Trinity Lodge marks 150 years

9 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Trinity Lodge No. 130 AF & AM, the Presque Isle Masonic Lodge, marked its 150th anniversary last month and is planning a celebration this Friday, Aug. 7.

An open house will be held at the lodge, 230 State Street, from 4-8 p.m. Members invite the public to join them as they celebrate 150 years of fellowship.
According to the lodge’s history, in 1865, Master Masons who were resident in Presque Isle and members of various lodges in the state made application to the Grand Lodge of Maine for a charter.

Aroostook then was a frontier settlement and not the flourishing agricultural region that is now nationally famous, and these sturdy pioneers showed their courage and love for the fraternity in the founding of Trinity Lodge. The Civil War had just closed and many of the charter members and new initiates were veterans of this conflict, and 150 years of progress testify to the accuracy of their judgment and to the devotion of their successors in the order.

On July 17, 1865, a dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge of Maine to William S. Gilman, John F. Dyer, John T. Goss, Charles M. Spooner, Luman S. Judd, David H. Pike, Arthur E. Wight, George H. Freeman, Andrew McRea, Sumner Whitney, Charles H. Church, Stephen Nason, Emery H. Orcutt, Joseph W. Nason, Charles F. A. Johnson, R. H. Perkins, Francis M. Everleth, Sherman Smith, Nathan Perry, Daniel O. Orcutt and Ansel Packard, to organize a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at Presque Isle, and they met July, 1865 for the purpose of organization.

At the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Maine the following May, a charter was granted to Trinity Lodge No. 130, dated May 3, 1866, and on Aug. 8, 1966, under the direction of District Deputy Grand Master the Lodge was instituted, dedicated and consecrated and its officers installed. Brother George Curtis Jr. was its first Worshipful Master.

The Charter members were the first applicants of the charter plus Hiram Brackett and S. W. Orcutt.

There being no good hall in the town, the Lodge met in the attic of the Mc Cleaves building, the lower part being used as a cabinet shop, and the furniture of that hall was of the most humble character. The Lodge held their regular monthly communications and before the close of the first year had initiated seven candidates.

Shortly after the charter was granted the Lodge occupied the town hall for a short time. But after the close of the second year a new hall was built for and rented by the Lodge, and occupied until the building of the Masonic hall on State Street in 1881 on land given by H. R. Downes (across the street from the current location). This new hall was occupied until the fire of June 7, 1909, when they moved to the Greenlaw Block until the new and current hall on State Street in October, 1941.

From 1865 to 2015 there were 114 Worshipful Masters of Trinity Lodge, with J. F. Dyer serving in that office for the most years with six. There have been 33  secretaries, most of whom only served one or two years.

Mention should be made that the longest serving secretary was Donald A. (Spike) Savage, and there have been 19 treasurers.

For more information on the local Masons, join in the 150th anniversary festivities Aug. 7.