The Mesquite Club Records (1911-2016) contain the organizational files of the Mesquite Club, the oldest women's service club in Las Vegas, Nevada. Materials include meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, committee reports, newsletters, scrapbooks, and photographic prints and negatives. The records document the club's administrative structure, community service projects, social events, and relationship with the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC).
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Mesquite Club Records (1911-2016) contain the organizational files of the Mesquite Club, the oldest women's service club in Las Vegas, Nevada. Materials include meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, committee reports, newsletters, scrapbooks, and photographic prints and negatives. The records document the club's administrative structure, community service projects, social events, and relationship with the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC). The records also include the bylaws, membership list, and programs for the Junior Mesquite Club.
Collection is open for research, with the exception of materials that are restricted to protect confidential legal work product. Restrictions are noted at the file level of this inventory and will be open for research use January 1, 2072.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
Materials are organized into eight series:
Series I. Administrative records, 1911-1998;
Series II. Community service projects, 1969-1998;
Series III. Publications, 1914-1999;
Series IV. Mesquite Clubhouse building records, 1977-1997;
Series V. General Federation of Women's Clubs affiliation, 1958-1998;
Series VI. Photographs and artifacts, 1987-1988;
Series VII. Miscellaneous files, 1911-1993;
Series VIII. Additional accessions, 1953-2012.
Biographical / Historical Note
The Mesquite Club was established in 1911 by a group of women interested in community service, educational projects, and social events in Las Vegas, Nevada. The name is taken from the mesquite tree native to the Las Vegas area and often found around sources of groundwater. The club affiliated with the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) in 1912, was incorporated as a non-profit organization under Nevada law in 1927, and renewed their non-profit status in 1977.
Two of the Mesquite Club's charter members were Las Vegas settlers Helen J. Stewart and Delphine Squires, and later included many other prominent Las Vegas women. Their first project addressed the need for shade trees in the desert town, raised money for cottonwood trees, ensured they were planted on every lot, and cared for them until they were fully-grown. Another early community improvement project was the establishment of a public library, and one of their first educational activities involved studying aspects of the state of Nevada, its principal cities, Native American peoples, topography, and resources.
Club members supported war efforts during the First and Second World Wars by making items for the Red Cross and participating in the United Service Organizations (USO). They supported community improvement projects such as the Secret Witness and Neighborhood Watch programs in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as the creation of senior centers and welfare programs for women and children. In addition, they supported the adoption of child protection legislation and promoted substance abuse prevention education in Nevada. The Mesquite Club also promoted community arts culture in Las Vegas, provided an endowment to the UNLV Library to buy children's literature, and donated funds to open the UNLV Center for the Performing Arts. The club contributes to many local performing and visual arts organizations, and frequently presents public art, flower, and fashion shows. In 1972, the Mesquite Club created the Memorial Rose Garden in Lorenzi Park, a civic beautification project that continues to be an interest of the club today.
The Mesquite Club raises funds by hosting internal club events such as card parties, luncheons, tea parties, and auctions, as well as renting out their private clubhouse to the public for events such as weddings. Another major fundraiser is the Christmas Gift Wrap Project, which is held each year at local Las Vegas malls during the holiday season. At the end of each club year, which runs from September to May, the club donates this money to a number of different causes throughout Las Vegas.
In 1991, they created the "Evening Mesquite" to accommodate members who could not attend the daytime Mesquite Club meetings. Although considered part of the main club with shared officers and meeting location at the clubhouse, the Evening Mesquite maintains its own chairwoman, fundraising efforts, and charitable projects. The Mesquite Club continues to address the needs of the Las Vegas community in various ways. They help educate Las Vegas citizens on current affairs, promote culture, and address community improvement issues.
"The Mesquite Club." Accessed August 2019. https://mesquiteclub.com/about-us%2Fhistory
Mesquite Club Records, 1911-2016. MS-00429. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated by the Mesquite Club in 2001, 2008, 2009, 2013, and 2022; accession numbers 2001-09, 2009-32, 2012-12, 2013-23, and 2022-028.
Accession 2001-09 was processed by Susan Gregg. Accessions 2009-32 and 2013-23 were processed by Joyce Moore. In 2015, the description was revised and enhanced to bring it into compliance with current professional standards and entered into ArchivesSpace. In 2019, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Billy Marino rehoused portions of the collection and revised the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards. In 2022, Tammi Kim minimally processed the 2022 addition during accessioning and updated the finding aid in ArchivesSpace.
Further additions to this collection are anticipated.