(Grand Marshal; Master: William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon No. 7; and Founding and current Senior Warden: The Eagle Lodge No.1893)
& Bro. Peter Brusoe
(Treasurer: William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon No. 7; Founding and current Secretary of The Eagle Lodge No.1893; and Junior Warden: Irish Affinity Lodge, U.D.)
Returning to the area that bears the name of our first master is like a homecoming for our Lodge. Over the summer, the Brethren of William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon Lodge No. 7 did just that, sojourning to the Glover Park area to honor their founding Master, Charles Glover, and his grandson, Charles C. Glover, by conferring a Master Mason degree in an outdoor Veil Lodge.
Veil Lodges are rare in the District of Columbia, largely due to the planning requirements and the difficulty of finding an area that can be properly tiled. However, when they come together, they are truly a special experience. So, in keeping with the idea of returning to our roots, we sought out a place whose lineage lined up nicely with our Lodge’s. The location? Tudor Place Historic Home and Gardens, located just south of Glover Park in Georgetown.
The Glover family were very active masons. In fact, Charles Glover was a member of Federal Lodge No .1 in 1811 when he and eight other brothers petitioned the newly formed Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia to create Lebanon Lodge No. 7, the forefather of William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon Lodge No. 7.
Glover was also active in the civic life of Washington, DC, and his grandson, Charles C. Glover followed in his footsteps. Charles G. Glover, a prominent banker and active participant in the “city beautiful” movement, advocated for the creation of Rock Creek Park, the National Cathedral and other parts of the community. Later, he was honored by having the present-day Glover Park and surrounding community named in his family’s honor.
Tudor Place is a stately mansion tucked back from 32nd and Q Streets behind lush gardens and wooded lawns. It was purchased by Martha Parke Custis Peter, the granddaughter of Martha Washington with $8,000 left to her through George Washington’s will. The home was designed by the architect of the U.S. Capitol building, Dr. William Thornton, and was completed in 1815, just a few years after Lebanon Lodge No. 7 was chartered.
Given the prominence of Martha Parke Custis Peter and her relationship to George Washington, many prominent Americans visited, including Josiah Quincy III, the Marquis de Lafayette, as well as Robert E. Lee shortly before his death. And it’s likely that members of Lebanon Lodge No. 7 were also visitors to the home, attending social events and calling upon the Peter family. The estate was later added to the National Registry of Historical Places in 1960. This made Tudor Place an ideal location for us to hold the veil degree.
On July 8, we packed up our Lodge and made the drive down Wisconsin Avenue to assemble for a Special Communication on the “Bowling Green,” nestled in the private grounds of the Tudor Place. Already a sunken, oblong square surrounded by trees, the Bowling Green offered a perfectly serene, private, and special spot to set up a Lodge. Additional privacy was provided by a special agreement between the Lodge and Tudor Place, whereby the grounds were closed to the general public and open only Singleton members and their invited guests.
Joined by the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, and several Past Grand Masters and Grand Lodge officers, the Lodge was opened under the setting sun. While Brethren from The Colonial Lodge served as roving Tilers (the prize resulting from the Lodge winning this year’s Colonial Challenge), the Lodge set about the work of Raising three worthy men to the sublime degree of Master Mason. And over the course of the next several hours, each of the Fellowcrafts were led out onto the Bowling Green and received the degree in due and ancient form. It was truly a special experience for the candidates, the Brethren, and for the Lodge.