~ Our History ~
George Lodge A.F. & A.M.
In the early 1870s, several men from the
Campello section of Brockton were attending Paul Revere Lodge. As this was a time with neither street cars
nor automobiles, walking home became the custom late at night after Lodge
meetings. Many times the topic of
discussion during those walks was the possibility of a Lodge in Campello.
With the approval of the Paul Revere Lodge,
that process began in February, 1877.
Many names for the new Lodge were
considered, the first of which being “Baalis Sanford Lodge.” Baalis Sanford was a member of Paul Revere
Lodge and went on to serve as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. Although it has been reported that the name was not chosen due to a rule from Grand Lodge preventing the naming of a Lodge after a brother during his lifetime, which is a rule today, this was not the rule at the time and I have been informed that although Baalis Sanford had already had a remarkable Masonic career and his future in Masonry looked promising, he had not reached the status worthy of this honor as of yet and the name Baalis Sanford was discarded and the name of Saint George Lodge was chosen in its place. Forty years later, another new Lodge was formed in Brockton and had the privilege of honoring the Most
Worshipful Sanford in becoming Baalis Sanford Lodge.
The Brethren decided on the name “Saint
George Lodge” and a letter of dispensation was received from the Grand Master
on Valentine’s Day, 1877, authorizing 25 Brothers to work as a Lodge.
The first Master of Saint George Lodge was Worshipful
Harvey N.P. Hubbard who founded a long line of distinguished Masters, public
officials and members of the fraternity. Saint George is a lodge of notable
Masons and public figures such as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts Roger
Keith, Grand Junior Warden James Carlton Holmes, Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Chapter Ralph Copeland, U. S.
Congressman Hastings Keith and five Mayors of Brockton including it’s first
Mayor Cibna Keith, followed by Charles Williamson, John S. Burbank, Roger Keith
and Fred D. Rowe.
The first meetings were held in Campello at
Good Templar’s Hall and also at Goodock Block. A permanent home was established
in Kingman block on January 20th 1866 and meetings were held there until the purchase of
the former Salvation Army building on Nilsson Street in 1957. photo
The By-Laws were adopted on February 13,
1878, with the initiatory
fee set at $35.00, and dues were $2.00 per year.
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts officially chartered Saint George Lodge on March 13th 1878. The Most Worshipful Charles A. Walsh, Grand Master
of Masons in Massachusetts presented the Charter to Worshipful Hubbard. This same Charter has been passed from
Worshipful Master to Worshipful Master ever since.
By the mid 1900’s Brockton was beginning to become highly industrialized. Brockton’s industry was mainly in the production of boots,
shoes and other leather products. Most of the shoes and boots that were used
during WWI and WWII were manufactured in Brockton. Even today, Brockton is widely known as “Shoe City USA.”
To supply the hungry demands of industry
during the early 1900’s immigrants came from many countries to work and
hopefully attain the American dream. A number of Swedish immigrants settled in
the Campello area of Saint George lodge and most of them attended South
Congregational Church. Many times a man would work with others in a factory,
attend lodge that evening and attend South Congregational Church in Campello on
Sunday with those same men.
In 1980, South Congregational Church
consolidated with three other churches in Brockton and became Christ Congregational Church. The original church building has been
replaced by a retail store; however, the bell of the church rests at the site
of the old church on the corner of South St. and Main St.
Regrettably, the once thriving shoe industry
no longer exists in Brockton, having been displaced by foreign competition.
Saint George Lodge moved to larger
headquarters shortly after 2000 and now has its home at the Brockton Masonic Building located at 279 Prospect Street, bringing the three Brockton Lodges under the same
The Brockton Masonic Building also hosts Brockton Chapter 87 Order of the Eastern
Star, the Satucket Pilgrim Chapter, the Baystate Commandery, the Brockton
Abington Council and the Paul Dunbar Lodge of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall
Grand Lodge F.&A.M.of Massachusetts.
Bro. Richard A. Poole, webmaster
With special thanks to Bro. Peter A. Del
Sette, District Historian
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