MSA Mark Twain Award Winner - 2012
Fidelity Lodge #113 F&AM

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The Search for Lodge Quarters

Bro. Knapp searched Ridgewood but was unable to find a room suitable for Lodge quarters. He finally found, in Ho-Ho-Kus, a space on the upper floor of the a former tavern, located on the north side of Ho-Ho-Kus Brook and practically on the grounds of the Ho-Ho-Kus Railroad Station, which at that time, was also north of the brook. Bro. Knapp obtained from Mr. William Serven a lease for eleven months from May 1, 1870 to April 1, 1871 for one dollar. The room was later rented from Williams and Wortendyke for $75 per annum.

The building was a long two story wooden structure, facing south, with upper and lower verandahs extending the full length of the building. The entrance to the upper room was by way of an outside stairway to the upper verandah. There is now no evidence of the building once located at this point which is just east of the main line Erie Railroad tracks opposite the Ho-Ho-Kus Bleachery. The location was known as the Undercliff Station. It was at a considerable later date that the Ho-Ho-Kus Station was moved to the present location to accommodate the Upper Ridgewood Area.

Preparation of the Lodge Room

Under the direction of Bro. John Marinus this room in Ho-Ho-Kus was lathed and plastered for $82.50. The bill for this work was not presented to the Lodge until November 22, 1872, at its 50th communication, the the Lodge finances were ample to meet the obligation. Bro. Knapp borrowed $300 from Captain Samuel Dayton for which the Lodge later gave its note. With this money, Bro. Knapp carpeted the lodge hall, purchased desks, chairs, altar, gavels and other necessary furniture and turned a balance of $65 over to the Treasurer.

Thus the first meeting place was made ready for Masonic work.

Our first meeting place in Ho-Ho-Kus

Obtaining a Sponsor

At a regular meeting of Friendship Lodge No. 102, F&AM held at their rooms at Pascack, NJ on the evening of September 20, 1870, Bro. John Knapp presented a petition signed by all of the charter members together with their demits from their respective lodges. Their object was to form a new lodge at Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ under the name of Fidelity Lodge and they requested permission to exemplify their work before the lodge and receive its recommendation to the Grand Master for a Dispensation. The three top officers assumed their proper stations and proceeded to confer the Fellowcraft Degree in due and ancient form. The officers and members of Friendship Lodge ten resolved that, as the exemplification of the work by the petitioners was perfectly satisfactory, the recommended them to the Grand Master for a Charter for Dispensation.

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