Santa Fe Woman's Club



History

On July 9, 1892 a few Santa Fe women formed a society named The Benevolent Association, which later became the Women’s Board of Trade & Library Association; their purpose was to make civic improvements and establish a library.

The first improvement, completed in January 1895, was the transformation of the Plaza. Alfalfa was uprooted, sunken ground filled, grass seed sown, the picket fence and turnstiles replaced coping. The Public Library and Reading Room with 400 books opened in January 1896 in the Barracks Building at the northwest corner of the Plaza. In March 1903 the Territorial Legislature gave the Board a piece of land on Washington Street where the Library building was begun in 1907 and by 1915 contained 3,500 books.

In 1931 the Women’s Board of Trade merged with the Santa Fe Women’s Club which was organized in 1912. The objectives were to promote civic, educational, philanthropic and library work, to conduct a free public library and to maintain Fairview Cemetery in the City of Santa Fe.

Club maintenance of Fairview Cemetery began in 1899 and continued until 1978 when the Cemetery was donated to Santa Fe County. The City of Santa Fe purchased the Library from The Women’s Club in 1962. At the time, the Club donated the Library book inventory, appraised at over $100,000.00 to the City. Money from the sale made it possible for the Club to purchase land at 1616 Old Pecos Trail.

The Santa Fe Women’s Club continues to support the Santa Fe Public Library and civic improvements. Each year four tuition scholarships are given to qualified Santa Fe students. Support continues for many community projects such as Girls Ranch, Esperanza, Santa Fe Rape Crises Center, Cancer Society, Open Hands and numerous others.

We have also been named, “A Santa Fe Living Treasure”, and are the first and only organization in the city to have received this wonderful honor. Thus, the women of Santa Fe who are members of The Santa Fe Women’s Club & Library Association proudly share the spotlight with a group committed to our community.

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