KSL and The Bunker Hill Monument

Freemasons and Bunker Hill

In 1794, King Solomon’s Lodge erected a monument on Bunker Hill on land donated by Bro. Benjamin Russell for that purpose. It was “A Tuscan pillar, 18 feet in height placed on a platform 8 feet high, 8 feet square, and fences around.”

The Bunker Hill Monument Association was formed in 1823 for the “purpose of erecting on Bunker Hill a more fitting and enduring monument to the memory of the brave men who fell there in the cause of human liberty.” King Solomon’s Lodge (1783) then gave the Association the ground which it owned, together with the monument it had erected to the memory of Bro.  Warren, on condition “that some trace of its former existence” might be preserved in the monument to be erected. On June 17, 1825, Grand Lodge opened at 8 a.m. and a procession was formed on the Common which marched to Bunker Hill in Charlestown. There, in the presence of Bro. Lafayette (the apron he wore is in the Grand Lodge archives), representatives from five New England States along with the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, Grand Master John Abbot, and Senior Past Grand Master Isaiah Thomas, assisted in laying the cornerstone and Lafayette and Bro. Daniel Webster addressed the great gathering. The monument was completed and dedicated June 17, 1843, but without the presence of the Grand Lodge. It was during the anti-Masonic era and a resolution to attend was defeated .

Inside the present obelisk is a model of the first monument that had been erected by King Solomon’s Lodge. It is made of the finest Italian marble and, including the granite pedestal on which it stands, is about nine feet in height and bears substantially the same inscription as the former one. The memorial is now under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (1976) and anybody can climb the 294 steps to the top without charge. From windows you can view Boston and, in particular, Charlestown Navy Yard where the U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) is berthed.

(Original Contributing Source: Cornelius Moore in the Voice of Masonry, published in The Freemasons Repository, Nov. 1881, Vol. 11.)
(Original Historical Writeup and Image attributed to Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum and Library)

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