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 22 of 38)
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received a handsome trophy, and its Commandery a stand of colors.

The Louisville Commandery Drill Corps was the first to drill, and
headed by their own Commandery band playing "Dixie" and led by
Captain Frank Fehr, they filed into the inclosed space set apart for the

After a turn across the field and back, the Kentuckians came to
attention before the judges, and were subjected to a critical inspection,
after which the tactics as laid down by the jurisdiction of California
were commenced. Movements in the school of Sir Knight, the school
of Commandery, and the manual of the Sword, were gone through.

From the first it was evident that the Kentuckians were well trained.
Their alignment was perfect; the movements of hands and feet were
as one man, and whenever a particularly brilliant movement was executed
the spectators broke into round after round of cheers and applause.

Thirty minutes were allowed each corps in which to go through the


schedule of movements and the Louisville Corps finishing in ample
time, marched off the field to the melody of "My Old Kentucky Home."

The Malta Commandery Corps No. 21, of Binghamton, N. Y., was
the next to take the field. A. W. T. Black commanded the corps.
The New Yorkers gave a fine exhibition of drilling but were slower in
execution of movements than was the Louisville corps. Before the
entire schedule could be completed the Malta Corps was recalled on
account of the expiration of the time limit.

The crack St. Bernard Corps of Chicago was the next to enter
upon the field. This corps had won the championship in competitive
drills on several occasions, and was looked upon as well nigh invincible.
They were received with tremendous cheering as they swung into the
field, headed by the California Commandery band. In marked con-
trast to the long, easy strides, and apparent ease of the Louisville Corps
were the sharp, quick movements of the Chicagoans. The St. Bernard
Sir Knights were granted a special dispensation from the committee to
drill according to their own tactics in several of the required maneuvers,
while the balance of the corps were compelled to use the Sumner tactics.
Some thought this would give St. Bernard special advantages in the com-
petition but the Kentuckians gallantly announced, before the drill, that
they would abide by the decision of the judges without appeal.

The last of the competitors was the Ivanhoe Commandery Drill Corps,
No. 24, of Milwaukee, commanded by Captain D. Milton Jones. They
made a very favorable impression, and were repeatedly applauded but
their work was not quite as finished as that of the Louisville or St.
Bernard Corps.

Each of the competing corps was marked on the basis of 810 points
three for each of the 270 movements. Every one of the movements was
closely followed and the markings were made to the second decimal
point with the final result as follows : Louisville, 779.54 ; St. Bernard,
771.14; Ivanhoe, 725.03 and Malta, 655.82. The announcement of the
judges awarding first prize to the Kentuckians was received with thun-
derous applause and prolonged cheers and the Louisville Corps modestly
received the honor. During the interval while the judges were deliberat-
ing, the corps from Golden Gate Commandery and Los Angeles Com-
mandery gave exhibitions in fancy drilling. Their work was a revelation
to the gathered Sir Knights, and the opinion was frequently expressed
that the winning Kentuckians will be compelled to look to their laurels
if the above two corps enter in the competition at the next Conclave.
Besides the movements of the regular schedule, a number of fancy
tactics were gone through and were heartily applauded.

Those who sought the bay excursions on the steamers San Pablo,
Oakland and Tamalpais during the morning, found a delightful diversion
from the heat, together with a view of the scenic beauties of Golden Gate


harbor. Others participated in well arranged excursions to the Cliff
House, Sutro Heights, Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach. From 10
o'clock until the noon hour Red Bluff Commandery No. 18 entertained
the visiting Sir Knights and their ladies at the Commandery Head-
quarters in the United States Hotel and proved to be royal hosts.

Sessions of the Grand Encampment were held morning and after-
noon but were not public and their deliberations and action on various
matters were reported through the proper channels.

Receptions and entertainments continued unabated during the after-
noon. Among hosts were the Ladies' Committee; California Com-
mandery No. i ; Oakland Commandery No. 11 ; Golden Gate Com-
mandery No. 16; Red Bluff Commandery No. 18; Woodland Com-
mandery No. 21 and Fresno Commandery No. 29.

With the ambitious mercury rising above the 100 mark, it was de~
cided by a party of our pilgrims to do the sight-seeing of the afternoon
in the "poor man's automobile" the trolley car.

Boarding a car in front of the Palace Hotel we passed through
newspaper row and the business section of the city, and going down
Jackson street saw the handsome Dewey Monument, erected in com-
memoration of the notable naval victory in Manila Bay. In the same
district we passed numerous old-time mansions, which stood as memo-
rials to the successful in the strife for wealth and gold in the early days
of California, when San Francisco was little else than the supply sta-
tion for the mining camps. Nob Hill is the name of the district, though
Sir Reel insisted on pronouncing it with an "M" instead of "N." Sir
Steinmiller who is versed in ancient history explained that because
the community was rife with mansions it was called "Nobility Hill"
but that recent generations had become free with the appellation and
used only the first syllable, calling it Nob Hill. Northward, Kearny
street with the leading stores extended past Telegraph Hill, rising al-
most 300 feet and giving a magnificent view from the summit.

Fairmount Hotel, a structure of beautiful architectural design over-
looks the city in this vicinity, while directly opposite we observed the
Hopkins' Institute of Art. As the car sped along a beautiful view was
unfolded. From below the eminence upon which we were riding, arose
the Hall of Justice, its clock tower almost facing us. To the east we
could view the Ferry Depot and the busy harbor ; almost at our feet lay
Chinatown ; a little beyond were the crowded streets of the business dis-
trict, the waterfront with swift boats furrowing the tranquil waters and
the fishing smacks coursing the bay under their many-shaped sails. On
the opposite shore was shown a fine view of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley
and the University of California. Midway in the bay could be seen Al-
catraz Island with its harbor defenses and military prison and Yerba
Buena Island and its naval training school. In the distance this interest-


ing panorama was set off by Sausalito, Point Richmond and the rising
eminences of Mount Tamalpais and Mount Diablo.

Striking a downward grade we passed through a residential section
of latter-day millionaires and reached a point where a full view of the
Presidio Government Reservation and Fort Mason could be had. Pass-
ing Laurel Hill cemetery we entered into the Richmond district, where a
view of the ocean shore was before us, while to the right the Bay of
San Francisco was still in sight. Fort Point, the Cliff House, and the
Seal Rocks, already known to us, were again seen and appreciated,
while Golden Gate Park and the Government Life Saving Station were
also visited. Before returning we took a profitable walk through
Sutro Gardens, a beautiful park on the edge of the ocean.

Returning by another route we passed along the southern boundary
line of Golden Gate Park, affording rich examples of artistic landscape
gardening. We passed Strawberry Hill with its observatory according
to Sir Biddle's explanation the observatory was erected to assist in lo-
cating the strawberries while in the same vicinity we saw the Affiliated
Colleges of the State University. Passing through Ashbury Heights and
by Mount Olympus, we glided over the famous switch-back into the Mis-
sion district, riding by the new Mission High School, and the famous old
Mission Dolores Church.

Striking the home stretch of our tour we passed the magnificent City
Hall, the Hall of Records, Mechanic's Pavilion, the new Postoffice, In
course of construction, at a cost of $3,000,000, and the monument to the
discovery of gold in California. We reached the termination of our
delightful ride after passing the Academy of Sciences and Pioneer Hall
founded by philanthropist James Lick, and the United States Mint, the
largest in the world, declared by Sir William G. Lee to be "the greatest
money-maker on earth." After the eye had been engaged with the view
of San Francisco itself, the city appears to be built in terraced rows rising
steeply from the water-front. It is rather motley in architecture. Low
frame buildings were at first the rule, partly because they were sufficient
to the climate and partly in deference to traditions of earthquake ; but
at length builders ventured taller structures, of brick and stone, and
every year many lofty, elegant buildings are added. Certainly no one of
them has been shaken down as yet, and possibly the architects have au-
thority for believing that even Vulcan is superannuated and in his second
childhood is appeased with a rattle.

It is a city of fair aspect in one direction undulating from the
water's edge, in another rising abruptly to the precipitous heights of
Telegraph Hill.

San Francisco's topography is such as to display, from each of half
a hundred vantage points, some new phases. Then, too, most of the treas-
ures are gathered and placed for the visitor rather than for the selfish


pleasure of its own citizens. In the magnificent Union Ferry Depot
(owned by the state of California) at the gates of the city, is housed the
splendid collection of the State Mining Bureau and State Board of Trade
and the exhibit of curios of the Alaska Commercial Company, now owned
by the State University.

San Francisco is a city richly endowed by nature, and with this capi-
tal, her loyal sons and daughters have wrought greater fortunes of
beauty, architecturally and scenically. With her natural beauties of bay,
ocean, and rugged landscape as a basis, the city has been further em-
bellished by the hand of her people and shekels of gold wrought from out
of her own soil.

Yet the city is not one of special architectural merit as a whole.
Still there are many things that are positively unique not because of age,
nor beauty, nor historical association, but because they reflect the mode
of life of a people, some of whom are Americans unlike the Americans
of most other states. The cosmopolitan air of the city which shelters a
population drawn from every corner of the earth, lends a peculiar interest
to the visitor which can scarcely be found elsewhere than in Paris or
Gibraltar. A touch of the Orient, a flavor of sunny Spain, a smattering
of France, a touch of Italy and the Mediterranian in the quaint fishing
fleets, a breath of old England inspired from the travelers of Australia
who always rest on the Pacific shore, a trace of the end of the earth from
the visitors from Alaska and the Klondike gold fields who are always
present in large numbers these, and representatives of all other national-
ities, lend that cosmopolitan seasoning which is so delightfully palatable
to all visitors.

San Franciscans are a pleasure loving people devoting their leisure
hours in enjoying the good things of life. They are liberal patrons of art
and music, and lovers of nature.

Though little more than a half century old as a city, it has become an
ideal commonwealth. Its commercial enterprises have already attained
a high place among the cities of the nation. One of the most notable
of the city's commercial achievements is the Union Iron Works, a famous
shipbuilding plant, which employs 4,000 men. It was here that the "Ore-
gon," "Charleston," "Olympia," "San Francisco," "Monterey," "Ohio,"
"Wisconsin," of our navy were built, as well as the submarine torpedo
boat destroyers "Pike" and "Grampus." At the time of the Conclave
there were 10 organized companies operating 12 steamship lines between
San Francisco and foreign countries, exclusive of the vessels that ply be-
tween Golden Gate and the Canadian ports. Supplies are sent out of
San Francisco regularly to such distant points as Australia, Oceanica,
China, Japan, Phillipine Islands, Hawaii, Borneo, South America, Pan-
ama and Alaska. The natural ocean outlet, provided by San Francisco
Bay, has built up the shipping trade to such a point that the city has be


come a great railway terminal for transcontinental freight, in both ex-
ports and imports.

For years San Francisco suffered from lack of manufacturing indus-
tries, due in great measure to the fact that it could not provide a moderate
priced fuel. In recent years fuel oil has been discovered in great quan-
tities, and this is already solving the manufacturing problem. More than
half the steam locomotives in the state are so constructed as to use this oil
for fuel, while many of the ocean steamers are using it successfully. An-
other step in securing cheap power has been taken in harnessing the
mountain streams, and using their force to generate electricity. .Already
the most important of these mountain waterways are under control.
Instead of gold, which in the early days was the ruler of the destiny of the
city and state, commerce is king today and the populace is bowing to this
regal authority.

Although the population is given as 400,000, the city has an enormous
floating population which it is difficult to estimate, and which makes it
possible to presume that there are 500,000 souls within the city most
any day. Most of the visitors, and for that matter, a great proportion
of the inhabitants, live on the European plan. They engage a room in a
hotel or boarding house, and eat whenever and wherever their fancy dic-
tates. It is a city of restaurants, which are as various in price as they are
in class and nationality. Within 15 minutes walk through the heart of
the city one may encounter American, French, Italian, Mexican, Spanish,
Chinese, Hungarian, English and German eating houses, and while they
vary in quality and price, the field is so thoroughly covered and competi-
tion so keen, that go where one will, the diner can secure "value received"
in the restaurants of San Francisco.

The city is blessed with surroundings that afford visions of both
mountain and sea and has become the center of a chain of suburbs, some
of which in themselves have already the appearance of cities. With
its beautiful natural harbor and ideal location at the gateway into the Far
East, which at this time offers so much promise, and from its position
as the outlet not only of the commerce of the nation, but also of a highly
important agricultural and fruit-growing district, San Francisco today
stands on the threshold that looks into greater possibilities and gives
more encouragement for future prosperity than many other cities, of rela-
tive size, in the land.

Satisfying our appetites, which were encouraged by the car rides
and sojourns of the afternoon, our "happy family" of pilgrims became
a portion of the inspiring promenade upon the gorgeously illuminated
thoroughfares, in search of some of the pleasures and festivities which
the evening so liberally offered.

A notable and brilliant reception of the evening was given by Pitts-


burgh Commandery No. I, in the Marble Hall and Palm Gardens of the
Palace Hotel. So popular had Pennsylvania become at the Conclave,
that from 8 o'clock to n o'clock, the hours set in which to receive, a
constant stream of Sir Knights and their ladies, from all sections of the
country, took the opportunity to pay their respects to the "Smoky City"
delegation, and carried with them souvenir plates as a lasting remem-
brance of Pennsylvania hospitality.

Other noteworthy receptions of the evening were those conducted by
the Ladies of the Conclave in the Palace Hotel ; California Command-
ery Night, with an exhibition drill and grand ball in Mechanics' Pavi-
lion ; reception by Oroville Commandery No. 5 in Mechanics' Pavilion;
reception by Nevada Commandery No. 6 in Mechanics' Pavilion; recep-
tion by Marysville Commandery No. 7 in Mechanics' Pavilion ; recep-
tion and ball by Stockton Commandery No. 8 in Lyric Hall ; reception
by Oakland Commandery No. 1 1 in Native Sons' Hall ; reception by
Golden Gate Commandery No. 16 in Golden Gate Hall ; reception by
Naval Commandery No. 19 in Lyric Hall; reception by Fresno Com-
mandery No. 29 in Pythian Castle ; and an elaborate reception in the
Maple Room of the Palace Hotel, conducted by the Grand Command-
ery of Ohio, in honor of the Most Eminent Grand Master of the United
States, and representatives of Great Britain and the British depend-
encies and to the members of the Grand Encampment of the United

In fact the hospitality was so general and generous, and the recep-
tions so numerous, that Sir Kreps, who is an authority on business law,
declared that the bankruptcy laws of California must be most liberal in
permitting the appointment of so many "receivers" in one day.

Probably the stellar attraction of the night was the exquisite offi-
cial banquet of the Conclave, in honor of the Grand Encampment of the
United States held in the spacious dining rooms of St. Francis Hotel.
Earl Euston and his party were among the special guests. Four hundred
Sir Knights were in attendance.

In point of floral decoration, illumination, and detail of menu, the
banquet was admitted to have been one of the finest ever held in the
"Golden Gate City." With Sir Reuben H. Lloyd as toastmaster and a
staff of eloquent speakers, the affair terminated in a sparkling array of
pithy comment, appropriate anecdotes, sterling examples of oratory, and
bright, crisp wit and lofty humor.

Earl Euston, when called upon, graciously responded, and declared
that he and the members of his party did not have words to express their
appreciation for the kindness, hospitality and brotherly love shown
them since their arrival in New York.

"I live for peace and I want to try and draw the people of our dif-
ferent lands closer together," continued his lordship. "This greeting


will always be a green, refreshing memory. England, Wales, Ireland
and Scotland are not far away from San Francisco. Come over the her-
ring pond and let us reciprocate for all this kindness. All we ask you to
do is to pull the latchstring.

"May your present President be your future one, and help cement the
bond of friendship between our two great nations."

Grand Master Stoddard alluded to the flag that is buried. He meant
the Confederate emblem for which he had fought, and with vehement
gesture and pointing to the Stars and Stripes he said :

"This is our only emblem, and our life's blood from one end of the
land to the other is pledged for its integrity."

His auditors rose with him to the occasion, and there was a tumultu-
ous demonstration.

"May peace be our heritage," continued the speaker, "and let us live
up to the ideals of Knight Templarism, the fatherhood of God and the
brotherhood of man."

The other distinguished speakers were C. E. Matier and A. Woodi-
wiss of Lord Euston's party, V. E. Sir H. W. Rugg, V. E. Sir W. B.
Melish; General J. C. Smith of Chicago, and Senator Perkins of Cali-

While hospitality was the order of the Conclave on all sides and
from every source, a pleasing example of good will and kind treatment
to brother man was exemplified by the Press Club of San Francisco, which
inaugurated a most liberal "open door policy" to the Sir Knights and
visiting newspapermen.

Early in the day, in response to repeated invitations, a number of
the Allegheny pilgrims visited the handsome and exquisitely comfortable
quarters of the association of newspaper writers. To say that the treat-
ment afforded was most hospitable expresses it mildly, and when the pil-
grims were compelled to leave, owing to the many pressing engagements,
which they were in duty bound to respect, the leave-taking was only made
possible upon promise to return later in the evening, and share in the
enjoyment of a banquet and vaudeville performance which the club
provided upon its own stage and in its own auditorium, in which pro-
fessional talent was to appear.

Sir. C. H. Wilson, chairman of the Press Committee of the Cub,
greeted us warmly and offered the comfortable and handsomely furnished
rooms to our disposal. While his hospitality was unlimited, it must be
said in the fullest justice, that every member of the organization whom
it was our good fortune to meet, exhibited equal kindness to our pilgrims.

The members of our party were deeply impressed with the cordiality
of the San Francisco newspapermen; while we found the newspapers
themselves as modernly equipped and well conducted as any that exists


in other metropolitan cities. They print the news, all of it, and they
were well and cleanly edited.

It was not until midnight had faded into the early hours of morn
that the pilgrims had another opportunity to even recall the previous en-
gagement, and in respect to the kindness of the Press Club members,
sought their headquarters, if for no other reason, than to offer a fitting

Even at that late hour the welcome was most gracious. The per-
formance had long been concluded and to the startling surprise of the
visiting pilgrims, the hosts insisted upon receiving our delegates in the
auditorium and giving another performance for our special benefit. As
the majority of the professional talent had long since left the building,
their positions on the program were taken by members of the club them-
selves, who offered an entertainment that can in truth be said to have
equalled that of any professional performance. The talent of the per-
formers was remarkable, and after enjoying further hospitality in the
form of a liberal luncheon, the Allegheny pilgrims departed with the
kindliest remembrances of most generous hosts.


HE morning found no abatement of the oppressive heat which
had prevailed for the past few days. Californians were strictly
on the defensive in sustaining their integrity, having previously
and repeatedly informed us that their climate knew no intense
heat nor severe cold.

Californians, in offering evidence to sustain their claims, produced
the weather records for the past 10 years, and it must be said in respect
to our hosts, that the register failed to show a time in those years when
the thermometer had reached such ambitious heights.

The program for the day was as diversified and offered equal interest
to those of the previous days. In the morning a session of the Grand En-
campment was held in Golden Gate Hall and excursions were provided
on the bay and to the Cliff House, Park, Sutro Heights, Ocean
Beach. Another session of the Grand Encampment in Golden Gate Hall
was scheduled for the afternoon, as well as reception and entertainment
by Ladies' Committee at the Palace Hotel; Ladies' reception under
auspices of California Commandery No. i in Mechanics' Pavilion; re-
ception by Oakland Commandery No. n in Native Sons' Hall; reception


by Golden Gate Commandery No. 16 in the Mark Hopkins' Institute of
Art ; excursion to the University of California, Berkeley, and reception by
the officers of the University to visiting Sir Knights and ladies; concert
by California Glee Club and university orchestra in Greek Theatre, which
seats 8,000 persons. In the evening the Chinese play at the Grand Opera
House was to be repeated, as was the reception and entertainment at
the Press Club; promenade concert in the Nave of the Ferry Building;
reception by Ladies' Committee in Palace Hotel ; reception by Cali-
fornia Commandery No. i in Mechanics' Pavilion ; reception by
Ladies of Oakland Commandery No. n in Nave of Ferry Building;
reception by Golden Gate Commandery No. 16 in Mark Hopkins'
Institute of Art and open-air concert in Union Square.

A day filled to overflowing with engagements stood before us. En-

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 22 of 38)