HISTOR OF NUTLEY LODGE #25
Northern Lodge, chartered on January 12, 1853, is our senior member and from who we get our #25. Originating in Newark, there were but three other lodges in town at that time: St. John’s #1, Newark #7, and Diogenes #22. It was a comparatively small city then, with a population of 42,000. Franklin Pierce was President, George Fort was Governor, and James Quinby was Mayor. Public parks were still fenced in to keep stray cattle from browsing and both candles and whale oil lamps furnished light for meetings.
Most Worshipful Edward Stewart, Grand Master, and Joseph H. Hough, Grand Secretary, signed her charter. The first meeting was held on April 7, 1853 at a room on the junction of Broad and Orange Streets.
The selection of Master and Wardens was a poetic one. Edward T. Hillyer, a lawyer, was elected Master. John R. Crockett, an oiled silk manufacturer was made Senior Warden and Dennis W. Morris, the owner of the malleable iron business at 25 Orange St. occupied the South. The strong hand of the law, the silken tie that binds ever so lightly yet tightly, and the band of iron that holds all firmly together, were behind Northern in its infancy. The child, thus protected, grew firm and strong.
Ten years after its founding, Northern’s membership was 190 strong and after fifty years she had 466 members. By 1928 her membership had soared to 1170, making her the second largest Masonic Lodge in the State!
Among its more prominent members were: Levi H. Sanford, a founding member and 5 times Master, George M. Robeson, a future General of the Union Army, Secretary of the United States Navy and a member of Congress, and William Mead, the Grand Lecturer of New Jersey for many years. In addition, Ernest A. Reed became the founder of the National Masonic Research Society and the First Executive Officer of the DeMolay and Charles P. Gullick went on to become the President of National Oil Products.
Northern met at seven different locations over the years and finally moved into her own building on May 22, 1922, at the corner of Third Ave. and Broad St. The Great Depression forced the building’s sale in 1940. Meetings were then held on Broad St. opposite the Hotel Berwick. In 1963 she relocated to 235 Main St. in the city of Orange.
Northern Lodge once again made Masonic history in May of 1944 by raising the first blind man, Arthur L. Voorhees.
23 Masons who lived in Roseville met on the third floor of the real estate office of John D. Toppin on the corner of Roseville Ave. and Orange St on the evening of November 13th, 1874. They pledged $10 apiece (which then was 2 ½ years of dues) to furnish this room and Br. Toppin further loaned Fifty dollars to pay the required fee for a new charter. On February 26th, 1875 they became Roseville #143 and adopted a seal of a budding rose.
The first Master elected was the prominent Rev. Dr. Dashiel, who declined the honor due to the duties of his Methodist church. Charles B. Day was then elected as Roseville’s first sitting Master. John D. Toppin, an ex-navy man who had fought with Farragut and the guiding force behind the formation of this new lodge, became her second Master in 1877.
On June 8, 1913, W.M. Daniel M. Brown, opened the first communication in the permanent Temple, located at 65 Roseville Ave. Br. Green, a distinguished architect, designed it. The laying of Route 280 forced relocation to 235 Main St., Orange in December of 1966.
Roseville has had the honor of providing the Grand Lodge of New Jersey with two of its Grand Masters: W. Stanley Naughright who was Worshipful Master in 1923 and Grand Master in 1931 and John Herman Buehrer who was Worshipful Master in 1938 and Grand Master in 1956.
Recognizing the need for strength and unity of purpose, Roseville Lodge #143 and Northern Lodge #25 agreed to a consolidation, which became effective on April 13th, 1967. Thus was born Northville Lodge #25. Our first Master under the new name was the Rev. Richard C. Gilbert, later to be made a Grand Chaplain.
On March 5th, 1894, Nutley Lodge was constituted as the 167th lodge by decree of Most Worshipful James H. Durand. The first officers were Lewis M. Thatcher- Master (for three consecutive terms), Adrian Vreeland- Senior Warden, David W. Sherwood-Junior Warden, Ernest E. Faith-Senior Deacon, Benjamin N. Marsh- Junior Deacon, George S. Coe-Secretary, and James Guiles-Tyler.
After several different locations, we found our permanent home in 1952 at 175 Chestnut Street in the heart of Nutley. Brother Charles Eisenfelder, Worshipful Master in 1952, donated the property, and the building was financed by donations from the members. Br. Eisenfelder later went on to become Grand Master in 1969.
On April 19th, 1978 Northville and Nutley extended the Brotherly hand of union and consolidated, Northville providing its number and Nutley its name and building. Br. Jack Steinmetz, later appointed a Grand Chaplain, served as the first Master of Nutley #25.
America Lodge #256, located in Newark, merged with us in April of 1981. Most Worshipful Ralph E. Lum had chartered them on May 16th 1925. Brother Ernest F. Angelicola was Master for the first three years.