Worshipful Master James C. Ensign
First Master of Hanford Lodge
In early 1879, a group of masons living in or near hanford attempted to organize a Masonic lodge. They were unsuccessful when the Grand Master refused to issue dispensation. However, in late 1884, ten brethren of Welcome Lodge No. 255 of Lemoore, together with a number of sojourning brethren decided to again petition the Grand Lodge for a dispensation to form and open a lodge in Hanford. On February 3 1885, the Most Worshipful Jonathan Hines, Grand Master of Masons in California granted dispensation.
In June 1901, WM Cunningham appointed a committee to forumlate a plan for the building of the temple and to ascertain the amount of funds avalible. At the following stated meeting, the committee made its report and a plan for the building was resubmitted. The cornersone was laid by the Grand Master Wiley J. Tinn on Wednesday, September 25, 1901 and the temple was dedicated on May 23, 1902 by Grand Master William T. Wells.
The need to do some remodeling on the temple became urgent and in July 1917 the lodge passed a resolution to spend $9,000 on remodeling and refurbishing the temple. The work started at once and was completed in about six months. it was not until 1930 that the lodge was free from all indebtedness. During this time they out out a total of $30,101.46 and on September 19, 1930 all the cencelled notes were burned and the dreams of the pioneer Masons of 1885 were at last a reality. The lodge from that day has never been indebted to anyone.
The temple went through an extensive remodeling in 1967 including new rest room, new storage areas and redesigned stairs on the main floor. The kitchen and dining room on the upper floor also recieved some remodeling. In 1978 under the direction of Ray Lee the ground floor was completely remodeled and the area was divided into four spaces: two facing Douty Stree and two facing 8th Street. The work was done almost entirely by members of the lodge, which included contractors, carpenters, painters, electricians, and tile layers. The income from the rental portion of the temple provides the lodge with enough income to maintain the temple in grand style, and we are no longer completely dependent upon our dues to support all the activites of the lodge.
Located in the historical district of Hanford and surrounded by other beautiful old restored buildings is the pride of the members of this lodge.