The end of a 142-year-old Syracuse organization could have been filled with melancholy over the loss.
However, when the Syracuse Mount Moriah Masonic Lodge 57 returned their Charter at a Lodge Celebration Dec. 14, it was done with a spirit of hope and brotherhood.
Rather than closing, they presented their charter to the Palmyra Union Lodge 287, and the two groups have come together as one.
The first recorded meeting of the Syracuse Mount Moriah Lodge dates back to Nov. 18, 1874, when members of lodges from other states met at a hall in Syracuse to organize a local lodge of Master Masons.
They met in rooms above the store “Page and Parry” on Thursday evenings on or before the full moon of each month.  This gave a little more light to the farmers who would need to return home in the evening after their meetings.
Original Charter Members were: Josiah Young, James Eaton, David Pound, Josiah Rogers, Volney Uttley, DeLos Martin, William Heather, John Parry, Thomas Wilson, Lucius Renne, William Whitten, Hiram Price, and Isaac Le Dioyt.
Meetings were held in two other places over the next several years before they entered a 100 year lease and built a second story onto the First National Bank of Syracuse (now Syracuse City Hall).  On Feb. 28, 1907, the group proceeded to the new Temple and called that location their home for over 100 years.
They did not renew their lease with the City of Syracuse in October of 2015, and the Charter was moved to the Syracuse Senior Center where they met the last two years.  Due to lower meeting attendance and several out of state members, the Syracuse Lodge decided to join Palmyra.
The Dec. 14 Lodge Celebration at the Syracuse Senior Center included guests from other local masonic organizations.  Milton Leefers, Master of Union Lodge 287, gave a warm welcome to the Syracuse brethren, and he expressed excitement for what’s to come.
Grand Junior Steward Charles Odorizzi represented the Grand Lodge in receiving the Syracuse Charter and presenting it to the Palmyra Lodge.  
“I am really glad that both lodges remembered what it means to be a mason,” said Odorizzi.  “We’re supposed to be there for each other.  That’s what makes us different than other groups.  I won’t say better, but it makes us different.
 “I want to give you just a quick thing to meditate on.  Masonry has existed in its present form since 1717 when the Grand Lodges of England got together at the Goose and Gridiron—300 years ago this year, kind of neat,” said Odorizzi. “Mount Moriah was around for 142 of them.  That’s almost half.  
“That’s remarkable.  That is absolutely remarkable!  If you think back, a lot of you guys will remember the Bicentennial back in 1976; this Lodge was around before the Centennial.  It just gives you something to think about just how old this lodge is and how long it’s been around and the good that it’s done,” said Odorizzi.
Some of the Lodge artifacts will be on display at the Otoe County Museum of Memories, others will move to the new Lodge, and others were presented for the Grand Lodge of Nebraska Museum.  More lodge history and information can be seen at these museums.
After the Celebration Program, many stayed at the Syracuse Senior Center to reminisce and look to the future.
When receiving the Charter, Odorizzi said, “Mount Moriah isn’t going away.  They’re not dying because this (the Charter) isn’t the lodge.  Neither is the building. The Lodge is brethren.”