The musings of a previously unemployed Jewish Freemason. I write about the job search, about Judaism, and about Freemasonry.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oldest masonic lodges in the USA

I don't vouch for the accuracy of this table. It's really a rough estimate, from data given by GL websites and the websites of some of the lodges themselves. The thing to do would be to write to the 20 or so oldest grand lodges in the USA and ask them for a list of all lodges over 200 years old, along with their charter dates. Unless that kind of list is lying around on the Grand Secretary's Desk (at least one grand lodge offers such a list as a PDF on their website), it might be some work to create it. I would like to see all of these lodges (and all masonic lodges) have comprehensive websites that have a page with their lodge history, but that's up to the lodges themselves to implement. Keep posted for more and more accurate listings. Please comment with more details if you have them.

Table of current masonic lodges chartered within 50 years of the the oldest lodge in the USA still in operation, listed roughly in order of age:

YearLodge NameNumberStateAffiliationNotes
1733St. John's Lodge, Boston

MAAF & AMClaims to be the oldest duly constituted and chartered lodge in the Americas; Benjamin Franklin's mother lodge.
1733Norfolk Lodge1VA

1734Solomon's Lodge1GAF & AMClaims to be oldest lodge in continual operation
1735Solomon's Lodge1SCAFM

1736St. John's Lodge1NHF & AMClaims to be oldest lodge in continual operation
1749St. John's Lodge1RI

1750Hiram Lodge1CTAF & AM

1752Fredricksburg Lodge4VA

1754St. John's Lodge2CTAF & AM

1755St. John's Lodge1



1756St. Andrew's Lodge

MAAF & AMPast masters include Joseph Warren and Paul Revere

1756St. Tammany Lodge5VA


1757St. John's Lodge1NYAYM

1757St. John's Lodge1PRI

I don't know what 1P means
1757Blandford Lodge3VA

1758Pennsylvania Meridian Sun Lodge2PAF & AM

1760Philanthropic Lodge


1760Independent Royal Arch Lodge2NY

1760Mount Vernon Lodge3NY

1761St. John's Lodge1



Pre 1762Fidelity-St. John's Lodge3CTAF & AM

1762Triangle Lodge1MEAF & AM

1762Wyllys-St. John's Lodge4CTAF & AM

Pre 1765Union Lodge5CTAF & AM

Pre 1765St. John's Lodge6CTF & AM

1765King Solomon's Lodge7CTAF & AM

1766St. John's Lodge, Newburyport


1766Mariner Lodge2SC

1766America- St. John's Lodge8CTAF & AM

1766St. Patrick's Lodge4NYF & AM

1767Royal White Hart2NC

1768Masters Lodge5NY

1768Winchester Hiram Lodge21VA

1769Washington Lodge1PDEAF & AM

Pre 1770Bonnie Blink Daylight1MD

1770Massachusetts Lodge

MAAF & AMPetitioned 100 days after the Boston Massacre
1770Tyrian Lodge


1770Washington Lodge3MD

1771Union Lodge, Nantucket


1772St. John's Lodge3NC

1772St. John's Lodge4NC

1773Williamsburg Lodge6VA

1773Botetourt Lodge7VA

1774Royal Edwin Lodge5NC

1774St. George's Lodge6NY

1775Unanimity Lodge7NC

1776American Union Lodge1OHF & AMOriginally from Roxbury, MA. Moved to Ohio in 1790.
1779Essex Lodge


Pre 1780Solomon's Lodge3PAF & AM

1780Richmond Lodge10VA

1780Tacony Masonic Temple9PAF & AM

Pre 1781Compass Lodge9CTAF & AM

1781St. John's Lodge2DEAF & AM

1781Wooster Lodge10CTAF & AM

Pre 1783St. Paul's Lodge11CTAF & AM

1783Alexandria-Washington Lodge22VA

First WM George Washington
1783King Hiram's Lodge12CTAF & AMChartered in March
1783Montgomery Lodge13CTAF & AM

1783King Solomon's Lodge

MAAF & AMChartered in September. Built the original Bunker Hill Monument.


  1. Connecticut itself didn't establish a GL until 1789, so we have over a dozen lodges that precede the GL.
    Note that Conn's current designation is AF & AM - it's incorrect on some of the items in your list.

  2. I have fixed that for most of the CT lodges, except St. John's Lodge #2 in Middletown, CT, which calls itself F & AM on its website. I know that in Massachusetts, all lodges became AF & AM after the merger of the Ancients and Moderns (for example, St. John's Lodge in Boston was originally F & AM, but became AF & AM after the merger), but Philanthropic Lodge in Marblehead, MA, still calls itself F & AM in its website.

    St. John's Lodge #1 in New Hampshire was originally chartered through Massachusetts. I've seen an early list of chartered lodges at the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts library, and lodges as far away as Jamaica and Bermuda were chartered through Boston, so I would imagine that some of the Connecticut lodges might have been originally chartered from Boston as well.

    Cynthia Alcorn, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts librarian, is amazing to talk to about masonic history. The list she showed me was in a hand-written notebook with the cover loose, tied together with string, aged into a leathery color. The youngest lodge on the list was from the mid-1740s. She told me that the list was compiled in London by the Grand Lodge of England (Modern). They would issue such a list to Provincial Grand Lodges every decade or so, so that lodges know who was legitimately chartered through England (I would imagine that the Irish, Scottish, York and Ancient Grand Lodges did something similar in those days).

  3. St. John's in Middletown was indeed chartered by the GL of MA. I don't remember them having the F&AM designation in the lodge itself, but I probably wasn't looking for it.

  4. I invite you to read the following for some information relative to your original post.

  5. Palmetto Bug:

    Thank you, that was fascinating.

  6. Actualy, St. John's Lodge #2 in Middletown CT is A.F. & A.M.. The Web site has been updated to reflect this. (Thank's for pointing it out!) Originally, we were "Moderns" and adopted the A.F. & A.M. after the formation of the GL of CT.

    Nice to see we made the list.

    Sincerely and Fraternally,
    Don Tansey
    Senior Warden,
    St. John's #2
    Middletown, CT

  7. Brother Don:

    I've corrected this. You should be very proud of your great history, as one of the oldest ten (as far as I can tell) lodges in the USA still in operation. How did you celebrate your 250th anniversary?

  8. I am happy to see my Massachusetts Lodge (Philanthropic) on this list. We are celebrating our 250th anniversary next year and are whipping up quite a series of event.

    Chris Hansen, Goliath Lodge #5595 UGLE
    Philanthropic Lodge, F&AM Massachusetts

  9. Brother Chris:

    I have some family in the Marblehead area. I'd be delighted to participate in at least one of your anniversary events, if it is open to visiting masons. Do you know why your lodge chose to remain Modern after the merger of grand lodges? I'm always curious about little details like that.

  10. St. John's Lodge No. 1, Ancient York Masons, in New Jersey marked its 248th anniversary this past Wednesday.

    There used to be a society of Sts. John lodges. Don't know if it still exists.

  11. St. John's Lodge #1 AYM in New Jersey has been added. Do you know in which town it resides? I've heard about a society of Sts. John lodges, from someone at St. John's Lodge of Newburyport, MA. I wonder if they publish anything.

  12. My lodge, St. Johns Lodge No. 6 in Connecticut is actually just F. & A. M. Although for a period of time in the 1800's we tacked on the first "A" it was removed reflecting our original charter from the Provincial Grand Master of New York. Great list and I love your banner.

  13. Brother M.M.M:

    Do you know the date and year of your charter?
    Thanks for the kind words. There's tons of masonic clip art online, and free fonts. The font I used came from a pirate-themed website.

  14. St. John's Lodge No. 1 in New Jersey is now located in a suburb called Mountain Lakes, having left the City of Newark years ago.

  15. St. John's Lodge No. 1, AYM in New York City celebrated its Installation of Officers last night.

  16. Here are some more from the Palmetto State:

    Union-Kilwinning No. 4, Charleston (3May1755).

    Harmony No. 22, Beaufort (15Sep1756).

    There are others but - due to changes in numbers because of the union of the Ancients and Moderns in 1817 and the great fire at Charleston in 1838 that destroyed the Grand Lodge building - it is hard to track down exact dates of charters.

  17. Thanks again, Brother Bug, these have been added. I agree that this project is challenging. I wonder if this information is available to the Grand Secretaries of the various Grand Lodges?

  18. Interesting info. Just to update you. There are two St John's Lodges in RI. The 1P is the lodge in Cranston, RI, while 1 is the Lodge known as St. Johns of Newport, which is located in Portsmouth, RI. Some history on St John's Portsmouth, RI,

    I, myself am a member of May Flower Lodge in Middleboro, MA. We will be celebrating 150 years in 2015. I know of St John's because my Father's lodge, Eureka merged with St John's in 2001.

    Yours fraternally
    Edward M Croft