History

Read about OL33

Bro. Leonard Wells Volk

MASON - ARTIST - SCULPTOR

Bro. Leonard Wells Volk (Novemer 7, 1828 - August 19, 1895) was an American artist and sculptor best known for making a life mask and hand casts of American President Abraham Lincoln.

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Philip Schwartz
The Lincoln Funeral Train

At Chicago May 1st and 2nd 1865

Although Abraham Lincoln was not a Mason, he was held in high esteem by the Fraternity, particularly by brethren in Illinois. Following his assassination on April 15th, 1865, plans were made to pay respects as the train bearing his body passed through Chicago enroute to Springfield. Oriental Lodge helped organize the thousands of Masons who attended this solemn observance.

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Philip Schwartz
Invitation to Procession for Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, 1879

We do not yet know whether the Masonic Fraternity was represented at this auspicious event, but as one of the prominent civic organizations in Chicago, Oriental Lodge No. 33 received an invitation to participate in the public procession prior to a private reception in November 1879 for former President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia, after they returned to the United States from their goodwill trip around the world. 

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Philip Schwartz
JUSTICE LODGE NO. 949: The Only lodge to merge with Oriental No. 33

Membership in multiple lodges was not permitted in Illinois until 1975, as was also the case in many other jurisdictions, and it was customary for new lodges to be “spun off” once a lodge had attained a certain level of membership, with would-be new lodge members required to dimit from their old one prior to joining the new one. Having members prove their sincerity by casting their lot together, it was thought, would ensure success and provide leadership opportunities for charter members to serve as officers in their new lodge.

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Philip Schwartz
Our Charter

Ever wonder what our Charter looks like? Wonder no longer. This is the replacement Charter that was issued in 1872. So what happened to the original? Did we lose it? Nope. The original was consumed along with the rest of our lodge, in the flames of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

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Philip Schwartz
Our Fraternal Dead and Rosehill Cemetery

In 1860, at the dawn of the Civil War, the Worshipful Master and Brethren of Oriental Lodge No. 33, had the forethought to purchase graves for their fraternal dead in the newly formed Rosehill Cemetery, located in what was then called the village of Lakeview, Illinois. The cost was $50.00 and for this the Lodge purchased the rights of internment in the entirety of Lot 16 in Section O, one of the earliest sections to open in Rosehill; many other Masonic bodies, including the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Chicago, also purchased graves in the same area, near the Ravenswood Avenue entrance.

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Philip Schwartz
Captain Joseph Nicholson: Seaman, Hero, Mason

Captain Joseph Nicholson, one of the stalwart old-time lake mariners, is now a prominent citizen of Detroit, Michigan. He was born September 25, 1826, near Kilkeen, County Down, Ireland, about half a mile from the Irish Channel. The Captain has been superintendent of the House of Correction in Detroit some twenty years, and notwithstanding his mature age, is full of vitality, taking an active, public-spirited part in the municipal affairs of the “City of the Straits.”

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Philip Schwartz
The Early Years

The year was 1833. Only 15 years after Illinois became one of the United States of America, a small town was incorporated from the trading center that had grown up around Fort Dearborn. Named after an Indian word meaning "wild onion," the town of Chicago had less than 350 residents, yet Chicago was already a small but thriving trading center. It is even at the beginning of Chicago that Oriental Lodge No. 33 has its roots.

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Philip Schwartz