History of TAA

Our Lodge’s roots date back to April 4, 1770, when charter members Phillip Marret, John Fletcher, Andrew Gidding, George Brown, David Parker, Barnet Harkin, and Epes Sargent Jr met, as was their custom, at James Prentice’s Tavern on Middle Street in Gloucester.  Prentice’s Tavern had long been a meeting place for American patriots and, as noted by Gloucester historian Joseph Garland, “Many a rebel plot laid by the brethren of St. Andrew’s was hatched across the bay in Tyrian’s nest … at James Prentices Tavern on Middle Street.”  He further describes Tyrian to have been “one of the strongest but least visible ties between Boston and Cape Ann”, and Tyrian’s roster of the first few years as “a roll of revolutionary leadership on Cape Ann.”

Tyrian’s name derives from the ancient Phoenician capital of Tyre; Tyrian Purple was also known as the “Royal Purple,” cherished and worn by the Senators of Ancient Rome.

Our early Brothers involvement in our War for Independence was extensive:  active members of the Committee of Safety, raising a company of Minutemen and shipboard Marines, fighting at Bunker Hill, and members of the Sons of Liberty.  Brother Paul Revere, cousin to charter member Philip Marret, served as Tyrian’s proxy to the Grand Lodge during the pre-war years and also fashioned the Lodge’s Masonic Jewels which it still in our proud possession to this day.  Gloucester Harbor was of key importance to General Washington, as it boasted the largest seacoast garrison save that of Falmouth, and was thus charged with defending the entire Maine seacoast.  Tyrian’s Brother William Pearson commanded the 3rd company in defense of the seacoast, and when the HMS Falcon was successfully driven out of Gloucester Harbor, Brother Prentice generously provided the refreshments at his Tavern for the victorious defenders.

Our Lodge’s patriotic zeal was exceeded only by its commitment to come to the aid of the poor and distressed.  When small pox struck the city in 1778, charter member John Fletcher offered 100 pounds for the inoculation of the poor.  And of the ninety-three men listed in the records of Gloucester’s Selectmen who donated to the relief of Boston in 1775, twenty-two were members of the Tyrian Lodge, and these donations counted as half of those contributing the most.

The Acacia Lodge was formed in 1865 by nineteen interested Masons who felt there was a need for a second Masonic Lodge in Gloucester.  The “acacia” is a type of thorned shrub or small tree, known for its strong fragrance.  It is an ancient symbol for the purity and endurance of the soul and, in funerary rites, signifies resurrection and immortality.  Acacia’s first Communication was held on September 6, 1865 in the city proper and not in East Gloucester, as is a common belief.  While many of our Lodge’s current artifacts come to us form Acacia, regrettably many more were lost in a fire in July of 1960.  However the paintings that we have for the Second Degree dates back to 1887 and the officer collars that are currently in use are the original collars which were repaired and new facings put on in 1951.

The Ashler Lodge was formed in Rockport in March of 1851 and was merged with the Tyrian Lodge on October 23, 2003.  Its name describes the ashler, or stone foundational blocks that were used in the construction of ancient buildings, and was likely chosen because of the numerous granite quarries in the town.

Ashler Lodge then merged with the then Tyrian Acacia Lodge in 20__ to give the Tyrian-Ashler-Acacia Lodge its current form.

Today, the Tyrian-Ashler-Acacia Lodge cherishes its unique historical legacy. It prides itself on being a convivial and welcoming Lodge that is committed to cultivating brotherly love among men from all walks of life, practicing charity in ways large and small, and maintaining the highest standards of Masonic ritual. It is pleased and privileged to be able to count as members some 300 men from a wide range of occupational, educational, ethnic, religious, political and racial backgrounds; men who acknowledge the Brotherhood of Man under the Providence of the Grand Architect of the Universe and who thus choose to become Freemasons. As it enters the twenty-first century, the Tyrian-Ashler-Acacia Lodge remains firmly committed to safeguarding and transmitting to future generations of men the Masonic ideals entrusted to the Lodge by its founders in 1770.