DAVIDSON HISTORY

By the Book – Part 2 – More Peeks into Club Minutes

by | Oct 15, 2017 | Davidson History

Each member of the Centennial Club received a hand-decorated annual program.

For this look into a bit of Davidson’s history, we are going to let the clubs speak for themselves, through the pens of their secretaries. Original minutes and programs from these clubs are housed in the Davidson College Archives. Minutes and examples of programs for the Booklovers Club are also available online (http://davidsonlibraryexhibits.net/archives/bookclub/).

Thelemites: March 31, 1922

Mrs. Fleagle had charge of the program for the afternoon and read a pleasing paper on “Italian Gardens,” an especially fitting subject for this season of the year, which added to the intrinsic value of the article. She told us much of this “out of door art,” so underdeveloped in our own country—and of the height it may reach…” The hostess, ably assisted by her small son served an enjoyable salad course, while animated conversation held sway – Davidson gardening being the chief subject for discussion.’”

Centennial Book Club: September 14, 1937

On Tuesday afternoon, September 14th at 4:30 Mrs. Walter Lingle invited a group of ladies to her home for an informal tea. It was through her gracious interest and suggestion that this group of ladies form a new book club. This plan was met with eagerness by all present.
Mrs. James Ballard was the first to give a name to this new club. Her inspirational idea to call the club the Centennial Book Club seemed apropos and was unanimously voted on and accepted. Many plans and suggestions were made for starting the year’s program. However, no definite business was concluded, other than that each member would pay a fee of fifty cents per year toward a fund which would serve any purposes of the club.

Centennial Book Club: January 14, 1938

Mr. McDonald gave the program for Mrs. McDonald and gave an interesting talk on music. He first defined and compared romantic and classic music, illustrating the parallel in English literature from classicism to romanticism. This discussion led to the definitions of absolute and programmatic music, and illustrations were given in piano numbers of Chopin. Bach, Kalinipov, and others.

Mr. McDonald gave the members the Kwalwasser-Dykema music aptitude test in five different abbreviated parts which proved fun for all and of special interest to those who profess no musical aptitude and who came out with high scores.

Twentieth Century Club: February 20, 1941

Mrs. Otto was hostess to a delightful open meeting of the Club on Friday evening, Feb.20th, with our husbands as guests.
We were entertained at the theatre by Joan Crawford in her latest picture “Dance, Fools, Dance. ” After the show the Club adjourned to the drug store. There menus were distributed containing as list of drinks, each taking its name from some business or personal feature of the husbands.

Drugstore site of special club meeting; most meetings were held in members’ homes. (Image courtesy of Davidson College Archives.)

Mrs. Otto and Mrs. Dusenberg presided at the soda fountain ably assisted by Captain Otto and Mr. Goodrum. They served an abundance of ice cream with strawberry sauce and angel food cake. The Drug Store was closed to the outside rabble but made cozy and attractive for the elect inside. Adjourned at eleven o’clock after an extremely enjoyable evening.

The ice cream social shows the women could have fun and well as discuss serious issues. The 1930-31 monthly topics included: Great Problems, Historical and Literary Centers, George Washington (NOTE: this was the program for the February 20 meeting), Women Who Have Helped the Nation, Contemporary English Poetry (Kipling, Alfred Noyes), and Birds – Sanctuaries and Government Protection.

Jan Blodgett

Jan Blodgett moved to Davidson in 1994. In 2017, she retired after 23 years as the Davidson College Archivist. Jan and former Davidson College history professor, Ralph Levering, are the co-authors of "One Town, Many Voices: A history of Davidson, North Carolina."

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