A century of club history
Published 9:21 am, Saturday, August 8, 2015
November, 1915 A group of New Preston women get together and decide to form the Women's Club of New Preston.
Bylaws are developed, 25-cent dues are established, and the club become part of the Federation of Women's Clubs. Activities include guest speakers, music, debates, discussions and cooking.
1916 The club begins to get some financial substance and considers purchasing the mill property, commonly known as the falls area, but the purchase falls through.
1933 A meeting is held in the former inn. Following litigation by the Smith family, the building is established as a community house rather than a clubhouse.
In addition, the Bertie Corning Fund is established as a small endowment to maintain the building.
1917-18 Many activities are pushed to the background during American involvement in World War I, but informal programs are offered.
1921 Using a kerosene heater in a cloakroom, the club begins a children's hot cocoa program, which eventually grows into the hot lunch program still used at Shepaug Valley School in Washington. The program becomes the first school lunch program started by a women's club in the state.
1924 The club turns a small community library into the New Preston school library. The library inspires the development of the library for Shepaug Valley School.
1925 and after The club offers medical and dental checkups, eye and ear tests for young children and vaccine clinics to community members, often in cooperation with the Visiting Nurse Association and the PTA.
1950 Alice Jackson of Lake Waramaug leaves $30,000 for the club in her will.
Ongoing throughout the years after 1950 The club supports several scholarships and provides meeting space in the Community House for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the Retired Men's Club, the Women's Fellowship and other community organizations.
Courtesy of Gunn Memorial Museum