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 at 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 the area grows on the grounds of the club. The pioneer women came from urban areas left a legacy of continuing contributions of cultural improvements into community service, which has been proudly received by the succeeding members of the GFWC Coco Plum Woman’s Club and carefully preserved through the years.
On October 16, 1913, a 5-acre track on Sunset Drive 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 trees. Inside, shelves were built to hold the library, inspired by the first book, “Pollyanna”, that was to be prophetic of the spirits of the women of Coco Plum. The grounds, then and now, have been an essential part of the maintenance of the property.
The clubhouse with dedicated 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 Woman’s Club in 1915 and was one of the five clubs that organized Dade County Federation of Woman’s Clubs in 1916 and joined the General Federation of Woman’s Club in 1917.
During World War I, work included, knitting, bandage making, community singing and entertaining the airman of Dinner Key Naval Station. After the war, the clubhouse served as a social center, as well as a bimonthly clinic for pre-school children with a doctor and nurse in attendance.
On February 2, 1626, four acres of club property were sold to The Coral Gables Corporation for $100,000, one acre being retained, to build a great Mediterranean style Clubhouse with ironwork, roof of Cuban tile roof and paved portion in the center.
The cornerstone was laid on May 15, 1926. In it is a copper box containing the club bylaws, history, silver coin, and newspaper. During this time, cultural meetings were held with the facility of the University of Miami. The Club was incorporated as Coco Plum Woman’s Club in 1926. The 1926 Hurricane damaged the clubhouse.
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 April 1969, Coco Plum found it advisable to discontinue the library, a project that faithfully served the community for 56 years.
In 1978, because of a historical search, the Mayor of Coral Gables presented Coco Plum, with a bronze plaque designated our clubhouse as No. 21 on the Coral Gables Historic Landmark Register. The plaque is now mounted on the clubhouse at the ballroom entrance. On June 17, 2005, GFWC Coco Plum Woman’s Club, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On February 14, 2012, GFWC Coco Plum Woman’s Club celebrated its 100th birthday, The Mayor of Coral Gables presented the Club with the key to the City of Coral Gables and proclaimed February 14, 2012, as GFWC Coco Plum Woman’s Club Day.
We believe "Living the Volunteer Spirit". Our donations improve the community and enhance the lives others, with an emphasis on woman, children, and Veterans. The Club has supported many diverse organizations in recent years, including Amigos for Kids, American Legion, Cops for Kids, Feeding South Florida, Patches PPE, Miami Music Project, One More Child, Paw4You, Pinwheels for Protection, Project Upstart, Safe Haven for Newborns, South Miami Safe Streets, Special Olympics, Wreath Across American and Veterans.
Let’s have fun, make new friendships, and do some GOOD together, Living the Volunteer Spirit!
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