ABOUT HARMONY LODGE #241
Harmony Lodge #241 is the merger of several lodges starting with Oscar Coles Lodge #241, Maspeth #1089, & North Shore #1149.
The first meeting of Oscar Coles #241. The date is correct, Dec. 24, 1851. That's right! Their first meeting was on Christmas Eve. Interesting note: Christmas was considered an 'English' custom so it wasn't officially celebrated until the late 1850's, early 1860's.
In early 1851 members of Lafayette Lodge No. 64 petitioned for a warrant to organize a new lodge. It was recommended at a meeting on December 1, 1851. The petition was approved.
The warrant was on the same date the lodge was constituted. The petitioners picked as their lodge name Oscar Coles Lodge after the newly elected Grand Master. The original members were in the seafaring business employed either as merchants or sailors. Oscar Coles was a driving force in the reuniting of the two Grand Lodges that had formed in New York State after Masonry began to reassemble after the Morgan Affair.
On December 24, 1851 Oscar Coles himself, acting as Installing Master installed the following officers:
Alfred F. Thorn, Master
Cornelius W. Brush, Senior Warden
John H. Black, Junior Warden
Samuel Auld, Treasurer
Robert McCor, Secretary
Benjamin Beyer, Senior Deacon
George Anderson, Junior Deacon
Starting with their first meeting on December 24, 1851 Oscar Coles Lodge No. 241 meeting place was listed as the corner of Broome and Crosby Streets. No exact address was listed. A search of the old fire insurance records through the New York City Public Library revealed only two buildings still existed from 1851. Neither had a loft which was reported to be the part of the building where they met, so it is presumed the building they first met in no longer exists.
Oscar Coles Lodge would move several times before moving into the Grand Lodge building.
--1858 – Oscar Coles Lodge moved to the Odd Fellows Hall on the corner of Grand and Center Streets.
--Jan 1866 – Moved to 594 Broadway.
--April 1869 – Moved to the Booth Theater Building located at the corner of 23rd Street and 6th Avenue.
--May 1874 – Moved into the original Grand Lodge building. This was a five story building located on the corner of 23rd Street and 6th Avenue.
In September of 1909 Oscar Coles would move into the present Grand Lodge building located on 24th Street and 6th Avenue.
For several years there was negative discussion of the fact that Oscar Coles Lodge was named after a living Grand Master. Because of this, after much discussion amongst the brothers, a resolution was passed to have the lodge changed to “Constitution Lodge No. 241”. A petition was submitted to Grand Lodge and it permission was granted on June 8, 1867.
Oscar Coles / Constitution Lodge No. 24