The Barton Lodge History

THE BARTON LODGE, No. 6 – A Brief Summary

The first settlers in Wentworth County were almost exclusively Loyalists. Not a few were already Masons, made in military or civil lodges, principally under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of New York.  A number of them settled at "The Head-of-the-Lake," in the townships of Barton and Ancaster, and became the founders of The Barton Lodge, No. 10.

The first Warrant constituting The Barton Lodge, dated Nov. 20th 1795, was derived from R. W. Bro. William Jarvis. Imperfect records of the first regular meeting of the Lodge, held January 6th, 1796, exist. Sixteen members attended, including Chief Joseph Brant. Of the second, held at Smith’s tavern, in the township of Barton, on the thirty-first day of the same month, we have full minutes. From the initial meeting held January 6th, 1796 through February 9th, 1810 The Barton Lodge, No. 10 worked with regularity and harmony. Labour ceased after February 9th, 1810 for a period of twenty-six years due to the unsettled state of the country caused by the War of 1812. During this eventful period, almost all of the members of The Barton Lodge, No. 10 played conspicuous parts and did their duty in the defence of their country.

Labour resumed on 10th day of August, 1836 after the brethren had met in committee and obtained the Warrant and Jewels from Brother Robert Land. Since that date, The Barton Lodge has met with regularity, harmony and prosperity. On 2013 May 14, The Barton Lodge, No. 6 opened lodge for its 2000th meeting, an event which was celebrated by a garden party on 2013 June 5th.

Throughout its history, The Barton Lodge, No. 6 has had a prominent and in some cases a leading role in the initiation of many new ideas and programs both within and external to the Masonic fraternity:

  • In 1855, it co-operated with St. John's and Strict Observance lodges in a combined plan to dispense Masonic charity in a systematic manner eventually resulting in “The United Masonic Benevolent Fund.”
  • The Barton initiated the practice of presenting to each candidate the copy of the Bible on which he was obligated in each of the three degrees.
  • The office of lodge archivist was first instituted in The Barton Lodge, No. 6.
  • In March, 1902, it formed a Board of General Purposes to which were "referred all applications for membership and such other matters relative to the well-being and government of the lodge as may from time to time be directed and are not already assigned to officers of the lodge or other committees." The composition and powers of the Board were more clearly defined in October, 1908. An executive was formed, to meet monthly "prior to the regular meetings, to examine all accounts before presentation to the lodge, supervise all investments, expenditures and receipts, and have special charge of the financial affairs of the lodge." The name, but not the functions, has since been changed to the Advisory Board.
  • The first steps towards forming a Masonic Bureau in Hamilton were taken by The Barton, in 1920, for the purpose of scrutinizing all applications for affiliation made to any lodge within the city; and, in 1921, through the untiring efforts of R.W. Bro. John Hoodless, a Council of Ruling Masters was formed for the purpose of scrutinizing all applications for membership in the Order. Its first president was Worshipful Brother John J. Stewart, the Master of The Barton. The Council of Ruling Masters is now The Masters' and Wardens' Association.

 In civic, no less than in Masonic affairs, members of The Barton have been prominent:

  •  Ten of our members have serviced as mayors of the city of Hamilton;
  • On the Board of Education several  members gave long and faithful service;
  • In the organization and administration of the old Board of Trade the contribution of our Lodge was quickly felt and continuous. Founded, in April, 1845, it functioned till 1920 when it was renamed  the Chamber of Commerce. Through these organizations efforts:
  • The Royal Connaught Hotel was erected;
  • McMaster University was attracted from Toronto to Hamilton;
  • Deep concern for the social welfare of the city has been sustained through such agencies as the Family Service Bureau, Council of Social Agencies, Community Fund and others.

As The Barton Lodge, No. 6 passes the halfway mark of the first quarter of its third century, The Barton continues to pay homage to its past while continuously reviewing and revising its approach to the future.