The altar was a gift to Whittier Lodge by one of its members. Victor H. York. It was formally presented to the Lodge on Stated Meeting night of June 3rd, 1937, after word had been passed among the membership that a surprise event would take place at that time.
Wilbur J. Hale. Worshipful Master of Whittier Lodge during 1936, presented the altar to the Lodge on behalf of Bro. York, it is having been during Bro. Hale's year that the donor conceived the idea of the altar, and Bro. Hale assisted him in working out the details.
Its construction was accomplished by means of employing the use of different varieties of wood procured from all parts of the world. Many hundreds of pieces of these woods, being of various colors, were inlaid in such a skillful manner as to produce numerous Masonic emblems familiar to the Craft. In viewing this magnificent piece of artistry, one marvels all the more when the fact is revealed that 1818 separate pieces of wood and 512 screws were required in its construction.
The varieties of wood and the countries from which they were procured are as follows: Arizona Desert Ironwood, Arizona: Birds eye White Pine, California: Brazilian Rosewood. Brazil: Coco Bola. South Mexico and Central America: Ebony, Africa: English Grey Harewood, England; India Rosewood, East Indies: Chaw, New Zealand: Spanish Cedar, Old Mexico; Sumac Roots, California: Pernambuco, Brazil: Purple Heart, Brazil: Snakewood, Dutch Guiana: Tulipwood, Brazil: Violet wood, Brazil: Vermilion, East In dies; White Holly, U. S. A.; Tabasco Mahogany, Mexico, and American Black Walnut. U. S. A.
The altar stands 2 feet eight inches high. 3 feet 8 inches long. and 2 feet 4 inches wide. It is truly a work of craftmanship, beauty and inspiration, and it is with a great deal of pride that Whittier Lodge displays and uses it at all its convened meetings.
In 1987 the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the altar was commemorated with the placing of a time capsule inside the altar to be opened in June of 2037.