A Clubhouse of One’s Own: Highland Park Women’s Club History


After the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, woman led clubs sprouted around the young nation.  The rate of clubs accelerated as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs formed in 1890 and century closed.  Highland Park, Illinois posed no exception.  The Highland Park Woman’s Club (HPWC) held its first meeting in 1899.   In addition to education, suffrage and temperance, these fledgling clubs sought to participate in a designated space in the public sphere.  Community House, built as the Clubhouse of the HPWC; and the club itself, represent American democracy and the development of the local community and culture.

The process of funding and building both the building and the club empowered women outside of the home as full participants in the social contract.

Nancy Webster, Archivist of the Highland Park Historical Society, made this presentation.

Recorded live at the Highland Park Women’s Club.