The Grotto was founded in the summer of 1889 by LeRoy Fairchild who, along with other members of Hamilton Lodge #120 in Hamilton, New York, met to organize and hold informal meetings for fun and good fellowship. At their meeting on September 10, 1889, they decided to call the group the “Fairchild Deviltry Committee” and restrict membership to Master Masons in good standing.
The idea of the Order proved to be attractive, and many Masons joined. In response to requests, other groups were formed in other areas, and on June 13, 1890 the former “Fairchild Deviltry Committee” duly established and formed the Supreme Council, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm. Its purpose was to add in greater measure to the Masonic fraternal spirit the charm of radiant cheerfulness and to maintain within the fraternity an impetus of royal good fellowship.
It is a social organization for Master Masons, and as such, all Master Masons are welcome to join. It encourages renewed interest in the Blue Lodges, though it makes no claim to be a part of Symbolic Craft Masonry. Members are distinguished by a black fez with a red tassel and a Mokanna head in the middle.
For a few years the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm had no official emblem to wear. Word got around that the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets were permitted to wear an emblem that set them apart from others and a black Fez head covering was selected with a Mokanna Head in the center, giving the name of the Grotto. Naturally, this attracted attention. The minutes of a February 26, 1903 stated meeting of Azim Grotto, Bronx, New York states: “Prophet Charles E. Lansing, Past Potent Monarch, after some preliminary remarks, descriptive thereto, presented to those present, a drawing in color of a headgear appropriate for the Order. The same was received with favor and by motion, regularly made and seconded and carried, it was unanimously decided to adopt and wear them on serious and other appropriate occasions.” In the minutes of October 29, 1903, it is recorded: “The Potent Monarch reported that the Fez worn by our members was, at the Annual Session of the Supreme Council help at Hamilton, New York on October 20, adopted as the official headgear for all Prophets of the Realm.”