Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, January 19, 2015

More on the Early History of the Mason Lodge of Pelham: Winyah Lodge No. 866 F. & A. M.

I have written before of the early history of the Masonic Lodge known as Winyah Lodge No. 866 F. & A. M. (and its temple) established in 1909.  For example, see:  

Mon., May 30, 2005:  Early History of the Winyah Lodge U.D. of Pelham, New York.

Wed., Mar. 08, 2006:  The 1939 Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Masonic Temple in Pelham, NY.

On November 1, 1908, a group of Masons headed by Village of North Pelham druggist Seth T. Lyman, met in the meeting room of Hiawatha Lodge No. 434 F. & A. M. in Mount Vernon to organize a new masonic lodge in the Town of Pelham to be known as Winyah Lodge.  

Winyah Lodge purchased the former club house of The Pelham Village Club in the Village of North Pelham and dedicated it as the Pelham Masonic Temple on Labor Day, September 6, 1909.   

For many years, the Winyah Lodge commemorated the opening of the Temple with special celebrations held on special anniversaries including the 20th, the 25th, and the 30th Anniversaries. Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog transcribes an article on the early history of the Winyah Lodge published to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the lodge.

Post Card View of the Village Club Building in
North Pelham Acquired by the Winyah Lodge and
Opened as its Temple in 1909.

Cover of Program for the 30th Anniversary Celebration
of the Dedication of the Masonic Temple in Pelham,
New York, Five Years After the Silver Anniversary Celebration
Described Below. Source: Collection of the Author.

An intimate story of the founding of Winyah Lodge, No. 866, F. & A. M., written by the lodge historian.  A tribute to the charter members, at observance of the twentieth birthday of the lodge, May 6th.

'A little over twenty years ago, a group of enthusiastic Pelham Masons met at the home of Brother Seth T. Lyman, at the corner of Fifth avenue and First street, where the old Post Office was then located, and decided that a Masonic lodge would be a desirable acquisition for the Town of Pelham.  After considering many names for the new lodge, the unanimous decision was Winyah.

'Winyah is the name of an old Indian tribe who used to live along the coast of South Carolina.  The Bay near Georgetown, S. C., is named Winyah after it.

'In the year 1847 Colonel Richard Lathers of Georgetown, S. C., bought several hundred acres of land in the villages of New Rochelle and Pelhamville extending to Fifth avenue, including what is now known as Pelhamwood.  Colonel Lathers named his homestead Winyah Park, and it was from this park that the name Winyah was taken.  It might be of interest here to state that there was another lodge named Winyah:  this was the Winyah Lodge of Georgetown, S. C., whose charter dates from 1743.  It was one of the oldest lodges of Colonial times.

'After deciding upon Winyah as the name of the new lodge, the twenty Masons petitioned the Grand Master for a dispensation to conduct a lodge in Pelham.  The following names appear on the petition:

Seth T. Lyman, Louis C. Young, Harry A. Anderson, G. I. Karbach, George C. Rupert, H. Elliott Coe, Isaac C. Hill, W.: John T. Logan, Henry L. Rupert, Charles E. Boss, John H. Young, George Stead, Emil Ericson, David B. Algie, W. F. C. Tichborne, Charles R. Wallander, A. Wilbur Crane, Edward Thurnaer, Joseph J. White, Charles A. Barker.

'The Dispensation was duly granted by the Grand Master .: W.: S. Nelson Sawyer, and on November 17, 1908, Winyah Lodge met at the old odge rooms of Hiawatha Lodge No. 434 F. & A. M., in Mount Vernon, with Seth T. Lyman, Master; H. Elliott Coe, Senior Warden, and Louis C. Young, Junior Warden, for the purpose of receiving from R.: W.: Frank V. Millard, District Deputy, the Dispensation empowering the above twenty Masons to conduct Winyah Lodge in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Grand Lodge and their own By-Laws.  On May 6, 1909, the Grand Lodge, assembled in New York, decided that the necessary requirements were fulfilled and thereupon granted a charter constituting Winyah Lodge No. 866 F. & A. M.  It is that event that we are tonight commemorating.

'The first Stated Communication of Winyah Lodge No. 866 F. & A. M., was held on June 1, 1909, in the lodge rooms of Hiawatha Lodge No. 434, Mount Vernon, N. Y., and upon that occasion the Master, Seth T. Lyman, received the Charter from M.: W.: Edward M. L. Ehlers.  The officers of Winyah Lodge at that time were as follows:

Seth T. Lyman, Master; H. Elliott Coe, Senior Warden; Louis C. Young, Junior Warden; Isaac C. Hill, Treasurer; Joseph W. Stone, Secretary; Albert L. Logan, Senior Deacon; Edward M. C. Logan, Junior Deacon; Julius A. Nelson, Senior Master of Ceremonies; Rohn Rohrs, Jr., Junior Master of Ceremonies; Rev. Herbert H. Brown, Chaplain; Samuel J. Adler, Senior Steward; Horace E. Burnett, Junior Steward; Walter R. Harris, Marhsal; Fred W. Case, Tyler.

Trustees:  William R. Montgomery, Walter F. C. Tichborne, A. Wilbur Crane.

The above officers with the following brethren constituted the thirty-five charter members of Winyah Lodge No. 866, F. & A. M.:

David B. Algie, Harry A. Anderson, Charles E. Boss, Edward M. bray, Barthelemy G. Donzel, Emil Ericson, Ludwig W. Elsinger, Charles Fistere, Albert D. Frost, Andrew Heisser, George C. Rupert, Henry L. Rupert, George Stead, Edward Thurnaer, Joseph J. White, Jacob A. Wirth, Charles R. Wallender, John H. Young.

'Winyah Lodge up to this time had no home of its own, holding the various meetings at Hiawatha Lodge No. 434, in Mount Vernon, N. Y., and Huguenot Lodge No. 46, in New Rochelle, N. Y.  Many of the members of Winyah Lodge with a few non-Masons formed the Hutchinson Realty Co., and built the present Temple.  The first meeting held in the new temple was on October 30, 1909, when the final arrangements for the dedication of the Lodge room were made.  The Temple was duly dedicated on November 6, 1909, by M.: W.: Edward M. L. Ehlers, assisted by the Grand Lodge Officers.  Upon this occasion R.: W.: Charles G. F. Wahle directed the choir of the Church of the Redeemer in the rendition of appropriate music.  It was the largest Masonic gathering ever held in Pelham, and many Masons were unable to gain admission.  After the dedication a banquet was served in the club room, and there were about 250 guests.

'Winyah Lodge received many gifts -- too many to note them all here.  The Holy Bible was presented by W.: John T. Logan and the Square and Compasses by R.: W.: and Mrs. Charles G. F. Wahle.  Both theme gifts are still in use on the Altar.

'The first election of officers of Winyah as a charter lodge took place at the sixth stated communication, held December 21, 1909.

'Seth T. Lyman was re-elected Master; H. Elliott Coe was re-elected Senior Warden; Louis C. Young was re-elected Junior Warden; Isaac C. Hill was re-elected Treasurer and Joseph W. Stone was re-elected.  

'The first public installation of officers was held on January 4, 1910.  R.: W.: Charles G. F. Wahle acting as Grand Master, and W.: John T. Logan as Grand Marshal.  This public installation was greatly enjoyed and so it has ever since been a yearly feature eagerly looked forward to by the brethren and their friends; Judge Wahle always as Grand Master, and John T. Logan, until his death, as Grand Marshal.

'Space does not permit us going further into details regarding the early life of Winyah Lodge,, but we would be unappreciative if we did not, at this time, pay our humble tribute to the invaluable services so faithfully performed and so cheerfully given by R.: W.:: Charles G. F. Wahle, W.: John T. Logan and W.: Adolph Wade.

'Before concluding we must express our appreciation for the work of those who labored so unceasingly for the lodge in its early days especially our beloved first master, R.: W.: Seth T. Lyman, the father of Winyah.'"

Source:  Montgomery, William R., WINYAH, TWENTY YEARS AGO, The Pelham Sun, May 17, 1929, p. 15, cols. 2-3.

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