This was supposed to be a time of celebration for those who preserve the history of the Knights Templar at the Masonic Hall in Utica. Dating back to 1823, the Utica Commandery #3 of the Knights Templar recently held its bicentennial celebration, celebrating 200 years of Masonic Templary across New York State that included historic figures such as Thomas R. Proctor and the chapter's first Grand Master, the former U.S. Senator, Mayor of New York City, and Governor of New York, DeWitt Clinton.

The current Commander SK Stuart W. Card had taken historic relics to a nearby chapter in Newport on Tuesday evening, including the Templar's 200 year old charter document, and following the celebration, he loaded them into his car for a trip to the next stop in Vernon. Once arriving at his destination, he discovered he had made a horrible mistake.

Knights Templar Building. Masonic Temple 2150 Bleecker St, Utica. Picasa
Knights Templar Building. Masonic Temple 2150 Bleecker St, Utica. Picasa
"The 200 year old  historic charter document for Utica Commandery was lost after the metal box containing it was placed on a car roof and forgotten, bouncing off on a trip between Newport, NY and Vernon. Reward offered. We're frantic," said Bicentennial Chairman SK Thomas Loughlin in an email.
Card said once he realized the box was missing and what had happened, he retraced his route back to Newport but the box was nowhere to be found.
Watch the interview here:

"I'm frantic. I was supposed to be its caretaker and I made a terrible mistake," said Card. "Members, friends and I have been out walking the roads in the rain looking for it."

Card said he's offering a $1,000 reward for the document, which he says probably isn't worth that on the open market, but for his organization, the document is priceless.

The document from 1823 is stored in a metal container. "The container is metal, it's rectangular, it's flat, it's got rounded sides, it's maybe 7 inches long, maybe 3 inches wide, maybe an inch thick. It's dark green there's gray in color," Card said. He added it would be perfect to hide in the grass along the roadside.

Commander SK Stuart W. Card. Picasa.
Commander SK Stuart W. Card. Picasa.

Here's the route Card says he took when he left Newport on Tuesday evening.

"I started out on South Main Street in Newport which is NYS Route 28. I turned left onto Bridge Street. I turned right onto West Street which turns into Old State Road. I turned left onto Honey Hill Road. Then I turned left onto Strumlock Road. Then I turned right onto Steuben Road. Then left onto NYS Route 8. Then the onramp to NYS 12. Then NYS 5 to Van Epps Street in Vernon."

Here's a photo of the document taken by Tom Loughlin.

Photo by Tom Loughlin for TSM

Card urges anyone with information about the missing document can email him at or call 315-725-7002.

"I've made a terrible mistake and I'm hoping somebody can help me recover from it," said Card.

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