American Union Lodge No. 1

A History of Harmar Lodge No. 390 F. & A. M.

Author, Robert M. Noll, Past Master (1906) of Harmar Lodge No. 390


Harmar Lodge No. 390, Marietta, Ohio, being a unit of the Grand Lodge of Ohio and tracing its membership of such unit begins with the first settlement of the Northwest Territory at Marietta, Ohio, by the Ohio Company of Associates.

With due respect to antiquity, Solomon’s Temple and Hiram Abif, it will best serve our purpose by beginning with the colonization of the eastern portion of what is now the United States by early colonists.

The first settlement in the North American Continent other than the settlement by the Spanish in the southern portion of the continent, namely, in what is now Florida, was in Jamestown, Virginia, in the year of 1607.

This early settlement was followed by settlements in what is now North and South Carolina to the south, and what is now Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

In this various colonization there came from Great Britain, Germany, France, and other countries of Europe where Masonry had been established and many of the colonists were members of the Masonic Order and brought with them their teachings and established in the colonies fraternal lodges and the membership became numerous. From this nucleus there was at the beginning of the Revolutionary War a great number of Masons who joined in the Revolutionary War as officers and privates, and General Washington being the Commander in Chief of the forces, was at the time a prominent member of the Masonic Order, and it is estimated that of the Revolutionary Army of the colonists who made up a part of the forces, one-half were members of the Masonic Order.

At the end of the hostilities and upon the signing of the peace terms with Great Britain and the relinquishing of all rights by Great Britain, it became necessary to form a government of the colonies to take over the new country.

The officers and privates in the Revolutionary War did not receive wages. The best the colonists could do was to support the army in the field and at the end of the war Congress recognizing the officers and privates made allocations of the amount each should receive. However, Congress did not have any money and in order to carry out to some extent the payment they sold land in the territory Northwest of the Ohio River to groups who would make settlements, and the first and earliest settlement by such a group was by the organization of the Ohio Company of Associates who purchased from Congress at a very small and reasonable figure a section of land northwest of the Ohio River and Marietta became the first settlement to occupy the land so purchased by the Ohio Company of Associates.

The Ohio Company of Associates was made up of primarily Revolutionary officers and men who had served in the Revolutionary War, and it is recorded that of thirty-four men who were prominent figures in the Ohio Company settlement, twenty-two were members of the American Union Lodge which had its headquarters in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and had served in the field during the conflict, and the above twenty-two members brought with them from Roxbury, Massachusetts, American Union Lodge which still operates in the City of Marietta, Ohio and the Ohio Company of Associates brought to the Northwest Territory and to the State of Ohio and the other states making up the Northwest Territory, the Masonic Order. American Union Lodge remained active from the time of the settlement until the year 1867, and had the entire territory of what is now Washington County.

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