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The Nahant Woman’s Club is ‘stronger than ever’ in its 125th year

Jessie Benton Fremont spent her summer vacations at a house on Willow Road in the 1860s. The owner of that house, Molly Conlin, played the part of Jessie Benton Fremont in her living room at an annual Woman’s Club meeting. (The Daily Item)

NAHANT — The Nahant Woman’s Club is continuing its mission to “promote the literacy and social betterment of the ladies of the village” in its 125th year. 

Sunday, the club will raise money for local and overseas organizations it supports through a clam and lobster bake. 

In keeping with its original mission to focus on nonprofits that advocate for women and children, proceeds from the event will go to Girls Inc. of Lynn, North Shore Community College’s Stop Hunger on Campus program, Women for Woman International, Montserrat Food Pantry, Puerto Rico Hurricane Fund, and the Hope Uganda Project. Two $2,500 scholarships will also be funded. 

“The club is celebrating its 125th year and we are going stronger than ever,” said president Cheryl Conte. 

In 2008, unofficial town historian Calantha Sears researched the club’s origins for a lecture on the women of Nahant. She learned Woman’s Club formed in 1895 with a small group at the home of Sophilia Wilson at 80 Spring Road. A member of the club still lives in the home today.

Wilson became the club’s first president and was considered the first lady of the town, which had a population of 883.  At the time, Nahant had 334 homes, 33 cows, 109 horses, 48 dogs licensed, and 466 ⅛ acres of taxable land, and 454 registered voters — not one of which was a woman.

When meetings became more formal, they were held at the old Town Hall, where the playground behind the library is now, and a $1 admittance fee was collected. Annual dues were $2. 

Two club gatherings were held each month. One was a lecture on an interesting topic and the second a home day in which members presented papers on a variety of fascinating subjects. 

The green and white club colors were chosen in 1968 and field chick-weed was designated the club’s flower because Nahant was the only place in Essex County where it was found. 

Today, the Nahant Woman’s Club has members from other North Shore Towns, including Lynn, Swampscott, Marblehead, Revere and Winthrop. 

Tickets to this weekend’s fundraiser are $75 and can be purchased by contacting the club via email at nwc-tickets@nahantma.us or by phone at 339-440-4067. The event will have live entertainment, a dance floor, silent auction, raffles, and a cash bar. 

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