Masonry in Boyne City (1882-2011)

The history of Masonry in Boyne City, Michigan.

By: Edward May III, Historian

Edward May III, Historian

Beardsley Building First Masonic Lodge- Location Top Floor

1881  Dispensation is granted by Most Worshipful Grand Master Spaulding, September 20, 1881, empowering work under the name of Boyne City Lodge No 391 F. & A. M.[private]

When the Boyne City Masonic Lodge received her dispensation two other Lodges received theirs – one in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and the other in Verona, Michigan.  Neither of these two Lodges remain chartered today.

The first Boyne City Masonic Lodge building - the Beardsley Building

Shown here is a copy of that dispensation:

Grand Lodge


Free & Accepted Masons

of the

State of Michigan

To all whom these presents may concern, greetings:

Whereas, sundry brethren, residing within this Masonic grand jurisdiction, to wit:

William Mears, Archabald D. Carpenter, Richard K. Crane, William Jones,

Gilbert H. White, Frank J. Crigier, Solomon Richardson, Ashbel F. Herron

Have presented to me, the Grand Master of Masons for the state of Michigan, a petition, in which the brethren, named as aforesaid, declare; that they are master masons in good and regular standing; that they have procured a suitable room, with convenient ante-rooms, for the practice of Masonic rites; and that the material in their proposed jurisdiction is sufficient to sustain a healthy and reputable lodge; for these and other good reasons, praying for a dispensation empowering them to assemble as a lodge,  and to practice the rites and duties of masonry in the several degrees of  entered apprentice, fellow craft and master mason, in a regular and lawful manner, according to the ancient forms of the fraternity,  and the regulations of this grand lodge,  to which they promise a strict obedience and conformity.

And whereas, the said petition is accompanied by the properly attested certificates of the worshipful master, wardens and brethren of Charlevoix lodge no.  282, of Durand lodge no. 344 and of Cyrene lodge no.  352.  (The three lodges, of this Grand Jurisdiction, nearest the place at which the proposed new lodge is to be holden) vouching for the truth of the statements contained in the petition aforesaid, and recommending that the prayer of the petitioners be granted; and, is also accompanied, by a certificate from Willard a. Smith the r. W.  M.  Of Charlevoix Lodge no 282 that the brothers named, in the petition aforesaid, for master and wardens, are qualified to open and close a lodge, and confer the three degrees of ancient craft masonry.

Therefore, I, Alanson Partridge Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Michigan, by virtue of the authority in me vested by the grand lodge aforesaid, do hereby grant this dispensation, authorizing and empowering our trusty and well beloved brethren aforesaid, to form and open a Lodge in the Village of Boyne city in the County of Charlevoix and State of Michigan, to be called Boyne Lodge, and therein

To admit and make Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and Master Masons,

In accordance with the ancient usages and customs of the fraternity, and requiring them to obey in all things, the constitution, laws and edicts of this Grand Lodge.

And I do hereby appoint our worthy brother William Mears to be the first master, brother Archabald D. Carpenter to be the first senior warden, and Brother Frank J. Crigier to be the first junior warden, of said lodge.

And at least the days before the next annual communication of this grand lodge, it shall be their duty, and they are hereby required to forward to the grand secretary of this grand lodge, this dispensation, and their lodge records containing a copy of this dispensation and a correct report of all work done and proceedings had under the authority hereby conferred, together with a attested copy of bylaws, for examination, and for such further action thereon, by the grand lodge, as shall be, by it,  deemed wise and proper.

This dispensation to continue in full force until the next annual communication of the grand lodge aforesaid, unless sooner revoked.

In testimony whereby, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the

Grand lodge to be affixed, at Grand Rapids on this 28 day of January

A.D.  1882, A. L.  5882

Alanson Partridge     Grand Master.

Attest:         William P. Innes                       Grand Secretary.

Masonic membership fees to Grand Lodge are 35 cents per year.

Initiation fees to Grand Lodge for the degrees are $1.00 per brother.

The Lodge’s three principal officers under dispensation are:

The first Worshipful Master,   William Mears

The first Senior Warden,                   Archibald D. Carpenter

The first Junior Warden,                   Frank J. Crigier

The first information about Boyne City Masons that I have located in local writings is by Anna E. Dietze in her 1956 “early history of the      Boyne Region.” She credits the Masons with being involved in the New Year’s celebration held in Boyne City at the Masonic Hall and in serving oyster supper at the W. H. White House.

Masonic Lodge regular communications are held on Saturday evening after the full moon of each month.  This allows for travel by horse and foot when there is the most natural light available.  At this time street lights and others are by oil when and where available.  The brothers who travel from the rural areas are hard pressed without illumination from the moon.  Hence the name “Moon Lodge” was assigned as a colloquial expression to many fraternal organizations.

The Long-Time Boyne City Masonic Lodge

The Masons from Boyne City lodge have masonically served their community and the Grand Lodge of Michigan as;

Lodge Officers, Worshipful Masters, District Deputy Instructors, Board of General Purpose, Michigan Grand Lodge Secretary, Secretary of Masonic Service & Education, and Chairman of Michigan Masonic Service & Education for the State.

Many of our Lodge members have traveled further into the Masonic Fraternity by joining the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, and the Ancient Accepted Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Our Brothers have held many offices in these bodies as well.

Our Lodge members have visited most all the Lodges in the State of Michigan, have attended Lodges in many other states in and visited many Lodges or held membership in other foreign countries.

There have been about 900 Boyne men that were members of our Lodge.

These men of Boyne # 391 have served us since the Lodge dispensation in 1882 for 129 years. They are a true representative of the oldest fraternity in the United States.


Edward May III,

Past Master, Boyne City Lodge

Curmudgeonly Historian

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