LODGE NO. 302 F. & A.M.
Welcome to our website. Freemasonry is alive and well in Mechanicsburg, PA and the surrounding West Shore area. We are an ancient organization of men trying to make ourselves and the world around us better, one man at a time.
How ancient? We started as stonemason’s guilds who traveled Europe building cathedrals using closely held principals and geometric techniques. Our oldest surviving written document dates to 1390, although there are certainly references elsewhere to earlier times. Early documents contain codes of conduct and admonitions of academic study, as well as modes of genteel interaction with nobility and church elders. In time the latter would become speculative or accepted masons, and joined with the operative masons in Lodges where everyone could meet on the level. The concept was that during their meetings all were on an equal footing.
By 1717, various lodges in England organized together under a Grand Lodge. Other countries would soon do the same. The idea of Freemasonry, where men who believed in God could meet together, on the level, without any discussion of specific religious tenets, and enjoy fellowship and personal improvement, spread throughout the world. It flourishes today worldwide in all non-communist countries. Visit our section on History of Freemasonry.
This specific Lodge was established in 1856. The number, 302, refers to the fact that it was the 302nd Lodge to be warranted in PA. It started with just 8 men, and currently has over 700 members. It is one of Pennsylvania’s larger lodges.
What was happening in the world in 1856? The Mormon pioneers were moving to Utah. Dallas Texas was incorporated as a city. Minnesota was about to become a State. Otis built his first elevator. Isaac Singer had produced his home sewing machine. The internal combustion engine was being invented. John Mason patented his airtight jars. And toilet paper was launched!
We are an old fraternity. We try to uphold an ancient and honorable name. We quietly do community service and also attend to our members and the widows of members passed. As to becoming a mason, the old saying is, to be one, ask one. That is what I did and I’m very glad I did.
On behalf of the members and officers of Eureka-West Shore Lodge No. 302, I hope you enjoy your visit to our website and learn something new.
Robert E. (Gene) McCaleb, II
Eureka – West Shore Lodge No. 302, Free and Accepted Masons,
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055