West Chester Lodge #322 was warranted in 1858, but its history goes back much farther than that. Archived records indicate that during the period of the Revolutionary War, there existed in this area Military Lodge #19.
This lodge was associated with the artillery of the “Pennsylvania Line” of the Continental Army. At the close of the war, the warrant of this lodge was surrendered.
On December 6th, 1790, Lodge #50 was warranted in East Whiteland, Chester County. Some of the charter members of the lodge were members of the old military lodge #19. The lodge met on the second Saturday of each month in the tavern at the “Sign of the White Horse”. In 1806 the “new Lancaster highway” bypassed their place of meeting and they requested permission to move to West Chester, which had just become the County Seat. Permission was granted in 1807, and for many years they met in a building on the southeast corner of the present Court House yard.
In 1827, a lot was purchased for the building of a temple, but at the time, political opponents to Andrew Jackson’s administration and the anti-masonic political party they formed made it nearly impossible for the lodge to operate or take new members. The effect was felt in Lodge #50.
Membership and finances were reduced, so the lot and other securities were gradually sold. On January 18th, 1838, the lodge surrendered its charter to the Grand Lodge with fourteen members in good standing.
After two decades without a lodge, the Masonic brethren of West Chester Petitioned the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and on March 1st, 1858, a warrant was issued. Four of the charter members had been members of the old No. 50.
West Chester Lodge No. 322 was officially constituted July 20th, 1858.