Violet Club

Club Pledges, ca. 1950s

This sorority-like club for high school girls sponsored a variety of social events throughout the school year, including formal Christmas and spring dinner dances, semi-formal events, “hops,” and alumnae and parent teas. Club events were covered in local newspapers, with photographs and articles listing hundreds of attendees. The Club also pursued philanthropic projects, raising money through social events and bake sales.

Young Women`s Christian Association

YWCA Campers, undated

The YWCA, dedicated to “the development of all young women socially, intellectually, physically and spiritually,” was organized in 1911 and offered local women a lunch room and ladies lounge at 308-310 E. Main Street. Within a few years, the YWCA also included a library, an employment bureau, a boarding house, a gymnasium, and a variety of classes and programs. In 1929 a large new building was dedicated at 305 E. Adams Street. The YWCA is currently located at 310 E. Charles Street. The YWCA’s Phyllis Wheatley Branch, was established in 1921 at 916 E. Seymour. The Branch’s purpose, in the language of the time, was “the improvement of the physical, social, intellectual, moral and spiritual condition of young colored women.” The Branch offered a variety of programs for young women, including Girl Reserves. The Branch expanded and relocated several times, eventually merging with the Central YWCA.