History of Masonry in Calvert County
Prince Frederick Lodge #142 is the only A.F. & A.M. Lodge in Calvert County, and we recognize and have warm fraternal relations with our Prince Hall Lodge Brothers here in Calvert. As its name implies, it meets in Prince Frederick, the County seat of Calvert County. A dispensation was issued by Grand Master John Coats on November 18, 1868, and the Charter was granted at the Semi-Annual Communication May 10, 1869. The first officers were John Thomas Bond, Worshipful Master; Charles T. Somerville, Senior Warden; and James H. Frazier, Junior Warden. Many early members came from prominent families of this ancient County, such as Sterling Smith, Thomas King, John Bond, Jr., Col. Somerville Sollers, Henry Williams, John W. Fowler, John A. Cox, James S. Chatterton, James W. Hardesty, John T. Wilkinson, Frisby F. Freeland, James T. Briscoe and James L. Hutchins.
In those days of but few roads, travel was mostly by water, and the early history of the Lodge was somewhat checkered. The Charter was forfeited in 1878 for non-payment of dues but was restored in 1880. In 1883, the town of Prince Frederick was ravaged by fire and the Court House along with many other buildings were destroyed. Prince Frederick Lodge #142 lost all its records. The Charter was again forfeited in 1885 but was restored when the back dues were paid to the Grand Lodge. The Lodge was not represented at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1887, but thereafter it began to gain strength. A period of steady growth set in and by 1950 the membership had increased to 159. Among the Masters of Prince Frederick Lodge #142 may be mentioned Captain Joseph Lore of Solomons Island, Halvor H. Hellen, also of Solomons, and Arthur W. Dowell, a leading lawyer of Prince Frederick. In 1952 Brother Dowell was elected Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Maryland. After serving as Deputy Grand Master for two years, he was elected Grand Master at the November 1954 Communication and occupied that distinguished position in 1955 and 1956.
History of our building
Our current Temple was built in 1921 for the purpose of being Prince Fredericks first public high school, the building was officially received from the contractor by The Board of Education on December 16, 1921. The building served as the high school for a little more than 10 years before it was realized the community was outgrowing it. A new high school was built and the building became the elementary school which it served as such for quite some time afterwards. In 1950 the Prince Frederick #142 Holding Corporation purchased the Building/ property and on November 1st of that year our Brothers began renovating the building to fit our purpose. Two major renovations were the Lodge room and the Kitchen, about 90% of the work was done by the Brethren under the supervision of Brother Bill Rekar, Brother Charles Wallace was the Worshipful Master at that time. Then on April 20, 1951 a special communication of the Grand Lodge of Maryland was held at Prince Frederick, MD, for the purpose of dedicating the Masonic Temple of Prince Frederick Lodge # 142. The Grand Lodge was opened in ample form by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Jacob S. New with the Grand Lodge Officers at their stations. On this occasion Bro. Martin H. Kinsinger acted as Grand Treasurer, Arthur C. Bushey as Grand Chaplain and George S. Riley as Junior Grand Steward. Past Grand Masters Harry B. Wright, Harry L. Robinson and Harry O. Schroeder also were present, as was Bro. Arthur W. Dowell, a Past Master of Prince Frederick Lodge # 142, later to become Grand Master in 1955 – 1956. The Dedicatory Services were performed in due and ancient form by Grand Master New and the officers. At the conclusion of the services the Grand Master congratulated the members of Prince Frederick Lodge #142 on their fine new Temple and then closed the Lodge in ample form. Brother Julius O. Bowen was the 1st Worshipful Master in our current Temple.