The We and Our Neighbors club began when a group of Union 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.
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.
In 1910 the members built the clubhouse at the corner of Union Avenue and Los Gatos-Almaden Road, now an Arts and Crafts Bungalow entered in the National Registry of Historic Places and a San Jose Historic Landmark.
We and Our Neighbors is the oldest women’s club in Santa Clara County. Our building is the oldest continually-used California women’s clubhouse. 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.
Local Articles: Celebrating 115 years Los Gatos Weekly Times May 2010 San Jose Mercury News Article San Jose_ We and Our Neighbors in Cambrian Park celebrates 125th anniversary