and Accepted Masons
Including a Sketch of
Centennial History of
Free and Accepted Masons
Including a Sketch of
HARMONY LODGE, NO. 154
CHARLES W. McLELLAN
FOSTER M. STRICKLAND
SENIOR PAST MASTER
FOR THIRTY-SIX YEARS
TREASURER OF CHAMPLAIN LODGE
THE RECORDS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.
constant changes of officers, with their
varying characteristics, and with no thought
of the future historian, the records of a
Masonic Lodge omit much more than they
include. This History,
therefore, will contain much
discontinuity, and many omissions which it
is now impossible to supply.
We were fortunate in finding among
the records in Grand Lodge a portion of the
history of Harmony Lodge, which may be
considered as predecessor of Champlain
Lodge. A few additional items have been
gleaned from letters, diaries and similar
sources, but most of its twenty-six years of
exis tence are hidden in darkness.
The archives of Champlain Lodge have
been carefully examined. The Records
for the past one hundred years are
contained in twelve bound volumes, are well
preserved and complete. A card index of
members has been made, and it is hoped that
these may be incorporated in the excellent
set of Historical Ledgers inaugurated and
set up by a former Secretary, Orville R.
inclusion in this brochure of the complete
roster of the members of the Lodge, and the
list of those who have borne the burden
through the years as its officers, should
prove of value — raising them from the
oblivion of "time immemorial" to Brothers
who still live in our hearts as faith ful
workmen in the ereftion of the edifice we
Harmony Lodge, No. 154
First Masonic Lodge
in the Towns of Champlain and Chazy
IN PRESENTING a
history of Champlain Lodge, it would seem
appropriate to go back to the year 1807,
when its ancestor—Harmony Lodge, No. 154—was
organized. Local records of this Lodge have
disappeared, but from various sources a
reasonably full account may be
of the New York Grand Lodge state that
on March 4, 1807, "A petition from a number
of brethren praying for a warrant to hold a
Lodge in the town of Champlain, in the
County of Clinton, in this State,
recommended by Franklin Lodge No. 10, to be
called Harmony Lodge, was read and granted."
the year 1814 we find but slight mention of
the Lodge. On March 9, 1808, Judge Pliny
Moore entered "Masons Installa tion" in his
journal. And on June 27, 1810, his daughter
Ann wrote to him that "Monday the Masons
celebrated St. Johns. Mr. Nye [Jonathan Nye)
preached the sermon, which as usual was
strewed with flowers. He has some beautiful
sentences, and well adapted to the occasion,
but few thinks he possesses that depth of
knowledge that is ascribed to Mr.
Pettengill." In referring to the same event,
Jehudi Ashmun wrote in his journal, "On my
way home, I called at a Masonic meeting,
heard the eloquence of the preacher, but was
far from receiving the least comfort; and I
think I may also say, instruction." (From
Gurley's Life of Jehudi Ashmun.)
It is unfortunate that
no records of Harmony Lodge have been found
to bridge the period of the War of 1812,
which must have greatly disturbed the
activities of the Fraternity, located on thE
frontier and threatened by invading armies.
This is shown in the several letters,
petitions and Returns now in the Grand
to Grand Lodge
the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of the
State of New York.
We the Undersigners,
being Members of Harmony Lodge now holden at
Champlain in the State of New York, and
having, as we trust the best good of Masonry
at heart, beg leave respectfully to shew
That, Champlain being
a frontier Town, the Property of the sd
Lodge is constantly exposed and the Records
of the same every hour liable to be
destroyed and forever lost,
That while convened
for the dispatch of business, we are com
pelled to consider even our persons in
danger from unforeseen in cursions of the
That Chazy is
altogether a more central place, as it
respects the Members of the sd Lodge, two
thirds or more of them being in habitants of
the sd Town of Chazy,
That the present place of
holding sd Lodge is at so great a dis tance
from us, that it is not unfrequently
happens, through the badness of the Roads,
inclemency of the weather &c. that a
Majority of the Members of the sd Lodge are
unavoidably pre vented from attending even
Regular Meetings, which (as we consider) is
a great detriment to the prosperity of the
That we think it but
right and reasonable, that the place of
holding a Lodge should not be such, as will
not accommodate the greatest number of its
Members, thereby securing the inestimable
privilege of attendance in the greatest
with other reasons, which might be
mentioned, have in duced us to lay the Case
before the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge;
praying them to take the same into their
serious considera tion, and should they in
their wisdom see it for the benefit of the
Craft, that the sd Harmony Lodge should be
removed from the sd Town of Champlain, to
the sd Town of Chazy, we pray that they would issue
such Directions as they shall deem proper
as speedily as may be.
at Chazy this 2d Day of Novr in the year
Lawrence W. M.
Cooper S. W.
Thomas J. D.
petition was acted upon in Grand Lodge on
December 14, 1814, and leave granted. In
August, 1816, the Lodge, by unani mous vote,
petitioned Grand Lodge for permission to
return to Champlain. This request was
granted, and the Lodge remained in Champlain
until 1820, when again it was moved to
Chazy, where it appears to have continued
for the remainder of its existence. Among
the reasons given for desiring this removal
was "because another Lodge has been
Chartered at Odletown by the Grand Lodge of
Canada, and is convenient for the Brethren
of Cham plain."
The Return to Grand Lodge
in 1818 lists Robert McPherson, W.M., Harry
Graves, S.W., Elihu Belding, J.W., Thomas
Cooper, Treasurer, and William H. Houghton,
Secretary. Sixty-six names of members are
given. In 1824 the officers were William
Barber, W.M., Joel Byington, S.W., Harry
Graves, J.W., John Aldridge, Jr., Secretary,
and William H. Houghton, Treasurer.
The payment of the
Annual Returns become more and more
difficult, as the following letters
to the Grand Secretary
Novr 29, 1819.
Hicks, Grand Secretary
Lodge not having it in their power to meet
the dues of the Grand
Lodge, owing to some Indigent Brethren
making applica tion to the Lodge for
assistance which is out of their power to re
fund the money, we have made every exertion
to make some collections and have collected
the amt of Forty Dollars which we will
forward to you pr mail or deposit in
Plattsburg Bank as you may direct.
We wish the
circumstances of the Lodge might be taken
into consideration, and if the Grand Lodge
can consistently make a deduction from the
amt due it will be rendering some of the
Brethren and the Lodge in general a great
Brethren have conformed with the
Constitution in taking a vote that the Lodge
might be removed to the Town of Chazy owing
to the greater proportion of the Brethren
residing in that quarter and unanimously
agreed that the Worshipful Master, Senior
& Junior Wardens, should inform the
Grand Lodge and solicit their approbation.
An answer will oblige our Brethren.
Robert McPherson, W. Master
to Grand Lodge
The Most Worshipful
Grand Master, Wardens and Brethren of the
Grand Lodge of the State of New York.
The Petition of the Undersigned
respectfully sheweth, That your
petitioners are members of the same
fraternity and in behalf of the Lodge over
which we are placed, would suggest, that
we as a Lodge are endebted to the Grand
Lodge, and owing to the un settled state
of the Grand Lodge, and some
embarrassments under which we have been
placed, have not made our returns as
regularly as could be wished.
We have a sum
of money amounting to Seventy or Eighty
Dollars that is thus situated, and we
beg leave to add that this sum has
accrued and become due to the Grand
Lodge from this Lodge by having in the
time of the late war a number of
officers as members of this Lodge for
whose dues this Lodge became accountable to
the Grand Lodge, and who were dispersed,
and left this Lodge in debt.
therefore would ask that this sum may be
given to this Lodge first
because we are destitute of a suitable
place for our communications to be held
and no other place than a room in a tavern
for our Lodge to sit, where our furniture
and implements are constantly exposed, and
we have suffered some losses by this
means, and secondly
that a fair opportunity is now offered
us of having a hall fitted for our
convenience in a stone building where we
shall be secure, and if the Grand Lodge
see fit to remit this debt due from us, it
will enable us with the help of our
brethren here to finish our hall, and thirdly
that we have demands against our
brethren here who by their labor and by
furnishing materials would both assist us
and them to discharge their debts.
we would further suggest, and respectfully
represent to the Grand Lodge that we are
situated in a new country, remote from the
Grand Lodge, and are deprived of many of
the advan tages of other Lodges situated
in more populous and more wealthy places.
for the further information and
satisfaction of the Grand Lodge we beg
leave to refer to our Proxy Brother
William Law rence who represents this
Lodge in the Grand Lodge and the bearer of
All of which
is respectfully submitted to the
consideration of the Grand Lodge and as in
duty bound your Petitioners in behalf of
the Lodge will ever pray.
(signed by the Master and
Letter to the Grand
Chazy August 25th, 1829
In answer to
your letter of the 22d June which I have
received I would state that the proceedings
of our Lodge has been regular until within
about one [year) past during which time we
have done but little in consequence of the
very great excitement which has prevailed
throughout the country although it hasn't
been very great here.
The principle reason, as
I believe, of our not paying dues are that
we in building a new Hall got ourselves
somewhat involved & have but just gotten
through with paying for the same—and as to
Communications not having received any from
the Grand Lodge & not knowing its
precise situation we have made none.
Relative to the situation
of other Lodges in this region I am not
particularly acquainted, therefore cannot
give the required in formation.
I have no doubt Sir but
that any Communication from the Grand Lodge
or yourself will be received & that
thankfully & hope it may be speedily. It
undoubtedly has been a very great damage to
this Lodge in not having received
Communications oftener from the Grand Lodge,
some of which by way of encouragement would
be very beneficial, especially in these
As to the new
Constitution, we have heard nothing but wish
you to send it.
As to paying dues in
consequence of the impoverished state of the
Lodge at present I could wish that they
might all be remitted if consistent, but if
not we will endeavor to make them out as
soon as possible.
I am fraternally
Wm. H. Brockway, W. M.
From the records of
Grand Lodge we learn that the Warrant of
Harmony Lodge, No. 154, was declared
forfeited June 7, 1833.
While the locations of
Harmony Lodge in the two communi ties are
not positively known, one site in Champlain
is indicated in the obituary notice of Mrs.
Noadiah Moore, who died in 1878 at the age
of 87: "She founded the first Sunday School
in Champlain in the Masonic Hall, which was
then in the second story of Deacon (David)
Savage's house," on Church Street. The
rent paid was $6.25 for three months.
A list of the members of
Harmony Lodge follows—probably very
incomplete. Four of these became Charter
Members of Champlain Lodge, No. 237: Orrin
Hough, Elijah Ransom, Ichabod Fitch and
Allen, Alphonso S.
Graves, Salmon M.
Andrews, Jacob T.
Hill, William B.
Barber, William N.
Hitchcock, Charles L.
Houlton, William H.
Brockway, William H.
Catton, J. C.
Fitch, Jabez, Jr.
Odell, Joseph T.
Ransom, Elijah Ransom, Hubbel Ransom, Luther
Sax, Matthew Scott, Alexander Seeger,
Jeronomos Shedden, John Sherman, Ebenezer
Leonard Thurber, Ezra Tobias, Ceneka
Simeon Vaughan, William
William Warner, Seth Wells, Joel Williams,
William Wilson, Henry Wood, Solomon
Lodge, No. 237
One Hundred Years
July 7, 1851, a group of Master Masons met
for the purpose of organizing a Lodge in the
Village of Champlain, New York. On December
27th of the same year appeared
representatives of Grand Lodge, formally
instituting Champlain Lodge, and install ing
steps which led to this organization may be
traced through the Minutes of these first
meetings, prefaced by the Petition to the
Grand Lodge. They are here printed in full,
except for minor repetitions, as they cover
one of the most important periods of our
century of existence.
Petition to Grand Lodge
To the Grand
Master and Wardens of the Grand Lodge of the
State of New York.
undersigned petitioners to the Grand Lodge
we are regular Master Masons, and are at
present or have been members of regular
& Lawful Lodges; That having the
prosperity of the fraternity at heart, We
are willing to exert our best endeavours to
promote and diffuse the principles of
Masonry, That for the convenience of our
respective dwellings or other good reasons,
we have agreed to form a new Lodge, to be
named the Champlain Lodge, to be located in
the Village of Cham plain, and have
nominated and do recommend
Holcomb, to be the first Master
Hough, to be the first Senior Warden
Newell, to be the first Junior Warden
in consequence of this resolution we pray
for a dispensa tion, or a warrant of
Constitution, to empower [us to
meet as] a regular lodge on the [blank]
Wednesday of every month and there to
discharge the duties of Masonry in a regular
and Con stitutional manner, according to the
original forms of the order, and the laws of
the Grand Lodge; That the prayer of the
Petitioner being granted, we promise a
strict conformity to all the regulations and
rules of the Grand Lodge.
Champlain Clinton Co. N. Y. July 9th, 1851
D. T. Taylor
B. C. Webster
Julius C. Fitch
of Champlain Lodge
At a meeting of Master
Masons held at the Village of Champlain in
the County of Clinton in the State of New
York on the 9th day of July 1851, for the
purpose of Organizing a Masonic Lodge, to be
called the Champlain Lodge.
It was moved and
Seconded that Bro. Holcomb be appointed
Chairman of this meeting. Carried.
Moved and seconded.
That Bro. Hungerford be appointed Sec retary
of this meeting.
The Object of the meeting
was then briefly stated by the Chair man,
and the meeting then proceeded to the
Transaction of busi ness.
The following brethren
were then unanimously elected Officers of the Lodge
Bro. D. S. Holcomb, Master
Orrin Hough, Senr. Warden
Daniel Newell, Junr. Warden
J. Hungerford, Secretary
E. Ransom, Treasurer
A. J. Woodworth, Senr. Deacon
Julius C. Fitch, Junr. Deacon
H. Carter, Tyler
Moved and Seconded —
That the Master, Senr and Junr Wardens be a
Committee on By-Laws. Carried.
Seconded—That Bros. Nathaniel Nichols, E.
Ran som and H. Carter be appointed a
A Subscription was
then taken up for the purpose of defraying
the expense of a Charter, when the following
sums set opposite the respective names of
the brethren whose names appear here unto
subscribed were given:
D. Newell .........................................................................................
E. Ransom ........................................................................................
J. Woodworth .................................................................................
and carried that this meeting adjourn.
Minutes of Champlain Lodge
At a regular
Communication of Champlain Lodge of Free and
Accepted Masons No. 237 held at the Masonic
Hall in the Village of Champlain on
Wednesday the first day of October 1851.
The Lodge was opened in due and
The Minutes of
the previous meeting also the Charter
were read by the Secretary.
The Lodge then took
into consideration the subject of the in
stallation of its Officers.
Minutes of Champlain Lodge
At a Special
Communication of the Champlain Lodge of Free
and Accepted Masons No. 237. Held at the
Masonic Hall in the Village of Champlain on
the 5th day of November 1851.
D. S. Holcomb, W.M.; Orrin Hough, S.W.; M.
Van dervoort (a) J. W.; Bros. A. Moses (a),
Treasurer; J. Hunger-ford, Secretary; H.
The Lodge opened in due and ancient
presented from J. V. B. Hoyle, J. M. Bagley,
A. Alli son and R. Cushing with the
accompanying fee of $3.00 each.
Minutes of Champlain Lodge
a Meeting of the Champlain Lodge of Free
& Accepted Masons, No. 237, held at the
Masonic Hall in the Village of Cham plain on
the 3rd day of December 1851.
Lodge was opened in due and ancient form.
Minutes of the previous Meeting read and
The Lodge then proceeded to elect the Officers
for the ensuing year.
D. S. Holcomb, W. M.
O. Hough, S. W.
D. Newell, J. W.
J. Hungerford, S.
Bro. E. Ransom, T.
A. J. Woodworth, S. D.
Bro.______ Carter, Tyler
Bro. Richard Johnson, S.W.
The several committees
reported favorably on the petitions of J. V.
B. Hoyle, J. M. Bagley, Aaron Allison and R.
Cushing who were severally ballotted for
The Lodge then
proceeded to initiate James M. Bagley as an
entered apprentice Mason.
of Champlain Lodge
17th, 1851. The Lodge opened in due and
present Bros. Mott, Webster, Baxter &
Moved and Seconded
that this Lodge hold a Communication on the
27th instant at 1 O'c P.M. for the purpose
of installation. Carried.
J. V. B. Hoyle &
Aaron Allison were then initiated as Entered
A. Bagley was passed to Fellow-Craft Mason.
of Champlain Lodge
At a Meeting of
Champlain Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons,
No. 237, held at the Masonic Hall in
the Village of Champlain.
The Lodge opened in due and ancient
Visiting Brethren present, Bros.
Baxter & Prindle.
D. D. G.
Skinner & representatives of the Grand
Lodge ap peared & proceeded to institute
the Lodge & install
Bro. D. S.
Holcomb, W. M. Moses Baxter as a substitute
for Orrin Hough, S. W.
J. Hungerford, Secy.
as Substitute for
A. J. Woodworth, S. D.
W. Prindle as
Substitute for ______ J.
& Hiram Carter, Tyler
The Minutes were
then read & approved. The Lodge was then
closed in due form.
Members, from First Return to Grand
June 1, 1852,
A. J. Woodworth
J. C. Fitch
place where the Lodge held its first
meetings is not definitely known—perhaps
in the Champlain House, of which the W.M.,
Diadorus S. Holcomb, was proprietor.
However, on September 5, 1855, it was
voted that the "present hall be given up
on December 1st, and that the Lodge be
moved" to the third floor of the new
Allason Block—now the east half of the
American Hotel. The rent was $36 per year,
later raised to $50.
In 1882, the
Lodge removed to new rooms on the third
floor of the Doolittle Block—now owned by
Bro. Kenneth C. Kaufman. The rent was $40
per year. Three years later, the Lodge
room was enlarged, and space for dining
room and kitchen added. Running water was
introduced in 1898.
committee appointed to secure permanent
quarters reported on July 18, 1923, that
the property known as Champlain Hall could
be purchased for $4,750.00 from the Estate
of Ellen R. Nye. This purchase was quickly
consummated, and after extensive re
modelling the first Communication in our
present Lodge Room was held on February
In June of
1951, the Lodge voted to buy the adjacent
building from the Feryall Estate, with the
object of eventually expanding its present
our first years, the hour of meeting
varied, from two or two-thirty in the
afternoon, to six o'clock. Many changes
also took place in the day of meeting,
although Wednesday seems usually to have
been favored. For a few months in 1864,
the Lodge met on the "first Wednesday
preceding the full of the moon."
following the election of officers at the
first com munication of the Lodge, a
Committee on By-Laws was chosen. In March,
1853, it was voted that Brother David
Turner, publisher of the Rouses
Point Advertiser, print 100 copies.
The price was to be
$8.00 and they were "to be bound in
morocco & gilt edges." A copy of this
pamphlet, bound in yellow paper covers, is
in the archives of the Lodge. It was
presented in 1930 by Mrs. Robert Hoyle. It
is dated Nov. 5, A.L. 5851.
These first By-Laws
provide that "in ballotting for a
candidate, the member casting the black
ball after the second ballot may give
his reasons." Also that "all visiting
Brethren will be charged twelve and a half
cents per visit after the third visit,
unless he be a member of some Lodge where
The first revision
of the By-Laws was printed in 1866 by Syl
vester Howard, publisher of the Champlain
Journal. The cost was $15.00 for
200 copies, bound in blue paper covers.
Thirty years later,
in 1896, appeared the second revision, of
which J. W. Tuttle & Co., of
Plattsburg, printed 500 copies at a cost
of about $10.00.
In 1921 the third
revision appeared, printed at the
Moorsfield Press. It was stitched in brown
covers and consisted of 15 pages. Its
increased size is accounted for by the
inclusion of the Lodge officers for 1920,
together with a list of Past Masters and a
com plete roster of the 135 members.
By-Laws were completely revised in 1946.
The amount of the
Initiation Fees and the Annual Dues have,
naturally enough, changed with the passing
years. These changes —mainly upwards—are
shown in the following tables, together
with the effective dates.
At the end of this History
will be found a complete roster of the
officers of Champlain Lodge from its
founding to the present day.
It will be noted
that certain officers were not named
during the first years. The Masters of
Ceremony (called Stewards until 1863) came
into being in 1854. In 1863 both Masters
of Ceremony and Stewards were appointed,
the latter for that year being Henry A.
Miner and George A. French.
1854 also saw the
introduction of the Marshal, his title at
times being entered in the minutes as
Master of Ceremonies or Grand Marshal.
The first Chaplain
was appointed in 1870. Although often a
lay Brother of the Lodge, it seems that
whenever possible the Chaplain was a
clergyman. Two of them served for many
years, although not members of this Lodge:
Rev. George C. Pennell and Rev. Daniel E.
From 1867 until 1938
an Organist was annually appointed, hut
from available information it would seem
that this office was quite honorary, as
few of the Brethren so named could play
either organ or piano.
In 1869 Champlain
Lodge was incorporated under the Laws of
the State of New York. William Graham,
Horatio F. Knapp, and Jeremiah Shaw were
the first Trustees.
A Lodge Historian
was twice appointed: Diadorus S. Holcomb
in 1862, and Emerson I. Lord in 1887. The
same year saw Thomas H. Dickinson
appointed a "Committee on Antiquities."
Death has claimed
only one senior officer while in office.
John T. Stewart died September 18, 1898,
during his term as Master.
the first seventy-five years, Champlain
Lodge was only once honored by having a
District Deputy Grand Master chosen from
its members. In 1884, Emerson I. Lord was
appointed to that office, serving the
Brethren of St. Lawrence, Franklin, and
Clinton Counties for two terms.
should be noted in passing that our
Masonic District in 1851 consisted of the
eight counties of St. Lawrence, Jefferson,
Hamil ton, Fulton, Franklin, Lewis, Essex
last quarter century has seen three
D.D.G.M.'s appointed from our Lodge: Hugh
McLellan (1926 and 1927) and Orville R.
Dunn (1934), representing the
Clinton-Essex District; and James W.
Codding (1942 and 1943) for the present
As a forerunner to
the office of Assistant Grand Lecturer, in
1860 the Lodge "voted to pay $1.50 per day
& his expenses to J. H. Wagner to
attend Lecturer's Convention at Plattsburg
& for this he is to dispense the
lectures to the members of the Lodge when
Since the establishment of
the office of A.G.L., the following
members have served in that capacity:
James W. Codding
Charles W. McLellan
Robert S. Halstead
Harold W. Maynard
many years Bro. Orville R. Dunn served as
a member of the Grand Lodge Board of
The Minutes reveal many
interesting details regarding the acquisi
tion of the Lodge furnishings. Among the
more important may be mentioned the
Lodge Charter framed in
"Voted that Mr.
Vandervoort's bill for Chest, Gauge and
Mallets for $4.50 be paid when there is
money in the Treasury not otherwise
Ballot Box, presented by a
sojourner, Bro. P. J. Goodrich, in 1855.
Marbles on pedestals, made
by Bro. William Bell for $12, being part
of his initiation fee. 1859.
in 1863 for $67.75.
Pillars, made by
Bro. Pasha, "same as in Lake Lodge, for $5 less
than those cost." 1863.
of Washington, in gilt frame, purchased in
1865 for $15.
Jewels and Collars for twelve officers
purchased for $110. 1868.
Twelve Bell purchased in 1868 for $14.
photograph of P. M. John R. Lafountain,
presented by Bro. Gilbert in 1872.
A dozen and a
half chairs purchased for $76, and
'Warden's Chairs for $36.30. 1891.
marble-top table (Chaplain's Table) bought
for $5.25 from Bro. Deal in 1892.
one dozen Cuspidors be purchased for the
benefit of the Brethren." 1895.
"Raised $40 for carpet, and hope Rouses
Point will contribute as liberally as
Champlain." Cost $86.01.
Perfect Ashlars presented by Bro. Joseph
Rushlow, in 1896.
The piano was
included in the purchase of our present
building, in 1923.
photographs of the Lodge officers for the
year 1872, presented by Bro. Boardman in
behalf of the officers.
won at the Plattsburg Masonic Fair in
1893, inscribed: "The Head of this Gavel
is Oak of the Royal
Savage, Sunk in Battle of Valcour,
October 11, 1776. In the Handle is a piece
of the Historic Charter Oak. The Case was
a panel of a Door in Libby Prison. Made by
J. D. Wilkinson."
teaches the practice of charity, and the
Lodge records show frequent applications
of this virtue. During the years, how
ever, the character of the donations for
charitable purposes has shifted largely
from local and personal cases, to those
great charitable efforts which function in
The early records cover
such items as donations to Brothers who
have sustained loss by fire, the payment
of funeral expenses, relief to needy
Masons and their families, and similar
calls for as sistance. In 1858 it was
resolved that $50 be placed at the
disposal of a committee "for distribution
to the worthy needy poor of this
In later years,
although donations to individual Masons oc
casionally appear, the distribution of
charity has flowed mainly into
institutional channels, such as the Red
Cross, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, and
March of Dimes; through Grand Lodge, by
the increase of fees on Initiates, from $1
to $23.75; and by contribu tions to the
Victory Chest and Brotherhood Fund.
An analysis of our
contributions over the century reveal that
our charitable enterprizes, although often
hidden, have made a record of which we may
Although four wars
involving the United States occurred
during our century of existence, and many
of our Brethren participated actively in
them, references to military affairs are
Bro. Charles B.
Melius is listed in the 1864 Return as
"killed at the Battle of Petersburgh, Aug.
20, 1864." And in the Minutes of March 4,
1868, it was "Moved that the Memorials of
our Lamented Bro. John T. Myers, who laid
down his life while in the service of his
country," be deposited in the archives of
created on the northern frontier by the
St. Albans Raid in 1864 is reflected in a
resolution late that year "to pay the
Committee of Safety $5 towards sustaining
And we find that
Bro. James Duffy "was killed by accident
while firing a cannon made by himself at
the Foundry, in which he worked, on June
30, 1863, in honor of a Union victory."
During the First
World War, three candidates received all
their degrees in one day: Arthur R.
Atwood, Orville R. Dunn, and Clarence A.
Scriver. It is noteworthy that they
subsequently be came Masters of the Lodge.
active in every theatre during World War
II, and Champlain Lodge honors the memory
of Bro. Robert Wallace who made the
institution of the Fifty-Year Service
Medal in 1934 by the Grand Lodge has
provided a most happy method of honoring
the older members of the Fraternity who
have "borne the heat and burden of the
members of Champlain Lodge have been
awarded these medals:
George B. Hoag
William M. Lighthall
John A. True
Harrison A. Palmer
William J. McCrea
Cyrus R. Bristol
True and Bristol were also awarded the
Service Palm, representing ten additional
years of service to the Craft.
AND FALL IN MEMBERSHIP
first Return to Grand Lodge, in 1852,
showed a membership of twenty-nine. The
next available Return, for 1861, showed
thirty-nine. It seems probable that this
relatively small increase was due to the
creation of Lake Lodge at Rouses Point, in
The Lodge grew steadily, and in 1867
reached a total of ninety-three members.
During the 70's and 80's a gradual but
steady decrease occurred, twice reaching a
low of thirty-three, in 1883 and 1889. The
figures again rose, with occasional
fluctuations, until the depression during
the 30's. The membership passed the
hundred mark in 1909. It reached a new
high of 188 in 1934, but by 1941 had
dropped to 137.
the recent war years, the growth has again
been steady—our Return in 1950 showed a
total membership of 192.
LAKE LODGE, NO. 424, F. &
communication of Champlain Lodge of
January 7, 1857, Bro. Benjamin Russell
presented a petition for granting a recom
mendation that a new Lodge "called
Montgomery Lodge" be formed at Rouses
Point. This petition was regularly voted
upon and carried, resulting in the
granting of a charter to Lake Lodge, No.
424, on February 20, 1857. The officers
were installed on June 2nd of the same
year. The Charter Members were:
Benjamin Russell Robert H.
Powell John Taylor Benjamin C.
Webster J. G. McCormick John C.
Biglow Orrin Hough
Sweeney John T. Hammond George W.
Atkins Phineas R. Wales Isaac Fadden
J. R. Armes
Phillips Abraham Klohs
membership in 1862 was reported as
only further references to Lake Lodge found
in the Minutes of our Lodge is one
indicating its existence in 1863, and a
passing mention in 1866 to the "late Lake
inevitable result of the inauguration of the
new Lodge rooms was the formation of a
Masonic Club. Early in 1924, By-Laws were
adopted with the approval of the Lodge,
officers elected, and billiard, pool, and
card tables secured.
For nearly two decades, this Club was
the center of Masonic recreation, with
monthly spreads and annual tournaments. The
defeated players gave the winners elaborate
banquets, each side attempting to outdo the
other in novelty.
a banquet, winners appeared in special
evening clothes and top hats, each leading a
dog on a leash. The animosity of the dogs
created something of a rumpus at the banquet
table, and eventually caused them to be
banquets featured unrehearsed speeches on
impossible subjects and presentations
intended rather to embarrass than to flatter
the recipient; the old-timers will recall
with glee the apron presentation to Bro.
Truesdell and the "address" entirely in
French by Bro. Hugh McLellan. The printed
programs and the notices for the meetings
are still remembered as minor works of
editorial and typographical art.
unrehearsed mock-trial which aroused much
interest was "Foster Strickland vs. Oscar
Bredenberg, the Champlain Masonic Club, et
al." The opposing attorneys were A. T.
Phillips for the defense and Arthur Atwood
for the plaintiff. Porter Truesdell acted as
court stenographer. William Hogge and George
Allen, as experts, testified on the medical
aspects of the case, which was based on the
alleged injury to the plaintiff when struck
on the head by a large pitcher in the hands
of a waiter (Oscar Bredenberg) employed by
the Club. The jury, after deliberation, re
quested Judge Warren Smith's permission to
examine the elabor ately bandaged scalp of
the plaintiff; no evidence of injury being
found, the jury brought in a verdict for the
FIRST SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS
is primarily a fraternal organization. While
the preceding text is essential to the
history of the Lodge, the complete picture
cannot be drawn if we omit those activities
which bind us in our fellowship, not only in
the Lodge but with other Lodges and other
following extracts from the Minutes are
arranged chrono logically.
1852. Visit to
Dorchester Lodge, at St. Johns, by a
delegation from this Lodge.
Out of respect
for the late Bro. Henry Clay, Lodge in mourn
ing for ninety days.
funeral for Bro. Aaron Allason, who met his
death near Altona (for years called
Aaronsburgh in his honor), while a conductor
on the Northern Railroad.
1854. Voted to
celebrate St. John's Day at Rouses Point,
with a dinner. Motion rescinded at next
meeting, and "an oyster supper with Bro.
Carter at his saloon" was substituted.
rooms rented to the Independent Order of
Recha bites for $1 per evening.
1857. Voted that
the remaining property of the Rechabites be
taken for rent due.
Recommended that a Lodge be located at West
1863. The Lodge
granted the use of its rooms for the
marriage of the S.W., Francis Gooley;
ceremony performed by the W.M., Charles E.
Morris, Past Grand Master of Kentucky,
visited the Lodge.
Lamountain brothers—Abel, Adolph and
Edmund—raised at the same time.
that the labor of writing up the books of
the Lodge by Bro. Hitchcock as ordered, was
Oyster supper tendered members of Lacolle
F. L. Channell, offered to donate his salary
for the year towards purchasing curtains for
1869. Three pillars
not in use by the Lodge loaned to Adiron
dack Chapter, No. 234, at Rouses Point.
Recommended a petition for a new Lodge at
Centerville (Mooers Forks).
taken in Lodge in aid of the building of the
new Champlain Methodist Church.
Communication in the Doolittle Block, on
July 5th; Bro. Thomas H. Dickinson raised.
funeral of Bro. John Van Beuren Hoyle, the
first candidate raised in the Lodge.
accepted an invitation to attend the
institution of a new Lodge at Hemmingford.
1892. Bro. H.
F. Gaines delegated to attend Dedication of
the Home at Utica; expenses not over $10 to
be paid by Lodge.
1898. Fifty visitors attended the
installation of the Lodge offi cers, which
was preceded by refreshment at the Good
Convention held in Champlain.
1900. Electric lights installed in
the Lodge, at a cost of $37.
1901. The Lodge
in mourning for the death of President
1902. Voted to
give the Eastern Stars, now forming, the use
of the Lodge rooms for one year, including
light and fuel.
Masonic Fair held in Champlain for two days,
netting the Lodge $944.61. (This money was
put into a Building Fund, and was not used
1916. Bro. Foster
M. Strickland served his first year as Lodge
presented to the Lodge by Mrs. Bartlett Nye;
cost.$9 to move it.
A "George Washington Night" held in
Convention held in Champlain; Horace W.
Smith, Grand Lecturer.
1924. On February
6th, the last Communication was held in the
old rooms in the Doolittle Block.
new era was inaugurated when the Lodge,
having purchased the Champlain Hall
property, moved into its new home. But
before the alterations were commenced,
Masons and their families were invited to an
informal party reminiscent of the many
social gatherings held in Champlain Hall in
years past. This party, held on November 15,
1923, was attended by 120 guests.
McLellan, Master. First meeting
held in new building on February 20th;
Victor Bredenberg raised.
petition for a new Lodge at Chazy. In June,
the officers of Chazy Lodge exemplify the
three degrees in our rooms, to obtain a
Certificate of Proficiency.
On the occasion of the
raising of John Crook, James Burroughs and
Peter Vosburgh, a banquet was held in Canada
Hall. Later in the year, Masonic Church
Services were held in the Episcopal Church,
Bro. Phillips, Pastor.
Masonic Shield was
given by Mr. Victor Bredenberg and Mr.
Sprague Pettes, for the Club Rooms.
Arthur R. Atwood, Master. First
committee on an elec tric sign for the
building: W. W. Gettys, Hugh McLellan and V.
Arthur R. Atwood, Master. Voted
that the Great Light be presented to each
candidate. First presentations to Arnold
McCrea, George Soboleski and Clarke
subscriptions to The
Masonic Outlook taken.
Ernest N. Eldred, Master. On
the occasion of the raising of Nelson E.
Patnode, Charles T. White, Harry S.
Woodward, Henderson Penfield and George
Penfield, a banquet was held in the
Presbyterian Church, with 151 present.
Irvin E. Robinson, Master. New
committee on the electric sign appointed,
due to inactivity of first committee.
Apron of the First Master Mason raised in
Champlain Lodge (John Van Beuren Hoyle)
presented by Mrs. Robert Hoyle.
Clarence A. Striver, Master. The
Letter G in the East designed and made by
Hugh McLellan and Victor Bredenberg. Funeral
of Bro. Elmer Deal held in Lodge rooms.
Truesdell, Master. On
the occasion of the raising of Fred Porter,
Thomas Nicholson, G. Allison Dole and Martin
Kutner, a banquet was held in the Lodge
rooms, with nearly a hundred present,
including thirty-four visitors.
Orville R. Dunn, Master. The
funeral of Bro. Henry M. Bertrand held in
the Lodge rooms.
Services held in the Presbyterian Church, in
1932. Victor E.
Bredenberg, Master. A delegation visited
Coeur Unis Lodge in Montreal.
Truesdell gave an illustrated talk on George
Oscar E. Bredenberg, Master. First
District Masonic Picnic held at Pointe au
Much discussion over
the presentation of Past Masters' Aprons.
Stanley E. Averill, Master. Ventilator
in the kitchen in stalled.
The Bridge Tournament
between Plattsburg and Champlain resulted in
a decisive victory for Champlain.
Arnold McCrea, Master. Masonic Picnic
held at Camp Roosevelt, on Pointe au Roche.
Sign Committee reported progress.
delegation from Victory Lodge, in Montreal,
visited the Lodge.
James W. Codding, Master. A
"Sojourners' Night" was held in February.
Victory Lodge, of
Montreal, exemplified the First Degree ac
cording to the Quebec Rite. On a return
visit by Champlain Lodge, the Third Degree
was exemplified in accordance with the New
Charles W. McLellan, Master. A
"Government Services Night" program was held
early in the year.
our celebration of the 200th Anniversary of
the Provincial Grand Lodge of New York,
Victory Lodge and St. George's Lodge, of
Montreal, visited us. Return visits were
made later in the year.
The Lodge inaugurated
the custom of presenting The
Masonic Outlook annually to the
Master, Wardens and Deacons.
Thomas Nicholson, Master. Of
particular interest this year was the final
payment on our building indebtedness. No
special celebration was made of the event,
but Bro. Strickland reviewed the history of
Other events during
the year were the adoption of our first
budget; a visit from Lakeshore Lodge, of
Montreal, and a visit to Victory Lodge; and
the celebration of the Sesquicentennial of
States Constitution, with Bro. Alfred
Diebold as guest speaker.
Robert Heron, Master. At a
"George Washington Night" Bro. John Riley,
of Plattsburg, spoke on Washington and the
Foundations of the United States. This was
preceded by an in teresting exemplification
of the initiation of Washington, Bro. Bruce
Stewart portraying the candidate. Later in
the year, movies on "Masons in the
Revolution" were presented.
A new Sign
Committee was appointed, consisting of Hugh
McLellan, James Codding and Elmer Bullis.
Charles T. White, Master. Bro. Elmer
Bullis exhibited the finished Sign for the
front of our building.
a "Veterans' Night" sixteen veterans of
former wars re sponded to the roll-call.
Bro. Wilson E. Grant spoke on his visit to
Vimy Ridge, and of his experiences as a
member of the Cana dian Army during the
First World War.
Other programs included a Masonic
"Information, Please" program, with past
D.D.G.M.'s attempting to answer the
questions of the Brethren; and an address by
Bro. John R. Riley on "Ma sonry's Relation
to the Present State of the World."
Harold R. Moore, Master. This year
saw a departure of several members for
service in the Armed Forces. The Lodge voted
to remit the annual dues of all members
Bro. Riley gave an address on George
Washington and on the text "All Out for
Robert S. Halstead, Master. For the
second time in our history, three brothers
joined the Lodge at the same time: Allan,
Harold and William Maynard.
meetings included a Masonic quiz by John A.
Harrison, and a most illuminating talk on
the "Morgan Episode" by Franklin R. Forbes.
boxes were sent to Brethren in the Armed
Franklin R. Forbes, Master. A special
program celebrated the 50th anniversary of
the opening of the Masonic Home at Utica.
Gravestones of John
R. Lafountain and of Abel Ford, former
members of the Lodge, were repaired by
The Masonic War
Chest and other war-imposed activities were
Orville R. Dunn, Master. Eleven members
of this Lodge attended the outdoors
communication on Owl's Head Mountain in
Robert S. Halstead; Master. The altar
of the Lodge was draped in mourning in
memory of President Franklin D. Roose velt.
Masonic picnic was held at Bro. Hamilton
19th, Bro. Ernest Dawson, from Lacolle,
offered prayer upon the end of hostilities.
He also spoke on "Masonic Freedom and the
Lodge, of Montreal, paid us a fraternal
visit, and exemplified the First Degree.
R. Hogle, Master. Degree work
completely filled our Trestle Board
throughout the year.
August was held the Masonic picnic at Bro.
McCrea's camp, and in October we received a
delegation from St. George's Lodge of
David A. Brothers, Master. A quiz on
Masonic Symbols, and movies on the Masonic
Home, were among the programs held during
the year. In June we received a delegation
from vari ous Montreal Lodges.
Harold W. Maynard, Master. A card
party, sponsored by the Masonic Club, helped
swell our Brotherhood Fund contri bution.
A delegation of
about seventy-five paid a fraternal visit to
St. Lawrence Lodge in Montreal.
Raymond V. Walsh, Master. Extensive
repairs on our building were carried out by
the Custodian, Bro. Strickland.
pictures, with the Masonic picnic along with
a talk on the pilgrim age to the Masonic
Home by Mr. David Brothers, who featured
special programs throughout the year.
Maynard R. Vance, Master. In August, by
special dis pensation, Bro. Richard Compton
was raised, at the request of his Lodge in
the efforts of Harold Maynard and the Wright
broth ers, a basketball game at Rouses Point
helped us in filling our Brotherhood Fund
Bro. Ralph Tieje,
Past Grand Master of Washington and Alaska,
presented a fine address on "Masonry in
A large delegation
from Victory Lodge, and a Masonic quiz, were
among the year's programs.
L. Morgan, Master. Foster
Strickland commenced his thirty-sixth
consecutive term as Lodge Treasurer, and
Hugh McLellan his twentieth as Secretary.
delegation visited Victory Lodge in Montreal
on Memorial Day.
programs during the Spring months included
several showings of movies; and talks on
George Washington, by Bro. Henrichs; on
Masonry in Germany and Denmark, by Bro. Grib
ble; on the history of The Sheridan Iron
Works, by Bro. Oscar Bredenberg; and on the
Morgan Episode, by Bro. Forbes.