Hiram Lodge No. 18 was Chartered on January 14, 1791. It is one of the oldest organizations in Newtown and several pages pertaining to the Lodge were included by Historians Ezra Levan Johnson and Jane Eliza Camp Johnson in their book of historical records of “Newtown’s History”, printed in 1917.
Hiram Lodge’s first communication took place January 17th, 1791. R.W. Brother Nathan Preston, accompanied by several brothers from Woodbury, journeyed to Newtown and in the Lodge rooms in the home of Bro. Bennett Perry, installed Bro. Peter Nichols as the first Master of Hiram Lodge. When the ceremonies had been concluded and the accustomed charges given for such occasions, the Rev. Bro. Philo Perry, minister of Trinity Church in Newtown, delivered an oration for the benefit of the brethren. The Grand Lodge was then closed. WM Peter Nichols then proceeded to open the first regular communication of Hiram Lodge.
Dating back as far as 1791, One Hundred Eighteen men have sat in the East and served as the Master of Hiram Lodge No. 18. Some have served multiple times. A record of their undertakings and achievements are recorded in our archives.
You will find the entire list of Hiram Lodge No. 18’s Past Masters by clicking the Past Masters sub-menu under Lodge History. The first Master of Hiram Lodge No. 18 was Captain Peter Nichols [1732-1799] . A brief History of Captain Peter Nichols (researched by Bro. Martin Maciag, PM) is as follows:
Captain Nichols was born March 1, 1732. The epitaph on his tombstone reads: “This monument is erected in Memory of Capt’n Peter Nichols who exchanged this life for Immortality on June 15, 1799 at the age of 67.
The following dates show a few of the activities he was involved with:
1/30/1761- Responsible for setting up a school in South Center Kettletown (part of Southbury today). As a subscriber, he selected a suitable person to teach and direct children in learning.
3/1/1769 – Served on a committee for the Tinkerfield School.
8/20/1767 – Listed on Newtown’s Grand Levy (tax list) – Nichols, Peter 112 pounds faculty – 9 pounds (trade of profession) (Note, 120 Pounds in those days would be worth about $18,000 today)
8/25/1783 – Took the “Oath of Fidelity” as prescribed by the CT General Assembly.
1/17/1791 – Installed as Hiram Lodge No. 18’s first Worshipful Master.