Santa Clara Women's Club Adobe – Santa Clara, California - Atlas Obscura

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Santa Clara Women's Club Adobe

One of the oldest adobe structures in Northern California. 


Right off of the Santa Clara University campus sits a small building. Its red roof tiles and white adobe walls are fairly typical for the area. But this is no Spanish Revival homage to California’s past. This edifice, now the Santa Clara Women’s Club, dates back to when Spain ruled Northern California.

The nearby University grounds are home to the Santa Clara Mission, one of the 21 sites across California established by Spanish monks in order to convert Native Americans to Christianity while exploiting their labor. The monks chose the Tamien village of So-co-is-u-ka as the site for the Santa Clara Mission and compound in 1777.

Over the next few decades, the mission built adobe buildings for various purposes. In 1798, they constructed several houses for married Indigenous members of the mission, including this one. The house was constantly occupied until 1911, and the Santa Clara Women’s Club purchased it as their new clubhouse in 1913. As the many plaques and signs around the building state, it is now one of the oldest adobe structures in the state.

Know Before You Go

The building is closed to the public, but the Women's Club occasionally holds events and fundraisers.

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