The Foundation of NWC


The Neptunian Woman’s Club of Manhattan Beach (NWC) is the oldest civic organization in the South Bay. It has a deep seated tradition of cultivating the passion of like-minded women to support and serve the changing needs of our local communities, and to build a better place to live.


We are a Nonprofit Public Benefit 501(c)(3) Corporation dedicated to volunteerism and the raising of funds in support of charitable, educational, cultural and civic services.


Founded in May 1909 by Mrs. Jessie Bell Smith, the Neptunian Woman’s Club started when ten local women came together with a goal of having an immediate impact on the town of Manhattan Beach.  Before women even had the ability to cast a vote, they were the driving force behind Manhattan Beach becoming its own city.  They were determined to have their own fire, police departments, and school district. These remarkable women were responsible for the first library, the first school, as well as tree planting, botanical gardens, and assembling a Boy Scout troop.


Pioneers in Manhattan Beach

Founding Members

Jessie Bell Smith
Mrs. William Smith
Mrs. W.H.Bett
Mrs. J.C. Wilson
Mrs. R.E. Raymer
Mrs. K.H. Bennett

Mrs. James Russell
Mrs. H.A. Bourne
Mrs. FJ. C. Stockwell
Mrs. Annie Barton
Mrs. F.W. Young

Neptunian Woman's Club of Manhattan Beach: History - The Clubhouse

By the end of 1912, Manhattan Beach was officially incorporated and growing. The Neptunian Woman’s Club, now comprised of twenty ladies, decided they needed a club house of their own.  In October of 1917, the Neptunian Woman’s Club purchased a lot at 10th Street and Highland Avenue for slightly more than $500.  This prime piece of Manhattan Beach real estate is still owned by Neptunian Woman’s Club today.


With the advent of World War I, construction of the clubhouse was delayed until 1924. The contract to build the new clubhouse was $5,500 but the NWC had only $1,300 in their building fund. The ladies were forced to take out a loan to pay for the balance of construction and increase membership dues to 50 cents to pay off the loan. In 1956, the clubhouse was remodeled to add a second hall to the south.