Club History


The busy life of GFWC Coco Plum Woman's Club began on Valentine's Day in 1912 at the home of one of its eight members. They came by wagon, buggy, horseback, bicycle and or foot through a rainstorm to the first meeting.  They were sitting on empty dynamite boxes and chose the name Coco Plum Thimble Club. A plant of the namesake fruit "Coco Plum", indigenous to this area, is now growing on the grounds of the club.  Those pioneer women who came from urban areas left a legacy of continuing contributions to cultural improvement and to community service which has been proudly received by the succeeding members of GFWC Coco Plum and carefully preserved through the years.

On October 16, 1913, a five acre tract on Sunset Road was bought for $100. The first clubhouse was built by club husbands with lumber provided by one husband to be paid for when possible.  The simple frame building with its wide porch stood among pines and palmettos.  Inside, shelves were built to hold the library inspired by the first "Pollyanna", a book which was to be prophetic of the spirits of the women of Coco Plum.

The clubhouse was dedicated in November 1914 and in 1916, the club was incorporated as the Woman's Club of Larkin, the name of the nearby community.  Coco Plum Woman's Club joined the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs in 1915, and was one of the five clubs that organized Dade County Federation of Women's Clubs in 1916, and joined the General Federation of Women's Club in 1917.

During World War I, work included knitting, bandage making, community singing and entertaining of Airmen from Dinner Key Naval Station.  After the war, the clubhouse served as a social center, as well as a bi-monthly clinic for pre-school children with a doctor and nurse in attendance.

On February 2, 1926 four acres of club property were sold to The Coral Gables Corp. for
 $100,000.00, one acre being retained on which to build the great Mediterranean style clubhouse with its ironwork, roof of Cuban tiles, and paved portion of the center. The cost was $75,000.00 for the building with $5,000.00 for furnishing and the remaining $20,000.00 left as a trust fund, the interest to be used for upkeep of the clubhouse.

The cornerstone was laid on May 16, 1926. In it is a copper box, containing the club by-laws, history, a silver coin and and newspaper. During this time, cultural meetings were held. The Library had about a thousand volumes. The club was incorporated as Coco Plum Woman's Club in 1926 and had the name changed again in December 2007 to GFWC Coco Plum Woman's Club.

During World War II Red Cross workd and the Defense Program were stressed.  Coco Plum ranked third in the state in the War Efforts.  In 1945, a kindergarten was formed which later became professional.
In 1946 Cotillion was organized for seventh and eighth grades and after 25 years with fond memories of our young people Cotillion drew its last curtain.

Also in 1948 a mobile library called the "Book Wagon" first of its kind in the state, served the surrounding community.  The Library was closed during the War, but was renovated and re-opened after the war. In 1969 Coco Plum found it advisable to discontinue its library, a project which had faithfully served the community for 56 years and the doors were finally closed on April 30, 1969.

The "Round the Clock" Civil Defense Program, held in September 16, 1957 at the clubhouse, was attended by approximately eight hundred people and brought county, state and national recognition.

In 1978, as a result of the historical research done by the president, The Mayor of Coral Gables presented Coco Plum with a bronze plaque designating our clubhouse No. 21 on the Coral Gables Historic Landmark Register.  The plaque is now mounted at the clubhouse's auditorium entrance. On June 17, 2005 Coco Plum Woman's Club was listed in the National Register of Historic Place.

On February 14, 2012 Coco Plum Woman's Club celebrated its 100th Birthday, the Mayor of Coral Gables presented Coco Plum with the key to the City of Coral Gables and proclaimed  February 14, 2012 as GFWC Coco Plum Woman's Club day.