Celebrating Scottish Rite Legacies


The legacy of Freemasonry is built on stories of generations. Brothers have carried on the core values of our Fraternity to spread our mission of building men of character for centuries.

The legacy of Scottish Rite Freemasonry creates a special bond with our Brothers, and with the long line of Scottish Rite Masons who have come before us. This Fall, we are honoring and celebrating the legacy that is the cornerstone of our fraternity. Read below to be inspired by the touching Masonic legacy of Brother Joshua Knapp, 32°.

“Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite are part of who we are, not because of each other, but WITH each other.”

I'm a third-generation Scottish Rite Mason (but the first in the NMJ!) and can credit my Masonic life to that Scottish Rite connection. My grandfather (born and raised in Bridgeport, CT) was made a Mason and joined the Rite (SMJ) while stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, before WWII. He stayed active in the Craft and with this Brothers throughout his deployment during WWII, while continuing his career is the service over the ensuing years and, after, eventually settling near Ft. Meade, MD. Though he came to identify primarily as a Maryland-based Mason, he kept his ties with his mother Lodge and Valley in NC.

My relationship with my grandfather was incredibly special to me, and we were very close. Despite that, it wasn't until he passed that I realized he was a Mason. It was never a secret in the family, it just wasn't something that had come up in our relationship. In fact, he'd kept his 32° SMJ certificate (a beautiful, poster-sized piece with gold leaf seals and hand-drawn calligraphy) framed and hanging in his bedroom since before I had was born, and I'd just never registered what it was.


Brother Knapp's Grandfather's Scottish Rite, Southern Masonic Jurisdiction Certificate Dating Back to 1948
Brother Knapp's Grandfather's Scottish Rite, Southern Masonic Jurisdiction Certificate Dating Back to 1948

I have that piece of his life hanging on my own wall now. It was this that made me curious about Masonry -- that part of his life that was clearly important to him, and that I knew nothing about. My first conversations about Masonry were because I wanted to be able to understand him better. But I quickly decided that it was something that resonated with me, too, and that I would be proud to be a part of even without the family connection.

Several years after becoming a Mason, one of my uncles in MD found out about my journey and started asking questions of his own. I was able to introduce him to Brothers in a Lodge near him and made some very nice relationships of my own along the way. In fact, I was invited to take part in his 3° degree. It was a very special night for which I'm very grateful ... I was the one who raised him!

Being in MD, my uncle joined the Southern Jurisdiction of the Rite just about the same time that I joined the Northern. It's been a really nice thing for us to share, and very interesting to us both to experience the differences between the Northern and Southern bodies. Different houses, but the same family.

We're very proud of each other and of this thing that we share, and we're very proud to be able to share it (albeit posthumously) with my grandfather. Masonry and the Scottish Rite are part of who we are, not because of each other, but WITH each other.