Eading up to the twentieth century, few social organizations existed, except for those of wealth or higher class, or working for a charitable organization. Most people attended a religious organization of some kind. Military veterans honored those who died in service, and fraternities were organized on college campuses to serve the needs of those both within the group and the greater community. As the United States became more urban, more clubs were organized among like-minded individuals looking for companionship outside of those they worshipped or worked with.
Los Angeles saw handfuls of clubs formed in the late 1890s-early 1900s. State groups, service groups like the Elks, Moose, Knights of Columbus, and Scottish Rite Masons, high end clubs like the Los Angeles and Hollywood Athletic Clubs, Jonathan Club, and City Club, these and more were organized as social opportunities to fill the hours when not working. Many served the community in charitable ways, while others simply served the cause of fun. The Los Angeles Breakfast Club was founded both to entertain and inform its members in 1925, and still operates as an active group 90 years later.
The Los Angeles Breakfast Club grew out of a group of friends weekly horseback ride and breakfast in Griffith Park. The men met at Al Meyer’s Griffith Park Riding Academy on Friday mornings for a ride into the park to a picturesque spot, where Marco Hellman and his chuck wagon served them a hearty breakfast. They eventually moved the breakfast to the stables, where one morning a guest, an eastern banker, regaled them with stories, and a group of Mexican artists serenaded them with music, per Harold B. Link’s early 1950s pamphlet, “The Los Angeles Breakfast Club.”
One of the members Maurice De Mond, proposed organizing a Breakfast Club, asking everyone to contribute $100. Word of mouth spread, with others soon joining them. The small band held their first meeting March 6, 1925 at the Riding Academy, where they elected De Mond president. The group quickly purchased a former dairy at 3213 Riverside Drive from John Crosetti, and began adapting it into a clubhouse. To pay for construction, the membership fee was increased to $500 a year in 1927, allowing to also build the Pavilion of Friendship.