Palatka Lodge #34 Free and Accepted Masons
A Warrant to “work” was
The lodge was convened on
Brother Baker acting as Grand Marshall declared Palatka Lodge #34 duly and legally instituted and the Charter Officers in like manner installed.
Later on the evening of April 22, the Lodge was opened in the Master Mason degree, at “” and conducted business. Several resolutions were introduced and adopted: one of which follows,
1 - The fee for initiation was set at $10.50, for Fellow craft and Master Mason the fee would be set at $5.50 each.
2 - The regular communications were set as the first and third Saturdays of each month.
3 – A committee was appointed to secure By-Laws of other Lodges and to formulate and submit for approval of the Lodge.
There being no further business, the first official communication of Palatka Lodge #34 was closed in due form.
(Note: These chairs were elected in the early times and later they changed to being appointed officers.)
The committee on By-Laws having assembled several copies of other Lodge By-Laws, formulated a set and presented them to the craft. They were officially adopted at this meeting. One interesting By-Law referred to visitors to the Lodge meetings. It seems that when a Brother from another jurisdiction moved to a local area from a distant jurisdiction, he was welcomed to visit once, on each subsequent visit he was charged 25 cents. This obviously encouraged him to transfer membership to this Lodge.
Some others are:
Master Masons after being raised were required to sign the By-Laws;
The treasurer and secretary were required to make “quarterly reports” on their books;
Any vacancies, including elected officers, were filled by appointment of the Worshipful Master
It is not known exactly where
the original Lodge Hall was located, but it has been said that in early history
of Palatka Lodge #34, their Hall was located on
The cornerstone was laid by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Florida in 1972. We moved in before most of the inside of the lodge was finished. Many of the Brethren accomplished this.
In its 150 year history Palatka Lodge #34 has the distinction of having had three of its members serve as the Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida. Those members receiving this single honor were: Most Worshipful Elmer E. Haskell in 1907 and 1908, Most Worshipful Reginald h. Cooper in 1920 and one whom most of us knew, Most Worshipful Franklin C. Smith in 1979.
Probably the saddest time in our Lodge history was the period between December 1859 and December 1865 when the Lodge was dark during the Civil War. The minutes for the last meeting in 1859 and the first meeting in 1865 are on consecutive pages in the first minutes record book for Palatka Lodge #34. This is part of the archival display in the foyer.
Probably one of the brightest
in our history was the receipt of a tremendously meaningful and loving gift
from Integrity Lodge #187 of
Our hope and prayer is that the next 150 years will be as memorable and meaningful as the last 150 years.
It is interesting to note, that in passing, Palatka Lodge #34 is the second oldest continuously active organization serving Palatka and Putnam County, second only to St. Marks Episcopal Church, which was founded two or three weeks earlier in December 1853. It comes as no surprise that a number of men who founded St. Marks were Masons and were among those who shortly founded Palatka Lodge #34.