Brunswick Masonic lodge #191 A.F.&A.M.

Chartered may 10th, 1892, Brunswick, maryland

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History of the lodge

The last two decades of the 19th century were indeed a time for beginnings.  However, they were a time for endings as well.  A decision by the officials of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to build a classification terminal at Berlin, Maryland, set the wheels of change in motion and made a monumental difference in the life of the little community.


As the work progressed, many changes took place in Berlin.  The opportunity for employment, the need for additional housing, the demand for services and the opportunity for new business attracted people from many areas to the fast growing town on the Potomac River.  They came with their families and established their homes in this “Company Town.”


In an attempt to get their roots firmly planted in a strange soil, they soon recognized the need to belong to something that would promote their welfare and widen their circle of friends and acquaintances.  Thus, Berlin became a fertile field for unions and fraternal organizations.  It was in this climate of growth that the Masonic lodge had its beginning in this community.


In the year 1892, we find the first indication of active masonry in Brunswick.  Two years before the name of Berlin had been changed to Brunswick to distinguish it from another community on the Eastern Shore of Maryland by the same name.


It is impossible to determine where the preliminary meetings of Brunswick Lodge were held.  However, it is evident that Z.T. Brantner was the moving force in its formation.  Mr. Brantner was the general foreman of the B&O Shop, Superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Church, North Sunday School, and Lay Minister in the Methodist Church.  There are several places in the minutes of the Brunswick Lodge that he is referred to as Rev. Brantner.


The record shows that on Tuesday, January 14, 1892, a Masonic lodge, acting on a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Maryland, met in the Red Men’s Hall with Z.T. Brantner as Worshipful Master.  At that meeting, the By-Laws were read and held over to the next regular communication.  The Red Men’s Hall was then located at the corner of what is now South Virginia Avenue where Gunther’s Auction House now stands.


On February 11, 1892, the By-Laws were adopted.  By this time the lodge had begun to accumulate some personal property.


At a meeting on March 10, 1892, it was noted that the lodge had received a box containing columns on which was due a freight bill to the B&O Railroad in the amount of $0.81.  Payment of this bill was authorized.  By the March 24th meeting, it was felt that the lodge had sufficient property to require insurance coverage.


On Thursday, May 26, 1892, a charter bearing the date of May 10, 1892, was presented to the three principal officers of the lodge by  Thomas J. Shryock, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Maryland, who addressed the lodge and installed the officers.

Text Box: Brunswick Lodge #191
Brunswick, MD

Brunswick Lodge #191

In the beginning

Brother George Spielman of Brunswick Lodge #191 is the author of the book “Masonic Collectables,” which is a limited edition hard bound cover.


If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, please mail a check for $50 to the following address:


P.O. Box 250

Sharpsburg, MD  21758


Features 600 pieces of Masonic artwork and info.


Only 1000 copies available.