Spokane History Timeline

El Katif Temple – Shrine Social Club - 1890

masonic meeting

On June 10, 1890, Noble Sam Briggs and eight other men put their heads together to open a temple of the mystic shrine at Spokane Falls, Washington. The name adopted was an ancient city of Arabia, El Katif, a seaport on the Persian Gulf of the Red Sea. At three o’clock on the afternoon of July 31, 1890, the first session was held in the new Curtis building, at the corner of Sprague Avenue and Post Street.

Representatives of Algeria Temple, Helena, occupied the chairs, headed by Illustrious Potentate Baldwin. After a preliminary address by Baldwin, he introduced Illustrious Potentate George W. Miller of Mecca Temple, New York City, who thereupon instituted El Katif temple. Following the afternoon session, 43 novices were initiated into the temple. At the session of the Imperial Council held on June 9, 1891, a charter was granted and El Katif became the fifty-third temple owning allegiance to the Imperial Council of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. El Katif has enjoyed a steady growth of the membership of some of the finest citizens of the Spokane area. The group has enjoyed tremendous activities and now has in excess of 3700 members. In order to become a shiner a man must first be a mason. The fraternity of freemasonry is the oldest largest and most widely know fraternity in the world. It dates back hundreds of years to when stone masons and other craftsmen on building project gathered in shelter houses or lodges.

Shrine Parade



El Katif temple isn’t just a building, its a giant group of different clubs, like Columbia Basin shrine club, the Arab patrol, Harlequin pranksters, El Katif chanters, ‘hi ball’ railroad, Moonshines Palomino Patrol, Provost Guard Mobile Unit, and the Banditos. For the past 38 years its principal focus is the support of the Shrine Hospital System.



Shrine Hospital


Spokane’s El Katif shrine isn’t just known for its social clubs, but over the years the Shrine is best known for its colorful parades, its distinctive red fez, and its official philanthropy- Shiners Hospital for Children.



Photos used with permission from Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/ Eastern Washington State Historical Society.
L87-1.78895.54 = Lodge
L2003-14.251 - Shrine Parade
L87-1.785-61 - Shriner's Hospital

copyright (c) 2007, Discovery School.
All rights reserved.
Report created May, 2007.
Webpage created: August 21, 2007; revised 10/4/2009
Last Modified on July 31, 2011