Scottish Rite California
About Us - Santa Rosa Valley - 1904
    The first dwelling in Santa Rosa was an adobe home built in 1842. By 1854 Santa Rosa became the county seat and the town began to grow. In June of that year Santa Rosa Lodge No. 47 opened under Dispensation with 21 members and by the turn of the century it reached a total of 205 members. A small group of Masons living in and around the town wished to form a Lodge of Perfection. On January 8, 1904, the Ineffable Degrees were communicated to 13 Master Masons in the Santa Rosa Masonic Hall. On October 8, 1905 a Charter was issued and shortly thereafter the first class of 29 candidates received the degrees of the Lodge of Perfection.     The Great Earthquake of 1906 destroyed the Rite's meeting place and some time elapsed before meetings resumed. Nonetheless, by 1910 membership had reached 60 and interest in a Chapter of Rose Croix led to the issuance of a charter on October 16, 1911.  By 1915 membership in the Lodge of Perfection was 139 and the Santa Rosa Lodge had grown to 252 members. A Council of Kadosh received its charter on October 22, 1919.     Anticipation the creation of a Consistory, it was now time to look for new quarters. The Rite acquired a spacious private home at 441 B Street and converted it into a Temple with stage, lodge room and all the other necessary facilities to make the conferral of degrees a pleasant occasion. A petition for a Consistory was filed and a charter was issued on October 21, 1921.     Membership had reached 590 by 1929, but after the Great Depression and World War II, only 402 were left in 1945.  During the post-war years the Rite grew to more than 900 in 1960. (1)     The image of downtown Santa Rosa was changing and early in the 1970's the Rite was looking for a new site upon which to build.     Six separate contiguous parcels were purchased and a New Temple was erected at 600 Acacia Lane. For a short time the Rite located at the Odd Fellows Temple until the new Temple was ready to occupy in the fall of 1983.     The Santa Rosa Scottish Rite has become a center of community activity. The ladies' club has been an integral part of the Rite from the very beginning. Four regional Scottish Rite Clubs have been formed during the last decade to supplement and support the activities of the Center, Awards have been created for officers and for outstanding ritualists. In 1996 the first joint Scottish Rite/Shrine ceremonies were held in the Center.     The Rite sponsors the Grand Lodge Child Identification Program wherein parents are provided with a sheet bearing a photograph and vital information. The building is prepared for and contains supplies for emergencies. It also provides storage space for the Red Cross.     A unique event took place in the Valley of Santa Rosa in 1989 when the Sovereign Grand Commander granted permission to proceed with the application of an 18-year-old Master Mason; the only instance of its kind in California.     The Children's Language and Learning Center was dedicated with the New Temple on September 7, 1985. For eight years it was located in the Temple but it has always been the long-range intent of the Rite to construct a free standing state-of-the-art Center.     This dream became a reality through the generosity of two of the brethren, one of whom challenged the membership to raise $300,000 which he would match. Another brother donated $400,000 toward the construction of the new Center. The formal dedication and opening ceremony took place on August 6, 1994.     The Center has treated more than 1,000 children and has a normal waiting list of about ten.  The Center employs five part time therapists, but is otherwise staffed 100% by volunteers who are also frequently the best contributors. The Bodies have arranged with the Santa Rosa Junior College to offer a two year course in speech pathology to assure the future needs of the Rite. The center will have a part in the planning and staffing of instructors for the College.     Another unique feature of the Santa Rosa Center is the creation of the first Family Support Group. All parents and guardians are required to take a six week course to learn about their child's affliction and to learn ways to help their children. The FSG hastens the therapy because the therapy continues at home under the supervision of enlightened parents. The FSG offers parents the opportunity to get to know each other, shape, and learn that they are not alone with their problems. (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. 201 ff.     Santa Rosa Bodies 2.  Morton J. Traub, 32 o , K.C.C.H., Historian      Richard C. Delsi, 33 o , Personal Representative - Letter, Fax
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