History of Scottish Rite in Savannah
There is evidence to indicate that Scottish Rite Masonry came to Savannah in 1790, and it is known that Barend M. Spitzer was appointed Deputy Inspector General for Georgia in 1781. During the late 1799's, the organizational structure of Masonry was, to say the least, not fully developed. there is evidence that any recognized Masonic authority could issue a warrant, which could be used as authority for th conferral of any degrees not governed by an established body.
The Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree for the United States of American was opened May 31, 1801 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is considered the date the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was established in America. Alpha Lodge of Perfection was chartered in Savannah on December 4, 1802. This was the first lodge chartered after the establishment of the Supreme Council. The efforts of the Supreme Council to govern the Scottish Rite was for all practical purposes brought to an end by the Civil War. Although little evidence exists, there is enough to indicate that there was quite a bit of Masonic activity in Savannah and Georgia up to and during the Civil War.
In 1882, General Albert Pike, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, assisted by Dr. Richard Joseph Nunn, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Georgia, communicated to a select group of Masons in Savannah the Scottish Rite degrees. Under the able, active and conscientous direction of Dr. Nunn, the Rite grew rapidly, not only in Savsannah, but throughout the state. For many years, the only Consistory in Georgia was Benzabee, No. 1, in Savannah. And the Masons who received the higher Scottish Rite degrees received them in Savannah. Therefore it may be said that the Light and Trusth of Scottish Rite Masonry was kindled in Savannah and the light from it illuminated Georgia. The modern lodged of the Valley of Savannah were chartered as follows:
ALPHA LODGE OF PERFECTION, No. 1, October 17, 1888
TEMPLE CHAPTER OF ROSE CROIX, No. 1, October 18, 1888
GETHSEMANE COUNCIL KNIGHTS KADOSH, No. 1, October 23, 1890
BENZABEE CONSISTORY, No. 1, April 23, 1888.
The name of the Consistory was changed to Richard Joseph Nunn Consistory, No. 1 after the death of Dr. Nunn in 1910. The names Alpha, Temple, Gethsemane and Richard Joseph Nunn were changed in 1964 to Savannah.
the traditions of Masonry run deep in Savannah, and the Scottish Rite Masons are proud of their heritage left by devoted men who were active in the total Masonic community in Savannah and the State of Georgia. in 2002, the Scottish Rite Masons of Savannah were joined by all Masons in the sate in celebration of 200 years of Scottish Rite Masonry in Savannah and Georgia.