About

MISSION STATEMENT

The purposes for which this Corporation is formed are to promote civic interest and moral and intellectual improvement of the members of the Corporation and others and to engage in charitable pursuits.

HISTORY

The San Diego Woman’s Club has had a long and prominent history in San Diego.

Mrs. John Berry (Mary)

Mrs. John Berry (Mary), wife of the editor of the San Diego Union

1892 Recognizing a need to address public concerns in San Diego, Mrs. John Berry (Mary), wife of the editor of the San Diego Union, invites six friends to a luncheon. Those seven ladies found The San Diego Club, combining their mission for community philanthropy and “endeavors for civic betterment” as well as the timeless issues which continue to connect to the hearts of women today: Home, Education, Literature and the Arts.

1895 Founding Member Mrs.Flora Kimball holds a luncheon honoring Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The following year, in 1896, The San Diego Club joins the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

San Diego Woman's Club 1906 Clubhouse

The San Diego Woman’s Clubhouse in 1906

1906 The San Diego Club builds the first Clubhouse in California to be owned by a women’s club located at 949 9th Street. The clearing and planting was assisted by Kate Sessions.  Rentals of the building start at $3.50!

1915 The ladies of the San Diego Club are an integral part of the success of Balboa Park’s Panama-California Exposition celebrating San Diego as the first US Port of Call as ships traveled north from the newly-opened Panama Canal. Among many contributions to the Exposition, members plant thousands of California Poppies (the State and Club flower) along railroad tracks to greet arriving visitors.

1925 By unanimous vote, The San Diego Club becomes The San Diego Woman’s Club. Among many causes the women take on, they petition Congress for additional assistance on behalf of local Indians. The members support the Red Cross, an organization the members continued to support with donations and volunteers for the decades to come.

1930’s Fundraising bridge parties are established for San Diego’s needy. Many projects are undertaken to donate to those serving in the Navy which continue to this day. Many members volunteer in various positions (such as hostesses and entertainment) for the 1935 California-Pacific International Exposition held in Balboa Park.

Vintage 3rd & Maple - San Diego Woman's Club

Vintage 3rd & Maple

1940 The Colonial-style clubhouse (which stands today serving as the current location of The San Diego Woman’s Club) on the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Maple Street is dedicated on land donated by Miss Dorothy Mills. With a permanent home established, much of the decade turns into an impressive record of service supporting war efforts in a Navy city.

1950’s The annual tradition of decorating the hall for Christmas celebrations begins. A hall at the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers is built by members’ husbands and maintained with fundraising fashion shows.

1965 Club President Mary Eleanor Jones’ vision of a scenic drive as part of a Community Improvement Program becomes a reality with the support of the Mayor, the City Council, Chamber of Commerce Convention and Tourist Bureau, The Automobile Club of Southern California, and the California State Highway Department. The 59 mile drive remains as a published route to this day and is arguably the finest contribution the Club members accomplished for San Diego’s “civic betterment.”

1970’s Ongoing Fashion Shows and Rummage Sales begin as ongoing fundraising to support organizations such as a variety of Hospital programs (including the Naval Hospital, Convalescent Hospitals, and the Burn Institute and the San Diego Public Library.

1980’s The San Diego Woman’s Club donates to the San Diego Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation founded by the Club’s Junior President, Jamie C. Tucker, daughter of mid-century movie megastar Jeff Chandler. The Club’s ninety-four years alcohol ban came to an end in 1986. In the last year of the decade, an incredibly admirable 1,000 in community volunteer hours are recorded.

1992 The San Diego Woman’s Club celebrates the 100 Year Anniversary with a resolution expressed by Harriette Sargent Marshall: “To continue to maintain Club…as a vital component in the lives of our members and our community.”

Horton Plaza Bell

Horton Plaza Bell

2000’s In the first decade of the millennium, Women’s Clubs throughout California joined forces to save a piece of California History by erecting Mission Bells along the famous El Camino Real route, linking Father Junipero Serra’s missions from San Diego to Sonoma. The San Diego Woman’s Club contribution not only led to a Mission Bell installation in downtown San Diego’s Horton Plaza but their efforts, along with the other California Federation of Women’s Clubs contributed to the success of the project throughout the State of California.