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SCU Prof Unearths More Woman’s Club Adobe History

Last week members of the Santa Clara Woman’s Club took a step back into the history of the club’s landmark adobe. At the invitation of Santa Clara University Anthropology Professor Lee M. Panich, the club toured an archeological dig Panich is conducting, adjacent to the club’s 1790 adobe, with the help of 12 undergraduate students who came from across the U.S. to help fill out the details of local history.

The dig, which began on June 21 and ends on July 26, is excavating a part of the original adobe that was living quarters for the Native Americans at Mission Santa Clara.

The site has yielded up a variety of artifacts, from pottery shards that mark the 18th century introduction of ceramics to the Ohlone people by the Spaniards, to “hundreds of pounds” of clay roof tiles, to 20th century milk bottles and canning jars.


The excavation is part of SCU’s preparation of property it owns in the area for new buildings and parking. Some among the Woman’s Club visitors expressed an interest in preserving the site next to the Adobe as a park. With last week’s visitors including members of the City Council and Planning Commission, there was certainly expertise on hand to explore this idea.

The Adobe, 3260 The Alameda, is available for private events. For information call (408) 246-8000 or email

For more than a century, the Santa Clara Woman’s Club has been meeting for lunch the first Friday of every month, September through June, at the Adobe. Visitors are always welcome, but the Club asks that you make a reservation for lunch, which is $10. For more information, visit or call (408) 246-8000.


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