About Us - San Jose Valley - 1904
San Jose, a little village of about 3,000 in 1849, was the first Capital of California, almost two years before California was admitted to the union in 1851. San Jose Lodge No. 10 was working in 1850 under dispensation from the new Grand Lodge with a membership of 22. At the end of the Civil War, it stood at 90. In 1871, As Masonry grew with the expansion of the town, Friendship Lodge No. 210 was chartered. By mid 1873 there was a total of 244 active Master Masons in San Jose. Many of the Masons, some of them already Scottish Rite members, were interested in establishing the Bodies in San Jose. Albert Pike 33 o communicated the degrees of the Lodge of Perfection to several In May of 1883 and two years later on March 10, 1885, Albert 0. Mackey Lodge of Perfection No. 13 was organized. Shortly thereafter it closed, for reasons not quite clear. Almost 20 years later a new San Jose Lodge of Perfection No. 10 began working under Letters Temporary from November 10, 1904 until it was chartered more than 7 years later on February 17, 1912. Letters Temporary were issued for the San Jose Chapter of Rose Croix in March 1908 and both the Council of Kadosh and Consistory were chartered in 1913. The initial meetings were held in the old Masonic Hall (Rutherford Hall) on the southwest corner of Second and San Fernando Streets. During the next five years the Rite had two or three different meeting places. Work on a new Scottish Rite Temple located on 148 North Third Street began in early April 1909. Although meetings had been held in the new Temple since Spring, 1909, it was not dedicated until January 22, 1910. The Rite, by now, had 154 members. A resolution was passed that stated, "neither the Temple nor any part may be loaned or leased to any person or organization." The Rite grew at such a pace that less than a dozen years passed and a new Temple was built on the southeast corner of Third and James Streets, just three doors north of the old Temple. The Scottish Rite Temple was built in 1924 by Carl Werner. Commissioned by the local Masonic Order, the three-story neo-classical structure is located in St. James Park at the corner of St. James and Third St, San Jose, California. The building is now the home of the San Jose Athletic Club. The auditorium seated 1,400 and the Rite boasted the largest stage in San Jose. In addition to lounges, library, and club rooms, its kitchen and dining room facilities accommodated 1,000 people. It was dedicated May 8, 1925. (1) The Rite became concerned about the physical condition of the Temple and of the decline of the neighborhood. They started raising funds for a new building and purchased 38 acres in 1963 for $ 600,000. In 1967 they sold five-and-one-half acres to the San Jose Masonic Temple Association and several acres to the Faith Temple Church. In 1980 the old Temple was sold, but the buyer demanded immediate occupancy and so in the summer of 1980 the Rite leased an abandoned school on Washington Street in Santa Clara. With money from the sale of real estate they were able to begin construction of a new Temple 2455 Masonic Drive. The first floor was completed and the Bodies moved in. The Cornerstone Laying and Dedication Ceremonies were held July 8, 1984. The building is two high stories and contains 40,100 feet of floor space. The Lodge room seats 500 and dining room facilities handle nearly 450 persons. Even with lounges, offices, a large recreation room, library and museum, wardroom and makeup rooms, there is still room for future expansion. the facilities are used by concordant Masonic bodies and are rented to the public on a space-available basis. For the first time, a new building was specifically designed to house a Childhood Language Disorders Clinic. There are plans to expand Clinic in the future. (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. 239 ff. San Jose Bodies 2. Dalton A. Noland, 32 o , K.C.C.H., and Others.
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