About Us - Santa Barbara Valley - 1931
The city of Santa Barbara started off as a small pueblo in 1846. It was more than two decades later, in 1868, that a Dispensation was issued to Santa Barbara Lodge No. 192 by the Grand Lodge of California. Then, in December, 1875 a second Lodge, Magnolia No. 242 was granted a Dispensation and by 1909 it had 90 members. In the meantime Santa Barbara Lodge had grown to 122 members. After the railroad, which ran from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, was expanded to San Francisco in 1901, Santa Barbara became a favorite vacation and residential area. To handle the increased interest in Masonry, a third Blue Lodge, La Cumbre No. 142 was chartered in 1926. Several Scottish Rite Masons living in Santa Barbara and Ventura formed a Scottish Rite Club to organize a local Valley. The Los Angeles Bodies occasionally traveled to Santa Barbara to confer the degrees upon the Club members. The last meeting of the Club and the first meeting of the Santa Barbara Lodge of Perfection were held jointly On July 31, 1931. Meeting under Letters Temporary, the Lodge received its charter in October, 1931. Shortly thereafter, the Chapter of Rose Croix was constituted in December, 1933. The Great Depression decimated the membership. It fell from 142 in 1932 to just 100 in 1940. Things brightened and in the next five years the number climbed to 246. It was not until 1949 that Charters were issued for the Santa Barbara Council of Kadosh and Santa Barbara Consistory. The Lodge rooms of the Masonic Temple were not well equipped for the needs of the Rite so new lights, scenery, stage props and costumes were purchased to enhance the presentation of the degrees. The membership had grown so large that in 1954 the facilities in the Masonic Hall were inadequate to handle the Maundy Thursday Feast and the ceremonies were held in three shifts. Partly because of the pressure, Northern Santa Barbara County Scottish Rite Club and Ventura Scottish Rite Club were organized in 1954 operating under the auspices of the Santa Barbara Bodies. In 1954 the Bodies formed a non-profit corporation to acquire property and devise means to raise funds for a new Temple. In 1957 the Board purchased a 6-1/2 acre tract on the east edge of Santa Barbara anticipating a future need. In the meantime, the Rite continues to meet in the Lodge rooms of the Masonic Temple on East Carillo Street.(1) In 1974 new carpeting, repairs and stage reconstruction were undertaken. The kitchen was painted and new facilities installed. In 1980 a new broiler was installed in the Temple kitchen and a stainless steel wall panel was placed behind it. Broiled steaks and BBQ's became popular additions to the menus. In 1991 new sound equipment improved the quality of the meetings. These maintenance and improvement projects were all combined efforts of the Scottish Rite, three Blue Lodges, and other Masonic tenants. At present there are ten Masonic-linked organizations using the Santa Barbara facilities, Santa Barbara Lodge No. 192, Magnolia/La Cumbre Lodge No. 242, the Orders of Eastern Star, Amaranth, Job's Daughters, Rainbow for Girls and DeMolay for boys, Daughters of the Nile, York Rite and Scottish Rite. This is one busy Temple; one which became debt-free in 1982. The Santa Barbara Bodies provide a variety of Masonic and community services and charities. The Santa Barbara Scottish Rite Scholarship Program was launched in 1982 with $1,500 awarded to four deserving qualified students. In 1995 seven scholarships were selected from among 88 applicants. Scottish Rite visitations to area Blue Lodges were started in 1960 to improve relationship within the Masonic Family. The Childhood Language Disorders Clinic started operation in a newly constructed facility in the Spring of 1982. The bodies had the good fortune to find an experienced diagnostician/therapist as a full time Director of the Clinic. It has since operated at capacity. The Clinic obtained early financial support from the Ventura Bodies, Job's Daughters and, of course, the support of the brethren. Early in the 1990's two important contributions were received for the Center: one of $400,000 and another of $230,000 which will greatly enhance future program offerings of the Clinic.(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. 299 ff. Santa Barbara Bodies 2. John A. Logan 32 o , 50 Years of Scottish Rite Masonry in Santa Barbara.
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