Grand Lodge of Tennessee Library & Museum

Grand Lodge of Tennessee Library & Museum This page is to provide information about the contents of the Grand Lodge Library and Museum.
The Library and Museum of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was dedicated at the Grand Lodge Communication in March 1991 by MWGM J. D. "Tex" Tisdale.
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This page was created to periodically display and describe items from the museum for those who are unable to visit us. We will also periodically post important dates in Masonic history.

This County history is prior to 1994.Newport 4 in Cocke County was chartered in 1805 by the Grand Lodge of North Carolin...
02/24/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Newport 4 in Cocke County was chartered in 1805 by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee, founded by prominent men, and was represented in the Convention at Knoxville by Judge Edward Scott who became the first Grand Secretary. Represented by proxy at the Annual Communication 1817 and registering its vote against the removal of the Grand Lodge to Nashville, it was never again represented in the Grand Lodge, held no further meetings and eventually surrendered its Charter, having never exchanged its North Carolina Charter for a Tennessee Charter. Newport remained without a Masonic Lodge for forty years, when in 1854, Newport 234 was chartered and is still active. Del Rio 690, chartered 1919, consolidated with Newport 234 in 1965. Newport Chapter160, chartered 1904, surrendered its Charter in 1942.

This County history is prior to 1994.Clay County supports one Lodge, Canton 481, established in 1876.
02/23/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Clay County supports one Lodge, Canton 481, established in 1876.

This County history is prior to 1994.Claiborne County established Masonry with Evening Star Lodge 180 in 1849.  Other ac...
02/22/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Claiborne County established Masonry with Evening Star Lodge 180 in 1849. Other active Lodges are Powell Valley 488, 1876; Shawanee 546, 1891; and Big Spring Union 581, 1894. Those that failed were Pinnacle 572, at Cumberland Gap, 1893-1938; Philip C. Schwab 620, at Hartranft, 1903-1940; and Lincoln 735, 1930, absorbed by 488 in 1933. Tazewell Chapter 162 has continued since 1905, but Hartranft 173 failed, 1908-1917.

This County history is prior to 1994.Chester County, 1879, inherited from Henderson County, Union 140 at Miflin and Frie...
02/21/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Chester County, 1879, inherited from Henderson County, Union 140 at Miflin and Friendship 229 at Jacks Creek; from Madison County, Henderson 364, expired in 1886; and from McNairy County, Montezuma 485, now Henderson 485, the only Lodge in the County.

This County history is prior to 1994.Cheatham County is the home of Ashland 604, established in 1898.
02/20/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Cheatham County is the home of Ashland 604, established in 1898.

This County history is prior to 1994.Carter County erected by the Constitutional Convention in 1796, adjoins Washington ...
02/19/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Carter County erected by the Constitutional Convention in 1796, adjoins Washington County and embraces the upper Watauga Valley. Its Capitol, Elizabethton, took an early start in Masonry, beginning with Kennedy Lodge 63, organized by Dispensation in 1826. This effort obviously failed as Kennedy 72 was authorized in 1828, but if either Lodge was ever granted a Charter there is no record of it. Neither appears to have ever made a return and 72 is not mentioned in the Proceedings after 1828. 63 is listed among the delinquent Lodges to be stricken from the rolls in 1838. At the Annual Communication of 1847, Kennedy 63 is recorded as represented by C. W. Nelson and as having paid to the Grand Secretary the sum of $55. There is no record of 63 after 1854. Dashiell 238, authorized 1854, is active. Roan Mountain 566 (1892), Watauga 622 (1903) and Hampton 750 are other Lodges in the County.

This was the home of Governor Robert L. Taylor, member of Dashiell 238, Congressman, Senator and twice Governor. For him, Carter County's first Royal Arch Chapter was named. Bob Taylor Chapter, Royal Arch Masons 203, chartered in 1923, consolidated with Thomas E. Matson 131 at Johnson City in 1934, but Chapter 214, named for Dr. R. D. Kellar, was chartered in 1941. The Council is B. E. Wooten 19 and the Commandery is Carter 37.

This County history is prior to 1994.Carroll County, established 1821, has a Masonic history beginning with Lafayette 60...
02/18/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Carroll County, established 1821, has a Masonic history beginning with Lafayette 60, 1826, which failed in 1829. Active Lodges are Huntingdon 106, 1843; Caledonia 96, at McKenzie, 1842; Hollow Rock 288, 1860; Pilgrim's Rest 388, 1869; Bruceton 731, 1927, and Pleasant Green 291, 1860 formerly at Bradford, Gibson County, but now at Trezevant. Eureka 725 at Hollow Rock, 1925, consolidated with 288 in 1936. Those that failed were: McLemoresville 117, 1846-1886; Lavinia 174, 1853-1933; Baker 209 at Shiloh, 1851-1901; Clarksburg 260, 1857-1903; Gilbert 331 at Trezevant, 1867-1880, and Yuma 705, 1922-1932.

Capitular Masonry began with Caledonia Chapter 15, at McKenzie, 1845-1875; Huntingdon 38, 1852-1882; Lavinia 56, 1866-1182; Gilbert 80 at Trezevant, 1868-1876; McKenzie 127, 1889, Dispensation revoked; Huntingdon 154, 1900, revoked, and Huntingdon 172, 1908-1923. McKenzie 179 chartered 1910, is active. Four efforts in the Cryptic Rite failed: Caledonia 17 at McKenzie, 1873; Huntingdon 23, 1885; Lavinia 39, 1880, and Trezevant 47, in 1874. Gilbert Commandery 6 was at McKenzie 1866-1877. From these bodies came Jonathan M. Gilbert, Grand High Priest 1852, and John T. Peeler, Grand Master 1917 and Grand Scribe of the Grand Chapter 1930, who had a genial, benevolent and friendly disposition, sound judgement and an untiring devotion to Masonry. His able reviews as Chairman of the Committee on Correspondence won him many devoted friends throughout the Masonic world. Governor Gordon Browning was a member of Huntingdon 106.

This County history is prior to 1994.Cannon County now has Cannon 774, but has had five Lodges and a Chapter.  Expired a...
02/17/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Cannon County now has Cannon 774, but has had five Lodges and a Chapter. Expired are Thyatira 242, at Bradyville, 1855-1929; Woodbury 235, 1854-1873; Woodbury 475, 1876-1917; and Clear Fork 594, at Gassoway, 1896-1930. Short Mountain 373, chartered 1868 is now in DeKalb County. Cannon Chapter 116 existed at Woodbury, 1876-1909.

This County history is prior to 1994.Campbell County's first Lodge was Jacksboro 322 established at the County Seat in 1...
02/16/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Campbell County's first Lodge was Jacksboro 322 established at the County Seat in 1866. Five other Lodges in the County are Jellico 527, 1887; LaFollette 623, 1903; Valley Star 577, as Stockville, 1894; Stooksbury 602, at Walnut Cove, 1898; and Caryville 665. Jellico Chapter 212, chartered 1940, is the only York Rite Body in the County. Marshall E. Rasnake, Grand High Priest 1970, was a member of LaFollette 623.

This County history is prior to 1994.Bradley County was erected in 1835 and has Cleveland Lodge 134 and Charleston 484, ...
02/15/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Bradley County was erected in 1835 and has Cleveland Lodge 134 and Charleston 484, at Charleston, 1876. Others which have ceased to exist were Kelley's Chapel 347, 1867-1913 and Chatata 419, at Tasso, 1871-1929. Royal Arch Masonry is well established, Cleveland Chapter 39 being one of the substantial Chapters of the State. Cleveland Council 72 failed. Cleveland Council 124 is operating, as is Cleveland Commandery 28, chartered 1923. From these bodies came George L. Hardwick, Grand Master 1923; Charles J. Eads, Jr., Deputy Grand Master, 1994; Edward J. Hargis, Grand Warder of the Grand Commandery and Frank Knox Harle, Grand High Priest, 1944.

This County history is prior to 1994.Blount County was erected in 1795 by the Territorial Assembly under Governor Willia...
02/14/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Blount County was erected in 1795 by the Territorial Assembly under Governor William Blount, for whom it is named. Maryville was named for his wife, Mary Grainger. Here, Sam Houston came as a boy with his mother and family and dwelt three years among the Cherokees. Maryville College was founded by Reverend Dr. Isaac Anderson; a college with which the Masons of that region were closely associated in the middle of the last century.

Masonic history in Maryville began with New Providence 48 in 1823, one of the four Charters issued and signed by Andrew Jackson as Grand Master. Although this Lodge expired in 1833, it reorganized as 128 in 1846. New Providence 128 survived the Civil War, as did George Washington 181, at Louisville (1849). Unitia 295 at Friendsville, was chartered in 1867. These three Lodges, with Mountain View 519, at Wellsville, 1884; Rockford 469, 1875, and Prudentia 719 (1924), at Alcoa, make up the Masonic strength of the County. Through a shifting of county lines, Unitia sojourned in Loudon County a few years, but returned to Blount. Townsend 667 (1912) consolidated with 128 in 1938. Maryville Chapter 186, chartered 1915 and Pride Council 103 gives evidence of the progressive spirit of Masonry in Maryville.

From New Providence came Andrew McCulloch, Grand Master, 1926. James I. Walker, Reviewer in the Grand Chapter, had a host of friends. John Crawford, Jr., Grand Master 1947, was a member of New Providence 128 as were Grand Commanders Howard Manning, 1993, and E. Leslie Webb, 1967, who was also Illustrious Grand Master, 1957. Marshall Stinnett, Grand High Priest 1988, was a member of Unitia 295.

This County history is prior to 1994.Bledsoe County supports one Lodge, St. Elmo 437, 1873, at Pikeville.
02/13/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Bledsoe County supports one Lodge, St. Elmo 437, 1873, at Pikeville.

This County history is prior to 1994.Benton County dates from the late 1840s Masonically, and the county has three activ...
02/12/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Benton County dates from the late 1840s Masonically, and the county has three active Lodges of long standing: Camden 179, 1849; Big Sandy 290 (754), 1860, and Mt. Carmel 333, at Holladay, 1867. One Lodge failed: Manly 312, 1866-1934. Camden Chapter 64 expired after thirty-three years, 1867-1900, but Camden 159 is active, as is Camden Council 132. Danny W. Seaton, Grand Master 1981, is a member of Camden 179.

This County history is prior to 1994.Bedford County began its Masonic career in 1824 when Shelbyville Lodge 49 was organ...
02/11/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Bedford County began its Masonic career in 1824 when Shelbyville Lodge 49 was organized with Archibald Yell, then a young man of 27 but a veteran of three wars, as its Master. The Lodge failed in 1838, but was reorganized in 1847 as Shelbyville Benevolent 122, which has mothered other Lodges in the County, of which but one remains, Normandy 617, 1901. Those failing were: Bellbuckle 628, 1906-1977; Mt. Tabor 315, at Unionville, 1866-1948; Reliance 268, at Bellbuckle, 1858-1898; Libanus 308, at Wartrace, 1866-1940; Flat Creek 384, 1869-1891; Richmond 415, 1871-1882; Wartrace 454, 1874-1883; Wartrace 531, 1889-1918 and Bellbuckle 609 by Dispensation 1898, revoked without Charter, 1900. Tannehill Chapter 40, at Shelbyville, 1852, is active, but King Solomon Council 61 failed prior to 1866. From this county, in addition to Yell, Grand Master 1831, came Henry Cooper, United States Senator 1869-1975, and John Templeton, Grand Master 1991, a member of 122.

Sash pin and belt buckle from Mount Vernon Commandery No. 1, Columbus, Ohio.
02/10/2020

Sash pin and belt buckle from Mount Vernon Commandery No. 1, Columbus, Ohio.

This County history is prior to 1994.Anderson County Lodges that are active begin with Alpha 376 at Clinton, 1868 and fo...
02/10/2020

This County history is prior to 1994.

Anderson County Lodges that are active begin with Alpha 376 at Clinton, 1868 and four others: Valley 383, at Andersonville, 1869, Coal Creek 492 at Lake City, 1877, Crystal 616, at Briceville, 1901 and Faith 756. Utopia 562 was absorbed by 376 in 1942. Ruby Chapter 102, at Clinton, lasted three years, 1871-1873, but Coal Creek Chapter 155, at Lake City, 1900, continues. The County also has Alpha Chapter 223, Palmyra Chapter 218, Adoniram Council 114 and Chevalier Commandery 21.

Ernest Edwards, Grand Commander 1977, and Joe L. Neal, Grand Master of the Grand Council, were both members of Faith 756. Joe Neal attended Grand Lodge many times and, facetiously, had a reserved seat, a claim which most of the Brethren respected.

Wooden disc with raised Knight Templar Cross & Crown.  Made by Henry S. Staley, circa 1933.
02/09/2020

Wooden disc with raised Knight Templar Cross & Crown. Made by Henry S. Staley, circa 1933.

An item of National historical significance.  The saber, sheath and leather cover used at the funeral of former U. S. Pr...
02/09/2020

An item of National historical significance. The saber, sheath and leather cover used at the funeral of former U. S. President James K. Polk by PGM John Snider Dashiell in 1849.

Leather Knight Templar uniform cuff
02/09/2020

Leather Knight Templar uniform cuff

Black velvet Knight Templar apron with metal emblems.
02/09/2020

Black velvet Knight Templar apron with metal emblems.

Willoughby Williams, one of the prominent citizens of Nashville, in his "Reminiscence of the early days in Nashville", h...
02/09/2020

Willoughby Williams, one of the prominent citizens of Nashville, in his "Reminiscence of the early days in Nashville", has given us some very interesting facts concerning the Masons of that period, commencing with 1809 which was probably the year in which he came to Nashville. (History of Davidson County.) He was a member of Nashville Lodge 37 and was exalted in Cumberland Chapter, December 1, 1824. He was born in 1798, possibly in North Carolina. (A Willoughby Williams is registered as a resident of Dobbs County, North Carolina in the census of 1790 who was also a member of the General Assembly that year, probably a relative.)

He was one of the Justices of Davidson County in 1827, but his interests were chiefly commercial. From him we learn several facts about the Masons in Tennessee. Joseph Norvell and his brother Moses Norvell founded the Nashville Whig in 1812. Joseph was City Treasurer several years, also Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge, 1826-1829 and again 1841-1842; Moses Norvell was Grand Secretary, 1817-1822. Robert Searcy was Clerk of the United States Court at Nashville; Bennett Searcy was Judge of the Clarksville District. Thomas G. Bradford published many of Judge Haywood's books. Anthony Foster, was an uncle of Ephraim H. Foster; Colonel Robert Hays married a sister of Mrs. Andrew Jackson and his daughter married Colonel Robert I. Chester. John Donelson, brother of Mrs. Andrew Jackson was the father of Mrs. Gen. John Coffee, Mrs. John C. McLemore and Mrs. Andrew Jackson Donelson. George Wilson, first Deputy Grand Master, serving four terms, 1813-1814, 1822-1823 and three terms as Senior Grand Warden, 1819-1821, bought the Knoxville Gazette from George Roulston and, in 1818 moved to Nashville and published the Nashville Gazette, 1819-1827. His "Reminiscence" was written in 1880, signing himself, Willoughby Williams, born 1798, now in my 82d year; mind and memory unimpaired by age,"

02/08/2020

William B. Reese, Jurist, was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee, November 19, 1793, his family being among the first settlers and his father a prominent lawyer and supporter of the State of Franklin. He was educated at Blount College (later renamed East Tennessee University) and Greeneville College, admitted to the Bar in 1817, elected Chancellor of the Eastern Division, 1832; Justice of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, 1835, serving twelve years and declining re-election. He was defeated for the United States Senate by John Bell; was then made President of East Tennessee University (later renamed The University of Tennessee), continuing until his death. He was a member of Mount Libanus Lodge 59 at Knoxville.

John Eaton was born near Scotland Neck, Halifax County, North Carolina, June 18, 1790.  He was educated at theUniversity...
02/07/2020

John Eaton was born near Scotland Neck, Halifax County, North Carolina, June 18, 1790. He was educated at theUniversity of North Carolina, 1803-1804; studied law and began his practice at Franklin, Tennessee. He was a member of the General Assembly, 1815-1816; United States Senator, 1818-1829; Secretary of War, 1829-1831; Territorial Governor of Florida, 1834-1836, and United States Minister to Spain, 1838-1840. He was a member of Cumberland Lodge 8, at Nashville, and died at Washington, D. C., November 17, 1856.

General William Hall, born in Surry County, North Carolina, February 11, 1775, moved first to New River, North Carolina ...
02/06/2020

General William Hall, born in Surry County, North Carolina, February 11, 1775, moved first to New River, North Carolina in 1779, then to Sumner County, Tennessee in 1785. He was a Representative in the General Assembly from Sumner County in 1797, 1801 and 1803; was a Brigadier General in the war with the Creeks, 1813, and with the British, 1814-1815; State Senator from Sumner County, 1821-1829, Speaker of the Senate, 1827-1829; Governor of Tennessee, April 16 to October 1, 1829, following the resignation of Governor Houston. He served as Major General of the State Militia; was a Member of Congress 1831-1833; thereafter engaged in farming on his estate "Locust Land" near Castallian Springs, where he died October 1, 1856, being buried on his home place. He was a member of King Solomon Lodge 6 at Gallatin.

John H. Marable was born near Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, Virginia, November  18, 1786, studied medicine in Philade...
02/05/2020

John H. Marable was born near Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, Virginia, November 18, 1786, studied medicine in Philadelphia, moved to Yellow Creek, Tennessee and practiced medicine. He was a State Senator, 1817-1818; failed of re-election; was a Member of Congress, 1825 to 1829, then resumed practicing medicine. He was a member of Montgomery Lodge 10 at Clarksville and was exalted in Clarksville Chapter in 1825. He died April 11, 1844 and was buried in Marable Cemetery near Clarksville.

John Bell was born near Nashville, February 15, 1797, graduated from the University of Nashville in 1814, and practiced ...
02/04/2020

John Bell was born near Nashville, February 15, 1797, graduated from the University of Nashville in 1814, and practiced law at Franklin. He was a Representative in the General Assembly before becoming of age (1817) from Williamson County, and moved to Nashville. He was a Member of Congress 1827 to 1841, Speaker of the House, 1834; appointed Secretary of War in 1841; was United States Senator from Tennessee, 1847 to 1859, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency in 1860 on the Constitutional Union ticket. He married a grand-daughter of Colonel Hardy Murfree. He was a member of King Solomon Lodge 6 at Gallatin and died at Cumberland Iron Works, September 10, 1869.

Francis McGavock was born in Wythe County, Virginia, January 31, 1794 and came to Nashville.  He was educated at the Uni...
02/03/2020

Francis McGavock was born in Wythe County, Virginia, January 31, 1794 and came to Nashville. He was educated at the University of Nashville, had charge of the State Office for the Registration of Lands and was Clerk of Chancery Court. He was a member of Nashville Lodge 37 and Cumberland Chapter. He died December 23, 1866. His brother Randall McGavock, a prominent merchant of Nashville, was initiated in Cumberland Lodge 8, January 22, 1818.

Address

100 7th Ave. N.
Nashville, TN
37203

Opening Hours

Monday 09:30 - 16:00
Tuesday 09:30 - 16:00
Wednesday 09:30 - 16:00
Thursday 09:30 - 16:00
Friday 09:30 - 16:00

Telephone

(615) 255-2625

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