The Civic Garden Club was organized on October 29, 1937, at the home of Mrs. John Kelly. Nine women joined on that day and made plans for the beautification of San Carlos and to represent our city at the first Floral-Fiesta held in San Mateo in 1938. The rose ‘Paul Scarlet’, a red flowered climber, was adopted as the emblem of the club at that time.
Mrs. Minta Holt was the club’s first President. Mrs. O. Elliot was appointed Historian and Mrs. Mahany, civic chairperson. It was the civic chairperson’s duty to have 117 Paul Scarlet rose bushes and 14 Chinese Pistachio trees planted along the highway from Cherry to Holly Streets and Pyracanthas from Holly to Oak Street. All vacant corners along the El Camino were planted With Petunias. This was done to impress visitors to the Golden Gate International Exposition who passed through our town to see that it was a city of fruit, sunshine and flowers.
During the Second World War the club helped staff the U.S.O. and the Salvage Shop. They gave the proceeds to the Blood Bank, sent flowers to the Veterans Hospital, and cookies to the disabled servicemen.
Casa de Flores (House of Flowers), the present site of the Garden Club, was the original Saint Charles Catholic Church which was built in 1929. The first Mass was celebrated June 21st of that year.
The Civic Garden Club purchased the property and the adjacent lot in 1956. Much work was done to remodel and renovate the building. In 1956 a kitchen and anteroom were added at the cost of $19,000.
The club had always had a goal to work towards, and that was to own their own clubhouse. This goal became a reality in 1982 when the mortgage was burned. This was accomplished by lots of hard work and planning by the members.
Civic endeavors include a donation of benches to the City of San Carlos, financial contributions to the reforestation program of the Oakland Hills area, and to Pennies for Pines campaign through the Department of Agriculture. In addition we participated in a highway beautification program and assisted in a drive to obtain computers for San Carlos School District.
To maintain the Casa de Flores, we offer a weekend rental program for weddings, receptions and social gatherings.
Our General meetings are held on the third Friday of each month (except for June, July & August). We are affiliated with National Council of State Clubs, Inc. the California State Garden Clubs, Inc. and Bay Ocean District.
Our building is listed as a Historical Landmark of San Carlos.