Friendship Lodge No. 84 A.F. & A.M.
History of Friendship Lodge No. 84
Randall's General Directory 1893
Randall's General Directory 1893
1907 Postcard
1907 Postcard
2014 View
2014 View
Combining Two Lodges
The first lodge in Washington County was Mt. Moriah No. 33 in Hagerstown (then called Elizabethtown). It was charted in 1802. Mt. Moriah flourished until the 1830s. In 1821, in Boonsboro, Ureka Lodge was formed. During the year of 1827, brothers of Mt. Moriah and Ureka, who lived in Williamsport, found it a hardship to travel the six miles to Hagerstown or the twelve miles to Boonsboro to attend lodge meetings. They petitioned Mt. Moriah, the closest lodge, to form a new lodge to be known and designated as Friendship Lodge U.D.

Having gained permission, they petitioned the Grand Lodge of Maryland and Grand Master Howard authorized the lodge to be formed in Williamsport. On May 22, 1827, the lodge received its charter from the Grand Lodge of Maryland. On September 27, 1827, a committee was formed to have the charter framed. This committee acted according to its instructions and the charter is still encased in the same frame. In December of that year, a lodge seal was procured and is still used to this day.

The Anti-Masonic Movement
From 1830-1837, anti-masonic sentiments were at their highest. The Grand Lodge of Maryland consisted of 36 active lodges. However, by 1839, that number fell to 13. Despite bitter struggles during this time, and even talk of dissolving the lodge, Friendship Lodge still battled through. From 1833 to 1838, membership rose from 14 to 26.
In June of 1831, HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaddeus_Stevens"Thaddeus Stevens, a member of the Anti-Masonic Party, gave a speech in Hagerstown. His impassioned speech was so well received that Mt. Moriah Lodge and Ureka Lodge both went out of existence.

From 1845-1846, no meetings were held. The lodge fell into a state of inactivity but remained together. On February 13, 1847, the lodge was meeting again at the Odd Fellows Hall in Hagerstown. This is due to a resolution that was passed by Grand Lodge permitting Friendship Lodge to meet alternately between Williamsport and Hagerstown. This resolution remained in force until 1846 when it was superseded by another, fixing the place of meeting as Hagerstown only.

For a few years, the lodge once again flourished but also fell back into a state of inactivity. Petitions failed to come in, dues were hard to collect, and interest waned until only 20 members remained. Finally, after the meeting held on March 2, 1850, the lodge ceased altogether to meet. In continued to lay dormant until April 22, 1853 when it started to meet again in Williamsport.

In July of 1858, we find Friendship Lodge with seventeen members, back in Hagerstown where she has since remained. By 1860, the number of brothers increased to 50 and to 89 by 1865. The lodge was meeting in the southeast corner of a new building of the Public Square.

Period of Inactivity
From 1845-1846, no meetings were held. The lodge fell into a state of inactivity but remained together. On February 13, 1847, the lodge was meeting again at the Odd Fellows Hall in Hagerstown. This is due to a resolution that was passed by Grand Lodge permitting Friendship Lodge to meet alternately between Williamsport and Hagerstown. This resolution remained in force until 1846 when it was superseded by another, fixing the place of meeting as Hagerstown only.

For a few years, the lodge once again flourished but also fell back into a state of inactivity. Petitions failed to come in, dues were hard to collect, and interest waned until only 20 members remained. Finally, after the meeting held on March 2, 1850, the lodge ceased altogether to meet. In continued to lay dormant until April 22, 1853 when it started to meet again in Williamsport.

The Rebirth
In July of 1858, we find Friendship Lodge with seventeen members, back in Hagerstown where she has sinced remained. By 1860, the number of brothers increased to 50 and to 89 by 1865. The lodge was meeting in the southeast corner of a new building of the Public Square.

On October 9, 1872 Friendship Lodge laid the corner stone of the new Court House which still stands today.

Building the Temple
For years, there was much talk of moving out of the southeast corner of building the lodge had been renting and building its own temple. On February 14, 1898, a new building committee was formed. On April 21, 1898, about three months later, the cornerstone was laid for the new temple. In less than a year, on March 3, 1899, the new temple was dedicated. The location, which is the same today, is the first block of South Potomac St. in Hagerstown.

York Rite Starts
On November 11, 1872 Ithiel Chapter No. 27, Royal Arch Masons was chartered. Then on November 27, 1894 St. Bernard Commandery No. 9, Knights Templar was chartered, and on November 16, 1899 Palestine Council No. 16, Royal and Select Masters was chartered.

The Prosperous Era and Helping to Build Hagerstown
From 1901 to 1927, the lodge experienced great growth and prosperity. Membership increased from 164 in 1900 to 516 in the early part of 1927 - just five hundred more than the lodge started with 100 years earlier.
During these years, the lodge received and accepted invitations to officiate at the laying of cornerstones of important new structures in the city. Among them were the new central Y.M.C.A on North Potomac Street and the new High School on Potomac Avenue.

On May 27, 1939, Friendship Lodge No. 84 and Hagerstown Lodge No. 217, escorted by St. Bernard Commandery No. 9 (Knights Templar), joined together to lay the cornerstone of the new City Hall.

Through the 1940s-1970s, Friendship Lodge No. 84 was very active and prosperous. During the 1950s, the temple underwent renovations to add an elevator, a new tile floor, a new oil furnace, redecorated the Lodge rooms, and added an air conditioner. In 1959, the Good Cheer Club was formed. This led to a renovation of the kitchen where the Good Cheer Club would serve banquets and dinners at the temple.

In 1972, the City Club informed Friendship Lodge that they would pay off the last of Friendship Lodge's mortgage on the temple. This was a gift of over $8,000. In addition, the City Club would also provide an addition $1,500 to refurbish the second floor front room.

At the Bicentennial Celebration of our nation, Friendship Lodge placed several articles into the Bicentennial Time Capsule which was sealed and buried in the southeast corner of the Public Square in Hagerstown. The capsule is schedule to be opened in 2026 with the contents of our envelope being listed in the September 13, 1976 minutes.

Leaving the Temple
In 2015, the Lodge voted to sell the Masonic Temple at 54 South Potomac Street in downtown Hagerstown. Although nobody wanted to move, it was the consensus of the membership that due to the continued costs for maintenance of the building it was necessary to sell the building. In 2017 the building was sold to developer Donald Bowman, who also owned the building next door. The lodge vacated the building as of July 31, 2017.
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