St. John’s 81 Lodge

In 2017 Doric 289 & St. John’s 81 amalgamated to form Rising Sun 81.

In 1793 Lt. Governor Simcoe made a trip from Niagara to Detroit. Lt. Talbot was with him and he later laid out and started Caradoc Township of Middlesex County. The first settlement in Middlesex was just north of the present village, and was first settled in 1800. The Longwoods Road was completed between Delaware and Detroit, and became Ontario Highway No. 2. The Great Western Railway was laid out through Mt. Brydges in 1853. The surveyor on the line was Mr. Brydges. The highest point on the rail line was at this location, therefore the name Mt. Brydges. St. John’s Lodge No. 81 commenced at Delaware as St.John’s No. 43. Three instruction meetings were held assisted by Brethren from St. George’s 42 and St. John’s Nos. 14 and 20, from London. The first Master of the Lodge, W. Bro. John Dutton was installed on June 22, 1857. The Installing Master was M.W. Bro. William Mercer Wilson, assisted by the D.D.G.M., R.W. Bro. James Moffat. The first two candidates were initiated at the regular meeting in July. The original Charter was granted by Grand Lodge on July 27, 1857. The Lodge was renumbered “81” in August 1859. No reason can now be found for the change in number. Mt. Brydges Lodge No. 102 existed between 1856 and 1863, and members from that Lodge were frequent visitors. On August 14, 1863, after the closure of No. 102, there were 23 new names added to the register of St. John’s No. 81 by affiliation. W. Bro. Francis Thompson, who had previously been Secretary of St. George’s 42, was one of those new Affiliates. W. Bro. Thompson was Treasurer of St. John’s 81 for 14 years, and the present furniture of the Lodge was obtained, through his efforts, from St. George’s 42 when they moved to the new East London Temple. At a meeting in Delaware in April 1868, because the majority of the membership were coming from Mt. Brydges and Caradoc, it was agreed to move the Lodge to Mt. Brydges. Even though the D.D.G.M. objected to the move, Grand Lodge approved it, and the first meeting was held in Mt. Brydges on June 30, 1868. The present Lodge building was designed by an architect (Mr. Schultz) and built of frame construction in 1875. The building was renovated in 1903, and was bricked in at a cost of $501. In the minute Book dated March 27, 1877, mention is made about assisting with the formation of Delaware Lodge No. 358 in Delaware. St. John’s No. 81 also assisted with the formation of Lodges in Komoka and Melbourne. A tombstone in Delaware for Lt. Col Daniel Springer Esq. states that he founded the town of Delaware Village and Masonic Lodge No. 43. It states that he died on June 15, 1826, which was 31 years before the Charter was approved.