Freemasonry: Closed Doors, Secrets, and Historical Significance

An introduction of Freemasonry and historical talk is being planned in Arlington, Massachusetts by the  Mystic Valley Lodge. The event, planned by Past Master Alan Jones and the Arlington Historical Society, is something that we feel deserves some attention. In the past, such demonstrations have been more of a display… toted as an “open house” if you will, with little or no real explanation of the inner workings of the Fraternity or of its good efforts.

However, in this case, the presence of the Lodge- rather, the entire history of the Lodge within the community of Arlington is being approached and discussed as a historical commentary. In addition to this, there will be limited examples and discussion of Ritual and of the importance which Ritual work and Initiation into our gentle Craft helps to promote all of our other good Work.

Speaking as a Mason and a public citizen, I can attest to the fact that nearly every town in these United States has some kind of historical society. I will also say that I am deeply interested in the history of my hometown, my Nation, and of the World! Most people are interested as well, and it is no “secret” that Freemasonry holds a great deal of historical facts and context within her hallowed halls.

In short, history is of interest to MOST people whether they actually admit it or not! Towns and communities around the world have Facebook Pages dedicated to the history and evolution of theses hometowns- sort of a “remember when” column which celebrates local history and those who have helped to record and preserve that history for generations to come.

This is a great approach to introduce those who are without the West Gate of what some of the Free Masonic Institution is all about, how we got here, and why we will continue to thrive! Please find the article following, written by Sara Lundberg at

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Ever wonder what goes on behind the doors of that stately neoclassical edifice on the hill at the end of Maple Street? It’s the most recent home of Arlington’s Lodge of Freemasons, Mystic Valley Lodge. The Masonic Temple at 19 Academy St was built in 1923 on the site of the Cotting Academy, Arlington’s first secondary school.

Postcard of Masonic Temple on Academy Street.

Alan Jones, a past master and current secretary of Mystic Valley Lodge, who has been a Mason for 25 years, will discuss Freemasonry at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at the Masonic Temple. The talk is presented by the Arlington Historical Society.

In this talk, Jones will also discuss the history of Arlington’s Masonic Lodges and the many locations they have met, focusing on the current Arlington Masonic Temple. The talk will end with a presentation of a “Taste of Masonry,” with a demonstration of Masonic-like ritual by members of Mystic Valley Lodge — without revealing any of the group’s secrets.

The lodge was founded in 1797 at Munroe Tavern, Lexington, and included veterans of the Battle of Lexington. The Lodge moved to West Cambridge in 1844, and among its members have been many prominent Arlingtonians, including Jesse and William Pattee, William Parmenter, Charles Fessenden, Edward Storer, George Tufts, Warren Peirce and George Wellington.

Freemasonry calls itself the world’s oldest fraternity, becoming visible during the Age of Enlightenment, but with origins much earlier. Shrouded in mystery and misinformation, its members — who included George Washington, Ben Franklin and Paul Revere — have played an important role in the development of the United States and every community in it.

After many years of secrecy, the Masons have opened their doors to the community, and the Masonic Temple has now become a community center. It is the host for such organizations as the Arlington Historical Society, Arlington Children’s Theater, political rallies, yoga, tai chi and dance classes, fund-raisers, blood drives, birthday parties, wedding receptions, lectures, and bar and bat mitzvahs.

Street parking is available and disabled access and parking is at the building’s rear.

The event is free for members of the Arlington Historical Society and $5 for nonmembers.

For more information, visit the Arlington Historical Society website.”