The following information was compiled from the minutes of both Stated Regular and Emergent communications of Shekinah Lodge while under dispensation and as a constituted lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New Jersey



On May 21, 1861 , our lodge was instituted with the following officers:


John W. Wright - Worshipful Master

From Royal Sussex Lodge No. 428, Great Britain . 

Occupation, Locomotive Engineer.


Dr. E.B. Richmond - Senior Warden

From Brearley Lodge No. 2.


Alfred S. Porter - Junior Warden

From Tamaqua Lodge No. 238 in Pennsylvania .

Occupation, Locomotive Engineer.



Prior to our lodge being instituted other area lodges were founded. They were as follows:


Friendship No. 22 - Port Elizabeth

Sharpton No. 32

Cedarville No. 35

Franklin No. 37 - Millville

Pettstown No. 38

Allowaystown No. 39

Deerfield No. 42

Chews Landing No. 58


The failure of these lodges was for many reasons. A strong anti-masonry feeling held by the church at that time played a large part in these failures.


From 1826, (when Franklin lodge gave up its charter) until 1861 was a dark period in masonry with many members holding secret meetings to try and re-organize.


Shekinah's first meeting place was "ye olde town hall" in 1861, which was also known as the odd fellows hall, it was located at 2nd and Pine Streets. Today the First Methodist Church stands on that site.  Later we re-located on the S/W corner of High and Pine Streets and in 1921 we moved to the N/W corner and from there to our present site here at Fairton Road .


The first 3 months our charter was on a temporary basis until our meeting room complied to Grand Lodge regulations. By July, 1861, all regulations had been met and Grand Lodge was satisfied.


August 24, 1863 Shekinah granted permission to Star Lodge No. 65. of Tuckahoe, to witness the conferring of the E.A. Degree, (here the minutes mention a request for charter for Star Lodge)


1865 was a big year for Shekinah for on January 5, that year at a stated communication it was announced the brethren of Vineland would take the chairs and exemplify the Entered Apprentice Degree. On February 11, 1865, members of Shekinah attended the constituting of Vineland Lodge No. 69 in the Masonic Hall at 8:00 P.M. Past Master Dr. E.P. Richmond, accompanied by the full corps of Shekinah's officers and 17 members, served as proxy for the M.W. Grand Master William S. Whitehead. Following the ceremonies of installation, he addressed each and every officer as to the importance of his duties.


In July, 1865, an Emergent Communication was held for the purpose of giving the brethren of Mauricetown an opportunity to exemplify Masonic work in the first three degrees. Again, Shekinah recommended these brethren to the M.W. Grand Master for the dispensation of their charter. The request was granted and on January 18, 1866 , Neptune No. 75 came into being.


Recalling an old quotation which appears in Dr. Richmond's bible by his own hand is as follows: "Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall."

And so Shekinah had a busy 5 year beginning, not only assisting other lodges in getting started but, also increasing its own membership with many of these members serving in the Civil War.

As the Shekinah, the invisible manifestation, led the

Israelites out of the wilderness, it is also leading our

great Masonic Fraternity onward in glorifying His name in our works to all men!