On the 26th day of June, 1873, upon the recommendation of Arcana Lodge, No. 110, A. F. and A. M., a dispensation was granted by Brother John H. B. Latrobe to form a new Lodge.
The Lodge was named in Brother Latrobe's (then Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of Maryland) honor, and the first meeting was held on Monday Evening, July 7th, 1873.
At the annual communication of the Grand Lodge in November, 1873, the dispensation of the Grand Master, authorizing the Lodge to work, was continued, and a Committee of five Past Masters appointed to investigate and report upon the expediency of granting a charter. This committee, consisting of Past Masters John M. Carter, William B. Larmour, F. J. S. Gorgas, Richard D. Murphy and William C. Nickum, made a report to the Grand Lodge at its semiannual communication held in May, 1874, and offered a resolution that the matter be referred to the Committee on Charters, which at that time consisted of Past Masters James H. Butler, Robert J. Henry and Isaac Amos.
The resolution was passed, and upon recommendation of this committee a charter was granted to John H. B. Latrobe Lodge, No. 165, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, bearing date of May 12th, 1874. The seven charter members, viz: William H. Shipley, Upton S. Gosnell, John T. Kirby, Sr., William T. Gosnell, John T. Kirby, Jr., William R. Ryan and Michael Nicholson, were all iron workers, and in their honor the Lodge Seal bears the design of the Iron Worker, who, accord-to tradition, was considered by King Solomon worthy to remain upon the throne where he had seated himself, because his hands had fashioned the tools by which the materials for the great temple were prepared for the builder's use.
And now, after more than forty-nine years of successful operation, there have been gathered into our sacred precints, not only the sturdy and stalwart iron worker—but men of every calling and profession—good and true men from all the walks of life, united by the sacred bauds of a common fraternity, on whose foundation stone is inscribed this motto, "The Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of Man," thus demonstrating the fact that "Masonry" unites men of every country, sect and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.
The First Communication of the Lodge was held in ALAMO HALL, No. 60 North Carrollton avenue (then Republican street), near Saratoga street.
On January 10th, 1874, the Lodge changed its meeting place to Bowen Hall, on Frederick avenue, between Mount street and Fulton avenue. On September 12th, 1879, another move was made, back to Alamo Hall. On March 1st, 1883, the Lodge again changed its quarters, taking up its abiding place at Denny & Mitchell's Hall, No. 1204 West Baltimore street. On September 23d, 1893, in obedience to an edict of the Grand Lodge, calling all City Lodges into the Temple, the Lodge moved into the East Room, but not long afterwards, having outgrown those quarters, the Ionic Room, our present home, was secured. The little band of seven has now grown to over six hundred and fifty.
1. "Historical," By-Laws of John H. B. Latrobe Lodge, No. 165, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, undated, pages 3-6.