Masonic lodge memorabilia on exhibit

The New Milford Historic Society & Museum is presenting an exhibit of Colonial treasures from New Milford’s history, including some rarely-seen Masonic artifacts from St. Peter’s Lodge No. 21, through the rest of the month.

St. Peter’s Lodge No. 21 was established in the early 1790s in New Milford and continues its mission of “Making good men better” and its commitment to assisting the community through charity.

With approximately 6 million Freemasons worldwide and just under 2 million in the United States, the origins of the world’s oldest fraternal organization can be dated to at least the mid-1400s and perhaps as old as 1390 with the discovery of the Regius Poem.

A Masonic artifact found in Limerick, Ireland, stamped 1507 reads, “I will strive to live with love and care upon the level and by the square.”

The first lodges in the American Colonies were organized in the early 1730s in Boston.

Several key American founders were Freemasons including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and John Hancock as well as nine of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence.

At the end of the American War for Independence, Grand Lodges were established throughout the new republic including the formation of the Connecticut Grand Lodge in 1789.

To view the exhibit, visit the historical society at 6 Aspetuck Ave. For more information, call 860-354-3069.