History

In 1947, having weathered the Depression and the war, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea was officially re-incorporated and Mrs. David Linardy – a Founding Member of the Woman’s Club – was elected Mayor.

Isolation was an issue.  The women raised the money for the materials and the men provided the labor for the building on the corner of A1A and Bougainvilla.  Completed in 1949, this new Civic Center provided headquarters for the town commission, police and town clerk as well as meeting space for the Woman’s Club and the Men’s Association.

The Civic Center provided a home for the Woman’s Club meetings and many events including Halloween parties, square dances, country fairs and Christmas parties for the town children. Pot luck dinners were a favorite offering, with everyone providing a dish to share and their own silverware.

By 1954, an increasing membership and frequent special events led the club leadership to begin planning for a larger and private space.  A 40 by 50 foot plot of land in Silver Shores, a sub-division near the intracoastal that had previously been a mangrove wilderness, was purchased for $2,000.

The construction cost was funded by the sale of ten $1,000 bonds and aggressive fundraising on the part of the membership.  Builder Sidney Jones completed the two-bath clubhouse with plumbing and electricity for $12,000.  The Grand Opening took place on Saturday, November 24, 1956, one year after the Club was officially chartered.  Mayor Brady addressed the members and Rev. Finn gave the blessing.

The new clubhouse allowed the women to broaden the scope of their activities throughout the 1950’s and beyond.  The women shared a Come-As-You-Are breakfasts, Christmas bazaars, bridge, musical programs, bingo and fundraising events for charity.

During the 1976 flu scare, the members organized to work with the Department of Health on the Immunization Program to vaccinate hundreds of people at Jarvis Hall.  Every year since inception, the club has donated to charity. The Volunteer Fire Department, Neighbor to Neighbor, H.O.M.E.S., Food for the Poor, Save the Sea Turtle and Kids in Distress have all benefitted from the Woman’s Club generosity.

Starting in the late 1990’s, the annual Silver Tea and fashion show was held in February at Jarvis Hall, becoming the club’s largest and most popular fundraiser.  Most recently, the club began a new tradition of adopting a family at Christmas with members contributing to provide a family with food and gifts for a happy holiday.

In 2016, the club began a several years-long refurbishment project of the 60 year-old building. A new roof, redecorated bathroom, expanded storage, landscaping, new signage and a newly painted yellow exterior with a red door that reflect the club’s colors restored the clubhouse’s charm.  These and additional planned improvements represent the individual and collective support and enthusiasm of the Woman’s Club members.  The Woman’s Club of LBTS stands strong and continues to attract new members from the town and surrounding communities who wish to share friendship and common goals.

In 1980, Dorthea Seaver wrote –

 Many of you through hard but loving work have contributed a great deal of yourselves to make the club develop into the present delightful meeting place that it is. If we all answer the call to help in any way we can, we will continue to enjoy this club for many more happy years.

In 2019, It cannot be said any better.

womansclub@2018History