A Brief History Of Warren Lodge No. 51
Written by Thomas Keser
Wednesday, 26 September 2007 10:02

The first step toward the formation of a Masonic Lodge in this community, forming part of the Town of Chatham, took place on May 20, 1807, when thirty-nine members of the craft presented to the Grand Lodge a petition for a Charter “that we may be duly authorized and organized as a regular Lodge”. The petition was received and referred to a committee consisting of Henry Champion and Alexander Collins. Twenty-four of these petitioners were initiated in St. John’s Lodge No. 2, three in Wooster Lodge No. 10 and nine in Columbia Lodge No. 26.

This petition, the original of which is preserved in the files of the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, was withdrawn at the next session of the Grand Lodge, held in New Haven on October 14, 1807 for reasons which have never been disclosed.

A second petition was presented to the Grand Lodge on May 16, 1810 and was referred to a committee. The petition was granted on May 15, 1811, and a charter, signed by Stephen Titus Hosmer, Grand Master, and John Mix, Grand Secretary, was issued on August 1, 1811.

At a special session of Grand Lodge, convened at the home of Simeon Young, in Chatham, on September 25, 1811, the degree of Past Master was conferred on David Clark, after which Warren Lodge was duly instituted.

The first meeting of the newly instituted Lodge was held at the home of Simeon Young on October 2, 1811, when By-Laws were adopted and eight candidates were proposed, Regular meetings were held until the charter was suspended in 1846. It was restored in 1851, and on October 30 of that year Warren Lodge was reinstated by Grand Master William E. Sanford, who installed George W. Leonard as Master.

Since that time Warren Lodge has continued to function actively, and has an enviable record of Masonic service. During the two centuries of its existence, the members of Warren Lodge No 51 have constituted an active force for good in the community, and have been prominently identified with civic, religious and military activities.

It is of interest to observe that twenty-eight of the signers of the original petition served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Since that time members of Warren Lodge No. 51 have seen service in every war and in every branch of the armed forces.

The records of the Lodge disclose the fact that several contemporary members were direct descendants of the original petitioners. Edward Irving Bell, who served Warren Lodge No. 51 as Treasurer for fifty-seven years, was a direct descendant of a charter member, and four of his grandsons were direct descendants of Stephen Griffith, one of the original petitioners. Worshipful Brother Richard P. Penfield, a Past Master of Warren Lodge, who later served as Secretary, is directly descended from three original petitioners, viz.: Zebulon Penfield, Jeremiah Penfield and Morris McNary.

Having chosen for its name that of an illustrious patriot and Mason, and an equally distinguished and commendable history of service to God, to country, and to Craft Warren Lodge No. 51 may well look to the future with confidence and expectation.

Meeting Places of Warren Lodge No. 51

Simeon Young House – Chatham, September 25, 1811 (Consecrated)

David Strong House – Chatham, October 2, 1811 to June 24, 1812 (1st to 14th)

George Hubbard House – Chatham, July 22, 1812 to March 5, 1822 (15th to 99th)

Jeremiah Taylor House – Chatham, April 3, 1822 to March 30, 1825 (100th to 124th)

Ira Lee House – Chatham, May 6, 1825 to January 18, 1826 (125th to 129th)

David Buell House – East Hampton, February 22, 1826 to July 20, 1842 (130th to 170th)

Bell Block – Portland, Northeast Corner Main St. and Freestone Ave. October 30, 1851 to 1868

First National Bank – Portland, Southeast Corner Main St. (original building replaced by Portland Trust Co, – currently Bank of America). 1868 to July 7, 1887
Ormont Post Building – Portland, Freestone Av. August 4, 1887 to present