Throughout the history of the Women’s Twentieth Century Club of Eagle Rock, our members have shown their capacity for creativity, resilience, resourcefulness, dedication and compassion. From decade to decade, we have met the needs of our community, our country, and other women. This is a legacy and history of which we are immensely proud.
On February 25, 1903, a small group of women in the Eagle Rock Valley met at the home of Mrs. Phillip W. Parker. These women, like their contemporaries in cities and towns across America, were inspired to create a club for self-improvement, public service and the mutual support of ambitions that reached far beyond their immediate households. The women’s club movement of America marked the entry of women into public life.
Planning for a clubhouse began in 1904; the first fundraiser netted $31,25 and a building fund was established. Through donations and fundraising, the land for the Women’s Twentieth Century Club of Eagle Rock was purchased in 1912. The building was constructed in 1914 and had its formal dedication ceremony February 25, 1915. The first meeting at the Clubhouse was held one month later.
By 1915, the Women’s Twentieth Century Club was a significant force in the Eagle Rock community. In 1910 they led the petition for women’s suffrage to the California legislature. In 1913 they secured a grant of $7,500 from the Carnegie Corporation for a public library, which opened in 1915 (now the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts). They petitioned Occidental College to accept women when the college moved to Eagle Rock and in 1922 they established a scholarship fund to help female students. Diligent fundraising enabled the Club to purchase the lot north of the clubhouse and the caretakers cottage was built in 1922.
Club members opened their clubhouse doors to the community for lectures and cultural events, meetings by other organizations and fundraising projects. During World War I and II the Women’s Twentieth Century Club organized the Red Cross Auxiliary, held Liberty Bond drives and established two nurses’ scholarships. In 1926 the members opened a “well-baby-clinic”. It was maintained for 35 years. Working with the community, they mobilized the renovations of Colorado Boulevard and fought to improve street drainage.
By mid-century, the Women’s Twentieth Century Club of Eagle Rock had earned the coveted Josephine Seamons Civic Award from the Federation of Women’s Clubs. Club members founded the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society and provided funding for the Eagle Rock Bowl (now the Lummis home and successfully prevented the routing of the freeway next to Eagle Rock Bowl (now the Occidental College amphitheater). They started a memorial fund for the preservation of the Charles Lummis home and successfully prevented the routing of the freeway next to Eagle Rock High School. In 1972 the Women’s Twentieth Century Club of Eagle Rock received 21 Community Achievement awards from the Verdugo District of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs. The clubhouse was declared a Los Angeles Cultural Monument in 1991.
The clubhouse survived the Northridge earthquake (1994) with minor damage, but there was a growing concern about the structural integrity of the building. Decreased rental income, along with diminishing memberships, had severely impacted funding and outreach programs. Despite these difficulties, the Women’s Twentieth Century Club continued their philanthropic activities.
In 2001, President Edna Shelton began an enormously successful campaign to revitalize our club and renovate our clubhouse. Through the efforts of many community people and groups, there came an outpouring of caring and help that has allowed us to revive this beloved historical building. We have a viable membership of energetic and talented women who are dedicated to continuing the legacy of the Women’s Twentieth Century Club of Eagle Rock.