The Massillon Woman’s Club celebrates 100 years with exhibit at the Massillon Museum
One hundred years of Massillon Woman’s Club history will be on display at the Massillon Museum this month.
The exhibit “A Century of Sisterhood: A History of Massillon Woman’s Club” will open May 17 in the Fred F. Silk Community Room Gallery and run through June 23. The collection is expected to include between 40 and 50 pieces, mostly photographs.
“I’m really glad we’re doing it because so many of the photos really capture what you can’t say in words about what our club has contributed to the community,” said Susan Bennett, publicity chair for the woman’s club.
The first official gathering of the Massillon Woman’s Club was in September 1919 at First United Methodist Church, but meetings began earlier as part of the World War I effort. Women from Massillon would get together to help the American Red Cross by knitting, sewing and rolling bandages. When the war ended, the women didn’t want to stop meeting.
Today, the club has more than a dozen sections—or interest areas—that meet regularly, including culinary, antiques and collectibles, business and professional, and fine arts.
Photos in the upcoming exhibit will showcase work with the Red Cross, staff at the woman’s club, the Five Oaks mansion where the club meets, major events and a collection of photos from The (Massillon) Independent, said Mandy Altimus Stahl, archivist for the Massillon Museum.
The exhibit also is expected to include artifacts that speak to the character of the club, such as menus and a list of women who have served as president during the 100 years. One of the main social functions of the woman’s club over the years has been the Holiday Ball, and programs and dance cards have been saved from nearly every event.
Massillon Museum Executive Director Alexandra Nicholis Coon said the collection will highlight how the club has evolved over time as society evolved.
“The fact that there’s so much history with the house—especially when service organizations are struggling to maintain members—this one is still going strong,” Coon said.