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About our town - Lexington, Massachusetts

It was here, in April 1775...

...that the Minute Men challenged the British regulars and history was made. From that moment on, Lexington and Concord would be known as the birthplace of the American Revolution. The statue of Captain John Parker, leader of the militia that fateful day, stands at the head of the famous Lexington Green and is proudly displayed at the top of our web pages.

Simon W Robinson Lodge is very pleased to meet in a historic building just across the "Battle Road" which frames the Green.

For information about visiting Lexington contact the Lexington Visitor Center at 781-862-1450 or the Minute Man Visitor Center at 781-862-7753.

"Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
Captain Parker, April 19, 1775

Lexington Links

Freemasonry in Lexington

Tradition tells us that the first gatherings of Freemasons in Lexington were held on a secluded spot on the hill back of Munroe Tavern. In 1797, ten Masons gathered at Munroe Tavern and signed a petition to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for a charter. Dispensation was granted on December 12, 1797, for the institution of Hiram Lodge. All the charter members had been raised in King Solomon's Lodge and were residents of Lexington. Colonel William Munroe, proprietor of the tavern and well known as the stalwart orderly of Captain Parker's Minute-Men, was the first Master. The last survivor of the original ten was Jonathan Harrington, the fifer boy of sixteen at the Battle of Lexington, who died in 1854. This Lodge met at Munroe Tavern for thirty-three years. The Lodge was dormant from 1831 during the anti-Masonic period and finally moved to West Cambridge, now Arlington, in 1843.

...dedicated members, too numerous to properly recognize here, for well over a century have provided us with the Lodge we have today. To them, we are grateful.

Lexington possessed no Masonic Lodge from 1843 to 1870, when Simon W. Robinson Lodge was instituted, under dispensation dated November 7, with John C. Blasdel as Master. The first meetings were held at the residence of Sargent C. Whitcher, one of the fifteen charter members, on Hancock Street (No. 23 - demolished in 1930). The first regular meeting was held on March 13,1871, in the Lexington Town Hall. The Lodge was duly constituted, the hall in the old Town Hall building was dedicated and the officers installed on October 20, 1871. On November 20, 1871, Everett S. Locke, Master in 1878, became the first man to be raised in the Lodge.

During the first forty-eight years, the Lodge met in only two places: the Whitcher home, while working under dispensation; and in the hall on the third floor of the Town Hall. At the meeting in January 1917, Brother Littlefield, the architect, showed plans for the renovation of "Historic Hall."

At the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge, the senior member was the last surviving charter member, George D. Harrington. At the same time, the senior Past Master of the Lodge was the senior and first member raised in the Lodge, Everett S. Locke.

Right Worshipful Howard E. Custance reported on May 14, 1928, for the Committee to Institute a Chapter of DeMolay in Lexington. After a favorable discussion, the report was accepted subject to the approval of the Grand Lodge. The institution of the Chapter took place on October 5, 1928, under sponsorship of the "High Twelve Club of Simon W. Robinson Lodge." There has been a close association of the Chapter with the Lodge ever since and a number of former members of Battle Green Chapter, Order of DeMolay, have joined the Lodge. A number of those have eventually served as Master of the Lodge and a few have distinguished themselves as officers of the Grand Lodge and other Masonic bodies.

High Twelve was, also, the name of a newsletter or paper published monthly by the Lodge, starting in 1925, under the editorship of Wor. George S. Barton and Wor. Fred Bailey. For over eight years, it carried items of special interest to the Lodge, as well as inspirational, historical and factual information of interest to all members of the Craft.

In the early 1930's, the Lexington Masonic Players presented An 18th Century Lodge, with a cast of over twenty members depicting a lodge as it was conducted in 1723. Numerous performances were given in Lexington, Winchester, Lowell and Boston - the most notable being on June 25, 1933, in Boston before a gathering of Grand Lodge and other distinguished Masons from England, Scotland and Ireland on the occasion of the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

The period of the Great Depression had its impact on the Lodge in various ways and the dues of over fifty members were remitted or canceled in some years.

In 1934, Wor. J. Lawrence Miles urged the creation of a Masonic Library in the Lodge building. In April 1935, the Grand Lodge loaned an extensive collection of books and over the years various members have contributed volumes to the library. Thus was formed what is thought to be the first library of its kind in Massachusetts outside the Grand Lodge.

The organ currently used was purchased by the Lodge and presented to the Lexington Masonic Associates in 1937.

In 1937, Worshipful Carl Hauck received from Brother Ruben Seth the Past Master's Jewel of Simon W. Robinson. Beginning in 1939, the Jewel was exchanged each year with Mount Lebanon Lodge, Robinson's Lodge. The tradition continued for many years and helped to cement the friendliest of relations between these two Lodges.

The Lodge is indebted to two Past Masters, Carl Hauck (1937-38) and Clyde A. Booker (1950-51), for the gift of their talent in the form of carvings given to the Lodge. We will remember Wor. Bro. Hauck for the carvings on the organ, over the altar and the emblem plaques use in the Master's Third Degree lecture, along with the twenty-four inch gauge and square used in the Third Degree. And Wor. Bro. Booker for the carvings of the emblems of the First Degree (displayed south of the Lodge Room entrance, of the columns and emblems of the Second Degree (on the north side of the Master's station) and the emblems of the Third Degree (on the south side of the Master's station).

In October 1941, it was voted to remit (cancel) the dues of all members serving in the Armed Forces below the rank of commissioned officer. On December 14, 1942, it was voted to remit the dues of all members serving in the Armed Forces. At various meetings, collections were received to defray the expenses of Masonic Service Centers which had been set up by the Grand Lodge in the military establishments in Massachusetts. By October, 1944, Masons in Massachusetts had contributed $264,000 toward the Masonic Military Fund. The Lodge received a citation from the Grand Master for its contribution. Twenty-five members who had served in the Armed Services during World War II were honored at dinner on February 11, 1946.

On Saturday, February 9, 1952, the Lodge was opened at 1:45 p.m. and five candidates were received and entered on the First Degree. At 5:00 p.m., four other members were passed to the Second Degree. After a recess for supper, four other members were raised to the Third, or Master Mason, Degree. This is the only time in the history of the Lodge that all three degrees have been conferred on the same day. The post-war period was one of intense activity for Simon W. Robinson Lodge, as it was for many other Lodges. The Lodge met on almost every Monday, conferring degrees on candidates, the majority of whom were veterans of World War II. It was not unusual for the Lodge to open in the middle of the afternoon and close after 10:00 p.m., sometimes conferring more than one degree on different groups of candidates. This, plus many other activities, made for a busy time.

In 1955, a new Lodge was instituted in Bedford. The Lodge was named for the late Chaplain of Simon W. Robinson Lodge, Rev. Bro. Frank W. Thompson.

In 1957, Bro. Norton T. Hood presented the Lodge with a gavel made from one of the original beams of Buchman Tavern. In accordance with his wishes, this historic gavel has been used each year at the meeting closest to April 19th. This was the second gavel of historic significance given to the Lodge. In 1913, at the of his installation of Wor. George F. Smith as Master for the second time, Most Worshipful Everett C. Benton, Grand Master and a member of the Lodge, presented the Lodge with a gavel made from timbers "Felled and prepared in the forests of Lebanon."

"Hurricane Donna" arrived in the late afternoon of September 12, 1960, just prior to the scheduled official visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master. The District Deputy and his Suite never made it, but the meeting was held by candlelight.

Later in September, 1960, Washington Lodge held its first meeting in the Lexington Masonic Apartments after transferring its charter from Roxbury to Lexington.

In May of 1965, for the first time, recognition was given to those members who had completed twenty-five years of service to the Lodge. In June, the first "members night" was held at which sideline members replaced the line officers in their stations for the exemplification of the degree work.

The first annual Lexington Council, No. 94, Knights of Columbus/Simon W. Robinson Lodge joint social event was held on April 16, 1966.

The Lodge has had a practice of serving a holiday turkey dinner to members of the Lodge who are over 75 (originally 80) years of age and their ladies for a number of years. This event is held the same day as the Lodge Christmas party for children of Lodge members and friends.

1977-78 was a particularly active year with, among other things, a special program in conjunction with almost every meeting of the Lodge. Among the highlights was an address by guest speaker Rt. Wor. and Illustrious George A. Newbury, 33o, of Buffalo, New York, Past Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Freemasonry (he had stepped down in 1975 after serving ten years at the helm). Also, a presentation of Carl Claudy's Masonic play "A Rose Upon The Altar" by The Charles A. Welch Players. Plus, the reception of Most Worshipful Arthur H. Melanson, Grand Master, and a distinguished suite.

The Masonic Correspondent of Simon W. Robinson Lodge, a newsletter, started publication in September, 1977, and continued for six years, under the editorship of Wor. Carl M. Hogan, with four to ten issues published each year.

Rt. Wor. Jeffrey B. Hodgdon established a fund in memory of his grandfather, Wor. Walter G. Black. Brother Black began the practice of presenting each new member of the Lodge with a Masonic Bible. This practice has continued and will be perpetuated by use of the income from the fund.

The preceding history is by necessity an abbreviated one. It is a fraction of the length of those previously written and published on the occasion of the fiftieth, seventieth, hundredth and hundred and twenty-fifth anniversaries. However, liberal use has been made of the material contained in those documents as prepared by Wor. Fred S. Piper, Rt. Wor. Henry S. C. Cummings, Rev. Bro. Harold T. Handley and Wor. Kenneth M. Smith, respectively.

As with any organization, much of the history is the result of the leadership that has steered the course and each Master of the Lodge has lent his particular talent and ability to strengthen and support the Lodge. They along with a number of dedicated members, too numerous to properly recognize here, over the past one hundred and twenty-nine years have provided us with the Lodge we have today. To them, we are grateful.