The history of the current Trinity Lodge, located in Clinton, Massachusetts could not be complete without the knowledge of the History of the Old Trinity Lodge.
Old Trinity Lodge was originally Chartered January 30, 1778. Old Trinity was located in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
In the latter part of 1778, or first of 1779, the Lodge moved into a hall in the house bought by Edmund Heard of Dr. Israel Atherton, once standing on the spot now occupied by the residence of Mr. Daniel M. Hoard.
It paid ~$120 toward fitting up the rooms and apartments to be occupied by the brethren. The financial troubles growing out of this transaction are fully described in another place.
The Lodge remained here till 1796. In March of that year it appointed a committee to procure another hall and report terms, consisting of Brothers Ephraim Carter, Moses Smith and John Ballard, instructing them to report the following month.
At the next meeting the committee reported that they had leased of Mr. David Hosley a hall for the sum of twenty dollars per year for the term of seven years. It seems by these votes that the Lodge had already moved into its new quarters.
This hall was probably in the house now owned by William Powers, on Main street, North Lancaster, and near where the road turns from North Lancaster in the direction of Lane’s Crossing [Seven Bridge Rd.]. It was in this house that David Hosley lived.
There is a tradition that the brethren at one time held their meetings in the Fairbanks Hotel at North Lancaster. But the records in Worcester County Registry of Deeds do not show that David Hosley ever owned that property. If he did it must have been under a lease, and the tradition cannot be verified. The Lodge remained here till 1799.
In February of that year Brothers John Maynard, Timothy Whiting, Jr., Robert Townsend, Eli Sterns and Moses Thomas were appointed a committee to find another place.
The committee found quarters in Brother Merrick Rice’s house, now owned and occupied by Mrs. E. M. Greene in Lancaster, Centre Village, and the Lodge moved here in the latter part of the winter of 1799-1800.
It is unknown how long it remained there.
Afterward it met in a hall in the Lancaster House [Hotel Lancaster, Centre just north of Bulfinch Church], but when it moved there and when it left cannot be discovered.
Within the memory of Masons now living a certain chandelier which formerly hung in this hall has been pointed out as once the property of Trinity Lodge, and was left behind when it was vacated. If this be correct it was one of the last halls they had. The hall was in the front part of the old hotel, and long after it was vacated a raised platform could be seen at one end of the room, showing occupancy by the Masons.
Later, as members fell off, they hired a small hall over John G. Thurston’s store in South Lancaster, and it was there they met when the organization became extinct. The Lodge property remained here and was seen by those now living in substantially the same arrangement as when the brethren last used the hall.
It was in this place that most of the paraphernalia, recovered when the new Trinity Lodge was organized, was found. When the old Lodge ceased to exist some of it was taken away by the brethren, and was never recovered.
On September 6th, 2008, the “new” Trinity Lodge celebrated the 150th Anniversary of its modern history. The Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, his suite of officers, several dignitaries and brothers from around Clinton and the Commonwealth were present to mark this historic occasion.
We will be working on writing up our modern history to be posted here for all to read!