Among the pioneers, besides members of church organizations who had formed new societies in their new home, there
were the Masons in Hartford, and many were possibly affiliated with lodges in neighboring towns. There had been
six formed within the county. They were located at Fort Edward, Hampton, Kingsbury, Cambridge, Salem and Granville,
and were formed in the order named. Some Masons within the town must have been affiliated with the numerous temporary
military lodges that had existed in the army. In 1800, Herschel Lodge, No. 89, at Hartford, became the seventh.
It was instituted at the home of Elijah Sacket on December 3rd. The following were the first officers: M., Daniel
Mason; S. W., Gardner Maynard; J. W., Thomas Worden; Scribe, Asaheal Hodge; Treasurer, Caleb Brown; S. D., Elijah
Sacket; J. D., Jonathan Wood; Stewards, George Jilson and Nathan Taylor. Among the other original members were
Enoch Froman, John Swain, George Patterson, Solomon Carswell, C. Higby, Manning Bull, Samuel Love, Thomas Love,
John Pierce, Samuel Taylor, Luther Harris, Zadok Harris and Waite Doolittle. The discipline of the first lodge
was no less strict than that of the churches, and the members no less serious in their purpose of banding together.
In the original by-laws we read that a member failing to attend a public meeting shall pay a fine of a shilling.
Members were frequently expelled for unbecoming conduct. The meetings were held around at convenient private dwellings.
In 1820 we read that the house of Brother Caleb Brown was so used, and its owner paid $.50 per meeting. Later David
Austin fixed up the large attic of his house for a lodge room, where meetings were held for many years. The early
history of the lodge was a peaceful and happy one, and continued so for two decades or more. Among the first members
and later initiates may be found the names of prominent men in town, its pastors, physicians, the deacons of the
early churches and leaders in local government.