Photo courtesy of R:.W:. John R. Gilbert - Spring 2000

History of Baron Steuben Lodge

The second charter granted in Oneida County was to Steuben Lodge No. 54, December 29, 1796, two years after the death of Baron von Steuben. On it was named David Starr, Worshipful Master, Starr Hill in Steuben was named after him; Benjamin Pike, Senior Warden and Samuel Sizer, Junior Warden. The petition for the charter of this lodge was dated September 7, 1796. The Steuben Lodge Charter was forfeited about 1814.

In 1825, a petition was presented to Roman Lodge praying for a charter to be granted to Rising Star Lodge of Western and Roman Lodge recommended it, whereupon a dispensation was issued by M. W. Stephen Van Rensselaer, Grand Master, dated October 3, 1825. Between the date of dispensation and its return to the Grand Lodge in May 1826, 13 persons by affiliation and initiation had been added to those already named, 21 in all.

On June 10, 1826, a charter signed by Grand Master Van Rensselaer was issued to Baron Steuben Lodge No. 485 with the same officers as named on the dispensation. Some time during labor under the dispensation, the Lodge purchased the jewels of Steuben Lodge #54, which were marked with the name of Steuben. This, with the historical and patriotic association led the lodge to request that the name Baron Steuben be inserted in the charter.

By 1828, the Morgan Anti-Masonic craze was raging. The Lodge, being young, yielded, and in 1832, the Grand Lodge declared the charter forfeited. During the winter of 1851, a group of ten faithful Masons decided to open the lodge again and subscribed a petition to the Grand Lodge to accomplish the purpose. This dispensation was issued on March 15, 1852 for Westerville Lodge naming John Swan as Master, The first meeting of the Lodge was held at Masonic Hall in the Town of Western on April 1, 1852.

In 1856 the Lodge made application to Grand Lodge to change its place of meeting from Westernville to Stokes and to change its name to Baron Steuben. At the Grand Lodge session held June 6, 1856, by majority vote declined the petition to remove the lodge to Stokes, but gave permission to change the name to Baron Steuben.

It was not until sometime after that the lodge finally moved to Stokes. In 1886, the Lodge again applied for permission to move from Stokes to Delta. On December 28, 1886 a dispensation was issued granting the change of meeting place, subject to the approval of Grand Lodge which came on June 9, 1887,

The lodge continued to meet over Frank Harrington's brick block in the Town of Delta for a number of years. The first floor of the building housed the Harrington Store and Post Office, where Frank Harrington had been postmaster for over 30 years. The Harrington family lived on the second floor, and Baron Steuben Lodge met on the third floor. The lodge room was ideal - running the entire length and width of the building.

 It was March, 1909, when the Lodge  moved for the last and final time to Lee Center. This move was due to the construction of the barge canal storage reservoir and Delta Lake State Park. The first communication in the new Temple, which was purchased and renovated for a cost of approximately $2,100, was held December 4, 1909. The Temple was dedicated on June 16, 1911.

Over the years, Grand Lodge has honored Baron Steuben with more than 15 appointments.

 

 

D.T. Zangari
Copyright 2000-2002
  Baron Steuben Lodge #264 
All rights reserved
Revised: March 28, 2008