Annual Masons Day celebration draws 500 to Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH — Given that the Masons established New Hampshire’s first Grand Lodge at the William Pitt Tavern, it was only fitting that the state’s Mason’s Day celebration would take place in the area surrounding the historic structure.

On Saturday, more than 500 people flocked to the Strawbery Banke Museum grounds for the annual celebration.

The occasional rain shower didn’t stop hundreds of Masons and their families from converging on the museum for a day packed with activities ranging from police and fire demonstrations to a large cookout and live music from Tim Sample — a “Downeast” humorist.

Former New Hampshire Mason Grand Master Jeremy Sawyer said the celebration is timed to be held on or near July 8, which is the date when the first grand lodge was established in 1789 at the William Pitt Tavern, which still stands at Strawbery Banke.

The brown wood structure was among the centerpieces of a Saturday celebration that allowed Masons and their families to mingle with the general public touring the museum grounds.

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