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Fidelity Lodge #113 F&AM

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This history is dedicated to the memory of those men who kept the light of Masonic knowledge burning through many difficult and trying times here in Ridgewood and vicinity.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the dedication of W. Bro. David E. Roman and Bro. Everett L. Labagh without whose help, aid and assistance this history could not have been prepared.

Master, 1971


Fidelity Lodge had its beginning in the year 1869. It was in that year that a Master Mason residing in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey started to organize a lodge of Masons to be located in or near Ridgewood and to embrace the neighboring communities. This was Brother John Martin Knapp, a member of Sagamore Lodge #371 of New York City.

It is not known how or when the name Fidelity was selected for the Lodge in Ridgewood. Since the name was ready at the time of the petition for Dispensation, there is little doubt but that it had already been selected by Bro. Knapp before he started out alone in his quest for charter members.

Fidelity means Loyalty and Faithfulness. These virtues were fully exemplified in the perseverance which Bro. Knapp displayed in his efforts to bring forth a new Lodge in Ridgewood.


Many changes were taking place in this area. The land had been occupied by the Indians called the Minsies and Lenni Lenape. By 1730 most of the Indians had moved from New Jersey. After many meetings and negotiations, a treaty was made with the Minsies in 1758 whereby they relinquished all the land that was under their jurisdiction which included most of New Jersey. There was reserved, however, the right to fish in all the rivers and bays south of the Raritan, and to hunt in all the unenclosed lands.

In 1832 there remained about forty of the Delawares, who still kept alive the tradition that they were the owners of the hunting and fishing privileges of New Jersey. They laid their claims before the legislature, asking only the sum of two thousand dollars for its relinquishment. The legislature granted their request.

It was at the time of the signing of that last treaty with the Indians on March 12, 1883 that there came into the possession of the legislature at Trenton a letter from the Lenape--a document that ranks as one the the greatest State Papers. The last paragraph of that letter reads as follows:

"Not a drop of our blood have you spilled in battle. Not an acre of our land have you taken but with our consent. These facts speak for themselves and need no comment. They place the character of New Jersey in bold relief, a bright example to those states within whose territorial limits our brethren still remain. Nothing save benisons can fall upon her from the lips of a Lenni Lenape."

Thus the area continued to flourish and grow.

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