Like an unbroken chain, members of the Scottish Rite have passed our legacy along from one Brother to another since the first time our Supreme Council held a meeting on May 31st, 1801. One hundred years later in a growing trading town in the Pacific Northwest, the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry was outgrowing their meeting place. The Fraternity had attracted the best men in the region: Governors, Judges, captains of industry and hard working men willing to commit to a vision of righteousness and prosperity.
The destinies of such men would lead them to the precipice of a phenomenon that was a new concept for the Scottish Rite as a whole. They would build a Temple. This Temple would be created for the Scottish Rite and sustained by the Scottish Rite. It was the vision of Philip Schuyler Malcolm although much thanks must be given to Louis G. Clarke, who convinced the Brethren of the Lodge of Perfection to “absorb a little of the progressive spirit” and take the appropriate steps to invest in the new Temple.
EIN: 82-4688837Click Donate to set up automatic withdrawals from a bank account or debit card on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. No gift is too small and every dollar counts. Think of this like your Netflix account that goes towards sustaining the integrity of our building.
Richard Martin, of Sutton & Whitney, Architects and a member of the Scottish Rite was commissioned to design the Temple as its architect. He is also responsible for designing the Armory and Blitz-Weinhard Brewery buildings in Portland. In January of 1900 the first portion of the land was purchased from L. C. Henreikson, who was a pioneer jeweler and member of the Rite, for $8,000. In February of that same year two more surrounding lots of land were sold by Ms. Hannah Mattern for $12,500, and the final lot was purchased three days later for $3,000 from a savings and loan society.
In 1902 the Portland Valley completed the construction of the Beaux Arts building that we have the privilege to occupy to this very day. The new Temple was only the second of its kind in the entire United States. It was only 6 months behind the Albert Pike Temple’s completion in Little Rock, Arkansas. Sadly in 1919 the Little Rock Masonic Temple suffered a terrible fire and their Scottish Rite Temple was then completely remodeled to accommodate the Grand Lodge of Arkansas and the Grand York Rite Bodies of Arkansas then rededicated as the Albert Pike Memorial Temple in 1924. In 1952, fire consumed a portion of the new Little Rock Temple which meant the original south end of the building that was constructed in 1902 was destroyed. The replacement section was rebuilt and finally rededicated in 1956. Because of this, the Portland Valley Temple is the oldest purpose-built Scottish Rite Temple in the United States of America and for these reasons, the Portland Valley Temple is truly is a treasure to Scottish Rite Masons everywhere.
The Portland Valley Temple is not only a major historical Masonic landmark, it is also a showcase of treasured Masonic and local history. The historic, vaudeville-style auditorium holds nearly 100 hand painted scenic backdrops created by the W. Grabach Pacific Coast Scenery in 1906 that are still in operation. Other highlights inside include a pair of hand carved ornamental chairs reported to have belonged to King Philip II of Spain, a vast library with thousands of volumes on Masonic and historical subjects, displays of Scottish Rite and Masonic regalia as well as a plethora of photographs, portraits and busts of the pioneers of Portland and Scottish Rite Masonry in the Pacific Northwest. The Temple is also home to some amazing examples of the peerless stained glass artwork of the Povey Brothers Studio. The Povey Brothers Studio, known as the Tiffany of the Northwest, created seven 4' x 8' stained glass memorial windows, depicting Masonic and historical themes with bright, vibrant colors and imagery. Other Povey Brothers pieces in the Temple include the vast recessed stained glass dome in the auditorium ceiling as well as the distinctive, elegant leadlights at each of the building's entrances.
We hope that you will help us to preserve and protect this priceless gift and legacy that we have been given, not just for the Scottish Rite or Masons in general, but also for the future generations of Portland residents as well. Together we can perpetuate a lasting example of architectural, Masonic and local Portland history.