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Wayne Lodge #416 F. & A. M.

1932 Ridge Rd. Ontario, NY 14519
GPS Longitude:-77.28773839999996 / GPS Latitude:43.2218518
Meetings 2nd & 4th Wednesdays September Through June



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The History of Wayne Lodge No. 416

It is unfortunate that the history of Wayne Lodge cannot record the names of all those faithful Brothers who, by their attendance, interest and support during their years of membership have made it possible for this Lodge to celebrate anniversary after anniversary. It was the continued support of those who sat on the "side-lines," contributing to the Lodge their good judgment and advice that strengthened the Craft. By their rectitude of conduct both in the Lodge and abroad in the world they served to make Freemasonry an influence in the community. It is to those members whose names do not appear herein that tribute must be paid as surely as to those who have served in an elected station in the Lodge.

In 1856 several Brothers, interested in forming a Masonic Lodge in the town of Ontario, petitioned the Grand Lodge of the State of New York for permission to form a Masonic Lodge. On the 25th of August 1856 a dispensation was granted by Most Worshipful John L. Lewis, Jr., Grand Master of Masons of the State of New York allowing them to meet together. The first meeting was held in the Sons of Temperance Hall at Ontario Center on September 2nd, 1856. Meetings continued to be held during the winter and on June 11th, 1857, the Charter was granted to Wayne Lodge No. 416, authorizing Thomas Mitchell, Worshipful Master; Isaac Z. Hodges, Senior Warden; and Joseph P. Smith, Junior Warden. These officers were installed on July 31st, 1857 by Worshipful Brother Abel Wyman of Walworth Lodge No. 254. The other officers installed at that time were Nathaniel Bates, Treasurer; Theophilas Williams, Secretary; John Brant, Senior Deacon; H. M. Sabin, Junior Deacon and Stephen Sabin, Tiler.

Following the construction of the Northrop Hotel in 1863, and due to the work and financing of the brethren, they took ownership of the third floor, including a right of way, in the hotel. They continued to meet at this location until May 5th, 1886 when the hotel burned.

The insurance of $400 was deposited for the purpose of a building fund and quarters were then found in Stark’s Hall also at Ontario Center.

Much of the business during the next two years concerned proposals to acquire their own Lodge building. A lot on the Booth property at Ontario Center was given to the Lodge and some plans were made to erect a building. However, during this time there was a request submitted to Grand Lodge to change the meeting place to Ontario Village. This move was authorized and meetings were held in the G. A. R. Hall in Ontario from 1888 to 1889. Suitable quarters were then furnished in the Johnson Hall and on November 1st, 1889 these Lodge rooms were dedicated with appropriate ceremony. Most Worshipful (acting) Grand Master Nelson Sawyer was present and a public meeting was held in the Baptist Church as part of the dedication. From this time on the minutes show that Wayne Lodge "met in communication in Masonic Hall" and considerable pride must have accompanied this reference to their lodge rooms.

In 1896 the school building formerly occupied by Union Free District No. 6 was purchased for $400 and occupied for the first time on September 4th of that year. The mortgage was paid off in 1902 and then the members began a serious discussion of providing a more suitable building.

Harmony prevailed in the Lodge and during the next few years, under the able leadership of W∴ M∴ J. S. Brandt and a committee of Brothers G. P. Norton, P. F. Osborn, H. E. Stanford, C. J. Nash, J. B. Beach and F. S. Risley, land was acquired from Brother James Colwell and the present Masonic Temple was built at the cost of $4500.

The membership of the Lodge at this time, due to the many changes of location, had fallen to about 30. However, these few Brothers with the help of the Order of the Eastern Star and the cooperation of the townspeople, held fairs during the years after 1901 to raise funds. This created much interest in the growth of the Lodge. These were busy and profitable years and on November 6th, 1903, 31 members met for the first time in the present Temple. The Lodge is indebted to the 0. E. S. for its generosity in helping to furnish the rooms. This generosity has continued through the years and many improvements and additions to the Lodge rooms have been donated by the Order. For several years around 1910 the 0. E. S. and Lodge held a joint installation of officers.

The dedication of the Temple was held August 29th, 1907. Invitations were sent to Webster Lodge No. 539, Walworth Lodge No. 254 and Pultneyville Lodge No. 159, these Lodges always having been closely affiliated with Wayne. A semi-centennial was held December 12th, 1907 with appropriate ceremony and on February 6th, 1914 the last bond and mortgage was paid. The Temple has had many improvements to its structure and furnishings over the years and attests to the continued growth of the Lodge.

The membership of Wayne Lodge has grown from the original 13 in 1857 to the present membership of 72. A total of 821 Master Masons have joined or become affiliated since 1857. The "depression years" of the early 1930's caused many difficulties and many expedients were used to maintain membership and financial solvency. Fortunately this period was weathered and in recent years the Lodge has been in more fortunate circumstances.

Wayne Lodge is proud of its representatives in the Military service during the years since 1857 a list of these members is available on the Wayne Lodge Veterans page.

Nine of our Brothers have served as District Deputy Grand Master. This honor has been bestowed upon R∴ W∴ Edson S. Smith*, R∴ W∴ Charles C. Young* 1911 - 1913, R∴ W∴ S. Earl Stocum* 1932 - 1933, R∴ W∴ G. Carlton Cone* 1947 - 1948, R∴ W∴ John Schmidt* 1960 - 1961, R∴ W∴ Rexford Ransley* 1972 - 1973, R∴ W∴ Richard E. Brewer 1983 - 1984, R∴ W∴ William Benedict II 2010 - 2012, and R∴ W∴ Michael B. Cholach Sr. 2018 - 2020.

Three of our Brothers have served as a Grand Lodge Staff Officer. This honor has been bestowed upon R∴ W∴ Gary Bauer* 1994 - 1995 - Grand Director of Ceremonies, R∴ W∴ Lewis R. Brewer* 1979 - 1980 -Grand Steward, and R∴ W∴ Michael B. Cholach Sr. 2016 - 2018 - Grand Steward.

There have been many gifts to Wayne Lodge during the years, it is impossible to list them all. In 1905 Brother William Birdsall presented a gavel made of oak from Mt. Vernon and the gavel now used by the Worshipful Master was made by Brother Adriensen. The two columns in the West (recently retired to the anti-room) were a gift in 1905 by Newark Lodge. The Bible was presented in 1912 by W∴ Brother Walter Mepham. The present Altar was given by W∴ Brother J. S. Brandt. W∴ Brother Frank Brown bequeathed the Lodge a sum of $500 which was used to purchase the blue chairs which add so much to the beauty of the Lodge rooms. Officer aprons (used until 2018) were presented by R∴ W∴ Brother G. C. Cone and jewels by W∴ Brother R. A. Ransley. Various parcels of land have been given by Brother Colwell to add to the original lot.

In 1922, at the instigation of W∴ Brother J. S. Brandt, the ten Brothers who were Past Masters organized the Past Masters Association. This group has been a vital part of our Lodge since that time and have, at the request of the Worshipful Master served the Lodge and the Master in many useful ways. At present there are 11 members.

Wayne Lodge has been of good influence in the community for 150+ years. It has supported worthwhile projects and given assistance in the betterment of the town. The Lodge is indebted to its faithful members, past and present, who have given their thought, money and long hours of work to improve our Craft. We are proud of the results and we trust that Wayne Lodge No. 416 may continue to represent the principles of Freemasonry for many years to come.

Today Wayne Lodge is strong and vibrant. Supporting local charities such as The Pines of Peace, The Ontario Food Pantry (located in the lower southeast portion of the building), and community organizations such as the Ontario Volunteer Fire Department, Ontario Volunteer Ambulance, & Cracker Box Palace, just to name a few.

For more information or a petition for membership, please contact one of the officers listed on the officers page, or click the 2B1ASK1 link, at the top of any page, to send an email to the Master, Secretary, and Webmaster. We look forward to hearing from you!


* - Called from Labor



The Lodge Room

From the South
From the West
From the East


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