Preserving and sharing our Masonic heritage

Conclave City


Conclave City:

Knights Templar Triennials in San Francisco, 1883 and 1904

Drawing on the Henry W. Coil Library and Museum’s extensive collection of Knights Templar costumes, regalia, photographs, objects, memorabilia, and ephemera, Conclave City: Knights Templar Triennials of San Francisco explores grand civic celebrations that took place in the City in 1883 and 1904. 

Founded in 1816 with 500 members, the United States Grand Encampment of Knights Templar grew steadily, reaching its height in the late 1920s with over 450,000 members. Throughout this period of growth, the Order held large public celebrations every three years in
different American cities, called Triennial Conclaves. These were grand public affairs, bringing thousands of Sir Knights from across the country to socialize and celebrate with parades, parties, banquets, military drill
demonstrations and equestrian competitions. San Francisco was one of the few cities to host multiple Triennials. 

This exhibition showcases historical Knights Templar uniforms, regalia and swords from members of California Commanderies, vintage photographs and prints of the celebrations, and ribbons, medals, jewels, and other souvenirs produced for the 1883 and 1904 celebrations. 


The "White" Uniform

The "Black" Uniform

The "White" Uniform

Gloves and Gauntlets