Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Paradise Women's Improvement Club records,
Date (inclusive): 1921-1998
Date (bulk): (bulk 1921-2004)
Collection number: MS 236
Paradise Women's Improvement Club
6 linear ft.
University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library.
Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: This collection contains the minutes of the general and executive board meetings, financial records, club histories, and clipping
files of the disbanded club.
Physical location: Stored offsite at NRLF: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Collection open for research.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and
their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Paradise Women's Improvement Club records. MS 236. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of
California, Santa Cruz.
Gift from the estate of Leona Harrington, 2004
On April 20, 1920 a group of women from Paradise met to protest the sale of acreage in Sierra Park for the operation of a
hog farm. Realizing the necessity for group action, the Women's Improvement Club was formed that day and Mrs. L.A. McAndless
was named president and Jessie Coleman, the founding secretary. At the second meeting in July 1920, the club took action by
purchasing the first lots in Sierra Park, the heart of the community and blocking the hog farm. Later more lots were bought
with a purchase price of about five dollars each and eventually in the 1940s these lots were sold to fund other projects.
From the very beginning, dedicated women from all over the mountain community became members and combined their efforts to
enrich their town. They established a park near the railroad depot on Pearson and Black Olive, which they named Washington
Park and nearly all community activities were held there. Through their efforts the first swimming pool was constructed and
the property they owned help finance many projects for children and adults.
The club led campaigns to save the trees, to get street lights, clean up debris and start a public dump, helped form a volunteer
fire department, and campaigned against billboards toname a few of their projects. The women worked at the schools and provided
the students with food. They established scholarships, worked for the Red Cross and the servicemen during World War II and
bought and sold the old Community Hall where dances, card parties and town hall meetings were held. From their efforts came
the Garden Club, a Junior Women's Club, the Agenda Club, and the Arts and Crafts groups.
In the later years, the membership dwindled to a few faithful women and after seventy-five years of helping the Paradise Ridge
community, the Paradise Women's Improvement Club was disbanded in 1998.
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection contains the minutes of the general and executive board meetings, financial records, club histories, clippings
of the disbanded club.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Paradise Women's Improvement Club--Archives
Women--California--Societies and clubs--History
Other Index Terms Related to this Collection
California Federation of Women's Clubs
California Federation of Women's Clubs records, 1900-