Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ham & Dandelion Dinner..a Masonic Conspiracy?

So, I am out on one of my daily walks when I saw the sign for the Ham & Dandelion Dinner, and I thought - Oh! snap a picture for the blog so I can let people know about it. But I was surprised to see where the dinner would be, at The Masonic Temple in North Catasauqua. I didn't know there was a Masonic Temple in North Catty, no one ever told me. I saw the DaVinci Code, I read the Lost Symbol. Around every corner I think there is a conspiracy, so it was time to do some digging. Actually this is what I found out.

The Catasauqua Lodge No. 248 was constituted on January 30, 1854, when the Warrant was presented to the Catasauqua Lodge the name Catasauqua was crossed out and the name Porter was inserted as the name of the new lodge. The name Porter was taken from Brother James Madison Porter who was the District Deputy Grand Master of Easton. He had great influence on the Fraternity and served as a District Deputy for a long period of time. He was instrumental in 1836 of reactiviating the Easton Lodge and several surrounding Lodges after the period of the Anti-Masonic Party. The Anti-Masonic Party was the first "third party" in the United States. It strongly opposed Freemasonry and was founded as a single-issue party aspiring to become a major party. (There is some really good reading here, especially about the "Morgan Affair.")

It introduced important innovations to American politics, such as nominating conventions and the adoption of party platforms. I could go on and on but I won't.

Anyway, back to Catty - The first meeting was held in Gross Hall, a part of what was then called the United States Hotel situated on the northeastern corner of Front and Race.

Note - this was in the Biery's Port area and William Biery is listed as one of its members. A new hall was dedicated on March 5, 1868 in property owned by Brother James Fuller , located at Front and Church. Hmmm, another big name in Catty. The Lodge continued meeting here for 24 years until March 11, 1892 when they moved to Brother Max Reis's new Hall at 513 Front Street. They bought the building in 1902. Then there is some back and forth stuff with the Chapman Lodge of Northampton, a purchase of land and then finally a new meeting place at 1103 Sixth Street, North Catasauqua in October, 1977. I like what it says in their history about the new temple..."The new Temple is a beautiful one. It bespeaks dignity and reserve, its simple, clean and functional decor promotes an atmosphere of harmony and tranquility which should be found in any Masonic Temple." I could of told you so much more but I tried to condense it and all this because I saw a Ham and Dandelion Dinner sign. I might go if I get a chance, I would really like to get inside!! Also please note that we are have a Spring Craft Fair at Salem UCC, 3rd & Walnut Streets, Catasauqua from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM that day and I have an Iron Pigs game that night. I would love to you think they would care if I sneaked off and took pictures??? Anybody want to create a diversion for me? Hey, what can I say...that's Another Day in Catasauqua.