New york masonic history

Connecting today’s Freemasons with our rich history. Join us in exploring the people and places in New York state’s past.

Explore the past

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 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.
President Theodore 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. 

King Solomon Temple

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 homeruns 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.

19th Century Baseball player

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.

President Theodore Roosevelt

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

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

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

More Light in Masonry

Read our latest blog posts featuring discussions and presenations

Remembering September 11

Remembering September 11

Craftsmen Online remembers September 11, 2001 with the words of MW Carl J. Fitje, Past Grand Master, Grand Lodge of New York.

Traveling Men

Traveling Men

As most Masons know we love to refer to ourselves as Traveling Men. But do you travel? Have you really taken advantage of how and what traveling means in our prestigious fraternity?

Brother Thomas W. Bradley

Brother Thomas W. Bradley

Brother Thomas W. Bradley’s life would forever change after becoming a Freemason. His life focus would shift from craftsmen, Civil War veteran, to an upright man and Mason.

The Working Tools of Entered Apprentice

The Working Tools of Entered Apprentice

Within each degree, the instruction on the Working Tools is one of the most beautifully written parts of Masonic ritual. We examine how an Entered Apprentice can literally divide their time with the use of the 24-inch gauge.

Early Establishments of Masonic Regulations

Early Establishments of Masonic Regulations

After Freemasonry emerged into public view in 1717, a treasure trove of Masonic manuscripts was discovered and made public. Bro. Jim Simpson reviews these Masonic texts and teachings.

The Annual Daniel D. Tompkins Graveside Dedication

The Annual Daniel D. Tompkins Graveside Dedication

The annual Tompkins’ Graveside Dedication has become a cherished tradition among the Masons, who take the opportunity to reflect upon the celebrated, yet tragic, life of Most Worshipful Brother Daniel D. Tompkins.

The 33 Degrees in Freemasonry

The 33 Degrees in Freemasonry

There are 33 degrees in Freemasonry. Our degrees began in France in the year 1725. The new class of scholarly men (Speculative Masons) had discovered written legends from the old Operative Masons.

Clandestine Masonry

Clandestine Masonry

Often, when we think of clandestine masons, the idea of someone wearing a masonic ring purchased at an estate sale, possessing an apron that is not their own, or claiming to know “our secrets.”

1945 Grand Lodge

1945 Grand Lodge

In April 1945, as Most Worshipful Froessel was concluding his first year as Grand Master, he was confronted with a Grand Lodge dilemma – balancing his Masonic obligation by the laws of the land.

The Grand Lodge of Rhode Island

The Grand Lodge of Rhode Island

While the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island is a small Masonic Jurisdiction, we have a large and historic heritage with connections to our colonial Brethren.

Share some history

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