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Washington Lodge No. 3
Washington Lodge #3 is the first lodge to be founded by the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island. The Grand Lodge gave authority for the establishment of Washington Lodge on June 24th, 1796, in response to a petition of twelve brethren residing in Warren. At the time the lodge was listed as Washington Lodge #1, however, it ranked third in seniority, which is the designation it now bears. The Baptist Church of Warren is the only surviving institution in Warren to predate the Lodge.
The Lodge was chartered on June 24th, 1796. There were 58 original members, 21 of those were sea captains. The population of Warren at the time was 1,473. The original members immediately formed a building committee and the current lodge building was completed in 1799. It has been in continuous use since that time making it the oldest consistently used lodge building in New England and the second oldest in the country, the oldest being located in Virginia.
The building of the lodge was an ambitious undertaking at the time. It is believed that many of the timbers used in the building are oak beams that were formerly part of the British Frigate Juno and other ships which were sunk in Newport harbor during the American Revolution. Brother Sylvester Child, a member of the building committee purchased the old ships and floated the timbers up Narragansett Bay and into the Warren River and his shipyard at the base of Miller and Baker streets. The rib cuts in the oak plate beams can clearly be seen in the curvature of the ceiling in the lodge room.
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