Valley of Cleveland

Scottish Rite Established in Ohio

Scottish Rite Masonry came to Ohio in the year 1853. Cincinnati was its birthplace in our state. On April 27th, 1853, Gibulam Lodge of Perfection and Dalcho Council, Princes of Jerusalem received their charters. Cincinnati Chapter of Rose Croix received its charter on December 27th, 1853, and Ohio Consistory on May 14th, 1853. From this beginning the Rite in Ohio has grown to ten Valleys with a membership in 1997 of 67,562.


The Valley of Cleveland

Just six years after the Rite was established in Cincinnati a petition was presented to the Supreme Council meeting at Boston, Mass., on Thursday morning, May 26th, 1859, by Ill.·. Bro. Killian Henry Van Rensselaer, 33°, Deputy for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the West, and a Dispensation was granted the same day for a Lodge of Perfection and a Council of Princes of Jerusalem. It is interesting to note the petitioners were the following prominent York Rite Masons: . Peter Thatcher, Jr., Grand King of the Grand Chapter of Ohio; Richard Creighton, Grand Generalissimo of the Grand Encampment of Ohio; Albert Charles McNairy, High Priest of Wheeling Chapter; Edward R. Griswold, Past High Priest and Grand Commander, Knights Templar; David E. Field; and Theodore Ross.

The six petitioners were not only instrumental in obtaining the Dispensation, but five of them devoted their energies as leaders for the next seven years in establishing the Rite in the Valley.

Ariel Chapter, Rose Croix, was granted a Dispensation on August 25th, 1860, and the three bodies were later chartered but the charters were not issued until May l9th, 1866. The meeting place for these bodies was in the old Masonic Temple at East Third and Superior Avenue. In 1866 the activities were moved to East 6th and Superior Avenue, now the site of the Federal Reserve Bank, and in 1920 the affairs and business of the Valley were transferred to the present home, the Masonic Auditorium at 3615 Euclid Avenue.

Some interesting observations of those early days. Eliadah Lodge of Perfection, U.D., was organized on June 15th, 1859, with five of the petitioners present, Theodore Ross being absent. There were insufficient members to fill the offices, and some acted in dual capacities. The Ill.·. Deputy K.H. Van Rensselaer, 33°, installed the officers elect. Peter Thatcher, Jr., was the first Thrice Potent Master.

Bahurim Council, Princes of Jerusalem, U.D., was also organized on June 15th, 1859, with Albert C. McNairy as Sovereign Prince.

Ariel Chapter, Rose Croix (U.D.), was organized on June 18th, 1860, with Theodore Ross as Most Wise Master.