The Woman’s Club of Arcadia was formed on May 19, 1914 when a group of civic-minded women, formerly known as the Cooperative Arcadians, met at the home of Mrs. Charles Billings on Double Drive. There were twelve charter members, Alice Billings was elected first president and dues were 25 cents. The club’s focus was social enjoyment and civic improvement and from the beginning the members showed great foresight in the needs of a growing city. Early projects included establishing Arcadia’s first public library, providing a public drinking fountain, beautification of land and park areas, and sponsoring a float in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
In the early years the women met in homes, churches and Arcadia’s City Hall so the need for their own clubhouse was apparent. By 1930 the club had raised enough funds to purchase two lots from Anita Baldwin on the corner of First Avenue and Diamond Street for their future home. By July 1931 a beautiful California style architecture clubhouse had been constructed and dedicated.
Over the years, the clubhouse and clubwomen have played a significant role in the civic and social history of our community. The clubhouse served as a USO for the soldiers at Camp Santa Anita during WWII. The auditorium was used for dancing and entertainment, the west wing for a reception room, and the solarium was a quiet room equipped with desks for reading and writing. Club members served refreshments, did mending and an assortment of other small services. By the end of 1945, an estimated 10,000 servicemen used the facilities of the Arcadia Woman’s Club.
The Arcadia Woman’s Club is affiliated with the California Federation of Women’s Clubs and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, an international women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.
For more than 100 years, the list of civic, social and charitable accomplishments of the Arcadia Woman’s Club has indeed been impressive. New members are always welcome to join the fun and community service. At 90 years, the clubhouse is one of the oldest buildings in the City and a reflection of Arcadia’s heritage, soon to be considered for designation as the City of Arcadia’s first Historic Landmark.