Tuesday, July 10, 2007

California Historical Landmark #174

First Building erected in California
by Masonic Lodge for use as a hall

California State Historical Landmark #174

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This landmark is located at 110 West J Street, Benicia, California in Solano County. There are 14 other California State Historical Landmarks in Solano County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 03.143 W 122° 09.4431.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

The first Masonic hall built in California was begun in the summer of 1850, occupied by the lodge October 14, 1850, and formally dedicated December 27, 1850. This building served as the Masonic Temple for Benicia Lodge No. 5 until 1888, when the new temple was occupied. Used by a boys' club prior to World War I and by the American Legion shortly after the war, it was reacquired by Benicia Lodge No. 5 in 1950.

The Masonic Temple is the oldest building in good condition still standing and in use in Benicia. Until the State Capitol building was finished in 1853, the lower floors of the Masonic Temple were used for county offices as well as several religious groups. The outside of the building is only slightly different than its original appearance. However the interior has most likely been entirely remodeled.

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