Saratoga Men's Club
A Brief History of the Incorporation and Early Years
The Saratoga Men's marks its beginnings from 1918 when a group of Saratoga men started an informal association to support a local Boy Scout Troop.1 By 1921 the association was identified as the Saratoga Men's Club, with the "purpose of sponsoring Boy Scout activities in Saratoga and providing a place of wholesome recreation for the boys of the community."2 The bylaws were first published in 1922 and stated in Article II that "The object of this organization is to promote community service and social recreation."3
On November 27, 1923 eleven members, including Harry E. Smith, the president, formally incorporated the organization in the State of California as the Saratoga Men's Club. The stated "purpose for which said corporation is formed is to promote community service and social recreation, among its members and others, and in all proper ways and things to foster, conduct, aid and assist in the betterment of the community and the happiness of its members."4
In 1924 action was taken to acquire permanent club rooms and the vacant Christian Church and its parsonage on Big Basin Way were purchased. The church was used for Boy Scout activities5 and the parsonage for Men's Club activities.6
For many years the club held meetings each week on Tuesdays7, alternately two each month for business and two for social activities. A membership list from the late 1920s records 104 men from Saratoga and Los Gatos, with a few from San Francisco, San Jose, and elsewhere. Early in the Depression of the 1930s the membership roster dropped to 75 but by 1938 had recovered to 100 members.8 In 1936 the club sold the club house and scout hall properties and began renting the Saratoga Foothill Club for its meetings.9 In 1944 the club voted to limit membership to 175, at a time when there were 155 members with 13 eligibles awaiting membership.10 This membership limitation is still in force.
Club members meet at the Saratoga Foothill Club each month (less July and August) for socializing, dinner and a presentation by a guest speaker.
In 2006 the Saratoga Men's Club donated the bulk of its archives to the Saratoga Historical Foundation and plans to supplement those holdings with new club materials each year.
August 22, 2007
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