The History of Patuxent Masonic Lodge No. 218 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland. Patuxent Lodge was chartered under the Grand Lodge of Maryland A. F. & A. M on May 10, 1927.
Patuxent Masonic Lodge No. 218 located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and serving Southern Maryland began when 16 men, all dedicated Masons mostly from the District of Columbia, organized a Masonic Square Club. These brothers met in various homes and discussed the idea of forming a lodge in Maryland.
On January 16, 1926, they petitioned The Grand Lodge of Maryland and requested Special Dispensation to form a Lodge in Seat Pleasant, MD. Three of the original 16 dropped out but 18 additional men joined their ranks. Thirty-one Master Masons signed a petition and presented it to Mt. Hermon Lodge on April 6, 1926, asking them to consider endorsing their request of a Lodge.
On May 4, 1926, action was taken in Mt. Hermon Lodge and a ballot was cast of 33 affirmative votes and 2 negative votes.On June 11, 1926, MWGM Warren S. Seipp issued a dispensation for Seat Pleasant lodge to meet at 6725 Roosevelt Ave at the Seat Pleasant Savings and Loan Building. Seat Pleasant Lodge had their very first meeting on that date and Brother J. Louis Hofferbert of Waverly Lodge No. 152 was designated Worshipful Master, Edward F. Roberson Senior Warden and Floyd Martin Junior Warden. Thirty-three brothers were listed as signing the special dispensation and were from lodges in Maryland, DC, and other Jurisdictions. Edward F. Roberson was elected the first Worshipful Master and held that position for 2 years. He then served as Secretary for 26 years through December 1954.
On May 10, 1927, a Charter was issued by The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons Of Maryland to Seat Pleasant Lodge No. 218
Stated meetings were held on the Second and Fourth Fridays at 7:30 PM from November thru April, May thru October they were held at 8:00 PM.
Seat Pleasant Lodge has over 350 members that have received 25 year pins and over 125 members have received their 50 year service awards.
The large lodge paintings were painted, framed and hung by Brother L. Nelson Sylvester PM, who painted one each year. The picture in the east was painted in 1934, the west 1935 and the south in 1936. The paintings were too large for his house so he painted them on his porch during the spring, summer and fall. He used regular canvas and house paint.
Brother Hofferbert forbid any of his officers from attending DC lodges so as not to have any degree work performed mixed with MD ritual. This was one reason the members believed Seat Pleasant was not chartered in November 1926. The officers had not rid themselves of foreign degree ritual.
On January 3, 1945, a building committee was appointed and after 17 1/2 years the first Lodge meeting was held in the new Temple. In September 1956 it was decided to locate away from Seat Pleasant, MD to either District Heights or Suitland to be centrally located to the brethren. Some brethren protested and wanted to stay in Seat Pleasant.
Seat Pleasant Lodge sponsored Camp Springs Lodge by a favorable vote on March 2, 1955, and Camp Springs held their first meeting on December 13, 1955.
Eight sites were investigated on February 10, 1957, and the membership voted to locate to District Heights. The property was purchased on October 1, 1957, for $15,000.
On August 29, 1964, a ground-breaking ceremony took place, With the Honorable Charls H. Cover, Past Grand Master of Masons of Maryland, delivering a message entitled, “In the Beginning”. But the beginning of the construction of a shell was awarded on Feb. 11, 1965, and construction commenced on a most appropriate date, February 22, 1965, the birthday of our most revered member, Brother George Washington. The design committee consisted of C. William McPherson, Joseph M. Harris and Peter Cleland. Construction progressed very well.
On April 3, 1965, a special communication was held for the purpose of laying the cornerstone. The Grand Lodge and members of Seat Pleasant Lodge traveled from the old lodge to the new lodge to lay the cornerstone. On this date in 1965 the weather was clear, the air was brisk and over 300 persons were in attendance! The first lodge meeting was held in the building on Sept. 2, 1965.
The symbolic trowel used was the George Washington trowel that was used to lay the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol on September 18, 1793. It was also used to lay the cornerstones of the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial and numerous other cornerstone ceremonies.
Items placed in the vault behind the cornerstone were, a Lodge bulletin from April 1965, some coins, and The Prince George’s County Enquirer Gazette for April 1, 1965.
In March of 2002, after selling the lodge building in District Heights, we held our first stated meeting in the lodge in Oxon Hill, MD. In June of 2007 we relocated to the Centennial Lodge in Upper Marlboro, our present meeting location in Southern Maryland.
Throughout the history of our lodge, our membership in 1967 was 518 Master Masons and today our present membership is 106.
Seat Pleasant Lodge has always been supported by the Eastern Star; Jobs Daughters; and the Demolay who have made many donations to the lodge and supported many functions of the lodge. They furnished the kitchen and purchased the rug for the lodge room. They assisted with many functions at Seat Pleasant lodge, and we will always be grateful to those organizations for their assistance.
Members of Seat Pleasant Lodge have served as heads of several of the coordinate bodies to include the Grotto; York Rite; Scottish Rite; Shiners; Tall Cedars; Eastern Star and associate Bethel Guardians of the Jobs Daughters and several have served as dads for the Demolay. Several of our members have been bestowed the 33 degree in the Scottish Rite.
Several Past Masters have served as President of the Past Masters Association of Southern Maryland, and have been appointed or elected to serve as officers in the Grand Lodge of Maryland.
On September 3, 2011, the members of Seat Pleasant Lodge voted to change their name to Patuxent Lodge No. 218 A. F. and A. M. to better reflect the communities in Southern Maryland they serve, such as, Southern Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties.
Patuxent Lodge sponsors South River and Southern High Schools in Anne Arundel County and Suitland High School in Prince George’s County through the Masonic Charities of Maryland Scholarship Program.
Patuxent Lodge works with the students and counselors of these schools providing community service programs such as the MDCHIP ( MD Child Identification Program ) to communities in Edgewater, Davidsonville, Deale, Herald Harbor Fire Department Open House, Shady Side, Riva, The South County Festival at Herrington Harbor, Woodland Beach and Upper Marlboro.
In closing, we remember the hard work, determination and dedication of those 16 men who signed the petition to charter Seat Pleasant Lodge. We remember the hard work and dedication of the men and women who gave so many hours to build and maintain our lodge in District Heights, and to the Past Masters and members who have worked so hard to keep this lodge moving forward over the years.
(Taken from the History Book of Seat Pleasant Lodge No. 218)