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May 1, 2011 - History of Masonry    1 Comment

History of Masonry in California: California’s First Masonic Funeral

The first Masonic funeral in California took place in 1849 before there was a Grand Lodge here, and before California was even admitted into the Union.

During the California Gold Rush, the body of a heavily tattooed man was discovered floating in San Francisco Bay. Upon examination, he was found to be carrying the silver shekel of a Mark Master Mason bearing his initials. His tattoos were Masonic in nature; on his left arm he bore the symbols of the Entered Apprentice degree, on his right he bore the symbols of a Fellowcraft, and over his heart were the symbols of a Master Mason. The man’s name remains unknown, but a large gathering of Masons attended his Masonic Funeral.

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