The bulk of this material is made up of copies of original documents that trace the history of what would become Lawrence United Masonic Lodge. This includes anniversary books from all the blue lodges that would make up Lawrence United as well as correspondence, memos, and proclamations by the Lawrence lodges or Massachusetts Grand Lodge. There is also material about the building of the Masonic Templeon on Jackson Street in Lawrence and the search to find uses for the lodge building in the late 1970s and the search for solutions to aid the lodge through financial difficulties during the same period.
Also included is a copy of a Visitors’ Register (43×28 cm.). It is laminated and describes the use of the Masonic temple as a billet for the officers of the 51st Field Artillery Brigade and the officers and men of the Headquarters Battery, 51st Field Artillery Brigade for eleven days during the March 1936 Merrimack River flood. This item is stored in drawer in the map cases in the stacks.
Grecian Lodge, of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons was chartered December 14, 1825 in the town ofMethuen. It met in the Literary Hall located to the East of Broadway nearPark Street. The charter was surrendered to the grand lodge in 1838 due to the anti-Masonic fervor of the time. Several of the old members petitioned the grand lodge for restoration of their charter. This was granted, December 27, 1847. The first meeting was held at a building at the corner of Essex and Amesbury streets (Merchants’ Row). In the early years St. Matthews Lodge had jurisdiction overSouth Lawrence. In 1855 Grand Lodge gave Grecian was given exclusive jurisdiction over the entire city. As the lodge grew, it moved to283 Essex Street in 1852 and in 1864 to Tuscan Hall (Tuscan Lodge just recently formed). In 1870 Phoenician Lodge, a chapter, a council, and a Commandery of Knights Templar were organized. In 1872 Grecian and all other Masonic bodies moved to the Saunders Block. The presentMasonicTemple was built in 1923. The architect was Bro. George Adams, well known inLawrence.
Phoenician and Tuscan Lodge merge May 1, 1980; Grecian and Tuscan-Phoenician merge May 6, 1987. They become Lawrence United and join High Twelve*.
St. Matthews Lodge met in South Lawrence at the Parker Tavern (corner ofAndoverand Parker Streets) January 25, 1823.
*High Twelve is an organization of Master Masons who support Masonic causes with special emphasis on youth support and patriotic events. There are approximately 9,000 members in over 250 clubs nationwide and in foreign countries.