Jackson Lodge No. 17, F. & A.M.

    David G. Shea, P.M.    Stephen D. Vining, P.M. 
 Worshipful Master Secretary
 (517) 315-8813 (517) 914-8400

 History of Liberty Lodge No. 209, F. & A.M.

Dispensation to form Liberty Lodge No. 209, F. & A.M. was granted by the Grand Master of Masons in Michigan, Salathiel C. Coffenberg, on November 27, 1866. The Charter was issued on January 10, 1867 and the first officers were installed at a Special Communication of the Lodge on March 19, 1867. The installing officer was Brother Benjamin Porter, acting Grand Master and the officers installed were: Brother Harry C. Campbell, Worshipful Master; Edward Tompkins, Senior Warden; David W. Alverson, Junior Warden; Burr Tuthill, Secretary; William H. Foot, Treasurer; W.A. Freeman, Senior Deacon; Noah Tuthill, Junior Deacon; Hiram Tuthill and Amasa W. Marsh, Stewards; and Peter P. Bell, Tyler. These ten Brothers along with Eligah Straight, Albert Tompkins and Alfred Russell constituted the 13 charter members.

During the early years a building for meeting purposes was rented from James R. Hilton. The meeting room was the upstairs room of the same building presently operating as the Liberty General Store. Before renting from Mr. Hilton, the Lodge met in an old cooperage building which was a part of the Liberty Mill operation run by James Loomis.

The present site of the Lodge building was originally owned by E.B. Fuller before Michigan joined the Union. Title was subsequently transferred to Mr. S.H. Holmes, then to John Crispell and later sold to James H. Loomis who offered the site to the Masons in trade for the property the Lodge had acquired to the south and west of the present property.

On July 1, 1890 a committee was appointed to investigate building a Lodge Hall of their own. Brothers Burr Tuthill, G.G. Pond and S.B. Kerr, under the leadership of Worshipful Master David W. Alverson submitted its report on August 26 of that same year, however no action was taken. On January 23, 1891 a new committee, consisting of Brothers James Lewis, Benjamin Dunn and Charles Bell set up to carry out the program for a new temple. Finally on February 2, 1895 a motion was made and carried that the new Lodge be built. One dollar was sent to Grand Lodge for the Deed and the on October 1, 1895, by a vote of the Lodge, the move was made to the new building.

The dedication of the Lodge building occurred on October 22, 1895 with the following Brothers performing the dedication ceremony: Jefferson S. Conover, acting Grand Master; David W. Alverson, acting Grand Senior Warden; Charles S. Anderson, acting Grand Junior Warden; and Joseph Tomlinson, acting  Grand Secretary. A banquet followed at which several hundred persons were served. The first degree work performed in the Lodge’s new building followed the dedication ceremony and banquet, and Hamilton Lodge No. 293 conferred the Master Mason Degree on Brother Frank Hammond.

On November 21, 1895 a motion was made and passed that the Order of Eastern Star be allowed to use the building for its meetings.

It is a rather humble feeling when digging into the old archives of Liberty Lodge to realize that here in the little town of Liberty Mills the precepts and tenants of Masonry have continued to flourish for a hundred years - - over half the life of our nation. Reading the exquisite penmanship of the early scribes and realizing that our present dedication to the Masonic principles has its roots in the actual beginnings of our great Midwest is an inspiration to our present members who greet our Centennial year 1967 as another milestone in the ultimate history of Liberty Lodge No. 209, F. & A.M. 

1967, By-Laws Centennial Edition 1867 - 1967