Our Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian was recently exploring some long overlooked storage areas in Ashlar Masonic Temple when he came across a cardboard storage cylinder containing some documents.
When he took the documents out of the cylinder he discovered some important pieces of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 history: two documents issued to James Miller Brown by the Grand Lodge of California in November 1860.
The first of these documents is an original Master Mason Certificate, issued at San Francisco by the Grand Lodge of California on 30 November 1860 to James Miller Brown of Hiram Lodge, No. 43, Eldorado, California.
The second document is a demit certificate issued to James Miller Brown by Hiram Lodge, No. 43, Eldorado, California, on 26 November 1860.
A “demit” is issued to a lodge member in good standing, typically at his own request, if the member wishes to cease being a member of a lodge. James Miller Brown obviously wished to discontinue his membership in Hiram Lodge No. 43 when he moved from California to Nanaimo. A demitted member of a lodge is still considered a Freemason in good standing, so, when James Miller Brown became a Charter member of Nanaimo Lodge, No. 1090 in Nanaimo in 1865, he was still considered a Freemason although he wasn’t a member of a lodge at the time.
James Miller Brown’s house is still standing at 528 Hecate Street in Nanaimo.
Update: these certificates have now been framed and will go on permanent display in Ashlar Masonic Temple.
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