Erick Jensen Albertson

On this day in Mendocino history…

Interior of the east end of the lodge room in the Masonic Hall in Mendocino, 1960. The Master of the lodge sits in the front center. The Secretary’s desk is on the right, and the altar stands in the center. This photograph was taken by the National Park Service for the Historic American Building Survey. (Jack E. Boucher (Photographer), Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

August 20, 1872 – Erick Jensen Albertson died. Born on the island of Aero, Denmark in the late 1830s, he immigrated to the United States as a young man, becoming a naturalized citizen on March 30, 1861 in San Francisco.

In 1865, Albertson and ten other Masons formed the Mendocino Masonic Lodge and began planning their own building. Between 1866 and 1872, Albertson was the chief designer and builder of the Masonic Hall on the northwest corner of Ukiah and Lansing streets. Time and the Maiden, the unique 10-foot tall statue which adorns the top of the hall’s cupola, was carved by Albertson from a single block of local redwood. The sculpture’s exact symbolic meaning is shrouded in Masonic secrecy, but a common interpretation is, “Time, Patience, and Perseverance will accomplish all things.”

Albertson was also responsible for the ornamentation inside the hall, including the curved barrel vault ceiling, and he “carved fluted columns, arches, ceiling decorations and other artistic renderings inside the building, all symbolic of the Masonic order.”

He served as the first Master of the Mendocino Masonic Lodge. Albertson died shortly after he completed Time and the Maiden and is buried in a place of honor in Evergreen Cemetery, due east of the Masonic Hall.

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