The Panama Canal Review
February 2, 1951

Pedro Miguel Clubhouse, Landmark
Since 1914, Soon to be Demolished

One of the most familiar features of Pedro Miguel, the rambling, two-story Clubhouse which stands on an eminence looking down the Prado in the Pacific Locks town is soon to be demolished.   

 The building was opened with a formal program just 35 years ago, January 27,  1914, which was attended by more than 400 residents of Pedro Miguel and Paraiso, with a sprinkling of people from other Pacific side towns. The feature of the program was an address by the Honorable Herman A. Gudger, then Chief Justice of the Canal Zone.

 Although the building was then already seven years old, having been built in Gorgona in 1907, its removal and reopening in Pedro Miguel was an extra special occasion for the residents. It was one of several buildings originally erected in Gorgona which were dismantled and rebuilt in Pedro Miguel.

The old landmark will not entirely be removed from its present site although the main building will be torn down. It is planned to move the essential Clubhouse services and facilities, including the barber shop, to the building now occupied by the Post Office and Housing Manager. The swimming pool, bath. house, and a tailor and shoe shop will be retained at the present site and considerable alterations are planned to improve the bathhouse facilities.

The location of the Pedro Miguel Clubhouse was never a particularly popular one with the townspeople, and a protest as to the location was voiced even before the building was rebuilt there. That protest was lodged by W. G. Comber, Resident Engineer of the Sixth Division, who later became head of the Dredging Division. He stated that the location would be inconvenient for residents of Pedro Miguel but especially residents of Paraiso, which was then being established as a permanent headquarters for the Dredging Division.

Another protest on the location was made by the residents of Pedro Miguel in 1925. This resulted in a study to determine the cost of relocating the clubhouse on the site of the baseball park. The project died a sudden death when an estimate of $40,000 for the relocation was given to C. A. Mcllvaine, then Executive Secretary, who penciled a curt "nothing doing" across the face of the written proposal.

Although the Pedro Miguel Clubhouse is one of the most imposing of all the older Clubhouse buildings, it has been a "white elephant" in many respects during  most of its history since its removal from the rousing shops town of Gorgona.  Even the addition of the swimming pool, at about the time the proposed transfer of the Clubhouse was disapproved, failed to make it an overwhelmingly popular spot.

The Clubhouse had a sort of revival during the early part of World War II and shortly before the outbreak of war an expenditure of $60,000 was authorized to construct and equip a kitchen and otherwise modernize the building.

Since the end of the war the Clubhouse business has dwindled back to its former lethargic state and late last year it was agreed to consolidate the principal facilities at the new and more central location.