Rising Sun Lodge #4, F. &

The roots of African-American Masonry in this country can be traced to the period of the American Revolution when founder Prince Hall and others established the first Masonic Lodge for men of color in Boston, Massachusetts. By the early 19th century organizational growth had extended to the port cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington where residents of southern Delaware who were engaged in maritime and other commercial occupations were exposed to the Masonic Order. In March 1852, a group of 15 men from the Milton area met at the home of Lott Purnell for the purpose of organizing a local Lodge. On April 1, 1853, Rising Sun Lodge #4, Free and Accepted Masons, received its charter. After meeting at various locations since its organization the Lodge formally occupied the present building in 1934. Constructed as a Presbyterian Church in the 1830s, the structure had been converted for use as a public school in 1876. It was used as such until 1892, when it was conveyed to the trustees of Union Methodist Episcopal Church. Sale of the property to the Lodge was completed in 1939. Today, the members of Rising Sun Lodge #4 continue to follow the traditional Masonic precepts of brotherhood, charity, and truth, in service to the community.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Connor Graham at (302) 744-5019 or via email at connor.graham@state.de.us..

LOCATION: 516 Chestnut , Milton Street.