THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE GROTTOS OF NORTH AMERICA
The founder of the Grottos of North America was LeRoy Fairchild. In the summer of 1889 a group of Master Masons, members of Hamilton Lodge #120 at Hamilton, New York, met to organize and hold informal meetings. What this group was seeking was fun and good fellowship. At their meeting on September 10, 1889, they decided to honor the founder by calling it the “Fairchild Deviltry Committee.” It was decided that this organization be confined to Master Masons in good standing.
The idea of the Order proved to be attractive and many distinguished Masons joined. The Order could no longer be confined to any one locality and in response to imperative request other groups were formed. On June 13, 1890 the Fairchild Deviltry Committee duly established and formed the Supreme Council, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm.
Its purpose mainly was to add in greater measure to the Masonic fraternal spirit the charm of radiant cheerfulness and to maintain within the fraternity an impetus of royal good fellowship, wherein joyous companionship and helpful sympathy shall mingle graciously and become the distinguishing characteristics of the Order. The late LeRoy Fairchild, who is revered by all Prophets of the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm as the founder of the Order, was an earnest, devoted Mason and an enthusiastic believer in the helpful influence of mirth. He loved his Brethren with an ardor of a true Mason and man, and always sought to bring joy to their hearts by the cultivation of sunny cheerfulness and indulgence in healthy merriment and joyful laughter. He believed with all his heart that the beneficial influence of Masonry would be far greater if along with the inculcation of sublime moral lessons, opportunities were afforded for the cultivation of a greater spirit of cheerfulness and good fellowship amongst the members than was possible in the Blue Lodge.
A little fill’ now and then is the best tonic and the man who occasionally unbends is the man who lasts and gets the most out of life. The Enchanted Realm holds an inexhaustible store of the sunshine which warms with the glow of generous sympathy, dispels the gloom of fret and worry and gives a brighter outlook and kindlier feeling, while it strengthens the fiber for real serious work and so brings true blessings and beautifies the fellowship of the Prophets.
The Grotto is the playhouse of the craft – the place where world-worn men can get together, forget their cares, and be, as it were, boys again. For within the portals of the Grotto, the stiffness and formality which keeps men apart melts away and they come into closer and truer relationship because of the breaking down of these barriers. In this way the Order is doing a noble job and is a powerful help in the cause of fraternity, for it supplements the work of the regular Masonic bodies with a spirit of cheer which lends a charm and grace to the severity of the more serious work.
It is a social organization for the Master Mason and all such are welcome to join our Enchanted Realm. It encourages renewed interest in the Blue Lodge Field . . . its activities and attendance. While it is not and makes no claim to be a part of Symbolic Craft Masonry, we ever bear in mind that our membership is composed entirely of Master Masons.
The ritual is original and unique. The spectacular ceremonial requires a cast of thirty or more and offers unlimited opportunities in stage activities and stunt performance. Its proper rendition requires a large stage, elaborate costumes and stage settings. It is mysterious, startling and spectacular with the Persian atmosphere.
While pervaded with a spirit of wholesome fun, it teaches a serious lesson which lingers with the initiate, instilling in him a spirit of optimism, a kindly feeling for his brother man and an impression of Good Fellowship which is something devoutly to be desired.
Membership provides the opportunity to meet with your fellow Prophets – many of whom are professional, business, and civic leaders – and to make lasting friendships. Being a member entitles you to share in great humanitarian projects like Cerebral Palsy Research and Dentistry for the Handicapped. Every Master Mason, because he is eligible to become a member of the Grotto, is urged to join in the humanitarian work which the Grotto so fervently sponsors.
With membership comes the right to wear the Black Grotto Fez and the Grotto Pin, identifying yourself as a member of the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm – also known as the Grottoes of North America – the greatest fraternal order a Master Mason can join. With this fez and pin and your paid up membership card you are welcome to visit any of the Grottoes throughout the United States and Canada.
When you join the Grotto you immediately become a member of the Greatest Fraternity that Friendship ever Built. Among Grotto members are many Grand Masters and Past Grand Masters, Governors and Ex-Governors of the various states, numerous other Government officials and civic leaders. Among these are four past Presidents of the United States, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Gerald Ford who have been proud members of the Grotto.
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Fredericksburg Lodge #4 – 803 Princess Anne Street.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401