Edmund Frederick Erk.

A merry crusade to the Golden Gate : under the banners of Allegheny Commandery, No. 35, Knights Templar, Allegheny, Pa. : a complete story of the Twenty-ninth Triennial Conclave, Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, U.S.A. ... and a tour of ten thousand miles through the wonderland of the West online

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Online LibraryEdmund Frederick ErkA merry crusade to the Golden Gate : under the banners of Allegheny Commandery, No. 35, Knights Templar, Allegheny, Pa. : a complete story of the Twenty-ninth Triennial Conclave, Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, U.S.A. ... and a tour of ten thousand miles through the wonderland of the West → online text (page 19 of 38)
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colonnades and arranged so as to represent the California missions,
made a beautiful effect. The arbors contained a number of red
lanterns from which electric bulbs cast a soft light. The reception
room at one end of the building was fitted in Chinese fashion, the
fittings consisting of the choicest furnishings obtainable in China-
town. A minature forest had been planted at the west end of the
upper gallery for Santa Rosa Commandery. The seven Command-
eries which jointly occupied one section of the Pavilion had taverns
built of rough timber, typical of the early days of California.

It was amidst these beautiful surroundings that the afternoon
and evening services were held. Long before the hour set for the
afternoon services, a continued flow of humanity began to pour into
the building. At the first notes of the trumpet the Sir Knights fell
into line behind a screen of evergreen at the front of the pavilion
and as the band played "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus," they
marched slowly up the center isle. Two by two they came, and
as the isle filled with marching men robed in baldric and snowy
plumes, a more picturesque sight could not be imagined. On they
came, until the floor and platform was a moving mass of velvet
folds, kindly faces and nodding plumes.

As the Sir Knights reached the platform and stood in their places,
there was a wave of the Commander's hand and instantly all heads
were uncovered. Then, after the singing of the last verses of the pro-
cessional, all took their seats. An elaborate musical program was
carried out and fitting prayers offered, after which the Rev. Dr.
Frederick W. Clampett, rector of Trinity Church, delivered an im-
pressive sermon, in which he told of the sterling Christianity advo-
cated by Templarhood, the solemnity of their service, and concluded


by paying fitting tribute to late President McKinley, and holding
him and his character before his hearers as an example of manhood
and all the qualities which tend to make beauty of character.

Nor was the evening service less impressive. Ablaze with a
thousand lights, splendid with a myriad of colored incandescent
bulbs patterned in symbols of Free Masonry, and thronged with
an audience of 15,000 people, each one of whom sat with bowed head
in respect to the memory of Sir Knight William McKinley, who three
years before had gone to join the Grand Commandery on high, was
the solemn picture that presented itself. So eager was the multitude
to take opportunity in respecting the former Sir Knight president,
hero, statesman and humanitarian that fully 5000 were turned away
from the doors for lack of seating capacity. The immense stage
reserved for the Sir Knights and their families and the musicians,
was decorated with flowers and banks of evergreen. On all sides
the floral effects added to the beauty of the interior. Large Amer-
ican flags were draped at one end of the hall, while bunting and gar-
lands of blossoms swung out from the balconies.

The program opened with a measured dirge, followed by the
overture from "Tannhauser." With the closing strains the drill
corps of the California Commandery entered the hall, accompanied
by the vested choir of Trinity Church. Lights were dimmed, and as
the group formed in picturesque tableaux the singers began the
strains of the beautiful melody (a) "Lead, Kindly Light." The
association of the hymn with the martyred President was never
more keenly realized and more than one eye grew dim as the words
of the sacred song fell on the hushed assembly, (b) "The Lord's
Prayer" (music by John Hendon Pratt), (c) "Onward, Christian
Soldiers," "Sanctus" from mass "Sollenelle" (Gounod) ; following
a selection by the orchestra, Sir Knight Samuel M. Shortridge de-
livered an oration, and after him came a rendition of "Lead Thou
Me On," by the Templar Choir of the California Commandery; par-
aphrase on "Nearer, My God, to Thee ," (Reeves) ; soprano solo,
"The Holy City," Miss Millie Flynn; transcription on Schubert's
"Serenade" (Lizst) ; grand chorus of 500 voices, under direction of
Professor John W. McKenzie (a) "The Lost Chord" (Sullivan), (b)
"Rock of Ages" (the audience arose and joined in singing the last
number) ; "Angelus" from "Suite Scenes Pittoresque" (Massenet) ;
"The Star-Spangled Banner," Miss Millie Flynn ; "Tenting To-
Night," rendered by the Temple Choir in costume and the singing
of "America," in unison, terminated the impressive services.

If there is one spot in San Francisco of which every Californian
is proud, and justly so, it is the Golden Gate Park, covering an ex-
panse of over 1,000 acres. Its beauty is due, first to climatic con-
ditions, second to its topography. Beautiful shubbery, abundant
bloom, varied landscapes and artistic statuary are here. Wide
stretchea of grassy plain are succeeded by beautiful eminences, at the
foot of which are on one hand placid lakes, on the other the glistening
waves of the Pacific. It is rife with beautiful buildings and walks,
while dense foliage and flowers bloom the year round. As a special
compliment to the Conclave visitors, a score of floral designs, worked
into Masonic emblems, were in view throughout the park. Among
points of interest within its bounds are the Conservatory, Aviary,
Museum, Egyptian Art Building, Buffalo Paddock, Japanese Garden,
Stowe Lake, Huntington Falls, Strawberry Hill, Lake Alvord, Chil-
dren's House and Playground, Commissioner's Lodge, many beautiful
statues, a well stocked zoo and a bandstand where 45 pieces play each
Sunday and holidays. Thirty-five years ago the site was a series of
desolate sand dunes, barren of vegetation. To-day, its beauties fas-
cinate and hold the visitor spellbound.

On the sunset edge and in proximity to the Golden Gate
Park, is the Cliff House. Situated upon a rocky bluff overlooking
the Pacific Ocean and a precipitous beach, the Cliff House affords
a sight that cannot be erased from memory. A portion of the build-
ing rises high above the ocean and one can sit and watch the breakers
dash wildly against the cliffs as they roll in from shores afar.

Out in the ocean, a cable's length from shore, are the celebrated
Seal Rocks. Immense wave-washed monuments that rise high out
of the water, they afford a resting place for a colony of huge seals
that warm themselves in the kindly sunshine after a frolic in the
salt sea. Their movements are interesting, their barking being dis-
tinctly heard above the roar of the surf, while countless numbers of
sea gulls and other waterfowl circle above and perch upon the rocks
in agreeable companionship with the seals.

To the right of the Cliff House are the famous Sutro Baths, said
to be the largest in the world. They are 500 feet long and 254 feet
wide and hold 1,804,962 gallons of water which comes from the sea,
and towering above them is the magnificent sky-battlement known as
Sutro Heights a private property open to the public and embellished
by landscape gardens and statuary. From this place a majestic pano-
rama of the shore is afforded for many miles.

It was these and many other beauty spots that the Sir Knights
and their ladies visited during that Sunday afternoon, but go where
they might, the glittering uniforms, elaborate decorations and general


brilliancy encouraged the predominating feeling of good cheer, buoy-
ancy, laughter and merriment. And what endless opportunity for
sight-seeing the City of the Golden Gate affords ! What beauty spots
created both by Nature and man abound in all directions! How
liberally has the Maker showered His blessings upon this exit of
America. But of this, more anon.

The evening was spent in drives, trolley rides, walks and visits
to the many Commandery headquarters which were extremely liberal
in their hospitality. Other diversions as were consistent with the
day were indulged in, although a great number of the visitors at-
tended the McKinley Memorial Service.

Returning to our headquarters that night, there was a general
stampede for writing material and a concentrated effort made to
inform "the folks at home" of our conditions mentally and physically.
Some began to describe the beauties of the Conclave, but were igno-
minously defeated because of the limited time that was allotted for
letter-writing, while others, finding themselves deluged in an effort
to deal even in generalities, restricted themselves to discussing the
weather and their health.

It was also at this time that the historians of the pilgrimage
retreated in wild confusion. At the very outset from Allegheny many
of the pilgrims had supplied themselves with diaries and liberal am-
munition in the shape of pens and pencils with which to chronicle any
and all events that might occur on the transcontinental tour.

For a time ambition kept apace of events. Then gradually, one
by one, the historians began to fall by the wayside, while others
formed a rear guard by keeping three or four days behind current
events. However, with the activity, boundless interest and fellow-
ship of the Conclave, and the myriads of rich pleasures at hand, the
regiment of historians was completely annihilated. Some had not
yet climbed Pike's Peak when they reached Frisco (according to
their diaries) while others were just noting the fact that we had
visited the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City.

One of these diaries, which started out with a noble purpose
and met with an abrupt conclusion, was discovered in one of the
wastebaskets of our San Francisco hotel. It was prefaced with a
most worthy resolution and concluded with a brief but interesting
tale, as follows:

"It is my purpose to chronicle in detail, each evening, the events
of the day as they occur to my mind, so that in a few years they
may be read and enjoyed by my family. I shall be punctual and try
to deal truthfully with all matters that I may refer to in these pages,
whether they be of national or personal interest, and I shall seek to


treat all subjects and conditions with sincere impartiality, regardless
of personal beliefs or opinions.

"August 23 Ate lunch and smoked a cigar and
"Sept. 1 The climate is fine and we had little rain, but the mount-
ain air "


O'NDAY morning brought with it a startling revelation. The
population at the hotel had become wonderfully increased.
Every room was full of life flea life. Where they came from
and how they arrived, we never paused to ask, although some
expressed the belief that they swam over the bay, for they were ex-
cellent sailors, considering how tirelessly they sailed through the air.
We had been told the previous night that there was not a SINGLE
flea in Frisco. This was eminently true they were all married and
had large families.

Following up our original discovery that the flea can thrive on
San Francisco air, we continued our scientific research and were
rewarded by learning that the flea is not a wild animal. It is very
tame and showed no inclination to avoid human society. In fact, Sir
Reel had a flock so well trained that they would eat out of his hand,
kiss him on the neck, whisper in his ear, and sit on his nose, without
command. We further learned that there was no peril in hunting
them, while their natural affection for human society attracts them
to you, if one has but a little patience.

They kept up a continuous buzzing strain which to us sounded
as "Welcome z z z Sir z z z Knights z z z welcome." While
they were so sociable that they crawled all over us, inside of our
clothes and out, we were nevertheless hunting them day and night.
We soon learned that hunting them with a gun was inadvisable, and
after much experimenting, discovered that the easiest way to lose
their company was to allow them to hold public meetings on your
face and then, in an outburst of sorrow, to drown them with your

However, with all their faults, Sir Otto is indebted to the fleas
of Frisco for the greatest physical culture exercise he ever enjoyed.
Otto had been ailing somewhat since entering the Yellowstone Park,
and really needed the exercise which was forced upon him.


Sir Otto had been wearing a sweater which he brought from the
east, and on this particular morning had it thrown over a chair for
ventilation. The fleas appointed a board of inquiry, numbering about
250, to inspect the interior of the sweater, but carelessly neglected
to notify Otto of the fact. Without the slightest malice towards the
fleas he hurriedly donned the garment and was not conscious of the
bosom companions he had made until it was snugly fitted. Then the
terrible truth dawned upon him ! As the fleas, 250 strong, attempted
to bite their way out, they bit in the wrong direction. Otto tugged
violently at the sweater in a frantic effort to release the poor im-
prisoned fleas. The more he pulled and tugged, the tighter the
sweater, and the more excited both he and fleas became. During his
struggles he executed a new method of calisthenics that would have
been a profitable revelation to the greatest physical culture instructor
extant. Finally, with the brave assistance of several pilgrims, the
sweater was removed and the fleas released, but Otto bore the teeth
marks of the fleas in such great numbers that it was necessary to let
contracts for talcum powder by the pound.

The Conclave program for the day was one that predicted bound-
less entertainment. Among events scheduled were: Receiving the
officers of the Great Priory of England and Wales and the depend-
encies of the British crown; reception by Golden Gate Commandery
No. 16, in Golden Gate Hall, afternoon and evening; ladies' reception
at headquarters of California Commandery No. 1, in Mechanics'
Pavilion in the afternoon.

Monday, September 5, was a legal holiday in California, known
as Labor Day. The celebration consisted of a parade in the morn-
ing; reunion of labor organizations, exercises afternoon and evening,
celebrations of San Francisco Labor Council and fireworks at nignt.

The Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania and the Sir Knights
of Pennsylvania tendered a reception to all Knights Templar and
their ladies in the Marble and Maple rooms of the Palace Hotel ; ex-
hibition drill and band concert by Malta Commandery No. 21 Drill
Corps, Binghamton, N. Y., at night; reception in the Palace Hotel,
tinder the auspices of the ladies' committee ; open-air concert in Union
Square; reception by Oakland Commandery No. 11, at Native Sons'
Hall; general reception by California Commandery No. 1, and other
Commanderies, in Mechanics' Pavilion ; performance by Chinese actors
in Grand Opera House and numerous other events of equal interest.

The reception tendered the Earl of Euston (personal representa-
tive of King Edward) and the delegation representing the Grand Priory
of England and Wales, was most impressive. They were met by a
full Templar escort consisting of four troops mounted, two com-


panics on foot and a band of 40 pieces with mounted buglers. Troops
A and B of the mounted escort occupied the right of the line and
were followed by the band and two foot escorts, then the distinguished
visitors in carriages, with the two companies from California Com-
mandery bringing up in the rear as the guard of honor.

As the Earl emerged from the depot on the way to his carriage,
there was a fanfare from the buglers while the band struck up and
kept playing until all the visitors were seated in their carriages.
The escorts, both mounted and afoot, presented arms and remained
at present until the last carriage had passed the line of escort, after
which they swung into line and accompanied the distinguished guests
to the Palace Hotel.

Here they formed a double line at the main entrance on New
Montgomery street, while the foot escort formed a line reaching
across the street from the entrance. The band was stationed at the
corner of New Montgomery and Market streets, and, as the Earl
and his party alighted from their carriages, they passed through a
hollow square of presented swords to the music of the band, making
a most imposing and beautiful picture.

The distinguished visitors comprising the English delegation
were : The Right Honorable, the Earl of Euston, the Most Eminent
and Supreme Grand Master of the Great Priory of England and
Wales; Sir Charles F. Matier, Great Vice-Chancellor of the Great
Priory of England and Wales ; Sir Thomas Eraser, Sir A. J. Thomas,
Rev. C. E. L. Wright, Sir T. P. Dorman and Abraham Woodiwiss,
the delegation representing the English Great Cross Templars, and
the personal representatives of King Edward VII. of England, as well
as the delegation representing the Great Priory of Canada and the
British Crown dependencies.

Every state, territory, and section of the continent was represent-
ed at the Conclave by their Commanderies, and the number of foreign
representatives was exceptionally large. At this time the following
Commanderies had arrived :

E. Grand Master Henry Bates Stoddard.

ALABAMA Grand Commandery. Cyrene Commandery No. 10,
Birmingham, E. Sir John H. Robinson, Commander.

ARIZONA Grand Commandery.

ARKANSAS Grand Commandery, R. E. Sir T. H. Jones.
Arkansas Delegation, Little Rock.

CALIFORNIA Grand Commandery, R. E. Sir W. Frank Pierce,
Grand Commander. California Commandery No. 1, E. Sir Charles
Mortimer Plum, Commander. Sacramento Commandery No. 2, E.


Sir Edward Adolph Weil, Commander. Pacific Commandery No. 3,
E. Sir Elisha Tolman Gould, Commander. El Dorado Commandery
No. 4, E. Sir Charles Albert Swisler, Commander. Oroville Com-
mandery No. 5, E. Sir Albert Eugene Boynton, Commander. Nevada
Commandery No. 6, E. Sir Thomas Ingram, Commander. Marys-
ville Commandery No. 7, E. Sir Oscar Leonidas Meek, Commander.
Stockton Commandery No. 8, E. Sir Charles Willis Norton, Com-
mander. Los Angeles Commandery No. 9, E. Sir John Amos Kings-
ley, Commander. San Jose Commandery No. 10, E. Sir William
Gay Alexander, Commander. Oakland Commandery No. 11, E. Sir
William Henry Craig, Commander. Chico Commandery No. 12, E.
Sir Eugene E. Canfield, Commander. Lassen Commandery No. 13,
E. Sir Harry DeForest Burroughs, Commander. Santa Rosa Com-
mandery No. 14, E. Sir Charles Clinton Belden, Commander. Golden
Gate Commandery No. 16, E. Sir Philip D. Code, Commander. Red
Bluff Commandery No. 17, E. Sir Elias Delevan Gardner, Com-
mander. Ventura Commandery No. 18, E. Sir Frederick William
Baker, Commander. Naval Commandery No. 19, E. Sir Alrik Ham-
mer, Commander. Mount Olivet Commandery No. 20, Petaluma, E.
Sir Dolphus B. Fairbanks, Commander. Woodland Commandery
No. 21, E. Sir John Reith, Jr., Commander. Watsonville Command-
ery No. 22, E. Sir William A. Trafton, Commander. Saint Bernard
Commandery No. 23, E. Sir Dwight Coleman Schlott, Commander.
Colusa Commandery No. 24, E. Sir William Henry Buster, Com-
mander. San Diego Commandery No. 25, E. Sir Charles Wylie
Buker, Commander. Visalia Commandery No. 26, E. Sir James H.
McKie, Commander. San Luis Obispo Commandery No. 27, E. Sir
Stephen Davis Ballou, Commander. Riverside Commandery No. 28,
E. Sir Samuel Adams White, Commander. Fresno Commandery
No. 29, E. Sir Edward Sharp Valentine, Commander. St. Omer Com-
mandery No. 30, E. Sir Clarence Crosby Knight, Commander. Pasa-
dena Commandery No. 31, E. Sir Robert Henry Cuthbert, Com-
mander. Mt. Shasta Commandery No. 32, E. Sir George Dexter
Butler, Commander. Ukiah Commandery No. 33, E. Sir Howard B.
Smith, Commander. Napa Commandery No. 34, E. Sir Daniel S.
Kyser, Commander. Eureka Commandery No. 35, E. Sir Albert
Charles Barker, Commander. Santa Ana Commandery No. 36, E.
Sir John Lewis Dryer, Commander. Southern California Command-
ery No. 37, E. Sir James Albert Dole, Commander. Vacaville Com-
mandery No. 38, E. Sir Robert Lincoln Reid, Commander. Bakers-
field Commandery No. 39, E. Sir John Lovell Carson, Commander.
Long Beach Commandery No. 40, E. Sir James Benjamin Heartwell,


COLORADO Grand Commandery, R. E., Sir William J. Fine,
Grand Commander. Denver-Frisco K. T. 1904 Club; Denver (com-
posed of members of various Colorado Commanderies) Sir Knight
Fred Walsen, President ; Sir Richard K. Le Bert, Secretary. Pueblo
Club, Pueblo.

CONNECTICUT Grand Commandery, E. Sir Eugene A. Hall,
proxy for Grand Commander. Washington Commandery No. 1,
Hartford, E. Sir W. G. Baxter, Commander. New Haven Com-
mandery No. 2, New Haven, E. Sir Frank Bishop, Commander.
Hamilton Commandery No. 5, Bridgeport, E. Sir Geo. M. Baldwin,
Commander. Holy Sepulchre Commandery No. 8, Pawtucket. New
Haven Commandery California Club, Sir Charles E. Rounds, Adju-
tant President.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Grand Commandery of District
of Columbia, R. E. Sir Andrew W. Kelley, Grand Commander.
Washington Club, Washington, D. C.

FLORIDA Grand Commandery of Florida, Right Eminent Sir
Otis L. Keene, Grand Commander. Florida Delegation, Jacksonville.

GEORGIA Grand Commandery.

ILLINOIS Grand Commandery. Apollo Commandery No. 1,
Chicago, E. Sir James Francis Rowins, Commander. Peoria Com-
mandery No. 3. Ottowa Commandery No. 10, Ottowa, E. Sir Henry
L. Arnold, Commander. Cairo Commandery No. 13, Cairo, E. Sir
Frank Spencer, Chairman. Urbana Commandery No. 16, E. Sir H. T.
Hubbard, Commander. Chicago Commandery No. 19, Chicago, E.
Sir William S. Peavey, Commander. St. Barnard Commandery No.
35, Chicago. Montjoie Commandery No. 53, Chicago, E. Sir William
H. Pool, Commander. Lincoln Park Commandery No. 64, Chicago,
E. Sir John A. Eck, Commander.

INDIANA Grand Commandery. Rapier Commandery No. 1,
Indianapolis. Greenfield Commandery No. 25, Greenfield. Frank-
fort Commandery No. 29, Frankfort, E. Sir C. A. Ford, Commander.
Kokomo Commandery No. 36, Kokomo. Washington Commandery
No. 33, Washington. Crawfordsville Commandery No. 39, Craw-
fordsville. Hammond Commandery No. 41, Hammond, E. Sir J. J.
Ruff, Commander.

IOWA Grand Commandery. Temple Commandery No. 4, Des
Moines, E. Sir Frank H. McArthur, Commander.

KANSAS Grand Commandery, R. E. Sir T. H. Jones, Grand
Commander. Oswego Commandery No. 7, Oswego. Kansas City
No. 10, Kansas City. Kansas Delegation, Kansas City, E. Sir B. G.
Brown in command.


KENTUCKY Grand Commandery. Louisville Commandery
No. 1, Louisville. De Molay Commandery No. 12, Louisville. Marion
Commandery No. 24, Lebanon.

LOUISIANA Grand Commandery.

MAINE Grand Commandery. Portland Commandery No. 2,
Portland, E. Sir Woodman E. Eaton, Commander.

MARYLAND Grand Commandery. Maryland Delegation.

MASSACHUSETTS Grand Commandery of Massachusetts
and Rhode Island. Boston Commandery No. 2, Boston, E. Sir Rinaldo
B. Richardson, Commander. . Worcester Commandery No. 5, Wor-
cester. De Molay Commandery No. 7, Boston, E. Sir Oscar A. Shep-
herd, Commander. Sutton Commandery No. 16, New Bedford, P. C.
Jacob C. Dunham, in charge. Hugh de Payens Commandery No. 20,
Melrose, E. Sir Harry Stevens, Commander. St. Omer Command-
ery No. 21, Boston. Joseph Warren Commandery No. 26, Roxbury.
Trinity Commandery No. 32, Hudson, E. Sir Charles A. Bartlett,
Commander. Coeur de Lion Commandery No. 34, Boston, E. Sir
John H. Studley, Commander. Olivet Commandery No. 36, Lynn,
E. Sir Amos T. Chase, Commander. Cambridge Commandery No.
42, Cambridge, E. Sir R. Walter Hilliard, Commander. Massachu-
setts Delegation. Springfield Commandery No. , Springfield.

MICHIGAN Grand Commandery. Peninsular Commandery
No. 8, Kalamazoo, E. Sir James Freaser, Commander.

MINNESOTA Grand Commandery, R. E. Sir George W. Buck,
Grand Commander. Minnesota Delegation.

MISSISSIPPI Grand Commandery, R. E. Sir Frank Burkett,
Grand Commander.

MISSOURI Grand Commandery. Kansas City Commandery
No. 10, Kansas City. St. Aldemar Commandery No. 18, St. Louis.
Oriental Commandery No. 35, Kansas City.

MONTANA Grand Commandery. Montana Commandery No.
3, Butte.

NEBRASKA CJrand Commandery. Mount Calvary Com-
mandery No. 1, Omaha.

NEVADA Grand Commandery. De Witt Clinton Command-
ery No. 1, Virginia City. Nevada Commandery No. 6, Nevada City,
E. Sir Thomas Ingram, Commander.

NEW HAMPSHIRE Grand Commandery, R. E. Sir Thomas
M. Fletcher, Grand Commander. Trinity Commandery No. 1, Man-
chester, E. Sir Elmer D. Goodwin, Commander.

NEW JERSEY Grand Commandery. New Jersey Delegation.

NEW MEXICO Grand Commandery.

Online LibraryEdmund Frederick ErkA merry crusade to the Golden Gate : under the banners of Allegheny Commandery, No. 35, Knights Templar, Allegheny, Pa. : a complete story of the Twenty-ninth Triennial Conclave, Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, U.S.A. ... and a tour of ten thousand miles through the wonderland of the West → online text (page 19 of 38)