Bro. Milton Kenin has spent much of the past 15-years of his career working in the
old coal bin of the Masonic Temple at Philadelphia.
But it is a cleaner coal-bin that you might imagine,
because it houses the archives of the Grand Lodge of
Bro. Kenin, the Archivist for those years, is well-known among Masons in the Philadelphia area, and has often shared some of his "finds" with anyone willing to take the time to learn about our Masonic forefathers in Pennsylvania.
|The archives consist of collections of artwork, prints, regalia, aprons, minutes books and membership rolls, collectibles, books, photographs and documents which silently tell the story of Freemasonry's past. Bro. Kenin has spent much of his time cataloguing and organizing these items now stored in the climate-controlled coal-room, which is equipped with modern and efficient moveable storage shelves.|
|Bro. Kenin displays an unusual slice of an early wooden sewer system used at the Masonic Temple||These are tools of
the archivist's craft.
|Bro. Kenin researching early membership rolls in the vault of the Grand Secretary's office|
If Kenin has a complaint it is that he is retiring with far too much work left to
be done, but he is particularly proud of his efforts to keep complete files on
all the major events of the Grand Lodge held over the past 15 years, and his
compilation of the variety of Materials dealing with the creation of and
decoration of the Masonic Temple, and the development of the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown.
Bro. Kenin leaves a legacy of love with the hope that someone else will follow to continue the effort to preserve our heritage and the records of the Grand Lodge and the Lodges. He admonishes the Lodge Secretaries of our older Lodges to consider storing their earliest records in safe locations, or perhaps, even placing them in the custody of the Grand Lodge. With the growing interest in genealogy, the Lodge records are sometimes all that exists of a person other than an occasional US census report.
Thanks to the efforts of Brother Kenin, and those who served before him, we are fortunate to have one of the finest collections in the world of fraternal information and Masonic curiosa.
|© 2000, The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania | Credits|