It’s History Trivia Tuesday

Historic Jacksonville shares tidbits from Jacksonville history every Tuesday on our Facebook page. Like us at Historic Jacksonville (historicjville) and enjoy our tales and stories of the people and places that made Jacksonville the major hub of southern Oregon in the late 1800s.  And visit the Southern Oregon Historical Society Library and Archives for access to the historical images included in our posts.

Jacksonville’s Warren Lodge No. 10 of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, founded in 1855, was the first Masonic order south of Salem to construct a meeting hall.  The original 1858 lodge building stood on the block now occupied by new City Hall (the historic County Courthouse).  The current Masonic temple at the corner of California and Oregon streets was constructed between 1874 and 1877 by brick mason George Holt.  Carpenter and builder David Linn added a “neat and substantial balcony.”  When it was completed in 1877, it was described as “one of the finest buildings in Southern Oregon.”  It remains the oldest temple structure in Oregon in continuous use as a Masonic meeting hall.

Following a visit to Jacksonville in 1877, J.W. Bird, editor of the “Yreka Union,” wrote, “There are several fine brick buildings, especially the one recently erected by the Masonic fraternity at a cost of $12,000. It is two-story, and besides a very fine lodge room has a large club room also in the second story. The first floor is readily rented for business purposes.”

At the time of construction, the Worshipful Master presiding over the Warren Lodge was Thomas Reames.  Reames is credited with the concept of including retail space on the first floor of the Lodge which enabled the Lodge to operate from income received from the rentals. In the 1880s, a “City Brewery,” “Saloon,” and “Bakery” occupied the ground floor.  In the early 1890s, the post office and a cigar store were located on the first floor and later a “furniture warehouse.” Today the ground level is home to La Boheme, the Jacksonville Barber Shop, and Jefferson Farm Kitchen.