Masons’ Lodge Marker, Saint John’s Lodge No. 1
Colonial Era Masons in Portsmouth
Location: (Street, Park, GPS)
Prescott Park, N 43D04.623' W070D45.164'
Date or Era Referenced:
1736, Colonial Era
A small plaque affixed to a rock sitting on the ground towards the street side of Prescott Park.
Site of the Henry Sherburne House Where Saint John's Lodge No. 1 A.F. & A.M. First met in 1736
Free Masons of Saint John’s Lodge Portsmouth, NH
- The Lodge was constituted on June 24, 1736
- The oldest continuously operating Masonic body in the Americas.
- Lodges in the U.S. established prior to Portsmouth were in Boston, Savannah, Philadelphia and Charleston.
- A.F. & A.M. – F & A.M. (Free and Accepted Masons), perhaps the A refers to, American?
- “In the early years the meetings were held in homes of members. The first one noted is that of Henry Sherburne (1674-1757), Treasurer of the Province of New Hampshire. His home was located on the banks of the Piscataqua River at the foot of what is now State Street, but the building was destroyed in the great fire of 1813. A boulder in Prescott Park with a bronze plaque on it marks the approximate location of the site.” (http://www.portsmouthfreemasons.org/)
- St. Andrew’s lodge also operated in Portsmouth in the 1800s, it does not seem to exist now.