MARGARET HUDSON ( - )


Hello there ladies and gentlemen,

My name is Mrs. William Hudson and I lived in this wonderful community back in the first decades of the 1900s. There had been people living here for quite some time in the 1800s – but we were the new residents who came here when the Redlands Yucaipa Land Company started selling the plots of land. Naturally, as people bought up parcels of land, we women got together and started the tradition of being neighborly. It was great having friends in this wide open space. My new friends call me Margaret.

Right away in 1910, we got together at picnics and decided to form a social group and held a reception, In the spring of 1911, a bunch of us formed an association for the good of the new community. There were seven or eight of us at first and we organized dinners and the community picnic. Before long there was a choral group. On alternate weeks we held a meeting for literary, religious and social purposes. On June 12, 1911 we formed a constitution for the new “Council of Women” and I became the president.

“Would you rise higher than you are? Hitch your wagon to star,” said Emmerson and so did we.

New Home Day was our first project and we instituted “New Home Day” and helped to put on the first Yucaipa Fair or Apple Show and we held it in a room of the Yucaipa Hotel.

In June, 1912, a dear friend, Maude Fox, got it in her head to have a library in the hotel and of course we got right onto it. You heard about the library and the librarian Jessie Jackson last year when we came to haunt you last October. Let me tell you, there was a lot of pure drudgery in cooking up all those chicken dinners with biscuits, pies and cider we served over the years at the apple shows to raise funds for that library, but we sure did it. I see you still have one over all these years.

We wanted to have a meeting place as most of the early apple shows were in tents and we formed a building committee with Mrs. Cruickshank, the wife of the owner of the Yucaipa Lumber Company in charge of getting us a clubhouse.
In 1917, we incorporated with the decision to build. The lots for the clubhouse were given to us by the Land Company. The object of our club is for the advancement of home life and community interest through the promotion of literature, art, civics and social activities. The sales of liberty bonds and Red Cross work were among the projects we led, and we were still meeting as a group in local churches.

In 1918, Florence Shoneman, who was the granddaughter of Diego Sepulveda, who built the first adobe home in lower Yucaipa,suggested the club start a History and Landmarks committee. Imagine that. We were busy. By 1920, we had a night school to learn Spanish. That year, club members sent out 2,500 post cards and visitors to the apple show came from all over the state.

The 1921 apple show was the best ever for the clubhouse fund. Along with our chicken and turkey dinners, Cruickshank donated $1,500 in lumber in his wife’s Melissa’s name.

Hot dang! It was fun watching the building being built. We dedicated the clubhouse on June 18, 1922, with art and music stressed as our goals.
The 1923 Apple Festival had an emphasis on all fruits with peaches replacing some of the apples due to climate change. We did have 250,000 boxes of apples, though, that were picked.

From 1922 through 1970, there was a constant demand for the use of the auditorium at the Woman’s Clubhouse as it served as the activity center for the whole community. A diversity of public affairs meetings were scheduled to deal with issues, business, water and improvement districts, the farm bureau, the poultrymen’s association, service club meetings, girl and boy scouts, the renaming of the local streets (gee, I wish they wouldn’t have done that, let alone the renumbering twice - for heaven’s sake.) The building became the town center. Many civic organizations were organized in the clubhouse and it was an election polling place as well. The local chamber of commerce was organized at the site and the American Red Cross met there as well. Yucaipa Family Assistance used the basement for many years and don’t forget the library was there for a couple of decades until we kicked them out. I won’t say why.

The 1926 show had three tents with dinners and dance in the new clubhouse. By 1929, we also featured poultry, a new industry in the community. We sure had a good time in those days.

Times changed over the years, and much work was done there during World War II. Women were working more outside their homes during the days, so the Evening Section of the Woman’s Club was formed and they are also going strong today I see.

In 1970, the community center was added to help with some of the community’s needs. The Yucaipa Woman’s Club – both sections – continues to serve the community. The clubhouse still is rented out for meetings, celebrations, socials, parties and service projects.

And all you women who are not members, come visit the spirit of Yucaipa and the place and people who helped it make it great.