O City News RANGE

SEC: Community_Broadsheet DT: 03-05-2014 ZN: Orange ED: 1
PG #: 1
PG: Cover BY: jgish
TI: 03-03-2014
17:31 CLR: C
City News
Orange’s fraternal order, turning 125 this year,
has 367 members of all ages, backgrounds.
Members of Orange Grove Lodge 293
gather at the Orange Masonic Center.
Orange Grove Lodge 293
very Tuesday night, they gather in the old
opera house tucked inside a brown brick
building at the Plaza.
They’re a collection of retired military veterans, lawyers, real estate agents and bluecollar workers. Some are as young as 23,
while others are in their 90s. They wouldn’t
appear to have much in common, except for
the bond they share – they are Orange’s
The fraternal order of Orange Grove
Lodge 293, celebrating its 125th anniversary
this year, is one of the oldest in California, and
one of the few that continues thriving. It boasts
367 members, many commuting from across
The first chartered meeting of the lodge was Nov. 5, 1 889.
It’s the second-oldest Masonic Lodge in Orange County
(Santa Ana has the oldest). Some of the original
members included Orange founding fathers, Alfred
Chapman and Andrew Glassell.
Home: Orange Masonic Center, 7 1 Plaza Square
Members: 367
Annual dues: $60
To join: The overall requirement to join the
Freemasons is that the candidate must be free and
considered to be of good character, without any
criminal record. To join the Orange lodge,
candidates must petition. Following a background
check, members vote on the candidate. To win
acceptance, the candidate needs a unanimous vote in
support by the membership.
Online: ormc.us
The emblem of
the Orange Grove
S E E M A S O N S ● PA G E 4
Huell Howser exhibit to open at Chapman on March 29
The late public-television icon donated
much of his estate to the Orange campus.
A permanent exhibit at Chapman University dedicated to
Huell Howser will contain some of
the public-television icon’s favorite memorabilia, artwork and
even some pieces from the Bunny
Later this month, the university will open a permanent exhibit
honoring Howser: “That’s Amazing! Thirty Years of Huell Howser
and California’s Gold” will be inside the university’s Leatherby
It will feature a replica of Howser’s office, a quote wall, career artifacts, pieces from his eclectic
personal art collection, and fan
gifts from his travels throughout
“It’s going to be fantastic,” said
Candace Frazee, also known as
the Bunny Lady, whose Bunny
Museum in Pasadena was featured in an episode of the “Visiting With Huell Howser” TV series. “It will help introduce Huell
to a whole new generation. I’m so
thrilled and looking forward to
checking out the exhibit for myself,” she said.
Frazee said she will be one of
the first visitors to the exhibit
when it opens March 29.
The free exhibit, sponsored by
the Automobile Club of Southern
California, will on that first day
debut a new documentary, “A
Golden State of Mind: The Storytelling Genius of Huell Howser,”
The late Huell Howser was known for showcasing the obvious as well
as the obscure places around California on his television shows.
created by Chapman film professor Jeff Swimmer.
Howser, who died in January
2013, donated to Chapman his entire archive of more than 900 episodes of “California’s Gold,” a
public-television series that spotlighted obvious and obscure places in the Golden State. He also
gave the university his mid-20thcentury residence 20 miles east of
Barstow, known as the Volcano
House, and bequeathed money –
more than $1 million by some estimates – personal belongings, and
his extensive art and artifact collection.
Last year, Chapman organized
a Huell Howser Day to honor him.
Besides the Bunny Lady, Howser
spotlighted and made famous
real-life characters, including
“Lint Lady” Slater Barron and
whistling champ Carole Anne
For information, go to
C O N TA C T T H E W R I T E R :
7 1 4-704-3773 or
[email protected]
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SEC: Community_Broadsheet DT: 03-05-2014
ZN: Orange ED: 1
PG #: 4
PG: Jump BY: jgish
TI: 03-03-2014 17:29
Photographs of past Orange Grove Lodge 293 masters dating to 1 888 are displayed along the walls in the Tiler’s Room of the Orange Masonic Center. Today, the lodge includes
367 members, many of whom commute from throughout Southern California.
The first
Grove Lodge
A.C. Collins,
is pictured
in 1 888.
The Orange Masonic Center has a balcony with original seats from the 1 920s. The
lodge’s stage is at right. The Freemasons also rent out a portion of the building.
F R O M PA G E 1
Southern California.
Among the members is
the charismatic Marshall
Tipton, the 33-year-old
master, or sort of the president, of the lodge. He wears
crisp suits to most meetings, and often pops on his
ceremonial top hat, golden
adorned with the iconic
Masonic emblem to show
his pride in the group.
“This is such a fun
lodge,” said Tipton, an office manager from Anaheim. “We’re very family
oriented. Everyone here
truly cares and has respect
for each other.”
Freemasons such as Paul
McDonough and Alex Gonzalez are the lodge comedians, constantly cracking
jokes and razzing other
Karl Sandhoff from Riverside serves as the lodge’s
unofficial historian. Ask
him about famous Freemasons throughout history
and he rattles off a list of
names. Point to any of the
old portraits on the wall,
and he’ll give a detailed account of who’s in the photo,
A photograph of
Grove Lodge
293 master
Tipton is on
display at a
desk in the
The lodge’s library contains books dating to
1 888, such as this book of proceedings.
Founded: In 1 7 1 7, the
Freemasons organized
as a fraternal group with
the establishment of the
first governing body,
called a Grand Lodge, in
Who they are: Masonry
is the world’s first and
largest fraternal
organization. It is based
on the belief that each
man has a responsibility
to help make the world a
better place. Their
philosophy is to lead by
example, give back to
communities and
support numerous
This photo found in the Orange County Register archives shows the Orange Plaza
in the 1 880s. The first Orange Grove Lodge was a room on the second floor of the
Membership: 80,000
bank building shown here. According to tradition, the two men in top hats are
members in California,
Orange founding fathers Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell.
2 million in the United
States, 3 million worldwide
Members through history include:
Presidents: George Washington, Andrew Jackson,
Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald
Reagan, George H.W. Bush
Other notables: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Walt
Disney, W.E.B. Du Bois, J. Edgar Hoover, John
Wayne, Shaquille O’Neal
when it was taken and why
it’s important to the lodge.
Sandhoff drives nearly
an hour from his home to
the lodge each week.
“I could have joined the
lodge that’s five minutes
from my house, but it just
doesn’t have the same history as this one,” Sandhoff,
61, said.
Several members drive
in from Norco and Victorville. One member drove
from Bakersfield until he
moved to Orange County.
The Orange lodge is one
the few in California with
such an active membership
and scores of candidates
continuously petitioning to
join. Membership in other
lodges has dwindled over
the past few decades.
“When people think of
Masonic lodges, they think
of an old boys club,” said
Rob Scott, a Freemason for
more than 30 years. “But
that’s definitely not the
case here.”
The lodge encourages
members to bring their
families. Some wives are
actively involved in organizing events. Children
chase each other through
the hallways.
The lodge’s location also
is a draw. The 1912 building,
on the northwest corner of
the Plaza, once served as
the Campbell Opera House.
Inside, there is a stage, balcony seating and large hall.
The Freemasons purchased the property in the
1920s. They rent out a portion of the building to Café
Lucca and COBA Academy.
The rental income allows
the lodge to charge membership dues of just $60 per
Through the lodge, Freemasons run a series of fundraisers, youth programs
and other communitybased events. They award
annual scholarships to college-bound seniors, recognize teachers and other
public employees, and promote literacy programs.
“It’s very important for
us to be involved in our
community,” Tipton said.
“We’ve been here in Orange
so long, it’s now a part of
who we are.”
C O N TA C T T H E W R I T E R :
7 1 4-704-3773 or
[email protected]
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