Historical Society to dedicate historic archway | SierraSun.com

Historical Society to dedicate historic archway

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun file photoJoe Aguera looks at the top portion of the Masonic arch in the Truckee Cemetery before the stones were placed atop granite columns to complete the entry arch.

Truckee’s Masonic Lodge on Saturday will dedicate the newly erected stone arch that once framed the entrance to the fraternal club’s former quarters on Truckee’s Commercial Row.

The graceful arch, built in 1909 from 23 chiseled granite blocks weighing an average 250 pounds, was retrieved from the wreckage of the lodge in 1993 when a propane explosion leveled the historic building.

The arch, which last month was so many granite stones laying in repose at the Sierra Mountains Cemetery, now stands in the memorial garden at the Old Historic Jail on Jibboom Street, across the street from its original site.

“This is a historical artifact that we are dedicating to the city that has been a part of our history for 100 years and is now part of Truckee’s present,” Truckee Masonic Lodge member Joe Aguera said.

Aguera and a team of Masons and local contractors worked through the month of August to assemble the arch with steel bars and glue before raising it in early September. Aguera said the final steps of the reconstruction were kept secret because he was worried a public ceremony would bring bad luck.

One concern, he said, was the possibility that the crane used to transport the last nine blocks might drop the 3,000-pound half-arch.

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The dedication is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the jail museum, and refreshments will be provided.

Master of the Lodge Gary Miner said Truckee’s Masonic Lodge Number 200 is one of the oldest in California. The lodge has donated the arch as a historic artifact to the Truckee Donner Historical Society.

According to Aguera, the Truckee Masons will attend along with Mayor Richard Anderson. Also present will be representatives from the Truckee Donner Historical Society, whose members and volunteers run the jail’s historical museum.