Chartered in 1767, but in operation much earlier, the Royal White Hart Lodge No. 2 is the second oldest Masonic lodge in North Carolina, after St. John’s Masonic Lodge No. 1, in Wilmington (chartered in 1756). Before the hall was erected in Halifax, lodge founders met in homes and rented rooms in inns. One of the earliest taverns mentioned as a meeting place was The Sign of the Thistle. Because of prominent Halifax resident Joseph Montfort, the Royal White Hart Lodge has special significance in the history of Freemasonry, and the history of North Carolina. On January 14, 1771, Joseph Montfort was appointed “Provincial Grand Master of and for America” by the Duke of Beaufort, Grand Master of England. He then established early masonic lodges across the state. Montfort held many titles, among them: Treasurer of the Province of North Carolina, Colonel of Colonial troops, patriot and Freemason. He is the only Grand Master in America. Born in England in 1724, he died in NC on March 25, 1776 and is buried east of the Royal White Hart Lodge. 1776 seems a rather propitious time to die with the dramatic events unfolding in America.
Rarely open to the public, the Royal White Hart Lodge is hosting the book signing for my new release, Traitor’s Legacy, in Historic Halifax, on Oct. 11th. Not only that, but the lodge is being repainted inside and out in colonial colors and appropriately decorated for the event. Sumptuous refreshments will be served inside the lodge, while the old town comes to life with 18th century music, reenactors, and other period displays, I am honored by the privilege of having my signing here. For more information on the event visit: http://www.nchistoricsites.org/halifax/halifax.htm