Founded in 1916, the BHWC uses its historic facility and its membership to support the advancement of educational, cultural, philanthropic, and social endeavors enriching the community at large.
Through the collaborative efforts of Beverly Hills society women, the BHWC was built with the vision to explore intellectual ideas, literature, the arts, and philanthropic efforts. It was conceived in the spirit of Americanism. From its inception, the BHWC has thrived as a vibrant entity offering programs that enrich both its members and society at large.
It’s hard to believe that around the time the BHWC was founded, The City of Beverly Hills, recently incorporated, had about 400 residents. The BHWC was founded in an era where women had no right to vote but had the determination and spirit to organize as a women’s club to better themselves and their community. Within the first few years of the club’s origins, the BHWC served as a Red Cross Unit during the First World War and during the pandemic of 1918.
Mrs. Force Parker, wife of the Venice pioneer and Los Angeles City Attorney served as the first President. By 1925, enterprising and savvy club President, Mrs. Jay B. Millard, organized a horse show hosted by William Penn Adair Rogers, or as we know him, Will Rogers, and his wife, Betty. Will was the honorary Mayor of BH, the highest-paid actor of the times, and wrote more than 4,000 nationally-syndicated newspaper columns. Included in the festivities, were Mary Pickford, her husband Douglas Fairbanks, famed director Cecile B. DeMille, Margaret Anderson (owner of the Bel-Air Hotel). The event was a huge success and raised the $4,000 used to purchase the land and construct the Spanish Colonial Revival clubhouse. By the 1930s, the BHWC had over 600 members and was the go-to place for community involvement and social activities.
The Spanish Colonial Clubhouse was designed by noted architects Gable & Wyant and was erected in 1925. It’s a significant example of early California architecture.
The BHWC is a Landmark building listed on the National and California Registry of Historic Places. Here are just a few of many interesting historical facts about BHWC:
It is the Historic Site of the battle between Indians and early California settlers. A historical marker commemorates the Indian remains found on the property on the front lawn.
Mrs. Burton Greene, whose husband established Beverly Hills as a residential community, was a Founding Member. Mr. & Mrs. Will Rogers and Mary Pickford were among the early contributors.
The famous Beverly Hills Electric Fountain (Santa Monica Blvd. at Wilshire Blvd.) was a gift by the BHWC to the City of Beverly Hills in 1930.
The BHWC has been the site of exhibitions, including El Greco, Saint Francis of Assisi, 1580, exhibited in 1930.
Noted lecturers and guests of the BHWC include Amelia Earhart (lecture presented in 1935), Gloria Swanson (master of ceremonies of the 1st flower show in Beverly Hills in 1937), Norma Shearer (Mrs. Irving Thalberg, member and Oscar award winner), and Will Rogers’ Horse Shows.
Present Philanthropic Functions: The BHWC provides a venue and raises funds for charitable organizations, and offers educational and cultural events and lectures to the greater community.
The members of the BHWC are honored to have such glorious roots and the mission set forth by the organization to use this historic facility for cultural, social, educational, and philanthropic causes, thus creating a greater sense of community.
2019-2021 Mrs. Pamela Cohen
2017-2019 Mrs. Elena Danielson
2013-2017 Mrs. Mumsey Nemiroff
2011-2013 Ms. Jill Collins
2001-2011 Mrs. Claudia Deutsch
2005-2007 Ms. Leslie Minniti
2001-2005 Mrs. Fabienne Guerin
1998-2001 Mrs. Bruce Bailey Rolf
1995-1998 Mrs. Wallace Bache Crank
1994-1995 Mrs. John E. Kevan, Jr.
1993-1994 Mrs. Bruce Bailey Rolf
1991-1993 Mrs. Arthur Snyder, Jr.
1989-1991 Mrs. John E. Keven, Jr.
1987-1989 Mrs. Walter James Monia
1985-1987 Mrs. Fred Gibson
1979-1985 Mrs. David S. Lockie
1977-1979 Mrs. Herbert H. Olson
1975-1977 Mrs. John Negri
1973-1975 Mrs. William T. Copenhaver
1971-1973 Mrs. Clarence A. Diebold
1969-1971 Mrs. Lambert Wakefield
1967-1969 Mrs. Charles F. Sill
1965-1967 Mrs. A. Sterling Pickens
1963-1965 Mrs. Rae A. Rearwin
1961-1963 Mrs. A. Emerson Newman
1959-1961 Mrs. Tom W. Baily
1957-1959 Mrs. Neil Hyrum Jensen
1955-1957 Mrs. Louis Statham
1953-1955 Mrs. William H. Hammer
1952-1953 Mrs. J. Malcolm D’Ambrogio
1951-1952 Mrs. Casimir A. Miketta
1949-1951 Mrs. George R. Shean
1947-1949 Mrs. A. Arthur Crawford
1945-1947 Mrs. Edward J. Hummel
1943-1945 Mrs. J. Lynn Ironmonger
1941-1943 Mrs. Eugene Swarzwald
1939-1941 Mrs. Harry H. Blodgett
1937-1939 Mrs. Thomas R. Gibbon
1935-1937 Mrs. Warren E. Libby
1933-1935 Mrs. Charles F. Nelson
1931-1933 Mrs. Noel M. Hooker
1929-1931 Mrs. Karl F. Murdock
1927-1929 Mrs. J. Jerome Canavan
1925-1927 Mrs. Norman A. Pabst
1921-1925 Mrs. Jay B. Millard
1919-1921 Mrs. Edmund Lock
1916-1919 Mrs. Force Parker
Board of Directors
Claudia Deutsch, Treasurer
Cindy Leuty Jones
Antonella Carlevaro Rossi