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HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP LODGE

1901 - 1951

On May 22, 1901, twenty Master Masons, residents of Wilmington, met at Hillerís Cranberry House on Middlesex Avenue, Wilmington, to discuss the formation of a Masonic Lodge. At this meeting, Worshipful Edwin L. Haley was chosen Chairman, and Brother George L. Perry, Secretary.

In June, a petition to form such a lodge was presented to the Grand Lodge, signed by the following Brethren; Edwin L. Haley, Arthur T. Bond, George C. Hill, Caleb S. Harriman, George W. Ayer, Daniel T. Buzzell, William H. Putnam, John T. Wild, Melvin E. Taylor, William L. Kelley, George H. Woodman, Anthony Musolino, Everett T. Perry, Edward N. Eames, George A. Hart, Fred A. Eames, John B. Mack, George L. Perry, William H. Shepard, George W. Buck, Walter H. Rollins, Joseph Patchett, Francis A. Hamlin, John R. McIntosh, Fred M. Carter, Charles H. Doak, Gilman Harnden, Joseph W. Strong, Charles H. Nudd, Asa G. Sheldon, and George S. Crockett.

A dispensation, dated September 16, 1901, was granted by the Grand Master, who appointed Worshipful Edwin L. Haley to act as Master, Brother Arthur T. Bond, as Senior Warden and Brother George C. Hill, as Junior Warden.

Friendship Lodge had its troubles at an early date, and of a very disturbing nature, but as the details would not enhance the history of the Lodge, suffice it is to say that the difficulties were overcome and harmony restored. Brothers Haley and Bond withdrew from the lodge before the charter was granted. The first election of officers by members took place on August 20, 1902.

The first election of officers by members took place on August 20, 1902.

The Lodge was constituted on December 23, 1902, by Most Worshipful Grand Master Charles T. Gallagher and Grand Lodge officers, and the following lodge officers installed:

Worshipful MasterGeorge Clark Hill
Senior WardenWilliam Lawrence Kelley
Junior WardenCaleb Samuel Harriman
TreasurerJohn Tufts Wild
SecretaryWinslow Hathaway
ChaplainRev. Walter Huntington Rollins
MarshalJohn Arthur Taylor
Senior DeaconEdward Nelson Eames
Junior DeaconGeorge Lewis Perry
Senior StewardAlmon Caleb Thompson
Junior StewardHenry Melvin Taylor
Inside SentinelWilliam Henry Putnam
TylerGeorge Allison Hart

With the exception of Brothers Haley, Bond and Mack, the list of names of our charter members is the same as that of the petitioners previously read, and as each of our members has a copy of our by-laws in which these names appear, repetition here is omitted.

The early meetings of the Lodge were held in Hillerís Cranberry House, covered by a lease which provided:

  1. Right of way from street to and from the building.
  2. Exclusive use of the second story and westerly half of the Picking room, together with the right of control of the attic.
  3. Rental $7.00 per month.

Quite in contrast with the present day lodge apartments were the furnishings of Friendship Lodge in its beginnings. The walls and rafters were covered with burlap; the members sat on wooden settees; kerosene lamps furnished the light; the only heat found its way into the lodge room by opening the double doors. The Alter, Senior Wardenís and Junior Wardenís stands, which are still in use in our lodge room, were built by Brothers William L. Kelley and John T. Wild; the burlap was contributed by Brother Harriman, the Bible by Rev. Brother Rollins, the Square and Compasses by Good Samaritan Lodge of Reading, the organ by Brother Hill and many other contributions not recorded.

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