From Proceedings, Page 1951-148:
By Worshipful Irvin B. Gifford.
The history of Rural Lodge, written in detail by capable hands, has been published many times. The following is a brief summary of what are considered the important highlights of the existence of our Lodge, which is so revered and means so much to its members.
The records now in possession of the Lodge go back to the year 1861, and from that date back, it is necessary to depend on the manuscripts now in our possession for the information that is desired for our present purpose. It has always been the hope that the records prior to 1861, which were believed to have been returned to the Lodge in 1853 following the reestablish-ment of the Lodge activities, would eventually appear, but unfortunately, such has not been the case. The records of Rural Lodge from the year 1861 to the present time are in its possession, and are being well preserved so that a similar condition will be prevented.
Let us go back and review how our Lodge came into existence, and at the same time, review how our city, which has always been closely related to Rural Lodge, progressed. According to the manuscripts mentioned above, we must start with the Town of Braintree, incorporated in the year 1640. What is now Quincy, then termed the "Mount," was originally a part of Braintree and the reference "Mount" refers to Mount Wollaston. The Town of Braintree grew with the Colony, and in less than a hundred years, there were three distinct villages, known as the North (North Quincy), Middle (Braintree), and South (Randolph) precincts. In 1792 a division occurred and the Town of Quincy came into existence, setting off the South district as Randolph.
The first mention of Masonry in these towns was in the year 1799, when a petition for a charter to hold a Masonic Lodge in the Town of Randolph was presented to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts — this petition being presented only a few days before the death of our first President, George Washington. The petition received due consideration, and on June 8, 1801, the Committee on Charters and By-Laws reported in favor of Rural Lodge and the petition was granted. In keeping with the enthusiasm of the petitioners, the first meeting of the Lodge was held on the evening of the same day, with Bro. William P. Whiting as its first Master. We cannot continue without pausing here to pay our respects to this worthy Brother and his associates for being responsible for giving us the Lodge we have and love today.
The growth of Rural Lodge from the beginning was very slow and discouraging. Two years later, under date of December 12, 1803, permission was granted to Rural Lodge to move from Randolph to Quincy, where it has held meetings to the present time — the first meeting in Quincy being held on December 26, 1803.
It is interesting to note that up to this time Rural Lodge, although having its charter, had not been consecrated by the Grand Lodge. For some reason, this was not done until September 19, 1804, when the Grand Lodge visited Quincy for the consecration of the Lodge and installation of its officers under the direction of Most Worshipful Isaiah Thomas, the then Grand Master, at which event John Adams and other distinguished citizens of Quincy were present.
The growth of Rural Lodge since its first meeting in Quincy has been steady, with its membership at the present time approaching four figures. This growth, as well as the growth of four other Lodges now in existence in the towns which once constituted the area described in the beginning of this summary, is definite proof of the continuance of the efforts and courage of our beloved Brothers who have given us what we have today in Masonry. We are thankful to them for what they have done for us, and we, as Masons, shall continue to display tjie same courage and fortitude in our future Masonry as they did in the past.
The building situation seems to have always provoked Rural Lodge, because previous histories mention several times the removal of the Lodge from one building to another, due to fires and ether conditions beyond its control, but at this particular time, we are determined to carry out our present project as regards this building with the same courage and fortitude as our Masonic forebears built our Lodges that we have today.