National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County
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.
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
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:
Some Masonic Halls in California
Other Masonic Halls in The American West