California Historical Landmarks in San Francisco
California Historical Landmark 408
Birthplace of Freemasonry in California
728 Montgomery Street
On November 9, 1848, a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia for the organization of California Lodge No. 13, now California Lodge No. 1 of the Free and Accepted Masons. On November 23, 1848, Levi Stowell was appointed master of the new lodge, and on November 15, 1849, the lodge was formally organized under the charter.
Citation from California Office of Historic Preservation
Levi Stowell carried the charter from Washington to San Francisco.
He traveled by ship down the Atlantic coast, disembarked in Panama and crossed the isthmus on mule back. After weeks of waiting for a ship on the Pacific coast, Stowell embarked for San Francisco.
The first meeting of California Lodge No. 13 took place on Thursday, November 17, 1849, on Montgomery Street. The second meeting was held on December 7, 1849, on Montgomery Street in a building rechristened Masonic Hall.
In 1850, California Lodge 13 joined four other lodges, also chartered from the eastern United States, to form the Grand Lodge of California. California Lodge 13 became California Lodge 1. The Masonic Hall on Montgomery Street was replaced by a new, more suitable, Masonic Hall on Kearny Street, near Pine Street.
Some Missing California Plaques
When we visited the following sites, we were unable to locate a California commemorative plaque.
At some sites, it appeared that a California plaque had never been erected. At other sites, there was a base, but the plaque itself was missing. Some sites without California plaques had other historic markers, but they did not note that the site is a California Historical Landmark.
Giant Powder Company Site, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and Marin Counties
Grange Hall Site, El Dorado County
Guillem's Graveyard, Lava Beds National Monument
Hornitos, Mariposa County
Portolá Camp at Martini Creek, Montara
Portolá Camp at Pilarcitos Creek, Half Moon Bay
Portolá Camp at Pulgas Water Temple, San Mateo County
Portolá Camp at Purisima Creek, Half Moon Bay
Portolá Camp at San Gregorio State Beach, San Gregorio
Some Masonic Halls in California
Other Masonic Halls in The American West