In 1906, 14 Brothers petitioned Grand Lodge for dispensation to form a Masonic Lodge in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. There were 19 Charter members of this Lodge, named Collabergh Lodge. The name Collabergh is derived from Dutch origins meaning cold hill.
The first stated communication of Collabergh U.D. F&AM was on Thursday, December 27th, 1906 at the Morton building. U.D. in the title above, means “under dispensation”; the Lodge had not as yet received its Charter from Grand Lodge.
Collabergh Lodge was located in the 12th Masonic District at this time, which encompassed the entire County of Westchester. In 1918, the District was divided into what we now know of today, as the First and Second Westchester Putnam Districts.
The First Master for our Lodge was W:. Herbert G. Morehouse. The first Master who was raised in Collabergh was W:. Otis M. Baker who was installed January 6, 1911.
In May 1907, at Grand Lodge session, after proving itself capable as a Lodge, Grand Master Townsend Scutter granted a Charter as a full fledged Lodge as of May 24, 1907. At this point, we lost the “U.D.” and picked up our Lodge number, 859.
The first exemplification of the Master Mason degree by our own fellowcraft team was given on November 1, 1907 to five fellowcrafts. Their work was looked upon so favorably that they were promptly invited to exemplify the degree for Solomon’s Lodge #196. It was not until June 18, 1909, however, that the team worked in full uniform. Today, Collabergh – Radium is proud to have a fully working Drama team with most all participants as members of our Lodge from 1907 right up to this very day. Most Lodges unfortunately cannot field a drama team, we have been blessed to do so 109 years and counting.
Brother Romine Williams was our first honorary member, having been chosen in September 1912. Since then, we have had four other Honorary members, the last elected, being R:.W:. Donald Klein of Dunwoodie Lodge 864.
In May of 1912, the Lodge received a letter from W.J. Gaynor, Mayor of New York City thanking the Lodge for its generous donation to the Relief of the Survivors of the Titanic Disaster.
The first Grand Lodge Appointment for our Lodge was in 1915 when R:.W:. Brother Rozell was appointed Grand Sword Bearer. Our lodge has a rich tradition of Brothers since who have served as Staff Officers and District Deputy Grand Masters. R:.W:. Eugene Bartson was elected and served as Grand Treasurer in 1974.
At the June 1, 1917 meeting following the opening of World War I, the Trustees were ordered to purchase as many Liberty Bonds as the Treasury would allow. Three $50.00 Bonds were purchased and a collection amounting to $138.10 was donated to the Red Cross.
Thirteen Brothers of Collabergh served during World War I. On January 19, 1918 under a special dispensation granted by the Grand Master, all three degrees were conferred on the same day to Brother John E. Miller who was leaving to join the Armed forces.
Newly raised Brothers of Collabergh Lodge originally received small silver trowels upon raising, this tradition was changed to receiving travelling certificates in 1920, and this changed in 1926 to receiving a Bible as is the custom today.
Collabergh bought its first building on December 2, 1921 which was the Morton building it had been renting; purchase price was $9,800.00.
Our Trestle Club was organized in 1923 as the social activity center for the Lodge with its many Dinty Moore suppers, wild game dinners, as well as a few Super Bowl parties and Octoberfest celebrations in the late 1990’s. It raised funds to purchase some of our degree team uniforms that we use today. It was also responsible for the Senior Citizen Holiday Luncheon our Lodge provided to the Seniors in the Croton area for close to 25 years in conjuction with the Croton Caring Committee.
During the Second World War, 13 members of our Lodge served in our Armed Forces.
As a result of the realignment of the Albany Post Road, we were forced to vacate our building on Riverside drive in 1959. In 1961, the Lodge purchased a new home on Brook street in Croton, a building many in the District still remember. The first meeting in this building was on March 16, 1962 with approximately 175 Brothers in attendance (from 1959 thru March 1962 we met at the Ossining Masonic Temple) . For a time, our building was called home by OES, Briarcliff Lodge, Fratenrity-Dunderberg Lodge, Radium Lodge, and Yorktown Lodge as well as concordant bodies, Masonic War Veterans, and several non Masonic groups. With our building in need of repairs and limited funds available, we made the difficult decision of selling our building on Brook Street in 2005, and moving to where we now currently meet, at the Nelsonville Masonic Temple.
In 1980, Westchester Lodge #180 consolidated into Collabergh Lodge #859. Their 62 members, combined with the 174 from Collabergh, gave our lodge its largest single year membership at 236. In 2002, Radium Lodge #844 requested a merger, rather than consolidation, with Collabergh Lodge #859. After many meetings between the Lodges, an agreement was reached, and on August 23, 2002 Grand Master Carl Fitje approved the requested merger as Collabergh-Radium Lodge #859, as we are today.
We are currently a very vital and healthy Masonic Lodge of approximately 70 members. We bring in new members every year, provide scholarships for our children, and enjoy our travels throughout the District.