History in the Making
La Jolla is one of San Diego's youngest and most active lodges. We get together at least once a week and frequently visit other San Diego lodges. Some of our functions are closed to everyone but members, however we do hold regular public events where you can interact with us to decide if the fraternity if right for you and the members can decide if you are right for the fraternity. We are a small lodge but our strength comes from the dedication and close knit relationships among our members. We do not want quantity and will accept nothing but quality.
La Jolla Lodge History
A small group of Master Masons living in La Jolla and neighboring communities felt the need for a local Lodge. In 1921 there were only 10 Masonic lodges in San Diego County and only four of them were located within the city. These men applied to the Grand Lodge of California for a charter to establish a Lodge in La Jolla. The Charter was issued on January 1922, and since that date La Jolla Masonic Lodge No. 518 has been a quiet entity in La Jolla Village. The Lodge is now one of 30 San Diego County community lodges.
The infant Lodge first met above Burns Drug Store on Gerard Avenue. The first Master of the Lodge surrounded himself with a group of enthusiastic men dedicated to making the new Lodge a useful addition to the community. Quarters above the drug store became cramped as the membership grew. In the early 60s La Jolla Lodge purchased a lot on the east side of La Jolla Boulevard just south of Bird Rock Avenue.
The membership peaked following World War II. It now numbers about 125, two-thirds of whom live in San Diego County--most of them in La Jolla and Pacific Beach. Others are scattered throughout the country. Members range in age from the mid- twenties to eighty-plus.
The Mission of La Jolla Lodge is three fold--philanthropic, educational and the support of civic activities. Every Masonic Lodge and all affiliated bodies each have philanthropies that they support. For instance, the Shriners Hospitals for Crippled and Burned Children often referred to as the only hospital without a cash-register. The Scottish Rite Childrens Language Disorders Clinic for aphasic children and the York Rite Eye Institute also offer free services to children without regard to race or creed and they need not be members of or affiliated with Masonic families. The cost of these facilities and the trained therapists are provided from the donations of members. There is no solicitation from individuals or groups neither outside of the fraternity, nor from Local, State or Federal Governments.
La Jolla Lodge participates in a Child ID program for elementary children every year at the San Diego Fair. At a parents request, a photograph and thumbprint of the child is printed on a form to be filled out by the parent should it be needed in case of an emergency.
In the Middle Ages, the terms mason and freemason were used interchangeably. They were stonemasons who built castles and cathedrals in England and Scotland. Because of the inherent danger of their work, many stonemasons formed local organizations, called lodges, to take care of sick and injured members as well as the widows and orphans of those who were killed on the job. The masons also used Lodges as places to meet, receive their pay, plan their work, train new apprentices, and socialize.
In 1717, the first Grand Lodge was established in London. Within the next two decades, English Freemasonry spread throughout Europe and eventually made its way to the American colonies. The first lodge organized on American soil appeared in Philadelphia, Pennslyania around 1730. By 1733 a Provincial Grand Lodge was organized in Boston, Massachusetts. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and other founding fathers were among the first Masons in America. Of the 39 men who signed the U.S. Constitution, 13 were Masons.
Middle Ages to California Gold Rush
During the Gold Rush of 1849, thousands of settlers came to California in search of fortune. Those who were Masons brought their rich traditions with them, soon establishing some of Californias first Masonic Lodges in the mining towns of the Gold Country. In 1850 - the same year that California became a state - the Grand Lodge of California was established in Sacramento.
Today, the Grand Lodge of California boasts more than 50,000 members and hundreds lodges located throughout the state, making it one of the largest Grand Lodges in the world.