July 1, 2009 > History: The Masonic Home in Union City
History: The Masonic Home in Union City
By Myrla Raymundo
Many years ago, immigrants from every corner of the globe streamed into California. They came in prairie schooners across the rolling plains, and in tall ships that challenged the tempestuous seas around Cape Horn. Seafarers, traders, farmers, merchants and treasure seekers - they all came to California. Many of these early pioneers were Masons.
As early as 1849, a group of good men, all members of different Masonic lodges, affirmed their belief in Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth by founding a charitable organization. Later, they built a hospital, to assist the sick and distressed arriving in Sacramento. Many were exhausted and ill from the hardships endured along the Overland Trail and reoccurring outbreaks of cholera that plagued early settlements.
Masonic Temples were built and inaugurated everywhere. In Union City, a Masonic Home was built on 268 acres of land at a cost of $33,093. The cornerstone of the original building was laid on October 4, l896 and the Home officially opened on October 12, l898. At that time, it served as a Home for Widows and Orphans. A resolution was adopted in l906 to move the children to their own facility, Masonic Homes of California at Covina, California. This facility serves both children and adults.
Beautifully situated on a scenic hilltop, the Masonic Home for Adults at Union City combines elegant grace with the latest advances in geriatric healthcare. The California Department of Social Services licenses the Masonic Home for Adults - an integral part of the Masonic Homes of California, a non-profit California Corporation - as a Continuing Care Retirement Community. Organized by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of California, their mission is to provide quality living to the Adult Masonic Community by offering three levels of care: Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing.
The Masonic Home for Adults celebrated its Centennial Year of Operation with a yearlong theme entitled "Building a Future Upon a Century of Caring." The re-dedication was held on October 10, l998 with a Masonic ceremony.
There are historical artifacts and items of interest through the facility - stained glass windows, residents' library, large-print books by contemporary and time-honored authors and a low vision computer system for the residents' use. Pictures of the 14 former U. S. Presidents, who were Masons, are on display. An Antique Room contains artifacts from the past and a Blue Mall, consisting of residents' coffee shop, clothing store and a gift shop, is open to the public. The gift shop is run by residents and stocked with items made by them.
The Masonic Home in Union City is a very important historical landmark of Union City.