El Korah Shrine received its dispensation July 24, 1891, and was chartered June 14, 1898 in Boise, Idaho. The name of El Korah comes from the name of the largest river in Persia (now Iran). The name was probably influenced by the fact that the Boise River runs through the city of Boise. The membership of El Korah grew from 30 in the beginning to approximately 2,800 in the late 70’s. Due to many factors along the way, membership now stands at approximately 900. El Korah hopes to increase membership in the next several years to over 1,000.
El Korah is the fifth oldest in the Pacific Northwest. Our charter ranks 76 among 192 Charters. The first meetings were held at the Natatorium on Warm Springs Boulevard in Boise, and in a building that housed a skating rink on Tenth Street. One of the very first ceremonials was conducted on the ground floor of the First National Bank Building in 1903 when the building was completed. El Korah is a member of the Pacific Northwest Shrine Association and is an active participant in its annual activities.
The Shrine Center was constructed in 1914 on the current site which housed a burned-out livery stable. In 1928 it was enlarged to the present size. The facilities include a lounge, kitchen and dining areas (Oasis), a ballroom where stated meetings, ceremonials and other special activities are held. It also includes meeting rooms, offices, a card room, a sitting and reading room, and an award winning lady’s bathroom (where a movie was filmed). The building also features an elevator! El Korah Shrine Center is in constant use by many units, clubs and other local organizations. We are very proud of our building and continue our relationship with our local Masonic and affiliated organizations through their use of our building as well.
El Korah’s jurisdiction includes all of Idaho, South of the 45th parallel of latitude; roughly the line formed by the Salmon River that crosses the approximate central part our great state. It is comprised of fifteen units and fifteen clubs. The oldest unit is the Black Light Patrol that was charted in 1909. They are one of the most active units in El Korah with their drill performances at our ceremonials, as well as carrying the colors in parades and circus’s.
The Clubs of El Korah have increased in size as more and more Nobles develop a common interest. One of the clubs is the Gold Rush Shrine Club, They have four meetings a year which are held in Idaho City, a short drive from Boise. Idaho City is known to be one of the largest producers of Gold in the Nation in the early years of the “Gold Rush”. The Gold Rush Shrine club has many members at large, one being former President Gerald Ford.