The Watsonville Woman’s Club at 12 Brennan Street

Watsonville Woman’s Club at 12 Brennan Street

Just as a house is not a home a building is not a club, yet we all know the sense of affection and pride that a stable address provides. 12 Brennan St. has been a welcoming home to the Watsonville Woman’s Club. Open to all women, this has been a friendly place where the women of our community have achieved a solid community.

This vibrant club, established in 1899, is the oldest continuously existing organization open to all women. It is one of the few remaining Woman’s Clubs in California that own their own clubhouse.

While the women of all ages were united and achieved great results with their original goal to make our community a better place to live, 1917 was the year that the English Tudor style building with Craftsman detail was built. After 70 years of contributing to the growth and expansion of life in Watsonville, the clubhouse was registered for historical significance with the city of Watsonville and the county of Santa Cruz in 1987.

In 1992, the Watsonville Woman’s Club Foundation was formed to accept tax-deductible donations from members and friends for scholarships, community organizations and events and building maintenance.

In the annual message to the membership for 2015-2016, current president, Barbara Lyons, emphasized and expressed appreciation for the harmonious relationship the club has with the overall community. Her reflections as the 116th year begins in our wonderful farming community of Watsonville are rich and timely. Serving as a welcoming meeting place for members and guests is only the beginning.

The most historical and well known services of the club at this time are: the High Tea with presentations by talented music students in the area, scholarship programs including the Louise Bilicich Memorial Scholarships, and the rental program popular for affordable rates which include a well appointed kitchen. Hosting events from baptisms to dance classes, this space is a reflection of the community. The newest group to utilize the facility is the Pedro Club with ongoing meetings planned for the last Friday of each month begin Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.

Achievements worth noting include accepting The Andrew Carnegie’s Foundation matching grant offer to construct a city library in 1905. It was the Woman’s Club that initiated the contact and led a fundraising drive to purchase land for the library at the corner of Union and Trafton streets. Their vision for culture and beauty created both the Callaghan and Marinovich parks, purchased and created by their diligent attention to community needs. When you enjoy the Memorial Rose Garden at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds know that it was yet again the Watsonville Woman’s Club who formed its Garden Club in 1937 and later gifted the Rose Garden to the fairgrounds.

Speaking of gifts if you would like to be part of this dynamic group, gift yourself a membership, and be part of the vision!

Meetings are the first Friday of every month at noon, followed by a delicious light lunch and featuring a speaker with topics concerning our community and the surrounding world. Members take part in only the projects of interest to them. There are no required minimum or maximum hours of service and no mandatory attendance at meetings.

The Watsonville Woman’s Club continues to welcome new members. To join, check out www.watsonvillewomansclub.com.