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Celebrating 150 Years of Masonry

Susanville's First Masonic Hall on Main Street in the 1870's

Saturday morning a very special event in the history of our county takes place at the very spot where Susanville began. Masonic dignitaries from throughout the west coast will visit the grounds of Roop’s Fort on Weatherlow Street tomorrow, celebrating 150 years of Lassen Lodge No. 149.

From the very beginning this valley was established, nurtured and grown to prominence through the efforts of hardy pioneer members of the craft who made Susanville their home.

 The local lodge received their dispensation on March 21st, 1861, or 21 days after President James Buchanan signed the Act of Congress establishing the Territory of Nevada.

Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4th, 1861 and on March 20th, the day before the dispensation was issued by the Grand Master of California, Lincoln appointed James Nye of New York to be the new territorial governor of Nevada, effectively replacing Isaac Roop.

On April 18th, 1861, the new Lodge met for the first time, just four days after Fort Sumter fell to the Confederacy in Charleston Harbor touching off the Civil War.

Our founding fathers, Isaac Roop and Peter Lassen, were both well respected members of the Masonic order and received full Masonic honors upon their deaths. The Masonic order was strong in town, helping the area grow and prosper.

The present day Masonic Temple on Lassen Street was built in 1924.

On May 6th 1961 ceremonies were held in front of the fort celebrating the first 100 years of Masonry in Susanville.

The Grand Master of California Masons, Alfred F. Breslauer, along with other members of the California Grand Lodge travelled to town and joined more than 400 people at the ceremonies, dedicating a plaque placed in stone by the fort.

M.R. Arnold, who at the time had been a member of the Lassen Lodge No. 149 for 54 years, a grandson of Isaac Roop, gave his advice to those who wished to become 54 year members. “join young and live old.”

 Fifty years later and we have reached another important milestone in our town’s history that will be remembered in history books.

The current Grand Master of the California Grand Lodge, William J. Bray III, will be joined on the lawn at the fort by local dignitaries and Masons from all over the west coast, to celebrate 150 years of the Lassen Lodge No. 149.

The ceremonies last from 1:00 until 3:00 and the public is encouraged to attend and be a part of local history. To find out more about the Grand Lodge of California you can visit the Masonic website at this link.

Dedication ceremonies at the 100th Anniversary in 1961.
Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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