Gender-Based Societies and Organizations

womens club meeting.png

This is a photograph taken of a newspaper article about the Women's Club meeting that occurred in December of 1910.

Willimantic contained many societies and organizations whose membership was limited to a single gender, and often had a strong religious element. 

Some common, predominantly male, societies and organizations were:

  • Business Men’s Association, for networking
  • Young Men’s Christian Association, most notably known as the Y.M.C.A., an organization founded to promote Christian values in urban environments
  • The Knights of Pythias, a largely-male social order focused on charity

Some predominanty female societies and organizations:

  • Daughters of the American Revolution, for female descendants of Revolutionary war veterans, focused on historic preservation and patriotism
  • Pythian Sisters, the female auxiliary to the Knights of Pythias
  • Willimantic Women’s Club
  • Order of the Eastern Star, a female Masonic organization, although men (often husbands of women members) could also be members
  • Radiant Chapter, No. 11, associated with the Order of the Eastern Star
  • Women’s Christian Temperance Union
  • Francis S. Long Woman’s Relief Corps, No. 28. The women's auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic

The Willimantic Women's Club, according to the 1910 Official Register and Directory of the Women's Clubs in America, had 75 members and was chaired by Mrs. C.A. Capen. The interests of this group are illustrated by the committees of the State organization, and illustrate the expansion of the "woman's sphere" from purely domestic matters to an interest in bringing about broader social reform:

  • Education
  • Civic and Village Improvement (chaired by Willimantic's Mrs. H.L. Hunt)
  • Industrial conditions
  • Civil service reform
  • Household Economics and Pure Food
  • Forestry
  • Press
  • Music
  • Arts and Crafts

The records of Willimantic's chapter are held by Eastern's Center for Connecticut Studies, and Summer Pellegrini's exhibit on the Club is here.

Willimantic and Culture
Gender-Based Societies and Organizations