A Living History of
Mount Holyoke Lodge or "Was this Speech Really Necessary Here?" South Hadley, Massachusetts
Mount Holyoke Lodge was chartered on March 30, 1869, by Most Worshipful William Gardner, Grand Master of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, with the Reverend George E. Fisher as its first Worshipful Master. Prior to the granting of this charter, Masons residing in South Hadley were obliged to attend meetings at the Mount Tom Lodge in Holyoke by crossing the Connecticut River by boat, sometimes under the worst possible weather conditions, due to the fact that there were no bridges connecting the two towns at that time. The new lodge was first organized in an old school building on School Street, and has since been in six locations over the past 128 years.
On September 5, 1886, meetings were held at "Dudley's Hall" at the corner of Main and Bridge Streets, when the building and most of its contents were destroyed by fire, except for the lodge jewels, which fell off the wall face down, and were thus protected from the enveloping fire. Soon after that the lodge was moved to the "Carey Building" which it continued to use until 1913 when the Mount Holyoke Masonic Association was formed and bought a building on land previously held by the Carew heirs and the Congregational Church. The corner stone for the present building on North Main Street was lain in September, 1914, and the following March the first meeting was held at this present home.
In 1969, on the 100th anniversary of the lodge, a large celebration was held by the lodge members which was presided over by Worshipful Wilfred O. Hatch as Worshipful Master of the lodge.
Upon the retirement of Bro.
Samuel J. Somerville as Secretary of the lodge, a number of
different brothers served in this post until it was stabilized by
the election of R. W. Ronald E. Jackson, who is still serving as
our present lodge Secretary.
During the lodge year of 1970-1971 under Wor. Albert D. J. Asprey, Master, the lodge voted to sponsor a DeMolay Chapter.
The following year, 1971-1972 under Wor. Richard B. Scott, Master, there was a fraternal visit to the lodge by R. W. Robert H. Edwards, who had planned to talk on "Lack of Candidates and Attendance", however, he had to change his subject matter for the address when he found to his agreeable surprise that the meeting was held before 48 members in attendance and three new candidate applications were read and balloted upon.
While in 1979-1980 under Wor. Robert W. Tucker, Master, Wor. Ronald E. Jackson presented a Masonic Road Sign which was placed on Memorial Drive to inform visiting brethren and potential members of our lodge location. This sign is still in place.
During Masonic year 1984-1985 Wor. Eugene G. Anderson, Master, announced that R. W. Ronald E. Jackson of the Mount Holyoke Lodge was appointed Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. The Scholarship Fund was established during the term of Wor. Eugene G. Anderson.
It was during the
1991-1992 Masonic year under Wor. Henry A. Fusari, Master, that
the Thanksgiving Food Basket Program started.