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The Mysterious Masonic Symbols

Masonic SymbolsIt is not known how or when the carved stones with Masonic symbols became part of The Hermitage. One consultant believed that they were inserted into the house before 1807, before the arrival of the Rosencrantz family.

There are no known connections between the Lane family, who owned the house in the 1760s, and the Masons. Records indicate that Augustine Prevost, a brother of James Marcus Prevost, was an active member of the Masons. But there is no record that James belonged to the society.

It is known that Union Lodge No. 6 of the Masonic order was established in Hackensack in 1787. William Bell, who purchased The Hermitage in 1794 and may have resided there before that date, was the first senior warden of Union Lodge and became its treasurer in 1790. Although the lodge ceased to exist after 1794, Lane may well have been the owner who inserted the symbolic Masonic stones into the front wall.

Adding to the puzzle, Christian Rosenkrantz is a legendary figure in Masonic lore. The Rosicrucians, an early-17th-century religious sect, based their beliefs on his philosophy. He is not a direct ancestor of the Rosencrantz family of The Hermitage (in fact, no relationship has been found at all), but the similarity in names heightens the mystery of the Masonic symbols.

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