In 1864, the Knights of Pythias was founded by Justus H. Rathbone, making it the very first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an Act of the United States Congress. The society is based on the Greek story of friendship from 400 B. C. between Damon and Pythias, members of a school founded by Pythagoras.
According to their Website, Pythians: promote cooperation and friendship between people of good will, find happiness through service to mankind, believe that friendship is essential in life, view home life as a top priority, show an interest in public affairs, enhance their home communities, respect and honor the law of the land, and expand their influence with people of like interests and energy.
The metal marker above features many of the symbols that are significant to the Knights of Pythias. A knight’s helmet sits atop a pyramid-shaped shield with three letters, “F”, “C”, and “B”, which stand for their motto, FRIENDSHIP, CHARITY, and BENEVOLENCE. This sits on the letters “K” and “P” which swirl downward around the pommel and the grip and rests on the cross-guard of the shield-bearing rapier.
The marker below, slightly pitted, has a light green patina, sporting a few of the Knight’s symbols:
- a shield with the letters–“F”, “C”, and “B”
- crossed battle axes
- a knight’s helmet topped by a falcon (a symbol of vigilance)