Jo Anne Davis: Who are the Native Daughters of the Golden West? |

Jo Anne Davis: Who are the Native Daughters of the Golden West?

The Order of the Native Daughters of the Golden West is a fraternal and patriotic organization, founded on the principles of:

Love of home, devotion to the flag, veneration of the pioneers and faith in the existence of God.

Native Daughters of the Golden West was instituted on Sept. 11, 1886 in the historic mining town of Jackson, Amador County, by a young woman named Miss Lilly O. Reichling (later Mrs. Dyer). She loved California and at the age of 20 years old she began an organization for all California-born women of good moral character and who also shared her love of California. Love of California is evident in the Order’s unceasing efforts to promote the study of her romantic history and reverence for the memory of the sturdy Pioneer fathers and mothers, the founders of our great state.

California born individuals should be proud to become members of The Native Daughters of the Golden West. Parlors and chapters are located throughout the state, and through their activities members experience California’s great heritage and make lasting friendships.

Native Daughters participate in various projects throughout the state, we help restore historical landmarks and we place commemorative plaques at historic sites in an effort to instill in future generations an appreciation of California’s unique history. They also raise funds for maintenance and preservation of historic sites, such as The California Missions.

The Mission Era of California may seem worlds away from our modern day skyscrapers, the Native Daughters have labored to help restore and preserve the beautiful monuments which are found in our 21 missions.

The Children’s Foundation provides assistance for children in California whose medical needs outstrip the means of the family and who are not eligible for other medical aid. This includes provision of medical equipment and even orthodontic care in some cases. By raising funds on a local level and throughout the state members make a positive difference in the lives of children from every corner of our state.

Veterans’ welfare is another project we participate in. Many members work on providing greeting cards, visiting VA patients or donating items to facilities that serve veterans and their families. Each year Native Daughters sponsors a picnic at the Veteran’s Home in Yountville.

Many members also participate in community events such as parades, local historical societies, church groups, and other activities that promote the good of our neighborhoods and cities.

The protection and preservation of California’s natural resources and its environment is also our great concern. Members are involved in activities which promote recycling, energy awareness and water conservation. In conjunction with the environmental program of the U.S. Forest Service called “Penny Pines,” members raise money to preserve National Forest land and replant trees in Fire-damaged areas.

Any member, son or daughter of a member who is born in California may apply for a scholarship offered by the NDGW. The various scholarship programs provide funds to deserving students in different fields of study. Scholarships for any campus of the University of California or California State system are available. As well as other accredited California universities, college vocational or trade schools.

The Roster of California Pioneers and Index contain over 35,000 biographical entries about people who were born in or present in the state prior to 1870. Researchers may use the NDGW Collection on California Pioneers, California Women, California History, and the NDGW Order by appointment at the NDGW home by calling 800-994-6349 or 415-921-2664.

The NDGW home, located in the center of San Francisco, was designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan. She was a California native, and the first licensed female architect in the state. She also designed Hearst Castle and many other buildings in California. All members are welcome to visit and bring a guest. Guests must be accompanied by a member.

NDGW participates in parades, picnics, fairs and other commemorative events in their communities reminding California citizens about this important date in history. This September, the Native Daughters participated in Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento during Labor Day weekend. The month of September is also Native Daughters’ annual membership month; please feel free to call our local Parlors listed below for information.

Membership is open to California born individuals. For information about local parlors in Grass Valley and Nevada City, call Grass Valley at 530-346-8280 or Nevada City at 530-205-8147.

Jo Anne Davis is the vice president of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Manzanita Parlor No. 29 in Grass Valley.

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