Chronology of Masonry, Burlington, New Jersey
Deputy governor of West Jersey, moves to
Burlington, the capital of the Province. As far as can be determined,
Skene has the distinction of being the first Freemason in the American
Colonies. Brother Skene was a member of Aberdeen Lodge No. 1, Aberdeen,
Daniel Coxe, son of Dr. Daniel Coxe, the last of the Proprietor
Governors, takes up residence in the city. Colonel Coxe is held
in high esteem in the colonies. He served in numerous official
capacities. For many years he was President of the West Jersey
Proprietors. Towards the end of his life he was appointed Associate
Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Brother Coxe was a
member of Lodge No. 8 of London.
Daniel Coxe appointed Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey
and Pennsylvania. The first authority for assembling of Freemasons
was issued by
the Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons in
. There is no record
that Coxe ever issued a deputation for the formation of a Lodge
in this country.
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was held at Burlington on March 30.
On this date a new Lodge, to be known as Burlington Lodge No. 32
was invested with a warrant from the R.W.G.L. of Pennsylvania.
The members of this Lodge now known as "Old No. 32," were mostly
of the military, the Rebellion against
still being in progress.
32 now apparently defunct. There are no further records of minutes.
Lodge No. 32 was not officially represented at the first session
of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey meeting at New Brunswick. However,
the agreement was signed "in behalf of No. 32"
by four of the brothers.
Warrant of No. 32 was surrendered in April of this year.
of Burlington Lodge No. 32 A.Y.M.
At two o'clock
on Wednesday, June 21, 1854, twenty-six Master Masons met in the
upper chambers of the I.O.O.F. Hall on East Union Street for the
purpose of forming a new Lodge. This hall was destined to be the meeting place of Burlington Masons for most of
the next half century. The following were charter members: Brothers
Elias E. Boudinot, John W. Kelly, Thomas Neal, William R. Allen,
Lewis Gotta, Ellwood Conners, Richard B. Westbrook, Aaron E. Ballard,
Jr., and John Rodgers. Brother Rodgers served as our first Master.
Lodge No. 32 received its warrant from the M.W.G.L. of New Jersey
on January 10. During this, the first complete year, fifteen members
were initiated and two accepted by affiliation.
official visit from Grand Lodge. At the February 3 meeting,
the Lodge was honored by a visitation from the M.W.G.M. Joseph Trimble
of the M.W.G.L. P.M. John Rodgers introduced the Grand Master who
was then received by the Lodge with the honors due the dignity of
appointed by W.M. to "take incipient steps for erection of a Lodge
building" of our own.
fund for new lodge building created.
Hall Association created on April 13. The Association acquires
the C.G. Ridgway property on West Union Street.
10 - Anniversary date of the first hundred years of Lodge No. 32.
A New Masonic
Temple Building Committee was formed to draft building plans for
a new building. Brother Leonard Baker served as General Chairman.
Permission to lease ground at Masonic Home on Jacksonville Road
as site for new Temple was received from Grand Lodge. Pledges secured
13. Mrs. Irma S. Phillips presents gift of land on Mt. Holly Road
as a memorial to our late brother, Harold Del. Phillips. New
Temple to be constructed on this ground. Gift was enthusiastically
accepted and plans for the building on Jacksonville Road were given
1. Mr. and Mrs. George Smith of Mt. Holly present gift of land
50' x 66', for use as driveway to new Temple.
Tract of land, 25' x 325', fronting proposed site, purchased from
Public Service Electric & Gas Company.
13. Ground broken for new Temple.
10. First communication in new Temple.
21. Cornerstone laying ceremony. M.W.G.M. Samuel B. Brosius and
Grand Lodge Staff participated.
A dining room
was added, to complete the original plans. This finalized the unique
design of the building which is in the shape of a Square, one of
the working tools of a Master Mason.
125th anniversary celebration of Burlington Lodge No. 32, F. & A.M.
that Brother Lodges will not consider it presumptuous of us to embrace
the story of all Freemasonry here in Burlington. We do not claim
the story as our own, but gladly share it with all Freemasons.
That a lodge did not flourish here continuously is regretful, but
there is always life in the small acorn.
tree apparently did not find fertile ground here, but scattered
its seed widely, as lodges sprang up throughout the Colonies. The
second, although it became only a small sapling, was able to leave
behind a seed that eventually germinated in 1855. Today this tree
is less than 150 years old, veritably young for Masonry, but within
itself it holds remembrance of its past and faith in its future.
its leaves will fall gently to the ground, as all our brothers must,
but yearly the tree will gain in girth and stature and should continue
well into the future.
to our Historian, Richard J. Abdill, Jr., PM, for his efforts in
compiling this page.