In the latest issue of The Northern Light, Jeffrey Croteau writes in the Digital Collections Highlight about Jesse Pattee, a past Master Mason, with a beautiful story. Read below for the full article and head to our Northern Light web page to check out earlier editions of The Northern Light.

The Northern Light August 2018

“Behind each Masonic membership certificate there is the story of someone’s life. In the case of some individuals, they led lives that were documented and which allow us to find out more about them. I had such an experience when I decided to find out more about Jesse Pattee after seeing his name on a certificate in the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library’s collection.

Hiram Lodge, in West Cambridge (now Arlington), Massachusetts, issued this Master Mason certificate to Jesse Peaslee Pattee (1804-1863) on April 13, 1846. Pattee served as Worshipful Master of Hiram Lodge from 1854 until 1856. He was also a Grand Lodge officer, serving as Grand Pursuivant (1857-59), Senior Grand Steward (1860), and Junior Grand Warden (1861).

Jesse Peaslee Pattee Master Mason Certificate

Pattee was a well-known figure in West Cambridge who ran a bakery on the main commercial thoroughfare. His business and fraternalism took place in the same building. Pattee owned the building that housed his bakery. He rented out the second-floor rooms to Hiram Lodge from 1844 until his death in 1863. In 1857, Pattee was involved in forming the West Cambridge Horse Railroad Company, which, two years later, opened a horse-drawn railroad line that connected West Cambridge to both Cambridge and then Boston. The railroad began at Pattee’s bakery, where he had a barn attached that both housed the railroad’s cars and had stables for the horses.

Pattee was involved with many Masonic and fraternal groups. He was an Odd Fellow, serving as the Noble Grand (the equivalent of Worshipful Master) of West Cambridge’s Bethel Lodge No. 12 in 1844. In 1854, he was exalted in St. Paul’s Royal Arch Chapter in Boston and joined Boston Commandery in 1855. In 1857, Pattee was created a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret in Boston’s Sovereign Grand Consistory.

According to an obituary in the September 1, 1863 issue of the Freemason’s Monthly Magazine, Pattee’s funeral, which took place in West Cambridge on August 17, 1863, “was largely attended by the citizens of the town.” The writer of the death notice goes on to note that the funeral procession included not only members of Hiram Lodge, but also members of seven Masonic lodges from surrounding towns, as well as the Boston Encampment of Knights Templars, and delegations from both the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and the National Lancers, a Massachusetts-based volunteer cavalry militia troop founded in 1836 that Pattee belonged to."

Pattee’s certificate is one of nearly two hundred Masonic membership certificates that we have digitized and made available at the Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives Digital Collections website.

You can get a closer look at the Pattee certificate by visiting the Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives Digital Collections website: http://digitalvgw.omeka.net/items/show/518.”

The Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives is located in Lexington, Massachusetts, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library and is open to the public. Have questions? Drop us a line at [email protected] or give us a call at 781-457-4109.