History of North Star Lodge No. 8
North Star Lodge was formed in 1797 by fifteen Masons (three of whom lived in Lancaster, the others living along the Connecticut River from Canada to the White Mountains) and granted a charter by the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire on 18 December 1797. The first lodge chartered after the Grand Lodge voted to number lodges according to seniority, it was given the number eight.
The surrounding country was an almost unbroken wilderness, and the roads were frequently only passable on foot or horseback. Due to these traveling conditions, the Lodge met for more than a century on "the Tuesday of the week in which the moon fulls in each month." They met in the afternoon and the light of the full moon assisted the men in finding their way home. The lodge met in Northumberland only until 1800, when it was given permission to move to Lancaster.
The Lodge met in a variety of locations until in 1884 it purchased the "old meeting house" which had been moved to the corner of Main St. and Mechanic St. This building was destroyed by fire about the turn of the century.
The present town hall building was constructed and jointly owned by the town and the North Star Corporation, formed by the various Masonic bodies using the building. It was dedicated on 17 July 1901 and a time capsule was placed in the cornerstone in the Northeast corner of the building. During the economic downturns of succeeding decades, the town became the owners of the building with the Masonic Fraternity occupying the third floor. In 1997, five Masonic Bodies, including North Star Lodge, meet in this Hall.
In its two centuries, North Star Lodge has been the "mother" to eight other lodges, in Colebrook, Lisbon, Littleton, Gorham, Whitefield, and Groveton, NH, as well as St. Johnsbury and Island Pond, VT.
On January 1, 2000, the members of White Mountain Lodge (Whitefield) rejoined their mother lodge. A History of White Mountain Lodge is included below. On November 19, 2011, the members of Gilkey Lodge (Groveton) rejoined their mother lodge.
Today North Star Lodge meets on the first Thursday of the month, electricity and automobiles having eliminated the need to meet by the phase of the moon. But none of the modern conveniences have eliminated the value of good men meeting together, in friendship and fraternity, to serve God and their fellow man.