Lodge No. 43 History 1900’s to Date

The 1900’s

Lodge No. 43 honored Brother President William McKinnly after his assassination by draping the lodge hall in black. Lodges No. 43 and 476 held a Special Joint Meeting for the purpose of celebrating the sesquicentennial anniversary of the initition into Freemasonry of Brother George Washington. Lodge No. 43 provided money and assistance to brothers and victims of the Texas storm, Safe Harbor Flood, andthe San Francisco Earthquake.

The 1910’s

April 19, 1910 Lodge No. 43 celebrated its 125th anniversary. Lodge No. 43 joined the other Lancaster County lodges at the cornerstone laying of the Corner Stone of the Grand Lodge Hall. The brothers traveled to Philadelphia via a special train. Officers of Lodge No. 43 laid the cornerstone of the parish house of Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Lancaster. A special meeting was held commemorating the on 100th anniversary of Brother James Buchanan, Past Master and president of the United States, into Lodge No. 43. At a stated meeting lodge was honored with the presence of Brother William Howard Taft, a member of Lodge 256, Ohio, ex-President of the United States.

The 1920’s

The Lodge No. 43 was represented at the laying of the cornerstone of the George Washington Masonic National memorial at Alexandria, Virginia. The year 1920 was notable principally for the great number of its meetings. 34 stated, special inaction meetings being held, and the many applications and membership. Lodge No. 43 was represented at the laying of the cornerstone of the George Washington Masonic National memorial at Alexandria, Virginia, November 1, 1923.

Extensive repairs to the roofing, spouting, plumbing, electrical and carpenter work of the lodge were completed during 1926. Also new carpeting and linoleum was added. A contribution was made from the lodge funds for the sufferers of the Mississippi flood. A memorial tablet was authorized containing the names of the brethren who had taken part in the World War. This tablet was completed and placed on the wall of the lodge room.

The 1930’s

A notice was received from the Right Worshipful Grand Master declaring East Petersburg neutral territory between the lodges of Lancaster and the lodge of Manheim. The long lost grave of Brother Stephen Chambers, the first Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 43, was located in Saint James Episcopal church graveyard. The number of candidates had fallen greatly because of the depression but the number edged up slightly in 1935 and again in 1941. The renovation of the lodge hall, including the ceiling mural was completed.

The 1940’s

Masonic service medals were authorized for each brother serving in the armed forces. 29 members of the lodge and 43 sons’ members were serving in the army and navy by 1945. During 1949, the Right Worshipful Grand Master desired that wherein existing lodges have a membership exceeding 500, a new lodge should be warranted. He was of the opinion a new lodge in Lancaster might be called the Andrew H. Hershey Lodge. Andrew H. Hershey Lodge No. 764 was Warranted and Constituted by the Grand Lodge on October 27, 1949.

The 1950’s

A bronze plaque honoring Brother James Buchanan, P.M., D.D.G.M., was presented to this lodge. Representatives of Sunbury Lodge No. 22 attended services at St. James Episcopal Church for the purpose of honoring their first Worshipful Master, Brother Stephen Chambers. Both lodges visited each other at numerous times in this decade. Air Conditioning was installed in the lodge room in 1957. The Lodge No. 43’s Past Master Association was created in this decade.

The 1960’s

This decade started with 829 members. The Lodge Hall and adjoining properties owned by Lodge No. 43 were renovated in 1960. The 175th anniversary was held in the Hotel Brunswick with entertainment provided by the Lodge No. 43 chorus. Despite the renovation, it was found the condition of the hall was deteriorating and a committee was appointed to present options. The cooperation of the City, the Stienman famc, the Historical Society and lead to plans to relocate the lodge.

The 1970’s

The final meeting at the old Lodge Hall was held on January 29, 1974. After the meeting the Lodge moved its meeting to the current location and the city assumed ownership of the old hall. In 1976 the lodge joined the country in celebrating the bicentennial by presenting a year long series of patriotic presentations in each stated meeting. As part of the country’s celebration Lodge No. 43 held it’s first Table lodge with toasts honoring The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Brother George Washington, and Freemasonry Around the Globe.

The 1980’s

Lodge No. 43 joined the other Lodges in celebrating 200 years of Pennsylvania freemasonry in their February 1981 Meeting. Renovations of the Masonic Center of Lancaster County were competed in September 1983. Lodge No. 43 celebrated its 200 year anniversary in 1985. 380 Brethren and guests attended the 200 year banquet. The Lodge purchased and placed a Granite Marker at Brother President James Buchanan’s grave. It was unveiled on April 29, 1990.

The 1990’s

The Lodge contributed money to the Lancaster City’s Bureau of Police K-9 patrol fund and the refurbishment of Brother President James Buchanan’s statue located in Buchanan park. The lodge also began awarding scholarship awards to one male and one female graduate of J.P. McCaskey High School.

The 2000’s

The lodge assisted with beatification projects at Buchanan and Long’s park. In 2003 Andrew Hershey Lodge No. 764 was assimilated into Lodge No. 43. September 10, 2010 was proclaimed Lodge No. 43 F. & A.M. day by Lancaster City Mayor J. Richard Gray.

The 2010’s

The brothers visited The Pennsylania Grand Lodge in Philadelphia, the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA and the Scottish Rite Temple in Washington, DC. Brothers continued their community service via Highway clean up, sponsoring scholarships, honoring veterans, emergency responders, and aiding the Grand Lodge’s Help for Heroes program.