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Guide to the Paradise Women's Improvement Club Records
MS 236  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Organization History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Materials

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Paradise Women's Improvement Club records,
    Date (inclusive): 1921-1998
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1921-2004)
    Collection number: MS 236
    Creator: Paradise Women's Improvement Club
    Extent: 6 linear ft.
    Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
    Santa Cruz, California 95064
    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: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Paradise Women's Improvement Club records. MS 236. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift from the estate of Leona Harrington, 2004

    Organization History

    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 adults.
    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.

    Indexing Terms

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


    Paradise Women's Improvement Club--Archives
    Women--California--Societies and clubs--History

    Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

    California Federation of Women's Clubs

    Related Materials

    California Federation of Women's Clubs records, 1900-