A Rich Masonic History
Fellowship, Tradition, Heritage
Paradise Park Masonic Club in Santa Cruz, CA was founded in 1924 when the land was purchased by some Masons looking for a place to cool down during the hot summer months of Fresno.
Today, not only do we have a wonderful heritage rich in history, historical sites, and family traditions, but we also have a prevailing fraternal spirit based on Masonic values.
About the Area
Our renowned club is located about 2 miles from downtown Santa Cruz, along the San Lorenzo River. This area was once dotted with sawmills in the early 1800s, followed by the short-lived San Lorenzo Paper Mill from 1860 to 1872, when it was sold to the California Powder Works (CPW). The California Powder Works was incorporated in San Francisco on December 29, 1860. In 1863, it purchased the land which is now Paradise Park and commenced making gunpowder in May of 1864. The California Powder Works did not invent smokeless powder but was the first to manufacture it on the West Coast. Explosions were frequent, with the worst explosion occurring on April 26, 1898. The company ceased operating at this location in 1914.
In 1924, the land was purchased by a group of Masons. They envisioned a place for campsites and family recreation. Today, the 138 acres of land are jointly owned by 391 members belonging to the Freemasons or the Order of The Eastern Star. On a walk around Paradise Park, besides the numerous places to live, you can find historical structures and markers, a covered bridge that dates back to 1872, picnic grounds, and a social hall for all of our many activities and various recreational facilities. Despite all of this, it is the fellowship of our Masonic members that makes our club a paradise.