Letter of the month: July 1999
From: "Jared T. Wilcox" <email@example.com>
Subject: Coudersport, PA / Consistory
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 23:07:56 -0400
Over the past twenty years on periodic trips to my wife's "family
hunting camp" near Coudersport, PA I've been curious about a large,
impressive brick structure called the Coudersport Consistory. As it
sits close to the road I'm not sure what else is engraved on the
building I've always wondered what it was. On a recent vacation trip, I
finally noticed the "square and compass" on the wall near the entrance
to an attached building a bit further back from the road. There is also
a sign in the yard mentioning A.A.S.R. if I remember correctly.
Just curious ... what is it and what does it have to do with
John T. Wilcox
To: "Jared T. Wilcox" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Coudersport, PA / Consistory
In-reply-to: Your message of "Mon, 19 Jul 1999 23:07:56 EDT."
Dear John (or Jared):
AASR stands for Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite is
an affiliated branch of Freemasonry. SR offers a number of "side
degrees" available to any Master Mason (3rd degree Mason).
SR degrees have fancy names like "Sublime Master Elect", "Master of
the Ninth Arch", "Knight of the Brazen Serpent", "Master ad Vitem" etc,
and each degree also has a sequence number, from 4th - 32nd. (The 1st -
3rd degrees are the three degrees offered in the regular Masonic "blue
lodge": Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason.)
In the USA, the SR is divided geographically into "Valleys",
chartered by either the Northern or Southern Masonic Jurisdiction. Each
Valley is made up of subordinate bodies of four different types:
-- Lodge of Perfection ( 4th-14th degrees)
-- Princes of Jerusalem (15th-16th "")
-- Chapter Rose Croix (17th-18th "")
-- Consistory (19th-32nd "")
As you realized, the Square and Compasses identified that particular
Consistory's building as a part of Freemasonry. In fact, it is usually
the case that various "blue lodges" along with various local appendant
bodies (like the SR bodies) will share a building together, each group
meeting on a different night of the month. So the building you saw was
probably built or refurbished by the local Consistory, and it, or its
attached buildings, are used by the other Masonic groups in the area.
For more information about Scottish Rite, including a listing of
their degrees, try the website of the Valley of Columbus, Ohio -- http://www.32srmason.org.
I can't say for sure, but my expectation would be that if you ever
stopped at the Coudersport building and went up to the door, you'd
probably find a sign listing which bodies meet on which nights, along
with a phone number to call for more information.
Thanks for writing.
| Gary L. Dryfoos <email@example.com>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus GL Mass.
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142 | & Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden ""
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not;
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