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Club life in San Francisco has won the admiration of many men of letters and other visitors. Kipling says appreciative things about the Bohemian Club in his American Notes that exceed anything written by its own historians. Julian Street, in his Abroad at Home, says that with her hills San Francisco is Rome; with her harbor she is Naples; with her hotels she is New York.
"But with her clubs and her people she is San Francisco, which to my mind comes near being the apotheosis of praise," he adds.
The Bohemian Club's devotion to music and drama finds expression beyond the plays and concerts at its town clubhouse. In addition it owns a grove of redwoods in Sonoma county, where "highjinks" are staged every midsummer. A grove play, the book and music of which are written by members, is the feature of the annual gathering which has spread the name of the Bohemian Club to many distant places. This distinctive type of country annex is likewise enjoyed by The Family, a club which has in addition to its city quarters a redwood grove in San Mateo county known as "the Farm," where original drama and music are produced.
A bronze tablet in memory of Bret Harte is on the Post street facade of the Bohemian Club, near Taylor. Characters from the prose and verse of the author are shown in bas-relief, including Salomy Jane, Yuba Bill, Tennessee's Partner, John Oakhurst and the Heathen Chinee. The Olympic Club, the Pacific Union Club on Nob Hill, the University Club, the Commonwealth, the Union League Club, the Commercial, the Transportation, the Concordia, the Argonaut, the Engineers, the Army and Navy, the Old Colony and the Press Clubs are among the other organizations with well appointed quarters. The Knights of Columbus, Masons, Elks and other fraternal orders have their own clubs. The Olympic Club also maintains the Lakeside Country Club with a golf course and trapshooting facilities. The Olympic is one of the oldest and largest athletic clubs in the country, having over 5000 members.
Women's organizations owning or now building their own club houses include the Francisca, Woman's Athletic, the California, Sequoia, Century, Sorosis, Town and Country, National League for Woman's Service, City and County Federation of Women's Clubs and the Y. W. C. A.
San Francisco is a paradise for golfers, and the courses of the various clubs have settings of exceptional natural beauty. Among them are those of the Presidio Golf Club, the California Golf Club, the San Francisco Golf and the Lake Merced Golf and Country Club on the Rancho Laguna de la Merced. The municipality maintains two golf courses, one at - Lincoln Park and one at Lake Merced.
Across the Bay, in Alameda and Marin counties, and down the peninsula are any number of country clubs. The San Francisco Yacht Club and the Corinthian Yacht Club have club houses on the Marin shore.
Golfers in Lincoln Park see ships passing through the Golden Gate