Rising Star Lodge, A.F. & A.M. - Cobb's Tavern

The Lodge room at Cobb's Tavern

The Lodge Room at Cobb's Tavern, now a bedroom

Boston Bicycle Club

The members of the famous Boston Bicycle Club, which at this writlng (1954) still pay a visit to the Tavern every year, used to make their first stop here in the old days on their annual "wheel around the Hub". Today's few remaining members make the tour by automobile.

In 1950 Willard H. Fobes of Annisquam, Mass., wrote: "Much interest was taken in the dear old hostelry by riders of bicycles in the early days of that sport, and the annual "wheel around the Hub", led by the late Dr. W. G. Kendall, gave Cobb's Tavern a very considerable publicity. In 1886, at the age of 24, I was a member of the Dorchester Bicycle Club, riding a 55-inch wheel. Dinner at the Tavern was a frequent occurrence. I shall never forget the exhilarating ride through the Blue Hills of Milton, but the Tavern itself was the chief attraction of the outing .... including the long-disused bar room.

"In due time the company was ushered into the dining room, low-ceilinged, cool and comfortable. The food was homelike, and the surroundings unique."

If the Tavern's early registers could be located - and perhaps they will be some day - there is little doubt that many a famous name would be found thereon. A register kept by Postmaster Warren Cobb (which may have pre-dated Warren’s own activities in its earlier pages) is believed to have disappeared one day many years ago durlng the excitement of the annual visitation of the Boston Bicycle Club (though it is not implied that any of the club members necessarily were involved in the disappearance). This particular register, at least, probably still exists, for reference ls made to it ln a newspaper article Feb. 28, 1932, when a reporter evidently had access to its pages, for he drew therefrom enough data for nearly a column though without stating where he had seen the elusive book. The present owner of Cobb's Tavern thought he was on the track of the book ln 1952, but the trail petered out. Excerpts from the newspaper article are quoted later on in this manuscript.

Masons and Music Lovers

The Boston Bicycle Club was only one of many organlzatlons that met at Cobb's Tavern, and history of a sort was made there from time to time. The nation's oldest musical organization, The Old Stoughton Musical Society (still in existence today) had its first meeting in the tavern Nov. l2, 1804, when the society was organized. A booklet devoted to the society's history, published in 1929 by Stoughton Printing Company, Stoughton, Mass., recites this fact, and contains an old photograph of the Tavern.

One of the most venerable of Masonic Lodges, the Rising Star Lodge of Stoughton, held meetings at Cobb's Tavern for several years, and the Masonic Hall which Jonathon Cobb built within the tavern for the Masons' use is still intact, though lt was divided many years ago by a light partition into two bedchambers. A history of Rising Star Lodge prepared in 1949 by William B. Henry, then Master of the Lodge, says in part, "March 15, 1810 the men of Stoughton were out-voted and the Lodge was moved to Canton, meeting at the house of Amos Upham untll July 28, 1814, when they again moved to the house of John Savels of Sharon, and remained there about a year. Again September 14, 1815, they held their first communication at the house of Jonathon Cobb, known as Cobb's Tavern, and here they remained until January 22, 1818, when they returned to Rising Star Hall at Capen's Tavern."

Later in the Tavern's history, the old Masonic Hall came to be known by the famlly as "the ballroom" and was used for such activities as the name suggests. It also chances to have been a listening-post from which a rather noteworthy proposal of marriage was heard by members of the family and thereby preserved for us.

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Captain Anthony Palermo Jr.

In Memoriam

A Tribute to Rising Star Lodges' Fallen Brother, U.S. Army Captain Anthony Palermo, Jr.