Floral Fantasy fundraiser set

April 24, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Members of The Women's Club at Hagerstown plan to host a Floral Fantasy to raise money for its historic home on South Prospect Street.

Floral Fantasy is a dinner and spring-themed silent auction set for Saturday, May 1, at Academy Theater and Banquet Center in downtown Hagerstown.

Money raised at the ticketed event will go toward the club's mission and toward maintaining the club's historic building, said Donna Smith, event chair.

Smith said organizers hope to match or surpass the $3,000 raised last year.

Founded in 1921, The Women's Club is a Hagerstown-based philanthropic social organization that provides housing for single women. The club formed as an outgrowth of the Forward Club, a World War I-era organization formed by Hagerstown women who had a broader desire to "not return to the kitchen" after the war, said club manager Linda Ogilvie.


According to Maryland property records, the club site at 31 S. Prospect St. was built in 1838. The building is within downtown Hagerstown's South Prospect Street Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Washington County historian Pat Schooley said there were old newspaper accounts of how the site was once home to the Wroe family, Confederate sympathizers who hosted Gen. Robert E. Lee for dinner during the Confederates' retreat from Gettysburg.

Land records from Washington County Circuit Court show The Women's Club purchased the Prospect Street property in 1923 from Emmett and Anne Gans. Ogilvie said Anne Gans was The Women's Club's first president. The purchase was the last of several transactions dating back to the 19th century.

In its early days on Prospect Street, The Women's Club offered rooms to single women who worked in Hagerstown but lived elsewhere. "They stayed at The Women's Club during the week and went home on the weekends," Smith said.

The historic site sustained substantial damage from a 2006 fire that claimed the roof and the third floor, but it has since been renovated.

Today, the club caters to single women of various backgrounds.

Ogilvie said 13 women are currently living at The Women's Club.

If you go ...

WHAT: Floral Fantasy, a buffet dinner and silent auction hosted by The Women's Club at Hagerstown

WHEN: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 1

WHERE: Academy Theater and Banquet Center, downtown Hagerstown

COST: $30; reservations due by Wednesday, April 28.

MORE: The dinner is a fundraiser for The Women's Club. To RSVP or to learn more about The Women's Club, call 301-739-0870.

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