Scope and Content of Collection
University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Paradise Women's Improvement Club records
Paradise Women's Improvement Club
Identifier/Call Number: MS.236
3 Linear Feet
6 half cartons
Date (inclusive): 1921-1998
Date (bulk): (bulk 1921-2004)
Abstract: This collection contains the minutes of
the general and executive board meetings, financial records, club histories, and clipping
files of the disbanded club.
Physical Location: Stored offsite at NRLF: Advance notice
is required for access to the papers.
Language of Material:
Collection open for research.
Copyright for the items in this collection is owned by the creators and their heirs.
Reproduction or distribution of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair
use requires permission from the copyright owner. It is the responsibility of the user to
determine whether a use is fair use, and to obtain any necessary permissions. For more
information see UCSC Special Collections and Archives policy on Reproduction and Use.
Paradise Women's Improvement Club records. MS 236. Special Collections and Archives,
University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Gift from the estate of Leona Harrington, 2004
On April 20, 1920 a group of women from Paradise met to protest the sale of acreage in
Sierra Park for the operation of a hog farm. Realizing the necessity for group action, the
Women's Improvement Club was formed that day and Mrs. L.A. McAndless was named president and
Jessie Coleman, the founding secretary. At the second meeting in July 1920, the club took
action by purchasing the first lots in Sierra Park, the heart of the community and blocking
the hog farm. Later more lots were bought with a purchase price of about five dollars each
and eventually in the 1940s these lots were sold to fund other projects.
From the very beginning, dedicated women from all over the mountain community became
members and combined their efforts to enrich their town. They established a park near the
railroad depot on Pearson and Black Olive, which they named Washington Park and nearly all
community activities were held there. Through their efforts the first swimming pool was
constructed and the property they owned help finance many projects for children and
The club led campaigns to save the trees, to get street lights, clean up debris and start
a public dump, helped form a volunteer fire department, and campaigned against billboards
toname a few of their projects. The women worked at the schools and provided the students
with food. They established scholarships, worked for the Red Cross and the servicemen during
World War II and bought and sold the old Community Hall where dances, card parties and town
hall meetings were held. From their efforts came the Garden Club, a Junior Women's Club, the
Agenda Club, and the Arts and Crafts groups.
In the later years, the membership dwindled to a few faithful women and after seventy-five
years of helping the Paradise Ridge community, the Paradise Women's Improvement Club was
disbanded in 1998.
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection contains the minutes of the general and executive board meetings, financial
records, club histories, clippings of the disbanded club.
Processed by UCSC OAC Unit completed August 2004. EAD encoded fingind aid by UCSC OAC
California Federation of Women's Clubs records
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Women -- California -- Societies and clubs -- History