May Celebration 1940
A group of women met in October 1904 for study and called
themselves, “The History Class”. The meetings were held in
the home of Miss Elizabeth McLaughlin on the corner of Fourth Street and
Wilshire Boulevard. This class continued for ten weeks, and it was then
decided to have a permanent organization and call it “Santa Monica
Lecture Class.” Mrs. D.G. Stephens organized it and was made President;
Miss McLaughlin, Secretary.
On December 11, 1905, the Woman’s Club of Santa Monica was born
with eighty-eight members and the following officers elected: President
- Mrs. Allen M. Jamieson; First Vice-President - Mrs. John Hunt; Second
Vice-President - Mrs. George Hutton; Secretary - Miss Elizabeth McLaughlin;
Treasurer - Mrs. Jessica R. Clark (Cornett). At this meeting, Mrs. Stephens
presented a gavel to the New President. This gavel has been passed down
through the years and is always used at each installation the first Monday
Mon, Dec 23, 1946 Woman's Club Octette to perform at the Club's
Cristmas Party from left to right: Mrs. Willoughby Williams (singing
director), Mrs. Charles Warren, Mrs. H. W. Seiger, Mrs. Dorothy
Murray, Mrs. Carl Danelson, Mrs. W. Elwood Smith, Mrs. Harry Scougall,
Mrs. Earl M. Maxseiner, Mrs. J.K. McBride
The Club held its meetings in several
public halls. Feeling the need of a permanent home, the Club appointed
Mrs. G Wiley Wells to see Señora Arcadia Bandini de Baker
and try to secure a site. As a result, two lots on the corner of
Eleventh Street and Santa Monica Boulevard were given to the Club
with the privilege of disposing of them if it seemed best to build
elsewhere. Later a site was chosen at 1210 Fourth Street with a
frontage of seventy-five feet. Mrs. S. J. Engleston raised money
to help pay for this new site and the Eleventh Street lots were
sold for to be used for a clubhouse fund.
With a suitable building site having been purchased, M. Henry Hollwedel
drew up and provided the Club with plans for the new building. In
December of 1913 the Club borrowed $10,000.00 from Pacific Mutual
Life Insurance Company to finance the construction and Mr. Hollwedel
supervised each stage of construction entirely free of charge. This
generous gift to the Club was much appreciated by the membership.
It was a grand day when the Club moved into the new building on
Monday, October 5, 1914.
During the time the United States was involved in World
War I, the clubwomen were able to make many contributions to the war effort.
The clubhouse was opened every Saturday night for eighteen months to accommodate
the service men for dancing. It was also opened for members of the Red
Cross to knit and sew, etc. The Club sponsored a Recruiting Station for
Waves through the efforts of Mrs. Tracy Fewell and her assistants. The
women served breakfast once a month at the U.S.O headquarters and sold
defense bonds and stamps. The clubmembers made similar contributions to
the war effort during World War II.
Oct 25, 1946 Harvest Festival; Mrs. Searle G. Nevius:
"Kitchen chores are never done
but anything here will make it fun."
The Club’s philanthropies have
been many and varied. The Needlework Guild has held ingatherings
at the clubhouse since November 1919. Beginning in 1955, their
monthly meetings were held in the clubhouse. The Well-Baby Clinic
was organized in October of 1919 with Mrs. Harry B. Schultz as
chairman. This important activity grew with the years. Dr. Frank
J. Wagner was the first physician, followed by many others who
all donated their services. Also, two trained nurses, Mrs. Edgar
Heldman and Mrs. Marion Bowen, gave freely of their time and services.
In 1950, they were both awarded honorary life membership. On April
1, 1950, the Juniors took over this great work and continued to
carry on a very active program until 1958 when they moved the
Well-Child Clinic from the clubhouse to the Santa Monica Hospital
In 1920, the lot adjoining the clubhouse
on the south was bought and in June of 1922, during the administration
of Mrs. Frank Wagner, the original mortgage was burned.
Mother Stephens organized the Juniors
in November 1923. The Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club sponsored
the group since that date until they disbanded in 1972.
In 1923, the second lot south of the clubhouse, known
as “The Cottage Lot”, was purchased. The Girl Scouts, organized
June 7, 1926, were given free rent of the cottage for a number of years.
In 1954, this cottage was sold and the lot was added to the parking area.
In December of 1966, this same lot (known as “Lot E”) was
sold under condemnation to the City of Santa Monica so that the City could
build a parking structure.
The Elmira T. Stephens Student Loan Fund
was established in 1927 to honor the Club’s founder. The fund was
to be used by worthy students needing financial aid to continue their
education. Elmira T. Stephens had come to Santa Monica in 1905 at the
age of 67. When “Mother” Stephens passed away in 1935 at the
age of 97, she left a heritage of noble deeds and memorable service in
the communities where she had resided.
The Laura E. Hubbell Estate was left
to the Club by a Charter Member, Mrs. Laura E. Hubbell, on August
16, 1937. This money was to be used in aiding indigent women of
The Evening Section was organized in
1951 to accommodate the needs of women unable to attend day meetings
because of employment or family obligations. The Chairman was made
Fourth Vice-President of the Club. During their thirteen years of
hard work they accumulated many valuable things: lace tablecloths,
silver tea service, 40-cup coffee maker and a savings bond. They
presented all these items to the Club when they disbanded in 1964.
In April 1961, a fire caused a great
deal of damage to the auditorium stage: the drapes, concert grand
piano and wiring were completely destroyed. This required much electrical
work in the building to meet City regulations. The catastrophe was
overcome at a great expense to the Club.
Juniors of the SMBWC under the direction of philantropy director,
Mrs. George Grieb, dressed dolls in original fashions. The dolls
were packed with toys, games and clothing to be delivered to families
Our Club joined the General Federation of Woman’s
Clubs in 1910 and the California Federation of Women’s Clubs in
1923. The Club had been honored by having two members serve as president
of the former Los Angeles District: Mrs. Adeline Lorbeer Herrick and Mrs.
J. C. Urquhart. Mrs. Urquhart also served as State President from 1924
The California Federation of Women’s
Clubs voted at its 1955 Convention to reorganize and adopt new Bylaws
to become effective June 1, 1956. The final plan of reorganization was
adopted at the 1956 Convention. This dispensed with Counties and provided
for 26 districts. We are in District 18 which is composed of 26 clubs.
Our district held its first convention on March 1, 1956 at our clubhouse.
Bylaws were adopted and officers were elected. The new organization became
effective on June 1, 1956 and the name “Marina” District 18
1952; Mrs. Harvey B. Wilson (standing) and Mrs. Dwight B. Wilson
displaying some hats what will be worn at the Musical Hat Show.
On the hat box is one that represents the song, "The Bird
On Nellie's Hat".
|In April 1964, we were again honored
when Mrs. A. Ben Ellery was elected to serve as president of Marina
District 1964 to 1966. Mrs. Frederick Schott served as district president
from 1985-1986 and prior to becoming a member of our Club, Mrs. William
Ferrier served as district president from 1978 to 1980. This Club
has also been honored by having several members serve as State Chairmen.
Many of our members have also served as District Officers and innumerable
members have served as District Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen. Each year
we have received many awards at District and State Conventions for
outstanding accomplishments in Federation Departments, (i.e., 26 awards
in 1971 and 31 Service Awards and 15 Certificates of Recognition in
In April 1964, we were again honored when Mrs. A. Ben Ellery was elected
to serve as president of Marina District 1964 to 1966. Mrs. Frederick
Schott served as district president from 1985-1986 and prior to becoming
a member of our Club, Mrs. William Ferrier served as district president
from 1978 to 1980. This Club has also been honored by having several members
serve as State Chairmen. Many of our members have also served as District
Officers and innumerable members have served as District Chairmen and
Vice-Chairmen. Each year we have received many awards at District and
State Conventions for outstanding accomplishments in Federation Departments,
(i.e., 26 awards in 1971 and 31 Service Awards and 15 Certificates of
Recognition in 1972).
A new section, known as the “Self-Starters”,
was organized in October 1963, under the leadership of Mrs. Harry
Pawling. This group met on the fourth Wednesday for luncheon at
the monthly Ways and Means Parties. After the luncheon they retired
to the Lounge for an interesting program arranged for by Mrs. Pawling.
The Club is greatly indebted to Jane Pawling for doing such an outstanding
In 1964, a great improvement was made in the clubhouse when the
library was moved to the room formerly known as the “Clinic
Room”, and the former library was furnished as a much needed
Monday, February 7, 1966, was a very exciting and interesting day
when the Club “adopted” a Santa Monica platoon consisting
of 33 Marine Corps Recruits.
1947; The Choraleers, to perform a skid titled "A Christmas
Party" at a Christmas Party given for children and grandchildren
of members. In the front Judy O'Connor, Tommy Seiger (the Club
president's son) and Patsy Martin, her sister Linda Martin stands
in the second row.
For many years our Creative Writing Section has been very active writing
inspirationals, essays, plays and poems; in fact, all kinds of creative
writing. Our members have received many honors from the Marina District
Annual Festival of Fine Arts with first place, second place and third
place awards. This is open to all interested members. We have hosted the
Fine Arts Festival at our Club many times during our years of involvement.
For over five years we sponsored an art class open to, and for the cultural
enrichment of interested members in our community. The proceeds were used
During the month of December 1968, we sponsored a Christmas Party in our
auditorium for about eighty Indian children living in the Bay Area. We
not only fed them all they could eat, but each one was given a toy. Also,
we sent 970 pounds of Christmas cookies to servicemen in Vietnam. On May
19, 1969, “A Salute to the Armed Forces” program was held
in our clubhouse with the five branches of service receiving recognition
and awards were given to Vietnam heroes.
During the summer of 1970, though the efforts of the House Director, Mrs.
Walter Young, the clubhouse was refurbished and redecorated which enhanced
its beauty and increased our rentals.
In November 1970 our Club paid tribute to the Santa Monica Police Department
with the presentation of a plaque to Chief Earl Reinbold. Many dignitaries
were in attendance.
Our Armed Forces program was given on May 15, 1972 to honor for the first
time our “Women” of the Armed Forces and those volunteers
who serve in Veterans’ Hospitals. The Fort MacArthur Band played
and a musical program was given by the Air Force Officers Wives.
We will long remember New Year’s Day in 1978, when the Thrifty Drug
Store on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fourth Street burned to
the ground. Our clubhouse was right next door and fortunately received
only minor damage due to the valiant efforts of the Santa Monica Fire
Department. We appreciate their dedication and bravery.
The Club received a transfer of a Home Savings & Loan Association
certificate in the name of Frances D. Smothers as trustee for the Santa
Monica Bay Woman’s Club. She was a member of the Club from September
1971 to December 1977. These funds were utilized in the payment of the
exterior painting of the clubhouse by John Lehne & Son in December
The Club received a donation from the estate of Hazelle E. Kelly on July
9, 1985 to be used for scholarships to needy and deserving students in
the Music Department of Santa Monica College. Hazelle was a member of
the Club from February 1962 until April 1984.
Our history shows that through the years the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s
Club had adhered to its object for existence: the advancement in all lines
of culture, welfare, service and civic affairs.
Installation of Officers, Club Year 1952 - 1953; 5 ladies
in center from left to right: 1st Vice-President and Program Chairman,
Mrs. John R. Hatch
3rd Vice-President and Ways and Means Chairman, Mrs. Oliver Minear, President,
Mrs. Paul R. Smith, 2nd Vice-President and Membership Chairman, Mrs. Alexander
Heiman, 4th Vice-President and Evening Section Chairman, Mrs. Helen I.