Carleton Lodge 465 is the Masonic Lodge in Carp (West Ottawa). It was founded on January 4, 1904. The original ornaments, furnishings and structure of Carleton Lodge were lost during the great fire of July 20, 1920, that swept through Carp. The Lodge acquired a building that had been a church in Carp and relocated it to its current site. The interior of the building holds the furniture from Lodge Le Havre in France that was a military lodge during the First World War. The furniture is accentuated by the stained glass windows in the building.
To truly understand the past, one needs to put it into perspective. By that I mean, we cannot measure the past by todays standards. In other words, it was a different world back then to what we live in today.
For example, our lodge was established on January 12th 1904 and one month later, there was a fire in Baltimore Maryland that would destroy over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours. That would be very unlikely today with modern fire fighting techniques and building standards.
In other words, to put it in perspective, our brethren at the time of the lodge’s founding, were getting around by horse and buggy. As a result, the lodge meetings were conducted based on the lunar cycle, as opposed to a hard date like today.
On October 24, 1904 it was ordered that “the Lodge meet on the Friday night on or before each full moon”. This of course, would enable the members to see where the heck they were going when riding on horseback to and from lodge.
The early support for the lodge came from members of Goodwood Lodge, Mississippi Lodge and Madawaska Lodge. The lodge room, at that time, was located over the drug store in the Kidd Block of Carp.
In fact, the initial petition to form a lodge was presented at a meeting of Mississippi Lodge No.147 in Almonte in the fall of 1903.