On January 17, 1866 The
Most Worshipful Charles C. Dame, Grand
Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of
Masons in Massachusetts, granted a
Dispensation to Bro. John F. Frothingham and
thirty-four others to form a new Lodge at
Fall River to be called King Philip Lodge.
Although only a dozen years had elapsed
since the incorporation of Fall River as a
city, the growth of Masonry had been
consistent and steady, and it was decided
that the institution of another Lodge would
be most beneficial to the community.
On December 31, 1865, King Philip Lodge held
its first meeting. During the year under
Dispensation 23 candidates were raised to
the sublime degree of Master Mason. The
charter was presented to the Lodge on
December 12, 1866, and by this time the
Lodge was on a firm foundation and well on
its way to success. The first returns to the
Grand Lodge shows a membership of 75.
The Lodge had trouble initially in securing
a suitable meeting place, and for some time
the I.O.O.F. Hall was rented for $3.00 per
night. At this time, Mount Hope Lodge
suggested that a joint committee be formed
to procure quarters that were more suitable.
This committee was the origin of the present
Hall Committee and was made up of members
from Mount Hope, King Philip, and the Fall
River Royal Arch Chapter. They secured the
Bank Hall over the Fall River Savings Bank,
and with the help of the Godfrey de Bouillon
Encampment, the Hall was furnished on equal
terms, share and share alike. From there the
several bodies moved to the new Masonic Hall
on Franklin Street where dedication
ceremonies were held by Most Worshipful
Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Grand Master of
Masons in Massachusetts on May 23, 1885.
On June 3, 1885, the rough and perfect
ashlars were presented to the Lodge by the
firm of Kessel and Lawson. Mr. Lawson was
the father of Worshipful Frederick W.
Lawson, Past Master of King Philip. He also
presented to the fraternity a rough and
perfect ashlar for the Masonic Temple when
it was completed in about 1922.
There is no record of a 25th anniversary,
but on February 29, 1916, the 50th
anniversary was held in the Music Hall which
was beautifully decorated for the occasion.
Music was furnished by the American
Orchestra under the direction of William
Allinson. Such notable persons as Most
Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master
of Masons in Massachusetts; Bro. William
Howard Taft, ex-President of the United
States; Bro. R. L. Beeckman, Governor of
Rhode Island; and Rt. Worshipful Leon M.
Abbott were present.
The corner stone of the Masonic Temple was
laid May 6, 1922 in due and ancient form by
Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand
Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of
Masons in Massachusetts. On October 6, 1923,
Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell dedicated
the new Temple to Freemasonry.
In 1924 the membership had risen to 1,012,
and this mark was held rather steady until
1929. As a result of adverse business
conditions, deaths, and suspensions, the
membership was reduced to 502 by 1940.
On April 22, 1941 the 75th Anniversary
Celebration was held at the Masonic Temple
Hall, where over 350 members of the Lodge
were present. Many of the high ranking
officials of Freemasonry in Massachusetts
and New Hampshire were in attendance. These
included: Rt. Wor. Robert C. Laing Deputy
Grand Master and Acting Most Worshipful
Master of Masons in New Hampshire and Most
Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer, Grand Master
of Masons in Massachusetts. Included among
the guests seated at the head table were
Mayor Murray of Fall River, State
Representative Stephen L. French of Swansea,
and the Hon. Bro. Christian A. Herter,
Speaker of the Massachusetts House of
Representatives who served as the guest
speaker. Bro. Herter declared that we must
arm ourselves spiritually as well as
otherwise. We must have unity of spirit. We
must be strong if we are to maintain our
democratic institutions, for the present
generation and the generations to follow.
In May of 1943, at the height of World War
II, King Philip Lodge was honored to have
Boyd Tollinton, British Consul as a speaker
at the Annual Members Night. Mr. Tollinton
spoke of the Anglo-American cooperation and
the outlook for a lasting peace at its
conclusion with the United States and Great
Britain playing leading roles in attaining
In 1966 we celebrated our 100th Anniversary
with a dinner at Venus de Milo Restaurant,
followed by a reception and entertainment at
the Masonic Temple. Most Worshipful Thomas
A. Booth, Grand Master, was present with his
distinguished suite. At that time Rt. Wor.
Hubert W. Burdett of King Philip Lodge was
the District Deputy Grand Master with Wor.
George A. Fidler as the District Deputy
Grand Marshal and Wor. Edmund Kolakowski
District Deputy Grand Secretary.
King Philip Lodge continued to meet in the
Masonic Temple on North Main Street until
1980. At that time, due to the financial
burden of the large building, the Masonic
Temple was sold.
While a suitable meeting place was being
chosen, we met at the Somerset Masonic
Temple, until February of 1981. From March
of 1981 to June of 1986 King Philip Lodge,
along with the other Fall River Lodges, met
at Herrick House on Pine Street. In June of
1986 this building was also sold, and we
returned to Somerset to meet at the Somerset
A building committee was formed to secure
plans for a new Masonic Temple to be built
on land in the Fall River area. Several
sites were investigated. In October of 1993
plans were made for a new Masonic Temple in
Fall River, after the purchase of the
Knights of Columbus building on Columbia
Drive. After a lot of planning, a blueprint
was accepted and plans were underway. In
December of 2000 we moved into our new
Currently, King Philip Lodge remains very
active. We are proud to say since our last
anniversary in 1991 we have had 5 new
Masters, as well as one more District Deputy
Grand Master. Our membership is about 85
with new members added each month, and we
have 10 living Past Masters.