Mendocino Masonic Temple

mendocino masonic temple

A frequently asked question at the breakfast table is “What is that big white building with the carved figures on the spire?”

It is the historic Masonic Temple whose construction took seven years to complete, commencing in 1866. Most of the construction and carving was done by Eric Jensen Albertson, a mason and an employee of the local lumber mill. Mr. Albertson spent his spare time in a Big River beach shack carving the mythical figures which adorn the pedestal atop the Temple from a single piece of redwood!

The statuary depicts the Angel of Death, the hourglass of transience, wee weeping maiden, the anointment of her hair, the acacia branch and the sacred urn, the sundered column and the book of light – all of which are symbolic within the Masonic Order.

The Savings Bank of Mendocino County purchased the building in 1978 and the lodge retained its kitchen and ornate meeting hall upstairs while the downstairs was remodeled to house bank.

The next time you’re in the Village, take a few moments to take in the beauty and historic nature of this fine old building.

Source: Mendocino Mornings “A collection of breakfast delights from Joshua Grindle Inn” available on Amazon



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Present day Mendocino has a strong commitment to the arts with the focal point being the Art Center, three blocks from the Inn. The Center and its Showcase gallery on Main Street display the works of the students and graduates of its programs. Offering a wide variety of classes, workshops, festivals, fairs and entertainment to the public, the Center is the cultural hub of the North Coast.

Mendocino hosts numerous private galleries as well, which offer a wide selection of local artists and media, including paintings, wood carvings and furniture, wire sculpture, ceramics and weaving, to mention but a few.

The performing arts also play an important role in the life of the Mendocino community year-round. The Mendocino Theater Company, Gloriana Opera Company, Mendocino Dance Series, and The Mendocino Music Festival are a few of the groups providing a wealth of entertainment and cultural activity.

There are many fine restaurants in Mendocino which offer creative and gourmet meals. Food for every taste is offered in a variety of interesting and intimate settings, from French to California cuisine. A person could spend a full week in Mendocino and eat at a different restaurant every night, each with a wonderful selection on the menu. The Joshua Grindle Inn has a book complete with menus from all the best restaurants in the area, and our innkeepers are delighted to make lunch or dinner recommendations and reservations.

Mendocino is not only a special place because of its fine galleries and restaurants, but also known for the jewel-like quality of the scenery and its “small town” culture.

The village is set on the edge of a rugged coastline overlooking a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean. To the west, the view is of the headlands and ocean, and to the east is dense redwood forest.

Mendocino has been called a “magical… gentle place” (San Diego Union-Tribune, June 8, 1992). The small-town atmosphere is both relaxing and reassuring. People on the street are happy to recommend a favorite restaurant, to tell you about a great place to shop or even, where to watch the seals.

If you are returning ... welcome back! If this is your first venture to Mendocino, you will most certainly be amazed!