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). Our Club meets in Chamberlin House, a beautiful Queen Anne-style building constructed in 1886 by Horace and Nellie Chamberlin and placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1982. Mrs. Chamberlin was one of the founding members of the Woman’s Club and upon her death in 1918, deeded the house for use as the Clubhouse.
The Woman’s Club of Concord is a not-for-profit corporation with 501(c) 3 status.
Opportunities abound for members to participate in all aspects of the Club. Programs and activities are focused around five areas each led by a chairperson who is a member of the Board of Directors. Program Departments are: Community Service, Arts, Conservation, Education, and International Affairs.
Working committees of the board are: Communications, House, Fundraising, Membership, and Scholarship.
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.
Yesterday and Today
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.
Today, the Club hosts a variety of events including visits from Madeleine Albright and Billie Jean King as well as monthly presentations on topics ranging from conditions at the woman’s prison, to a round table of candidates running for election to the NH House of Representatives.
More importantly we are a home to as many as four women in transition. Each woman pays below market rate for a beautiful room and access to the kitchen and parlors downstairs. We work to ensure the women feel part of a community and part of the Club.
Maintaining an historic house and home is hard work. Peeling paint, leaning chimneys, decaying wood, and water issues abound. Recognizing the need to complete some much needed maintenance work, the WCC applied for several grants including from the Land and Community Investment Program (LCHIP) and Madelaine G. von Weber trust. We also receive generous donations from individuals who support our mission.
In the past few years, we have raised more than $300,000 for much needed work. The Chamberlin House Rehabilitation project has included tree removal, grading, foundation repair, repointing chimneys, rehabilitation of basement and attic windows, chimney repair and extensive exterior woodwork repair. The talent and support of members has brought new curtains and refreshed rooms upstairs. In the summer of 2019, we brought the shine back to the house for all to see with a complete painting job with historically appropriate colors and application. Landscaping plans are being developed for the Spring of 2020.
In 1920, a Club member noted that “after a recent social event, one of our older members, who was not at first optimistic about accepting the responsibility of the House, was heard to remark, ‘How did we ever get along without Chamberlin House? It is used in so many ways!’”
Almost 100 years later, the house remains an integral part of the Club’s operations. We’ll continue to keep you posted regarding all the exciting rehabilitation projects that are underway at the house, along with all of the great work being done by the Club and its members!
We will continue to be good stewards of this property for our tenants, members, and the greater community to enjoy.