Lodge History

Round Hill Lodge #533 In The Spring Of 1889

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The History Of Round Hill Masonic Lodge #533

On the 28th day of January, 1863 a dispensation was granted to 14 Masons to hold Masonic meetings Under Dispensation.  They were members of Maine Masonic Lodge No. 399, Binghamton Masonic Lodge No. 177  and Otseningo Masonic Lodge No. 435.  This Dispensation was recommended by Maine 399, Binghamton 177, Otseningo 435 and Friendship Masonic Lodge No. 153 , Lodges whose jurisdiction would be affected thereby.  Brother Solomon Lashier was appointed Worshipful Master, Brother Chauncey W. Shipman, Senior Warden and Brother Frank Fanning, Junior Warden of the Lodge named for the Round Hill in Endicott, New York.  These appointments were made by R∴W∴ Clinton F. Page of Binghamton, who was the Deputy Grand Master at that time.  All this occurred during the Civil War in the year when the battles of Stone River, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chickamauga and Chattanooga were being fought.   

February 3, 1863 marked the first regular Communication of the Lodge Under Dispensation.  Present were seven members and three visitors.  On February 18th, the first two Candidates ever to receive a Degree in Round Hill Lodge were duly initiated Entered Apprentices.  The initiation fee was Fifteen dollars ($15.00) and they paid a yearly dues of Two dollars ($2.00). On the evening of June 19, 1863 Round Hill Lodge was consecrated by Most Worshipful Clinton F. Page, who had by then become Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York.  The official name then became Round Hill Masonic Lodge No. 533, F. & A. M. under Solomon Lashier, Master, Frank Fanning, Senior Warden, and Lasa Keeler, Junior Warden.

Our early Brothers held their regular Lodge meetings in the old Elvin Theater Building which was demolished long ago. The rent for the first four months was Sixteen Dollars and sixty-seven cents ($16.67) and it continued to be their meeting place until 1907.  Then, the Lodge formally moved to the Commercial Block. That building which still stands just east of the HSBC bank at the corner of Nanticoke Avenue and Main Street in the Union District of Endicott.

It was announced in the communication of May 29, 1883 that the Twentieth Anniversary of Round Hill Masonic Lodge #533 would be observed by a “social and reunion to be held at the Major House” (a hotel which stood on the northeast corner of Main Street and Nanticoke Avenue ).  At the same meeting a motion was made and carried to renew the lease for the Lodge Rooms for a period of five years at Fifty Dollars per year ($50.00). At about this time the Lodge had begun to sublet its rooms to the International Order Of Odd Fellows and the Improved Order of Red Men for Thirty Dollars ($30.00) per year!

On January 11, 1915 a motion was made, second and passed that the Lydia Chase property (where the Lodge is currently located) at 403 Main Street was to be purchased for the sum of Four thousand dollars  ($4,000.00)  to serve as the new Temple and home for Round Hill Masonic Lodge #533. With the purchase of the building it became necessary to include three Trustees among the elected officers.  At a Stated Communication on June 13, 1916, a resolution was adopted authorizing the expenditure of Six thousand dollars  ($6,000.00) for the purpose of making additions and improvements to the newly acquired property.  When the project was finally completed, the cost totaled Nine thousand dollars ($ 9,000.00).  In June 1917, fifty- four years after the Lodge was consecrated, the present Masonic Temple was dedicated with all the appropriate ceremonies.

For many years Round Hill Lodge continued to grow and prosper. The greatest membership to date was over 1200 sometime during the 1960’s or 1970’s.  In 1953 Round Hill masonic Lodge #533 recommended the petitions for Dispensations to establish a Daylight Lodge in Endicott, New York and a regular Lodge in Vestal, New York.  These became Unity-Daylight Masonic Lodge No. 1146 and Vestal Masonic Lodge No. 1144.  At the time of Round Hill Lodge’s 100th Anniversary there were nearly 900 members.

A Special Communication was called on December 31, 1917 for the purpose of conferring all Three Degrees upon Mr. E.J. Raitt.  The Most Worshipful Thomas Penny – Grand Master, gave a Special Dispensation because Mr. Raitt was about to enter the Armed Forced in World War I.  He had the distinction of being the first member of the Lodge to receive the Three Degrees in one day.

A Special Communication of the Lodge was called on September 25, 1949 at 2:00PM for the purpose of laying a Cornerstone.  This honor was accorded our Craft by Adelphic Lodge #513, I.O.O.F.  One of the mementos placed within the Cornerstone was a Holy Bible from Round Hill Masonic Lodge #533.  R∴W∴ Ward Arbury acted as Grand Master during the ceremony.

On May 10, 1958 through the efforts of the Officers of Round Hill Lodge #533 and Shamrock Lodge #533 of Toronto, Canada there was initiated a “Hands Across the Border” project.  Round Hill Lodge visits Shamrock Lodge biennially and Shamrock Lodge comes to Endicott in intervening years.  This yearly visitation between the two Lodges is anticipated with great interest by the members of both bodies and the tradition has been carried on almost continuously since it began over 40 years ago.

The Master, on April 27, 1959, presented a resolution from a steering committee of eleven Master Masons, that a Chapter of DeMolay be formed.  After much thought and labor the Chapter was formed and on February 27, 1960 where sixty-three boys were initiated into the Round Hill Chapter, Order of DeMolay.  The Chapter has functioned continuously since then despite some rather lean years.  

In 1963 Round Hill Lodge celebrated its 100th Anniversary in Grand Fashion!  The Optimist Club staged a parade through the Village of Endicott with a Masonic float and 3 Cadillac’s filled with the Masonic Lodge and DeMolay Officers.  Many dignitaries of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York (and their ladies) arrived on June 15th to spend the night in the Proper Hotel.  The events of that day began with the Lodge convening at 4:00PM in the Temple while the ladies enjoyed tea at the Hotel Frederick. The minutes of the meeting mentioned by name 11 Grand Lodge Officers including the Grand Master, his Deputy, the Grand Secretary and the Grand Treasurer. The evening program, held at the IBM Country Club at 7:00PM – started with an organ prelude, the National Anthem, The Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation. After the banquet and all proper introductions, The Triple Cities Barbershop Chorus entertained all in attendance. The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Harry Ostrov – addressed the crowd of 702 persons.  He then presented the District Deputy Grand Master’s Apron to the newly appointed Ezra W. Bushnell and was subsequently given a Certificate of Honorary Membership in Round Hill Masonic Lodge #533. An evening of dancing brought the celebration to its conclusion.

When Round Hill Lodge originally purchased the property, a small house on the east side of the lot, which was separated from the main building by a narrow driveway was used as a residence by the caretaker.  In 1986 the Lodge decided that the tiny house should be removed because of its poor condition. This removal also afforded the Lodge easier access and more parking space for the membership. On October 29th a bulldozer and a truck made quick work of the job. Only a tiny garage was left to provide storage for the Lodge and is in use today.  The  parking lot was fully paved four years later.

Beginning in 1991, Round Hill Lodge instituted a continuing tradition of inviting all Masonic Widows who were still in the area to a Sunday afternoon dinner. Each of the widows is presented with a rose in remembrance of our departed Brother and enjoys entertainment during and after the meal.

Our beloved Lodge has undergone many changes over the years, as would any house with different owners.  The Meeting Room was the first to be rearranged and later, several rooms on the first floor were also created or renovated. Recent additions include a cooling system for the Lodge Room and a lighted flagpole which allows our Nations Flag to be flown day and night. At one time, the basement was used as a Recreation Room complete with bowling lanes, a shuffleboard, a rifle range and two beautiful pool tables. Today, the basement is now seldom used and currently contains a fire-resistant room for record storage. The bowling alleys no longer exist, the rifle range is gone and the once majestic pool tables have fallen into disrepair. The area is seldom entered now but discussions to return the area to its former glory go on today. The roof periodically requires attention, as does the heating system, kitchen, entrances, parking area, bathrooms, landscaping, windows, painting and all the rest.

These changes and upgrades will occur as long as the Lodge continues to own the property. We believe our beloved Lodge will stand and function for a long, long time.  Round Hill Masonic Lodge #533, F. & A. M. has made a good record over time and will continue well into the future.

Some interesting facts (posted July 2015) about Round Hill Lodge #533, F. & A. M.

Age 137 Years
Number of Masters 107
Longest service by one Master 14 Years
Number of Grand Lodge Officers 13 Excluding Affiliates
Number of Secretaries 28
Longest service by one Secretary 27 Years
Number of Dedicated Service Awardees 7
Maximum Number of Members 1200+ (approx. 1970)
Current Membership 195

Masonic Organizations using the Temple

  • Round Hill Masonic Lodge #533
  • Round Hill Chapter, Order of DeMolay
  • Round Hill Chapter #104, Order of the Eastern Star
  • Endicott Triangle #43
  • Binghamton Council #24, Cryptic Masons
  • Binghamton Chapter #139, Royal Arch Masons
  • Malta Commandery #21, Knights Templar    

                        
Mason Of The Year Awardees from Round Hill Lodge

 1980    Bro. Jack Lozzi  2001  Bro. Ralph D. Kouterick XX
 1981    Bro. Zerland Stevens  2002  W∴ Andrew D. Mattarell XXXX
 1982    Bro. Jack Lozzi  2003  Bro. Robert A. Brozzetti XXXX
 1983    Bro. Nicholas Holbrook  2004  W∴ Harry Jones XXXX
 1984    W∴ Douglas W. Holbrook  2005  R∴W∴ E. Donald Lounsberry XXXX
 1985    W∴ Harold Irons  2006  None XXXXX
 1986    Bro. Carl Bird  2007  None  XXXXX
 1987    Bro. Ronald Betz  2008  None XXXXX
 1988    Bro. Aubrey R. Byers  2009 None XXXXX
 1989    None  2010  None XXXX
 1990    None  2011  W∴ David Patch XXXXX
 1991    Bro. Jose’ Valencia  2012  Bro. Douglas Herzig XXXXX
 1992    W∴ Harry R. Jones  2013  W∴ Carl Northrup XXXXX
 1993    None  2014  None XXXXX
 1994    None  2015  R∴W∴ E. Donald Lounsberry XXXXX
 1995    None  2016  W∴ M. Carl Northrup XXXXX
 1996    R∴W∴ Fred H. Lyons  2017  None XXXXX
 1997    Bro. Jack Gerard  2018  R∴W∴ David Glassman XXXXX
1998    W∴ E. Donald Lounsberry  2019 XXXXX
1999    W∴ William T. Whitman  2020 XXXXX
2000   Bro. Arthur H. Meade  2021 XXXXX

 Grand Lodge appointments to District Deputy Grand Master from Round Hill Lodge

1908 R∴ W∴ Thomas A. MacClary
 1918  R∴ W∴ Ralph W. Holyoke
 1925  R∴ W∴ Theodore Lainhart
 1938  R∴ W∴ Warren C. Arnold
 1963  R∴ W∴ Ezra W. Bushnell
 1975  R∴ W∴ Fred Lyon (affiliated from Clinton Lodge No.169 1st Oneida District)
 1981  R∴ W∴ Edward Dahlsten
 2014  R∴ W∴ David B. Glassman

Grand Lodge Staff Officers from Round Hill Lodge

1974 R∴ W∴ Rupert O. Clark Grand Steward
1978 R∴ W∴ Everett B. Thomas Grand Director of Ceremonies
2008-2010 R∴W∴ E. Donald Lounsberry Grand Sword Bearer
2012-2014 R∴W∴ David Glassman Grand Steward

 Grand Chaplain from Round Hill Lodge

2007 R∴W∴ Jose’ L. Valencia, Jr.

Dedicated Service Awardees from Round Hill Lodge

  • Frank Anthony
  • Harold Avery
  • Frank Hathaway
  • Ted LeBaron
  • Harold Van Patten
  • Leonard J. Levine
  • Carl Levine
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2003 Grand Master’s Class

On March 29, 2003 The Grand Master’s Class was held at the Kalurah Shrine Center in Endicott, New York.  The purpose of the class was to aid in building membership in our Lodges.  On that day, 74 candidates were raised to the sublime Degree of Master Mason. Round Hill Lodge had the following Brothers Raised during that ceremony:

  • Timothy J. Bunzey
  • James J. Garceau
  • Brett P. Hush
  • F. David Patch
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2006 Re-dedication Ceremony

In September 2006 Round Hill Lodge #533 held its In-Lodge Re-dedication Ceremony honoring the 225th Anniversary of Grand Lodge of the State of New York.  This ceremony was to have the Brothers of the Lodge rededicate themselves to Masonry by participating in the recapturing the feeling of taking the Obligation of the Three Degrees of Masonry as well as the Third Degree Charge. Those brothers of the Lodge in attendance for the In- Lodge Re-dedication Program were:  F. David Patch, Douglas Holbrook, Jose’ Valencia, Kack Steenburg, E. Donald Lounsberry, Carl Levine, Milton Carl Northrup, Clinton Hayes, Andy Mattarell, Leonard Levine and William Hush.  Visitors present at the service were:  Edward R. Wells, Lawrence Curtiss and Melvin Junker (Lodge 435), Thomas Barbour (Lodge 1001) and John Sejan, Jr. (Lodge 177).

Other Miscellaneous Dates of Historical Importance

  • On Sunday March 30, 2008, at 2:00 PM, R∴W∴ Jose’ Valencia was presented his Grand Chaplain’s Apron by M∴W∴ Neil I. Bidnick, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York at Round Hill Lodge.  Several dignitaries were present and dinner was served at 3:30 PM that afternoon.
  • On Monday evening, September 8th, 2008 R∴W∴ E. Donald Lounsberry was presented his Grand Lodge Apron as Grand Sword Bearer at Round Hill Lodge #533.
  • At Round Hill Lodge on Sunday, September 28, 2008 – R∴W∴ Thomas M. McMullin, Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in the State of New York was presented his Junior Grand Warden’s Apron.  The apron was presented by the Most Worshipful Edward G. Gilbert, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York.  R∴W∴ McMullin spoke on his feelings about being a Mason from the time he was raised until that evening; he also commended the Lodges within the Broome-Chenango District as well as the Brothers within the District. Members of the Present and Past Grand Lodges were present as well a fine representation of the Past Grand Lodge Officers, its members and their ladies of the Broome-Chenango District. All together there were 147 attendees at the ceremony.
  • On Saturday November 15, 2008, R ∴ W ∴‘s Charles J. Mackey and Lester B. Stockwell, III, traveled to bear Mountain N.Y. to attend the induction of R ∴W∴ E. Donald Lounsberry from Round Hill Lodge into the DeMolay Hall Of Fame.  This honor was well received and well deserved.
  • On Monday June 18th 2012 at the Installation of Officers ceremony, R∴W∴ David Glassman was presented his Grand Lodge Apron as Grand Steward.
  • On Saturday June 15th 2013 Round Hill Masonic Lodge celebrated its 150th Anniversary.
    Grand Master James Sullivan and the Grand Line were on hand for the event and led the re-dedication ceremony.  Also to commemorate the occasion, Round Hill Lodge was proud to sponsor the public viewing of the historic George Washington Bible.
  • 2014 R∴W∴ David Glassman was presented his Grand Lodge Apron as District Deputy Grand Master at Round Hill Lodge #533.
  • On June 8th 2018 W∴ M. Carl Northrup was installed as the 156th Worshipful Master of Round Hill Lodge #533.