The Masonic Temple

Much has changed, but some things remain the same. The Masonic Temple, the hardware store and the camera shop are long gone, but the palms remain, much taller, of course. Señor Frogs Restaurant and Alegria Tap Room occupy the ground floor facing Linden Avenue.

The Carpinteria Masonic Lodge’s long history began on the second floor of the Knights of Pythias building on Linden Avenue at 9th Street (now Wullbrandt Way). Charter members Guy Bliss, Charles Anderson, Westley Hickey, James Deaderick, Amos Olney, Jerome Tubbs, Henry Fish, DeWitt Humphrey, Mads Christensen, Tom Fish, Glenn Hickey, Floyd Hickey, John Ogan and George Senteney held their first meeting on Dec. 13, 1913, and the charter was granted officially on Oct. 14, 1914.

In 1925, the young but popular lodge purchased the upstairs portion of the building for $2,600 and then acquired the downstairs in 1928 for $6,000. The Great Depression swooped down on Carpinteria soon after, and the lodge struggled to make mortgage payments on the property. Then, to make matters worse, a large earthquake rocked through town on June 13, 1941, severely damaging the building and making the second floor unusable. Temporarily, the lodge held its meetings at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall.

Repairs were made to the building, but finances remained dangerously tight for the Masons. In September of 1941, however, Security First National Bank accepted a $4,000 check from the group for full payment of the lodge’s $12,900 mortgage.

By 1965, the lodge had outgrown the Linden Avenue location and managed to purchase the post office building located on Carpinteria Avenue. The Masons moved out of the lodge’s first home, and today the original temple is occupied by Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects.

 To learn more about Carpinteria’s unique and interesting past, visit the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History, open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at 956 Maple Ave.

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