Our History

Our lodge was formed as the result of a merger between Zeredatha Lodge No. 451 and White Rose Lodge No. 706. The merger was approved by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania at the Quarterly Communication held in State College on June 9, 2018.

Lodge No. 451 has the largest membership of any lodge in the 42nd Masonic District of Pennsylvania, which consists of nine lodges in York and Adams Counties. We are an active lodge that puts an emphasis on brotherhood, excellence in ritual, and helping those in need.

We meet at the Masonic Center of York, located at 400 Masonic drive right off of North George street in North York where we have met since the building was completed in 1971. Previous to that time, Lodge No. 451 owned and met at a building in Downtown York commonly known as the 'Old Post Office' at the corner of W. Philadelphia and N. Beaver streets. That building was purchased from the Federal Government, converted for Masonic use, and hosted its first Masonic meeting on April 4, 1918. Previous to purchasing the Old Post Office, Lodge No. 451 rented at the Temple belonging to York Lodge No. 266. This building is located on North Beaver street, one block south of the Old Post Office and attached to the rear of the National House Hotel building. It was constructed by the owner of the hotel for the Masonic purposes of York Lodge No. 266 in 1864.

Previous to the merger in 2018, Zeredatha and White Rose Lodges were independently operating lodges in York meeting at the Masonic Center. Below are brief histories of the two lodges prior to the merger.

Zeredatha Lodge No. 451

Zeredatha Lodge No. 451 was warranted on November 24, 1869, with a warrant membership of seven Master Masons, all of whom demitted from York Lodge No. 266.

These seven warrant members were constituted as Zeredatha Lodge No. 451, F. & A.A.Y.M. on December 7, 1869 during a special communication of the Grand Lodge at the First Masonic Temple on N. Beaver street owned by York Lodge. Bro. Charles M. Howell, the longtime District Deputy Grand Master (his portrait hangs on the wall in the dining room at the Masonic Center), acted as the Right Worshipful Grand Master and installed the elective officers:

Josiah F. Rosenmiller, Worshipful Master
Edwin C. Epley, Senior Warden
George W. Heiges, Junior Warden
Charles A. Klinefelter, Treasurer
John W. Buckingham, Secretary

The other two warrant members were appointed as follows:
Leander H. Myers, Senior Deacon
Levi H. Maish, Junior Deacon

Less than a week later, the first stated meeting of Lodge No. 451 was held on December 13, 1869. Six petitions for initiation and membership were received and read from Richard Watt, Charles J. Eppley, Albert Smyser, Edwin P. Eckert, John F. Erwin, and Marcus C. Lanius, at which point Committees of Investigation were appointed for each. The work of Freemasonry continued at the First Temple until the lodge moved its official meeting place to the Second Temple, the Old Post Office, in 1918. It was here that Lodge No. 451 would truly prosper and grow.

In the late 1960s, when the time came to move out of the City of York, all three lodges then meeting at the Old Post Office formed a corporation to raise funds to build the Third Temple - our current Masonic Center of York. After several years of fundraising, planning, and construction, the Masonic Center was dedicated on October 2, 1971 and has served its tenants very well ever since.

White Rose Lodge No. 706

White Rose Lodge No. 706 was warranted on September 1, 1920, with a warrant membership of twenty-four Master Masons; they demitted from the following lodges:

Zeredatha Lodge No. 451
York Lodge No. 266 of York, PA
Patmos Lodge No. 348 of Hanover, PA
Land Mark Lodge No. 127 of Baltimore, MD
Eureka Lodge No. 302 of Mechanicsburg, PA

After approval of the Grand Lodge, these twenty-four Masons became warrant members and at a special communication of the Grand Lodge held on September 30, 1920, White Rose Lodge No. 706 was constituted. The warrant members were:

Elwood G. Bastress (Past Master of Lodge No. 451)
Melchinger O. Lewis (Past Master of Lodge No. 451)
Peter A. Elsesser (Past Master of Lodge No. 451)
Robert E. Gephart (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Thomas Shipley (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Samuel H. Shipley (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Vincent K. Keesey (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Frederick L. Miller (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Frederic T. Brandt (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Charles W. Vogel (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Edward T. Preston (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Earle W. Gardner (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
Theodore A. Stebbins (formerly of Lodge No. 451)
John H. Bennett
James G. Allison
George J. Hildebrand
Clayton O. Fehl
Louis S. Morse
George E. Ammon
Luther Bond
Lewis E. W. Buckingham
John E. Baker
Harry D. Quickel
Samuel H. Stein

The meeting was held in the Masonic Hall, also known as the Old Post Office, and presided over by Bro. John S. Sell, Right Worshipful Grand Master, and his staff of eighteen officers. The first elective officers were installed by the R.W.G.M.:

Elwood G. Bastress, P.M., Worshipful Master
John H. Bennett, Senior Warden
James G. Allison, Junior Warden
George J. Hildebrand, Treasurer
Robert E. Gephart, Secretary

At their second stated meeting on November 9, 1920, twenty-five new petitions were received. Early in the history of White Rose Lodge, they purchased stock and became part owner of the Second Masonic Hall property via the York Masonic Corporation. Lodges 451 and 706 met at and owned stock in this Second Temple, while York Lodge No. 266 met down the street at the First Temple until 1947 when they sold their building and began to rent at the Second Temple.

When the time came to move out of the City of York, White Rose Lodge joined with Zeredatha Lodge and York Lodge to form a Corporation to construct our current building - the Masonic Center of York.

© 2009-2024 Zeredatha-White Rose Lodge No. 451, F.&A.M