Masonic Lodge #53

Masonic Lodge # 53Masonic Lodge Number 53 was started in Chuckatuck in 1797.  “A Mason (or Freemason) is a member of a fraternity known as Masonry (or Freemason).  These men have joined together because 1) there are things they want to do in the world, 2) There are things they want to do “inside their own minds” and 3) They enjoy being together with men they like and respect.  Masonry teachs some important principals:  Since God is the Creator, all men and women are the children of God,  Each person must take responsibility for his/her own life and actions, No one has the right to tell another person what he or she must think or believe, Each person must learn and practice self control, Faith must be in the center of our lives, Each person has a responsibility to be a good citizen, obeying the law, It is important to work to make this world better for all who live in it, and Honor and integrity are essential to life”.  (These principals came from the Mason Web site). Masons, like many civic organizations, give back to the communities they live in.  The following information comes from a History of Chuckatuck Excerpts from Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Virginia from 1777 to 1823 Volume 1 by John Dove G.C. (borrowed from the Library of the College of William and Mary} Compiled by J.S. Kirk March 11, 1962 which is on file at the GCHF.   Additional information came from Ronnie Cates, Secretary of Lodge No 77.  It was resolved at a meeting at the Grand Lodge of Virginia in Richmond on the 29th of November, 1797 “That a charter do issue, appointing John Holliday, Master; Scarsbrook Godwin, Senior Warden, and John Godwin, Junior Warden, to hold a regular Lodge in Chuckatuck, in the County of Nansemond, to be designated by the name of the Chuckatuck Lodge No. 53.”  This lodge continued until 1848, at which time it was suspended.  On January 20th 1852 Chuckatuck Lodge was issued a new charter as Chuckatuck No. 77.  Meetings were held in the Masonic Lodge located adjacent to the Chuckatuck Grammar School, and this building remains in that same location today but has taken on different tasks since Masonic Lodge No. 77 joined with two other lodges in the Bennett’s Pasture area.  In June 1992, a committee was appointed to investigate a possible merge between Chuckatuck Lodge No. 77, Harmony No. 149, and Hiram No. 340.  The investigation committee determined that a merger of these three lodges was in the best interest of Masonry in general and recommended it.  The new lodge would have approximately 270 members, a strong line of officers, and the resources to build a new Temple.  This merger was approved and Nansemond Lodge moved into its new Temple on Lee Farm Lane in Bennett’s Creek in December 1996.  This lodge, although outside of the Greater Chuckatuck Historical Foundation area, still continues to be an important part of the community.