Welcome to Fulton Lodge No. 99!


(Written in 1980 by J.C. Hardister, PM)


            The first reference to the society of Freemasons in the early records of Rowan County is contained in the will of William Temple Coles, who was a Mason and left one half acre of ground to the Freemasons as a burying ground.  His will was probated in 1777.  The property described in the will was located where Bank Street crosses the Southern Railroad.  The right to this property has long since passed from the hands of the Masons, but by what means is not known.

            The first lodge organized in Salisbury, was called the Old Cone Lodge and received its authority to work from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina by the following action, November 20, 1788:

            “Brother John Armstrong presented a petition from sundry brethren in and near Salisbury, praying a warrant to hold a lodge at that place by the name of Old Cone which was granted.”

            This was the ninth lodge to receive authority to work in North Carolina.  Just when it passed out of existence and for what cause is not known.

            Fulton Lodge was organized in 1827 and received a charter from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina on the twenty-seventh of December of that year.  The Grand Master at that time was Louis D. Wilson, who designated Benjamin Austin as the first Master of the Lodge.  The Lodge held its first meeting in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church which had just been completed.

            The first meeting was attended by several members of the clergy of the Episcopal Church, some of whom afterwards became very prominent in the service of the church.

            The Lodge was named in honor of John Fulton.  He has left little record of his activities in the community.  He evidently had been a very active member of the first lodge organized in Salisbury.  He was listed as one of the citizens of Salisbury in 1811.  His wife was the daughter of Maxwell Chambers and is buried under the brick house on the southeast corner of Jackson and Innes Streets.  Beyond these few facts nothing is known of this man.

            For the next twenty years no records of the Lodge have been preserved.  From 1847 to the present date, however, the records are complete, except for the years between 1850 and 1855.  Sometime before 1847 the Lodge had failed to make returns to the Grand Lodge and for two years had failed to meet.  A complete reorganization took place that year, and the charter was retained.  After the reorganization on July 27, 1847, meetings were held nightly for several weeks and the Lodge in a short time was in excellent condition.  It grew from about twenty members in 1847 to one hundred and sixty five in 1866.  The records of the Lodge during the war between the states show time of intense activity when nightly meetings were held, which shows that the members of the Lodge who were engaged in the cause of the South did not let the hardship and burdens of the war keep them from their duty to the Lodge when opportunity afforded.

            The returns to the Grand Lodge for 1868 showed a loss of membership in the Lodge as the number recorded for that year was only eighty members.  From that date, however, there has been a steady gain in membership.  Several Lodges have been organized within the jurisdiction of Fulton.  These are all active and doing excellent work.  The membership of Fulton Lodge has steadily increased, however, and the total membership today is nearly three hundred and fifty members.

            On Thursday, December 9, 1976, in a proclamation issued by Most Worshipful Leslie H. Garner, Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina, Fulton Lodge No. 99 was declared to be over two hundred years old.  This came to be when Fulton Lodge was declared to be the successor of Old Cone Lodge No. 9.  This proclamation was presented to Fulton Lodge by Most Worshipful Leslie H. Garner with Worshipful J C Hardister, Master accepting.  This took place at a Masonic Trail meeting honoring Old Cone Lodge with Fulton Lodge as host Lodge.  A duplicate copy was presented to His Honorable James A. Summers, Mayor of Salisbury, North Carolina.

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