Saint Matthew’s Lodge A.F. & A.M.
Meets on 2nd Monday
Meets at 7 High Street Andover, MA 01810
Contact: Frank Gouveia
Chartered December 11, A.D. 1822, A.L. 5822.
At the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts September 1822 Quarterly Communications two petitions to organize lodges were presented: Minerva Lodge in Andover and Warren Lodge in Amesbury. During the December 11, 1822 Quarterly Communication, St Matthew’s Lodge (a name substituted for Minerva Lodge at that meeting) become the 105th Lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. When the pre-existing Lodges were considered, Saint Matthew’s was 122nd in precedence; by 1870, this position had advanced to 56th because some Lodges had gone dark and never recovered, had failed for other reasons or had become part of the Grand Lodge of Maine when it was formed in 1820.
The petition presented to Grand Lodge at the September 11, 1822, Quarterly Communication was the second such plea for a Lodge in Andover. At the Annual meeting of December 9, 1818, a petition signed by David Rice and thirteen others praying for a Charter to establish a Lodge in the Town of Andover, by the name of Minerva was read and committed to committee. Good Samaritan Lodge of Reading objected to the establishment of this Lodge and encumbered the decision of the committee. The minutes of the December 28, 1818, Grand Lodge meeting state, the committee to whom was referred the petition of David Rice and others, praying for a Charter, to establish a Lodge in the Town of Andover, were discharged from the further consideration thereof.
There is evidence that a Masonic gathering or organization existed in Andover prior to the request resubmitted in 1822 and most likely existed at the time of the 1818 petition. Entries in the early Treasurer’s book refer to the Wiltshire Society of Freemasons with entry dates preceding that of the Charter/Dispensation. Unfortunately details are few and the life span, members and purpose of this organization have been lost to history. The few available notes do indicate that meetings were held at the home (or shop) of Bro. Merrill Pettengill, one of Andover’s blacksmiths, whose shop was on Punchard Avenue. Society funds were used to pay the travel expenses incurred by Bros. Peter French and David Rise in their trips to Grand Lodge, presumably to make contacts and present the petition.
As stated above the second petition was presented in September 1822. Either sufficient contacts had been made or Good Samaritan Lodge relented on their previous objection for the Charter was granted on December 11, 1822. No reason was offered for the name change from Minerva to Saint Matthew’s, either in the Grand Lodge minutes or in the Lodge records.