Jaffrey Woman’s Club celebrates 100 years

  • Jaffrey Police Department officer Brianna Rogers speaks during the Jaffrey Woman's Club September meeting. COURTESY PHOTO

  • Jaffrey Woman’s Club marchers with their banner in the Jaffrey 250th parade. —COURTESY PHOTO

  • Past presidents Joanne Buck, Elaine San Soucie and Cathy Mills with current Jaffrey Woman’s Club President Pauline Johansen. COURTESY PHOTO

  • Jaffrey Woman’s Club President Pauline Johansen cuts the anniversary cake. COURTESY PHOTO

  • The buffet table from Jaffrey Woman’s Club’s September meeting. —COURTESY PHOTO

Published: 9/19/2023 1:43:26 PM

Spurred on by the Town of Jaffrey’s 250th anniversary, members of the Jaffrey Woman’s Club looked into their history and discovered that they were also celebrating a milestone, 100 years.

The Jaffrey Woman’s Club started out in 1923 with a mission to promote civic, cultural and charitable projects in support of the community. Incorporated in 1964, it continues to advance camaraderie among members through volunteering, informative meetings, and group events. 

The  club kicked off the 2023 celebration by marching in the Jaffrey 250th anniversary parade Aug. 19. Participants included members and past scholarship winners dressed in T-shirts with the logo modified to add “celebrating 100 years,” a banner declaring the anniversary and signs proclaiming the club’s programs.

At the September meeting, the club invited Brianna Rogers of the Jaffrey Police Department to speak about being one of the first female officers in town, then cut into a cake from Eat More Cake decorated to mark 100 years. Also present were past club presidents Joanne Buck, Elaine San Soucie and Cathy Mills, in addition to current President Pauline Johansen. who were all applauded for their leadership.

The club is known for its rummage sales in the spring and fall, which began in 1942 and benefit not just those who come to shop, but homeless shelters and other organizations across the region. In 1961,the club offered its first annual high school scholarship and has since added an adult continuing education scholarship.

In 1994, the club began an essay contest for Jaffrey Grade School fifth-graders celebrating Women’s History Month, awarding prizes for the top three best-written essays. And since 1946, the club has been supporting a dental program to assist local schoolchildren in need.

The Cutler Memorial Building, built in 1845 at the corner of School and Main streets, was bequeathed to the Jaffrey Woman’s Club in 1939 by the Universalist Society, making it responsible for the upkeep of the structure.

A clock from the E. Howard Company of Boston was installed in the building’s spire in 1883 and maintained by the Rev. Myron Cutler until he died in 1930. Now a town clock, it is featured in numerous photographs of Jaffrey. The building not only houses Jaffrey Woman’s Club meetings and events, but is also made available to the community to use for a fee, which helps support the building’s maintenance fund. 

Membership to the club is open to all Monadnock-area women, which is reflected in its current membership base from Troy, Rindge, Peterborough and Keene as well as Jaffrey.

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