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La Mesa Woman's Club Records
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This collection contains important information of the foundation and operation of the La Mesa Woman’s Club (LMWC) covering the years of 1902-2013.
The La Mesa Woman’s Club (LMWC) began on May 17,1902 in the home of Mary Ferguson. Their purpose was to promote “sociability, mutual sympathy, and a unified effort towards the up lifting of themselves and those around them.” This was a part of the overall Woman’s Club movement happening in America in the late 19th century which was a social movement that gave many women a platform from which they could change public policy and contribute to society outside of the home. During the second world war, the women of the club raised money to purchase an ambulance, rolled fabric bandages, and baked thousands of cookies to support local USO service men and women. Locally, the LMWC has supported their community through different programs including opening a social welfare thrift shop and establishing the first La Mesa library. They support La Mesa students by donating classroom supplies and books and have scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors. Members were able to make political impacts through the club as well by participating in campaigns related to city planning On a wider scale, the LMWC joined the San Diego County Federation in 1905 and then the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs on March 29, 1906. Joining these lager federations allowed the women of the club to have a more united voice that can make a greater impact locally and beyond. In 1911, the club purchased land on the corner of Third Street and Lemon Avenue in La Mesa to build a clubhouse which officially opened its doors in 1913. After outgrowing the first clubhouse, plans were made for a new location and was built in 1959 on the corner of Grossmont Boulevard and Wilson Street. This second clubhouse was designed by Herluf Jensen Brydegaard, a prominent architect in the San Diego area in the mid 20th century. Maintenance of this clubhouse was possible by using it as a rental space in addition to club functions. Over the years, there have been different divisions created of the LMWC including an Evening and Juniors Divisions and the club remains the oldest social service organization in the city of La Mesa. The LMWC records were transferred in 2019 to the La Mesa History Center as a gift.
50 boxes, 2 map tubes (approximately 57.06 linear feet)
Collection is open for research.