Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library

Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library The Museum presents exhibitions and programs on topics in Freemasonry and American history. Thanks to the Scottish Rite Freemasons, admission is FREE!

It's May, which means it's time for us to revisit one of our favorite subjects – the Masonic impostor. Jeff Croteau, D...
05/15/2019

It's May, which means it's time for us to revisit one of our favorite subjects – the Masonic impostor. Jeff Croteau, Director of Library & Archives writes his latest blog about Duncan C. Turner (born ca. 1847), a "bogus Mason" featured in the 1903 booklet, "Album of Masonic Impostors."

Read the blog to learn more! https://bit.ly/2LFwO2f

The Museum recently added two striking Pendleton blankets with Shriner emblems to the collection. Pendleton Woolen Mills...
05/01/2019

The Museum recently added two striking Pendleton blankets with Shriner emblems to the collection. Pendleton Woolen Mills located in Pendleton, Oregon, began manufacturing Native American inspired wool blankets, like these ones, in the early 1900s.

Read our blog to learn more about these new additions and their interesting history! https://bit.ly/2GKK0xb

Congratulations again to Leffingwell House Museum for hosting a successful Lexington Alarm Letter event last weekend! We...
04/28/2019
Leffingwell House Museum

Congratulations again to Leffingwell House Museum for hosting a successful Lexington Alarm Letter event last weekend! We were excited to help them share the letter and its history with the Norwich community.

Thank you to the Norwich Bulletin,, John Penney for the fabulous coverage of the Return of the Lexington Alarm to Norwich!!
NORWICH — A letter announcing the news of the British attack on colonial militiamen at Lexington and Concord and delivered to the home of prominent Norwich resident Christopher Leffingwell was shown off for the first time 244 years in the city on Saturday.

The “Lexington Alarm Letter,” which spurred Norwich and other Eastern Connecticut towns onto a war-footing, was walked up from the Leffingwell House Museum’s vault where it had sat since Thursday after being transferred from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library in Lexington, Mass.

“I have goose bumps,” said Dayne Rugh, president of the museum house president. “This is likely the first time this letter has been on display in this house since April 20, 1775.”

A day before, British regulars from Boston descended onto the Lexington Green to seize gunpowder. When met with fierce resistance, shots were exchanged and eight men killed. The British moved to Concord where more munitions were stored and were greeted by 3,500 colonial irregulars.

Rugh said news of the fighting was spread by riders delivering the alarm letters to members of the Committees of Correspondence, which operated as a colonial “shadow government” after the British crackdown on formal legislative bodies.

“Leffingwell was a member of the Connecticut Committee of Correspondence and happened to be with Gov. Jonathan Trumbull, who had a relationship with British Gen. Thomas Gage,” Rugh said. “Trumbull was initially doubtful about the letter, but it didn’t take too long for him to be convinced.”

The alarm letters, delivered by Israel Bisell, were copied and signed by a series of influential New England colonials who took action.

“This letter caused people to turn storehouses into war-storage spaces and sent troops on the march,” Rugh said.

The letter, which had already been received by Connecticut delegates in Brookfield and Brooklyn before reaching Norwich, is short and concise, with Joseph Palmer, a member of the Massachusetts’ Committee of Safety, penning only 14 lines long. It announces the British landing at Cambridge and subsequent fighting at Lexington and is addressed “To all the Friends of American Liberty.”

“We find another Brigade are now upon their march from Boston supposed to be about 1000,” the letter states. “I have spoken with several persons who have seen the Dead & Wounded. Pray let the Delegates from this Colony to Connecticut see this they know.”

Getting the letter from the Massachusetts museum to Connecticut took about a year of discussions, Rugh said.

“We knew then that this letter existed, but all we’d seen were facsimiles,” he said. “Late last summer, we made contact with the museum and they agreed to loan it to us.”

The letter, in a clear, protective sheath, is still clear enough to read, the cursive flourishes sharp with only a few smudges.

“It’s fairly unusual to see a document in this good of a condition after so long,” said Maureen Harper, collection manager for the Scottish Rite museum. “The ink is light-sensitive, and we think it was kept in the dark for a long period of time before we bought it in 1995 from a dealer.”

Visit the Leffingwell House Museum in Norwich, Connecticut, this Saturday, April 20th, to see the Lexington Alarm letter...
04/17/2019

Visit the Leffingwell House Museum in Norwich, Connecticut, this Saturday, April 20th, to see the Lexington Alarm letter sent to Christopher Leffingwell 244 years ago!

The letter, in the Scottish Rite Museum & Library collection will be on view in Norwich for one day. Read our blog to learn more about its history. https://bit.ly/2PdQ70V

Read our most recent blog to learn more about an 1876 letter in our collection related to the Temperance Movement and Ma...
04/10/2019

Read our most recent blog to learn more about an 1876 letter in our collection related to the Temperance Movement and Mary E. Elliot (1851-1942), Grand Worthy Secretary for the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts of the Independent Order of Good Templars. https://bit.ly/2UPyhq6

"Hickory, dickory, dock, The Mouse ran up the clock..." Elmer Ellsworth Dungan (1862-1930) turned this famous  nursery r...
03/26/2019

"Hickory, dickory, dock, The Mouse ran up the clock..."
Elmer Ellsworth Dungan (1862-1930) turned this famous nursery rhyme into a whimsical clock in the early 1900s.

The clock is currently on view in our exhibition "Keeping Time: Clockmakers and Collecters." Visit here to learn more about the exhibition and this fantastic clock! https://bit.ly/2BejXfj

Robert Emmet Doyle, Jr. (1903-1988) of Missouri received this DeMolay certificate at a special ceremony in Washington D....
03/15/2019

Robert Emmet Doyle, Jr. (1903-1988) of Missouri received this DeMolay certificate at a special ceremony in Washington D.C. in 1922. Doyle had the certificate autographed by nearly thirty Masons, including two U.S. presidents, Warren G. Harding and William H. Taft!

Read our most recent blog to learn more about Doyle and his certificate! https://bit.ly/2T8lEla

Take a look at our new exhibition "Paul Revere's Ride Revisited: Drawings by Fred Lynch," on view through March 2020. Ly...
03/12/2019

Take a look at our new exhibition "Paul Revere's Ride Revisited: Drawings by Fred Lynch," on view through March 2020. Lynch's nineteen drawings provide a fresh perspective on Paul Revere's now famous ride and show how much has changed since Revere's time, even as echoes of his era remain. https://bit.ly/2u2TjTb

Entrepreneurs have long used historical figures to help sell their products. Here, Diamond Match Company and Winters & P...
02/28/2019

Entrepreneurs have long used historical figures to help sell their products. Here, Diamond Match Company and Winters & Prophet Canning Company employed Paul Revere’s reputation for speed and as a history-maker and patriot, to sell matches and tomatoes.

Both items are on featured in "The Art of American History," on view through November 2019. https://bit.ly/2AWTTGE

Today is Presidents' Day! The perfect time to visit our online exhibition "The Many Faces of George Washington," and lea...
02/18/2019

Today is Presidents' Day! The perfect time to visit our online exhibition "The Many Faces of George Washington," and learn more about Washington, born on February 22, 1732. https://bit.ly/2RDjjze

Exciting news! The Library & Archives digital collections are now available through the Digital Public Library of Americ...
02/11/2019
Home · digitalVGW

Exciting news! The Library & Archives digital collections are now available through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an all-digital library that collects information and thumbnails for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States.

By participating in the Digital Public Library of America, the Museum increases the awareness of our collections. You can explore the Library & Archives Digital Collections website here: https://digitalvgw.omeka.net/

In 1823, William Felt (1766-1843) gave this 1803 bible to newly chartered Cassia Lodge in Medfield, Massachusetts. A ded...
01/25/2019

In 1823, William Felt (1766-1843) gave this 1803 bible to newly chartered Cassia Lodge in Medfield, Massachusetts. A dedication page in the bible includes striking calligraphy and ornamentation recording the gift.

Visit our most recent blog to see detailed images of the beautifully ornamented pages and to learn more about the calligrapher and Cassia Lodge. https://bit.ly/2MtrgF7

Visit our current exhibition "The Art of American History" to view historic prints from the collection and to learn more...
01/18/2019
The Art of American History

Visit our current exhibition "The Art of American History" to view historic prints from the collection and to learn more about how artists have depicted events in American history throughout time. The exhibition is on view through November 2019. https://bit.ly/2AWTTGE

The Art of American History Fan, Embarkation of the Pilgrims, 1875-1900, Printed by Photo Gravure Co., Produced by A. C. Bosselman, New York, New York., Gift of the Estate of Russell J. and Vera L. Wilder, 75.69.99, Photograph by David Bohl. The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in America, A. D. 1620,...

Even though the college football season has come to an end, you can still give a rousing Rah! Rah! Sis! Boom! Bah! for t...
01/11/2019

Even though the college football season has come to an end, you can still give a rousing Rah! Rah! Sis! Boom! Bah! for this 1948 program from the annual all-star East-West Shrine football game played at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, California.

Want to learn more about the history of the game? Visit our most recent blog post by Jeff Croteau, Director of Library & Archives. https://bit.ly/2SNclrC

Happy New Year! The holidays are always a popular time to give to charity. This tradition of giving often extends beyond...
01/04/2019

Happy New Year! The holidays are always a popular time to give to charity. This tradition of giving often extends beyond the holidays for many fraternal and Masonic groups around the world.

Read Archivist John Coelho's recent blog highlighting some rare Prince Hall materials in the collection that spotlight African American Masonic philanthropy. https://bit.ly/2F5TZ1T

Happy holidays from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library! Enjoy some holiday and winter scenes from our collection...
12/28/2018

Happy holidays from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library! Enjoy some holiday and winter scenes from our collection of toy magic lantern slides. To see more slides, visit our Flickr page here: https://bit.ly/2QT1wHv

Ever dream of becoming an Arctic explorer? Then take a look at our most recent blog post to learn more about Dr. Elisha ...
12/12/2018

Ever dream of becoming an Arctic explorer? Then take a look at our most recent blog post to learn more about Dr. Elisha Kane's (1820-1857) final 1853 Arctic voyage and to view artist and Freemason Albert Operti's (1852-1927) depiction of Kane and his crew. https://bit.ly/2BejXfj

Interested in dinnerware and decorative plates that tell a story? Then take a look at these "historical plate" and pitch...
11/30/2018

Interested in dinnerware and decorative plates that tell a story? Then take a look at these "historical plate" and pitcher currently on view in the exhibition "The Art of American History." Read our latest blog to learn more! https://bit.ly/2BEspG8

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday! This month is a time when many Americans reflect on the Pilgrims journey t...
11/23/2018

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday! This month is a time when many Americans reflect on the Pilgrims journey to the Americas in the early 1600s. Painter Charles Lucy (1814 –1873) offered this 1868 interpretation of the Pilgrims landing on the shores of present-day Massachusetts.

This painting is currently on view in our new exhibition "The Art of American History." Visit our website to learn more about the artist and to see other scenes from American history! https://bit.ly/2AWTTGE

We are finishing up installation for our upcoming exhibition "The Art of American History," opening Saturday, November 1...
11/09/2018

We are finishing up installation for our upcoming exhibition "The Art of American History," opening Saturday, November 17th. Visit here to learn more! https://bit.ly/2AWTTGE

Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library's cover photo
11/08/2018

Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library's cover photo

Ever wonder about how matches were invented? Or find a pack of old matches with a beautiful or interesting design on the...
11/01/2018

Ever wonder about how matches were invented? Or find a pack of old matches with a beautiful or interesting design on the box? Then check out our latest blog to learn more!
https://bit.ly/2Px3sUD

Looking forward to hearing a ghoulish tale or two this Halloween season? Take a look at this group of strangely wonderfu...
10/26/2018

Looking forward to hearing a ghoulish tale or two this Halloween season? Take a look at this group of strangely wonderful magic lantern slides depicting author and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes 1830 ballad "The Spectre Pig."

Visit the online exhibition "Illuminating Brotherhood: Magic Lanterns and Slides from the Collection" to learn more about magic lantern slides and to see how the story ends! https://bit.ly/2AsESMc

Exciting news! You can now see items from the Library & Archives Digital Collections website on Digital Commonwealth! Th...
10/19/2018

Exciting news! You can now see items from the Library & Archives Digital Collections website on Digital Commonwealth! The Museum & Library joins nearly 200 institutions from across Massachusetts who have contributed historical materials to the Digital Commonwealth site.

Visit our blog, to learn more about the program and view our material. https://bit.ly/2EzQvoZ

Check out our most recent blog post to learn about a very rare 1750 book recently donated to the Museum & Library! https...
10/10/2018

Check out our most recent blog post to learn about a very rare 1750 book recently donated to the Museum & Library! https://bit.ly/2CAmQKy

Shortly after the American Civil War began, publishers began printing illustrated envelopes, also known as covers, relat...
10/05/2018
Illustrated Patriotic Envelopes of the American Civil War

Shortly after the American Civil War began, publishers began printing illustrated envelopes, also known as covers, related to the war. The designs treated a variety of subjects, such as soldiers, battles, and patriotism.

See examples of these envelopes in the current exhibition "Illustrated Patriotic Envelopes of the American Civil War" on view in the Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library. https://bit.ly/2Nau1uz

Illustrated Patriotic Envelopes of the American Civil War “Remember Fort Sumter!,” 1861-1865. Gift of William Caleb Loring, 33°, A85/012/0111 “Traitor. Patriot,” 1861-1865. Engraved by Carpenter & Allen, Boston, Massachusetts. Gift of William Caleb Loring, A85/012/0563 “USA,” 1861-1865....

On this day in 1960, Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy and Republican Vice President Richard M. Nixon participated in t...
09/26/2018

On this day in 1960, Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy and Republican Vice President Richard M. Nixon participated in the first televised presidential debate. Below are two pin-back buttons from the campaign.

To see more political campaign items form the collection, visit our online exhibition "Who Would You Vote For? Campaigning For President." https://bit.ly/2xPlIhi

Who were the Independent Odd Ladies? Take a look at our blog to find out more about this fascinating but relatively unkn...
09/21/2018

Who were the Independent Odd Ladies? Take a look at our blog to find out more about this fascinating but relatively unknown women's fraternal group. https://bit.ly/2OFON5V

Quilts served many functions in the 1700s and 1800s. Aside from being practical bed coverings, quilts transmitted family...
09/12/2018
Quilts

Quilts served many functions in the 1700s and 1800s. Aside from being practical bed coverings, quilts transmitted family memories and history as they became heirlooms passed down through generations.

Check out our Flickr page to see a selection of beautifully detailed quilts from the Museum collection: https://bit.ly/2ObosfH

Quilts served many functions in the 1700s and 1800s. Aside from being practical bed coverings, quilts transmitted family memories and history as they became heirlooms passed down through generations. Quilts incorporating Masonic symbols fulfilled similar purposes: they signified family identificatio...

This small, round piece of paper decorated with engraving is a watch paper. Fit into the inside back cover of a watch ca...
09/05/2018

This small, round piece of paper decorated with engraving is a watch paper. Fit into the inside back cover of a watch case, the paper helped shield delicate works from dust or protected an inner case from rubbing against an outer case. It also advertised a clockmaker or jeweler’s work. Read our blog to learn more about this tiny work of art! https://bit.ly/2NIy94Z

One hundred and ten years ago today, former President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) was born on a farm near Stonewal...
08/27/2018

One hundred and ten years ago today, former President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) was born on a farm near Stonewall, Texas. The Museum & Library owns several items from Johnson's political campaigns, including this great 1964 lenticular pin!

To see more political campaign items from the collection, visit our online exhibition, "Who Would You Vote For? Campaigning for President." https://bit.ly/2liApV2

08/26/2018
32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, NMJ

Huge props to the entire team of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, NMJ! Annual Meeting 2018 comes to a close. Thanks, Mr. Michael C Russell for bringing your new toy -- we mean drone -- to get these great photos.

Your Supreme Council Actives, Emeriti, Deputy Reps, and staff were hard at work, the past three days, to better Scottish Rite, NMJ at the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Tonight we ended with a little fellowship and fun! #PutAClawInIt #NextStopMilwaukee

Yeoman (F)—often referred to as “yeomanettes”—were enlisted women who served in the United States Navy during Wo...
08/24/2018

Yeoman (F)—often referred to as “yeomanettes”—were enlisted women who served in the United States Navy during World War I. Visit our blog to learn more about these women who served in the Great War. https://bit.ly/2Pzdhyn

Want to learn more about Freemasonry in post-Civil War South Carolina? Visit our blog post about Winyah Lodge, No. 40, i...
08/16/2018

Want to learn more about Freemasonry in post-Civil War South Carolina? Visit our blog post about Winyah Lodge, No. 40, in Georgetown, South Carolina. https://bit.ly/2wdafae

Have you just returned from a summer family reunion? Trying to figure out how to record your family history? Take some i...
08/08/2018

Have you just returned from a summer family reunion? Trying to figure out how to record your family history? Take some inspiration from this 1825 family record for the Zuller-Moyer family in New York.

The detailed record is available to view on the Library & Archives digital collections website here: http://digitalvgw.omeka.net/items/show/505

In preparation for International Owl Awareness Day on August 4th, we wanted to share a blog post from this past spring c...
08/01/2018
A Real Nest of Owls

In preparation for International Owl Awareness Day on August 4th, we wanted to share a blog post from this past spring celebrating a pair of Great Horned Owls nesting on the Museum grounds and items in our collection related to the Order of Owls. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2sXE25e

Feeling nostalgic about the art of making maps? Stop by the Museum & Library to view "Maps of the American Revolution," ...
07/25/2018

Feeling nostalgic about the art of making maps? Stop by the Museum & Library to view "Maps of the American Revolution," on view through February 2019. https://bit.ly/2K4NH1m

Getting ready to send some postcards from your summer vacation destinations? Then take a look at the Library & Archives ...
07/11/2018

Getting ready to send some postcards from your summer vacation destinations? Then take a look at the Library & Archives postcard collection of Scottish Rite buildings! Let us know if you run across any of these impressive structures in your summer travels. http://digitalvgw.omeka.net/items/show/793

Address

33 Marrett Rd (At The Intersection Of Route 2A And Massachusetts Avenue)
Lexington, MA
02421

Monday through Saturday from Boston/Cambridge: Take subway (Red Line) to Alewife Station. Change to bus #62 or #76 to the museum. The museum is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue (Route 4) and Route 2A West (Marrett Road).

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(781) 861-6559

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