This ledger contains the minutes of the Order of the Eastern Star of Easton, Massachusetts, which was organized May 17, 1920. It was organized as a social and financial aid to the chapter. The ledger gives members’ names and activities.
A summary of some of the organization's activities:
Raised money by having rummage sales, food sales, etc. Activities such as sewing, singing hymns, putting on plays for the community, organizing fairs, volunteering and quilting (i.e. knitting an afghan p. 119). Members met a few times each month at members’ homes, and usually had dinner with their meetings, sometimes inviting their husbands. Members donated money to help their community, i.e. gave funds to the Paul Dean Lodge so that they could build a lavatory (p. 37). Members showed their affiliation to the Masons by acting as caterers for the Masonic Lodge (page 93). The ledger includes a meeting calendar at the front of the ledger.
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The Order of the Eastern Star or the OES was founded by Dr. Rob Morris. It was originally opened to women who are related to and or married to Masons but is now open to both men and women and all monotheistic faiths. It initially was a Christian organization within Masonry that met to perform charitable acts such as donations to charities. Focused on the three main principles of “charity, truth and loving kindness.” There are many positions within the OES such as Worth Matron, or the presiding officer and the Chaplin who leads the chapter in prayer.
From the Order of the Eastern Star homepage (http://www.easternstar.org/):
"The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both women and men may belong. Worldwide, there are approximately 1 million members under the General Grand Chapter
"Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values, but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives which makes us near and dear to each other.
"While this is an Order composed of people of deep spiritual convictions, it is open to all faiths, except no faith. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all of those in the Eastern Star, and it is considered a privilege to help another member whenever we can.
"Purposes: The stated purposes of the organization are: Charitable, Educational, Fraternal and Scientific; but there is much more to it than that. Dr. Rob Morris, the Poet Laureate of Masonry, founded the Order using the beautiful and inspiring Biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These portray the noble principles which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members. Eastern Star strives to take good people and through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service, and through precept and example build an Order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness.
"Projects: Concrete evidence of the charitable nature of the organization as it affects others is the millions of dollars which have been raised within the membership to support national, jurisdictional, and local charities. Many Grand Jurisdictions have homes for their senior members." Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .
Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository
Order of the Eastern Star (Easton, Massachusetts) Minute Book, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary https://scrcguides.libraries.wm.edu/repositories/2/resources/4517 Accessed September 17, 2019.