Scottish Rite California
About Us - Los Angeles Valley -1885
    Albert Pike's desire to establish the Scottish Rite in all parts of California led to a organizational meeting in the "City of the Angels", a small town of about 12,000 in 1885. Pentalph Lodge No. 202 on Main Street was the scene of the constitution of King Solomon Lodge of Perfection No. 14, Robert Bruce Chapter of Rose Croix No. 6 and the Hugues Despaynes Council of Kadosh No. 3. The Bodies met at the Main Street Location for less than two years when they moved to First and Spring Streets where they held meetings for ten years.     At that time only the Grand Consistory of California in San Francisco conferred the Consistory Degrees. The distance and expense involved prompted the constitution of a "Particular Consistory" in Los Angeles. By 1895 the "lodge room" in the Bonebreak Building on First and Spring became inadequate and an Impressive three story Masonic Hall was built at 431 Hill Street.     It was occupied by the Scottish Rite Bodies, the York Rite and three blue Lodges. By 1900 the membership had reached about 200 and so a larger Temple was erected at 929 Hope Street, "with a little money and a "lot of faith."     In spite of the losses to Santa Barbara (1931) and Bakersfield (1945) when they were instituted, the growth continued. The  membership in 1950 reached 7,378 with a class of 300. It was time for another new Cathedral. After diligent search was made the Rite purchased four lots on Wilshire Boulevard to build a new Temple. The Cathedral, four stories high, with an exterior of Italian Travertine marble, embellished with mosaics and gold lettering and adorned with eight 15 foot statues is, indeed, a monumental edifice. On April 28, after 55 years at the Hope Street address, the first Stated Meeting of the Rite was held on October 6, 1961. (1)     It is quite natural that the Los Angeles Bodies are deeply involved in theatrical and musical performances. An orchestra had been established as early as 1911 and the Scottish Rite Male Chorus held its 40th birthday in 1955. The Scottish Rite Players staged many productions for the entertainment of the brethren and their families.     The one day class of 330 candidates in November, 1974, brought the membership to over 11,000. In 1980, Los Angeles was the largest Valley in the second largest Orient of the Southern Jurisdiction, and the 14th largest Valley in the Jurisdiction. It became necessary in 1994 for the Rite to find a temporary home and to explore locations for a new Temple.     It had been a long-time mission of the Los Angeles Bodies to establish the California Cultural Heritage Museum; a place for people to learn about the heritage of their communities. In August of 1996 a permanent home for the Museum and library was found at Beverly Hills Lodge No. 528. The Elsworth Myer Gallery is designed to introduce Masonry to the public. The William R. Hervey Gallery focuses on the City of Los Angeles and the Scottish Rite from 1885 to 1950. Both museums display memorabilia, historical photographs and documents, all available for public viewing and research.     The Los Angeles Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic was dedicated in March 1977. By September it was necessary to expand the Clinic schedule from three days a week to five because of the increasing number of children who needed treatment. Since its opening it has evaluated 1,147 children and 593 have received speech therapy. There are, in 1999, 34 children currently enrolled and 24 on a waiting list. Two full-time speech/language pathologists work with children who exhibit difficulties in many areas of speech impairment. Mild difficulties are remedied completely by the time they leave the center.     More severe cases are referred to community resources. (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. 79 ff.      Los Angeles Bodies 2.  Los Angeles Bodies, Bulletins, letter.
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