History of La Mesa Woman's Club
On May 17, 1902, eleven prominent La Mesa women met at the home of Mary Ferguson to form the La Mesa Woman’s Club (LMWC). Their purpose was to promote “sociability, mutual sympathy and a unified effort towards the up-lifting of oneself and those around them”. They met twice a week to recite poetry, act in short skits, play musical instruments and share cooking, sewing and other housekeeping skills. Dues were five cents and interestingly, were only paid if a member did not attend or participate in meetings.
Through the years, LMWC members increased their volunteer community service efforts. LMWC was instrumental in opening a social welfare thrift shop and establishing the first La Mesa library. Members campaigned in support of the incorporation of La Mesa as a city and the painting of the white lane lines on our highways and roads. Members rolled hundreds of yards of fabric into bandages and raised enough money to purchase an ambulance in support of our world war military. They baked and donated thousands of cookies to the USO to support our local service men and women. Members participated in city events such as the early community concerts and picnics, the Flag Day Parade and more recently, La Mesa’s centennial celebration. LMWC has always promoted education and supported local students by donating classroom supplies to local schools and books to libraries. For the past 38 years our members have awarded scholarships to students in the Grossmont Union High School District. Please see ‘Organizations and Programs We Support’ to learn more.
Our Mission Statement has evolved through the years to reflect changing times. Today, LMWC focuses on coordinating and promoting activities for the “cultural, charitable and intellectual advancement of our members and the community”. Our members, primarily women from the east county of San Diego, who live in and around the city of La Mesa, are from all walks of life including educators, health care and social service professionals, business women, homemakers, mothers and grandmothers, employed and retired. We come together, forming bonds of friendship and volunteering our time to strengthen and support our community while also enriching our lives.
Early in our club history, members voted to join the General Federation of Women’s Clubs International, the California Federation of Women’s Clubs and the CFWC Southern District. Joining these international, national and local federated organizations gives us opportunities for personal and leadership growth. This membership also provides us with a united voice which helps us to make a major impact locally and throughout the United States and the world.
Our members also voted to incorporate our club into a non-profit volunteer organization. We maintain our 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation status.
In the beginning, club meetings were held in the homes of members. Very quickly membership increased and outgrew the homes. A clubhouse was built at the corner of Third and Lemon streets in La Mesa. In the late 1950’s a second clubhouse was built on the corner of Wilson Street and Grossmont Boulevard. This clubhouse is our current home. We maintain our clubhouse through rentals to community members, businesses and organizations. We now meet at the clubhouse twice a month, in the evening on the second Wednesday and in the afternoon on the third Monday. Member bridge sections also meet six times a month. We welcome prospective members to attend our meetings. Please see the ‘Membership’ section to learn more.
LMWC members are proud of our history and all that our sisters before us have accomplished. We are very proud that LMWC is the oldest social service organization in La Mesa and we work diligently to continue our heritage.