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Monday, September 30, 2019

Fire Destroys New Hampshire's Morrison Lodge 90

The historic 1885 temple of New Hampshire's Morrison Lodge 90 in Northwood was completely destroyed by fire on Saturday night. By Sunday morning, the entire 134 year old wooden structure and all of its contents has been reduced to nothing but smoldering rubble.

According to multiple news reports, fighting the fire was hampered the lack of fire hydrants in the surrounding streets. Cause of the four-alarm blaze is not known and is being investigated by fire officials. 

Morrison Lodge in better days
Chris Busby, chairman of the communications committee with the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire, released the following statement:
“Last night, our beloved Brethren from Morrison Lodge No. 90 and Sisters from Crescent Chapter No. 45, Order of the Eastern Star lost their Masonic Temple in Northwood to a devastating fire. While the building and its precious contents are gone, the generations of memories made and the spirit of those that have occupied it will always endure...
“The Grand Lodge and the Brethren of New Hampshire offer our deep and sincere sympathy to our Northwood Masonic family for this tragic event. Even more, we extend our assistance and love to our brothers and sisters to assure that Masonry and star in Northwood will arise from this adversity stronger than ever."
Both Morrison Lodge No. 90 and Crescent Chapter No. 45, Order of the Eastern Star met in the building that was destroyed. According to Chris, the lodge was chartered as Northwood Lodge in 1874. The lodge’s current Master, Anthony Tuttle, is the fourth generation of his family to serve as Master of this lodge. 

All of the lodge's historic records and objects perished. Everything was destroyed by the fire, including paintings of Revolutionary War scenes. “Things you can’t replace, all things that were hand painted back in the 1800s. It was horse hair plaster walls, an old building that has a lot of character,” WBro. Tuttle said.

At the time the fire broke out, no one was in the building. Morrison Lodge and Crescent OES members were busy working at the Deerfield Fair. The lodge was to be one of more than 30 lodges taking part in an October 19th open house across the state.

Nine fire departments responded to the blaze. One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion, but no other injuries were reported.

According to Chris Busby's statement, officials with Morrison Lodge No. 90 are working through the process of a claim with their insurance company. While countless Masons have already reached out to help, they are not asking for monetary donations at this time:

“We would ask the public and our Masonic family to withhold any financial donations at this time. We will keep everyone apprised of the process of rebuilding but rest assured that the spirit of Freemasonry is alive and well in Northwood.”
Read the complete statement HERE. 

1 comment:

  1. AWFUL tragic loss to all as loosing your Lodge i suppose it feels like you losing your home or even a family member. The Lodge will have presented many fond memories to all shame what a terrible loss hope they managed to salvage some items regards Trevor Barry Durban KZN


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