Grand Lodge of California, Free and Accepted Masons
Grand Lodge of the Month - May 2010
California has long been a beacon for those seeking the dream of a better life. Settled by Spain, coveted by England, annexed by Mexico, and finally admitted into the United States in 1850, California has become one of the largest economies in the world, as well as a symbol for a progressive and multicultural society.
During the Gold Rush of 1849, thousands of settlers came to California in search of fortune. Those who were Freemasons brought their rich traditions with them, soon establishing some of California's first Masonic lodges in the mining towns of the Gold Country. In 1850 - the same year that California became a state - the Grand Lodge of California was established in Sacramento. Shortly thereafter it relocated to San Francisco, where it has remained ever since.
Freemasonry spread like wildfire, becoming a center of union for those lonely wayfarers and seafarers who came to the Golden State. Throughout its 160-year history, many eminent men have joined the ranks of the Craft in California. Some have gone on to become legends for their contributions: explorer Peter Lassen; military leaders Commodore John D. Sloat and Jonathan D. Stevenson; Past Grand Master and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Earl Warren; actors Danny Thomas, Harold Lloyd and Roy Rogers; health instructor Jack Lalanne; patriot, clergyman and orator Thomas Starr King; aviator, doctor and inventor Forrest Bird; and Williams-Sonoma, Inc. founder Chuck Williams.
Today, the Grand Lodge of California boasts more than 65,000 members and 340 lodges located throughout the state, making it one of the largest Grand Lodges in the world. Since 1909, in memory of Masons such as John Swett who advocated a free public school system on the west coast, one of the principal charities has been to support the California public schools. In addition to the efforts of lodges, the California Masonic Foundation provides qualified graduating high school seniors with college scholarships.Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of California
1111 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108 http://www.freemason.org/ voice - (415) 776-7000