Phoenix Lodge A.F. & A.M.
Of the Lodges now existing under the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Massachusetts, there are but nine older than Hanover’s first Lodge. Early in December of 1792, seven local Freemasons petitioned the Grand Lodge to create and constitute a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons with title and designation of Old Colony Lodge within the Town of Hanover. The Lodge met for the first time just across the street from the present hall on Christmas Eve, 1792, at the house of Atherton Wales, inn holder. On June 16, 1794, a newly erected Masonic Apartment building was dedicated by the officers of Grand Lodge, with Paul Revere present as the Most Worshipful Grand Master, who performed the ceremonies and installed Charles Turner Jr., of Scituate, as Master.
On November 14th, 1807, Old Colony Lodge was moved from Hanover to Hingham by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. On June 9, 1826, a petition for a new Lodge was made to the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. The new Lodge, to be formed in Hanover, was to be called Phoenix Lodge. The petition was granted, and Phoenix Lodge was formed on September 26, 1826. In reaction to the anti-masonic movement that raged throughout the country during the mid-1800’s the Phoenix Lodge charter was returned to Grand Lodge.
On February 8, 1873, a meeting of Master Masons was held at Bates Hall to obtain the names of those desirous of being congregated into a regular Lodge under the name of Phoenix Lodge. A petition was signed by fifty Master Masons praying the Grand Lodge to grant Dispensation to form and open a Lodge after the manner of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. A Dispensation was granted, and Phoenix Lodge was consecrated and opened on April 9, 1874.
On November 11, 1898, the Lodge Hall was totally destroyed by an explosion and fire. Fortunately the Charter which was stored in a safe survived the blast, but little else remained. The Lodge continued to meet at the Odd Fellows Hall until our present quarters were built for occupancy, at October 11, 1900. Located in the Hanover Village known as the Broadway Four Corners, Phoenix Lodge occupied the second floor of the building for 64 years, the first floor serving over the years as a barber shop, grocery store, post office, pool hall, Chinese laundry, and a telephone exchange. “Four Corners was the busiest of the villages from the founding of the town. It was near the river and the site of many early shipyards which employed 400 men from Hanover, Norwell, and Pembroke.”1.
“Early in 1964, the entire building was taken over by the Lodge. Extensive renovations were undertaken and a new Banquet Hall and Kitchen were put into use March 4, 1965.” Where formerly Phoenix Lodge met on each Thursday nearest the full moon, the Lodge meeting date was established on the first Thursday of each month in January 1948. On April 25, 1970, a great honor was bestowed on Phoenix Lodge . The Lodge secretary was presented the Joseph Warren Medal for Distinguished Service to Phoenix Lodge and Masonry. Since that first presentation, seventeen regular and affiliated members have become recipients of the Joseph Warren medal, an unusual number of recipients for any Masonic Lodge. Additionally, three members are recipients of the Henry Price Medal, awarded only to participants at the Grand Lodge level.
Phoenix Lodge continues to provide Masonic leadership by supplying district officers as well. The Lodge can be justifiably proud that it has produced one Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, who became the third ranking Freemason in the world, following the Grand Masters of England and Ireland while in office.
1. Village Life At Broadway’s Four Corners, Barbara Barker, Hanover Mariner, March 12, 2003, Page 3.2. Phoenix Lodge A.F. & A.M., 100th Anniversary Booklet, Lincoln Press, 1973, Page 17.
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