The Truckee Memorial Masonic Arch was designated a historical landmark by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors on May 22. A Truckee landmark for more than 100 years, the Arch harkens back to Truckee’s earliest days, first as an outpost and then as a town, according to a press release from the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission.
The Arch is all that remains of the historic Masonic Lodge #200 building, one of the oldest established lodges in the United States. Built in 1909 and destroyed by fire and explosion in 1993, it reportedly was the only lodge to have had a chiseled, Sierra granite entrance. Following the explosion, the Arch was destined for a landfill along with the rest of the building’s debris, but thanks to the Truckee Masons, Truckee’s residents and the Truckee-Donner Historical Society, the stones were saved after the explosion.
In 2007, the Arch was reconstructed on the grounds of the Truckee-Donner Historical Society’s Old Jail Museum. Framing the Jail’s historical garden, the 3,000-pound Sierra granite Arch pays tribute to the early Masonic builders and pioneers who were instrumental in putting together the foundations of California. The Old Truckee Jail, itself one of the few surviving 19th Century jailhouses of its kind in the West, was used continuously from 1875 to May 1964 and was able to withstand the many fires that swept through Truckee in its early days.
The Truckee Memorial Masonic Arch will be added to the Commission’s interactive map and e-guide. The e-guide is an electronic book available for any smartphone or tablet from Apple, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Go to You Bet Press (youbetpress.com) to find clickable links.
The purpose of the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission is to promote the general welfare of Nevada County and its residents through official recognition, recording, marking, preserving and promoting the historical resources of Nevada County. For more information, call (530) 272-9977, ext. 210.