This history of Blazing Star Lodge is still being worked on it was scanned so not all the words are right I give thanks to Rich Wood for his effort (who says a blind man can't help?) I will edit this work as to make it fit the web 


Blazing Star Lodge Number Thirty
Free and Accepted Masons

From 1819 to 1919

The oldest written evidence we have of Masonry As an organization in

 Rumford is the charter issued To Blazing Star Lodge. This charter is dated

 March July, 1819, and was issued by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of

 the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for

 the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts. This charter was granted upon the

 petition of Joseph K. White, William Wheeler, Joseph Lufkin, Ingalls Bragg,

 Farnum Abbott, Henry Farwell, Winthrop Knight, Jonah Hall, Tilson Hall,

 Obadiah Kimball and Abel Wheeler. The original petition for the charter is

 not now in Existence, but was lost, with many valuable Masonic Records,

 when the Masonic Temple in Boston was destroyed By fire. This charter,

 precious to every member of Blazing Star Lodge, and bearing internal

 evidence of its antiquity And service, is now safely deposited in the

 Fireproof vault of the Rumford Falls Trust Company, While its place in the

 lodge room is supplied by a “Certificate of Charter” issued by the Grand

 Lodge Of Maine. A copy of the Charter and of the endorsements Thereon

 appears in these pages. Of the eleven petitioners for the charter, three

 Were alive when our beloved brother Most Worshipful Waldo Pettengill was

 made a Mason in Blazing Star Lodge in 1867. These were Bros. Farnum,

 Abbott. Joseph Lufkin and Tilson Hall. Bro. Aaron Stevens, the first Mason

 raised in Blazing Star Lodge Was also living at that time. Joseph Lufkin

 died January 16th, 1872; Farnum Abbott, August 4th, 1872; Tilson Hall,

 January 5th, 1876, and Aaron Stevens, February 7th, 1877. We do not

 know the exact date on which the lodge Was constituted. We do learn,

 however, that during The year 1819, twenty-four were initiated, crafted and

 Raised in the lodge. In 1820 ten candidates received All three degrees,

 and became members of the lodge. In 1829 or 1830’ Blazing Star Lodge

 began to feel The effects of the anti-masonic wave which swept over The

 land like a pestilence, and so far as we can learn, Not a single candidate

 applied for, or received the Degrees in the lodge from 1829 to 1844. By

 1844, this blind fanaticism, encouraged and Propagated by some

 politicians and ecclesiastics, for Political and ecclesiastical purposes, had

 so far given Way to the influence of reason, that Blazing Star Lodge

 resumed its labors, and since that time its Growth and prosperity have

 been steady and satisfactory. We, who live in an age when Masonry

 occupies so, High a place in the public estimation, owe a lasting Debt of

 gratitude to those stalwart men who kept the Fires of Masonry burning on

 our altar at a time, when To be known as a Mason was to invite

 persecution and Social ostracism. That they were good men and true We

 doubt not. That they were lovers of the fraternity We have ample proof. Let

 us honor their memory, And endeavor to perpetuate their names to




To whom these presents shall come:


The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sends GREETING:

Whereas, a petition has been presented to us by Joseph K. White,
 William Wheeler, Joseph Lufkin, Ingalls Bragg, Farnum Abbott, 
Henry Famvell, Winthrop Knight, Jonah Hall, Tilson Hall, Obadiah Kimball and Abel Wheeler, all Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, praying that they, with such others As shall hereafter join them, may be erected and constituted A regular LODGE of Free and Accepted Masons—which Petition appearing to us as tending To the advancement of Masonry and the good of he Craft.

KNOW YE therefore, that WE the Grand Lodge

Aforesaid, reposing special. Trust and Confidence in

The Prudence and Fidelity of our beloved brethren

Above named, have Constituted and Appointed, and by

These Presents, do Constitute and Appoint them the

Said Joseph K. White, William Wheeler, Joseph Lufkin, Ingalls Bragg,

Farnum Abbott, Henry Farwell, Winthrop Knight, Jonah Hall, 

Tilsoa Hall, Obadiah Kimball and Abel Wheeler, 

a regular LODGE of Free and Accepted Mason, 

under the Title and Design nation of

 BLAZING STAR LODGE, hereby giving

And granting unto them and their successors, 

full Power and Authority to convene, as Masons,

 within The town of RUMFORD in the County of OXFORD

And commonwealth aforesaid—to receive and enter

Apprentices, pass Fellow Crafts, and raise Master Masons,

 upon the payment of such compensatetions 

for the same as maybe determined by The Grand Lodge. 

Also to make choice of a Master, Wardens

 and other Office Bearers, annually, or other Wise, 

as they shall see cause; to receive and collect Funds

 for the relief of poor and distressed Brethren, 

Their Widows or Children, 

and in general to transact All matters relating to Masonry, 

which may to them Appear to be for the good of the Craft, 

according to The ancient Usages and Customs of Masons.

And we do hereby require the said constituted

Brethren to attend the Grand Lodge at their Quarterly

Comlnunieations, and other meetings, 

by their Master and Wardens, or by Proxies regularly appointed;

Also to keep a fair and regular Record of all there Proceedings, 

and to lay them before the Grand Lodge When required.

And we do enjoin our Brethren of said Lodge, 

That they be punctual in the quarterly payment of

 Such sums as may be assessed for the support 

of the Grand Lodge 

that they behave themselves respect Fully and 

obediently to their superiors in, office, and In all 

other respects conduct themselves as good Masons.

And we do hereby declare the Precedence of the Said Lodge,

 in the Grand Lodge and elsewhere, to eommende 

from the 10th day of March A. L. 5819.

In Testimony Whereof, WE the said Grand Master

And Grand Wardens by virtue of the Power and

Authority to us committed, have hereunto set our Hands,

 and caused the Seal of the Grand Lodge to be Affixed, at 

Boston, this Eleventh day of March Anno Domini 

one thousand eight hundred and fiineteen and 

Of Masonry five thousand eight hundred and nineteen.

]’RANCIS J. OLIVER, Grand Master.

CALEB BUTLER, Senior Grand Warden.

JOSEPH, JENKINS, Junior Grand Warden.

By Order of the Grand Lodge,

JON SOLE¥, Grand Secretary.



In Grand Lodge of Maine, Masonic Hall, 

Port Land, May 8th, 1862, the following resolution was Adopted, to wit:

“Resolved, that Blazing Star Lodge, NO. 30, be Permanently located at Mexico, and that the Grand Secretary be authorized to endorse this vote upon the Back of the Charter.”


Imt BERIY, Grand Secretary.


In Grand Lodge of Maine, Masonic Hall, Port

Land, May 4th, 1871.


On petition for removal, and report of committee On the same, leave was granted to. Blazing Star Lodge To remove from Mexico to Rumford Centre, and voted That it be there permanently established.

Attest: s,t Bssay, Grand Secretary.


In Grand Lodge of Maine, Masonic Hall, Portland, May 6th, 1897. Permission granted to permanently Locate at Rumford Falls.


STEPHEN” Belfry, Grand Secretary.



From the most reliable information now attainable,

I am satisfied that the first meetings of the lodge were

Held in the house built and occupied by Bro. William

Wheeler, one of the charter members. It was a large

Two story house and stood between the houses formerly


Occupied by Bro. Alvin Bolster and the cemetery at East Rumford. The property afterwards came into The possession of A. J. Inight and the house was taken Down by him.

It would be a source of great satisfaction to us if We could learn the times and places in chronological Order, when and where the meetings of the lodge were Held, but nothing appears in the records from which Such knowledge can now be obtained. An old resident Of Rumford, whose father became a member of?

The lodge in 1820, told Bro. Henry W..Dark, former Historian of the lodge that the meetings were held at Bro. Wheeler’s as late as 1829.

James N. Briekett, who was made a Mason in Blazing, Star Lodge in 1829, told Bro. Park that he got. His Degrees in a hall over. Joshua Graham’s store at Rumford Center, that soon after he was made a Mason, He helped Bro. Hezekiah Hutehings to move the furniture, Charter, records and regalia to a private, house On Ellis River, where it remained until about 1844.  Benjamin W. Elliott, whose father bought the premises?

Occupied by Hezekiah Hutehings, told Bro. Park

That when his father bought the premises the above

Named property of the lodge was still there

It is evident, however, that the lodge continued to

Hold its meetings, transact business and elect its officers

Until 1833, which was evidently done openly and

With regularity. I am, therefore, of the opinion that



The removal mentioned by Bro. Briekett, did not take Place before 1833.

From tradition, and from conversing with well informed Brethren, we learn that from 1833 to 1844, no Regular meetings of the lodge were held, but that the Few members who had the courage of their convictions, Used to meet occasionally at the house of one of the Members, but that no regular business was transacted, No officers elected and no returns made to the Grand Lodge.

After the lodge resumed business in 1844, and from That time until 1848, it is impossible to say with any Degree of certainty where the meetings were held, but The probability is that the lodge met in a hall connected With the hotel at Rumford Corner, the owner And occupant being Bro. Joseph H. Wardwell.

It is quite certain that from 1848 to 1853 the lodge Meet in the hall of Benjamin Barden at Rumford Corner.  At a meeting held in {arch 1853, Benjamin Barden was reported by the committee chosen to settle With him for hall rent, as claiming three dollars per Year for the use of the hall, and that the amount of The bill was sixteen dollars, clearly showing that since 1848, the lodge must have met in that Hall.

At this meeting it was voted “To move the Lodge To the East Side of Ellis River if Bro. Charles A.

Kimball would provide a suitable place for the meet

ings of the lodge.”

A committee was also chosen to

Move the furniture.

From the Record following that of the March Meeting in 1.853, it appears that the lodge did meet at Least once in the hall of Bro. Kimball, and then moved To the hall of David H. Farnum, then to a hall of Bro. James M. Dolloff’s at Rumford Center, where it Remained until moved to Mexico in 1861.

April 20, 1850; a meeting was held with only five Members present. District Deputy Grand Master Cornelius Holland was present at the meeting. No Record of any other meeting appears until that of December 1lth, 1853.

I find the following note on the record of this Meeting, viz.: “The D. D. G. M. having interdicted The meetings of Blazing Star Lodge in the hall in Which they formerly met, therefore, on the fourteenth Day of December, A. D. 1853, the following members Of the lodge met (seven being present) at Bro. Kim-Hall’s house according to appointment, and proceeded as follows, to vit:

Choose Bro. Farnum, Chairman.

Choose Bros. David Kimball, William Frost and Ivy A. Putnam a Committee to procure a suitable Place for the lodge to meet, to move the furniture, and to notify the lodge and the D. D. G. Master in season to meet on the day of our next regular com munication.

The foregoing was followed by a further note, in

which it was stated, “That the committee decided to move the lodge from the hall of David Farnum to that of James M. Dolloff, which was done on the seventh day of January, A. D., 1854.



IvY A. PUTNAm, Sec’y.



No record is found showing when the lodge met at Bro. David Farnum’s hall, or whether his hall was the one in which “the meetings of the lodge was interdicted,” or whether it was that of Benjamin Bar-den, or the place of meeting prepared by Bro. Charles A. Kimball.

March 21st, 1861, we find the lodge ready for other change, so we find that at the communication of the lodge held on that date that “Bros. James N.  Brickett, William Frost and Dura Bradford were constituted a committee to make arrangements for the removal of the lodge, and to report at the next toe’s’t-ring.” We find nothing preceding this, to indicate an intention to remove, and nothing to indicate a proposal to remove to any particular place mentioned even at that time.

There is no reason to believe otherwise than that

the proposition had been thoroughly discussed prior to

the passage of the vote appointing the committee, and

that the brethren well understood that what did occur,

would occur; therefore, on April 24th, 1861, the


mittee above named reported “That in their opinion,

it would be for the interest of this lodge that it be removed

to Mexico.” The consent of the Grand Lodge

bei,g obtained, Bro. Simeon C. Gleason finished a

two story building at Mexico Corner in such a manner

as to provide a small, but pleasant and safe hall, with

fairly good ante rooms, in which the lodge could meet

and do its work. The lodge was, accordingly, moved to Mexico. It held its last communication before removal,

June 19th., 1861, at Rumford Center; its first communication after removal, at 5Iexico, 3Iine, July 17th, 1861.

For ten years the lodge continued to hold its communications at Mexico. It had a prosperous existence, and in that small hall at Mexico, ‘ many first received “Light in Masonry,” who in later years have been important factors in producing the conditions which led to the steady growth and prosperity which Blazing Star Lodge has since enjoyed. With a lodge at Bethel and one at Bryant’s Pond, there can be no doubt that at that time the Order and Blazing Star Lodge benefited by the change.

In 1871 another change seemed to be advisable;

The jurisdiction of the lodge was quite extended, including

As it did the towns of Dixfield, Carthage,

Peru Mexico, Roxbury, Byron, Andover, Hanover,

Rumford, as well as the adjacent plantations. It

seemed to include too large a territory. Several prop



propositions were informally submitted as t tile best change that could be made, euhninating at last in a decided opinion, that Blazing Star Lodge should again return to Rumford Center, and that a lodge should be instituted at Dixfield; a minority, however, were in favor of giving the influence of the lodge in favor of a lodge at Andover, where a fine hall was nearly, or quite finished, and in which the lodge could meet.

It was arranged that action on the division and removal

of the lodge should be had at the regular communication

of the lodge in April, 1871. The communication

held April 5th, 1873, was, therefore, largely

attended, every officer being present, allso a goodly number of brethren.

It was known from the opposition made by them in the skirmishing before the day of battle, that the 3lexieo members would make as strong” a fight as they could against the removal of the lodge from their town. They counted on assistance from the members living in Andover, as the removal of the lodge to a place nearer Andover would somewhat mar their chance of having a lodge in that town. Only one member from Andover, however, attended the meeting.

Every e{fort was made by those desiring to defeat

the removal of the lodge. A motion was made by

Bro. John 3I. Eustis to divide the funds of the lodge

“By donating, when a lodge is established at Dixfield

or vicinity, by a revival of the charter of King Hiram



Lodge, or otherwise, to the new lodge, the sum of Five hundred and twenty ($520.00) dollars.” This motion was carried by a vote of twenty-three (23) to thirteen (13). The committee in charge of these arrangements consisted of Bros. W. Scott litehell, James S. Wright and Isaac Randall of Dixfield, and Bros. Nathan S.

Farnum, Waldo Pettengill and Richard E. Martin of

Rumford. The consent of Blazing Star Lodge to the

instituting of lodge at Dixfeld was given, a dispensation

was granted by the Grand Master for a lodge at

Dixfield to be known as King hiram Lodge, and the

charter granted to King Hiram Lodge ii 1828 was

re-issued. The necessary arrangements were made to-

obtain the consent of the Grand Lodge for the removal of Blazing Star Lodge to Rumford Center. This consent being granted, the arrangements for removal. Of the lodge to Rumford Center were completed.

At a communication of the lodge held May 31st, 1871, Bros. Waldo Pettengill and E. Hopkins Hutehings were chosen a committee and empowered to appoint another member to act with them; to prepare and furnish a Masonic Hall at Rumford Center for the use of the lodge. This committee had a suitable hall erected and furnished for the use of the lodge, and here the regular communication was held in October, 1871.

Blazing Star Lodge continued to hold its communications

in the hall erected at Rumford Center until

1896. In 1892 work was commenced in earnest in developing the water power at the Falls, which has since been carried to its present stage of development This has resulted in the building up of a great village, with large industrial plants and fine mercantile establishments, where up to that time only farms and pastures had existed. The great increase in population again suggested the wisdom of changing the location of the lodge, this time to Rumford Falls Village.

At a stated communication of the lodge held at Masonic Hall, Rumford Center, February 26th, A. D.  1896, we find the following: “On motion of Brother Waldo Pettengill, Voted that the officers and members of Blazing Star Lodge No. 30, P. & A. M. now holden at Rumford Center, Maine, request the permission of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine to hold its meetings at Rumford Falls instead of Rumford Center in the Town of Rumford.”

On this motion it was found that fifty ballots were east, thirty-six (36) being in favor of removal, and fourteen (14) opposed to removal.

It was then Voted: That a committee of three be appointed to present-the matter to the Grand Lodge, and Master appointed Brothers Waldo Pettengill, George D. Bisbee and Edwin P. Smith to serve as said committee.

The committee attended to the duty entrusted to

them and presented the matter before the Grand



Lodge, and the following vote was passed by that body; and a copy of the vote transmitted to Blazing Star Lodge and incorporated in its records:


“Portland, Maine, may 11, 1896.

In Grand Lodge, May 6, 1896, it was voted: That Blazing Star Lodge, No. 30, ‘be refused permission to remove its place of meeting from Rumford Center to Rumford Falls until the proper consent of the nearest lodge has been obtained, but that until the next meeting of the Grand Lodge, Blazing Star Lodge be per-mitred to hold its meetings at Rumford Falls.



STEPHEN BERRY, Grand Secretary.”

In accordance with the authority given by said vote, the lodge rented a hall on the fourth floor of the Cares Block in Rumford Falls, and the first meeting was held there on Wednesday evening June 24, 1896, with fifty-six (56) members present and visiting brethren from twenty-three (23) lodges.

The lodge continued to hold its meetings in Cares Hall until 1902, when it moved into a new hall.

which was built for Masonic purposes by Blazing Star Lodge and Rumford Chapter, where all the Masonic bodies in Rumford now meet.

That the brethren of Blazing Star Lodge acted

wisely in voting to remove from Rumford Center to

Rumford Falls is shown by even a casual examination



of the present condition of the lodge as compared with its condition before it removed.

Such examination cannot fail to show that we have greatly increased, both in membership and in financial strength, the membership increasing from one hundred and five (1(95) on March 1st, 1896, to three hundred and forty-nine (349) December 31, 1919. This increase we believe to have been gained without in any degree lowering the moral strength of the lodge, or forgetting that it is the internal, and not the external qualifications of a man that should recommend him to be made a Mason.

By the terms of the vote of the Grand Lodge passed in 1896, Blazing Star Lodge was granted permission to hold its meeting at Rumford Falls, until the next meeting of the Grand Lodge, it became necessary to take measures to make this permission permanent, or rather to obtain the removal of the lodge to Rumford Falls.

The proper measures were taken to obtain the consent of King Hiram Lodge of Dixfield, which was granted on condition that the jurisdiction of the two lodges should not be changed.

At the communication of the Grand Lodge held in

May, A. D., 1897, a petition was presented on behalf of

Blazing Star Lodge to be permanently established at

Rumford Falls; this was accompanied by a petition



of Master Masons of Rumford and vicinity praying that the petition be granted.

The following extract from the report of the committee on dispensations and charters is quoted: “In the matter of the petition of Blazing Star Lodge, No.  30, of Rumford, located at Rumford Falls, the past year by permission of the Grand Lodge, that the place of meetings of said lodge be permanently established at Rumford Falls, where the meetings are now held, instead of Rumford Center, where the meetings were formerly held, also petition of Master ‘[masons, residents of Rumford Falls and vicinity, for the same, we find as follows: The petitioners have the sanction of the District ‘Deputy Grand Master of the district where said lodge is situated, and the qualified approval of the nearest lodge, King Hiram, of Dixfield, the qualification being that the jurisdiction shall not thereby be changed. While such permanent location would not affect the jurisdiction of either lodge in its own town it would affect the jurisdiction of King Hiram Lodge, in the adjacent town of Mexico.

The prosperity of Blazing Star Lodge, at Rumford Falls, has demonstrated the wisdom of the Grand I, lodge in permitting it to hold meetings there, and the need of a lodge at Rumford Falls is clearly established.

A new lodge there would be the ruin of Blazing Star

Lodge in its former location, and the loss of Mexico

to King Hiram in Dixfield. Believing that the



greatest good to the greatest number, and the interest of the craft as a whole should be considered in determining such matters, the approval of the nearest lodge in this ease, therefore, is deemed to be unreasonably withheld.

Your committee recommend that the prayer of

the petitioners be granted.”


This report was accepted and the recommendation adopted and Blazing Star Lodge, No. 30, became duly, and we hope, permanently located at Rumford Fails.

The growth and prosperity of the lodge in its new location was so great as to inspire in its members the desire to own a hall of their own and which would be dedicated wholly to Masonic purposes. It was thought that it might be feasible to raise the Odd Fellows Block by adding an additional story, and a committee was appointed to act in conjunction with a similar committee appointed by Rumford Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, to ascertain the feasibility of the project.

A competent engineer was engaged, who, after carefully examining the premises, reported that the project was feasible, and the necessary rights were purchased, the building was raised, and a new and commodious hall completed, furnished and dedicated to Masonic uses.

Brothers Gerald A. Peabody, Frank R. Reed and Fred O. Eaton were appointed a committee to consult with a similar committee appointed by rumford Chapter in relation to the dedication of the new hall.

These committees attended to the duties assigned them.

The new hall was first used for lodge work April 30th, 1902, the following dispensation having been granted by the Grand Master:





Office of the Grand Master, Norway,

Aptil 24th, 1902.

By virtue of the authority vested in me as Grand Master by the Ancient Customs and Regulations of the Fraternity, and by the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Maine, I do hereby grant permission to Blazing Star Lodge, No. 30, Free and Accepted Masons, under the jurisdiction of said Grand Lodge, to hold future meetings for the transaction of Masonic work in the hall and apartments at Rumford Falls, recently fitted and furnished by the members of said lodge for for the purposes. R.. W. District Deputy Grand Master Don A. Gates having made report to me that said apartments are suitable, and in all ways secure.

Fraternally yours,



Gra)d 3Iaster.



Under the above dispensation meetings were held



in the new hall until 3lay 23rd, 1902, at which time the hall was dedicated to Masonic purposes agreeable to the ancient usages and customs of the order, in the presence of a large number of the members of the lodge, and many visiting brethren, who with families and invited guests of the members filled the hall to its capacity.


The Grand Lodge opened in the small hall in due

and ancient form by the officers of the Grand Lodge


as follows :


Alfred S. Kimball,


Don A. Gates, D. D. G. M. as


:Eugene F. Smith


A. C. T. King


A. M. Rollins


Fessenden I. Day, P. G. M. as

W. E. Brooks


Bial F. Bradbury


Charles L. Hathaway


John P. Shepherd


William F. Allen


William P. Gamman


Warren O. Carney

Most Worshipful Grand Master

R. W. Deputy Grand Master


R. W. Grand Senior Warden

R. W. Grand Junior Warden

R. W. Grand Treasurer

R. W. Grand Secretary

W. Grand Chaplain

W. Grand Marshall

W. Grand Sen. Deacon

W. Grand Jun. ]Deacon

W. Grand Sen. Steward

W. Grand Jan. Steward

W. Grand Tyler




Charles M. ]3isbee





Worshipful M[aster Gerald A. Peabody appointed

the following committee to receive and introduce the

Grand Officers, Past Masters Waldo Pettengill,



George D. Bisbee, Joseph W. Simpsot and R.

Brookes Stratton.


After completing the dedication of the hall the Grand Master delivered a Yery able and interesting address, nd congratulated the members of Blazing Star Lodge on its fine quarters and on its large increasing membership.





The following list, though doubtless incomplete owing to loss of early Records, contains the names of those known to have been members of Blazing Star Lodge, with the date of their becoming members so far as known.



Charter Members


White, Joseph K.

Knight, Winthrop

Wheeler, William

Hall, Jonah

Lufkin, Joseph

Hall, Tillson

Bragg, ]ngalls

Kimball, Obadiah

Abbott, Farnum

Wheeler, Abel

Farwell, lqenry





Bartlett, Freeborn G.


Stevens, Aaron

Ellio’tt, Cotton

Lufkin, John

Godwin, Coieman

Kimball, Moses

Marble, Epl}riam

Flint, Benjamin

Holman, Jonathan

Kimball, John

Bernard, Silas

Stevens, Stephen G.

Farnum, Dvid Hall

Rolfe, Samuel

Bolster, Alvin

Kimball, David

Adams, Joseph