RANGELEY — On Saturday, July 29, members of Freemasonry District 15 held a visitation from Grand Master Dan Bartlett of Bucksport.

Freemasonry District 15 Deputy Grand Master Peter Farnsworth of Stratton speaks Saturday, July 29, during the grand master’s visitation to the district held at Kemankeag Lodge #213 in Rangeley. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“Freemasonry, the teachings and practices of the fraternal [men-only] order of Free and Accepted Masons, is the largest worldwide secret society – an oath-bound society, often devoted to fellowship, moral discipline, and mutual assistance, that conceals at least some of its rituals, customs, or activities from the public,” according to Britannica.

Freemasonry in Maine has 24 districts. District 15 includes Masonic Lodges Maine #20 in Farmington, Blue Mountain #67 in Phillips, Vernon Valley #99 in Mt. Vernon, Franklin #123 in New Sharon, Mystic Tie #154 in Weld, Wilton #156 in Wilton, Mt. Bigelow #202 in Stratton, Mount Abram #204 in Kingfield and Kemankeag #213 in Rangeley.

“This is the grand masters’ annual visit to our district,” District 15 Deputy Grand Master Peter Farnsworth of Stratton said.

Grand Master Dan Bartlett from Bucksport is a member of Tremont Lodge #77 in Southwest Harbor.

“I became grand master in May 2022, my term lasts until May 2024 when the deputy grand master becomes the grand master,” he noted.

Western Maine Foothills Band, comprised of members from the greater Farmington area was asked to give a concert before the meeting.

The band, formerly known as the Old Crow Indian Band has been performing for more than 70 years, Farnsworth said in introducing the band. “After more than 2,000 performances, the band is still going strong,” he noted. “Harland Harnden was active in Masons. His brother, Stanley Harnden led the band for years. Stanley’s son Robin Harnden took over for a time. Stanley’s grandson Paul Harnden is now band director.”

During the outdoor concert, Masons and their families enjoyed barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers, salads, desserts and beverages prepared and served by those affiliated with Kemankeag Lodge.

At right, Nancy Gilman a member of Messalunskit Chapter #170 Order of the Eastern Star in New Sharon serves herself potato salad Saturday, July 29, during an event at Kemankeag Lodge #213 in Rangeley. Also seen from left are Chris Farmer and Nina Boivin from the Rangeley lodge. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

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