Scottish Rite will host open house The Yankton Masonic Scottish Rite is hosting an open house to celebrate the centennial of its historic building at 4th and Cedar on March 22 and 23. Building tours, informative displays, demonstrations of the theater scenery, an organ concert, and presentations by the USD Scottish Rite Clinics for Children with Speech and Language Disorders, the designated national charity of Scottish Rite, will be provided each day.
The Yankton Masonic Center's first use was for a Scottish Rite reunion in a weeklong festival from March 16-20, 1903. The 72 members of the first class were treated by visits by local, state and national dignitaries. Area newspapers had extensive stories covering the events surrounding the completion of the most impressive structure. Copies of some of those articles as well as other artifacts will be on display during the centennial celebration.
The Yankton Scottish Rite has initiated several thousand members into the fraternity in its semiannual reunions over the last century, and has a current membership of just over 1,000. The reunions, consisting of the equivalent of up to 29 one-act plays performed in the building's theater, confer the fourth through 32nd degrees of the Masonic candidates.
Among the many notable features of the Masonic Center are dedicated meeting rooms for Masonic Lodges and Order of the Eastern Star, a handicapped accessible banquet hall with full kitchen, a library, and a well-equipped theater featuring in excess of 50 historically significant hand-painted scenes and multilevel seating.
A two-manual Aeolian player pipe organ in the theater, one of only three such instruments known to remain in the world, can be played on the console or by use of the many rolls of music on paper rolls. Player organ concerts will be given both days.
Hours for Saturday, March 22 will be 1 to 5 p.m., with an ice cream social from 1:30 to 3 p.m., followed by the organ demonstration and a presentation by Jane Clem, director of the Sioux Falls USD Scottish Rite Clinic.
She will describe the challenges of diagnosing and treating communications disorders and dyslexia, and provide information on how to identify victims and refer them to the clinics for diagnosis and treatment.
Sunday, March 23 open house hours will be from 12 to 5 p.m., starting with an informal luncheon from 12 to 1:30 p.m., followed by a presentation of The Traitor, a play which portrays an imaginary Masonic trial of Benedict Arnold, and a concert by Yankton Scottish Rite's Double Eagle Chorus.
Dr. Dean Lockwood, dean of the USD department of speech and hearing, will speak on behalf of the clinics and discuss the ways that the Scottish Rite partners with USD in providing scholarships for graduate students who will treat children with communications disorders in the clinics.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend and and all functions. Gross proceeds from donations for the Saturday ice cream social and Sunday luncheon will be forwarded to the S.D. Scottish Rite Foundation to benefit the children's clinics.