Several years ago, Rex Ryan, left, Jeff Garnier, Penny Artz, Emily Pangborn and Naomi Turner pose with some marshmallow ghosts donated from the Monticola Club to the Lassen Senior Services Meals on Wheels. The donation added a spooky treat to the meals delivered to local homebound seniors. File photo.

‘We Have A Cause’

Publisher’s note: The Monticola Club asks us to publish this information about the local organization.

According to a statement from the Moticola Club, “We, (the) Monticola Club, feel that it is just as important to bring awareness to our 112-year-old history and the present and the future.”

Some of the club’s accomplishments

  • First Reading Area (Library) in Susanville.
  • Support in the first swimming hole (pool) and every pool since then. Umbrella tables and chairs at the new pool.
  • Community Service – Memorial Park tables, benches, water fountains.  Currently, Senior Food Bank, HS Food Bank, water for river clean up.
  • Beautification:  Sunburst Locust in front of LHS, Lilacs all around town, trees on the top of Main St. Triangle.
  • And currently, last fall, planting the daffodils in the Tri Angle. Support in the education of our local youth through scholarships.

Club history
In April 1912, an article in The Lassen Advocate invited interested women to join “A Women’s Club for Susanville.” On April 20 of that year, 15 women attended the first meeting and lost no time getting organized. Founder and Honorary President Philinda Spencer (1847-1915) encouraged the women toward active civic, social, and educational service.

The club name, Monticola, means “mountain dwellers.” The club motto became “We Have A Cause.” The club colors of green and white were selected to reflect the pine forests and the snow. The violet was chosen as the club flower.

In 1914, the Monticola Club was instrumental in starting our first public library. It was initially located on the southeast corner of Main and Roop Streets. Members donated furniture and books as well as their time to serve as librarians in the Reading and Rest Room.

Over the years, our members have been involved in a number of beautification projects: planting lilacs around town, sunburst locust trees in front of the high school, and rose bushes in memory of deceased members. In 1947 the Club, along with other organizations, helped to purchase land and develop Memorial Park. Members planted trees, shrubs, built picnic tables, fireplaces, and bonfire pits.

Another long-term, long-lasting project was our clubhouse. The idea was first proposed in 1923.

In 1929, Gladys Burroughs and Iva Raker offered our present building site as a memorial to their mother, Philinda Spencer, the sponsor for our club. Finally, after years of planning, fundraising, and saving up the funds, we broke ground in September 1952, with an Open House on Jan. 25, 1953. Since then, the clubhouse has not only provided a meeting place for members but was made handicap accessible to accommodate everyone. A variety of fundraising activities have taken place over the years in order to provide funds to keep the building in shape.

The Monticola Club is a 501(c)(3) service organization formed for the purpose of giving local women the opportunity to serve in many ways to improve the quality of life in our community. Club projects support creative, performance, and visual arts; beautification; environmental education and conservation; leadership; family living and health; citizenship; crime prevention and safety; and community improvement.

Qualification for membership requires attendance at one General Meeting before joining and paying annual membership dues of $30. Membership infers participation in two club activities as follows: a minimum of two luncheon committees per year, or one luncheon committee and one service committee, or two service committees.

The regular general membership meeting and luncheon is held on the third Thursday each month from September through May at the clubhouse. Meetings start at noon, with lunch service starting at 11:45, followed by an invited guest speaker and a business meeting. The cost for lunch for members is $10. Guests are paid for by the inviting member at a reduced rate of $10.

The Executive Board meets the first Thursday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at the clubhouse. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Scholarships and donations
Since 1959 the Monticola Club has presented more than 180 scholarships to local high school and Lassen Community College students continuing their education. The club also donates to the Hugh O’Brien Youth  Leadership Conference, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Fair, Sober Graduation and other youth activities.

Another long-time project of the club is the Penny Pines Plantation (reforestation) program. Members donate their spare change until $68 is reached. The money is then given to the U.S. Forest Service who in turn plants trees in burned out or pest devastated forests located in our local area.

We also contribute to the Ronald McDonald House.

To support our many scholarships and service projects, the Club holds a variety of fund-raisers throughout the year. We host the retired Teachers Luncheon in the fall, two boutiques a year (Christmas and Spring) with a yard sale and we rent the club out for meetings and events.

Luncheon dates
Join us on the third Thursday of each month, September through May.