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History

    A local citizen, a real mover and shaker, named Cora Woodbridge, organized the Women’s Improvement Club of Roseville (WIC) in 1910.  She had the nerve and foresight to believe women could contribute to the betterment of her new city of Roseville.

    The first project the women did was to lobby city fathers for modern water and sewer systems.  At a kick-off luncheon their place settings consisted of pieces of clay pipe adorned with brightly colored ribbon to remind the guest of the importance of securing these vitally needed services.  Their efforts paid off and before long Roseville provided potable drinking water and in-door plumbing.

    Shortly after that each clubwomen set out to clean up the streets with the aid of four boys equipped with nail sticks.  Then they placed garbage cans throughout the City.  This was the beginning of the City’s waste management program.

    With few students being able to pursue their education beyond ninth grade, the ladies of WIC spearheaded a movement that resulted in the organization of the Roseville High School District in 1912.  Classed for the first high school, located on Vernon Street in an old Southern Pacific Railroad building, proved to be inadequate as there were more pupils than could be accommodated.  They then called for a bond issue to build a permanent facility.  Twice bonds were voted down but the third effort passed.  In January of 1916, the first classes of Roseville’s “High School on the Hill” convened.

    At the same time, under the leadership of the Women’s Improvement club, plans were taking place to provide a public library for the growing community.  Lots were donated for the proposed library and the WIC obtained a grant from the Carnegie Foundation for its construction.

    Our clubwomen were instrumental in developing the first of what has today become an expansive park system.  Sierra Vista Park, today’s Woodbridge Park, was donated to the City in 1907, remained undeveloped until the WIC raised money to buy trees and shrubs. Which in the early days, they watered by hand.  Later the Club planted trees in Royer Park and raised funds for completion of tennis courts there.

    WIC was also responsible for bringing culture to the then largely railroad community.  A music series was organized and home talent shows were put on at the McRae Opera House.

    Rose and chrysanthemum shows were held with highly sought after prizes for the nicest displays.  The popular flower shows created town wide interest in maintaining and improving yards and gardens.

    During the deadly 1918 flu epidemic, the women scrubbed up and mopped an old house and set up a temporary hospital.  They scrounged for beds, bedding, and kitchen supplies and equipment.  They took shifts 24 hours a day, tending and cooking for patients.  That was Roseville’s first hospital.  When the first real hospital was built, WIC raised funds to completely furnish one room.

    The Club continues to perpetuate and carry out the objectives of its predecessors.  It continues to support the library system, educational programs, reforestation, youth programs, and arts in the community.