543 Baker St
San Francisco, CA 94117-1405
Phone 415-563-9091
Fax 415-563-5230

History of the Native Daughters of the Golden West Home

The concept of establishing a Native Daughters of the Golden West Home—a place of security, comfort and friendly companionship—was initially achieved by utilizing a 1892 bequest of Native Son S.P. Rogers which specified that the funds were to be used for the aid and comfort of NDGW members.  By the turn of the century, the first “Home” had its humble beginnings with a rented flat at 925 O’Farrell Street in San Francisco.  The Order’s ambition to own a facility was realized with the 1903 purchase of a residence at 1113 Hyde Street.  Unfortunately, the Home was destroyed in the fire following the 1906 earthquake.   

That same year, Dr. Marianna Bertola became the Chairman of the Home Committee (a post she held for the next 47 years) and as a result of her leadership, a house and lot at the current location, 555 Baker Street, was acquired in 1913.  In 1924 an adjoining residence on Baker Street was acquired, which set the stage for the construction of our current Home.  In 1927 Dr. Bertola engaged her friend, Julia Morgan, the famed architect of the Hearst Castle, to draw plans for our present facility.  The next two years saw the demolition of the original buildings and the creation of our “new” NDGW Home, which was formally dedicated in January 1929.  Total cost of the building was just over $91,000.  A campaign (the “Loyalty Pledge”) to liquidate the mortgage was launched and in August 1932 the Home became free and clear of debt.  This was an especially remarkable achievement considering it was accomplished by women in the middle of the Great Depression! 

In 1939 another residence adjoining the Home was purchased and rented for many years to supplement the income of the Home.  Then in 1965, using funds realized from the sale of property left to the Home by PGP Emma G. Foley, the adjoining rental property was converted to garages and meeting spaces.  In 1985 the NDGW Grand Parlor offices were moved from downtown San Francisco to occupy the second floor of the “Foley Wing.” 

The residence program was discontinued as of October 1, 1986, and the Home currently is maintained for the “aid and comfort of NDGW members” as a four-story, reinforced concrete House Museum with a Public Reference Library (Pioneer Roster), and guest rooms for NDGW members and their guests. 

Information taken from the
NDGW Home – Docent Handbook – March 1993