Upright Regular Steps
This past weekend we had a party for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. It turned into a family reunion as the hordes of out-of-town relatives descended on the small town of Woodbury, Connecticut and took over an inn for the weekend. I made a few notes on it elsewhere, so I don’t need to repeat it here.
But I did want to mention that on Saturday morning, while some people were nursing hangovers and others were antique shopping or visiting the local flea market, I took the opportunity to get a little quiet time to myself. Having been on a fitness kick since early summer, I had brought my road bike with me, and took a nice spin up and down historic Rte 67 from Southbury up through the center of Woodbury and headed out toward Watertown. 67 and US 6 run together at these points, and people not familiar with New England may not realize that US 6 is an old pre-Revolutionary War highway. Frankly, after seeing how many famous “Founding Fathers” and other early patriots slept along the route, it’s a wonder that we managed to rouse the troops at all, let alone win our independence.
That said, as I rode through Woodbury, just near the center of town I saw a huge 2-story high rock cliff with a rickety stairway bolted and supported along the side of the rock itself. A glance at the top of the stairway showed a plain white building with the familiar square and compasses. Without even seeing the sign I knew I was in front of the legendary King Solomon’s Lodge No. 7. The “lodge with the stairs” as it’s sometimes called by people in the Northeast corner of the state, and while I’d passed by it dozens of times, that was before I was a Mason, and so never really noticed it.
I’d heard stories about these stairs which are decidedly not to the local handicapped access building codes. In fact, a closer view of the stairway made me wonder how in the world a bunch of seventy-year old brothers could even manage this in the dark when I was hesitant to get close to them in broad daylight. The stairs are blocked off with boards and a Private – No Trespassing sign, but my guess is that the sight of thin boards and skinny metal pipes braced against the rocks would deter all but the most stout-hearted of interlopers.
Not realizing that the foliage and other scenery would be so pleasant during my 20-odd mile ride through the area, I didn’t pack my regular digital camera. These pictures were only taken with my phone camera, which really doesn’t do justice to either the building or the beautiful autumn scenery along the road. But I’m glad that I managed to at least get a glimpse of Masonic history over the weekend.
King Solomon No. 7 is one of the oldest lodge buildings in the state, and there is a fascinating history behind the stairway which can be read on their website here.