Westmoreland’s ‘most mysterious locale’ open to public tonight

Published Oct 19, 2018 at 4:00pm

WESTMORELAND — The Clinton-Hampton Masonic Lodge No. 347, located at 7277 W. Main St., Westmoreland, will host an Open House from 7-9 tonight.

This is a rare opportunity for everyone in the public to see inside a Masonic Lodge, ask questions, and find out more about our fraternity.

Guests can also enjoy refreshments provided by Dippin Donuts and enter to win a prize pack from Whisky Jack’s Salon for Men.

Parents can bring their children for free child safety ID’s and there will be balloon animals.

The event is free and all are welcome. For more information contact Ron Klopfanstein, 1st degree, Entered Apprentice at 351-886-2665. 

About the Clinton-Hampton Masonic Lodge No. 347

The Clinton-Hampton Lodge No. 347 was granted its charger in 1810 by DeWitt Clinton, at the time the governor of New York State.

The town wasn’t called Westmoreland until 1871, so the lodge reflects the location’s original name.

The book Westmoreland 200 Years, describes how the lodge experienced robust growth during the 19th and 20th centuries. It formed a “dartball league” and “enjoyed many good and exciting contests.” It eventually bought and met in the Congregationalist Church on the village green and continued to thrive until it was destroyed in a devastating fire in February of 1960.

By December of that year, a new building was erected with help from the community and members of the brotherhood from all around.

It is described in the Westmoreland 200 Years book as “an outstanding example of Masonic helpfulness.”

The Clinton-Hampton Lodge #347 continues to meet in that building on 7277 West Main Street, just off the Village Green in Clinton, and hung prominently in the entrance way is the original charter signed by DeWitt Clinton with singe marks reminding visitors how the commitment of the members and the bonds of brotherhood survived even the most dire challenges.

Wayne Clinch who has been a member of the Clinton-Hampton Lodge for 56 years describes that sense of community as both a “tool” and an “obligation” to help him live a better life.

“When I took my degrees, I promised to do certain things,” Clinch says. “I try to live by that oath, to live a good life and try to help others.”

“There is a tradition of brotherhood,” Westmoreland’s Mick McFadden, a lodge member for 40 years says. “That’s why people want to be a part of it. We help each other out.”

McFadden describes the fraternity as “good and old-fashioned, like how we used to live.”

“This is an organization where you set aside all the differences that we have in the world today and allows us to be concerned for one another,” says Stan Zagraniczny. “You are always greeted in the Clinton-Hampton Lodge as a brother.”

About Freemasonry

The main principles of Freemasonry insist that each member show tolerance, respect and kindness in his actions toward others; practices charity and care for the community as a
whole; and strives to achieve high moral standards in his own personal life.

Honor and integrity are at the core of the Masonic belief system. Members are obligated to practice self-control and treat the people around them with respect. Masonry teaches that each person has a responsibility to make things better in the world, and to make themselves better. One of the goals of the Masonic brotherhood, and the reason people join, is so that they can come together for fellowship and to “make good men better.”