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Prologue to Lodge History


I was asked to write a history of our lodge. To give a good accounting I needed to start at the beginning of each of the eight lodges that comprise Crow Canyon No. 551. The oldest being Bay View No. 401, as we journey through the Grand Lodge communications and the four volumes of “One hundred Years of Freemasonry in California” we find a unique brotherhood of friendships and common interest and possible discourses that might have been at the beginning of these lodges. In some cases there is a detailed accounting of the lodge formation and others there is only what I can find in the Grand Lodge communications (including misspelled words). So, here we go I hope you find this information useful. If you have anything to add, feel free to contact me.

William M. Ferrell - Last Updated 3/2/19

Castro Valley No. 713


Castro Valley Lodge was instituted May 19, 1951, with the legal maximum of 50 charter members. Since then they have read or accepted 22 petitions for degrees. The Lodge is adequately financed, having a cash balance of over $1.500.00. Castro Valley is principally a residential community on the fringe of the tremendous industrial area of San Leandro, Alameda and Oakland, where further substantial increases in population appear inevitable. This Lodge is already taking its place in the community life and prospects for its future are bright. Your committee therefore recommends that a charter be granted to Castro Valley Lodge No. 713 in the County of Alameda.

Grand Lodge Proceeding 1951    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1951   Membership 78

Living Members of Our Lodge Who Came From Castro Valley Lodge No. 713

  • Henry Andreotti of Castro Valley, CA

  • Mickey Benko of Dublin, CA

  • Jimmy Burns of Livermore, CA

  • Ronnie Castia of Livermore, CA

  • Dewayne Clark  $ of , 

  • Joseph Elleard of Union City, CA

  • Robert Fabel of Castro Valley, CA

  • Ronald Garcia of West Point, CA

  • Stanley Gresick of Corvallis, OR

  • Jack Holt of San Leandro, CA

  • Charles Johnson of Naperville, IL

  • Steven Kolden of Castro Valley, CA

  • Earl Kresge of Ione, CA

  • Harold Lassle of San Ramon, CA

  • Patrick Mc Cord of Winter Park, FL

  • Frank Mitchell of San Lorenzo, CA

  • William Quintel of Alamo, CA

  • Alvin Rodes of Union City, CA

  • Scotty Stroup of Leander, TX

  • Le Roy Swanson of San Ramon, CA

  • Gene Tague of San Leandro, CA

  • Ruben Vossekuil of Arnold, CA

Is your name (our your spouse's name) on this list?  Share your memories about Castro Valley No. 713 and we will add them to this history.


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Epilogue to Lodge History

Now that we have the history of each lodge, one might ask “what happened to cause this decline. That has been a question that has been debated for many years, so I won’t dare to get into that. So I made a chart that shows each lodge with its original name and number, and with the flow of the lodges as they went through the process (don’t know if it helps).

As you read Chateau Thierry was located in downtown Oakland. In the mid 1970’s Oakland went through an urban renewal or rebuilding of downtown area and Chateau Thierry membership decided to move to Castro Valley while the other lodges that met in Oakland decided to move to the new Oakland Masonic Center at 3903 Broadway. Bay View Lodge no. 401 met at the Oakland Scottish Rite building at 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland. Bay View Lodge No. 401 and Castro Valley Lodge No. 713 decided to merge and become Bay View – Castro Valley 713 on July 1, 1986. In June of 1986 the San Lorenzo Masonic center burned to the ground displacing Ashland No. 798. Ashland moved to the Castro Valley Masonic center and met on Friday nights.

After my junior Past Masters’ year in Chateau Thierry I became sectary and knew that my lodge was losing members to age and other social activities. At the time Castro Valley No. 713 and Chateau Thierry No. 569 were co-owners of the Castro Valley Masonic Temple. After informal discussions and getting to know each other, Bay View-Castro Valley, Chateau Thierry and Ashland Lodges under the direction of our District Inspector Worshipful Alan D. Weisser, formed a merge committee to discuss the possibility of consolidating of the three lodges. After five productive meetings it was decided that the newly consolidated Lodge would be Crow Canyon No. 569 and was established September 1992.

July 1, 1980 Lakeshore Lodge went in to an agreement with Diamond Lodge No. 603 and Lake Chabot Lodge No. 770 to become Tri-square no. 551. On October 1, 1986 Fremont Lodge No. 497 approached Tri-Square No. 551 to enter into a merger. According to Robert Peters who was secretary at the time welcomed the Fremont group, however, having recently merged with Diamond, Lake Chabot and Lakeshore lodges asked if they would be willing to merge without demands. Apparently they agreed and joined as Lakeshore No. 551.

1997: Lakeshore No. 551 contacted Crow Canyon No. 569 to inquire of they would be interested in discussing a merger of the two lodges. Both Lodge memberships agreed. Crow Canyon Lodge having a building and Lakeshore Lodge having a stable financial history it was agreed to retain the name Crow Canyon Lodge and to adopt the lower number of 551. Grand Lodge approved the merger September 1997 prior to the Grand Lodge

communication. At the time of the merger the consolidated lodge had a membership of 726 members. Also william Ferrell was asked to take the secretary’s job. Worshipful Robert Peters was moving to Washington State and Worshipful Donald Morris’ health prevented him from continuing.

This history overview is a work in progress. If you have any corrections of additions please let me know.

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