Sunday, October 11, 2009

Grand Master’s Day at Tappan

DeWint House, located in Tappan, New York, is owned and operated by the Grand Lodge of New York. During the Revolutionary War, it repeatedly served as a headquarters of Gen. George Washington.

Today was the big day at Tappan, where the Grand Lodge of New York hosted its annual Grand Master’s Day at DeWint House, the historic site preserved by the brethren in New York for its significance as a repeated headquarters of General George Washington during the Revolution.

Most notably, this modest home was used by Washington during the trial of Major John André, to whom General (and Freemason) Benedict Arnold had passed secret information to help the British capture the American garrison at West Point, the strategic artery that gave its owner control of the Hudson River. André was captured, tried, and, on October 2, 1780, executed. Arnold would escape capture, be commissioned a brigadier general in the British army, and lead British troops in Virginia and Connecticut.

RW Vincent Libone, Deputy Grand Master, at far right, presided over the reception today in lieu of Grand Master Edward Gilbert, who is recovering from an ailment.

The colors were presented by the Masonic War Veterans, led by RW John Borycki, Commander General.

Bro. Karl Best receives an honor from Grand Lodge. From left: Deputy Grand Master Vincent Libone, Bro. Karl Best, and RW Manuel Abad, vice president of the Board of Trustees of the Masonic Hall.
One of the more enjoyable moments of the day was the presentation of a proclamation from the Grand Lodge to Bro. Karl Best, who serves DeWint House as assistant superintendent. Best and his wife work with RW Harold Jones, superintendent, and his wife, to keep everything operational at the historic site. From greeting visitors to managing the priceless property, the two couples work hard in the service of Freemasonry and the public.

RW Dom Grippo is a trustee of the Masonic Hall,
and was secretary of Garibaldi Lodge No. 542 for many years.

There were many different aprons worn by the VIPs today. Plenty of purple and gold, and a diversity of styles and symbols. I had to get a shot of this one, worn by RW Bill Maurer, chairman of the DeWint House Committee.

Anyway, the attractions of DeWint House are numerous, and vary from the architecture of the house itself, which is Dutch Colonial; to the beautiful landscape, with its diversity of trees, and historic embellishments; and the many historical artifacts on display in the museum.

The earliest owners of this property owned slaves. These headstones once were in a cemetery several miles away, on land where the Palisades Parkway now stands. They are marked only with one to three letters.

This flag is a reproduction of the personal flag of Gen. Washington,
as commander-in-chief, during the Revolution.

This Japanese Maple is one of many exotic trees on the grounds.

A copy of the historic print titled ‘The Unfortunate Death of Major André.’

An antique painting of the house as it looked long ago.

A scale model of the HMS Perseverance,
a 36-gun frigate built in Britain in 1781.

I suspect the face on this clock is not original, because I have seen it on others, but there is no denying the beauty of the case of this clock. A marvelous example of craftsmanship, in, I think, mahogany.

Wall space is maximized with artworks of various kinds and vintages.

There are many more items on display at DeWint House, too many to show here. The site is closed Mondays, but is open the other six days a week for visits. Highly recommended.

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