History of Corinth Lodge 987 F. & A. M.
Some time in 1921, 47 members of St. Johns lodge No.22, Greenfield Center, who resided in the Corinth, Hadley, Luzerne, Day and Stoney Creek areas decided to form a separate Lodge for this Northern part of the District. A petition to Grand Lodge of the State of New York to grant dispensation to organize a new Lodge (to be known as Corinth Lodge) was signed by: Harris Crandall, J. Fineley Wark, J. Harry Densmore, John McDonald, B. F. Eldred Pruyn, Harry S. Shorey, S.H. Ralph, A.M. Hollister, Edward J.Feeney, E.H. Bowker, George Simms Jr., Edgar E. Costello and Harry B. Andrew.
There is no date on this petition, but the Grand Lodge must have granted their request for a dispensation at the annual meeting of Grand Lodge Officers in May 1921, for the records of minutes of meetings show that the first meeting of the Lodge under dispensation was held on Tuesday evening, September 13, 1921. The minutes of that first meeting show the names of the officers of the Lodge as follows:
Harris Crandall, Master
J. Finley Wark, Senior Warden
J. Harry Densmore, Junior Warden
F. Eldred Pruyn, Treasurer
Harley B. Andrew, Secretary
J. Merrit Smith, Senior Deacon
Edgar E. Costello, Junior Deacon
Wilbur F. McDonald, Senior Master of Ceremony
Edward J. Feeney, Junior Master of Ceremony
Harry S. Shorey, Marshall
John W. Sayre, Tiler
The Lodge continued under dispensation until June 8, 1922 when it was formally constituted and received itís present charter from Grand Lodge. The ceremonies of Institution of the Lodge were performed by a staff of Grand Lodge Officers headed by Past Grand Master James A. Smith, after which the officers of Corinth Lodge No.987 were installed in their proper stations and places, and the new charter was placed in the hands of the Master of the Lodge. The names of these officers appear above. At the conclusion of the minutes of the meeting the secretary adds; "The occasion was one long to be remembered by all Masons present".
It would be of interest to note that the former members of the St. Johns Lodge No.22 who signed the By-Laws as charter members of the Corinth Lodge No. 987 were:
S.H. Ralph, H.F. Falkenberg, A.M. Hollister, B.T. Mallery, B.M. Ide, George H. Mallery, C. Wilbur, John McDonald, Harry H. Ludlum, Wylls A. Dunham, C.A. Buckmaster, Walter J. Pitkin, Emer G. Perkins, Edward Tyre, John H. Pitkin, Simon C. Walker, C.F. Ralph, W.J. Burnham, John W. Valentine, Issac Densmore, Edward F. Johnston, Leroy Mallery, Walter Wait, Robert R. Higgins, O.S. Putnam, George Sims,Sr., L.A. Parmenter, C.W. Walker, and Leon Randall.
Many of these men made outstanding contributions to the Business, Industrial, and religious life of the community as well as to Corinth Lodge and Masonry in general through the years.
While Corinth Lodge was still under dispensation it became necessary to demonstrate proficiency by conferring the degrees. And the first candidate to apply for the degrees was George W. Allen, Jr.. He was followed by J. Kenyon Dayton, Gill T. Clark and Joseph B. Wigley. These four men were the first to take the degrees of Masonry in the Corinth Lodge.
From the time that the Lodge was operating under dispensation in 1921 and then under itís charter, meetings were held in the upper rooms of what is known as the "Pitkin Building" or the "Bank Building" in Corinth. But in September of 1936 the Lodge moved to the I.O.O.F. building where it remained until June of 1957 when it moved to a new temple in Hadley, next to Bend of The River Golf Course. This property at Hadley had been owned by Earl Woodward and, upon his death, it came to Mrs. Earl Woodward, who presented it to Corinth Lodge in memory of her husband. In the summer of 1957 a portion of the upper floor of the large building was converted to a Lodge Room. A "Corinth Temple Association" was organized and incorporated to assume the ownership, maintenance, and management of the property for the use of the Lodge and O.E.S. Chapter whose donations afforded financial support to the Temple Association for the operation and Maintenance of the property.
The first regular meeting of the Lodge in the new temple was held October 22, 1957, but the official dedication of the temple did not occur until the following April 8, 1958. The Grand Master, Nathan Turk, and his staff of Grand Lodge Officers preformed the impressive ceremonies of consecrating this temple to the high purposes of Freemasonry in this area and in the state. This was one of the outstanding events in the history of the Corinth Lodge. The minutes of that meeting April 8, 1958 indicate the interest and presence of about 150 Freemasons form our own lodge and from other Lodges in the Saratoga Warren and Washington Districts who came to honor Corinth Lodge on this most auspicious occasion.
By 1979 the high cost of maintenance (especially heat) forced members to consider the advisability of disposing of the property: It was decided to winterize the building and move elsewhere, at least for the winter. The Lodge rented space in the Corinth Grange Hall for 1980 and then moved to Greenfield Center in January 1981, Accepting St. Johns gracious offer to share its facilities. In 1980 the temple property was sold and the furniture and equipment were eventually moved to rental storage in the Gansevoort Lodge building.
During it existence, Corinth Lodge has taken a great interest in the affairs and organizations in the area it serves. It maintained a "Living Blood Bank" of the members available to the local hospital on short notice for many years. It has supported and encouraged such organizations as the Honor Society of the High School, the Boy Scouts, Red Cross, Emergency Squad and various charitable funds. For many years the Lodge has sponsored Little League teams in the area and has sent young boys and girls to camp. The Lodge has also recognized and presented the "DeWitt Clinton" award to outstanding citizens in the area. The first annual table lodge was held in 1994 and a summer picnic has been since 1993. Corinth Lodge attains a high percentile of contributions to the Brotherhood Fund each year.
This data was recorded and made available by several brothers through the years.
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