Travels to the East (Coast) Pt. II – Philadelphia, PA

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Mason found some Philly Love

After Gettysburg, we drove to Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love. We passed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art where the Rocky statue and steps garnered a lot of attention of various tourists. We decided to return later. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize they removed the statue at night, so we missed getting a picture with that iconic figure. However, we did see much more and suffice it to say important monuments. Our first stop was the Liberty Bell.

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Mason is one among great men!
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It looks like he’s getting ready to put another crack in the bell…
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Just a few steps outside of the Liberty Bell Center is Independence Hall.
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We found the final resting place of Bro. Benjamin Franklin.
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Here’s a happy signer of the Constitution just steps away from Independence Hall.
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Here is Carpenter’s Hall where the members of the First Continental Congress also met.
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We also got to check out the National Constitution Center.

As an American Mason, this was all exceptional, but what I had been told by every brother to not miss while in Philly was the Masonic Temple of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. We had a rental car and kept driving around it, totally missing it, because we thought it was a church. Look at it in all its majesty. It is absolutely breathtaking.

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Such a magnificent structure build by Masons for Masons.

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City Hall looms in the center of Philadelphia, but the Masonic Temple stands tall.
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Intricate stained glass designs covered in Masonic Symbolism

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Look closely at the circles. They are each different with the builders fingerprints in them.
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One of the several, beautifully ordained and original lodge rooms
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Senior Warden chair with three chairs in front and one to his right.
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The altar and three lights
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A gavel knocker on one of the doors
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Bro. George Washington’s apron given him by the Marquis de Lafayette.

And of course we had to try out some Philadelphia staples. We went to Tommy DiNic’s Roast Pork and Beef for a roast pork, broccoli rabe, and provolone, as well as a Valley Thunder grilled cheese from Meltkraft (no image, but it was amazing) in the Reading Terminal Market. We also had a couple sandwiches from Tony Luke’s. Mason had a Classic Pizza Philly Cheese and I had a Sausage and Peppers. They were pretty good, but not the best that I’d ever had.

2015-10-06 11.39.49Finally, here’s the thing that I am really excited about sharing. As a Master Mason, we get to travel to other lodges. Well, I traveled on this trip and found myself in the Egyptian Hall of the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia invited to attend Lodge No. 2‘s meeting. Lodge No. 2 was constituted in 1758, boasts Bro. Ben Franklin as a past master, and originally met at the Tun Tavern where the Marines were formed.

Unfortunately, I missed their opening of lodge, as I was actually waiting to attend another lodge that was doing degrees that evening, but cancelled. I was welcomed in when the invited guest, Prof. Joe Wojie of Grim Philly Twilight Tours gave a talk on the grim history of Philly. He discussed some history of the Tun Tavern, as well as witches, pirates, and graverobbers. Everyone was friendly and inviting. They even gave me a pin and a whiskey glass with their lodge info on it. Thank you brothers for the hospitality and brotherly love in the city of brotherly love!
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One comment

  1. As a Pennsylvania Freemason, I yield to no one in praising our Grand Lodge Temple. I will admit that there might be Masonic structures EQUAL to it, but I refuse to acknowledge a superior building anywhere in the world. Did you happen to browse through the Grand Lodge Masonic Library’s Gift Shop? My wares are on display there and the Manager, Ms. Carole Alfe is a particular friend. Oh well, next trip. What I love about Philadelphia is the fact that for ten years it was the nation’s capital and the original structures are still there! Washington D.C. is great, but it can be overwhelming–especially to a child. When you go back to Philadelphia, you see our government human-sized. In Congress Hall (right beside Independence Hall), on the first floor is the House of Representatives. There is room for all 105 Congressmen in pews. Upstairs is the Senate in a little room with 30 desks. Across the complex is the old County Court House which the Supreme Court used: there’s a table with 6 chairs and six little wooden benches for the public. A block away are the remains of the Morris Mansion where Bro. George Washington lived. Couple of more blocks and you come to Hamilton’s house where the Treasury was administered. Henry Knox ran the Defense Department with the help of six clerks not far from Carpenter’s Hall. It makes the Federal Government more memorable, especially for the young. D.C. can make you feel like an insignificant ant, instead of a U.S. Citizen.

    Liked by 1 person

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