I am having a difficult day because an archive I visited did a terrible job of making copies and digitizing picture. It is a lot of work to make sure I have the right documents. It is important because I need then for a paper I am giving at the History Education Society annual meeting. I also need the pictures for a poster I will be presenting at the AHA.
While doing this work, I found a picture on my computer that I realized I had meant to write a post about. It is of the Ebell Club, Los Angeles and is from an August 9 New York Times article. The club has existed from 1897; its clubhouse is a beautiful Italian renaissance revival built-in 1927.
Amey Wheeler, wife of Benjamin Ide Wheeler, president of the University of California, Berkeley was a member of the Ebell Club of Oakland. Both the Oakland and Los Angeles clubs were named after Adrian Bell who had organized classes for women. Many clubwomen belong to more than one club. Amey also founded the College Teas Association at Berkley. This was a faculty wives club.
Historians have studied the women’s club movement but usually end the story in 1920 when women got the vote. The fact that the Ebell Club still exists is testament to the power of ongoing connections between generations of women. However, it now faces what the article calls a 21st-century problem: “how to convince modern women that such a club has contemporary value to them.” Many faculty wives clubs still exist but face similar problems to those of the Ebell Club.