No not what you think, but close...time to gather around the camp fire
This was actually posted originally else where on a masonic site, but these are cool stories, first a little back story, so you scroll down a tad to
find them, they are good even if you hate masons...enjoy
Modern fiction writers avoid mention of the Masonic Fraternity in their
writings. Yet, just a few decades ago, we found many authors who recognized the
Ancient Craft as an integral part of the community.
Brother Rudyard Kipling, in many of his stories, and in many of his poems,
found ways to weave Freemasonry into his tales. He was an ardent and active
Brother and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created the characters of Sherlock
Holmes and Dr. Watson, was a member of Phoenix Lodge No. 257 in Portsmouth,
England. His writings contain many references to Freemasonry.
Most Worshipful Brother Carl H. Claudy, long-time Executive Secretary of the
Masonic Service Association of the U.S., was probably the most prolific writer
of American Masonic fiction. His The Lion's Paw is a delightful novel with a
Masonic background. His Masonic plays remain popular.
At the turn of the century, many novels contained references to the Masonic
lodge as a focal point in the community, or references to Masons as the
outstanding pillars of behavior. Somewhere along the line, either we have lost
some of our Masonic luster or the art of story telling has become blind to our
It was a refreshing experience for the Masonic Service Association to receive
the following two gems of fiction for consideration as a Short Talk Bulletin.
The author, Wor. Bro. William W. Price of Vacaville Lodge No. 134 in Vacaville,
California, reports that he had an urge to put some of his feelings and
memories into writing. He stated that each contains situations based upon real
people and places that had very deep and lasting effects upon his Masonic life.
In these stories their love and dedication for the Craft lives again.
For your enjoyment and inspiration we are pleased to share them with you.
The Last Stated
It was Friday night and the wind was blowing and there was a chill in the air,
uncommonly cool for June. The street where the old Temple was located was
desolate and dark.
The aging Tiler took out his keys and opened the large door to the old Temple.
He turned on the Square and Compass over the door and it shone brilliantly in
the darkness. He slowly climbed the twenty-seven stairs as he had done for the
past fifty years.
"It is a Stated tonight" he said to himself, "all the brethren will be here and
everything must be in its proper place and station."
He opened the door to the paraphernalia room. There was a mustiness which he no
longer seemed to notice. The rods of the Deacons and Stewards hung on the
right, the jewels of the officers on hooks on the wall, and the aprons were
stored in the old wooden box. Ever so gently, he took them and arranged the
Lodge with loving care. He then opened the altar, took out the Holy Bible,
Square and Compass and laid them so reverently on the altar. He checked the
lesser lights, and all three were working. "The Master always wanted them
checked before he opened the Lodge" he remembered. He then turned the letter
"G" on and observed that it shone particularly bright tonight. He then turned
all the lights off except the "G" because he always enjoyed looking at it that
way. He also turned on the light over the altar even though he knew Grand Lodge
didn't approve, but "It looks so right", he thought, and smiled to himself.
He opened the ledger and entered the date, A.L. 5985 The Year of Light, and 24
June 1985. "It was St. John's Day", he remarked to himself. "The Order doesn't
celebrate it as they used to do."
He clothed himself in his apron and jewel, the cloth was old and faded, and the
jewel was dull. He took his sword and sat down by the door to the Lodge Hall,
so he could see the bright letter "G" and the Three Great Lights, and there he
waited as he had for all these years, waiting for the Brethren.
He must have dozed for he noticed the door to the Lodge Hall was closed, but he
was tired, very tired. It had not gone well for Ancient Landmark Lodge for many
years, but he was sure the Brethren would come tonight, "Wasn't it a Stated and
St. John's Day?", he said to himself. Then he heard from inside the Lodge a
voice. It was the Master saying, "The Officers will assume their Stations and
Places. The Brethren will come to Order and take their seats". The Tiler
thought out loud, "I'm here, Worshipful and Brethren, as I have been for all
The next day they found the old Tiler. He must have passed away in his sleep.
They looked into the Lodge Hall and saw the bright letter "G" and the light
above the altar burning brightly. "I don't understand what happened here", the
investigator said. "This old Lodge has been closed for some time".
An old Mason who was there to inventory the property remarked "Yes, I know, but
this would have been the first time that a Stated would have fallen on St.
John's Day in 50 years, it would have been a grand evening. There's something
awful strange about this".
''What do you mean?", asked the investigator .
"Well, this old Ledger, it's dated the 24th of June 1985 and it's full of names
of Brethren I haven't seen or heard of for years", remarked the old Mason.
"Strange, very strange" said the investigator. "Well, my job is over so let's
leave. Anyway, the new owners want to get started on their building
construction", he added.
The old Mason turned off the main switch, but observed something was wrong.
"Look" he said, "the letter "G" and the light over the altar didn't go out".
"Well, maybe we should just leave them", said the investigator.
As they shut the door to the Lodge Hall and turned to leave, they both thought
they heard a voice from within saying "The Officers will assume their Stations
and Places. The Brethren will come to Order and take their seats". They looked
at each other without comment and locked up the old Temple and left. The Square
and Compass above the large door of the Temple shone brilliantly in the
So Mote It Be!
The Old Square and Compass
It was in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty nine, A.L.
5849. The place: California. It was the time of the gold rush which beckoned
many Masonic Brethren with hopes of finding their fortune.
About 1850 in the small township of Hiramsburg, sundry Brothers requested and
received a dispensation for the Grand Lodge of California to form a Lodge of
Free and Accepted Masons.
The Lodge was named Immortality Lodge Under Dispensation. The membership was
comprised of Brethren from many jurisdictions and all had one thing in common,
they were Freemasons .
Much work and effort went into furnishing the small Lodge Room located over
Jones's Hardware Store. They needed it all: the Volume of the Sacred Law, the
two pillars, altar, rods, officer's jewels and aprons, and, of course, the
square and compass.
And thus begins our story.
We were cast near to the Jenkins Silver Mine located along the Silverado Trail
which wound its way through the rich Napa Valley. We were placed in a velvet
covered box, transported to Hiramsburg and presented to the Worshipful Master,
It was a joyous evening in Immortality Lodge when on that first night we were
removed from the box and placed on the Volume of Sacred Law. How we glistened
and shined and it was wonderful seeing the smiles and warmth on the faces of
the Brethren. It was a great and exciting moment filled with Friendship and
Brotherly Love. There was a glow in the Lodge Hall which only the true Mason
can experience and it made us sparkle even more for we would forever be a part
of the Lodge.
The speech by the senior Master Mason present was eloquent and rhetorical.
Brother Herb Sturtridge said, "These instruments, the Square and Compass, are
ancient to our Fraternity, as are all our beautiful furnishings. They are
significant in that they represent the working tools of our profession. The
square is dedicated to the Master for it is the proper working tool of his
office; it teaches us to work together on the square of virtue. The compass is
dedicated to the craft, for by due attention to its use we are taught to
circumscribe our desires and keep our passions in due bounds toward all
So we were at each and every degree and the Stated Meetings. We were part of
every ceremony where the new Mason swore to be a good man and true. Thus, under
the guiding hand of the All Seeing Eye, Immortality Lodge thrived and grew for
many years until...
The Village of Hiramsburg saw many changes in those years. The Civil War lost
us many good Brethren on both sides. The drought of 1879 and 1880 devastated
most of the farmland and most moved away. The culture and population took many
turns and for Immortality Lodge they were all the wrong way.
The final blow came on December 27, 1907 when an oil lamp was left burning
after St. John's Day celebration. Much of the old Lodge Hall was destroyed. Our
beautiful altar, the two pillars, the jewels and aprons were gone, but we were
spared, God knows for what! James Harvey, Senior Warden, found us in the rubble
and took us home.
The members of the Lodge could not raise the money to replace the loss. After
one year, Immortality Lodge went dark. All the property that remained was
turned over to the Grand Lodge, all except for us.
James Harvey never became Master. He passed away in 1909 and his belongings
along with us were sold to an antique store in the County Seat.
There we have laid for these many years waiting to return to Lodge, wa
Under the dullness our brilliance still remains, waiting to serve the
Fraternity who brought us into existence. We hope, someday, someone will find
us. Will it be you, Our Brother?