Golden Rule

History of Golden Rule


In 1876, as the United States recovered from the after effects of the Civil War and ascending upon its 100th anniversary of its birth, Goldenrule Lodge No.770 was formed in the Eight District. Civil War veterans in neighboring communities of New York City decided to form a Masonic Lodge in Harlem to circumvent the long travel to the lower portion of the city, which took many hours. The establishment of Adolph Zabinski at 125th Street and Third Avenue became their meeting place whereupon they decided to petition the Grand Lodge and form their own Lodge. Having performed exemplary work in Emanuel Lodge No. 654, full approval was readily obtained.

On January 26th, 1876, M:. W :. Elwood H. Thorn” granted dispensation to Barnett Barnett, Ernest A. Levy, Isaac Barnett, Samuel Cohen, Isaac Goldsmid, Elias Goodman, William H. Hayes, John Marco, Joseph Murphy, William H. Pailes, C.T. Scribner, Adolph Zabinski and Gabriel Zabinski to form Goldenrule Lodge. W:. Samuel Cohen was its first Master.

On February 2nd, 1876, the Lodge was instituted by Mortimer C. Addoms, District Deputy Grand Master of the Eighth District in Loμnge Rooms of the Hotel Remsen House on 130th Street and Third Avenue. It proved its accessibility also to Brethren of the Bronx, Mott Haven, Morrisania, Port Jervis, High Bridge and Melrose, with transportation available via steamboat and stagecoach, and eventually also by the Third Avenue Railroad which was, at that time, a cable car line. New ownership of the Remsen House renovated the establishment and it became known as the Olympic Theatre, obligating the Lodge to relocate to the Horton Building at 147 avenue and West 125th Street where it met from 1881 to 1903. As was common in those days, the Lodge then moved to the Twelfth Ward Bank Building at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, and then to the Harlem Masonic Temple until 1925. Subsequently, the Lodge moved to the William McKinley Temple because the Brethren never felt justified in leaving the traditions of our founders and wished to stay within the Harlem District. Many of our charter members were merchants reared in New York, Britain, Ireland, Germany and Prussia. Brother Elias Goodman was not only active within the Lodge, but served the community as its municipal legislator or alderman for many years, having been elected to that office more than anyone who had ever had been on the Board of Alderman. During the period between the Institution and Constitution of the Lodge, 19 Brethren were initiated, passed and raised bringing the total membership of the Lodge to 35 Master Masons. Two of our more prominent Brethren at that time were Brother George Williams, who constructed the Third avenue elevated railroad from 99th to 129th St., and Brother Charles Francies, a New York City police officer who made many heroic rescues at the McCombs Dam Bridge. As one of the instructors of the Lodge, Brother Francies would have newly made Brethren meet at the bridge and have them walk back and forth across it while practicing their ritual work. Our charter members were quite active with more than one degree conferred in one evening, and meeting on the first, third and fourth Wednesdays of each month.

Goldenrule Lodge and Ionic Lodge merged in 1969 to form Goldenrule Ionic Lodge No. 770

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