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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Benicia in Solano County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

First Masonic Hall Built in California

 
 
First Masonic Hall Built in California Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
1. First Masonic Hall Built in California Marker
Inscription. The first Masonic hall built in California was begun in the summer of 1850, occupied by the lodge October 14, 1850, and formally dedicated December 27, 1850. This building served as the Masonic Temple for Benicia Lodge No. 5 until 1888, when the new temple was occupied. It was used by a boys' club prior to World War I and by the American Legion shortly after the war. It was reacquired by Benicia Lodge No. 5 in 1950.
 
Erected 1950 by The Historic Landmarks Committee, Native Sons of the Golden West, Benicia Parlor No.89, Native Sons of the Golden West and Benicia Parlor No.287 Native Daughters of the Golden West. Marker dedicated on December 17, 1950. (Marker Number 174.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 38° 3.143′ N, 122° 9.443′ W. Marker is in Benicia, California, in Solano County. Marker is on West J Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 W J Street, Benicia CA 94510, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1854 – Saint Paulís Episcopal Church – 1954 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Saint Paul's Episcopal Church
First Masonic Hall Built in California Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
2. First Masonic Hall Built in California Marker
(about 300 feet away); Site of the First Protestant Church in California (about 400 feet away); World War I Memorial (about 600 feet away); Site of Benicia Seminary (about 600 feet away); Fischer-Hanlon House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Founders of Benicia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Robert Semple (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Benicia.
 
Regarding First Masonic Hall Built in California. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No.174 on March 6, 1935 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1972.
 
Also see . . .
1. The City of Benicia is Born. (Submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
2. A Brief History of Sublime Benicia No.5 Lodge & Halls. (Submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Masonic Temple (1850)
The first Masonic Temple in California was constructed in 1850 on land
First Masonic Hall Built in California Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
3. First Masonic Hall Built in California
(The cornerstone marker is behind the red pick-up truck - See Photo #4)
donated by Alexander Riddell and with lumber donated by Benicia founder Robert Semple. The lower floor of the building was used as a courtroom and county offices prior to completion of the State Capital building in 1853. Benicia was the county seat for Solano County at that time. The second floor of this building is virtually unchanged and has remarkably ornate woodwork made by California frontier craftsmen.
Source: Historic Downtown Benicia Walking Tour brochure.
    — Submitted February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

 
Categories. Fraternal or Sororal OrganizationsLandmarksNotable BuildingsNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
Cornerstone Plaque Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
4. Cornerstone Plaque
(Plaque is mounted on the northeast corner of the building.)
First Masonic Temple
in Calfifornia
Erected 1850
Cornerstone relaid by
Grand Lodge F.& A.M.
1973
The Masonic Emblym and Heritage 76 Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
5. The Masonic Emblym and Heritage 76 Marker
These are located above the entrance doors to the building.
Heritage 76
1776 - 1976
A Bicentennial Landmark of
The California State Historical Resources Commission
First Masonic Hall Built in California Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
6. First Masonic Hall Built in California
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,332 times since then and 91 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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