Point Pleasant, NJ

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Durand Lodge #179 F. & A.M.

Home of the Williams Balcony

Durand History


December 26 - Brethren from the area, interested in the formation of a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, in the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, assembled in a room designated for that purpose, on the second floor of the Hendrickson Building, Bay Ave. (North East corner of Bay Ave. and Laurel Ave. What is now 620/622 Bay Ave. Approximately 200 feet north of Laurel Ave.)

At 9:30 a.m., under dispensation, Most Worshipful W. Holt Apgar, Grand Master of Masons for the State of New Jersey, opened this new Lodge for the very first time. While the Grand Lodge Officers were in their respective Stations and Places, the Grand Master, with the assistance of the S.G.D. and the G. Marshal, proceeded to install the officers of this Lodge with W.B. John Stevenson being its first Worshipful Master. After the formalities of opening and instructing the new Lodge, "all of the speakers with especial pleasure to the fact, that the name of the Lodge would perpetuate that of one who had been among the most prominent and popular members of the Order in the State." ..The Brothers were obviously referring to.........our namesake, "the late Past Grand Master, James H. Durand, to whom all the members of the Grand Lodge spoke of in the highest language."


Durand Lodge purchases 4 new chairs (Master, Tyler, Marshal and Secretary) along with the official Lodge Seal.


June 26 - After first being rejected by the Grand Master, Durand Lodge's Constitution and By-Laws are finally approved.


January 22 - Durand Trustees arrange a lease with Mr. Henry Heller (landlord of the Hendrickson Bldg.) for the Lodge Room or second floor for a period of five years at a rate of seven dollars a month. The Brothers demanded that a ladder for a proper fire escape be added along with "sufficient rope for the four additional windows". It wasn't until February 10, 1908 that an iron fire escape was erected and the aforementioned rope was supplied.


A communication was received by the secretary from the Fredericksburg Virginia Lodge, asking for a contribution to fund the building of a Masonic Memorial to Worshipful Brother, George Washington. (Durand Lodge donates five dollars).


Brethren of the Lodge pass a motion to purchase a "commode" that was to be kept "in one of the outer rooms".


By-laws amended to read, "Regular Communications will be held on the second and fourth Mondays of every month."


Lodge purchases a new flag and a motion is passed to procure a "Roll of Honor" to memorialize Brothers that were called to duty in "our present war." (Refers to World War I).

Motion passes to purchase and send "traveling cards" to our Brethren in war." Also their dues payments were suspended.


An area businessman, Dr. E.S. Carrigan, owner of John Arnold Hall (after purchasing the building from the Pt.Pleasant & Bay Head Fire Company for $7,500.) approached the Lodge and offered the rental of the Hall at a rate of $430 per year. (The Fire Company then moved to a new building located directly behind Arnold Hall - Now the Ocean Star building).

The offer for the Hall rental was accepted and by September 1920, the Lodge had made its move from the Hendrickson Building to the third floor of Arnold Hall.

Durand Brother A.B. Johnson purchases Arnold Hall and therefore becomes the Lodge's new landlord.


Secretary receives correspondence from the Grand Master mandating that the letter "G" be displayed at all regular communications and that it be properly covered when the Lodge is closed.

First reference to the 17th Masonic District. Prior to this date, entries in the minute books refer to Durand being part of the 13th Masonic District.


Durand conducts its first meeting in its new Masonic Hall located in the Vitrini Building. (Unknown if this is the building that was referred to as "the building" located at Richmond Ave. & Arnold Ave.).

It is suspected that late 1950 to early 1951, after again discussing moving to a new location, the Brothers of Durand along with W.B. Fitzsimmons, approached Father Duffy, the caretaker of a retreat for nuns, which at the time was located on Atlantic Ave. between Bay Ave. and Richmond Ave. (just north of New Jersey Ave.) It is said that the retreat was experiencing financial difficulties during this time. An agreement was later finalized and Durand purchased the Chapel portion of the retreat; after which they had the Chapel moved south to our present location, the corner of New Jersey Ave. and Richmond Ave. where it was placed atop a new foundation creating what we now utilize as our Fellowship Hall.


W.B. John Townley presents a picture of M.W. James H. Durand, to the Lodge "to be displayed in an appropriate place." (Now proudly displayed in our ante room).


Durand Lodge #179 celebrates its 50th Year Anniversary. Lodge purchases its new public address system which the cost of was shared by the Sisters of the Faith Chapter of O.E.S.


Williams Balcony, the pride and joy of Durand, is constructed and dedicated. W.B. John Cumming is the first to deliver the Middle Chamber Lecture utilizing the new balcony.


Durand Lodge celebrates its 100th Year Anniversary.


Durand Lodge hosts brothers from Prince Hall affiliated lodges.