in southern california
others caught up in western migration, Friends responded
both to the California land boom of the 1880’s and to leadings
establish colonies of Quakers in the West.
group from Iowa Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) settled in what became
Pasadena. By 1884, a Monthly Meeting had been established,
and by 1885 a Meetinghouse was being built. By 1887, with two
monthly meetings in the area, Pasadena Quarterly Meeting was
approved by Iowa Yearly Meeting. (The original name proposed for
this group was “Pacific Quarterly Meeting.”) Soon, it
seventh largest of the fifteen Quarterly Meetings under the care
Iowa Yearly Meeting. Villa Street Meeting in Pasadena was
established under Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative). It has since
been laid down.
Aquilla Pickering and his wife Hannah, Friends from Chicago, had
traveled from Northern California to the Los Angeles
area, visiting Friends along the way and seeking a place for a colony.
He organized a “Land and Water Company,” which sold
lots and so
established the town of Whittier. By August 1887, a Meetinghouse
was opened, and in December, Whittier was recognized as a
Monthly Meeting under Pasadena Quarterly Meeting. Plans for
building Whittier College were considered by the Quarterly
Meeting as early as 1888. California Yearly Meeting grew out of these
and other groups which met in the programmed manner.
pastoral Yearly Meeting Friends were organized in groups, individual
Friends from the Eastern unprogrammed tradition
were slow to find each other. Small groups came into being and
disappeared, lacking a structure for communication among them. Orange Grove Meeting, in Pasadena, established in 1908, was
unusual. It was under the care of unprogrammed (Hicksite)
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and was large enough to acquire land
for a Meetinghouse and a school. Although empowered to develop
a burial ground, they instead contracted with a local cemetery for
Friends plot. Thus, the long-established tradition of building with
those three components was continued.
Orange Grove Meeting took several of the emerging Meetings in Southern
California under its care, nurturing them
until they became Los Angeles (1942), La Jolla (1947), Santa Monica
(1948), Claremont (1953), Inland Valley (1960), and other Monthly
Meetings. Unprogrammed Meetings and Worship Groups in
Southern California and southern Nevada comprise Southern
California Quarterly Meeting. Together with College Park Quarterly
Meeting <see page 8>,
Mexico City, Guatemala, and Hawaii they make up the present membership
of Pacific Yearly Meeting.