Grottoes of North America
The Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, whose subordinate bodies are the Grottoes, is an organization by and for Master Masons. While not connected with Masonry proper, its membership is restricted absolutely and exclusively to Master Masons in good standing. Although it is primarily an organization for good wholesome fun and frolic, it also has its serious side. Its slogan is GOOD FELLOWSHIP, and in contact with our fellowman, this principle is exemplified to a marked degree.
For some years prior to 1889, several members of Hamilton Lodge N0. 120, F.&A.M., at Hamilton, New York, sought relaxation from the sterner duties of life by holding occasional informal meetings for fun and good fellowship. The chief spirit in the fun was LeRoy Fairchild, and in the summer of 1889, he and a devoted band of followers discovered the Enchanted Realm in which, upon entering with song and laughter, they and their successors found a rich heritage. The first meeting of this organization was held on the 10th day of September, 1889. It was decided at this meeting that the membership of the organization should be confined to Master Masons in good standing.
A ritual was written and they began to take in new members. Many distinguished Masons entered the Enchanted Realm and returned pleased and charmed by its brilliancy. The Order could no longer be confined to one locality and in response to imperative requests that were not to be denied, on the 13th of June, 1890, the "F.D.C." duly founded and established the Supreme Council of the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm. The seven Founders were pillars of their communities; The Chief Founder was LeRoy Fairchild, a store owner. Adon N. Smith, a store owner and Bank President, his brother Sidney D. Smith, a local politician was Grand Secretary for over 25 years. William Eaton was the last US Navy Commodore. General William M. West served as Aide to NY Governor and was a local Bank President. George Beal held many positions in the village and was Post Master under President Grover Cleveland. Dr. John McGregory was a Madison University Professor for 46 years and served as Grand Monarch in 1908.
Through the years many Grottoes were chartered in the United States and Canada. Membership has included Masons from all walks of life and luminaries, including Presidents: Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Gerald R. Ford. The Founders created a highly engaging, successful environment for all Prophets and a Fraternal Organization that has moved from one century to another, yet another, with the strongest feelings of Good Fellowship among its members.
Source: Grottoes of North America, http://www.scgrotto.org/