NEW YORK MASONIC HISTORY

Connecting today’s Freemasons with our LEGACY

Explore the past

“Free of Accepted Masons, a very ancient Society of Men… promoted Friendship, Society, mutual Assistance, a good Fellowship.”

Some will point to 1781 as the start of Freemasonry in New York State. That was the year that the Provincial Grand Lodge of New York (sometimes called the Atholl Grand Lodge) which was charted by the Ancient Grand Lodge of England.
From Colonial Lodges to George Washington’s famous visits, to the Morgan Affair and past Governors, Freemasonry has strong ties in New York State history.

RECENT ARTICLES

The Masonic Apron and Certificate of John L. Place

Alexander Vastola
The Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library recently obtained the 1805 Masonic apron and certificate that belonged to John L. Place

Huntington No. 26: Long Island’s First Masonic Lodge

W:. Ronald J. Seifried, DSA
A group of men, residing in several towns along the route of George Washington’s tour in 1790, go on to create the first Long Island Masonic Lodge

The U.S. Congress’ Masonic Medal

Ratirat Osiri
The Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library collection has potentially the only Masonic medal ever issued by the US Congress.

Others Before Self: Brother Ernest Shackleton

Bro. Kyle A. Williams
In March 2022, the shipwreck Endurance was discovered. The three-masted exploration ship sank in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica on November 21, 1915. The captain was Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer and Masonic Brother.

The Raising: The Master Mason Degree of Theodore Roosevelt

W:. Ronald J. Seifried, DSA
On April 24, 1901, Brother Theodore Roosevelt was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. The “raising” of Brother Roosevelt took on a different meaning as he reached the third-floor lodge, carried by dozens of brothers.

Second part of the multi-part series on the Masonic career of Brother Roosevelt.

The Mysterious Painting

W:. Ronald J. Seifried, DSA
Masonic lodge historical records sometimes suffer from the lack of detailed provenance of an artifact’s origins. But one recent discovery has started a long path based on just one word, or in this specific case, one name.

The Lasting Legacy of Expelled Brothers

Bro. Nathan Tweedie
Freemasonry in New York State, and most of North America, is heavily influenced by the work of men that were expelled from the Craft.

Brother Piano Legs: One of the Dead Ball Era Greats

Bro. Nathan Tweedie
Baseball’s Dead Ball Era may not have produced the mind-numbing number of home runs that we see today, but it was certainly the hay-day for nicknames. The 1880s-1920s saw nicknames like Butcher Boy, Nubby, and Foxy Grandpa but one of the strangest belonged to Brother George F. “Piano Legs” Gore.

PAST ARTICLES

Passing the Exam: The Fellowcraft Degree of Theodore Roosevelt
BY W:. RONALD J. SEIFRIED, DSA
On March 27, 1901, Brother Theodore Roosevelt was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft. Would you dare question his proficiency? “My Brothers, I believe you asked the wrong question. Second part of the multi-part series on the Masonic career of Brother Roosevelt.
→ READ MORE

Enter the Apprentice: The First Degree of Theodore Roosevelt
BY W:. RONALD J. SEIFRIED, DSA
On January 2, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt stepped inside the third-floor lodge room of Matinecock No. 806 F. & A.M in Oyster Bay, Long Island to be initiated into the degree of entered apprentice.
→ READ MORE
Development of Freemasonry in Albany
BY W:. MICHAEL A. HERNANDEZ
On June 28, 1756, Alexander Lightfoot, an innkeeper of Albany, NY was laid to rest. According to The New York Mercury, “his corpse was attended by all gentlemen of the army, who were members of the Honorable Society of Free Masons.”
→ READ MORE
The Utica Masonic Temple
FEATURING AN INTERVIEW WITH BRO. ROCCO GARRO
“When lodges go dark, the items go to Grand Lodge and somehow end up on the campus of the Masonic home in Utica.”
→ READ MORE
A Visit from a Future President
BY W:. RONALD J. SEIFRIED, DSA
On a late summer day in 1931, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt travelled to Jephtha Lodge No. 494 in Huntington to commemorate the U.S. Constitution
→ READ MORE

Our Editor

WB RON SEIFRIED, DSA

Past Master, Trustee Chairman and Historian of Jephtha Lodge No. 494; Historian of Area 1 (Nassau and Suffolk Districts).

BLOG

Freemasonry and the Irish Republican Army

Freemasonry and the Irish Republican Army

On April 24, 1922, gunmen of the Irish Republican Army seized Freemasons’ Hall in Dublin, commencing a 38-day occupation of the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

And that was the good news.

After the First World War, a Nationalist movement gained momentum in Ireland, which had been domineered by England since the reign of King Henry II in the twelfth century. By the twentieth century, something had to give, and the Irish Nationalists succeeded in winning independence for almost the entire island, and the Republic of Ireland was born. As you know, the six counties of Northern Ireland remain part of the United Kingdom. That’s a whole other story, but please know the Grand Lodge of Ireland unifies our Craft across Ireland—both the Republic and Northern Ireland—to this day.

read more