Jephtha Lodge unveils Historical Marker in Huntington
Over 3o Brothers, friends and family of Jephtha Lodge No. 494 and the Organization of Truth Triangle No. 31, joined Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Huntington Town Historian Robert Hughes for the official dedication of an historical marker on Thursday, August 16. The public ceremony celebrates Jephtha’s 158 years in Huntington and is located just outside the Lodge building on 342-344 New York Avenue in Huntington.
Huntington Town Historian Robert Hughes opened the ceremony saying, “There are more than 125 of these markers throughout the Town of Huntington, signifying these important places in Huntington’s history and they are a reminder for all those that drive by that history is all around them.” Hughes continued “There are very few in the village, so its nice to add them when we can. The Masonic lodge has been here for a very long time and is one of the oldest commercial building’s in the village. “
Jephtha Worshipful Master W:. Richard Harris continued the ceremony, stating “It’s nice to see a lot of people associated with Masonry out in the street tonight. It gives everyone an opportunity to see who we are. “
“I’d like to remind everyone that we have been here for 158 years, practicing the same principles,” Harris continued. “Charity, brotherhood, fraternity, support of community and government. I’d like to extend our hands tonight in charity…if there is anything the Town needs of an environmental nature, a clean up nature, in a blood drive, we are more than happy and willing to spread our Masonic virtue throughout the town.”
Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci then approached the marker and said “For over 158 years, Masons have been a big part of Huntington’s history. We thank them for all their community service and devotion to our area and right here in this great stretch of road, Route 110/New York Avenue.
Lupinacci continued “We only had two sitting Presidents visit the Town of Huntington, George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt. Both were Masons. It’s a privilege and honor to be here today as we come together to unveil the new historical marker. We are very proud to be part of Huntington’s history with you.”
The marker was then unveiled by Hughes, Harris, Lupinacci and W:. Ron Seifried, Trustees Chairman of Jephtha Lodge. The marker was originally conceived by the late W:. John V Forster, Past Master of Jephtha and Dedicated Service Award recipient, the highest honor awarded in Masonry. It was Brother Foster’s passion and devotion to Jephtha Lodge that helped spark the current renaissance in Jephtha, where it stands today in its most prolific period in over 50 years.
Jephtha Lodge No. 494 was chartered on January 25, 1860 and met in a room over the store of J. Fleet at the corner of New and Main St. Huntington Village. In 1869, the Lodge purchased a plot of land of the current building on New York Avenue for $1000. Between 1865-1905, the Lodge moved to a room over O. S. Sammis on the NW corner of Main St. and New York Ave.
On the afternoon of August 25, 1904, the cornerstone of the present building was laid, by the direction of the Grand Master R:.W:. William L. Swan of Oyster Bay. Seventy-five members of Jephtha along with members of several Lodges were present. The Masonic service ended with the pouring of corn, wine and oil on the precious stone.