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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Provenance
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Kathleen Goddard Jones Correspondence,
    Date (inclusive): 1918-2002
    Date (bulk): 1926-1932
    Collection number: MS 173
    Creator: Goddard Jones, Kathleen, 1907-2001
    Extent: 6 Hollinger Boxes (2.79 Linear Feet)

    Repository: Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library
    California Polytechnic State University
    San Luis Obispo, California 93407
    Abstract: Papers of environmental activist Kathleen Goddard Jones, including correspondence, photographs, a manuscript, and newspaper clippings, primarily relating to her years as a student and in her first marriage.


    Gift, 2010.

    Restrictions on Access

    Collection is open to qualified researchers by appointment only. For more information on access policies and to obtain a copy of the Researcher Registration form, please visit the Special Collections Access page.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    In order to reproduce, publish, broadcast, exhibit, and/or quote from this material, researchers must submit a written request and obtain formal permission from Special Collections, Cal Poly, as the owner of the physical collection.
    Photocopying of material is permitted at staff discretion and provided on a fee basis. Photocopies are not to be used for any purpose other than for private study, scholarship, or research. Special Collections staff reserves the right to limit photocopying and deny access or reproduction in cases when, in the opinion of staff, the original materials would be harmed.

    Preferred Citation

    Kathleen Goddard Jones Correspondence, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
    Abbreviations Used:
    c: circa
    n.d.: no date
    n.p.: no publisher
    l.f.:linear feet
    YMCA: Young Men's Christian Association

    Biographical Note

    Kathleen Goddard was born to Willis and Nellie Goddard on July 2, 1907. Shortly after her birth the family moved from Sacramento to Santa Barbara, where her father served as secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association. Her love of nature began on hikes with her family into the surrounding countryside and grew with her participation in Campfire Girls. "At the age of twelve I began to really hike," she recalled, "to go to the higher peaks and to learn to sleep outdoors and to cook outdoors, and to find that this was something that was important to me...and has continued to be one of the most important facets of my whole life: a kinship with the earth, a spiritual refreshment from moving easily along trails and over the contours of the earth."
    During the summer of 1926, after a year spent attending Santa Barbara State Teacher's College, Goddard Jones traveled to Europe. Upon her return, she enrolled as an English major at Mills College in Oakland. While at Mills Goddard Jones became friends with Cedric Wright, a music professor at Mills, who introduced her to Ansel Adams and the Sierra Club.
    Goddard Jones left Mills at the end of her junior year to marry Ali Shirazi Parvaz. Between 1929 and 1932 they lived in Washington, D.C. and New York City, working with the Persian Legislation to fund and execute the first "America-Persia Goodwill Flight." Although the flight was eventually abandoned after a failed landing and limited funding, eventually the couple would travel to India, Burma, and Iran, where they lived for several years.
    Upon return to the United States, Goddard Jones worked in radio at NBC for several years before divorcing Shirazi and returning to California. In 1945 she married Duncan P. Jackson and they adopted several children.
    In 1949 Goddard Jones joined the Sierra Club, primarily so she could go on their annual trip to the High Sierra with her old mentor, Cedric Wright. It was on this two-week hike that many important relationships were formed with national leaders of the Sierra Club, including David Brower. Goddard helped found the Santa Barbara group of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, which became the Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club in February 1952. She served as chair for several years, and in 1956 became a delegate to the national Sierra Club Council, which she eventually chaired from 1956-1957.
    Goddard moved to Paso Robles, where she once again helped form a new local Sierra Club group as part of the Santa Barbara Chapter. The Santa Lucia Group first met on November 9, 1961; the first outing was a hike in early 1962 through the Nipomo Dunes, near Oso Flaco Lake. The trip became a permanent annual outing, which Goddard Jones led from 1962 to 1995. In October of 1968 the San Luis Obispo County members attained chapter status for the Santa Lucia group.
    Goddard Jones' most important efforts led to the preservation of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. "I want everyone to know what a lovely place we have out here on the mesa," she said. "It is a wealth of beauty, and all of it is free."
    Goddard Jones' growing environmental activism led to a split with her conservative husband and the Jacksons divorced in August 1966. On August 21, 1971 she married Gaylord Jefferson Jones, who shared her love of the dunes and the outdoors.
    In the early 1960s she saw a newspaper article announcing that utility company Pacific Gas & Electric had acquired dune land for a nuclear power plant. The article sparked Goddard Jones' campaign of 13 years to have the nuclear power plant relocated elsewhere and the dunes preserved. In 1974 PG&E sold 857 acres of dune land to the state for a park and sought another location for the nuclear power plant.
    Of this decision, Sunset magazine contributor Matthew Jaffe wrote, "PG&E's eventual decision to build its plant in a little-known spot farther north, Diablo Canyon, led to criticism of Jones by both environmentalists (who opposed all nuclear power plants) and locals (who were angry about the loss of tax revenue and building contracts). But the process of saving the dunes had begun."
    In 1983 the Regional Oral History Office at UC Berkeley interviewed Goddard Jones for their Sierra Club Oral History Series. Goddard Jones remained active on behalf of the Dunes until her death on October 2, 2001.
    Ann Van Tyne, interview with Kathleen Goddard Jones, "Defender of California's Nipomo Dunes, Steadfast Sierra Club Volunteer." Sierra Club Nationwide II, 1984 http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/ROHO/collections/subjectarea/natres/sierraclub.html
    Matthew Jaffe, "California's Ultimate Sea of Sand—Nipomo Dunes." Sunset October 1992 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1216/is_n4_v189/ai_12884195
    Nancy Loe, "Biographical Note." Kathleen Goddard Jones Papers Finding Aid, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2007: 9-10.
    Sue Hagen, "A Guided Tour: Black Lake Canyon: The Mesa Fairyland." Five Cities Times-Press-Recorder [Arroyo Grande, Calif.] 16 June 1978
    "Statement of Kathleen Jackson before California Public Utilities Commission on February 17, 1967, San Luis Obispo." Box 16, Folder 7, Kathleen Goddard Jones Papers, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

    Scope and Content Note

    The Kathleen Goddard Jones Correspondence, 1918-2002, contains the personal papers of environmental activist Kathleen Goddard Jones of Arroyo Grade, California.
    The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence written by Kathleen Goddard Jones to her parents during her years at college and during her first marriage. The letters, which doubled for Goddard Jones as her personal diary, provide a detailed recounting of her life at Mills and on the East Coast at the height of the Great Depression. Enclosed with her correspondence Goddard Jones often included the correspondence of friends and family or pamphlets and brochures from places she traveled. When possible these additional items are included in the item description.
    The collection also includes an assortment of photographs compiled by researchers and family that illustrate her life, from student to environmental activist. The correspondence complements the Kathleen Goddard Jones Papers, 1933-2001, providing an introduction and background to the later environmental work Goddard Jones performed along the Central Coast.
    In order to retain historical context, in the collection Kathleen Goddard Jones can be found under the following surnames:
    Kathleen Goddard
    Kathleen Shirazi
    Kathleen Ali-Shirazi
    Kathleen Shirazi Parvaz
    Kathleen Duncan
    Kathleen Goddard Jones
    Before arriving at Cal Poly, the collection was arranged in chronological order. During this process, the photographs were separated from the original correspondence. Where possible, the provenance, or original organization, of the papers has been preserved. However, in order to simplify access to the collection for researchers, some materials in specific formats and topics were reorganized and refoldered to more accurately reflect their contents.
    The Kathleen Goddard Jones Correspondence is divided into 7 series:
    Series 1. Pre-Collegiate Correspondence, 1921-1926, including Mother's Day cards and correspondence from her trip to Europe;
    Series 2. Mills College Correspondence, 1927-1929;
    Series 3. Correspondence as Mrs. Kathleen Shirazi, 1929-1932, including programs, pamphlets, and travel ephemera;
    Series 4. Kathleen Goddard Shirazi Manuscript "Passage to Persia," 1934, typescript for a short story about the Shirazis time in Persia.
    Series 5. Correspondence to Goddard Family, 1918-1929, correspondence from friends of the Goddard family;
    Series 6. Photographs, 1927-2001;
    Series 7. Clippings, 2001-2002
    The Kathleen Goddard Jones Correspondence is housed in 6 Hollinger containers, with Series 2. Mills College Correspondence and Series 3 Correspondence as Mrs. Kathleen Shirazi containing the most extensive and unique portions of the collection. The 86,000-word 618-page manuscript in Series 5 recounts her experiences in Persia in the mid-1930s, while the clippings in Series 7 are on the subjects of her passing and a biography on Goddard Jones published in 2001.

    The National Endowment for the Humanities has generously funded the arrangement and description of this collection, along with matching funds from California Polytechnic State University.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Environmental protection--California--San Luis Obispo County--Citizen participation
    Goddard Jones, Kathleen
    International House (New York, N.Y.)
    Mills College
    New History Society
    Sierra Club--Santa Lucia Chapter
    Wright, Cedric, 1889-1959

    Genre and Forms of Materials

    Travel Pamphlets

    Related Material

    Related Collections:
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

    Kathleen Goddard Jones Papers, 1933-2001 (MS 119)
    University of California, Berkeley.

    Cedric Wright Papers, 1900-1958 (BANC MSS 77/124 c)