Category Archives: History

Valley of Allentown History

This is the second of a series of articles which will be published in “The Messenger” to give its readers a condensed history of our Valley. In this issue, we will discuss the actions that led to the formation of the Valley of the Lehigh.

The history of the Valley of Allentown begins with the sudden growth of membership in the Valley of Scranton, after the end of the First world War. A large number of Masons from the Lehigh Valley traveled to Scranton to become Scottish Rite Masons. Much of this growth came through the efforts of III. Owen W. Metzger, M.S.A., 33°, who was so deeply impressed by the exemplification of degrees and the Scottish Rite spirit of Keystone Consistory (Valley of Scranton) that he immediately became active in its’ interest and put his whole heart into his efforts. He was able to get the cooperation of other Lehigh Valley members of Keystone Consistory in making an all out drive to get new members for the Rite. The records of the Valley of Scranton Continue reading

Brief History of the Scottish Rite

The use of the word “Scottish” has led many Masons to believe that the Rite originated in Scotland. There was also a false belief, which persisted for many years that a man had to go to Scotland to receive the 33°. Neither of these statements is true. Actually, the first reference to the Rite appears in old French records where the word “Ecossais” meaning Scottish, is found. During the later part of the 17th Century, when the British Isles were torn by strife, many Scots fled to France and resumed their Masonic interests in that country. It is believed that this influence contributed to the use of the word “Scottish”. In 1732, the first “Ecossais” or Scottish Lodge, was organized in Bordeaux, one of the oldest and most influential Masonic centers in France. The membership included Scottish and English Masons. The years 1738-40 saw the formation of the first “Hauts Grades”or advanced degrees. In 1761, certain Masonic authorities in France granted a patent to Stephen Morin of Bordeaux to carry the advanced degrees across the sea to America. In 1763, Morin established these degrees in the French possessions in-the West Indies. What he established consisted of a system of 25 so called higher degrees which flourished in France and which were known as the “Rite of Perfection”. Within a few years after 1763, other degrees were added, until Continue reading