Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gig Harbor's Fortnightly Club

Saturday at the 25th Anniversary of Gig Harbor's Lighthouse, the current president of the Fortnightly Club stopped by to pick up their time capsule from 1989.  The current president was visibly upset, and was explaining the difficulties that the club was going through at this time in their history.

The club was originally established in December 1907 as a social club with a focus on community service.  They are the oldest active women's club on the Gig Harbor Peninsula.
1907 Original Members

However they have been forced, due to declining membership, to give up their affiliation with the Federation of Women's Clubs, as well as other relationships that they have enjoyed since their founding.  At the present time, the club holds their meetings at the retirement community where the majority of their membership now resides.

Perhaps if more people were aware of the of the history of this club it would be possible to attract young more active members.  I could, and will, list the influential community members who have been past members but more importantly is who will fill the shoes of those women?  

- Mrs. Franklin Secor
- Miss Lucy Goodman
- Bessie Green
- Lenna Patrick
- Mrs. Alex Uddenberg
- Mrs. Ed Patrick
- Mrs. Ernest Magoon
- Dora McKee
- Elise Jacobs
- Amanda Carlson
-Mrs Brittany
- Mrs. Kenneth Forbush
- Mrs Donald Reardon

In 1962 they sold their club house which they had owned for 25 years for $6,500 and that property is currently owned and occupied by the Gig Harbor Yacht Club.  They has received this property for the payment of the outstanding mortgage in 1937.  However by 1962 they felt that the property and the upkeep expense put to better use for the community.
Clubhouse sold to GH Yacht Club

So what type of community service were these women involved in?  They help families suffering from unforeseen economic crisis both in their own life but also worldwide crisis.  They provided loans for students to continue their education beyond high school.  They worked very hard on behalf of the community during both WWI and WWII.  They present the then president of the Gig Harbor Library Board, Ruth Bogue, with a check for $3,000.  Many of their contributions to the community were not made public.

You can read more about this value organization in previous blogs which have appeared on the Gig Harbor Harbor History Museum site  

I am trying to find out how you or your friends can contact the club directly to help save it.  It has been such a valuable resource the the residents of this community in the past.  With some new, younger members it will be able to continue to service the greater Gig Harbor community.

As soon as I can obtain additional information on how to contact the club I will post as a comment on this blog.  Please check back for the information.

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  2. We have received the following from Gwen Root, President of the Gig Harbor Fortnightly Club. Please consider joining this 107 year old service club. They are looking for new members as well as new community service needs. My home number is 253-851-7463, Cell 253-732-6415

    I am so excited about your help with my plan to keep the fortnightly women's group going. I have been talking to the club girls and they decided we would keep meeting and try to find new members. We also look for needs in the Harbor that we could help with like working food bank,
    Driving seniors to Dr. appointments, collecting soup labels for education, having a yearly garage sale to raise money for the high school scholarships.
    One of our members volunteers at a Tacoma food kitchen on Mondays feeding the homeless she has also donated over 50 gallons to the blood bank over the years and had her photo on the large bill board advertisement in Tacoma. We have donated toys and cookies for years to the fire department at Christmas time.
    We took on evergreen elementary school as a project to give them school supplies, diapers,
    Baby clothes for their daycare, 2 violins for the music dept., and a monthly news letter subscription for the library(this is called in kind news).

    These things are just a few things we have done and I am looking for new needs we can help with in our community.