Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Bethel Masonic Lodge (Enfield, Mass.)

Bethel Masonic Lodge Records, 1858-1938.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 012

Organized in 1825, the Bethel Masonic Lodge of Enfield, Mass., was the oldest recorded social or fraternal group in the Swift River Valley. After shuttering its doors for several years in response to anti-Masonic sentiments, the lodge reorganized in 1858 and operated continuously until 1939 when Enfield was flooded for the Quabbin Reservoir, and most of its former members merged into Eden Lodge in nearby Ware, Mass.

The Bethel Lodge records include a membership list, financial records, by-laws, burial service manual, directories, insurance policies, meeting cards, and a one-hundredth anniversary booklet.

Background on Bethel Masonic Lodge (Enfield, Mass)

Organized in 1825, the Bethel Masonic Lodge of Enfield, Mass., was the oldest recorded social or fraternal group in the Swift River Valley. Although it flourished initially, the Lodge soon suspended its operations in late 1829 and surrendered its charter in response to the rise of anti-Masonic sentiments. The charter was restored in 1858 to petitioners Aaron Woods, Henry Fobes, Nathan Weeks, J.B. Woods, John Crosby, Ichabod Pope, and Daniel Ford.

The Masonic Building, erected in 1926, was located in the central business district of Enfield. In 1939, after the town was flooded for the Quabbin Reservoir, the Bethel Lodge folded and most of its members merged into Eden Lodge in nearby Ware, Mass.

Contents of Collection

The Bethel Lodge collection consists of material dating strictly from the period following reinstatement of the Lodge’s charter in 1858. Records include a membership list (1861), financial records (1858-1898), by-laws (1882, 1937), a burial service manual (1909), directories (1898, 1929-1938), insurance policies (1873-1898), meeting cards (1880-1926), and a one-hundredth anniversary booklet (1925).

dingbat for decoration
Inventory of Collection
Annual Return of Membership 1861 Box 1: 1
Bills and Accounts 1858-1860 Box 1: 2
Bills and Accounts 1861-1867 Box 1: 3
Bills and Accounts 1868-1879 Box 1: 4
Bills and Accounts 1880-1889 Box 1: 5
Bills and Accounts

1890-1898 Box 1: 6
Burial Service manual 1909 Box 1: 7
By-Laws 1882-1937 4 items Box 1: 8
Directories 1887-1938 9 items Box 1: 9

Includes printed directories for 1887/1888, 1898, 1929, 1922, 1934, 1936, 1937, and 1938 (2 copies).

Insurance Policies 1873-1898 Box 1: 10
Meeting notices 1880-1926 Box 1: 11
One-Hundredth Anniversary program 1925 3 copies Box 1: 12
dingbat for decoration
Provenance

Acquired from Donald Howe, 1960.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf and Linda Seidman, Feb.-Sept. 1985.

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Bethel Masonic Lodge Records (MS 012). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects
  • Enfield (Mass.)--History
  • Freemasons--Massachusetts
  • Men--Societies and clubs--Massachusetts
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Freemasons. Bethel Lodge (Enfield, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Insurance policies
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