The Century Club is the longest running private women’s social club in the city. It was begun in 1910, and in 1913 members purchased the imposing Victorian mansion at 566 East Avenue as its headquarters.
The founding members came together to share varying backgrounds and life experiences. That philosophy continues today with a membership of diverse ages, professions, interests and goals.
What brings these women together, however, is a beautiful facility which is home to stimulating activities, an excellent chef, and a built-in network of supporting friends.
Sit down next to a member, whether she is 40 or 90, and you will hear an intriguing life story.
As the longest running women’s social club in Rochester, the Century Club began in the first decade of the twentieth century when a group of perceptive women desired to establish a club that would offer educational, cultural and social opportunities. On January 6, 1910, the City of Rochester granted a charter to these women to proceed with the organization of their club, which was to be known as the Century Club of Rochester. Mrs. Enoch Vine Stoddard had the honor of being elected its first president.
“Sit down next to a member, whether she is 40 or 90, and you will hear an intriguing life story.”
The Club first began meeting in 1910 at the Powers Hotel in a suite of three rooms. As membership swelled to 174, it was necessary to move to larger quarters. The Club relocated in the summer of 1910 to a lovely home at 36 Gibbs Street, formerly the residence of Professor Myron G. Peck. In May 1913, with 233 members, the club again needed to search for larger accommodations. It desired to find a permanent location somewhat removed from the center of Rochester. On August 7, 1913, the club was fortunate to purchase the Ham property located at the corner of 566 East Avenue and Strathallan Park.
The Annual Report of May 6, 1912, says, “The Club has become a center of social and intellectual interests. Club Day entertainments have been varied and above criticism. ‘A Study Program Course’ of unexcelled superiority has been a part of the Club’s effort to give the members the best to be obtained”… and it has helped raise the standard of the Club above that of a purely social organization.” …Also, “The Board of Directors sought to make the Century Club a factor in the social and intellectual life of Rochester.”
The Century Club has continued to thrive- keeping ever abreast of the times and current events. The Club has expanded its horizons and adapted to an ever-changing world. What remains constant, and continues to be the strength and heart of the Club, is its respect for its predecessors, its spirit of cooperation, and its recognition of its individual and mutual responsibilities.