From decades as the San Diego Women’s Club to a classic Special Event Venue
In 1892, recognizing a need to address public concerns in San Diego, Mrs. John Berry (Mary), wife of the editor of the San Diego Union, invites six friends to a luncheon. Those seven ladies found The San Diego Club, combining their mission for community philanthropy and “endeavors for civic betterment” as well as the timeless issues which continue to connect to the hearts of women today: Home, Education, Literature and the Arts.
In 1940, the Colonial-style clubhouse (which stands today serving as the Parq West Event Center) on the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Maple Street is dedicated on land donated by Miss Dorothy Mills. With a permanent home established, much of the decade turns into an impressive record of service supporting war efforts in a Navy city.
1950’s The annual tradition of decorating the hall for Christmas celebrations begins. A hall at the Salvation ArmyHome for Unwed Mothers is built by members’ husbands and maintained with fundraising fashion shows.
1965 Club President Mary Eleanor Jones’ vision of a scenic drive as part of a Community Improvement Program becomes a reality with the support of the Mayor, the City Council, Chamber of Commerce Convention and Tourist Bureau, The Automobile Club of Southern California, and the California State Highway Department. The 59 mile drive remains as a published route to this day and is arguably the finest contribution the Club members accomplished for San Diego’s “civic betterment.”
1970’s Ongoing Fashion Shows and Rummage Sales begin as ongoing fundraising to support organizations such as a variety of Hospital programs (including the Naval Hospital, Convalescent Hospitals, and the Burn Institute and the San Diego Public Library.
1980’s The San Diego Woman’s Club donates to the San Diego Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation founded by the Club’s Junior President, Jamie C. Tucker, daughter of mid-century movie megastar Jeff Chandler. The Club’s ninety-four years alcohol ban came to an end in 1986. In the last year of the decade, an incredibly admirable 1,000 in community volunteer hours are recorded.
1992 The San Diego Woman’s Club celebrates the 100 Year Anniversary with a resolution expressed by Harriette Sargent Marshall: “To continue to maintain Club…as a vital component in the lives of our members and our community.”
2000’s In the first decade of the millennium, Women’s Clubs throughout California joined forces to save a piece of California History by erecting Mission Bells along the famous El Camino Real route, linking Father Junipero Serra’s missions from San Diego to Sonoma. The San Diego Woman’s Club contribution not only led to a Mission Bell installation in downtown San Diego’s Horton Plaza but their efforts, along with the other California Federation of Women’s Clubs contributed to the success of the project throughout the State of California.
2017 the San Diego Women’s Club was sold to Behind the Scenes Catering and Events. After a full remodel of the venue, Parq West Special Event, Wedding or Meeting venue opened for bookings in October of 2017. San Diego Women’s Club still holds weekly meetings at the venue.
Interested in becoming a San Diego Women’s Club Member or would like to attend the next meeting?