From the year 1969 to 1994 Mt. Pickering Lodge, No. 446, has maintained a fair membership with 279 members in 1969 and 300 at the close of 1993. The average Lodge attendance has been 72, with a high of 107 in 1975. In 1974 the Lodge was recognized by the Grand Lodge for having the best attendance for Lodges with a membership of 300 - 350. It is also interesting to note that during the same period 173 new members were entered and 173 members were deceased. There were also 7 members who received their Fifty-Year Service emblems.


            During the past 25 years there was not a sufficient number of members present to open the Lodge on six occasions, primarily because of snow and ice. However on June 22, 1972 an Extra Meeting could not be opened because of a flood.


            Since 1969 a number of improvements have been made to our Masonic Hall in addition to the general maintenance of the building. One major project included a new roof to the building and replacement and insulation of the Lodge room's ceiling. A new kitchen was added in place of a stage in the original Banquet Room. At the same time the Lodge Room was made larger and 45 new padded chairs were added to increase the seating capacity. The original bench type seating is still maintained. New carpet was laid in the Lodge Room. New lavatory facilities have been added to the first floor Banquet Room area and a fire escape was added to provide an emergency exit for the second floor.


            In the second floor Ante Room there is an area which displays Past Master's pictures and a memorial display case was also placed here to exhibit Past Masters' Jewels and other items donated to the Lodge by the families of Deceased Past Masters. During a number of years Worshipful Masters have sponsored "Mr. and Mrs. Dinner Clubs" for the purpose of helping to pay for these improvements.


            An important event of the Lodge, the annual Strawberry and Ice Cream Night, is observed at the Stated Meeting in the month of June. This has always been a 'FULL HOUSE' night, when the Lodge is host to many visitors from neighboring Lodges.


            A long-standing tradition was begun in 1933 when Bro. I. Newton Evans, Sr. was Worshipful Master. The following tale describes how this tradition, the annual visitation of a Philadelphia Lodge to Mt. Pickering on Strawberry Night, began. Two boys were raised on two nearby farms in Chester Springs, I. Newton Evans, Sr. and Charles Davis. These two boys were school-mates and maintained their close friendship even after Charles Davis move into Philadelphia. It so happened that when Brother I. Newton Evans, Sr. became Worshipful Master of Mt. Pickering Lodge, No. 446, in 1933, Bro. Charles Davis became Worshipful Master of Fernwood Lodge, No. 543, in Philadelphia. It was therefore natural that Fernwood Lodge, No. 543, should visit during that year. From that beginning a tradition of visitation was begun and in 1993 the 61st Annual Visitation was observed. In 1988 Florence Lodge, No. 87, of Woodbury, NJ, started it's Annual Visitation on our Strawberry Night.

            The family of our present Treasurer has been deeply involved in the life of Mt. Pickering Lodge since it's beginning. Beginning with the Lodge's first Worshipful Master in 1869 there have been six Evans family members who have held an elective office in the Lodge. All six members have served their time in the East, Bro. J. Benner Evans in 1869, Bro. B. Frank Evans in 1882, Bro. Clayton K. Evans in 1914, Bro. Daniel L. Evans in 1919, Bro. I. Newton Evans in 1933, and Bro. I. Newton Evans, Jr. in 1954. Two served as Treasurer, Bro. J. Benner Evans in 1869-1871 and Bro. I. Newton Evans, Jr., beginning in 1966. Two have served as Secretary, Bro. J. Benner Evans in 1874-1876 and 1886-1899 and Bro. Clayton K. Evans in 1931-1955.


            Visitations by the Grand Lodge of Delaware were started at the Stated Meeting of April 12, 1971 when Brother Lousel S. Jeuell, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Delaware and his Grand Lodge party were received with the customary honors. Brother Jeuell gave an interesting fraternal address.


            At the April Stated Meetings in 1972 and 1976 Brother Joseph Chacke, a Past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India, was received by the Lodge. On both occasions Brother Chacke addressed the Lodge in the Banquet Room, giving interesting explanations of the Grand Lodge of India.


            In 1983 Worshipful Master Victor M. Frederick, III requested that the Right Worshipful Grand Master and his party grace our Lodge with their presence at the 1983 Annual Banquet. The Grand Master accepted the invitation. A special communication of Mt. Pickering Lodge, No. 446, was held on September 9, 1983 and the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Samuel C. Williamson, and the Grand Lodge party were received. After introductions of the Grand Lodge party and remarks by the Right Worshipful Grand Master and the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary, Brother Thomas W. Jackson, the Lodge was closed. The Annual Banquet then followed in the Banquet Room when the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Samuel C. Williamson, was the speaker.


            In 1989 Brother Robert M. Oberholser attained a Masonic milestone rarely reached. He was recognized for his seventy-fifth Masonic birthday at an age of ninety-seven years.


            At the March, 1990 Stated Meeting the Worshipful Master, Brother David Gottier, appointed the following committee to plan for the observance of the 125th anniversary of the Constitution of Mt. Pickering Lodge, No. 446, . The committee consisted of Victor M. Frederick, III, P.M., Chairman, George S. Robinson, Jr, Senior Warden, I. Newton Evans, Jr., P.M., Treasurer, Wallace F. Smiley, P.M., Secretary, and Victor M. Frederick, IV, Junior Deacon.


            In 1993 air-conditioning was added to the second-floor meeting room.

1970                                                     WM  William C. Griffiths, Jr.

1971                                                     WM  Russell F. Miller

1972                                                     WM  Robert H. Wagoner

1973                                                     WM  Homer H. Swarner

1974                                                     WM  Harry G. Allison

1975                                                     WM  Earl L. White

1976                                                     WM  Richard C. Fries

1977                                                     WM  James L. Fleck

1978                                                     WM  Ronal Roth

1979                                                     WM  Frank W. McElroy

1980                                                     WM  James M. Bollinger

1981                                                     WM  C. Ollie Kroh

1982                                                     WM  George E. Fetters, Jr.

1983                                                     WM  Victor M. Frederick, III

1984                                                     WM  Stanley Scott

1985                                                     WM  John T. Hall

1986                                                     WM  Robert P. Kroh

1987                                                     WM  Dennis M. Haldeman

1988                                                     WM  Robert W. Fetters, Jr.

1989                                                     WM  Samuel B. Acker, Jr.

1990                                                     WM  David F. Gottier

1991                                                     WM  Elmer H. White, Jr.

1992                                                     WM  George S. Robinson, Jr.

            The Lodge's Annual Banquet was honored by the presence of Most  Worshipful Stanley Fielding Maxwell, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, as the speaker for the evening.

1993                                                     WM  Elmer H. Miller

1994                                                     WM  Dennis M. Haldeman, PM

                        Mt. Pickering Lodge's 125th anniversary.



                                    PAST MASTERS of Mt. Pickering Lodge No. 446, F. & A.M.


    *J. Benner Evans         1869       *Clayton K. Evans       1914

     *W. D. Downing           1870       *John S. Byerly         1915

     *David A. Moore          1871‑72‑80 *Daniel G. Stiteler     1916

     *Daniel Hendrick         1873       *William P. Krauser     1917

     *George L. Moore         1874       *Horace Hause           1918

     *John Beary              1875       *Daniel L. Evans        1919

     *Thomas Rettew           1876       *J. Hause Dewees        1920

     *Daniel B. Lacey         1877       *G. Norman Acker        1921

     *Ephriam T. Pearce       1878‑79    *J. Ira Potts           1922

     *John W. Snyder          1881       *J. Miles Acker         1923

     *B. Frank Evans          1882       *Jacob Ranck, Jr.       1924

     *Frank L. Wagner         1883       *L. Rush McNeal         1925

     *Joseph W. Snyder        1884       *Clarence Rice          1926

     *George W. Beerbrower    1885       *Bently R. Morrison     1927

     *William F. Rex          1886       *John Henry Pitts       1928

     *Henry A. Jenks          1887‑88‑89 *Lloyd K. Moyer         1929

     *George P. Tustin        1890       *Harvey E. Funderwhite  1930

     *Samuel G. Gill          1891       *H. Raymond McBride     1931

     *Sherman G. Keeler       1892       *Henry N. Waltz         1932

     *David H. Hall           1893       *I. Newton Evans        1933

     *H. Howard Holman        1894       *Alvin W. Phipps        1934

     *A. M. F. Stiteler       1895       *John R. Simpson        1935

     *Vernon L. Fisher        1896       *Marshall D. Waltz      1936

     *Charles A. Broome       1897       *Gerald H. Walton       1937

     *John M. Goodman         1898       *J. Walter Eyrich       1938

     *Horace A. Fetters       1899       *Irvin S. Dewees        1939

     *Granville Prizer        1900       *Allen W. Murray        1940

     *George L. Maxton        1901       *Charles A. Fries       1941

     *Ira D. McCord           1902       *Warren E. Wilson       1942

     *Jones T. Shoffner       1903       *Raymond E. Prizer      1943

     *Allan E. Keim           1904       *Guy E. Johnson         1944

     *Thomas F. Furry         1905       *Edward C. Murray       1945

     *John S. Wells           1906       *Wilbur E. Walton       1946

     *George S. Cressman      1907       *Bayard Samworth        1947

     *William J. Davis        1908        George D. Lumis        1948

     *Oscar M. Lumis          1909       *Karl Garvine           1949

     *Maurice L. Boorem       1910        Oliver W. Mosteller    1950

     *William P. McAfee       1911        Earl S. Fries          1951

     *Augustus P. Sheneman    1912       *Lester E. Schriver     1952

     *Charles E. Pike         1913       *W. Walter McElroy      1953

                                       PAST MASTERS of Mt. Pickering Lodge No. 446, F. & A.M. (cont.)


      I. Newton Evans, Jr.    1954       Harry G. Allison        1974

      James W. Roberts        1955       Earl L. White           1975

      Harold J. Miller        1956       Richard C. Fries        1976

     *George C. Reinke        1957     **James L. Fleck          1977 

      D. Sidney Slemmer       1958       Ronal Roth              1978

      Carroll T. Whitely      1959       Frank W. McElroy        1979

      Samuel B. Acker         1960       James M. Bollinger      1980

      Wallace F. Smiley  (No.620) 1960  *C. Ollie Kroh           1981

     *C. Richard Levengood    1961       George E. Fetters, Jr.  1982

      William J. Whitely      1962       Victor M. Frederick,III 1983

      Harry F. Yeager         1963       Stanley Scott           1984

      Aaron L. Rhine          1964       John T. Hall            1985

      James D. Shick          1965       Robert P. Kroh          1986

      Harry B. Weaver         1966       Dennis M. Haldeman      1987

     *Paul Ludwick            1967       Robert W. Fetters, Jr.  1988

      Robert W. Fries         1968       Samuel B. Acker, Jr.    1989

    **Frederick T. Hurlock    1969       David F. Gottier        1990

     *William C. Griffiths, Jr.   1970   Elmer H. White, Jr.     1991

      Frank M. Hess, Jr. (No.620) 1970   George S. Robinson, Jr. 1992

      Russell F. Miller       1971       Elmer H. Miller         1993

      Robert H. Wagoner       1972       Dennis M. Haldeman      1994

      Homer H. Swarner        1973      


                                     *Deceased        **Transferred

                                                                   TREASURERS OF THE LODGE


J. Benner Evans                                  1869‑1871

Nathan S. Marshall                               1872‑1873

Daniel Hendrick                                  1874

William Mullin                                   1875

David A. Moore                                   1876‑1879

Daniel B. Lacey                                  1880‑1894

Henry A. Jenks                                   1895‑1897

Charles A. Broome                                1898‑1904

Bayard A. Conard                                 1905‑1928

Thomas F. Furry                                  1928‑1934

Oscar M. Lumis                                   1935

J. Hause DeWees                                  1935‑1966

I. Newton Evans, Jr.                             1966‑



                                                                    SECRETARIES of the LODGE


John Griffith                                    1869‑1870

M. Shaner Chrisman                               1871‑1873

J. Benner Evans                                  1874‑1876

Isaiah F. Snyder                                 1877‑1885

J. Benner Evans                                  1886‑1899

Henry A. Jenks                                   1900‑1901

John M. Goodman                                  1902‑1930

Clayton K. Evans                                 1931‑1955

Earl S. Fries                                    1956‑1985

Wallace F. Smiley                                1986‑1993

Homer H. Swarner                                 1994-




‑‑‑ the beginnings of Mt. Pickering Lodge, No. 446 ‑‑‑


            It is an unwritten law of Masonry that when a member of a Lodge is chosen to the office of Junior Warden it is his right the following year to be placed in the position of Senior Warden then one year later to succeed the Worshipful Master and when this rule is broken an unpleasantness is produced. About the year 1851 Dr. William D. Downing, then Senior Warden of Lodge No. 309 was defeated for Worshipful Master by the Junior Warden. Subsequently an effort was made to place the Doctor in the Chair of Worshipful Master but his magnanimity would not permit him to interfere to prevent the occupant of the chair in the West. As a result and to heal the sores made a move was made to organize a lodge in Upper Uwchland and eight members withdrew from Lodge No. 309 in April, 1869 and joined in an application to the Grand Lodge for a warrant the following June which was referred to the Grand Officers with power to act.


            Soon afterwards the D.D.G.M. for the Chester and Delaware district, Bro. John Gregg, visited the applicants and after a conference reported favorable and the prayer of the petitioners was granted. A meeting was held in the room of No. 309 in Downingtown on the 12th of July, the D.D.G.M. acting as Grand Master, and the Lodge known as Mt. Pickering No. 446 was constituted in ancient form. It is a cause of regret that no record of this meeting exists ant in fact that the greater part of the Early History of the Lodge has completely disappeared. Besides the constituent members the writer remembers the names of but three others who were present (although there were several). They were Silas Rambo of 276, Richard D. Wells of 309, and Dr. William D. Hartman of 322 who installed the officers.


            The Lodge met for business in the second story of the building now known as the "Laboratory", then owned by John Griffith. Although the petitioners had been very reticent about their intentions and the community generally knew nothing of their efforts to establish a Lodge, at this meeting one application was received for membership and one for initiation and membership. It was known that it would be impossible to meet in that building and a room was rented in a house occupied by Jacob F. Mosteller and now owned by Benjamin F. Mosteller. The additions to the Lodge before the close of the year were seven thus nearly doubling its membership.


            At the commencement of 1870 the Lodge removed to Lionville to a room belonging to the Odd Fellows where twelve additions were made in twelve months thus nearly doubling its membership. During this year a building committee was appointed to erect a hall which was located on ground bought from Bro. John Griffith for $115.00 on which a hall was erected at a cost approximating $2500.00 and occupied for the first time on the 5th of December. The first person raised in the room was Bro. George C. Marshall of Wilmington, DE.


            After the Lodge had paid for the ground and had paid Bro. Griffith about $500.00 for bills he presented for work and material for the building a special meeting was called in March to make arrangements to pay the balance of bills but in the meantime the Worshipful Master made a trip to Cochranville to D.D.G.M Robert L. McCullan who advised him to have nothing to do with the building although the Lodge had a deed for the ground and had paid a considerable sum on the building. This violation of the contract led to stormy scenes as the Worshipful Master was determined to make the writer of this pay back to the Lodge the money given to Bro. Griffith and as might be readily expected caused a falling‑off in the membership and prevented the accessions that would have been made if the Lodge had been an harmonious body. During the year 1871 eight additions were made to the Lodge but from that time until 1887 the diminutions were about as great as the additions. At one time twenty‑three months passed without anyone being entered. In the spring of 1875 three months elapsed that no meeting was held as at best but three or four were at the hall. Appearances indicated that the malcontents had deserted the Lodge as rats are said to desert a sinking ship. It was in contemplation to surrender the warrant and then apply for its restoration but it was said that this would still retain the enemies as members and the idea was abandoned. Then with an abiding confidence that the disturbing element would not come back several applications for initiation and membership were made and in the early fall five were entered and it was evident that the Lodge had a new lease on life by the infusion of new blood. It was soon spread abroad that the Lodge was doing some work and the malcontents returned and seemed to be elated at the bright prospects of the Lodge. Unfortunately the head and front of the schismatics paid his dues and attended the election and by his blandishments succeeded in being elected treasurer and in a few months renewed hostilities. During the year five more were entered but in consequence of the wrangling the membership once more declined. In consequence of the internal dissensions the Lodge failed to pay its Grand Lodge dues and the warrant was suspended and was only restored by the payment of $48 by a member. In 1887‑1888 fifteen initiations were made and since then the Lodge has moved along in harmony, its membership increasing steadily, and its usefulness spreading.


            In the summer of 1894 the project of moving the Lodge to Byers was started and after due deliberation it was resolved to move. Arrangements were made to take down the hall and rebuild it near the railroad and on the 13th of August it was decided to commence its demolition on the 15th but a fire of mysterious origin started in the building and before dawn of the following day nothing remained but the foundation walls and smoking embers.


            The financial loss by the burning of the building was slight as it was fully insured but uninsured contents of a possible value of $250 or $300 was destroyed besides all of its records. Its first minute book covering a period of 16½ years, almost all the duplicates returned to Grand Lodge, all the applications for initiation and membership, and probably 25 copies of the By‑Laws. A Bible, the gift of the women in the neighborhood, was lost. In the early life of the Lodge, Miss Fannie Griffith conceived the idea that a Bible would be a fine present and succeeded in inducing 21 women to give $21 which was placed in the hands of Revd Geo. A. Wolff, then pastor of Hopewell M.E. Church who purchased a fine edition of the holy scriptures for the altar and a small edition for other uses.


            The jewels of the Lodge, 12 pieces, had been purchased at a cost of $53 and three of these were destroyed. Since the fire the Lodge has been meeting in a room at Chester Springs station owned by the Sons of America. It might be proper to pause here and state that Thompson Lodge No. 340, learning of the loss, sent a letter of condolence and Phoenix Lodge No. 75 very generously offered the use of its hall and paraphernalia without cost, an offer that was highly appreciated, but owing to the distance the Lodge could not very well avail itself of this kindness and during the time of meeting the Lodge had supplied aprons for the use of the members.


            The destruction of the hall necessitated a change of plans and a special meeting was called August 27th to consider what was best to be done. In the meantime the Penn Mutual Insurance Company had agreed to pay the loss with a trifling abatement for cash and the Lodge feeling able it was resolved to build a brick edifice limiting the cost to $2500. Had the original plan been carried out it is probable that the Lodge would have had a home of its own at an early date but its changed condition caused delays, materials suitable could not be obtained immediately and the completion of the new hall and its occupation necessarily delayed.


            If an expression of an opinion would be allowed it might be proper to say that the architect has drawn his plans admirably and the building committee have created a temple that is a credit to the architect and committee, an honor to the craft, and an ornament to the village.


            Of the constituent members of the Lodge six have gone to the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler ever returns, one is still on the favorable side of eternity, and the whereabouts of the other is unknown.


There were    8 constituent members

              3 were received by certificate

            115 were entered

Total       126

There were   50 deductions by death, withdrawal, and suspension

Leaving      76


                                                                 Mt. Pickering Lodge, No. 446

                                                                             Special Events


            1879 ‑Dispensation received to initiate underage petitioner.

            1894 ‑Petition for initiation and membership presented; petitioner ceased before approval.

            1896 ‑First petition rejected in Mt. Pickering.

            1912 ‑A petitioner was approved but never presented himself for  initiation. His wife reputedly said "Thou shalt not go".

            1928 ‑Stated meeting night changed from "Monday evening before the full moon" to "Second Monday".

            1933 ‑June stated meeting ‑ first Fernwood Lodge, no. 543, visitation. Reason for visit ‑ Fernwood's Master, Bro. Charles Davis, had lived in the area many years and and had been a childhood friend of Mt. Pickering's Master, Bro. I. Newton Evans. They began having reciprocal visitations, Fernwood to Mt. Pickering's Strawberry Night in June and Mt. Pickering to Fernwood's September Stated meeting.

            1936 ‑Seventy‑fifth anniversary of Mt. Pickering's founding.

            1939 ‑Most Worshipful Grand Master of Delaware ‑ first visitation.

            1948 ‑Pottstown Masonic School of Instruction organized.

            1951 ‑Carroll T. Whitely was entered, passed, and raised on March 19th as authorized by special dispensation.

            1964 ‑Extra meeting held by special dispensation at the Lodge Hall at the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown to raise Brother William F. Fitch.

            1969 ‑One hundredth anniversary of Mt. Pickering's founding.

            1981 ‑Extra meeting held by special dispensation at the Lodge Hall at the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown to raise Brother William E. Zinkel.

            1994 ‑One hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of Mt. Pickering's  constitution.

            1995 ‑One hundredth anniversary of the opening of the Lodge Hall at Byers.






                                                                     Evans family involvement

                        J. Benner Evans                                Worshipful Master       1869

                        B. Frank Evans                                                          "              "                      1882

                        Clayton K. Evans                                           "             "                      1914

                        Daniel L. Evans                                             "              "                      1919

                        I. Newton Evans                                             "              "                      1933

                        I. Newton Evans, Jr.                          "              "                      1954



                        J. Benner Evans                                     Treasurer              1869-1871

                        I. Newton Evans, Jr.                              "                   1966-1994



                        J. Benner Evans                                            Secretary                   1874-1876

                                                                                                                "                   1886-1899

                        Clayton K. Evans                                               "                   1931-1955




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