People, places, and events in the Craft, from the beginnings of Freemasonry in Ontario to today.

Great Lakes Schooner James G. Worts, 1885

Freemasonry provided the foundation for an unofficial network of trusted personal and commercial contacts for ship’s captains and merchants, thereby advancing trade and commerce. Sailing ships plying the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes proudly showed their fraternal affiliations by flying Masonic banners or by painting Masonic symbols on the stern of the vessel. This schooner was named for a prominent Toronto businessman and Freemason. She was built at Mill Point Deseronto on Eastern Lake Ontario in 1874. Her owners, Gooderham and Worts, employed her to carry grain from Great Lakes ports to their distillery in Toronto. The photo shows her tied up at a dock along the Welland Canal in 1885 in Port Colborne with the square and compasses painted prominently on the stern.

Great Lakes Schooner James G Worts, 1885

Have you ever seen a ship displaying the Masonic square and compasses?

(National Archives of Canada in Ottawa photograph – note square and compasses painted on stern)

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