California Historical Landmarks in San Francisco

California Historical Landmark 408
Birthplace of Freemasonry in California
728 Montgomery Street
1849

California Historical Landmark 408: Birthplace of Freemasonry in California
Genella Building) and Belli Building)
19 October 2002

California Historical Landmark 408: Birthplace of Freemasonry in California
20 March 2004
(Click Photos to Zoom)

Birthplace of Freemasonry in California

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.

Source: www.calodge1.com


This historical site is located in the Jackson Square Historic District.

We were unable to locate a commemorative marker for the Birthplace of Freemasonry in California.

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.

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Altaville, Calaveras County
Anza Expedition Camp, Burlingame
Bear Valley, Mariposa County
Bend City, Inyo County

Big Bar, Amador and Calaveras Counties
Birthplace of Freemasonry in California , San Francisco
Booth Home Site, Sacramento
Brannan Cottage, Calistoga
Brannan Store, Calistoga

Brown Home, Red Bluff
Bloody Point, Modoc County
Bonner Grade, Modoc County
Brannan House, Sacramento
Butte Store, Amador County

California Star Newspaper Site, San Francisco
Camino of Rancho San Antonio, Oakland
Carmel Mission, Carmel
Casa de Cota, San Diego
Casa de Machado y Silvas, San Diego
Casa del Oro, Monterey

Casa Materna, Pajaro
Castro Home, El Cerrito
Chevra Kaddisha Cemetery, Sacramento
China Slough Site, Sacramento
City of Paris Department Store Site, San Francisco

Colton Hall, Monterey
Condemned Bar, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
Congregational Church, Mokelumne Hill
Corral Hollow, Tracy
Crabtree (Lotta) Home, Grass Valley

Crocker Gallery, Sacramento
Croll Building, Oakland
Donner Monument, Truckee
Douglas Flat, Calaveras County
Eagle Theatre, Sacramento

Ebbetts Pass, Alpine County
Ebner's Hotel, Sacramento
Evans and Bailey Fight, Modoc County
First Theater in California, Monterey
Fort Janesville, Lassen County

Frémont's Camp, Modoc County
Frog Woman Rock, Mendocino County
Glencoe (Mosquito Gulch) , Calaveras County
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
Gutiérrez Adobe, Monterey
House of Four Winds, Monterey
Hornitos, Mariposa County

Hudson Cabin Site, Calistoga
Indian Arrow Tree, Korbel
Irishtown, Amador County
Jackson Gate, Amador County
Jenny Lind, Calaveras County

Joaquín Moraga Adobe, Orinda
Junípero Serra's Cross, Ventura County
Kelsey House Site, Calistoga
Kirkwood's, Amador County
Lady Adams Building, Sacramento

Larkin House, Monterey
Lassen Grave, Lassen County
Laurel Hill Cemetery Site, San Francisco
Long Wharf Site, San Francisco
Maiden's Grave, El Dorado National Forest

Marklee's Cabin Site, Markleeville Marshall's Blacksmith Shop, Kelsey
Mayfield Canyon Battleground, Owens Valley
Methodist Episcopal Church, Placerville
Mills Bank Building, Sacramento

Milton, Calaveras County
Mission San Buenaventura, Ventura County
Mission San Buenaventura Reservoir, Ventura County
Mokelumne Hill IOOF Hall, Mokelumne Hill
Montez (Lola) Home, Grass Valley

Montezuma, Tuolumne County
Montgomery Hill, San Jose
Napa Valley Railroad Depot, Calistoga
Negro Hill, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
Noble Pass Route, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Old Emigrant Trail, Modoc National Forest
Old Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara
Olema Lime Kilns, Marin County
Orleans Hotel Site, Sacramento
Overton Building, Sacramento

Parrott Block Site, San Francisco
Peralta Hacienda, Oakland
Pioneer Cemetery, Calaveras County
Pioneer Hall, Jackson
Plumas House, Quincy

Plymouth Trading Post, Plymouth
Pony Express Remount Station, Woodfords
Portolá Camp at Crystal Springs, San mateo County
Portolá Camp at Gazos Creek, Bean Hollow State Beach
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
Portolá Camp at Tunitas Beach, San Mateo County

Richmond Shipyards District, Richmond
Rincon Hill, San Francisco
Robert Louis Stevenson House, Monterey
Roop's Fort, Susanville
Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey

Sacramento Bee Building, Sacramento
Sacramento Union Site, Sacramento
Sailing Launch Comet, Lathrop
Saint James Episcopal Church, Sonora
Salmon Falls, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

San Joaquin City Site, Tracy
Santa Margarita Asistencia, Santa Margarita
Smartsville, Yuba County
Stage Coach and Railroad, Sacramento
State Indian Museum, Sacramento

Stone Corral, Calaveras County
Studebaker's Shop, Placerville
Sutter Creek, Amador County
Swift's Stone Corral, Colusa County
Sycamore Tree, Ventura County

Telegraph Hill, San Francisco
Transcontinental Railroad, Lathrop
Union Oil Company Building, Ventura County
Vásquez House, Monterey
Willms Ranch, Knights Ferry

Valley Springs, Calaveras County
Western Hotel, Sacramento
Whiskeytown, Shasta County
Woodbridge, San Joaquin County
Wood's Ferry and Bridge Site, Woodbridge


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