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The Beginning

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The following information is in most cases paraphrased from a wonderful article we have framed in the Hall.  This loving history compiled by Tom White, was published in the Mountain Democrat on September 24, 1980, during a fund-raising effort by the Center.  Tom was a former resident who was very active in the community and gathered historical information on the center from existing records.

The probable beginning for the Shingle Springs Community Center was in May or June 1951 when a group of local residents formed, unnamed, to try to do something in entertainment and social activities for a then new and growing community.  First records indicate that they met for a time in the two-room Buckeye School for $5 per night.

Suggested names for the new organization were “Mud Springs Recreation District” and “Shingle Springs Community Club”.  Fund-raising began with events like white elephant sales, cake sales, selling chances on donated articles, selling floor wax and vanilla extract, and charging for rides on donkeys and goats.

July 4, 1951 the group formed a charter with 139 persons signing the membership roll. There is no record of who led the meeting. The charter reads as follows:

Let it be known, that on the memorable day, July 4, 1951, we the undersigned citizens of the Shingle Springs Community, organized the Shingle Springs Community Center; that our chief aim shall be to build a community center or clubhouse where all people of all races and creeds may carry on their religious, social economic and cultural activities, and where we may work together ONE FOR ALL, and ALL FOR ONE, so that our community may be a better place in which to live.

The group was meeting where and when possible, and trying to raise funds for land and a permanent meeting place until Sept. 19, 1951; the first real business meeting after the charter was held with the first officers presiding. Officers included Andrew Teague, president; Ruby Coval, secretary; and directors Arthur Williamson, Celeste Albert, Coval and Dal Murphy.

In October 1951 the club was incorporated.  In April 1952, through the efforts of Coval, a parcel of land in the amount of 4-plus acres was gift-deeded by David and Ruth Barnett to the club.  The deed of gift conditions and covenants stated that should the grantee become extinct or forfeit its charter, the premises shall revert to the grantor, heirs, or assigns.

Williamson was elected chairman of the building committee. His first orders where, “I want all men at the building site at 10 a.m. Sunday.”  A strong organization, with a building site, was born and only 14 days later discussion started on the type of building to erect on the cleaned-up property. Members went door to door asking for donations in the amount of $1 to purchase each cement block for the building.   Donations of materials by several Placerville and area merchants were made.

By May 1952 the first bylaws where adopted, which said in part, “in the event the organization becomes defunct, all capital assets except the acreage under deed of gift shall become the property of Buckeye School District.” The organization was recorded with the Department of Charitable Trusts as nonprofit.

In the late 1950s branch clubs were formed, including an active club “Tops N Teens” for youth.  This was the case for over a decade but, in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s enthusiasm waned.  A few members continued to pursue the meaning of the original charter and carry on during those times.

We will add more specifics as we learn and archive the events of our wonderful past. 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000 and beyond!