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metincoffeehousesortaverns,which

wereconvenientlylocatedintowncen-

tersnearmajorroadways.

ItistemptingtoassumethataMa-

sonicsymbolonatavernsignmeans

thatalodgemetinthatbuilding;how-

ever,researchhasshownthatthiswas

notthecase.

Thesignsillustratedhererepresenta

mixoftaverns—somethatdidhost

Masonicmeetingsandsomethatdid

not.

ForMassachusettsMasons,oneofthe

best-knowntaverns(andMasonic

meetingplaces)istheBunchofGrapes,

originallylocatedonKing(nowState)

StreetinBoston.

Establishedasatavernasearlyas

1712,thebuildinghostedthebirthofthe

GrandLodgeofMassachusetts.Here,

HenryPriceconstitutedthefirstMa-

sonicbodiesinthecolonyonJuly30,

1733,makingitthethirdoldestGrand

Lodgeintheworld,afterEnglandand

Ireland.

TheBunchofGrapesTaverncontin-

uedtoplayhosttolodgemeetingsfor

severaldecades.

Inaddition,GeorgeWashingtonwas

entertainedatthetavernatleastonce;

Lafayettevisitedin1784,anditwasthe

siteofmanydiscussionsandcovert

meetingsconcerningAmericaninde-

pendence.

Hangingoutsidetheentrancewas

thetavern’ssign—agildedbunchof

grapes,leavingnodoubtastothetav-

ern’sname.Then,asnow,signsexistto

beunderstoodbyalargeanddiverse

audience.

Mosttavernsignsincludeapainted

orcarvedfigureofananimal,aperson

oranobject.Theygenerallypresentthe

nameofthetavernkeeperandperhaps

thedateheopenedforbusiness.

Bythelate1700s,namedsignswere

mandatedbylawandatavernkeeper

whodidnotincludehisnameonhis

signwouldbefined.

Atavernsignnowinthecollectionof

theNationalHeritageMuseumshows

thecommonstyleofthe1800s.

Thedark-coloredovalsignhasgold

decorationwithaprominentsquare

andcompassessymbolinthecenter.

Aroundthesymbol,letteringreads,

“EntertainmentbyJ.Healy1819.”Jesse

Healy’s(1769-1853)tavernwaslocated

intheTrapshire,NH,area.

HealywasraisedaMasterMasonon

May7,1800,inHiramLodgeNo.9,of

Claremont,NH.

WhenFaithfulLodgeNo.12,was

charteredinCharlestown,NH,thenext

month,HealywasappointedSenior

Warden.

Hecontinuedhisserviceinthat

lodge,servingasWorshipfulMaster

from1802-03,asChaplainfrom1812-14,

andasSeniorWardenin1815.

AlthoughHealy’stavernsignin-

cludesaMasonicsymbol,inthiscaseit

doesnotmeanthatthetavernhosted

Masonicmeetings.

SometimesusingaMasonicsymbol

onatavernsignwasmerelyawaytoin-

dicatetheowner’smembership.

Duringtheearly1800s,Masonicin-

volvementwasunderstoodasasignof

prestige.Travelerswouldseethesym-

bolandknowthattheownerwasa

Masonwhocouldbereliedupontopro-

videgoodserviceatanhonestprice.

Additionally,theuseofMasonicsym-

bolsinsuchavisiblewayallowed

lodgesandmemberstogenerate

®

TheGreenDragonTavernbyJohnJohnston,in1773,meetingplaceofthe

LodgeofSt.Andrew.Courtesy,AmericanAntiquarianSociety.

Castironsymbolthathungin

frontoftheGreenDragonTavern.

FromthecollectionoftheGrandLodgeofMassachusetts.