In the late 1890s a group of prominent North Tonawanda Masons, mostly from Tonawanda Lodge # 247, decided that the time was right to form a Lodge in North Tonawanda. On June 30, 1898 they petitioned Grand Lodge for a Charter to form Master Builders Lodge, and dispensation was granted. On June 7, 1899 M.W. William A. Sutherland, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, granted them a Charter to operate as Sutherland Lodge #826. This was deemed normal for a Grand Master to have a Lodge formed during his term in his name.
The Lodge flourished under great leadership from many dedicated officers and members, attracting many community leaders and businessmen, including many Lumber Barons during the days of the boom times of Lumber shipping in the early 1900s to 1920s such as Legrand Degraff and Harold Gorsline. Allen Herschel of Carousel fame and Vernon Curtiss of Durez plastics and chemicals are part of our historical legacy.
Over the years we met at several places, always looking for a home of our own. After the death of Legrand Degraff, his mansion was willed to us, but the cost to remodel it to make it suitable as a Masonic Lodge was beyond the Lodge's means and they had to regretfully refuse that generous offer. This happened during what we now call the Great Depression. Several members left us donations in their wills and in 1970 the present building was purchased. Through hard work and dedication many improvements have been made, to make our Lodge what it is now.
Since its humble start, this Lodge has had 20 of our members receive Grand Lodge appointments. Of these, 10 were District Deputy Grand Masters. Over the years many of our members have gone on to lead both York and Scottish Rite bodies. Many have proven themselves in local politics, providing several Mayors and Councilmen.
We have supported or sponsored other Masonic related bodies such as Agustus H. Crown Chapter O.E.S. and Fellowcraft Order of DeMolay, one of whose Master Councillors became State Master Councillor and then Master of our Lodge upon joining the Fraternity. At the present time we proudly sponsor Starlight Constellation of Junior Stars. We also provide Scholarships for students at our Local High School by doing a Flower Sale and Chicken BBQ each year, to earn money for that and many other local charities.
We are now celebrating 114 years of Masonic service in three different Centuries and with the blessing of the Great Architect of the Universe and the dedication of future members, we will endure for at least one more.

Charter Members:

Archibald C .W.
B a r n a r d , T. P . C .
Bellinger William
Beltz, J. C.
Bentley F .W.
Bubb ,J. G.
Cameron, Rev. Duncan
Davies, E. M.
Edwards, J. H.
Fowler, . C.
Hathway A . M.
Hathway, W. M.
Helwig ,J. E.
Herschell Allan
Herschell,George C.
Hershey, P. D.
H u m p h r e y P . S .
Knapp. F.W.
Knapp, H.J.
Leonhardt, H. C.
Marshall C .K.
Milliner G .W.
Mills, W. M.
Mundie, Cummings
McBean, George
McCormick. C. W.
McDonald E .C.
M c K e e n A. E.
Patten ,J.M.
Paul J.G.
Pierce, M. B.
Rand, J. H.
Rasch. A. C.
Rous, W. L.
Rumbold J.H.
Schroeder M, .H.
Smeaton ,J. V
Stocum,T. E.
Swan,L. H.
Thompson J . S.
Vandervoort, L. R.
Vroman, Dow
Warner, T. E.
Webster,L. L.
Woodruff, S. C.
Yates, J. E.

Charter Members Under Dispensation:

Allen.A. S.
Oille,W. C.
Bliss,Joshua S.
Skene J. A.
Hanington E . B.
Swan. Landon E.
M a r s h C . S
White, Guy
Mott, Frank S.
Bestier E. C.
Sanford G .W
Fassett, F.W
Stock, E. L.
Kelsey W. E.
W e a d , S.C .
Arnold, George E.
Palmer, W. C.
Clendenan C.W
Hepworth. C. E. C.
Wagenschuetz, F. F
M c C o y, F.A .

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