From music, art, and dramatic performances to the sponsorship of clubs for almost every age group, the Guadalupe Center was the hub of neighborhood activity in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Orchestras and choral and dancing groups were organized, and performed both locally and outside the community. A Boy Scout troop was chartered. A Girl Scout troop, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, charged dues of 50 cents a year. Parents joined the Padres and Madres organization.
Boys in the neighborhood also played games, read stories, and studied the Bible as part of the Knights of the Round Table social club, which remained popular with members even as they grew older. It launched a newspaper, The Knight’s Spear. Older boys looking for both a social and athletic outlet formed the Olympian Club, in which they participated in baseball, basketball, track, and boxing.
In a one-year period ending in August 1927, Guadalupe Center records show, 396 group meetings sponsored by the Agnes Ward Amber Club – ranging from young people’s socials and religious instruction classes to athletic events – drew nearly 13,000 participants. In four years, the number of activities grew to 1,044. Attendance reached more than 21,400.
Christmastime brought the nine-day “Posada” celebration beginning December 16. There were prayers, hymns, and a door-to-door, candlelit procession in which marchers carried statues of St. Joseph and Mary. Children were given whistles to blow. A festival at the end of the ninth day included a Christmas party for the kids, the breaking of the piñata, and visit from Santa.
The Guadalupe Center Club House, opened in 1932.
Girls and younger children, likely at the Guadalupe Center Club House.
Date: circa 1930s
Girls on an outing in the Guadalupe Center’s Ford Woody station wagon.
Date: circa 1940s
Young men and women around a fire at Swope Park.
Date: circa 1938
Young men on a campout.
Boy Scout Troop 106.
A Girl Scout troop, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary.
One of the Guadalupe Center’s baseball teams.
The Guadalupe Center’s first basketball team. Games were played at the West Junior High School gymnasium.
Club Tepeyac members, in costume, at a Guadalupe Center party the Saturday before Halloween 1939.
Young “angels” and their chaperones in front of a Christmas tree.
Date: circa 1940s
Residents celebrate Noche Buena – Christmas Eve – at the Guadalupe Center in 1940.