History

  • Organized as the Monday Club Association of Eureka: February 2, 1901
  • Admitted to State Federation: 1902
  • Organized as Eureka Woman’s Club: 1923
  • Incorporated: September 21, 1923
  • Admitted to State Federation: 1925

In February 2001, the Eureka Woman’s Club celebrated 100 years as an organized club – 100 years of friendship and notable accomplishments – an enviable record for any organization!

Eureka Woman’s Club began in 1901 as the Monday Club Federation of Eureka with only 22 members and meetings held in homes. At that time, members were only interested bystanders since they legally had no vote.

However, all over the US women were meeting in newly organized clubs like ours. As organized groups, they were listened to and quickly found they did have an influence after all. They also had fun (or they wouldn’t have lasted).

These first club women helped turn this small, rather rough port city into a civilized, cultural center for its time. But in the meantime, self-improvement was a genuine goal, too. So our club women set about educating themselves. Their programs, studies, and presentations became ever more impressive as the years passed.

The Monday Club was an early member of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs, whose motto was Strength United is Stronger. Intelligent and active women rallied and, indeed, did get the vote. Organization was the important factor.

The Monday Club members were fund-raising experts. They began purchasing land by 1908 for a future clubhouse, meanwhile cannily renting the property itself to a neighbor for his cow at $1.50 a month. The cow had to move on when, after a lot of deliberation over design and financing, construction began in 1916 for today’s enduring Craftsman-style, heart redwood building. It is a community treasure to this day.

So – how did we become the Eureka Woman’s Club? In 1923 the annual convention of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs was held in Eureka, “putting us on the map,” the newspaper said. By this time, there were three major Eureka clubs – our Monday Club, a Wednesday Club, and the Departmental Club. These ladies worked so well together to make the State Convention a success that they decided to stay together as one large club and undertake bigger projects in the future. Their new name? The Eureka Woman’s Club.

California Federation of Women's Club Grove, Eel River
California Federation of Women’s Club Grove, Eel River

One of the many remarkable programs commencing from the hosting of the State Federation at that time is the California Federation of Women’s Club Grove, which is now a beautiful public park on the Eel River in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Bay Area architect Julia Morgan, designer of the Hearst Castle, fashioned a monument to celebrate saving the grove from the loggers’ saw. Morgan’s monument stands today in the Federation’s grove, a four-sided hearth that features fireplaces facing each direction.

Over the years, the interests of club women did alter from our earliest days, and we are proud that we have “been there, done that” in our past and are continuing many interests today.