Milton Masonic lodge dates back to 19th century

January 24, 2023

If someone from the late 1800s was transported to Milton in 2023, they might see a familiar building standing at the corner of Chestnut and Mill streets. The two-story Free Masons’ Endeavor Lodge #17 was built on the corner in the 1880s after the group acquired the land in 1883. The upper room was used for meeting purposes, while the first floor was rented for use as a store. A two-story addition was constructed in the early 20th century. This photograph was made in 1926. Endeavor Lodge #17 was founded in 1848 by James Ponder, who served as Delaware’s governor from 1871-75. Early meetings were held at Ponder’s store house. Endeavor Lodge #17 originated in Frederica, but its charter ceased to exist at some point. Ponder and a group of citizens petitioned the Grand Lodge of Delaware to reestablish the lodge in Milton. Endeavor Lodge #17 continues to meet in the same building today. A historic marker was dedicated in 2008.


  • Delaware Cape Region History in Photographs, published every Tuesday in the Cape Gazette, features historical photos from Delaware's Cape Region - particularly - and from throughout Sussex County and Delaware generally.

    Readers are invited to submit photos of historic interest. They can be mailed to the Cape Gazette at PO Box 213, Lewes, DE 19958, or via email to

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