Freemasonry has been present in California since at least the 1840s, when the Gold Rush brought many thousands of new settlers, some of whom established California’s earliest lodges in Gold Rush mining towns.

The Grand Lodge of California was established in Sacramento in 1850, the year that California became a state. And by 1860, the number of Masonic lodges in California had risen to around 130 and the number of freemasons to more than 5,000.

The Almighty is the Organizer – California Freemasonry and the Construction of a Civic Space

A paper by John L. Cooper, III, R. Stephen Doan and Adam Kendall