This wonderful photograph from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library's collection shows the candidates for the Scottish Rite's 32nd degree in Rochester, NY, in 1893. With only 16 candidates, the 1893 Rochester Consistory class was typical of its time. The total membership of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ) that year was just over 20,000, with nearly 4,000 members in the state of New York. With the addition of these 16 candidates, membership in the Rochester Consistory rose to 695 members. Fifty years later, Rochester Consistory was comprised of 2,241 members. Membership in the entire jurisdiction increased ten-fold between 1893 and 1943, with the entire NMJ membership at just under 220,000 members in 1943. Membership in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction peaked in 1976, with 513,355 members.
32° Scottish Rite Class, Rochester Consistory, 1893. Cornell & Saunders, photographers, Rochester, New York. Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, Gift of the Valley of Rochester, A2003/18/25. Photograph by David Bohl.