Messis AB ALTO
"Our Harvest is from the deep"
In the year 1875, Masons living on Block Island applied to the M∴W∴Nicholas Van Slyck, Grand Master of Rhode Island, for Dispensation to establish a Masonic Lodge on Block Island. Dispensation was granted on November 30, 1875, and on December 29, 1875, a special communication of the Lodge was convened at which time the following officers of Atlantic Lodge were designated: Brothers, John W. Hooper (Worshipful Master), Bro. Darius Dodge (Senior Warden) and Bro. Almanza B. Littlefield (Junior Warden).
On May 15, 1876, at the annual session of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, a charter was issued to Atlantic Lodge No.31 in New Shoreham, RI (Block Island) by petition of (24) Masons. The first elected officers of Atlantic Lodge were: (WM) John H. Hooper, (SW) Darius B. Dodge, (JW) Almanza Littlefield, (Treas.) Edward P. Littlefield, and (Sec’y) Percival Rose. The lodge was duly Constituted by the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island on August 9, 1876, at services held in the Baptist Church where Grand Master Van Slyck delivered an address to the new lodge.
During its early history, Atlantic Lodge met in apartments that were used by Neptune Lodge, I.O.O.F. As lodge membership grew, it was decided to build its own Masonic Lodge.
The new lodge building was dedicated on August 26, 1980. M∴W∴George H. Kenyon, Grand Master of Masons in Rhode Island, accompanied by several of his Grand Lodge Officers attended the dedication. The new lodge building was two stories in height with a basement and was 30’ x 40’. It was located on High Street near the steamboat landing.
Atlantic Lodge held its stated communications Saturday on or before the full moon. Their annual communication was on the first Saturday in October.
The prosperity of Atlantic Lodge, which was located in a somewhat isolated community, could possibly be credited to the US Coast Guard who built a station on the west side of the island near Dicken Point in 1872, and was reconstructed in 1886. The station’s buildings were given to the Town of New Shoreham in 1996, but the Coast Guard is still in operation today during the summer months. The Honor Roll of Masons who served during the World War (1914-1918) list the names of 20 brothers of Atlantic Lodge No. 31 and 26 who served during WWII.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find much information on the history of Atlantic Lodge, but I am grateful to R∴W∴Lynch for the photos of the lodge building. Both buildings still exist today.
|Neptune Lodge I.O.O.F|
|Atlantic Lodge No. 31 today|