Freemasonry in Madison

Freemasonry in MadisonChatham Lodge No 33 preceded Madison Lodge when what is now Madison was still Chatham. Chatham Lodge was formed on November 8, 1814 and met in a building on what is now the Southeast corner of Waverly Place and Main Street. Its first Master was Jepthah B. Munn, a prominent local physician and surgeon. For reasons unknown, it stopped meeting 10 years later.

Madison Lodge was formed by 3 Masons from Cincinnati Lodge in Morristown, 2 from other lodges in New Jersey, 1 from a lodge in Washington, D.C. and 3 from lodges in New York. The original nine members from Madison were Bernard H. Nadal, James M. Tuttle, James W. Tuttle, Alexander H. Tuttle, Stephen D. Hunting, George H. Hancock, William H. Gardiner, Peter J. Heltman, and John Simpson. Mr. Nadal was a Methodist Clergyman and when he was serving in Washington DC. He was appointed Chaplain of Congress. James Tuttle was a pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Churches in Madison and Green Village. Alexander Tuttle, the son of James M. Tuttle was on the Board of Trustees at Drew. James W. Tuttle was a banker in Newark. Mr. Hunting , Mr. Hancock, and Mr. Gardiner were local businessman in Madison. Mr. Heltman was a Landscape gardener and John Simpson was a painter by trade. Such were the nine Madison residents that formed, with the assistance of others, Madison Lodge No. 93.

The group held its first meeting on July 9, 1868. Madison Lodge No. 93 received its Warrant on January 21, 1869. Waverly Place had been constructed in the interim and the lodge held its meetings on the third floor of Oriental Hall, now 17 Waverly Place. In 1872 they moved to the Searing Building, now 5 & 7 Waverly Place, and met there until 1912 when they moved to 91/93 Main Street. When the Presbyterian Church moved to larger quarters on Green Avenue, Madison Lodge purchased the building at 170 Main Street, renovated the interior and have met there since 1931 utilizing furniture from the early days on Waverly Place and benches from the church.