Woman's Club of Concord - 603 225-3622

44 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301

About Us

History

Waterfall

The Woman's Club of Concord was founded in by Mrs. Lilian Carpenter Streeter on April 21, 1893. In 1894 we became a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) and affiliated with the New Hampshire General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC-NH). Today, we use the framework of the national club for our operational and organizational rules. Woman’s Club of Concord is a not-for-profit corporation with 501(c) 3 status.

Our constitution and bylaws provide for a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer to serve as administrators and officers.

The Board of Directors is comprised of the officers, the Program Department Chairs and standing Committee Chairs.

Programs and activities are focused around six areas called departments, each with a chairperson who is a member of the Board of Directors.
Program Departments are: Arts, Conservation, Education, Home Life, Public Affairs and International Affairs.
Standing Committees are Communications, Community Service, House, Fundraising, Membership, Social and Scholarship.

In 1919 Nellie Chamberlin bequeathed Chamberlin House to Woman’s Club of Concord to be used as headquarters and club house.

As part of its mission to empower women to enhance lives and community, Woman’s Club of Concord rents rooms in Chamberlin House at off-market rates to female tenants and awards a scholarship each year to a female student graduating from a Concord Area high school.


History
From "History of Concord New Hampshire" by James Otis Lyford, 1903.
Among the important social movements of the last 20 years must be mentioned the Woman's Club. This organization, formed on a broad and inclusive plan, soon became a strong and influential factor in the social and intellectual life of the city. The plan laid down and strenuously followed was the forming of a club which should include many women of widely differing characteristics in a common purpose, by widening their sympathies and enlarging their interests in various phases of life, by increasing their knowledge of current matters, and by stimulating their education through discussions, lectures and concerts.

Mrs. Lilian Carpenter Streeter, with her associates Mrs. Lydia F. Lund, Mrs. Julia R. Carpenter, Mrs. Frances C. Stevens, Mrs. Ella A.J. Hill and Miss H. Maria Woods, introduced the idea of such a club early in (April 21) 1893, and in April of that year Mrs. Streeter called a meeting at her residence for purpose of formal organization. A constitution and bylaws were considered and adopted, and 27 members were enrolled. Mrs. Streeter was chosen president and the club began its work.

At first the number of active members had been fixed at 75, with 10 associate members; but so popular did the club become that the waiting list soon presented a reason for enlarging the limitation imposed by the constitution. Accordingly, this was done several times, so that in 1900 the active membership reached 225, with 40 associate members.

Meanwhile, the annual dues had been increased to three dollars, thus enabling the various committees to offer, year after year, to the club and sometimes to the public, the choicest series of lectures and entertainments. From the beginning the board of management has always aimed at securing the best talent and keeping constantly in touch with the best thought of the day. The work of the club is distributed among nine committees of three members each, comprising Art, Literature, Education, Current Topics, Economics, Science, Philanthropy, Music, and Social Entertainments.

The 1894 the club became a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs and has exercised much influence in its wider field of action.

Succeeding Mrs. Streeter as President were Mrs. Susan C. Bancroft, Mrs. Mary P. Woodworth and Mrs. Alice Nims, whose term of office ended in 1900.

Early on, the Woman’s Club of Concord strove to serve the community and encourage women to accept a responsible role within society. Among the noted speakers brought to Concord by WCC were Jane Addams, founder of Hull-House, the world famous social settlement; Booker T. Washington, influential African-American educator and late 19th Century equal rights activist; and Harvard President, Charles W. Eliot.

In 1886, Horace E. Chamberlin (1834-1908), Superintendent of the Concord Railroad Division of the Boston and Maine, and his wife, Nellie (Putnam) Chamberlin (1838-1918), built an impressive two-and-a-half story residence at 44 Pleasant Street, opposite the South Congregational Church. Nellie Chamberlin hosted a variety of Woman’s Club of Concord events at her Queen Anne Shingle Style residence. Born on July 29, 1854, and died on November 19, 1918, Nellie Mary (Putnam) Chamberlin’s home was bequeathed in 1919 to the Woman’s Club of Concord to be used in perpetuity as club house and headquarters.

Woman’s Club of Concord community projects include founding the Concord District Nursing Association, the local branch of the Red Cross, and the Girls’ Friendly Club of over 900 members. They organizing a free dental clinic, developed a milk program for school children, raised nearly $6,000 in 1928, for preservation of Franconia Notch and lands for a State Park; organized the first Concord Clean-Up Week; and raised funds for numerous other conservation and recreation projects.

During the Great Depression the Woman’s Club of Concord set up an employment office in Chamberlin House. Club members handed out donated clothing and food and were instrumental in placing 400 women in permanent jobs.

During World War II, the Woman’s Club of Concord sold over $50,000 of war bonds and stamps, far exceeding their given quota of $3,000.

In 1977, the Woman’s Club of Concord formed “The Friends of Concord Landmarks” to enlist concerned citizens for conservation and preservation of historic buildings and landmarks in the capital city of NH. This special projects committee – now “The Concord heritage Committee” took action in 1977 to initiate the Downtown/Main Street Revitalization program.

Beginning in 1978, the Woman's Club of Concord engaged in a Conservation program for preservation and replacement of the city's street trees. In 1980, a new major project was sponsored by the Club to involve the community in the restoration of White Park. Spearheaded by Woman's Club of Concord member, Virginia Beck, WCC founded "The Friends of White Park" in 1982 in preparation for the 100-year anniversary of White Park, celebrated in 1984. Friends of White Park continue to be involved in maintaining, preserving and improving the park.