Freemasonry came to Westhampton in 1907 when a petition to Grand Lodge was completed and officers elected. The brothers were then persuaded to abandon the idea at that time. Nothing further was done until Brothers Frank D. Gould, Leon F. Goodman, Ward Havens and Burnside Cheshire met in the office of Worthy Brother Hermon F. Bishop in the Winters Building on Main St., in the summer of 1924. They were advised to start a Square Club to raise the funds and promote the idea of starting a Blue Lodge. Brothers Bishop, Gould and Cheshire joined the Oyster Bay Square Club and then met in the Mechanics Hall on Thursday, 26 February 1925 and started the Westhampton Square Club. Brother Bishop was President with Brother Gould as Secretary and Treasurer. They initiated eleven members at that first meeting. Their regular financial assistance through the years to Potunk Lodge ended with a gift of $4550.00 in Mechanics Hall Stock in 1958 when the Square Club became inactive. Worthy Brother Jesse Weixelbaum served the Square Club as Treasurer for 25 years and had a large influence in the assistance given to Potunk Lodge.
The name Potunk, meaning “a place where the foot sinks”, “a boggy place”, was selected over the name of Ketchabonac and Westhampton. Many gifts were received in the early years. The Masonic Outlook mentioned in 1932: “Potunk Lodge has the rare distinction of being the only lodge having Jewels made from lawn mower bushings and odd lot pieces of brass that have been silver plated by the Lodge”.
Potunk Lane would be closed for a weekend in August when the ‘Masons’ held the Barbeques until 1924. Mechanics Hall, owned by the members of The Ancient order of Mechanics, was situated one block east of Six Corners. The Ancient order of Mechanics in Westhampton had not enjoyed popularity in the early 1900’s. The Lodge would later, buy the building.
Potunk Lodge worked hard to build their temple. First they had to obtain a majority interest in the Mechanics Hall Association so that it could be offered for sale. After many intricate negotiations they obtained the land in January 1966, and after many delays, the zoning laws were changed in 1968. The foundation for the Temple was laid on October 5th, 1968 and with assistance from the brothers, the first communication in the new building was held on January 2, 1969.
Potunk Lodge #1071 Events
Over the years Potunk lodge #1071 and its members have strived to help build friendship and brotherly love between its members and its outlying community.
Some of the events that have gone on have helped to benefit scholarships for several local high school seniors on their way to college and to help other brothers within its own lodge and others around the greater Suffolk area.
Some of the events that we hold are as follows.
Our Annual Pig roast
Annual Golf Outing
Meet Santa Brunch
That’s just to name a few but we strive to be better individuals as well as community members and family members.