History of Livingston Lodge:
Livingston Lodge No. 160 F.& A.M. was chartered on the 12th day of February 1859. It was located in Springfield, Louisiana, and so named for Livingston Parish. (Livingston Parish was named for Edward Livingston, a brother to Robert Livingston, our minister to France when the Louisiana Purchase was signed. Charter members were: (See Attachment #1).
After roughly three short months Livingston Lodge was moved to Ponchatoula, LA. Worshipful Brother William Akers was Master. Brother Akers is considered the founder of the city of Ponchatoula. The Lodge remained in Ponchatoula until July 27, 1889, when it was once again moved. This time in Hammond where it remains to this day. Minutes show the Lodge, “met in Hammond at the Johnson’s Hall on July 27, 1889“. (October 31, 1889, the Grand Master requested an explanation as to why the Lodge was moved without permission).
On July 26, 1890, Livingston Lodge was again moved to a “Mrs. Lawson’s” Hall. The rent was to be $12.00 per year. However, on March 22, 1891, the Lodge met in the upstairs of Brother Alfred Jackson’s Jewelry Store which was located on Thomas Street in Hammond.
**An interesting side-note:
In 1858 when Livingston was chartered, the Lodge purchased a set of jewels from the Grand Lodge for $40.00. These jewels had belonged to the Iberville Lodge who had turned them into the Grand Lodge. Two dozen aprons were also included. (See Attachment #2)
The Livingston Lodge No. 160 built a lodge building on the corner of West Morris and South Cypress Street in Hammond. It was dedicated on Saturday, May 25, 1907. This is the current Lodge building. The brethren meet here at 7:30 P.M. on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month.
The Officers of the Lodge at the time of the building were:
Thomas Waterman Cate, W.M.
Merritt Miller, S.W.
Chas. Gilbert Baltzell, J.W.
The Building Committee was:
Francis H. Meyers, Chairman
Frank B. Thomas
Chas. Gilbert “Bert” Baltzell