Masonic Temple Celebrates 200 Years

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 11.02.01 AMBy Terry Rogers

On Saturday, January 16, the Masonic Temple Lodge No. 9 A.F. and 6 A.M. in Milford celebrated their 200th anniversary with the unveiling of a Historic Marker presented by the Delaware State Archives. The historic marker tells the history of the Masonic Lodge in Milford, which was created by order of state legislation on January 16, 1815.

“It is hard to believe that we are celebrating our 200th anniversary here today,” said Worshipful Master, Roland Cohee. “This achievement is due to the special effort of all members and the honor belongs to all of us, from the members to the wives who allow us to practice our craft.” Senator Gary Simpson, who presented and read a proclamation from the Delaware Senate, said that it was a very special day for the temple.

Senator Simpson said that when he first learned of the celebration, he thought the group was celebrating 100 years, and it was not until he actually read the proclamation that he realized the Masonic Lodge in Milford had been in existence for 200 years.

“I am honored to be here to celebrate such a glorious milestone,” Senator Simpson said. “I’ll admit I don’t know much about what you do as you are very quiet about it. I do know that your charitable contributions are great and the fact that you don’t need recognition says a lot about the masons.”

Representative Harvey Kenton presented and read a proclamation from the House of Representatives on behalf of himself and Representative Jack Peterman, who was also in attendance for the unveiling of the historic marker.

“I am always glad when I can recognize an organization that has been around for 200 years,” Representative Kenton said. “When I was growing up, a neighbor was a Mason, and I honestly thought it was a bunch of bricklayers who got together to discuss their trade. You may be secretive, but you do so much for this community without expecting any attention.”

Delaware State Archivist, Stephen M. Marz, CA, explained that the Historic Marker Program was designed to educate the public about historic areas throughout the state. It was initiated over 80 years ago by an act of legislation. The markers are not selected by the government, but are suggested by citizens and organizations who wish to acknowledge a particular area or person who was critical to Delaware history.

The Masonic Temple Lodge No. 9 A.F. and 6 A.M. began when the Grand Lodge of Delaware, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons while it convened at the State House in Dover on January 16, 1815. The same year, a warrant was issued naming Jesse Green Worshipful Master, John Mitchell Senior Warden, and James Millechop Junior Warden. Joseph Oliver, one of the founders of Milford, served as state representative in 1820 state senator in 1828 as well as James Lofland, a well-known physician who also served in state legislature, were both notable members of the Masonic Lodge.

Originally, the organization met in a building on the corner of North Walnut and Northwest Front Street, which is now the home of Lou’s Bootery. At the time, the lodge was located across from the Milford Hotel. In the late 1950s, the organization purchased the building their current location resides on Causey Avenue from the L.D. Caulk Company when the business moved their operations from that location to a larger facility located further west on Causey Avenue, what is now Lakeview Avenue. The Lodge was dedicated on September 13, 1960.

Membership is by invitation only and the members divulge very little about what the organization does, other than to say that they promote the ideals of friendship, morality and brotherly love within the community they serve.

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