The Reading Room Archive: Vol. 3

Sit back, relax, enjoy some brief tidbits of Masonic information.

(Whenever possible, credit is given to the source or sources of these materials.  Should you recognize anything which could be better attributed, please notify the webmaster!  Note also that the webmaster, and most especially Aurora Lodge 156, do not certify the accuracy of these items.  They are here for the inquiring mind to partake and enjoy, not as absolute truths.)

This month's selection from "Did You Know"   May, 1999
   Submitted by WB Wayne Carter,
   Source: DID YOU KNOW, Published by Missouri Masonic Lodge of Research, 1965


The Reverend Josiah Henson was believed to be the "Uncle Tom" of Harriet Beecher Stowe's, "Uncle Tom's Cabin".  The Reverend was a Negro slave, he escaped to Canada in 1830 and is buried at Dresden Ontario.  On his grave is inscribed the Square and Compass.

California's first Masonic funeral service was given in 1849 over the body of an unknown brother found drowned in San Francisco bay.   A silver mark of a Mark Master was found on the body.  Tattooed on his left arm were all the emblems of an Entered Apprentice.  On his right arm were the emblems of a Fellowcraft.  On the left breast were the lights of Masonry, and over the heart was the pot of incense.   Tattoos on other parts of his body were the beehive, the sword and heart, the all-seeing eye, the hourglass, sun, moon, stars and comet, the three steps, weeping virgin and Father Time with his scythe.

When the Liberty Bell cracked.  Tradition states that the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia cracked while tolling the death of the John Marshall, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court,  known as the "Father of the Judiciary".

He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia,  1793- 95.

MEETING IN LOW VALE;    On April 10, 1936, Winnedumah Lodge No. 287 of Bishop, California, held a meeting on the floor of Death Valley, 270 feet below sea level - the lowest place on the continent.  50 Lodges from 10 States were represented.

A prolific brother:

Edward N. Hines  (1870- 1938), a member of Ashlar Lodge No. 91, Detroit, Michigan, not only designed and built the first mile of concrete road in America, but originated the White Line to separate traffic lanes and in 1893 published the first road tourbook.

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