St. John’s Lodge No. 1 is one of two Masonic Lodges that regularly meet in the Masonic Temple at 351 Middle Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The other is St. Andrew’s Lodge No. 56.
St. John’s Lodge proudly dates its history to the year 1736 and was one of the earliest Lodges to be formed in what is now the United States. According to written records, only the larger cities of Boston, Massachusetts (a Lodge chartered in 1733); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Lodge records from 1731); Charleston, South Carolina (a Lodge chartered in 1736); and Savannah, Georgia (a Lodge chartered in 1734) had Lodges before the small city of Portsmouth. All these Lodges were at some time or other faced with situations or conditions that forced meetings and operations to be suspended temporarily. St. John’s is proud to be the oldest continuously meeting Lodge in the United States, and indeed the Americas, as we are fortunate that Portsmouth was spared the many calamities and wars that interrupted the meetings and destroyed the records of other Lodges.
Today, St. John’s Lodge has approximately 243 members, and some 3400 Masons have been members of the Lodge since its founding. The Lodge welcomes Masons who visit or relocate to the Portsmouth area as well as inquiries from men interested in the teachings and fellowship of Masonry. The Lodge maintains a full program of business meetings, degree work, and social functions. The Lodge is also is active in the Portsmouth community providing scholarships and helping support several charities and community service organizations as well as holding community events such as the annual “5K Out of Hibernation” road race.
St. Johns Lodge holds its Stated Communication the first Wednesday of every month with the Lodge opening at 7:00 p.m. Stated Communications are preceded by a supper which begins at 6:00 p.m. Details concerning Stated Communications, suppers, and other meetings may be found in the monthly Trestle Board and in the “Events” section of this site.