The Tuckahoe Woman's Club

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Past Presidents

Our Past Presidents with our Current President Janet Kay

In February of 1936, Mrs. Thomas J. Starke and Mrs. W. Ambrose McGee, Jr. invited twenty-four women to join them in the home of Mrs. Starke to found The Tuckahoe Woman's Club. Mrs. Starke was elected the first president of The Tuckahoe. The charter members, all of whom lived in the Tuckahoe District of Henrico County, quickly increased the membership, making The Tuckahoe a leading club in the Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs until their withdrawal in 1955. In 1947 the Tuckahoe District residency requirement was discontinued and the membership was raised to 500. The club met in various West End locations. In 1948 the meetings moved to the Westhampton Theatre with a coffee hour replacing the afternoon teas.

Over the years, members were involved in community activities on behalf of The Tuckahoe and were honored for their contributions. A project supporting the Occupational Therapy Curative Workshop was just one of the many volunteer programs to which members very generously gave their time and talents. During World War II, the club bought War Bonds and also sold them at downtown locations. They planted victory gardens, joined the Red Cross, collected scrap metal, and entertained the military and their families.

A primary focus in the early years of the club was fundraising for a building. In 1946 a lot was purchased in Windsor Farms and the cornerstone for the clubhouse was laid in May of 1954. A grand opening of the home of The Tuckahoe Woman's Club on Dover Road was held December 1, 1954. After burning the mortgage just two years later, the wing of the building was added in February of 1957. In 1958 the adjacent lot was purchased to create the beautiful Memorial Garden. In 1964 the Garden Clubs of Virginia, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, honored The Tuckahoe Woman's Club building as one of their selections during Garden Week. After the building was air-conditioned in 1993, The Tuckahoe became a popular rental site for weddings, cotillion and community events. The clubhouse was further enhanced by Mr. and Mrs. J. Harwood Cochrane’s donation of a magnificent Steinway Concert Grand Piano. In 2012 a new lighting and speaker system was installed on the stage and in the auditorium, including headsets for hearing-impaired members.

The Art Exhibition, which began in March of 1951, continues to grow in size and in expression of members' talents. Included over the years have been fine arts, photography, handcrafts, sculpture, needlework, woodworking, a men's corner, a children's corner, an art sale and an art raffle with proceeds supporting the Scholarship Endowment Fund. Theatrical and musical presentations have entertained and raised funds for the clubhouse and the Scholarship Endowment Fund.

The Scholarship Endowment Fund was founded in 1996. Scholarships, based on need and merit, are awarded to graduates of local high schools. In 2016, four scholarships of $3,000 were awarded.

Tuckahoe programs have enriched the knowledge of the membership since 1936. Subjects addressed by speakers have run the gamut from politics to garden design to world affairs. The list of speakers who have addressed The Tuckahoe is impressive. Musical entertainment has included opera singers, pianists, Broadway stars, and symphonic groups. The always popular fashion shows have created a visual history of changing styles.

Since the opening of the building, The Tuckahoe has annually celebrated Christmas with beautiful seasonal decorations, a Christmas program, a children's party, and an open house with the legendary eggnog punch. In springtime an Easter egg hunt in the memorial garden continues to delight children and grandchildren.

Classes for bridge, knitting, crafts, exercise, dance, painting and many other learning opportunities have been held in the clubhouse. The literary guilds and bridge socials were early favorites and continue to be popular. The club library was founded in 1937 with the donation of one book from each member. The first book placed on a shelf was Gone With the Wind. The Tuckahoe Travelers have ventured around the city, throughout the state and as far away as Montreal.

In 2011 The Tuckahoe Woman's Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary. Membership in The Tuckahoe Woman's Club has grown from 26 charter members to nearly 1,700 members. The very rich history of the club has been captured over the years with newspaper clippings and photographs preserved in scrapbooks. A 75th Diamond Anniversary Tea was held at the club. The celebration continued with the Lois Lacy McGee 75th Anniversary Program,...And Here We Are Today!. This program was a tribute to members, speakers and events over the years through songs and performances culminating with a DVD presentation of past presidents, who shared their personal stories and memories representing the history of our club.

The “Pave the Way to The Tuckahoe” campaign was introduced in 2012. Members were offered the opportunity to purchase inscribed bricks in the newly laid walkways surrounding the clubhouse. This will be an on-going project to allow members to honor or memorialize their loved ones.

The Tuckahoe Woman’s Club will continue to grow and transform for many years with a Board of Governors led by the president, members actively participating and a full-time staff.

 

Timeline

1936

Mrs. Thomas J. Starke and Mrs. Ambrose McGee, Jr. invited 24 women to the home of Mrs. Starke to found the Tuckahoe Woman’s Club.

1941-1945

Club bought War Bonds as well as sold them at downtown locations. The members planted victory gardens, joined the Red Cross, collected scrap metal and entertained the military and their families.

1948

Meetings moved to Westhampton Theater with coffee hour replacing afternoon teas. Previously meetings had been held at various locations.

1951

Art Exhibition began and continues each March with money raised from raffle and art sales supporting the Scholarship Endowment Fund.

1954

Cornerstone laid in May for current Club building in Windsor Farms. Grand Opening of the home of The Tuckahoe Woman’s Club held December 1, 1954.

1956

Burned the Mortgage for the building.

1957

Wing added to building.

1958

Adjacent Lot purchased to create a Memorial Garden.

1964

The Garden Club of Virginia selected The Tuckahoe Woman’s Club as one of its the locations for Historic Garden Week.

1993

Building air-conditioned, making it a popular rental site for weddings, cotillion and community events.

Mr. & Mrs. J. Harwood Cochrane donated a Steinway Concert Grand Piano.

1996

Scholarship Endowment Fund founded.

2011

Celebrated our 75th Anniversary. Beginning with 26 Charter members the Club now has nearly 1,700 members. Anniversary gift of Rear projection Screen and projector.

2012

Renovation of lightening and sound systems.

2012

“Pave the Way to The Tuckahoe” campaign, allows members to purchase personally inscribed bricks for the newly laid walkway surrounding the Clubhouse.


4215 Dover Road | Richmond, VA 23221 | 804.257.7251 | TWC-Office@thetuckahoe.org