Freemason Secrets

March 21, 2024
Erich Huhn

The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) and Congdon-Overlook Lodge in Bernardsville hosted a fascinating program called Freemason Secrets on Thursday evening.  Speaker Erich Morgan Huhn walked the audience through the mythology and history of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, a fraternal organization with origins in 17th century Scotland and England. 

Huhn noted that John Skene became the first Freemason in British North America when he emigrated from Aberdeen, Scotland, and settled in Burlington, NJ, then capital of the colony of West Jersey.

Membership in the Masons included George Washington and other prominent Americans.  The movement suffered setbacks in the early 19th century and sparked the formation of an Anti-Masonic political party.  Membership rebounded after the Civil War as returning soldiers swelled its rolls.

Huhn also explained the layout, seating, and symbolism of the Bernardsville lodge, which was established in a former church.

Refreshments were served afterward, and signed copies of Huhn’s book New Jersey’s Masonic Lodges (ISBN  9781540240781) were available for purchase.