History of Caleb Butler Lodge

March 17, 1859 to June 10, 1984 By Wor. David J. Dakin, P.M.

September 10, 1984 – Present By Wor. Charles H. Jones and R.W. Richard W. Van Doren


The following is a brief compilation of some of the important or interesting events extracted from the minutes of Caleb Butler Lodge on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. The history of the first 125 years was compiled by Wor David Joy Dakin for the 125th anniversary. RW Richard Witt Van Doren and Wor Charles Howard Jones added the most recent 25 years. It must be stressed that this is merely a brief summary of events and in no way attempts to recount the entire history of the Lodge. Many events were not included for the sake of brevity. The Lodge is blest to have some members that have been active for many years such as RW H. Arnold Wilder. These “senior” members have a wealth of history and stories, some of which were not recorded in minutes. To learn more of the details of our history, the authors encourage all to speak with those senior members. We are certain that you will be rewarded with very interesting tales.

In going over the records of the Lodge for the past one hundred twenty five years, which comprises 1394 Regular Communications and 2049 Special Communications, I found a great deal of interesting history. This is not offered as a complete history of Caleb Butler Lodge but a brief account of the record of the Lodge from its beginning under dispensation in 1859 until the present time.

On March 17, 1859 a group of Masons met at the home of E. Dana Bancroft in the village of South Groton, now known as Ayer, for the purpose of choosing officers and adopting measures to establish a Masonic Lodge under dispensation. It was voted that E.D. Bancroft serve as Chairman, Arthur Fenner as Secretary, and the name of the Lodge be Excelsior. It was further voted that the Regular Communication would be held on the first Monday after the full moon of each month.

For a complete history of the lodge please see the downloadable file below: