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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes April 2010

National Heritage Museum

It’s a Fantastic Spring Season at the Museum!

        “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” opens in just a few days on April 3! Spirits are high here at the Museum! The staff is busily working on finishing touches in the gallery. The media is abuzz with news of the opening. Public programs are lined up with choices for all ages.

        If the Henson exhibition isn’t enough, two other popular shows, “Treasured Lands” and “The Art of the Movie Theater,” have people talking—and visiting! It’s a great spring here!

        Be sure to fan us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter user for regular updates. Hope to see you soon!

National Heritage Museum
33 Marrett Road
Lexington, MA 02421

To see all we have on view, visit our web site at

Free admission and parking
Closed Mondays, except for Monday holidays
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am-4:30 pm
Sunday, noon-4:30 pm
Heritage Shop and Courtyard Café on site

        Be sure to check out our blogs! The National Heritage Museum Blog is a great resource for information on American History, Freemasonry, Fraternalism, and Museum news. Our Learning Blog facilitates the use of primary sources to reconstruct the past.

The Museum was founded by and is supported by the Scottish Rite Masons.

(Source: National Heritage Museum News Release)

The Old Guard Monument Foundation

            The Old Guard was established by George Washington in 1784 as the 1st American Regiment and was designated in 1815 as the 3rd Infantry. Over some 225 years, Old Guard banners have flown in the British, Mexican, Spanish, European, Korean, and Vietnam conflicts. More recently, Old Guard units shipped out to the Horn of Africa to confront the terrorist threat there and presently, a company of The Old Guard is serving in Iraq. Old Guard soldiers stand ready to defend the Military District of Washington, as they did on 9/11 when Old Guard Soldiers rushed to the Pentagon to provide security and assist with the rescue operations.

            As “the Face of the Army”, The Old Guard is best known for its ceremonial mission. It is the face of the U.S. Army at the inauguration of our presidents and state funerals for our Commanders in Chief. The Presidential Salute Guns Battery greets the arrivals and departures of visiting heads-of-state and the U.S. Army Drill Team and Fife and Drum Corps entertain audiences all over the world. Old Guard soldiers meet the caskets of fallen warriors at Dover AFB and solemnly escort the remains to waiting loved ones. Old Guard details provide military honors at Arlington National Cemetery for active duty soldiers, Army veterans, dependents and give caisson support for the joint services. Nearby, Old Guard sentinels keep vigilant watch at the Tomb of the Unknowns, never deterred by the coming of night or the extremes of weather.

            Later in the year, we will honor the past, present and future soldiers of the Old Guard when we dedicate the Old Guard Monument, a commanding sculpture surrounded by a graceful plaza on the grounds of the unit’s headquarters at Ft. Myer, Virginia. Soldiers of the Old Guard will embrace this Monument as expression of our nation’s gratitude for their proud service as we pay tribute to their singular place in American history.

            For more information please go to

(Source: The Old Guard Monument Foundation Newsletter)

Royston Cave

Dating the Royston Cave

            Dating the carvings in the cave has always been a problem. There is new hope of accurate dating, however, as almost all of the carvings have a Masonic meaning. Freemasonry has an ancient origin, possibly, with practical masons; but by the early 1700’s membership had been opened to intellectuals, in so-called Speculative Masonry. The trend to speculative masonry can be traced to King James VI of Scotland/James I of ‘Great Britiane, France and Ireland.’
            In 1583 James commissioned Sir William Schaw to re-organize masonry. One important act was to create a new degree (stage) between Apprentice and Master, and this must have occurred around 1609. The new Fellow Craft degree was intended for intellectuals. A sign for this degree appears in the lower left hand side of panel 4 in the cave in the carving identified as David of the Psalms, referring to psalm 69. Therefore this carving cannot have been made before 1600 and cannot, therefore, be Templar.

            It is possible, however, that not all the carvings were made at the same time. Christopher, Matherine, Lawrence and George or Michael are all found in Templar churches and may, therefore, predate the rest of the carvings. When the cave was converted to a Masonic lodge the possibility exists that more carvings were etched between the four saints. It is believed that when James ascended the British throne he brought Freemasonry with him introducing the Craft to England. This was clearly Speculative Masonry, and it is a reasonable supposition that the place where he did this was the Royston cave, only a few yards from his Royston lodgings. At this time, even for the king, Freemasonry was a secret society, hence the difficulty of the original entrance to the cave and the need for secret signs.

(Peter Houldcroft, Curator Royston Cave)


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