Women’s clubs around the country

At a recent meeting of the Woman’s Club of Warren, Cathy Grant, program chairman, introduced speakers Beth Howe and Cathy Masterson who gave a program on women’s clubs in other cities. Last spring, Howe and Masterson, while exploring Key West, Florida, came upon the local women’s club. After a gracious invitation to tour the facility, they said, even though is was a very different setting, the Woman’s Club of Key West was very similar to our Warren Woman’s Club. The women were gracious, friendly and welcoming, opening their club house and sharing their programs and activities.

Many women’s clubs were formed in the club movement of the late 19th and early 20th century, as women stepped out of their domestic spheres towards self-improvement. They also wished to involve themselves in the community helping with social issues and making a difference to those in need.

This chance visit to the Woman’s Club of Key West led to the idea for this program, “Woman’s Clubs Around the Country.” The club house at Key West was private property as were the other women’s club buildings visited. All were beautifully landscaped with indigenous plants, manicured and carefully groomed. The speakers noted most clubs from Westport, Connecticut to Minneapolis, Minnesota, had elegant interiors, with crystal chandeliers, grand pianos and ball rooms.

Most clubs including those in Atlanta, Georgia and St Louis, Missouri, were elegant Victorian mansions that were preserved with floor to ceiling windows and remodeled to include large dining rooms and parlors that were rented to the public for meetings both small and large.

From Beaumont, Texas to Milwaukie, Wisconsin, women’s clubs in these cities purchased and then supported classic and historic homes, preserving them for the future while providing a place for meetings, luncheons, dinners and teas. These beautiful club buildings like the Woman’s Club of St. Louis, Missouri, also provides a place to entertain visiting dignitaries in a relaxing and homelike setting.

As our Warren Woman’s Club celebrates its 100th birthday, it salutes its sister clubs across the United States.

President Tana Fegely, complimented the hostess committee on the beautiful floral centerpieces and candelabra. Linda Slocum and her staff were thanked for the lovely lunch. Guests were introduced and welcomed.

The centennial campaign continues with the purchase of a new refrigerator and banquet tables for the ballroom. President Fegely reminded members to mark their calendars for the “Centennial Gala” in May, the club’s culminating activity for this anniversary year. The club always welcomes new members. Call 723-5910 for membership information.

Editor’s note: Although many women’s clubs are named “Woman’s Clubs,” indicating a singular (proper) noun, the common noun, plural possesive, and second reference noun is “women’s clubs.”