THE SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY
VALLEY OF SACRAMENTO
COME THROUGH OUR DOORS
As you come through our doors, you will find the reason why we are called "The World's Most Purposeful Fraternity."
This lies not alone in the progressive Masonic enlightenment, or in our history, organization, and ritual, for our Fraternity works its magic mainly upon human conduct.
Your mind is cleansed from error. Your heart is rid of hatred. Your soul is freed from fear. Your life is enriched and gripped with an indefinable power from on high.
So fortunate is he who enters while he may. Let us unlock, for You, doors to rooms in which You will enjoy the most exhilarating experiences of your Masonic journey.
FURTHER LIGHT IN FREEMASONRY
More than half a million Master Masons seeking further light in Freemasonry have taken the additional inspiring degrees offered by the Scottish Rite and are now active members of the Southern Jurisdiction.
The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry dramatically presents its degrees beyond the Third Degree to assist the Mason in increasing his knowledge and understanding of Freemasonry. It constitutes an advanced course in Freemasonry.
Being a Scottish Rite Mason does not mean that you abandon your Blue Lodge. On the contrary, we require our members to maintain good standing in their home Lodge and urge them to attend and support the Blue Lodge activities.
Our function is to elaborate and explain the lessons of the symbolic degrees and to carry on the challenging, dynamic freedoms program of the Supreme Council.
We are the strong militant arm of Freemasonry.
We invite you to join with us and explore the Portals of the Sacramento Scottish Rite.
You are invited to open the doors!
ORIGINS OF SACRAMENTO SCOTTISH RITE
The Sacramento Scottish Rite was first organized in Sacramento in 1867, and has been in continuous existence since 1895.
Our membership grew from a membership of 100 just after the turn of the 20th Century to an all-time high in the 1960’s of 6,500 to where we are today at just over 1,200.
In 1911 the Officers and members of the Sacramento Scottish Bodies formed the Scottish Rite Cathedral Association, a non-profit corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of California. During that year, we initiated 15 members and had an overall membership of 148. When the cornerstone of the 28th and L Street Temple was laid on May 27, 1916, we had 362 members and when the building was dedicated on June 2, 1917, we initiated 80 and had a membership of 423.
The same year the corporation was formed, 1911, a lot at the corner of 28th and L Streets was purchased for $13,000 and $5,000 was set aside by the Bodies for the start of the Building Fund. Meetings were held in rented facilities for a number of years until enough money was accumulated to commence construction of a building. While many members worked hard in the task of building the Temple, three men were instrumental: John Clauss, Adolph Teichert and Gustav Wendt.
Work on the Temple, which was to cost $135,000 and $30,000 for furniture and fixtures was finally commenced with the laying of the cornerstone on May 27, 1916. The first meeting was held in the new building on May 15, 1917.
In 1921, the Scottish Rite purchased the entire block between 28th and 29th, K and L Streets at a price of $121,000. In 1952, a 50-year lease was consummated with Kassis Brothers for the purpose of erecting a large super market and in 1953 the building was erected at a cost of $800,000.
In 1923, the name of the corporation was changed to Scottish Rite Temple, and it is recorded as such today in the Office of the Secretary of State. For IRS purposes, Sacramento Scottish Rite Temple, Inc. is a 501c (2) organization.
On October 30, 1958, a fire of unknown origin broke out in the Temple at 28th and L Streets. The blaze, shooting flames more than 60 feet above the building was fought by more than 150 firemen for over three hours before being brought under control. The building was a complete loss. Most of the valuable historical records, books, painting and equipment were destroyed in the Temple which had been the home of the Scottish Rite Bodies for forty-one years.
The directors of the corporation immediately had to arrange for temporary office facilities as well as temporary locations to enable the Bodies to put on and portray the necessary degrees for the Spring and Fall Reunions. At the same time, a committee was formed to locate and acquire a site for a new Temple with ample parking facilities and to arrange to its financing. The 28th, 29th, K and L Streets property still had 42 years left to run on its lease.
Another committee was formed by the Board to select and meet with architects to develop plans for the replacement facilities. After four years of meetings and planning, the present Carlson Drive, Camellia Avenue and H Street site was acquired and ground was broken by Henry C. Clausen on March 10, 1962. Another three years passed before we were able to move into the building.
In what now appears to be a prophetic view of the future, Brother Clausen directed that only that portion of the plans for which funds were available be built. Although financing of the complete structure was assured, only Memorial Hall, a multipurpose room which is now known as the Freedom Lounge, kitchen and offices were constructed at a cost of $647,000.
In 1965, the architect estimated that, to complete the Temple with its stage and fixed auditorium seats, the cost would be an additional $750,000. The Board of Directors continued fund raising efforts and studies on ways and means to complete the building of the Temple.
In the pre-Proposition 13 day, it was estimated that at the then current dues rate of $30, we would need a membership of 10,000 to meet expenses. In 1970, in response to the needs of the membership, the Lester G. Bruno Memorial Wing was constructed for $140,000. Our membership that year was of 6,000 Masons.
Our facilities remained static for the next decade and a half, until a Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic became the burning passion for a number of our Brethren. In 1985, we committed all of our available reserves for a new 9,000 square foot addition, which houses our Clinic, Rehearsal Hall, office and expanded foyer. The cost of the 1985-86 addition was $750,000, the projected cost for completing our temple as envisioned in 1965.
The Scottish Rite Language Center, now in its 30th year, led to the establishment of the RiteCare Scottish Rite Childhood Language Program (SRCLP), which has served over 1,000 children through the good work of dedicated clinicians who have continuously provided diagnostic evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders, as well as learning disabilities.