WINCHESTER, N.H. -- The first meeting of the Winchester Woman’s Club was held Oct. 17, 1924, with 125 members and by the end of the second year membership had grown to 153.
Today membership stands at 28. The group joined the State Federation of Women’s Club’s on Nov. 4, 1925, but some years later, due to the cost of membership in the Federation and the decline in membership, withdrawal from the Federation was necessary. The Winchester Woman’s Club carried on independently with great success.
The first "May Luncheon" (annual meeting) was held in 1925 at which time officers for the next year were duly installed. The May luncheon is still observed today, usually at a favorite restaurant. Over the years they have had 43 presidents, some serving as little as a one-year term and others serving as many as seven terms.
The Winchester Woman’s Club has always been known for its interest in helping with local and civic projects. In 1936, they sponsored dance classes in preparation for a Christmas Ball. The first "Bridge of Joy" for the children was held in 1937 attended by 300 children. Halloween Costume Balls was another favorite sponsored by the Woman’s Club which sadly ended in 1940. Their interest in assisting with projects at the local schools remains high on their list as they continue to award annual scholarships to graduating Winchester seniors from area high schools.
In September of 1954, the Club entered the Community Achievement Contest, sponsored by the State Federation of Women’s Clubs and Sears, Roebuck Foundation. Their project was the erection of a Creche for the Town of Winchester. A goal of $1,000 to purchase three figures, erect a stable and install lights was agreed upon. After many meetings with the town and much publicity, contributions far exceeded the goal and six figures were purchased. The dedication of the Winchester Community Creche took place on Friday, Dec. 12, 1958, and was attended by approximately 150 people. A citation for Dedicated Service on Behalf of a Better Community was received from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and Sears, Roebuck Foundation.
Ninety years later the club is still a very active organization. Although the membership today is 28, the group still maintains its dedication to the Winchester Community Creche, and the February dinner which supports it.
The history in this article by Jaclyn Taylor was taken in part from Edith Atkin’s Book "Walking Back Through Time" and Minutes of the Club.