Holland Lodge No. 1, A.F. & A.M. is the oldest masonic lodge in the State of Texas and one of the lodges that founded the Grand Lodge of Texas. In March 1835, five masons, Anson Jones among them, met in Brazoria under an oak tree, now called the Masonic Oak, and decided to form a masonic lodge where they could meet formally as masons. They then submitted a petition for dispensation to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana to organize a lodge in the Texas territory. The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana named John Henry Holland granted dispensation on December 27, 1835. The lodge was named after the Grand Master of Louisiana and numbered 36. It began to work at the old courthouse in Brazoria, Texas. Then it suspended activities due to the Texas Revolution. The official charter of Holland Lodge No. 36 was issued on January 27, 1836, which was delivered to Anson Jones before the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836.
On September 22, 1837, John Henry Holland issued charters for two other lodges in Texas, Milam Lodge No. 40 in Nacogdoches and MacFarland Lodge No. 41 in San Augustine. Later that year on December 20, the Grand Lodge of Texas was formed and held its first session on April 24, 1838 at which meeting Texas lodges changed their numeric designations, thus Holland Lodge No. 36 became No. 1.
At the end of 1837, Holland Lodge moved to Houston and opened regularly at the Senate Chamber of the original Capitol Building, place of Rice Hotel and now the Rice Lofts, until October 1838. Holland Lodge No. 1 has relocated several times and now meets at 4911 Montrose Boulevard in the Museum District area of Houston, Texas.
When Holland Lodge No. 1 was about to celebrate its sesquicentennial in 1985, Walter A. Chatham, former Secretary, wrote the following about the emblem of the lodge:
“Holland Lodge is the only Lodge in Texas that has worked under four different flags e.g. The Republic of Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States of America and The United States.
The Lodge received dispensation from the grand Lodge of Louisiana and was instituted and opened at Brazoria on December 27, 1835, as Holland Lodge No. 36 U.D., while Texas was still part of the Republic of Mexico and continued to work under the Mexican Flag until April 26, 1836, the date it won independence from Mexico.
On December 20, 1837, the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas was organized and in 1838 it designated Holland Lodge as No. 1, having been the first Lodge to receive its Charter from Louisiana. The Lodge worked under the Republic of Texas Flag from April 21, 1836 until December 29, 1845 when Texas was annexed by the United States and became the 28th State.
On the date of annexation in 1845 Texas became part of the United States and the Lodge worked under the United States Flag until 1861 when Texas seceded from the Union and became part of the Confederate States of America. Holland Lodge worked under the Confederate Flag until the end of the Civil War on April 9, 1865, when Texas again became part of the Union and the Lodge has worked under the United States Flag from that date until the present time.”