Scottish Rite California
About Us - Fresno Valley - 1903
     The little town of Fresno, the Spanish name for "ash tree", was incorporated in 1895. Two years later Fresno Lodge was chartered and by 1898 it had 138 members. Some of the brethren were Scottish Rite Masons. Those who wanted to join the Rite had to travel to San Francisco or Los Angeles to receive the degrees. On May 9, 1903, at the Masonic Temple located on Tulare and Broadway, was constituted Fresno Lodge of Perfection No. 6, assuming the number of the Redlands Lodge which had become defunct. The Chapter of Rose Croix was chartered in 1905.      The Lodge building, erected in 1866, 19 years before the town was incorporated, was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt around the corner on Tulare and I Streets. It was there the Council of Kadosh was chartered May 22, 1909. In 1910 a new Masonic Temple was erected at the southwest corner of Van Ness and Merced Streets. Finally, in the Spring of 1911 a new Consistory communicated and conferred the 31st and 32nd Degrees on 112 candidates. The Degree Team from San Francisco performed the conferral.     By 1938 the shared Masonic Temples had become too small to house the 34 year old Rite's 912 members. A new Scottish Rite Temple was built on the southwest corner of L and Stanislaus streets, dedicated on October 1, 1938.(1)      The Temple, solely owned and occupied by the Scottish Rite, celebrated its 50th Anniversary on November 14, 1987. The Lodge room comfortably seats 300 and the banquet room can accommodate 300 persons. The lounge is equipped with color TV and reading material. The Ladies Club meets here following the stated Meeting dinner.      Except for a dip during the depression years, the membership had consistently grown until 1950. For more than 30 years the numbers fluctuated around 3,000 until 1983 when it slowly began to decline.(2)      Bibliography Sources        My thanks to all those, names and nameless, who helped me amass the materials used in compiling this history of the Orient of California. Ill:. Robert D. Haas 33° 1.  California First Century of Scottish Rite Masonry p. 185 ff. Fresno Bodies 2.  Fresno Bodies - Bulletins, Faxes
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