Jesse Peaslee Pattee (1804-1863) was both a Master of the Hiram Lodge and it’s landlord, for Hiram Lodge met in Menotomy Hall, the second story of Mr. Pattee’s own bake shop A large room, fifteen by forty feet with an oval ceiling, Menotomy Hall was a fitting home for the lodge’s fifty members—especially in winter as the large bakery chimney was inches from the Senior Warden’s chair.
Wor. Pattee was born August 12, 1804 in Warner, New Hampshire. His grandfather, Asa Pattee, a captain of the militia in the French and Indian War, was a Loyalist, building the first frame house in Warner. On the wrong side of history, but on the right side of financial exchanges, Mr. Pattee became the largest landowner in town. His son, John Pattee, Jesse’s father, was also a successful farmer with huge flocks of livestock and children, (he had sixteen; Jesse was the fourteenth) and a prodigious memory for Bible verses. He relished hosting visiting ministers for scriptural skirmishes, excelled at medical matters and set bones as finely as he wielded a pen.
Jesse P. Pattee attended Hopkinton Academy in neighboring Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Hopkinton Academy was founded by Dr. Ebenezer Lerned (1762-1831), who coincidentally had earlier in his career, taught in West Cambridge, bequeathing to the town $300 for the establishment of a juvenile library, one of the nation’s first.
Jesse Pattee taught school himself until moving to West Cambridge in 1824. He learned the bakery business and finally bought Cotting’s bakery in West Cambridge about 1829. Inheriting his father’s fine hand, he also taught penmanship in Cambridge and Brookline.
He married a local girl, Adeline Hill, who was the granddaughter of Minuteman Solomon Bowman, in 1831, and purchased the lot at the corner of Academy and Massachusetts Avenue, which became the local landmark, Pattee’s Bakery and later Menotomy Hall. The Pattees had three children: William Henry, b. 1833; John Augustus, b. 1836; and Mary Eliza, b. 1843. In a delightful insight into a presumably happy marriage, in the Arlington Historical Society archives are tickets from a visit to Niagara Falls in September, 1850 for Mrs. Adeline and Mr. Jesse P. Pattee.
He was an ardent and active Mason, businessman, and civic booster, being lead investor in the West Cambridge Street Railway Company. Along with William Whittemore, Jesse Pattee was a founding member of the West Cambridge Universalist Church. He served also as Justice of the Peace, town tax collector, and as a General Court representative in the 1840’s.
He joined the Hiram Lodge, June 6, 1844 serving as Master, 1852-1854. In 1861 he became Jr. Grand Warden of the Grand lodge of Massachusetts. Mr. Pattee was also a member of St. Paul’s Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Boston
Sources include: AHS archives, Parker, “Town of Arlington,” and William Richard Cutter, “Historic homes and places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs”