he 220 plus years of history of St. John's Lodge No2, New Castle Delaware, is an illustrious one. We are able to count as members of our Lodge many prominent statesmen, patriots and citizens of Colonial and present day New Castle and of the state of Delaware. Members that include United States Senators, Congressmen, Governors, Chief Justices or Judges, Attorney-Generals, brilliant lawyers, eminent Doctors, school teachers, clergymen, military Officers and many businessmen and private citizens.

From a Masonic view, numerous men served on the Grand Staff of the Grand Lodge of Delaware in all positions including Grand Master. Our list of members is a wondrous list, one that we are proud of and this page is an attempt to highlight the beginnings of the lodge.

History of St. John's Lodge No 2

1781 On April 4th,the Provincial Grand Lodge, A.Y.M. of Pennsylvania granted a charter to Lodge #33. It was the 4th lodge chartered in Delaware (the 2nd during the Revolutionary War) and would alternate meetings between New Castle and Christiana Bridge. Joseph Israel was installed as the Lodge's first Worshipful Master.

In 1781 the last year of the War of Independence was being waged and several important battles were fought. At the Battle of Cowpens, American General Morgan defeated a British force of regulars under the command of Colonel Tarleton. Morgan's troops enveloped the British in a classic military action that captured all of the British forces. (Special Note: Delaware native and Masonic Brother, Captain Robert Kirkwood leading the Delaware Battalion, also known as "The Blue Hen's Chickens", repulsed the British cavalry, and made a famous bayonet charge ordered by Colonel John Eager Howard. He was with General Washington in his pursuit and defeat of Cornwallis.)

At the battle of Guiford Courthouse, American forces under the command of General Greene attacked British forces commanded by General Cornwalis at Guilford Court House. The British forces won a tactical victory, but British losses were too heavy for Cornwalis' forces to bear. The British finally surrendered on October 19, 1781, Americans were officially independent of Britain.

1797 Lodge #33 settled in New Castle and held its meetings at the Hotel known as the Gilpin House, opposite of the Court House.

In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS Constitution is launched to fight Barbary pirates off the coast of Tripoli

President Adams sent three envoys to France to negotiate a new agreement. French Minister Talleyrand demanded a personal bribe of $250,000 and loan of $12 million dollars to France. When word of the affair became public, the American people were incensed. They demanded war with France. Adams refrained from declaring war, but a quasi-war took place for two years.

1806 On June 7, 1806, Lodge #33, along with the 3 other Lodges of Delaware, constituted the Grand Lodge of Delaware and became St. John's Lodge No2, the 2nd Lodge chartered by the newly formed Grand Lodge of Delaware.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrives back in St. Louis just over three years after its departure.

1807 Senior Grand Warden Joseph Israel PM, one of the brightest ornaments of Freemasonry in New Castle, passed away.

The U.S. Chesapeake was fired upon and boarded in open waters by the British. 21 American sailors were killed or wounded. Four sailors were taken away by the British, who claimed they were British deserters. As a result, Congress passes a law known as the Embargo Act, banning trading with almost every nation, a provocation leading to the War of 1812.

1879 St. John's No2 purchased ground and built the Masonic Hall in conjunction with Washington Lodge I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd Fellows)

Thomas Edison overcame the obstacle to finding a light bulb that would burn long enough to become commercially viable by developing a bulb based on carbonized cotton. The invention of the light bulb began the electrical revolution that soon swept the country and the world.

1908 Fire ravaged the Masonic building and if not for the heroic efforts of several of St. John's members the original charter would have been lost in the fire.

The forty-sixth star was added to the U.S. flag, signifying Oklahoma's admission to statehood.

The Wright brothers register their flying machine for a U.S. patent

The Ford Model T, the first car for millions of Americans, hits the market. Over 15 million Model Ts are eventually sold, all of them black.

After a month on the Arctic ice, Robert Peary became the first man to reach the North Pole. The only other American to reach the pole with Peary was an Afro-American named Matthew Henson. Four of the seven Eskimos who started the trip arrived with Perry, as well.

1910 A new Masonic Hall was built and the Masonic Hall Company was formed.

Union leaders ask President William H. Taft to investigate U.S. Steel's practices.

Karl Harris perfects the process for the artificial synthesis of rubber.

The first Father's Day is celebrated in Spokane Washington.

Aviator Eugene Ely performs his first successful take off and landing from a ship in San Francisco.

Mark Twain dies at the age of 75.

The Camp Fire Girls are founded in Lake Sebago, Maine.

1984 Ground was purchased and a bigger Masonic Hall was built at 1406 Wilmington Road, New Castle to facilitate more parking space and easier access to the building for it's members. The new building was mostly funded and built by the members of St. John's Lodge and Brother Thomas J. Ventura,Sr. became the first Worshiful Master in the new building.

President Reagan endorses the development of the first U.S. permanently-manned space station.

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that cities have the right to display the Nativity scene as part of their Christmas display.

The Soviet Union announces it will not participate in Summer Olympics planned for Los Angeles.

The Space Shuttle Discovery's crew rescues a second satellite.

The Holy
Saints John

Holy Sts. John

John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, appear to Freemasons in several places in our catechisms.

Their proximity and use in our rituals have been questioned for many years as to their use and placement. Looked at together, Saint John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist serve to represent the balance in Masonry between zeal for the fraternity and learned equilibrium. The Saints John, stand in perfect parallel harmony representing that balance.

From a historical approach, The Saint John's festival is said to be a widely celebrated Masonic holiday. Traditionally June 24th (or the summer Solstice) is taken to be John the Baptist's day, which is celebrated in many cultures around the world. According to McCoy's Masonic Dictionary, the Festival of St. John in summer is a duty of every Mason to participate in, and should serve to be a renewal and strengthening of fraternal ties and a celebration of Masonry from "olden-times". It functions as a connection between the past and the future.