A Short History of Webster Lodge No. 164 A.F. & A. M.
1871 through 2005.


In response to an appeal by Frank Sleeper and several other Brethren from the Town of Webster, a dispensation was issued by Grand Lodge on September 23rd, 1871 to allow these Brethren to form a new Masonic Lodge in the Town of Webster. Said Lodge was formed and a year later a formal charter was issued. The Lodge has met in at least five building locations over it''''s lifetime. Most recently it has been held at the Wales Grange Hall, in which the Webster Masonic Temple Association now holds a 50 percent ownership interest. Prior to that, Lodge was held on the top floor of the Sabattus (formerly the Town of Webster) Town hall for 65 years, having moved there in August of 1937. At a prior time the Lodge did own property, but never occupied it. Movement to Wales was necessitated by the closure of the old Sabattus Town Hall building in 2003. From the records found from the inception of Webster Lodge through June 5th 2005, there have been recorded some 2,056 meetings of the Brethren. Of these, 1,301 have been noted as "Stated" meetings. Initially, Lodge was held on a Thursday on or before the Full moon of each month to allow the Brethren good night travel by horse and carriage. This was changed to the third Thursday of each Month after use of horses as transportation disappeared. There have been 1,829 meetings opened on the Master Mason''''s Degree, 103 opened in the Fellowcraft Degree, and 127 opened in the Entered Apprentice Degree. Webster Lodge has conferred 371 EA degrees, 364 FC Degrees and 367 MM Degrees. Some 25 stated communications were not opened either for lack of attendance or inclemency of the weather. There have been 77 Master''''s of Webster Lodge, one of whom died between election and installation, hence only 76 were installed Masters. The founding master M.W. Frank E. Sleeper served in this capacity for eleven years, the most of any Master recorded. Six Masters of Webster Lodge have been District Deputy Grand Masters, including Dr. Sleeper, a great leader in Maine Freemasonry, having held numerous offices in several bodies and ultimately becoming Grand Master in 1887-88. Webster Lodge has sponsored and hosted Lakeside Chapter No. 60 O.E.S. since about 1903. In 2002, Webster Lodge was notified that the Town Hall building in Sabattus would be closed and not available for our use. In the Fall of 2002, the Webster Masonic Temple Association (WMTA) negotiated a position of half ownership in the Wales Grange Hall, home of Wales Grange No. 40 P.O.H. On January 23, 2003, papers were passed forming a Mutual Agreement with the Grange and WMTA whereby the Lodge Association would provide funds and renovations to the very ailing Grange Hall. The agreement provides that this building would remain usable by the Grange, Webster Lodge, Lakeside Chapter and the Wales Snowmobile Club. Major renovations to the Grange Hall built in 1896 began in April 2003. Over the next 25 months the existing dilapidated building addition was removed and replaced by a slightly larger one, providing a self contained section that could be economically heated, allowing installation of a water system and modern toilets, never before available there. The addition contains a modern kitchen, toilets, storage room, furnace room and two second floor offices for the Grange and Lodge. Major structural repairs were made to the original hall building and the dining hall was renovated to include a buffet serving line in place of the former "Summer Kitchen". Nearly all labor expended was volunteer labor, leaving the short supply of funds for materials. Webster Lodge and Lakeside Chapter moved their possessions to Wales on September 9, 2003. Lakeside Chapter was first to host a communication there on September 9th. Webster Lodge held their first meeting in Wales on September 18th, 2003. With the work now completed, on the afternoon of June 5th, 2005, MW Claire V. Tusch and his suite of Grand Lodge officers, conducted a formal dedication of the Lodge Hall.
Elbert O. Derick, Secretary, Webster Lodge No. 164 A.F. & A.M.