The Full Story
About Chula Vista Woman's Club
Property donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Pray at Del Mar and Madrona Sts., in Chula Vista became the site of the first Chula Vista Woman’s Club clubhouse. A redwood structure was erected at that address and remains today converted into a duplex in downtown Chula Vista. The property displays a plaque to commemorate the historical date.
By 1927, once again the membership was overwhelming the clubhouse facility and a new location was needed. A search was launched for a new site. On July 14, 1927, Mr. Thomas Howe offered a gift of two adjoining lots at Garrett Avenue and G Street in Chula Vista. The conditions of the donation were that the offer had to be accepted within 60 days, and construction for the new clubhouse would have to be started within one year of the donation. A building fund was established, to be supported by Living Picture Productions, community dinners, fashion shows, and wine-tasting events. In October 1928, the new clubhouse, which is the current home of the Chula Vista Woman’s Club, was completed and dedicated to the community.
The new clubhouse provided more room for the ever-growing membership of the Chula Vista Woman’s Club. A flower show became part of the Club’s annual events starting in 1921, and the ladies raised money for the event by baking cakes, darning socks, making cottage cheese, and selling flowers on Broadway. In order to pay for the cost of the clubhouse, Fiesta de la Luna including a parade, was started by the Club in 1930. In the beginning, the Fiesta was organized around a dinner dance at the Club and a play performed on stage before dinner. Eventually, the Fiesta became a community project and the organization for the event was turned over to the Fiesta de la Luna committee in Chula Vista. The ladies continued to hold meetings for the membership as it grew in numbers, however, it was reconfigured into two sections. One section met in the evening to accommodate working women and the other section met in the afternoon. At one time, the Club had a membership boasting hundreds of women.
The Garden Club, the Art Guild, and the Theater Guild were all started as a result of the Chula Vista Woman’s Club, pulling some ladies away from the home Club as the specialty organizations took shape. Community organizations, including the Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, Jaycees, and the 20-30 Club have used the clubhouse for meetings throughout the years. At least 7 churches have met at the clubhouse until new churches could be built. The Youth Center and the Starlight Center were directly the result of the Woman’s Club involvement, and the Chula Vista Woman’s Club still offers Scholarships to senior girls in Chula Vista high schools as they pursue higher education goals.