EARLY HISTORY OF FREEMASONS IN
ST AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
Early history of freemasons in St Augustine, Florida
There were probably traveling lodges or military lodges in and around St Augustine during the early years [1565 - 1768]
These lodges met as “time immemorial lodges”
They were not permanent and few records were kept. They were not under a grand lodge system; therefore there are no proceedings or grand lodge records available.
The Masonic grand lodge system started in 1717.
In 1763 Florida was seeded to great Briton by Spain and in 1768 the first of the recorded lodges appeared. Grant's east Florida lodge was warranted under the g.l. of Scotland. James Grant was the governor of the province east Florida and St Augustine was the capital.
This lodge became extinct in 1786 during the next Spanish era.
1776 to 1777 a British military lodge #58, of the 14th regiment on foot. Further history, unknown a military lodge under the g.l. of England. 1778 until 1780 “lodge #204" warranted under the g.l of England existed in St Augustine. Further history is unknown
In 1806 St Fernando lodge #28, was warranted under the g.l. of Georgia. It closed by mandate of the Spanish government in 1811.
Later in 18–??, lodge # 30 warranted by the g.l. of South Carolina and was closed by a decree of the king of Spain in 1820. All records were destroyed by Spanish government.
Lodge #30 was "revived" by the grand lodge of Georgia as Montgomery lodge #30. The lodge forfeited its charter to the g.l. o Georgia in 1827 because of n.p.d.'s
Floridian virtues lodge #28 warranted by the g.l. of South Carolina in 1820 became extinct in 1828
Esperanza lodge #47 was warranted by the g.l. of South Carolina in 1824 and surrendered its charter in 1827. It may have moved to Cuba with many of its members.
Note; Florida became a possession of the united states in 1821 and a u.s. territory in 1822.
The grand lodge of Florida free and accepted masons was formed in 1838. Florida became the 27 th state in 1845.
Clinton lodge #7 existed between 1838 and 1840 under the grand lodge of Florida According to local history
12 January 1842 St Johns lodge #12 was chartered under the g.l. of Florida and surrendered its charter before 1867.
16 January 1867 St Johns lodge #55 was chartered and surrendered it's charter in 1869.
The civil war 1861 - 1865 and the years following it took a heavy toll on the economy in and around St Augustine.
13 January 1876 ancient city #76 was chartered under the g.l. of Florida. And surrendered
It's charter in November 1886.
[1878 pope leos's papal bull separating freemasons from the church]
[1882 kc chartered in St Augustine]
18 January 1887 Ashlar #98 opened under dispensation of the g.l. of Florida and was chartered in January 1888. Ashlar lodge opened in the same location and with the same paraphernala as ancient city lodge.
Ashlar #98 is still working as of 2010.
Reference: see Ashlar lodge #98 secretaries records