Grand Lodge of Delaware

April 01, 2024

Grand Lodge of Delaware

Grand Lodge of the Month for April 2024

Most Worshipful Brother Ronald P. Ferraro, Grand Master
The Grand Lodge of Delaware is one of the Memorial’s Supporting Grand Lodges.

Freemasonry was established in Delaware by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Five lodges were chartered in what would become Delaware and included a military lodge in the Delaware Continental line known as Hiram’s Regimental Lodge № 30. Members of these lodges made significant contributions to the formation of the United States and our victory against the British.

On June 6, 1806 a convention of lodges was held at Wilmington and the next day the Grand Lodge of Delaware was instituted with a line of Grand Lodge officers. Delaware’s first Grand Master, Gunning Bradford, Jr. (1747-1812) was a delegate to the Continental Congress (1783-1785), the Attorney General of Delaware (1784-1789) and a Federal District Judge (1789-1812) and Jesse Green was elected and installed as Deputy Grand Master. The first four lodges were renumbered as Washington № 1 (Wilmington), St. John’s № 2 (New Castle), Hiram № 3 (Newark) and Hope № 4 (Laurel).

Despite the Anti-Masonic period of the 1820-40s, Freemasonry grew with the state. In 1861, as the Civil War began, there were 20 local lodges and by 1903 there were 30 lodges and over 10,000 members. In 1870, a lot was purchased on Market Street from the Gordon Family and Thomas Dixon, a local born architect practicing in Baltimore, was selected as the architect for the new masonic temple. The cornerstone was laid April 20, 1871 and the temple was completed and dedicated on April 18, 1872.

In 1911 Delaware freemasons purchased an old mansion with a twelve acre farm near Wilmington. A year later the Grand Lodge dedicated the Mansion as the Masonic Home of Delaware. In its first year it cared for eight guests – four men and four women. In time the home grew to provide a full range of service and activities. Highfield Masonic Home of Delaware continues to care for over 20 residences.

Today, Grand Master Ronald P. Ferraro presides over the Grand Lodge of Delaware comprised of 25 lodges with a membership over 3,500 brothers. Delaware Freemasonry has had such prominent members as Jacob Broom (1752-1810) signer of the U.S. Constitution, diplomat and industrialist Victor Marie DuPont (1767-1827), U.S. Senator John J. Williams (1904-1988) and historian and Past Grand Master Harold “Jack” Littleton who cared for Gunning Bradford, Jr.’s home, Lombardy Hall, in Wilmington.

The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Delaware
5818 N. Market Street, Third Floor
Wilmington, Delaware 19801