History of The Manchester Women’s Club
In 1894, there were anywhere from twelve to seventeen small “specialty” women’s clubs in the Manchester Area such as study clubs, literature clubs, sewing, health, cooking clubs, etc. At that time, a local woman wanted to unite these groups for volunteer and charitable work and “promote a closer fellowship among women and create a wide interest in municipal, state, and national affairs”; hence, she organized the Manchester Federation of Women’s Clubs. For an unknown reason, she herself never became a member of this club. In 1935, the club was organized as the Manchester Women’s Club (MWC) and had 27 members. In the same year, the club was admitted to the State and International Federation of Women’s Clubs but disaffiliated from these two organizations in 2008. A non profit organization, the club became incorporated in 2009.
As the years went by, the MWC areas of interest broadened and encompassed many facets of the community, state, and nation. Throughout its existence, club members have been involved in a wide range of activities such as making posters that hung in the mill buildings along the river to educate the workers about nutrition, holding meetings at the Red Cross to make surgical dressings, planning socials for servicemen based in Manchester, helping with USO socials during WWII, staffing the city’s information booth located at the east end of the Queen City Bridge, furnishing the sixth floor of the VA Hospital, sponsoring a float for the 4th of July parade, and planning many bus trips that were social and fundraising. In addition, the members have financially supported a number of causes including, but not limited to, Community Chest, academic scholarships, high school art, music and drama programs, Visiting Nurses Association Child Care Center, local hospitals, schools, and health agencies, St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program, Summerbridge, Easter Seals , Moore Center, City Library, Child Health Services, New Horizon, The Salvation Army, and NH Public Television.
In 1957, membership in the club reached the all time high of 481. Presently, members number 120 and membership continues to grow. Today, the Manchester Women's Club functions closely to its original philosophy, stands strong in the community, and attracts civic and socially minded women.