I would like to share my travels and while out on the road on my first adventure I decided to see how many Lodges I could see. On a long weekend, the family and I took off to see my father in Sedalia, Mo. He has had some health issues the past couple of months. I wanted to visit with him and other members of the family. It had been a few years. It was a great time. My Dad is still not feeling well so if I could ask that you can keep him in your prayers I would appreciate it. While there, I passed the Masonic Temple of Sedalia. A simple building that housed the Scottish Right and Eastern Star as well. I did not go up to the door but the next time I am in town I will.
The next adventure was to the Charleston, SC for a family vacation with friends. I did find the Lodge in Charleston. While in Charleston, we went to Fort Sumter and this kicked off another thought to investigate Masonry during the Civil War. That interest really doesn’t peak until a later trip. I can tell you that you can find lodges wide open country (2 on the back roads in SC on the way to Congaree National Park), in town centers (Charlestown and Gettysburg) or just on the outskirts of towns and cities. I was not able to speak to any Brother or visit inside at any of these lodges, but I do know they are out there to visit.
I did get to meet some traveling men. It was on the battle field of Gettysburg at a General’s Encampment. The encounter:
“Are you a traveling man?” I was asked this question by Major General Winfield Scott Hancock (not the real guy, a Civil War Re-enactor) while visiting Gettysburg National Military Park. I did not really put the question he asked all together. So my reply was, “I am sorry I missed that.” To which, he asked again “if I was a traveling man.” Earlier, while he was talking with others I did notice a Square and Compass on his belt. Putting it together the second time around, I replied that I was and was here with my family and introduced my son Jacob (who was with me at the time). We shook hands and he informed me he was from Philadelphia. I shared that I was from Ely Lodge, Vermilion Oh. One of the captains took out a Masonic hand book (reproduction) of the Civil War timeframe. I told Maj. General Hancock I did notice the square and Compass on his belt loop. That led to him asking me if I noticed anything different. I replied that there was no “G” in the middle. He informed me that it was around the Civil War time that the “G” was placed as part of the Square and Compass. This reignited my interest in Masonry in the Civil War. We parted ways so not to tie up the General’s time with other guests of the park. Walking around I thought I missed a chance to have a picture taken with this great Mason. I circled back, asked to have my picture taken with him and thought I would share it.
Brethren, if during your travels throughout the year(s), please take the time and look for the Square and Compass on a finger, building, or belt loop. You may not always be able to open the door, but there may be a chance opportunity to speak with a brother and you never know what you may find out or peak an interest. Safe Travels!