California Lodge #1

3250 19th Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA
3250 19th Avenue San Francisco California 94132 US

Instituted September 9, 1849
Re-Instituted June 28, 1988

Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesday 7:30pm
Meeting Location: 3250 19th Ave (Risk Hall), San Francisco, CA
Mailing Address: PO Box 5566, So San Francisco, CA 94083

History of the Lodge

In Philadelphia, before 1849, the Sovereign Grand Lodge issued the charter “California Lodge #1” and sent it to California with 6 charter members.

Due to the fever of GOLD, some of the charter members left for the hills, leaving James Smiley behind to organize a lodge in San Francisco.

After the earthquake in 1906 one member defied soldiers orders, entered the Lodge and saved the charter just before the building was dynamited as a break to stop the fire that was taking over the city.

In 1966 California Lodge #1 consolidated with Concordia Lodge #122, however in 1988 Concordia Lodge petitioned the Grand Lodge of California to restore the original charter and allow Concordia Lodge to become California Lodge #1 again.

Today California Lodge #1 is very active in their community. They made the decision to run the Lodge like a corporation with a Board of Directors, operation budgets and committee chairpeople. This growing lodge now has over 300 members.

History of the Location

First met in the Levi Stowell bldg. at Montgomery between Jackson & Washington. Later they moved to a larger hall owned by J.D. Stevenson on the east side of Kearny between Pine & California where they met until the fire of 1850. They then moved to the Gianella bldg. on the east side of Montgomery between Jackson & Washington. In 1859 the members moved yet again to larger quarters on the N.E. corner of Bush & Kearny. Finally in 1865 they had their first temple owned by the members on the west side of Montgomery St. between Pine st. & California St.

In 1884, the grand hall of the Odd Fellows was built with many meeting rooms. Grand Lodge of California, several Odd Fellows Lodges and several Grand Lodge sessions were held here until the Great Quake of 1906. This building took the entire block of the west side of Market St. between 7th & 8th.

After the quake California 1 met in many location until 1910 when the new hall at 7th & Market was rebuilt. California 1 met for years on the 6th floor, “Encampment hall” of the new building.

In 1994, after a declining membership took it’s toll on this lodge, a survey was sent to the members asking, what would get you back to Lodge, the biggest concern was the saftey of the membership coming into an undesirable downtown area, so in 1994 this Lodge and Bay City Lodge #71 moved to it’s new location.

California1-3.jpg 5 years ago
  • Original Grand Lodge of California located at Market and 7th was destroyed when soldiers used the building as a fire break. Several Lodges met and several Grand Lodge sessions were held in this building.
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California1-2.jpg 5 years ago
  • After the 1906 earthquake, this new building was built, although a grand building, about half the size of the original. Still many lodges have meeting rooms in this hall. Today, 5 lodges meet in 2 of the meeting halls with the remainder of the old lodge halls being rented to various dance clubs.
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California1-1.jpg 5 years ago
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