Volume LVIOctober 2009Number 3

150th Anniversaries

In 1859, under the leadership of Pennsylvania native President Bro. James Buchanan and Vice President Bro. John C. Breckinridge, Governor of Pennsylvania Bro. William Fisher Packer welcomed the first state agricultural college: Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania. This school is better known as the Pennsylvania State University today. Further north, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded, although classes were not offered until 1865. Among inventions premiering that year was the first hotel passenger elevator, a set of moving stairs, the first sleeping car (by Bro. George Pullman), a rocket and the first fishing line factory. French tightrope walker J.F. Gavelet, also known as Charles Blondin, crossed Niagara Falls. Bro. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was born this year.

Union Lodge No. 334, Bradford

Through the recommendation of North Star Lodge No. 241, Warren, Union Lodge No. 334 was constituted on Aug. 3, 1859.

To celebrate 150 years, lodge members hosted a banquet on Sept. 5. R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner and several Grand Lodge Officers were in attendance. All lodges within District 22 were invited, and the event included a barbershop quartet.

McKean County, where Bradford is located, was created out of Lycoming County in 1804 and was named for Thomas McKean, governor of Pennsylvania from 1799-1808 and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It is one of the prime wilderness vacation areas in the eastern United States due to the soaring mountains and forests which blanket the area.

The origins of the name Bradford are unknown. Some say the town was named in honor of William Bradford, the second U.S. Attorney General and namesake of Bradford County. Others maintain the town was named after founder Daniel Kingsbury's ancestral hometown of Bradford (at the broad ford, in this case, on the Avon River), England. Bradford was at the center of the 1880s oil boom and is home to the Zippo lighter company.

Eureka Lodge No. 335, Montoursville

Through the endorsement of members of Lodge No. 106, Williamsport, Eureka Lodge No. 335 was constituted on Aug. 4, 1859.

In honor of their 150th anniversary, lodge members gathered on Aug. 8 for a special meeting and banquet. Grand Master Gardner and Robert J. Bateman, R.W. Junior Grand Warden, joined the brethren for the celebration.

The lodge's home, Lycoming County, created in 1795, was named for Lycoming Creek. All or part of 17 counties were created from Lycoming, and it remains the largest county in Pennsylvania, despite being only one-tenth of its original size. Once the lumber center of the state, Lycoming's chief economic resources are coal, limestone and agriculture.

Montoursville, founded by John Burrows, is named for the Montour family who originally settled in the area. Burrows was a mailman and courier for President and Bro. George Washington and eventually served as a state senator. Having bought 570 acres, Burrows divided his land into lots and sold them until his death in 1837. Montoursville was incorporated as a borough in 1850.

100th Anniversaries

As was the case 50 years earlier, Freemasons served as U.S. president, vice president and governor of Pennsylvania in 1909. President Bro. Theodore Roosevelt and Vice President Bro. Charles W. Fairbanks served in the White House, until President Bro. William Howard Taft and Vice President James S. Sherman were inaugurated. Bro. Edwin S. Stuart led Pennsylvania as governor. Elsewhere in the world, Brothers Robert Peary (a native of Cresson, Pa.) and Matthew Henson were the first to reach the North Pole, while Bro. Ernest Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole. That same year, the first memorial postage stamp was issued on Feb. 12 and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909, commemorating the 100th anniversary of President Lincoln's birth.

Parian Lodge No. 662, Beaver Falls

Through the recommendations of Beaver Valley Lodge No. 478, Parian Lodge No. 662 was constituted on June 25, 1909. Beaver Valley Lodge later merged with Parian Lodge in 1979.

In honor of their 100th anniversary, lodge members are planning a celebration on Oct. 24. R.W. Grand Master Gardner has been invited to attend.

Beaver County was one of the eight counties created by an Act of Assembly in 1800. It was named for the various streams called Beaver which flow through it. These streams formed important links in the proposed Ohio and Lake Erie Ship Canal. The county was rich in bituminous coal, fire clay, sandstone, limestone, gas and oil, and nearly 80 percent of the soil is fertile because of the many waterways.

Beaver Falls, the home of Parian Lodge, was originally called Brighton, but the name was changed to Beaver Falls to avoid confusion with the town of New Brighton and because of the falls in the Beaver River. Incorporated a borough in 1868, Beaver Falls is located 31 miles northwest of Pittsburgh on the Beaver River, six miles from its convergence with the Ohio River. The area has suffered and prospered with the fortunes of Pittsburgh.

Following the Erie Masonic Temple's 100th Anniversary Celebration on June 6, attendees enjoyed a cruise on the Victorian Princess on Presque Isle Bay, an inlet of Lake Erie.

Shown at right are R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner and his lady, Patricia; R.W. Senior Grand Warden Jay W. Smith and his lady, Nancy; R.W. Junior Grand Warden Robert J. Bateman and his lady, Joanne; and R.W. Grand Secretary Mark A. Haines and his lady, Karen.

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