ABOUT EL ZAGAL SHRINE
The Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S) was the creation of Dr. Walter M. Fleming and William Florence in 1870. Composed of members from the Knights Templar’s and 32nd degree Scottish Rite Masons, this new order was based on a background of Oriental glamour, pageantry, and mystic splendor. Today Shriners International (the new name of the fraternity, reflecting its global presence and impact) membership exceeds over 300,000 Nobles in almost 200 Temples worldwide.
El Zagal, located at 1429 North 3rd Street, Fargo, North Dakota, was founded December 14, 1890 and received its charter on June 23, 1890. El Zagal ranks as the 51st Shrine Temple according to the date of the charter. El Zagal has the distinction of having members, Frank Treat(1911-1912) and Alfred G. Arvold(1944, serve as Imperial Potentate. The Temple offices and most early Ceremonials were held in the downtown Fargo Masonic Temple. On October 18, 1920, the El Zagal Holding Company purchased 40 acres of land, with later additions, known as El Zagal Park. This land was east of Broadway, between 14th and 15th Avenues North and extended to the Red River. In 1940, the El Zagal golf course was developed and approximately 30 acres near the river became a crescent shaped natural arena. Eight Doric pillars from an old post office were acquired and dedicated on the grounds near the present day clubhouse in May 1930. The same year an old fashioned residence at 1401 Broadway was acquired as a clubhouse and the house warming took place December 14, 1930. Obelisks patterned after Cleopatra’s needle in Washington D.C. were erected at the east part of the property. Alfred Arvold held his famous “covered wagon” Ceremonial in the crescent at the time of the dedication of the pillars. The Broadway Clubhouse was destroyed in the tornado of June 20, 1957. The present clubhouse was built shortly thereafter and the offices were moved from the Masonic Temple. The downtown Masonic Temple was razed in 1969 and property was offered for the building of a new Masonic Temple and a Grand Lodge office building near the present Shrine Clubhouse.
At the present time El Zagal has 23 Shrine Units:
Arab Patrol, Big Band, Chanters, Detroit Lakes Color Guard, Directors Staff, Dusters, Escort Motor Patrol, Valley City Flag Corps, Frontiersmen, Jamestown Clowns, Mandan Indians, Mobil Nobles, Mystics, Oilers, Oriental Band, Plainsmen, Provost Guard, Rangers, Ritualistic Divan, Saidin, Spinners, Vikings, and Wheelers.
El Zagal also has 15 shrine clubs:
Detroit Lakes Shrine Club, Heart of the Valley Shrine Club, James Valley Shrine Club, Mid-State Shrine Club, Missouri Slope Shrine Club, Sheyenne Valley Shrine Club, Badlands Shrine Club, Knife River Shrine Club, Oakes Shrine Club, Circus Management Club, Hospital Dads Shrine Club, the Techies Club, EZ Outdoors Club, EZ Wheels Club and YOSHI(Young Shriner) Club.