Jeremy Gridley, Provincial Grand Master for Massachusetts, granted authority to Alexander Ross to constitute the first Lodge in Maine at Falmouth, afterwards Portland. Ross died November 24, 1768, and a petition signed by eleven Brethren was sent to John Rowe who succeeded Gridley. On March 30, 1769, he granted a new Charter, deputizing William Tyng to act as Master. In 1772 this Lodge resolved, as there was some dispute about the matter, to use the Ancient and Modern Rituals on alternate evenings. Maine was admitted into the Union of the States in 1819, at which time there were thirty-one Lodges in the new State. Twenty-nine of these at a meeting called by Simon Greenleaf agreed to constitute a Grand Lodge. On June 1, 1820, twenty-four Bodies were represented and chose their Grand Officers.. William King, Governor of the State, was elected the first Grand Master. The disappearance of Morgan in 1826 and the consequent anti-Masonic feeling caused a great number of the Lodges in Maine as in New York and Pennsylvania to cease work for a considerable period. In 1870, however, the Craft had grown so strong again that there were one hundred and fifty-four Lodges at work in the State. The Grand Chapter of Massachusetts granted a Warrant to organize a Chapter in Portland, February 13, 1805, as Mount Vernon Chapter. Montgomery, New Jerusalem, Jerusalem and Mount Vernon Chapters met in convention at Portland on February 7, 1821, and adopted provisionally the Constitution of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts. Companion Charles Fox of Portland was elected Grand High Priest and Companion James Lorin Child of Augusta, Grand Secretary. The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Maine, thus constituted, was incorporated by special Act of the State Legislature, approved by the Governor, January 22, 1822.
In the early days of Select Freemasonry in Maine a Council was organized, and worked under the General Grand Chapter. Later, when the General Grand Chapter gave up control of the Degrees, the Brethren organized three Councils King Solomon, Mount Vernon and Jerusalem all chartered by the Grand Council of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Three representatives of each of these Councils with twenty other Companions met in Convention at Portland, May 3, 1855, to organize a Grand Council. Companion Robert P. Dunlap of Brunswick was chosen chairman and elected Grand Puissant.
The date of Maine Commandery, No. 1, at Gardiner, is recorded in the Proceedings of 1856 as March 17, 1827, but in the Proceedings of 1916 it appears as May 14, 1821. Maine, No. 1; Portland, No. 2, and Saint John's, No. 3, met in Convention and constituted on May 5, 1852, the Grand Commandery of Maine.
Portland saw the first introduction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to the State. On May 14, 1857, were chartered the Yates Lodge of Perfection, the Portland Council of Princes of Jerusalem. and the Dunlap Chapter of Rose Croix. The Maine Consistory, Portland was chartered May 22, 1862.
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