History of Friendship Lodge #33
Friendship Lodge #33 Historical Timeline - Established 2023.
As you venture around this floor outside the lodge room, you can learn more about each historicalwall items on this page from the lodge website.:
This reproduction of an 1869 town map identifies the various known Friendship Lodge #33 meeting locations from the 1st meeting in 1795 at 1. Joel Brockett’s Tavern in Plantsville to our current location here 10. Other locations identified through the years were:
2. “Lewis Tavern.” This was a tavern and store kept by Selah Lewis and situated a little south of Oak Hill cemetery on the east side of the road.
3. part of the time in the house of Amzi J. Barnes, situated on the west side of South Main street in Plantsville, and probably not far from the corner of Main street.
4. store kept by Mr. John Gridley on the corner of Main street and Berlin avenue.
5. Unknown - hall over the store of A. R. Thompson where the Methodist Episcopal church now stands;
6. store of Brother Amon Bradley on Main street, west side of the park.
7. hall over the store of Brother M. N. Woodruff on High street. The building stood on the north side of the street.
8. An effort was made in 1871 to secure a lodge room in the town hall, which was then in the
process of erection. Failing in this effort, a committee was appointed to select a site for a lodge
9. Oxley Square - corner of Main andCenter St.
10. Current location here at 76 Main St. Dedicated in 1936.
11. Designates the burial site of our 1st WM Samual Pardy.
This frame glass courtesy of Southington Glass Company
2. Grand Lodge of Connecticut Charter
2.The first Grand Lodge was founded in London, England in 1717. It is from them that other countries petitioned for their own charters. Freemasonry was first established in Connecticut in New Haven in 1750. The Grand Lodge of Connecticut was chartered in 1789.
3. Bronze Founders Stone Marker.
This Aluminum & Bronze plate is one of a set made from spare aircraft parts at the Yankee Foundry in Enfield to mark the gravestones of Friendship’s founding members. Our first WM, Samuel Pardy is located in Milldale (see town map #11). The master mold was made by Brother Karl Mueller out of wood around 1998.
4. First Meeting Minutes
A photocopy of the first meeting minutes log book cover and page of the first meeting minutes from December 15, 1795 when it was held at Joel Brockett’s Tavern in Plantsville (see town map with lodge locations on your left). Note the cover date year of 5795 Anno Lucis (1795 AD).
5. Old Aprons
These ornate aprons and collars were worn in the 1800’s specifically noted on small info cards in the frame. Items on the right were worn by Worshipful Master Moses Becklet (picture to the right;second row-left.).
6. Old Past Master Photos-1851-1880
Various pictures of Worshipful Masters from the mid 1800’s are displayed here. These Worshipful Brothers served in the period after the Morgan Affair,during the civil war and through reconstruction. You can also see the complete list of lodge past masters on the framed lists in the lodge meeting room.
7. Old Past Master Photos-1883-1904
More pictures of Worshipful Masters from the late 1800’s are displayed here. You can also see the complete list of lodge past masters on the framed lists in the lodge meeting room. More old photos of WM’s are stored in a drawer under the display case in the preparation room (please ask the historian if interested in viewing.)
8. American Flag
This 35 star American Flag was made in 1876, the same year this building was built by J. F. Pratt. Former CT governor Marcus Holcomb resided here from 1899 - 1932.
Donated by Brother Mike Leser in 2021.
9. Town Green Article
An article from 2001 might seem out of line,but the article highlights the 125th anniversary of the Southington town green The green, created in 1876 was originally called ‘Pigweed Park’ in the 1870’s, The picture of the green is from 1906, with our yellowish building color on the far left. The project to create the green was spearheaded by J F Pratt, who built this building.
10. 100th Anniversary Invitation
This is one of 2 centennial anniversary invitations that has been dis-assembled and framed for viewing. The other, with original ribbon tie, is on display at the desk of Marcus Holmcolm display in the Southington Historical Society Museum.
This frame glass courtesy of Southington Glass Company
11. GL Eng Papers
Grand Lodge of England traveling papers from 1906. (Now we have much smaller ‘dues cards’ for visiting other lodges!).
*Donated by Mrs. Irene Nelson of Southington in 1992.
12. Royal Arch Display Case
Royal Arch or York Rite is a branch of Freemasonry and in 1878 a number of the brethren belonging to Friendship Lodge were organized into a chapter of Royal Arch Masons, under the name of Triune Chapter, No. 40. These items are from the 1920’s when a former Friendship Lodge worshipful master from 1904,Arthur E Stowe, was in charge.
Another picture of Brother Stowe can also be seen on the bottom right corner of the past masters (item #7).
The relation existing between these two bodies has always been the most cordial. They have carried on their work in the same hall, and some of the brethren have held office in both at the same time. So interwoven have been their interests that in 1880 a resolution was presented and carried in the "Blue Lodge,” and is so recorded in the minute book of the "Blue Lodge:"
13. Original Front Window
This old window was an original front window on the 2nd floor showing the lodge designation. With moving in during 1936,it’s believed this window is from the 1930’s or 4-’s. Looking close,you may see the lodge officers from that period.
Refurbished in 2023 by Brother Mike Leser
14.Officers of 1933
This photo shows the entire officer suite and the worshipful master of Friendship Lodge #33 from 1933.
Rear row: O.B. Kilbourn,Treas, R. Stone S.W. H.Richardson W. M. W. Edwards J.W. A. Stow,Sec’y
Mid. row: R. Hubbard,J.S. F. Carlson S.D. C. Moshier,J.D. E. Atwater,S.S.
Front: R. Pratt, Marshal W. Peck, Tyler
15. Building Dedication
A copy of the Southington News newspaper from 1936 reporting the Grand Lodge officers attending this new lodge building dedication in 1936 after our move from Oxley Square,
16. Arthur Kratzer - MWGM - 1985
Friendship Lodge Brother Arthur Kratzer was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Connecticut, AF & AM, in 1985. Our current lodge secretary, Most Worshipful Gary Arrsenau was the 2nd grand master from Friendship #33, serving in 2012.
17. Harmony Charter
In 1995, Harmony lodge #20 merged with Friendship #33, with brothers of Friendship voting to remain Friendship #33, although we could have been Friendship-Harmony #20. Harmony Lodge #20 was chartered in New Britain in 1791, 4 years before Friendship #33.
18. 200th Newspaper
A copy of an article highlighting our 200th birthday celebration in 1995. Also see a more extensive article located on the wall in the dining hall downstairs.
19. State Citation Plaque
An official citation from the State of CT introduced by the entire state delegation issued in 1995 recognizing the lodge’s chartering on May 21st,1795 and our 200th anniversary.
20. Small column news
Newspaper article from the 200th anniversary celebration in 1995.
21.Freemason of the Year
In 2003,our past master Peter Boychuck received this award as Connecticut’s ‘Freemason of the year’ in recognition of his work to establish the CTCHIP program in the state, cited as the most comprehensive child recovery and identification program in the nation.
22. Lodge Covid-19 Rules
During the Covid-19 pandemic of 2019, lodges were forced to close in March and not allowed to reopen until the fall following a deep cleaning and following these rules.
23. Recent News Corkboard
Newspaper clippings of the most recent events and news about the lodge published in the monthly CT Freemasons magazine.
Did you find the un-labeled item in the lodge not in the timeline description? The abduction of William Morgan lithograph is purposely hung in the dark end of the lodge hallway near the bathroom as it represents a period of time that few like to talk about. While technically correctly positioned between items #4 (1st meeting minutes from 1795) and #5 (1860's aprons) as the incident occurred in 1826.
A recent book by Professor John Dickie – The Craft – presents an evenly-balanced account of the Morgan Affair in 1826, which he describes accurately as ‘the most notorious Masonic conspiracy in American history’.