Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Woman's Club celebrating 97th year

It started out as a public restroom for women in the early part of the 20th century. Since then, the Woman’s Club of Marion has been an integral part of the community.

The club was honored recently by the Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce, recognized as its Member of the Month.

The Woman’s Club of Marion was an outgrowth of a small literary club, first forming in 1920.  The original club building was built in 1926.

The Woman’s Club Building on East Carlisle Street is used for a number of community activities, perhaps most recognizably as the venue for an annual Cake Auction and Election Day luncheons. The current clubhouse was constructed in the 1950s. Fire had destroyed the original building in 1947 and Ethel Tucker was president when a major fundraising effort was initiated to build the new clubhouse.
“Just like club women before us, we are currently fundraising for the repairs to the building due to water damage from the roof,” said President Nancy Hunt.

In earlier days when women came to town on a horse-drawn buggy, they needed a place to change into more appropriate attire for Saturday shopping and visiting in town.

“So they built the Woman’s Club as a place for them to stop and change into nicer clothes,” said Susan Alexander, a Woman’s Club member and president emeritus of the state federation for women’s clubs.

“And, originally it was a  public restroom for women,” Alexander added.

Hunt said the club has about 26 members. At the highest enrollment, there were almost 70 several years ago. This is the 97th year of the Woman’s Club activity in Marion.

“We will be observing the anniversary of the club in September with a membership recruitment event called Wonder Woman was a Clubwoman,” Hunt said.

In addition to Woman’s Club events, the club can be rented for receptions, showers and reunions.