From Proceedings, Page 2001-37:
Prior to 1792, the Town of Braintree was divided into three parts: the North, which is now Quincy; the Middle, which is now Braintree, and the South, which is now Randolph.
In 1792 and 1793, the Town was divided into three towns. Hancock Street was the Plymouth Road, Washington Street was not yet in existence, the bridge across the Neponset River opened in 1803, the railroad came 45-years later, and the horsecar, much later.
Thomas Crane, a member of Rural Lodge, used to walk to Boston to worship as he pleased. These were some of the conditions which existed when a petition praying for a Charter on December 17, 1799, was filed with the Grand Lodge. This was only a few days before the death of Most Worshipful George Washington.
John Adams, second President of the United States, had just completed his presidency a few days before when the Charter was granted on June 8, 1801, in the Town of Randolph. Only 33 other Lodges existed in Massachusetts. Two years later, the Charter was transferred to Quincy.
The first meeting was held in Baxter's Hall on School Street, near what is now the railroad bridge. In 1825, the quarters were moved to the corner of Hancock and Saville Streets.
On September 19, 1804, Rural Lodge was consecrated by the Grand Lodge and Installation of Officers was held under the direction of Most Worshipful Isaiah Thomas, Grand Master. After the Masonic business was taken care of, a procession was formed and a public consecration and Installation ceremony was performed in the Meeting House of the First Parish Church, Quincy. In attendance were former President John Adams, future President John Quincy Adams, and other municipal officers of the Town.
In 1853, the Lodge met in Abercrombie Hall on Washington Street, near the Canal. In 1867, it met in a hall at the comer of Hancock and Granite Streets, which was occupied until the building was totally destroyed by fire on August 26, 1875, resulting in the loss of all Lodge property. With the exception of the Charter and any property in the possession of the Secretary, all the early records were destroyed.
In roughly 1890, Bro. Bill Edmondston proposed to build a comfort station near the fountain and horse trough in Quincy Square. The hilarious debate was intensified by the wit and humor of the Chairman, Wor. Emery Crane, who closed the meeting with the droll exclamation, "We'll help Bro. Bill build an 8-holer in Quincy Square". It didn't happen.
In 1881, the Lodge assisted in the laying of the cornerstone of the Thomas Crane Library. Rural Lodge, with the Grand Lodge as its guest, had a hand in the dedication of the Library on May 30, 1882.
In 1926, the cornerstone of the present building was laid. The dedication, which brought together 832 members of the Craft, was under the leadership of Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, Grand Master.
From 1804 to 2001, no less than 18 presiding Grand Masters have visited Rural Lodge, four Past Grand Masters of other jurisdictions have visited, the latest being Most Worshipful Roger Read, Grand Master of Connecticut who was voted an honorary member of the Lodge.
In 1923, three Past Masters were appointed a committee to form Old Colony DeMolay, which was instituted on March 1, 1924.
Rural Lodge has supported the Grand Lodge Blood Program by donating over 100 pints of blood a year, many times.
Past Masters of Rural Lodge have supported the 22nd Lodge of Instruction, eight of whom have served as Master. There has been one President of the Masonic Forum which replaced the Lodge of Instruction.
Eleven members of the Lodge have served the Craft as District Deputy Grand Master.
The Lodge has topped the 1,000 membership mark five times; the last time it lasted for eight years. Only two other Lodges in the entire State, Athelstan and Morning Star, both in Worcester, have topped this mark.
Rural Lodge has been a traveling Lodge: annual visits to Delta Lodge since 1934; Union Lodge at Nantucket, 1935; Deering Lodge, Portland, Maine, 1938; several visits to Eliot Lodge when their meeting place was in Jamaica Plain; Washington Alexandria Lodge #22, at the George Washington National Masonic Shrine in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1969; several visits to Azure Lodge #129, Cranford, New Jersey; and in May of 1975, a visit to Atlantic Phoenix Lodge in Hamilton, Bermuda.
Through the years, there have been many outstanding members, such as Brother Walter E. Simmons, Secretary for 44 years, R. W. Roy Prout, Secretary for 16 years, R. W. Ray Warmington, Past Deputy Grand Master; R. W. Irving Gifford, 42 years as Secretary. Brother Everett Clark, a 55 year member and Wor. Arthur Hall, were both 33rd Degree members of the Lodge. And, Wor. John Sutterley served as Grand Commander of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, October 1999 to October 2000.
This is part of the proud heritage of Rural Lodge. May the future officers and members contribute as much to the Craft and the community as the past and present members have.