Welcome to the Albert L. Einolf Musuem and Library. Our museum is located in the Lancaster Masonic Center, and is available to all members of the lodge.
“MUSUEM SPOTLIGHT – MASONIC APRONS” Prepared by Brother Nat Gilchrist, PM (Curator)
This week’s spotlight on the Albert L. Einolf Museum was prepared by Nathaniel Gilchrist P.M., Lodge No. 43, and features some of the historical aprons adorning the museum’s walls.
Henry Shippen Masonic Apron, Early 19th century
Measurements: Image: height 19”, width 19 ½” Overall: height 25”, width 25” Description: Silk embroidered, and gilt painted Masonic apron owned by Henry Shippen (1788-1839) with blue ruched silk border and strings. – Unsigned Framing: Wood and composition with gold paint Henry Shippen, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1788., and was educated for the bar. In the war of 1812, he organized a company of volunteer cavalry, in which James Buchanan, afterward President of the United States, was a private. Mr. Shippen was made captain and ordered on-duty September 5, 1812, by Governor Simon Snyder, afterward first aide-de-camp to Major General Nathaniel Watson, commanding Pennsylvania Volunteers at Baltimore, September 16, 1814. In 1819 he moved to Huntingdon, where he practiced law and became a member of the legislature. In 1825 he was appointed president judge of the sixth judicial district of Pennsylvania, then comprising the counties of Crawford, Erie, Warren, Venango, and Mercer. He moved to Meadville in 1825, where he lived and served the district until his death, in 1839. It is said that he never had but one decision reversed by the higher court during all his years of service. He was the great-grandson of Edward Shippen, the first mayor of Philadelphia. He was raised in Lodge 43 in 1813 but later withdrew after leaving the area.
“A TREASURE HUNT IN THE ARCHIVES OF LODGE 43” Article by Brother Nat Gilchrist, PM (Curator)
Today, many of us enjoy the various treasure hunt shows that are telecast regularly on the History and Discovery channels. They draw us in with their look backs into the past, unanswered questions they seek to find, and periodic discoveries that highlight their efforts. At the beginning of 2021, as Museum and Library Curator of Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pa., I embarked upon a long-overdue project. A treasure hunt of my own if you will, to review the contents of the many cartons of old paperwork that resided in the archives of Lodge 43 at the Lancaster Masonic Center in Lancaster, Pa.
The cartons, of which there were several dozen, were known to consist primarily of old paperwork that represented decades of Lodge 43 communications and business. No one really knew how far back the paperwork represented, or what it even consisted of for certain. It had simply been tucked away in cardboard boxes and placed in storage.
“ALBERT L. EINOLF MUSEUM SPOTLIGHT” Article by Brother Nat Gilchrist, PM (Curator)
Recently, we’ve added two more Masonic aprons from the past to our collection of beautiful old Masonic aprons of the past currently on display in the Albert L. Einolf Museum.
These two beautiful hand-crafted aprons were found this year in an old carton of miscellaneous paper and pamphlets, rolled in a ball, and buried away on a shelf on the 3rd floor storage room at the Lancaster Masonic Center.
The Museum Curator from Grand Lodge upon reviewing photos sent to him ventured an opinion that they looked to be mid-18th century.
No reference or identification was found with them that would have identified who would have proudly been the owners. Another small mystery of Freemasonry in Lodge 43.
Sometime after the aprons were found, a typewritten letter dated 1905 from a Worshipful Master in Pittsburgh was uncovered in another carton in storage. The letter went on to say the Worshipful Master had been in communication with an 80-year woman from Ohio who was making inquiries about her deceased fathers masonic affiliation with that Pittsburgh lodge. After doing some research he was able to report back to her that her father did not belong to the Pittsburgh lodge, but rather, had been raised In Lodge 43 in 1812!