1892 Established The We and Our Neighbors club began when a group of Union School District farmers’ wives met for an afternoon tea in June of 1892 at the home of Mrs. John Cilker. The day was so pleasant that the women decided to form a club to promote social ties, intellectual and cultural pursuits, charitable deeds, and recreation for the farm families of the neighborhood. The members agreed to meet every third Saturday of the month and, after much deliberation, decided to call the new club We and Our Neighbors. They elected Mrs. Maria Schofield to be their first president, a position she retained for 25 years.
In 1892, the club was a forerunner of a PTA to Union School. Members started a lending library of magazines so they could keep up with current events and fashions. The magazines were then bound and sent to hospitals. During the Spanish-American War, members sent books to troops in the Philippines and collected eggs, dried fruit, bandages and reading material to donate to veterans in hospitals. The club members sent two wagonloads of collected blankets and clothing to victims of the 1906 earthquake.
1910 Clubhouse Built In 1910 the clubhouse as it stands was built on the corner of Union Avenue and Los Gatos-Almaden Road. Mrs. Schofield donated $2,650 to have the Craftsman Bungalow built on land that was sold to the club by Sophia LaMontagne for one gold dollar.
We and Our Neighbors is the oldest women’s club in Santa Clara County. Our building is the oldest continually-used women’s clubhouse in the state of California. In 1921, We and Our Neighbors joined the California Federation of Women’s Clubs, a division of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs International. In the early 1950’s the Club donated space for the first branch of the Santa Clara County Library in the area.
The building was entered in the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979 and in 1992 became the City of San Jose' Historic Landmark number 97.
The San Jose Clubhouse is owned by We and Our Neighbor's and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Their mission statement reads, "We and Our Neighbors is dedicated to promoting educational and social activities among its members, preserving the historical clubhouse, and supporting worthwhile causes in the neighboring as well as greater community." As part of their mission they would like to share their venue with individuals or organizations that would produce programming that would benefit the community. If you have an idea please submit it to the Free Rental Program.