltham Fifth Masonic District and also Secretary of Beth-horon Lodge, paid the Lodge a Fraternal Visitation. This is the first mention of the Waltham Fifth.

 

Most Wor. Leon M. Abbott presented Rt. Wor. Bro. Waterman a beautiful D.D.G.M. Jewel. Guest speaker after dinner on March 8, 1932 was Bro. Frederick Deane of International Lodge in Peking, China, who spoke on Masonry in China.

 

At a Special Communication of May 12, 1932, the George Washington Bicentennial Celebration of the Brookline Masonic Lodges represented by Beth-horon Lodge, Donald H. Whittemore;

 

Brookline Lodge, Wor. Miles S. Richmond; United Lodge, Wor. Harry Silverman, was held at the Leyden Congregational Church in Brookline. On October 11, 1932,

 

Past Grand Master, Most Wor. Melvin M. Johnson, was present and paid a fine tribute to the memory of Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott,

 

Honorary Member of Beth-horon Lodge, who died October 10, 1932. On May 9, 1933, it was voted to amend the By-Laws to read: “The annual meeting shall be held on the second Tuesday in September; the accounts of the Secretary and Treasurer be audited by a Certified Public Accountant appointed by the Master and Warders.” It was also voted to transfer $1,000,000 from the Charity Fund to provide for needy cases of relief. Wor. And Honorable Edwin I. Childs, D.D. Grand Marshal and Mayor of Newton gave the Lodge a very inspiring address on January 14, 1936. On October 13, 1936, Bro. Melvin Maynard Johnson Jr., was raised by his father,

 

Most Wor. Melvin Maynard Johnson, Past Grand Master, who gave an inspiring charge to the newly raised brethren. On January 12, 1937, a new lease of the Lodge quarters at 1 Harvard Street was negotiated for 3 years at $2,000.00 per year. Rt. Wor. Alfred P. Waterman resigned as Secretary on January 12, 1937, after 7 years in office and on February 8, 1938, he was elected an honorary member. Rt. Wor. Francis D. Taylor presented him with the Joseph Warren Medal of Grand Lodge for distinguished service. History of Beth-horon Lodge Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry, 1970

 

On February 14, 1939, a memorial service was held for Wor. C. A. Bowditch, Master, 1885-1886, Secretary for 33 years, elected Secretary emeritus, and the recipient of the Henry Price Medal. On April 9, 1940, by special dispensation from the Grand Master, Eugene Pendelton Carver, Jr., was balloted upon and the Entered Apprentice Degree was conferred upon him on the same evening.

 

On June 10, 1941, the Lodge was paid a visit by Wor. Ralph S. Gray and the officers of Nehoiden Lodge who performed the Fellow Craft Degree. A collation of lobster followed. Wor. Matthew A. McNeilly was elected Secretary of the Lodge on September 9, 1941.

 

On November 11, 1941, the evening was dedicated to Gene Davis for 50 years of Masonic service. Bro. William D. Paine acted as Toast Master. The 50-year Medal was presented by Rt. Wor. C. Weston Ringer, D.D.G.M.

 

On January 11, 1944, Rt. Wor. Alton L. Miller, newly appointed D.D.G.M., presented the 50-year membership certificate to Bro. William D. Paine; on May 9, 1944, he presented him with his 50-year Veteran’s Medal.

 

On June 13, 1944, it was the first time that report of the nominating committee was presented in June rather than the usual meeting in September. Past Masters’ Night on May 8, 1945 was the first time in a number of years that all the stations were filled by Past Masters with four extra present.

 

On June 12, 1945, United Lodge with Wor. Victor Lewis in the East conferred a degree on their own candidate, Lieut. Thomas Ochiltree, who described his experiences as a Prisoner of War in Germany. On September 11, 1945, the Master-Elect, Dell W. Turner, and officers of Beth-horon Lodge were installed by Most Wor. Samuel H. Wragg. At a Special Communication on November 11, 1945, a Church Service was held at the First Presbyterian Church, and the message was given by Rev. Bro. William L. MacDuffie, Minister of the church.

 

The Seventy-fifth Anniversary was celebrated on November 15, 1945. Most Wor. Samuel H. Wragg, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, was received and an historical address was given by Wor. Matthew McNeilly. Bro. Emery E. Allen was introduced as the oldest living Mason in Massachusetts. (1945 Mass. 394-400) Rt. Wor. Alton L. Miller made his first Official Visitation on November 21, 1945 as D.D.G.M.

 

He was attended to by a suite of 67. On February 12, 1946, it was proposed by Wor. Bro. Boehner that $25,000 be taken from the income of the Lodge for the next Anniversary in 1970.

 

On March 12, 1946, action was taken on the Anniversary Fund as carried in the notice for the celebration of each quarter century of the Lodge. History of Beth-horon Lodge Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry, 1970 6 of 7 On May 14, 1946, Most Wor. Samuel H. Wragg was voted to honorary membership in Beth-horon Lodge. Rt. Wor. Alton L. Miller was officially received by the Mast on January 9, 1951 as Deputy Grand Master, and at the following meeting the Deputy G.M. Medal was presented to him by Wor. Bro. Carver.

 

On November 9, 1951, a proposal was discussed to change the By-Laws to provide for the election of officers in June with installation in September.

 

This was moved and recorded on November 13, 1951 and voted on December 11, 1951. On March 23, 1953, at a Special Communication, Rev. Bro. Kenneth L. Garrison was raised by Most Wor. Thomas S. Roy with Rt. Wor. Alton L. Miller in the West at an Official Visitation.

 

An announcement was made on December 9, 1958 that the Lodge was requested to vacate its quarters by December 31, 1958. On June 9, 1959, it was announced that beginning on October the meetings would be held on the Second Monday of the month at 203 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton, by dispensation of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge.

 

On October 12, 1959, the first meeting was help in the new quarters in Brighton. Wor. Leon Allen passed away on February 4, 1960. Wor. Bro. Allen received his 33rd degree in the Fall of 1950, and according to our records is the only 33rd degree Mason of our Lodge. Wor. George A. Eckian was elected Master of the 34th Lodge of Instruction on March 30, 1961.

 

It was announced on February 10, 1964 that Wor. Howard E. Perry was appointed Junior Grand Deacon to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. May 11, 1964 was declared Albert M. Higgs Night. Most Worshipful A. Neill Osgood conveyed special honors to Bro. Albert M. Higgs for his twenty years of devoted service as Tyler of Beth-horon Lodge and his 60 years as a Mason. On September 14, 1964, a Fraternal Visitation was paid to the Lodge by Most Wor. A Neill Osgood on the occasion of the semi-public installation of officers by Wor. Howard E. Perry, J.G.D. of the Grand Lodge.

 

On January 8, 1968, the appointment of Wor. Howard E. Perry as District Deputy Grand Master of the Waltham Fifth Masonic District by Most Worshipful Thomas A. Booth was announced. Rt. Wor. Bro. Perry appointed Wor. Richard W. Nichols, D.D. Grang Marchal, and Wor. L. Milton Reynolds, D.D. Grand Secretary. The District Deputy made his first Fraternal Visitation on this date. Bro. William E. Smith was honored on March 11, 1968 after concluding 24 years of service as Inside Sentinel due to his retirement to Pennsylvania.

 

A scroll signed by all the Past Master in the 24 years was presented to Bro. Smith by Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry. History of Beth-horon Lodge Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry, 1970 7 of 7 The final Official Visitation of Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry, D.D.G.M., was made on November 10, 1969.

 

A suite consisting of 72 distinguished Masons accompanied him. On December 8, 1969, Most Worshipful Herbert H. Jaynes, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, paid the Lodge a Fraternal Visitation to observe the work of the Firefighters Square Club.

 

The degree team conferred the second and third sections of the Master Mason Degree upon the candidate. It was announced that Rt. Wor. Howard E. Perry was appointed to be Grand Representative of the Lodge of Minnesota near the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

 

EPILOGUE

 

One hundred years! A century of change.

 

Thus we close the records on the first centennial of Beth-horon’s Masonic progress in the Town of Brookline, an infinite speck in the vast expanse of time. Freemasonry is irrevocably committed to progress. We are sure that in spite of all that has come to us, we have received light as yet but partially.

 

There is no finality in the search for truth. In a world that seems hurtling toward its own destruction, in a day when moral bankruptcy threatens our social institution, in an hour when radical leaders proclaim that “God is dead,” those of us who are vitally concerned with the future of mankind need a solid foundation that is absolute!

 

Throughout all time and throughout all the Universe there is but one absolute, and no other is or will be needed. “In the beginning, God.” There is the Absolute, on which all of life is eternally founded.

 

Mankind is one and indivisible, and it is important that we learn how to live together in peace and harmony. Therefore let us go forth animated by one desire, – to make the principles and ideals of Masonry live in our lives, and in the lives of our brethren.

 

Let us resolve to love God and keep His commandments. Let us prove to the profane world that God is very much alive in our hearts, in the work of our hands, in the loves that we lead as Freemasons.

 

Moreover, let us consider this centennial year of Beth-horon Lodge not merely a celebration of the accomplishments of our first century of progress, but rather a dedication of our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to an increased devotion to Him, to our country and to our Brethren as we face forward into the sunrise of our second century.

 

May the Grand Architect of the Universe provide us with the vitality and vision to let it be the pledge of all of us present and future, to emulate the efforts of our illustrious Brethren of the past and bring honor and glory to the next one hundred years of achievement by the members of Beth-horon Lodge.

 

We should communicate this to the world with something of the passion of the immortal George Bernard Shaw when he wrote the lines: “Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generation.”