Cook Book de Luxe
The Monrovia Women's Club
The Monrovia Women’s Club traces its origins to the city’s first homeowners in the 1800s and a women’s reading circle that soon became known as the Saturday Afternoon Club. When their meeting day changed to Wednesdays in 1911, the members decided a new name was in order, and The Monrovia Women’s Club was born.
The organization (when it was still called the Saturday Afternoon Club) founded the community’s first public library, beginning with a Saturday Afternoon book drive. The women then rented a room and hired a Librarian.
A few years later, the Club was ready for their own clubhouse, first on the Northern corner of Palm and Myrtle Avenues, and then in a remodeled version of the Henry Stewart McKee mansion at 140 N. Canyon Boulevard, where they hosted lectures, luncheons, and other Club events. The building was sold and the Club dissolved in 1971.
A plaque stands at the location of the first club house (pictured), now a Bank of America. The signage shows a photograph of the Club's building tudor building, desinged by architect Arthur B. Benton.
Also pictured: Monrovian Eva C. Rehrman and a friend, with the original clubhouse behind them in 1922. I’ve included this image in the entry because the women feel vaguely reminiscent of the two chatting women on the cookbook’s cover (though that 1926 drawing displays a more flapper style). This cover is one of only a handful of cookbook images in the archive that visually depict not just cooking but the camaraderie of eating and drinking together - which was so central to the mission of many of the organizations represented in this collection.
Historic images from the Monrovia Archive (via Myron Hotchkiss and Rehrman Collections)