James Hoban’s Secret Society

by Thomas Saharsky


James Hoban’s Secret Society is a pocket guide to Hoban’s fraternal legacy. This concise history delineates the opportunity and rise of a skilled immigrant craftsman in colonial America. Hoban’s family-centric approach to his work helped establish a tight-knit group of professional woodworkers who stayed with him throughout his entire career. Hoban’s work brought credibility and notoriety to the Irish Labor Movement of the 18th century.

Hoban’s visionary work defined civic architecture first in South Carolina and then in the U.S. Capital. The expertise he demonstrated impressed heads of state and thrust Hoban into the limelight, where President George Washington chose him to build the White House. Hoban and his contemporaries cultivated social, civil, and military organizations that brought continuity and zeal to the United States Capitol Project. They held feasts, festivals, and civic processions that honored the traditions of master craftsmen. His fraternal endeavors developed the social provisions necessary for the federal city jobsite to survive the early years. James Hoban’s legacy spanned multiple administrations, and his original design stands as a testament to the enlightened planning in colonial America.

Thomas Saharsky is a Master Freemason. As a young man, his interest in his ancestors and history took him on a chef’s journey, traveling the world while cooking in various countries. Now preferring a slower tempo, he resides in the Great Lakes region of the U.S., where he grew up. Although he still travels a great deal, he now plans his trips around research into the cultures that informed the craftsmen involved in the early American colonial period.