Solomon Lodge No. 46, A.F. & A.M. The year 1867 has some significance to Canadians; it also was a time when Port Hawkesbury, although not yet an incorporated town, was gaining some importance as a sea-faring port, and, no doubt, the citizens of the area were discussing the effects and opportunities of the new Canadian Confederation. In the fall of that year, other discussions were taking place among some of the leading citizens. An opportunity was presenting itself, and, after some informal chats and conversations, a formal meeting was called for December 30, 1867. The meeting was convened in the office of Mapes, Hart and Ingraham, a newly established business partnership in Port Hawkesbury, to consider the feasibility of forming a Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons in Port Hawkesbury. Four Master Masons were present at the meeting: Brothers Edward Kent (Burns Lodge, Halifax), Angus Grant (Victoria Lodge, Prince Edward Island), Levi Hart (St. Mark¡¦s Lodge, Baddeck), and Alex Bain (St. Mark¡¦s Lodge, Baddeck). Bro. Kent was appointed chairman for the meeting. Bro. Hart was appointed secretary; business proceeded. The first order of business was to name the Lodge and it was agreed that it should be Solomon Lodge. Some preparation had been done prior to the above meeting as a slate of officers was confirmed at this time. The list follows: Levi Hart, W.M. John W. Ingraham, S.W. Edward Kent, J.W. John W. Ingraham, (acting) Treasurer) Levi Hart (acting) Secretary Angus Grant, S.D. James G. McKeen, J.D. Alexander Bain, Tyler The Lodge began to get busy with degree work and degrees were performed with throughout the period of 1867 ¡V 1882. The Lodge was doing its fraternal business and holding periodic social occasions, such as sleigh rides and gatherings for members and wives at local establishments. Some of the business included the securing of Lodge quarters and furnishings, as can be seen from the following: „« In 1869 ¡V Solomon Lodge agreed to accept a lease for a hall for three years at sum of $300. „« January 20, 1870 ¡V The Tyler was instructed to procure a stove for the anteroom. „« February 12, 1872 ¡V Wardens¡¦ pedestals and three gavels were procured. „« February 9, 1873 ¡V A committee was formed to rent a Lodge room. „« April 28, 1873 ¡V Solomon Lodge voted to keep $2.00 from the bill from the proprietor of the hall for neglect of furnishing stovepipes required to heat the hall. „« December 22, 1873 ¡V The report of the furnishings committee was accepted and Lodge approved $25 to pay for carpet, the 3+5+7 steps, and the pillars as designed. „« The Lodge continued to rent meeting quarters as land on the ¡§front street (Granville Street)¡¨ could not be purchased. „« March 9, 1874 ¡V There was an offer from Bro. Thomas Heughins for land and building ¡V after several months of discussion, the Lodge considered it imprudent to take ¡§further action in the matter¡¨ because of the financial state of the Lodge. „« About 1875 ¡V Land was purchased from Bro. Heughins. „« April 23, 1877 ¡V Brother Angus Grant offered to the Lodge ¡§the upper story of his building known as the cooper shop for a Lodge room¡¨ and a committee was appointed to examine the room and to report. By the late 1870¡¦s, there was a decline in the number of Brothers attending meeting and in the number of regular meetings. In 1881, the Lodge failed to submit any return and again in 1883. The next three years returns were submitted. Then Solomon Lodge closed up and failed to meet for the next four years. The last regular meeting of the Lodge as recorded on the minutes was held on March 8, 1887. Strangely enough Grand Lodge did not strike the Lodge off the roll, nor take possession of the property. After an interval of five years, perhaps it was time to reconsider the resuscitation of Solomon Lodge. The Lodge¡¦s last meeting had been held on March 8, 1887, at which time the charter of Solomon Lodge was to be surrendered. This, of course, did not happen, as was explained in the previous section, but a period of dim light fell on the Lodge. The light began to flicker more strongly in 1892 as a meeting was set for June 1 of that year. At that meeting, Bro. James MacPhail moved and Bro. R.J. MacDonald seconded a motion that Brothers Bain, Sutherland and Reeves be appointed to draft a petition to Grand Lodge to resuscitate Solomon Lodge. The motion carried, the petition was drafted and was signed by all members present; the petition was then sent to Grand Lodge for its consideration. Some of the items discussed at Lodge at the turn of the century are still being discussed today. In August, 1899, there was discussion on members not following their obligation and not attending regularly if at all. In November of that year, it was agreed that the activities of the Lodge should be more interesting than just degree work, that lectures and an evening of entertainment for families should be considered. The Lodge funds were short and the Lodge needed repairs- this continues to be so, and has been the most popular ¡§business¡¨ topic of the Lodge since 1868! At any rate, the twentieth century was ushered in with the Lodge¡¦s first meeting on January 16, 1900. It was decided there should be entertainment and this would coincide with the official visit of the DDGM in February. Every Mason, his wife and children would be invited for a general entertainment. A new century, a new secretary! Brother Charles Reeves somehow managed to get out of the office he had held since the Charter was resuscitated in 1892. The Lodge secured a building, a former stagecoach stop and Temperance Hall, from the Town of Port Hawkesbury in 1904. The old building continued to be occupied, and on the west side of Granville Street, into 1924. In January of that year, a committee was formed, one might say, ¡§again,¡¨ to ¡§get plans to build a new building including cellar, foundation, etc., also what it would cost to move the old building over on a new site of land and have same put in first rate shape, etc.¡¨ This year, things happened. In April, F.W. Hennessey was paid $350 for a lot of land on the east side of Granville Street, the site on which the hall is currently located. In June, the Lodge assessed tenders for a new building and for moving the old one; the Lodge accepted the tender (from Mr. MacQuarrie) to move the old building at a cost of $450. The chief obstacle to building a new hall was financial; the low tender for a new building was $6000, much above the Lodge¡¦s ability to finance. Tenders were called for excavation of a cellar, and the Lodge approved a cost of $1171.49. However, there continued to be attendant costs ¡V a drain was added in an effort to relieve water from the cellar floor, which was holding water, and grading was completed at an additional cost of $100. On a recent visit (September, 2001) to Brother Peter Warner to present him his fifty-year jewel, Brother Pete told Bro. Jack Ronalds and the Lodge historian of his witnessing the move as a young boy and of his being amazed at the work done. At any rate, we occupy a site on 504 Granville Street, in the recently revised street numbering system, in an old building that originated as a stagecoach stop in the late 1800¡¦s. The building has been used for well over one hundred twenty-five years to provide service to the citizens of Port Hawkesbury and area ¡V as a post office, store, financial institution, telephone office, meeting area, and Lodge hall for Solomon Lodge No. 46. on the Grand Registry of Nova Scotia. The cost of the move, as reported in the building committee¡¦s final report, was $1827.89. Following is a summary of Lodge business concerning building and furnishings since resuscitation in 1892. 1892 ¡V The Lodge owned property, but was renting rooms (considered unsuitable) from Alexander MacIntosh. 1896 ¡V Land sold to Bro. Heughins- this is the same lot that was purchased from him by the Lodge some years earlier. 1902 ¡V Brothers L.D. VanAken and J.M. Daly purchased chairs for Master and Wardens 1903 ¡V A new ballot box (made by David Duncan of Truro) was purchased and black and white balls were ordered. 1904 ¡V The Temperance Hall, a former stagecoach stop located on the water side of Granville Street was purchased from the Town of Port Hawkesbury. 1923 (March) ¡V A lot of land (where Solomon Lodge is presently located) was purchased from Frederick W. Hennessey. 1924 ¡V The Lodge building was moved across Granville Street to present location 1927 ¡V A cabinet to hold Lodge historical records and stationery was built by H.W. Embree. 1931 ¡V Bro. McCall presented the Lodge with new stone ashlars. 1945 (following) ¡V A scroll, ¡§Solomon Lodge No. 46 Roll of Honor,¡¨ was placed near the secretary¡¦s desk; the names of those who served in World War II were inscribed as follows: C. J. Barbour, J.P. Davis, L.W. Hudson, Rev. J.P. Kaye, Dr. K.D. Lindsay, Rev. N. R. MacSween, D.R. MacLeod, R.L. MacKinnon, I.H. MacKinnon, A.R. Rafuse, R.H. Thomson, C.O. White 1948 ¡V 1955: Baptist Church property story ¡V information contained in main history 1953 ¡V The present kitchen was added to the southeast corner of the building by contractor Bro. C.W. LeLacheur. Toilets were installed as indoor plumbing. 1967 ¡V A Past Masters¡¦ Plaque, listing all Past Masters of Solomon Lodge and completed by Mr. Gordon Drummond, was presented to Lodge by Bro. Robert Ellingbo 1972 ¡VLodge regalia was changed to royal blue following recognition of Solomon Lodge as one hundred year Lodge. 1978 ¡V After several years of struggling to make repairs, a federal grant was received and much needed repairs and renovations to the hall were accomplished. 2001 ¡V A large tree fell on the roof of the Lodge, main building and kitchen annex, and damage was extensive; news coverage of the storm and its aftermath, as reported in a local newspaper, included a photo of damage to the Lodge; a contractor was hired to repair the roof by replacing rotten wood where necessary and to re-shingle sections; although insurance covered some expenses, cost to the Lodge was over $4000. 2002 ¡V A photography project was completed and was donated to the Lodge by Bro. John E. Ronalds; photos of Solomon Lodge Past Masters from 1972 to present are now displayed in the recreation room. 2004 ¡V At the October meeting, there was discussion on old roofs again, this time concerning head covering for the W.M. Bro. Don Boutlier of Bedford Lodge donated a new top hat to the Lodge and Bro. Wm. Charlton, hat presenter for Bro. Boutlier, made a note on the old hat¡¦s tradition. Bro. John Abbott reported on the history of a second hat in the clothing section and noted that it had been donated by him some years ago on behalf of an elderly gentleman of his acquaintance. The new hat was received with thanks and has been pressed into service on heads of differing shapes and sizes ever since, and, as Bro. Charlton noted, its ¡§jaunty appearance¡¨ is in keeping with the new 21st century The Lodge celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1972, and it was a celebration worth waiting for. The Lodge had to wait more than a hundred years to get there. The Grand Master accepted the recommendation of the advisory committee appointed to investigate the Solomon Lodge petition and that settled the matter. The Lodge failed to meet for four years (1888 ¡V 1891) and maintained no evidence of continuity during that period so there is a gap in the history of the Lodge. A combined total of one hundred years would not be reached until 1972. That is when Solomon Lodge received recognition from Grand Lodge and celebrated its centennial year. That celebration was held on September 30, 1972. Information on the celebration follows. Prior to the afternoon session, divine service was held at St. Mark¡¦s United Church. The service was conducted by DDGC Dr. Cecil Webber. A taped copy of the service, taped by the Rev. Eldon Gunn, is still available from the Lodge secretary. The Brethren paraded from the Masonic Temple to the church and were led by the Port Hawkesbury Youth Band. Lodge opened at 2:30 and a new set of regalia was dedicated by the Grand Master, M.W. Alan S. Jackson. DDGM John P. Davis Sr. complimented the Lodge on attaining its one-hundredth year and ¡§also complimented the able committee who planned this important event in the life of our Lodge.¡¨ Brother Marshall Bourinot related to Freemasonry ¡§in general and to this Lodge in particular.¡¨ Many visiting Brothers brought greetings and offered congratulations, and M.W. Grand Master Jackson brought greetings from the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. Following the afternoon session, a dinner was enjoyed at the Wandlyn Motor Hotel. Brother Murdock Ferguson acted as chairperson and master of ceremonies. Reverend Eldon Gunn asked the blessing. W.M. Everett Oliver welcomed all, while DDGM Bro. John Davis Sr. proposed the toast to Grand Lodge. M.W. Brother Jackson replied to the toast. Brother J. Alvin West proposed the toast to the ladies and Mrs. Hazel Oliver responded. Reverend Father Hugh MacDonald introduced the evening¡¦s guest speaker, Judge Leo MacIntyre, a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus and former chancellor. Brother Byron S. Lobban thanked the guest speaker. Reverend David Price gave the benediction. ¡§After all the proceedings, the banquet floor was cleared and many remained for an enjoyable hour or two of dancing, and a very successful centennial celebration was concluded (The quotations concerning the 100th anniversary are from the Minute Book of Solomon Lodge for this period).¡¨ Lodge excursions by car and steamer were popular entertainments in the early 1900¡¦s, and when the railway was completed to Inverness, close associations were formed with that Lodge. In the 1930¡¦s, Solomon Lodge engaged in friendly competitions with the local Oddfellow and other lodges, and participated in the town picnics where tug-of-war was popular. Card plays were popular in the 1970¡¦s, and, since 1991, the Lodge has hosted an annual New Year¡¦s Levee. Today, Masonic breakfasts, held on occasional Saturday mornings, and an annual summer barbecue are popular social activities. The Lodge has been, and continues to be, an important feature of the community where it began in 1868; a secure place in the fraternal, social and business history of Port Hawkesbury and area had been well founded.