Welcome to the official website of Ubar Grotto!
“Just what is a Grotto?” you may ask yourself. Well, here are the basics…
The Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, whose subordinate bodies are called “Grottoes,” is an organization for Master Masons. While not connected with Masonry proper, its membership is restricted absolutely and exclusively to Master Masons in good standing. Although it is primarily an organization for good wholesome fun and frolic, it also has its serious side. Its slogan is “Good Fellowship.”
Grotto is a social organization Master Masons and all such are welcome to our Enchanted Realm. It encourages renewed interest in the Blue Lodge with its activities and attendance. While it is not, and makes no claim to be a part of Symbolic Craft Masonry, we ever bear in mind that our membership is composed entirely of Master Masons.
Where did it start? For some years prior to 1889, several members of Hamilton Lodge N0. 120, F.& A.M., at Hamilton, New York, sought relaxation from the sterner duties of life by holding occasional informal meetings for fun and good fellowship. The chief spirit in the fun was LeRoy Fairchild, and in the summer of 1889, he and a devoted band of followers discovered the Enchanted Realm in which, upon entering with song and laughter, they and their successors found a rich heritage. The first meeting of this organization was held on the 10th day of September, 1889. It was decided at this meeting that the membership of the organization should be confined to Master Masons in good standing.
It seemed to be the height of their ambition to perpetrate jokes upon each other. After a meeting of Cyrus Chapter No. 50, Royal Arch Masons, held in the fall of 1886, seventeen members planned for conferring the Royal Arch Degree. This evolved into monthly meetings. There were many tales of jokes and hijinks played on each other. They did not hold their meetings at the Lodge, but rather more informal locations. There were minutes kept and changing locations were marked by a lighted red railroad lantern.
A ritual was written and they began to take in new members. Many distinguished Masons entered the Enchanted Realm and returned pleased and charmed by its brilliancy. The Order could no longer be confined to one locality and in response to imperative requests that were not to be denied, on the 13th of June, 1890, the “F.D.C.” duly founded and established the Supreme Council of the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm. The seven Founders were pillars of their communities. The chief founder was LeRoy Fairchid, a store owner. Others included Adon N. Smith, a store owner and Bank President; his brother Sidney D Smith, a local politician, who was Grand Secretary for over 25 years; William Eaton,who was the last US Navy Commadore; General William M. West, who served as Aide to the Governor of New York and was a local Bank President; George Beal, who held many positions in the village and was Post Master under President Grover Cleveland; Dr. John McGregory, who was a Madison University Professor for 46 years and served as Grand Monarch in 1908.
While it is as Prophets we open the portals of the Enchanted Realm to Master Masons, we are none the less loyal to Masonry. We carry with us the solemn lessons we have learned within the Lodge and we are guided by the precepts of Masonry while we revel in the good cheer of the Prophets.
Does this sound like an organization that you would enjoy? If so, check out the “I Want to Join!” page to start the process!