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Worth a Look: Masonic Sites in California

The April/May issue of California Freemason is all about Masonic travel around the world, but there are many interesting Masonic sites right here in California. Here’s a handful that are worth a look.

Volcano Masonic Cave. In 1853, during the early days of Volcano Lodge No. 56, members held their first lodge meetings in a cave near the gold rush town of Volcano. To find the cave and the historical marker, visit the online historical marker database.

Columbia Masonic Temple. This lodge building in Columbia, another gold rush town, was built in 1855 as the meeting place for Columbia Lodge No. 28. In 1949, the Grand Lodge of California restored the building, which some lodges continue to use for degree ceremonies. The building includes a replica lodge room on the ground floor that shows what Masonic lodges looked like in the 19th century. To find the building, visit the online historical marker database.

Alameda Masonic Temple. This recently restored building at 2312 Alameda Ave. reportedly has a few chutes and ladders in one of the lodge rooms, which are used for working the Royal Arch degree. The Alameda Masonic Temple’s original building, which still exists next door at the corner of Park Street and Alameda Avenue, was built in 1890 and is considered the most distinguished Victorian landmark on Park Street.

Masonic Hall for Mission Lodge No. 169. This building, at 2668 Mission St. in San Francisco, is actually two buildings that were merged into one, and the hall is now known for its unique and beautiful interior. The cornerstone of the original building was laid in 1897, and, some years later, the lodge purchased an adjoining lot. Mission Lodge No. 169, which was organized in the earliest days of the Mission District, reportedly is San Francisco’s first experiment with a “neighborhood” Masonic lodge.

Oakland Scottish Rite Center. This stately building, on the shores of Lake Merritt at 1520 Lakeside Dr., is considered by some as one of the most beautiful structures in the San Francisco Bay Area. Built in 1927, the building has grand staircases and hand-carved ceilings.

Know of another? Join the discussion on the official Facebook page for the Masons of California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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