Freemasonry has had its place in the history of
for over two centuries, as evidenced by the celebration in 1966 of the
bicentennial of St. Patrick's Lodge No.4 in nearby
. Although Kennyetto Lodge No. 599 can boast only half those years, recorded
history informs us that Freemasonry was first present in Broadalbin some
three-quarters of a century prior to the founding of Kennyetto Lodge with the
formation of Montgomery Lodge No. 42 in the mid-1790's. However, that
short-lived Lodge surrendered its credentials in 1834 in the aftermath of the
infamous Morgan affair.
A photocopy of old records in Grand Lodge's archives
indicates the initial Petition for the formation of Montgomery Lodge No. 42 to
have been dated May 7th, 1795, and the Warrant issued to the Lodge on November
24, 1795. The records make no mention of a Charter having been issued. However,
June 8, 1832
, Grand Lodge, in, an apparent reference to the Warrant, declared it to be
forfeited, but nothing was surrendered and filed until sometime in 1834.
Approximately 30 years later, local interest in Masonry was
revived. A Petition to create Kennyetto Lodge was signed, (though undated), by
the proposed Master and Wardens and nine prospective other members. A
Dispensation from Grand Lodge, with recommendation of both Fish House Lodge No.
298 and Gloversville Lodge No. 429, was issued on
November 23, 1865
, signed by Robert D. Holmes, Esq.,Grand Master and James M. Austin, Grand
Secretary. The record also notes that "original members and initiates are
mechanics, merchants, 1 miller, 1 physician, and two manufacturers."
The first recorded meeting of Kennyetto Lodge was held in
the old Kun-Ja-Muck Hall on December 16, 1865 -- a Saturday, no less. (Kun-Ja-Muck
Hall occupied the second floor rooms in the building that more recently has
housed former hardware and furniture stores at
13-17 West Main Street
.) Brother Isaiah Fuller was elected acting Worshipful Master; RN. Rosa, Senior
Warden; and Amos Brown, Junior Warden. The business of that evening's first
communication consisted of receiving and accepting the petition of Silas
Applebaum as their first candidate for the degrees of Masonry. The bills of the
evening, amounting to $467.08, were ordered paid by the Worshipful Master, who
also then authorized the Secretary to borrow the necessary funds from the
The new Lodge was chartered on
July 3, 1866
. The first annual meeting was held on
July 19, 1866
, at which time Brothers Isaiah Fuller were duly elected Worshipful Master; R N.
Rosa, Senior Warden; and Ara Capron, Junior Warden. Some of those early brethren
apparently believed in making Lodge communications an all-night affair; often
conferring two degrees in an evening, and sometimes all three degrees were
conferred upon separate classes of candidates.
While no official record exists of it's donor, the first
Holy Bible placed upon the Lodge's altar in early 1869 carries the beautifully
handwritten inscription: "Happy New Year, Arthur & Clara, January
1869" on the flyleaf. The original Bible saw continuous service for over a
century, when a much-needed permanent replacement Bible was donated by W\George
W. Decker on
April 4, 1986
. The original Bible, which now almost qualifies as a "loose-leaf' edition,
still remains in the Lodge's archives. Apparently the Lodge's current practice
of presenting a personal copy of the Holy Bible to each brother did not
originate during those early years. The first personal copies of the Holy Bible
were presented to a class of candidates on
April 23, 1924
. That class consisted of Brothers Rev. Harry B. Erkman, Fred Foss, Peter
Lockyer and Earl F. Smith.
In the year 1910, upon the formation of Broadalbin Chapter
No. 487, DES, the Brethren of Kennyetto Lodge were joined by their new Sisters
of the Order of Eastern Star. The ladies of the Star have been ever most helpful
to the Lodge, especially during the time of the building of the
some 15-20 years later. Their generous donations of items of furniture and
transfer of their deed for the lot enabled the completion of the
in good order.
For over sixty years, quarters in the old Kun-Ja-Muck Hall
were shared jointly with Broadalbin Lodge No. 855 of the International Order of
Odd Fellows. On
January 10, 1923
, Brother Edward J. Greenslete suggested that "A committee be appointed to
submit preliminary plans and financial arrangements for the construction of a
in Broadalbin." The Worshipful Master appointed Brothers E. J. Greenslete,
H. G.Hawley and George A. Stever to investigate.
was off to a good, but sometimes rocky start, and it wasn't until
July 3, 1926
that the "firehouse lot" was purchased from the Broadalbin Knitting
Company, and ground broken in the center of the village for the new
. The cornerstone was laid under the direction of Worshipful Master Henry
Benedict on Saturday aftenoon, June 16, 1928, assisted by an impressive
delegation of the following Grand Lodge Officers: M\W\John A.Dutton, Grand Master, M\W\Col.
John W. Vrooman, Senior Past Grand Master, R\W\George
R Irving, Grand Marshall, R\W\Cecil
C. Finch, District Deputy Grand Master, R\W\Nelson L. Finch, Past Grand Representative,
and Brother Reverend Harry B. Erkman, Pastor of the local Presbyterian Church,
serving as Grand Chaplain. Other dignitaries attended also, representing the
Fulton-Montgomery-Herkimer Masonic District, as it was then known.
The address of the day was delivered by R\W\Judge
T. Cuthell Calderwood, a member of St. Patrick's Lodge No.4 in
and a Fast District Deputy Grand Master. Judge Calderwood made note of the fact
that at this point every lodge in
now owned its own
. The first communication in the new
was held later that same year, on Wednesday evening,
November 28, 1928
. The Temple Building Committee was later discharged in 1930, upon the
completion of its work.
Completion of the new
and subsequent furnishing thereof provided intense motivation in the early
1930's, both socially and ritualistically. An active Fellowcraft Club planned
numerous social functions around the major holidays; an Eastern Star member
(Florence MacFarlan, chaplain) presented to the Lodge, and to her Chapter, the
Holy Bible which had been a wedding gift to her and her deceased husband; and
twenty-one officers and Past Masters from Artisan Lodge provided a historical
dramatization representing famous figures of history who were Masons, and then
presented a large silk American Flag with an appropriately engraved standard
which was accepted on behalf of the Lodge by W\M\Harold D. Chase.
Two other gifts to the Lodge, presented in mid-Winter of
1935, included a complete set of fireplace tools, andirons and screen grill from
Senior Past Master Nelson Lasher; and the other much-appreciated gift was a cord
of wood for use in the fireplace, given by Brother S. L. Frasier. After
adjournment of the' communication at which these presentations were announced,
everyone was invited to the "club room" where. as the local paper
reported: "The members found the fireplace equipped with a screen grill,
andirons, shovel and other tools ... The lights were turned out and the members
enjoyed a "talkfest" by the light of the fire."
Reports of these events, and several other items of
interest, are to be found in old newspaper clippings from 1931 to 1937,
ce11ected by and recently given to the Lodge by one of its older members. They
have since been photocopied and are available for reading in the
Kennyetto Lodge hosted the annual Grand Lecturer's District Convention on
November 18, 1964
, the year in which R\W\Elwood A. Stowell served as District Deputy
Grand Master. At that time
W. Potts, (in whose honor the Potts Award was later established), was Grand
Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of the State of
. The Potts Award is given to any Lodge in a Masonic District which has all 7 of
its line officers present at a Convention. The GL Convention was scheduled in
two sessions, beginning at
, breaking for dinner at
, and re-convening at
. It was anticipated that approximately 150 guests would be present. According
to Grand Lodge's press release, the 10 Lodges in the Fulton-Montgomery Masonic
District had a combined membership of about three-thousand brothers.
The one-hundredth anniversary of Kennyetto Lodge No. 599 was
celebrated in 1966, highlighted by a long-awaited mortgage-burning ceremony.
Presently, with 91 brothers on the roster, the Lodge continues toward the new
century with high purpose and fervent prayer to the Grand Architect of the
Universe for guidance and protection. May our Brothers of the future advance the
Light of Freemasonry as steadfastly as did those of the past.
Kennyetto Lodge meets on second and fourth Wednesdays at
, except during Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks, and the summer months.
Broadalbin Chapter No. 487, Order of the Eastern Star, meets on the third
Wednesday, also at
For further information regarding Kennyetto Lodge #599 please contact: