Volume LVIMAY/JUNE 2009Number 2

Lodge 150th Anniversaries

In 1859, the year the following lodges were constituted, Oregon joined the Union as the 33rd state, and the discovery of gold at Gregory Gulch in Kansas and Sutter's Mill in California sparked a small gold rush. Edwin L. Drake discovered oil near Titusville, Pa., and soon produced 20 barrels per day, sparking an "oil rush." Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species" based on his studies of animal species on the Galapagos Islands as well as observations of variation due to natural selection and domestication. Amherst College beat Williams College, 66-32 in the first intercollegiate baseball game. The Philadelphia Zoo, the first zoological garden in the United States, opened, and Mount Vernon, Bro. George Washington's home, was dedicated as a national monument.

Featured On The Cover

R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner shakes hands with Bro. Jeffrey D. Burman, Worshipful Master of Freedom Lodge No. 119, Thompson, during the lodge's 150th Anniversary celebration. The collage on the cover provides snapshots of the occasion: a parade, service award presentations, Open Meeting and Special Commemorative Service and banquet.

"What impressed me the most was the depth of spirit of brotherhood throughout this small town," R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner said. "It goes to show that the greatness of the lodge is due to the dedication of its membership rather than its size."

Freedom Lodge No. 328, Thompson

Former members of North Star Lodge No. 119 successfully petitioned for Freedom Lodge No. 328, which was constituted on May 5, 1859. Lodge members originally met in Harford, then moved to Gibson and Jackson townships before finally settling in the borough of Thompson, Harford Township, in 1919.

Freedom Lodge members celebrated their 150th year Anniversary with an Open Meeting of the lodge followed by a Special Commemorative Service at the Thompson United Methodist Church and banquet held at the Thompson Volunteer Fire Company Hall. There were approximately 160 in attendance at the events. Brothers Stephen Gardner, R.W. Grand Master; Jay W. Smith, R.W. Senior Grand Warden; Robert J. Bateman, R.W. Junior Grand Warden; Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., R.W. Past Grand Master; four Appointed Grand Lodge Officers and five District Deputy Grand Masters attended the celebration. Grand Master Gardner presented five 50-year and six 60-year Masonic Service Awards and delivered an inspiring address.

Freedom Lodge has 90 members today, many of whom are military veterans. When you consider that the population of the Borough of Thompson is 308, the lodge membership is much better than the average throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

Susquehanna County, home to Freedom Lodge, was established in 1810 from part of Luzerne County. The name Susquehanna derives from the Native American word sisku, meaning "mud," and hanne, meaning "river."

In the middle of the 19th century, local agricultural products, especially butter and wool, yielded enough of a surplus to contribute to the early economy of the county as a whole. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroads made the area significantly more accessible.

Front row: Nathan A. Foster, D.D.G.M.; Robert J. Bateman, R.W.J.G.W.; Stephen Gardner, R.W.G.M.; Jay W. Smith, R.W.S.G.W.; Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., R.W.P.G.M.; Jeffrey D. Burman, W.M. Second Row: Christopher Lewis, J.M.C.; Edward J. Kozlowski, Sr., S.D.; Gary A. Gray, P.M., Sec.; Edward Kozlowski, Jr., J.W.; Loren Stone, S.W.; Charles, Welch, P.M., Treas.; Richard W. Williams, J.D.; James Lewis, S.M.C.; and Michael Bartczak, Pur.

Plymouth Lodge No. 332, Plymouth

Through the recommendation of Lodge No. 61, Wilkes-Barre, Plymouth Lodge No. 332 was constituted on April 27, 1859.

The lodge celebrated its 150th anniversary on April 28 with a banquet and a visit from R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner.

The lodge is located in Luzerne County, which is underlain with coal of the highest known quality. In the late 1800s, it was the center of the anthracite coal region of America. The soil is fertile and well watered by the north branch of the Susquehanna River, which flows for 45 miles through the county. Since coal was cheap and shipping was adequate, many industries settled in and around Wilkes-Barre, the county seat. Everything from locomotives to miners' caps and lace was manufactured there. Since the 1970s, the population of Wilkes-Barre has waned, but nevertheless, all sorts of things, from swimming pools to electrical components are manufactured in the city.

Originally called Shawneetown after a village of Shawnee Indians, the borough of Plymouth was incorporated in 1866.

Salem Lodge No. 330, Hamlin

Through the recommendations of Carbondale Lodge No. 249, Honesdale Lodge No. 218 and Hawley Lodge No. 305, Salem Lodge No. 330 was constituted on May 23, 1859.

Salem Lodge celebrated 150 years on Saturday, May 23 at the Masonic Temple in Scranton. R.W. Grand Master Gardner joined the brethren for their Sesquicentennial Celebration Gala.

Wayne County, Salem Lodge's home, was established in 1798 from northern Northampton County and was named in honor of probable Bro. and General Anthony Wayne; he is said to have been a member of Winchester Lodge No. 12, but there is no verification of it. General Wayne was called "Mad Anthony" because his bravery during the Revolutionary War bordered on foolhardiness.

Wayne County was developed primarily by coal interests, followed closely by glass manufacturing. A glass factory started in 1816 was the first to blow window glass in the United States. Agriculture, especially dairy farming, has enjoyed prosperity in the area, with most of the butter and cheese going to the New York market.

Hamlin, the meeting place of Salem Lodge, in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton area, boasts a new industrial park, resorts and wildlife sanctuaries.

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