Friday, September 30, 2022

‘Lodge by lantern light’

Warren Lodge 32’s Masonic Hall was built in 1865 in the Italianate style.
It was relocated to its present site in 2011.

I’ll conclude September with my scattered recollections of a terrific night seven weeks ago at Warren Lodge 32 way up in Schulztville for the occasion of a most enjoyable festive board by lantern light.

I’ll tell ya: If you ever want to hold a meeting or meal outside at night by lantern light, go for it.

Warren 32 is New York’s last remaining “moon lodge,” meaning a lodge that meets on or about the night of the full moon. This special festive board was hosted on Saturday the thirteenth, which actually was two nights after August’s full moon (a Sturgeon Moon), so the convenience of the guests was accommodated by waiting for the weekend. And we guests turned out in force. I think I counted about sixty seated around the U-shaped “lodge” outdoors under the tent, and the travelers greatly outnumbered our hosts. A caravan of Grand Lodge officers, headed by Grand Master Kessler and Deputy Grand Master Rubin, arrived, obviously having come from a previous event somewhere.

Other brethren visited from around New York, New England, and elsewhere. I was invited to sit between Masons from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. There’s clearly a special energy present when meeting traveling Masons and being able to talk about things in common, however small. I told the brother from New Hampshire that I had been to the Manchester Temple two months prior for Masonic Con, and told the Massachusetts brother about my visits to two lodges on Cape Cod last year. Conversely, I was told about a tour of Masonic Hall in Manhattan.

Portrait of Augustus Schultz hangs in the East.

The Warren Lodge brethren made this a history nerd-friendly event. They had a brother appear in the character of Bro. Augustus Schultz, the benefactor of the lodge who died too young at 26 in the 1860s, and bequeathed to Warren Lodge the funds that enabled it to purchase the land and construct the meeting hall where Warren was at labor until 2011. (Bro. Schultz did likewise for a local church.) That’s Schultz, as in Schultzville, the lodge’s original hometown until the building was picked up and relocated half a mile north to stand next to the Clinton town hall.

You may have guessed the lodge was named for Revolutionary War hero Joseph Warren, and an additional attraction of the night was the attendance of a descendant of Warren. I think his name is Keith, but don’t quote me. Grand Master DeWitt Clinton issued its warrant.

A small altar, as was furnished centuries ago.

The U.S. flag featured fifteen stars from 1795 to 1818.

The festive board was great. Unlimited quantities of good food plus red wine for the usual toasts. The vino was Cribari, a label unknown to me. I’ll have to ask Bro. Cupschalk if he knows it, because we were drinking from shot glasses, for the obvious reason, and tasting was not a priority.

The weather was perfect: sunny blue skies during the day; cool and dry after sundown. Great company. A satiating meal amid a mellow ambiance thanks to the scores of small lambent flames in the lanterns. I failed to bring a briar and a sweet Virginia mixture, thinking it would have been forbidden, but evidently I could have joined RW Rubin, who was savoring his vanilla cavendish. I hope Warren does it again next August—and I’m bringing a pipe if they do. Harry says they’re looking at July 29, 2023.

Masonic Hall from the rear at dusk.
The octagonal cupola is a hallmark of Italianate architecture.


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