National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County

National Register #05000775: Masonic Hall No. 98 in Hornitos
28 October 2012
(Click Photos to Zoom)
National Register #05000775
Hornitos Masonic Hall No. 98
2877 Bear Valley Road
Built c1855

A plaque mounted on the front of the building reads:

Point of Historical Interest
Hornitos Masonic Hall

This building was constructed c. 1855 of native schist rock. It was purchased in August 1873 by the Freemasons of Hornitos Lodge No. 98, and since early 1875, continue to meet here. The Lodge was originally chartered as Quartzburg Lodge No. 98 on May 8, 1856, and met in Quartzburg. This building is the smallest Masonic Hall in California. Its lodgeroom is only 17'-6" by 29'-6" and has seem visitors from around the world.

California O.H.P.
Registration MRP - 001

Plaque set by the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of California May 13, 1995

A second plaque reads:

National Register of Historic Places
Hornitos Masonic Hall No. 98

This restored Masonic Hall is recognized for the significant community involvement of its members from 1873 to 1930. The Freemasons owned stores and hotels, served as town and county officials, worked as miners and engineers and supported Hornitos from their farms and ranches. Their Masonic philosophy of personal improvement and community betterment created a positive influence in Hornitos.

This plaque set by the Grand Master of Masons in California and the Worshipful Master of Hornitos Lodge on May 20, 2006

NRHP Number 05000775
Listed August 3, 2005

Gold Rush Stonemasons

Mining camps started as clusters of tents and other makeshift shelters. If the mine was productive, wooden buildings were erected and a town was born.

Conflagrations were a recurring curse. Often entire town were repeatedly destroyed by fire. Stonemasons, especially Italian immigrants from Liguria, began building "fire proof" banks and stores of stone or brick with iron doors and iron window shutters to protect the contents from fire.

Many of these stone buildings survive. Some of them, such as the Butte Store, are the sole reminders of a lost mining town.

Some of these buildings are:

Butte Store in Amador County
Calabozo in Hornitos
Civil War Armory in Georgetown
Compere Store in Murphys
Downieville Museum in Downieville

Fountain & Tallman Soda Works in Placerville
Gamble Building in Big Oak Flat
Hirshfeldter Building in Downieville
Honigsberger Store in Copperopolis
Italian Store in Douglas Flat

Kohler Store in Washington
Mackerman & Company Building in Downieville
Masonic Lodge in Columbia
Masonic Lodge in Hornitos
Nevada Brewery in Nevada City

Nevada Theatre in Nevada City
Odd Fellows Hall in Big Oak Flat
Old Segale Building in Murphys
Old Stone Garage in Truckee
Plymouth Trading Post in Plymouth

Pearson Soda Works in Placerville
Sam Choy Store in Angels Camp
Stage Stop in La Grange
Valente Building in Murphys
Watts & Tannahill Company Store in Groveland

Wells Fargo Bank and Stage Stop in Georgetown
Wells Fargo Express in Chinese Camp
Wells Fargo Express in French Corral
Wells Fargo & Company in North San Juan

Some Masonic Halls in California

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