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George Washington Laying the Cornerstone of the National Capitol

The cornerstone ceremony is an ancient tradition popular in the United States since the colonial days. In fact, the United States Capitol's first cornerstone was laid on September 18, 1793, by President Washington in a Masonic ceremony.

The Freemasons, whose origins are the medieval stonemasons, continue this tradition as a public service today. 

The cornerstone laying ceremony symbolically uses the tools of the operative Mason to bring a special message of faith in the craftsmanship of a new building. This tradition is a wonderful way to begin the life of a new building.

Several "figurative" Masonic cornerstones exist within the Sonoma Valley (See photos below):


Schell-Vista Fire Station
Schell-Vista Fire Station Masonic Cornerstone
Dedicated on August 13, 2004
(Located at 22950 Broadway, Sonoma, California)

Sonome Index-Tribune
Tuesday, August 24, 2005

Masons celebrate symbolic cornerstone

A figurative "cornerstone" for the Schell-Vista Fire Station was dedicated by the Masons of California in a public ceremony on August 13, 2004.

Although very few cornerstones are actually laid today, the ceremony still represents the Mason's commitment to public institutions.

For nearly 300 years, Masons have joined with communities throughout America to lay cornerstones and celebrate the construction of new public buildings that are dedicated to the principles that Masons value.

The Masons' cornerstone ceremony has evolved since the first recorded event in 1738, yet the symbolism remains much the same.

In one of the more famous ceremonies, President George Washington, who was a Mason, laid the cornerstone for the U.S. Capitol in 1793. It was later said to be the cornerstone of democracy for the world.

Figurative Masonic Cornerstone at Schell-Vista Fire Station (Click Image to Enlarge)


Adele Harrison Middle School
Adele Harrison
Middle School
Masonic Cornerstone

Dedicated on February 27, 2002
(Located at 1150 Broadway, Sonoma, California 95476)

Figurative Masonic Cornerstone at Adele Harrison Middle School (Click Image to Enlarge)