Hornitos Lodge 98 Stated Meeting Trip

Left to Right: Darel Scoggin PM, Ray Perkins, Bob McAllister PM, Michael Kellner, Richard Kleitman PM, Jeff Zaya, Tommy Farr PM, Gary Frago PM, Wor. Nicholas Kellner, Wor. Christopher Rucker, Tom Evans PM, Gary Rucker PM, Bryan Martin, Ray Baker PM, Adam DeBlasio, Bill Ayers, Allen Wells, Phillip Evans, Brian Grissom, Crispin Woelfer PM, Fred Dutton PM.

Eleven brothers traveled to Hornitos Lodge 98 to enjoy BBQ dinner, fellowship, and their Stated Meeting on Saturday August 13th.  We were welcomed with a kind reception and nourishing meal by Worshipful Christopher Rucker and his officers pictured above (Thank you Ray Baker for the BBQ!).  This was the second visit this year, and our Hornitos brethren were well impressed with the number attending.  Only five chairs were vacant in the entire lodge – which is the smallest in physical size in all of California.  In fact, a brother addressing the Worshipful Master from the sidelines will find the front half of his foot hanging over the edge of the step.

Altar covered with Indian blanket, hand-stitched kneeling cushions, and heirloom Bible.

Pillars and diagram posters.

Last minute preparations. Bro. Michael Kellner sits as SD.

Modesto 206 in front of the Hornitos 98 lodge building. Left to Right: Tommy Farr (also JW at Hornitos), Michael Kellner, Adam DeBlasio, Jeff Zaya, Allen Wells, Bryan Martin.

“The Hornitos Masonic Lodge is located in the historic town of Hornitos, which was once a gun-toting Wild West gold mining camp with a population topping 10,000.  This town, with its population sign now reading 75, is an outstanding vision of history, where the Wells Fargo Stage opened their office and ran some shipments worth $40,000 in gold, and where Domenico Ghirardelli built his first store before moving to San Francisco and to ‘Chocolate Fame.’ ” – excerpted from the Hornitos Lodge 98 brochure.

Basement kitchen and dining room.

One of the few structures in the one-road town of Hornitos.

County Community Center “Stag Hall”

Park across from the lodge building.

The local watering hole, “Plaza Bar” aka “Manuela’s,” is the building neighboring the lodge.  After the hour drive, it is a convenient place for refreshment with many historical features itself.

A first interesting point is their “On / Off Sale” license which allows patrons to take libations home – extremely rare in today’s world, but practical in the town’s antique past.

It was established by Carlos and Manuela Ortiz who came to California from Spain in early 1900’s.

The bar back of the Plaza Bar originally came from Germany by ship “around the horn” (around the tip of South America prior to the Panama Canal) to San Francisco in 1852.  It was then transported by wagon to Virginia City, Nevada.  When the mines in Virginia City were exhausted, the bar back was sold and shipped to Merced, California for its tenure in “Souza’s Place” for 46 years.  After this period, it was sold and transported to Hornitos where it now has its home.  The Plaza Bar building was constructed in 1852 with two foot thick adobe walls.

Local picking Hank Williams Sr. on the jukebox. 

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5 Responses to Hornitos Lodge 98 Stated Meeting Trip

  1. wmaster206 says:

    Traveling is a great way to spread the cement which unites us. I can’t think of a better way to promote fellowship between brothers. It is especially rewarding to newly Raised Masons. Adam, you have traveled to Tyrian and now to Hornitos. Bryan, this is the first traveling you’ve done and only a couple months since you were raised! Tom and Phillip Evans, you are experienced travelers, and now you have added Hornitos to your Masonic passport – a lodge you said you had long waited to visit.

  2. Has been many years since I have been to Hornitos #98. Really enjoyed seeing the pictures.

    Hal Hunter PM 1987 Oakdale Lodge #275 Now Oak Summit #112

  3. Justin says:

    Great to see Lodge #98 in Hornitos California still going strong. I hope to have the chance to visit some day.

  4. John Dahle says:

    The Masonic Home of California and the Siminoff Daylight Lodge No.850 are planning a trip to the Hornitos Flea Market event this year. We would like to visit the Lodge there at that time. Please notify me by phone if this is acceptable with you. There would be @ 30-35 people.

    Thank you, Fraternally, John Dahle, Master
    Siminoff Daylight Lodge N0.850

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