Though most people are familiar with the name of E.G. Lewis, founder of Atascadero, not as many know about his wife, Mabel Lewis.
Strong supporters of the women's right to vote, E.G. and Mabel Lewis owned and operated multiple publications suitable for women. Prior to moving to California, Mabel formed the American Women’s League, a way to unite multiple women's organizations to promote subscriptions to popular periodicals of that era. She was president of the League around the time they moved to Atascadero.
Recognized for her love of animals and gardening, Lewis devoted her time to the artistic side of planning and developing Atascadero in 1913.
According to Lon Allan’s book Atascadero: The vision of one – The work of many, she started her own zoo, housing deer, sheep, owls, raccoons and more behind her private residence, located where the Vons shopping center is today. “She had a petting zoo behind headquarters. Whatever the workers found as they were working in the Colony. They would find [the animals] and bring them to her to give them a home.”
"One of her crowning achievements," her obituary said, "was her founding the Atascadero Music Club, which had music lovers all over the county in membership."
With her love of beauty and community, Mabel Lewis left a treasured legacy of progress and advocacy for women's rights.
Follow our page to read more about inspirational women as we build up to our "Women of Note" concert on May 1, 2022!
Source: Mabel Lewis: Founder’s Wife Was a Lover of Animals & Gardening. Atascadero News. (2019, July 1). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from https://atascaderonews.com/atascadero-news-magazine/colony-people/mrs-e-g/