The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1978, Volume 24, Number 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Managing Editor

By Dick Carlson

Previous Page ~ First Page ~ All Images ~ Next Page

San Diego women dared to go beyond what was expected of them, and some were lured into the traditional male area of athletics. Women threw off fashion for physical fun. Fighting nerves, taunts and convention, they picked up oars, saddles, ropes, balls and the saber.


“Jaguarine” as depicted in a newspaper article at the right, was known as the “Queen of the Sword.” She demonstrated her mastery of speed and form at the old Pacific Beach Racetrack (below) at the turn of the century.

ZLAC Rowing Club

The 1890’s saw the birth of Zlac, San Diego’s first all women rowing club. Lena Polhamus, the teen-age captain of Zlac, was hailed as the only girl pilot in the world who could bring a ship unerringly into dock. More than seventy years later, Zlac members are still rowing on Mission Bay.