The underlying principle of Masonry is the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. In this war we are engaging in upholding these principles and our enemies are attacking them. - William Howard Taft
History of Freemasonry
No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic Fraternity was formed. A widely accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from the stonemasons' guilds during the Middle Ages. The language and symbols used in the fraternity's rituals come from this era.
The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, printed about 1390, which was a copy of an earlier work. In 1717, four lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England, and records from that point on are more complete.
In old England, it was defined as "a system of morality, veiled in allegory, illustrated by symbols." Masonry is a course of moral instruction which uses both allegories and symbols to teach its lessons.
Today, Freemasonry is defined as "an organized society of men symbolically applying the principles of operative Masonry and architecture to the science and art of character building". This means applying Masonic principles will make you a better person.
What is the purpose of Masonry?
The basic purpose is to make "better men out of good men." There is an emphasis placed on the individual man by strengthening his character, improving his moral and spiritual outlook, and broadening his mental horizons.
Masonry tries to educate its members about:
- The principles of personal responsibility and righteousness
- Understanding of and feeling for Freemasonry's character
- How to put these lessons into practice in their daily life
This is how we try to build a better world - by building better men to work in their own communities. Freemasonry believes in universal peace made possible by teaching its doctrine through the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God.
Our Lodge History
Heritage Lodge #371 was established on April 29th, 1996, but its ancestry goes back nearly two centuries.
Heritage Lodge is the combination of five Lodges that have consolidated throughout the years...
The earliest of these Lodges can be traced back to April 7, 1825 when a dispensation was granted to form a Lodge in Greenwich Village with the number 381. Due to unknown circumstances, Greenwich Lodge #381 surrendered its warrant to the Grand Secretary on December 7, 1835.