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Fidelity Lodge #113 F&AM

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Ridgewood in 1869

Ridgewood in 1869 was already showing evidence that it was to become a community of importance in the Metropolitan Area. It had a population of over a thousand and embraced at that time the territory of Glen Rock and Midland Park. Only two years before the name had been changed from Godwinville to Ridgewood.

Since 1859, when the Godwinville Station on the Paterson and Ramapo Railroad was located on Ridgewood Avenue, there had been a steady growth in New York commuters. The principal highways in the community were Paramus Road (Franklin Turnpike) and Maple Avenue. The Goshen-Hoboken Stage route was along Maple Avenue to Ridgewood Avenue, then via Godwin Avenue and Cherry Lane (Lincoln Avenue).

Large areas of the community were devoted to farming, but little by little these were being broken up into estates for the new people from New York. Among these was Samuel Dayton who bought and sold large tracts of land in the center of the future village. Many fine residences of the day were located along Maple Avenue, east and Ridgewood Avenue, and also on Prospect Street and Spring Avenue. Ridgewood Avenue between Maple Avenue and the railroad was just beginning to be occupied with straggling stores to accommodate the increasing number of commuters as they passed to and from the station.

Masonic Lodges in New Jersey

Lodges of Masons in New Jersey had increased by leaps and bounds since 1861. In 1868 ten lodges received their warrants at a single meeting of the Grand Lodge. There were already several lodges in Paterson, New Jersey. To the north there was a lodge in Suffern under the New York jurisdiction, but there was none along the line of the railroad between Paterson and Suffern. Of the nearby New Jersey Lodges, Friendship Lodge No. 102 of Pascack (now Park Ridge) was the sponsor for Fidelity's petition for Dispensation. Friendship Lodge was constituted January 20, 1870. Other lodges in the area were

  • Joppa Lodge No. 29, Paterson, constituted January 11, 1854
  • Paterson-Orange Lodge No. 43, Paterson, constituted January 18, 1856
  • Pioneer Lodge, No. 70, Hackensack, constituted January 18, 1866
  • Falls City Lodge, No. 82, Paterson, constituted January 23, 1868
  • Ivanhoe Lodge, No. 88, Paterson, constituted January 23, 1868

Most Worshipful Henry R. Cannon was Grand Master of Masons for the State of New Jersey in 1869. Right Worshipful Robert Rusling was Deputy Grand Master and Worshipful William Mead was Grand Lecturer.

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