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Centennial Monograph: The First Lodge in Maynard


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Centennial Monograph: The First Lodge in Maynard


The International Order of Good Templars, who promoted total abstinence from alcoholic beverages, had a lodge in Assabet Village, prior to Maynard's incorporation.


Birger Koski




Frank Coulter



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The Lincoln Library has the following to say about the International Order of Good Templars:
"A Fraternal Society having for its object the promotion of total abstinence from the use of alcoholic beverages and of universal prohibition of the manufacture and sale of such products. Membership is unrestricted by age, sex or color. A committee appointed by the governing body of the Society inaugurated the Prohibition Party in 1869. In 1874, Good Templar women founded the Woman's Christian Temperance Union".

The Iola Lodge No. 91, International Order of Good Templars was instituted in Assabet Village February 19, 1866 with fifty charter members. Mr. & Mrs. Frank W. Riley of Stow being instrumental in this. At first the lodge met in Union Hall, part of the Methodist Church, then removing to the Vestry of the Congregational Church. Later it rented Riverside Hall on Main Street, finally having its own quarters about 1888 in Darling's Block, comer of Nason and Summer Streets, the present abode of the Eagles.

In 1893 the Associated Templars were formed in town. From the record it is not clear why the formation of this group, as an Associated Templar had to be a member of the parent body. This group had a membership in 1902 of about forty.

The activities of The Good Templars Lodge centered on temperance work. Meetings and entertainments at their own hall plus larger temperance affairs at Music Hall was the order of the day. Mr. Frank Coulter, now of Stow, who was Secretary of the Lodge from 1900 on for a certain amount of years told me an amusing anecdote of a meeting held in Music Hall. The speaker from Boston held forth with fire and brimstone -a veritable vocal male Carrie Nation. Sometime after the meeting lo and behold, he was discovered in one of our wet spots, "tanking it up", in Mr. Coulter's colorful language. His explanation was ingenious indeed: he needed the experience better to convert his audience to abstinence!

Other officers with Mr. Coulter in 1900 were Robert Archer, Emma Archer, Sydney Coulter, Chris Wilson, George Robertson, Ada Bower, Edith Woddart.

The Associated Templars held dances and had an active Bicycle Club of about a dozen members, riding on weekends to Waltham, Worcester and further afield. We have spoken of this club in our paper on the Bicycle Clubs of Maynard.

No known records exist when the Good Templars dissolved. Our last date in the newspapers about the Associated Templars was in 1907 advertising a dance.

Most of the factual material in this paper came from the Maynard News: June 2, 1899; Feb. 2, Mar. 9and March 16, 1900; March 1902 and Feb, 15, 1907.

I am indebted to Jim Farrell for directing me to Frank Coulter and also to Mr. Coulter for his reminiscences.

Read at January 30, 1966 Meeting of The Maynard Historical Society