OUR LODGE HISTORY
After meeting the requirements of the Grand Lodge of California, Sacramento Lodge #40 was chartered on May 6, 1854 and assigned the number 40, signifying that it was the fortieth Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons to be chartered in the state of California.
In the city of Sacramento, it was the fifth lodge to receive a charter, the others preceding it were Tehama Lodge #3, Jennings Lodge #4, Sutter Lodge #6 and Washington Lodge #20. When Sacramento Lodge #40 was organized it had 22 members, by its 100th year anniversary it had 759 members. Today we have over 200 members.
In 1854 Sacramento Lodge #40 first met in the Stanford Building. (Later to become the Huntington/Hopkins Building where the Central Pacific Railroad originated). Later that year the lodge moved to Bennett's Masonic Hall located at 17-19 J Street. The lodge moved to its present site, the N.W. corner of 12th and J Street on April 2, 1920.
Sacramento Masonic Lodge #40 meets on most Wednesday evenings at 6PM to confer degrees or for other activities. Our Stated Meeting is on the first Friday of every month at 7PM and is preceded by dinner in the Temple Dinning room starting at 6PM.
ORIGINS OF FREEMASONRY
In the Middle Ages, the term “freemason” was awarded to highly skilled stonemasons who were hired as free agents to build castles and cathedrals in England and Scotland. Because of the inherent danger of their work, 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. Eventually, men who were not skilled stonemasons wanted to join the group for the many advantages it offered. These men were known as "accepted masons." This is how the group began to shift from a craft guild to a fraternity.
The first Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was established in 1717 in London. In 1718, English Freemasonry spread to France and Spain, and after 1729, to India, Italy, Poland, and Sweden. Freemasonry spread to other parts of Europe and eventually made its way to the American colonies. In 1733, the first American lodge was established in Boston, under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England. The United States now has grand lodges in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
HISTORY OF MASONRY IN CALIFORNIA
Masonry has been an integral part of California for more than 150 years. During the Gold Rush of 1849, thousands of settlers came to California in search of fortune. Many of these men were Masons and brought with them Masonic values and traditions. Not surprisingly, some of California’s first Masonic lodges were established 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.
Within 10 years, the number of Masonic lodges in the new state had grown from 11 to 130, while membership soared from 258 to more than 5,000. Over the years, the Masons have played a key role in shaping the history of California. To date, 19 California governors have been Masons, and at least four California Masons have been elected to the U.S. Senate. Today there are more than 50,000 members and about 330 lodges, making the Grand Lodge of California one of the largest in the world.