Masons Host Open House
by Paul Saulnier 10/24/12
October 20, 2012. Edwin F. Whiting was the first Master of Mount Hollis Lodge (1865-67) followed by Benjamin F. Batchelder 1868-69, both famous figures in Holliston's grand history.
Above is a copy of the lodge's charter which was saved from the fire which consumed what we now call the Fiske Building. Back then E. Whiting owned the building and let the Masons use the third floor for meetings. Look closely at the TD Bank's colorized version of a photograph taken at that time and you will see the Mason's logo on the third floor and E.Whiting's sign out front.
Member and author Walter Hunt knew everything there is to know about the Masons in general and Mount Hollis Lodge in particular. He spoke of Henry Price, who brought a charter from the Grand Lodge of England in 1733 and was appointed "Provincial Grand Master for North America". It allowed him to form lodges which could receive men into Freemasonry. Benjamin Franklin obtained a warrant from Price in 1734 to form a lodge in Philadelphia.
Walter said Free Masonry "makes good men better", a quote the Masons believe in. Members quietly go about the business of taking care of fellow members and their families and are storng believers in patriotism, as were many famous patriots. The lodge's web site, http://mounthollislodge.org/, lists as members 13 presidents, as well as Ben Franklin, St. John’s Lodge Philadelphia, PA; 1 of 13 Masonic signers of Constitution of the U.S., Davey Crockett, Paul Revere, and Patrick Henry. Yet there is no talk of politics or religion allowed at meetings, which are held on the first Monday of the month.
The second floor of the lodge contains the meeting room and memorabilia of the lodge through the ages.
This case, containing coins made to commemorate milestones in a member's career, was put together by Doug Brown, known to many as Holliston's Building Inspector.
The meeting room on the second floor is reminiscent of the auditorium in Town Hall where current members and guests discuss Free Masonry.
Elijah and Daniel Blais, students at Whitinsville Charter School, stopped in for a tour of the lodge to gather information as part of a school project.
At the end of his first term as Master, Brother Whiting received this fine plate as a commemoration of all that he had done to help form the lodge. It was presented to the lodge at some later date.
As for membership in the Holliston Free Masons, Hunt said: "We do not solicit members; to become a Mason, a man must ask to join, but we are willing and able to answer questions about our organization. We are not a secret society: our principal secrets are merely ways in which we recognize each other.