About UsOur fraternal mission
In keeping with the tenets of Freemasonry, the Masonic Homes of California will promote the quality of life by empowering our members, their families and our communities to live well and achieve meaningful and rewarding lives.Our history of fraternal care
More than a century ago, the spirit of charity and relief for brothers and their families in need was the genesis of the Masonic Homes of California.
The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 brought streams of pioneers to California, many of whom were Masons. As early as 1849, Masons from Sacramento-area lodges joined to form a charitable organization, and later a hospital, to assist brothers who arrived in Sacramento exhausted from the hardships endured along the Overland Trail and stricken by the reoccurring cholera outbreaks. In the devastating aftermath of the epidemic, they realized that California Masons needed a facility to care for their widows and orphans.
By 1876 Masonry in California had grown to the point that Grand Lodge launched the plan to provide shelter and protection for Masonic widows and orphans. Feasibility studies and fundraising preceded the purchase in 1893 of 267 acres at Decoto—now Union City—in Alameda County. The cornerstone was laid in 1896 with thousands of Masons in attendance. On October 12, 1898, the Masonic Widows’ and Orphans’ Home of California was dedicated.
In 1909, a separate facility for Masonic orphans and widows located in San Gabriel was deeded to the Grand Lodge. Elderly residents of the San Gabriel Home moved north to the Home at Decoto and the children who had been residing at Decoto were transferred to San Gabriel. In 1915, a new site in Covina was selected for the Children's Home. In 1989, residential care for seniors was added to the Covina campus. In response to the changing needs of Masonic families, the Homes transitioned out of residential care for children in 2009 and expanded Masonic Family Outreach to support Masonic families and children in communities throughout the state.
The Masonic Homes today
Fulfilling our mission depends upon member philanthropy Member contributions support the critical services provided by Masonic Senior Outreach. Thanks to the generosity of Masons and their families, countless fraternal family members have received Masonic assistance in their time of need. Ongoing contributions will enable us continue and expand these important services to reach even more fraternal family members.
Masonic Senior Outreach is direct relief, one of the oldest forms of Masonic charity, provided on behalf of every California Mason. Through Senior Outreach, California Masons fulfill our fraternal obligation to provide Masonic relief.
Help us continue our charitable tradition of more than 100 years. Together, we can make a difference.
Make your gift online.