Archive Record

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Catalog Number 1979-2628
Accession number 1979-2628
Parent ObjectID 2001-6-1
Object Name Records
Collection Sempervirens Club Records
Title Sempervirens Club Records
Date / /
Dates of Creation 1900-1945
Year Range from 1900
Year Range to 1945
Description The Sempervirens Club Records document the activities of the club from its inception in 1900, to the early 1960's. The records are divided into six series and total 6 linear feet, in five manuscript boxes (1-5), six flat boxes (6-8, 10-12), plus one oversized box (9), and one oversized folder.

The first series, Andrew Hill Papers (8 folders) are the personal papers of the club's founder, including letters to and from Hill, miscellaneous papers written by Hill, business papers, and biographical news clippings covering 183 to 1922. Much of the correspondence is of a business nature, including Hill's photography business and his interest in Ingomar Consolidated Gold Mining Company. There are Hill Family papers and papers dealing with fundraising for the purpose of the purchase of "Crossing the Plains," a large (7 ft. by 10 ft.) painting by Hill (4 folders). The painting depicts California pioneers on their westward journey of 1849. A committee made of Sempervirens Club members and others felt that this painting should hang in the state capitol and undertook a fundraising campaign for its purchase. A large part of this subseries is the letters from 1920 to1921 from the various parlors of the Native Sons of the Golden West, in response to the requests for funds. The painting was eventually purchased for $3,500, much less than the original price of $15,000, and presented to the state to be exhibited at the capitol.

The second series is the Sempervirens Club records. A large subseries is Administrative Papers, 1900 to 1949, which is made up of General Administrative Papers, Financial Documents, Meetings, and Club Correspondence. Club correspondence, 1900 to 1949, is comprised of 11 folders, including club related correspondence of Andrew P. Hill, and his son, Andrew P. Hill, Jr. The annual report of the officers begins in 1905 and ends with 1919. Two brief handwritten reports, one undated and one from 1900, are included. Club minutes consist of three books, detailing club goals and activities from 1902 to 1946. The second subseries is Social Activities, including the Forest Play Association, which existed from 1919 to 1921.

The third series is the Sempervirens Big Basin/Redwood Park Papers. Subseries are Park Acquisition and Preservation, Saratoga-Big Basin Road, Park Development, and the Andrew Hill Memorial. Park Acquisition and Preservation includes legislation on park creation and the documentation of the 1908 scandal when protected park trees were logged. An important campaign for the Sempervirens Club was to lobby for public access to the park. There are three folders about building a road into the park from Saratoga to Big Basin, with the bulk of the material dating from 1907 to 1914.

The fourth series is Other Sempervirens Activities/Miscellaneous. This includes papers on Save the Redwood League, Butano State Park, and Renaming Portola State Park. There are also various histories of the Club written by members and non-members. In addition, are three scrapbooks of news clippings from 1900 to 1918. A variety of topics are covered, including social activities, the road to Big Basin, and founding of Big Basin Redwood Park. The earliest scrapbook was begun by Carrie Walter Stevens and includes a hand-written history of the Club and records of the first meetings.

Oversized materials and photographs, the fifth series, includes maps, blueprints, drawings, and plans. An album of photographic prints by Andrew P. Hill shows many aspects of Big Basin. Please see the attached inventory of oversized materials and the photograph catalog for a complete list of these materials.

The sixth series is material created by or related to activities at Big Basin Park. Of note is an extensive Works Progress Administration hand-made book, Pictorial History of Redwoods, Concluding Master Report, State Parks Redwoods, Work Number 3873. It was produced in 1937 and sponsored by the State Division of Parks. Part 1 (21 leaves) concerns Mt. Diablo State Park. Part 2 (167 leaves) is the "Pictorial History of Redwoods, showing their scientific, economic and historical aspects, portrayed by relief artists." It documents the production of an exhibit at Big Basin Redwood Park. There are mounted photographs of the park, the exhibit, the W. P. A. artists and their artwork. The cover is of hand-carved and hand-painted redwood. Also included in this series are park ephemera and a 1950 natural history written by Don Meadows, a former park naturalist.
Creator Sempervirens Club
Other Creators Hill, Andrew Putnam
Copyrights History San Jose; can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claims of the copyright holder. Permission to copy or publish any portion of History San Jose;'s collection must be given by History San Jose.
Finding Aids Online Archive of California:
Language of Material English
Level of description Collection
People Hill, Andrew Putnam
Subjects Sempervirens Club of California (LCSH)
Sempervirens Fund -- History (LCSH)
Redwoods -- Preservation -- California -- History (LCSH)
Big Basin Redwoods State Park (Calif.)
Parks -- California -- History -- 20th century (LCSH)
Conservation of natural resources -- United States
Forest conservation -- California -- History (LCSH)
Santa Cruz Mountains (Calif.)
Access Conditions The records are open to the public for research by appointment with the Curator of Library and Archives.
Extent of Description 6 linear feet
Containers 1979-2628