1924 – 1925: Card Parties, Cake Sales and a Plot of Land

by Patricia and Edward Shillingburg  © 2006


The Winyah House: The Winyah House was a popular gathering place for the women of the Community Club. It was located on Chase Avenue, on the south-east corner facing Chase’s Creek.  It burned to the ground in 1925.

Unless otherwise noted, the source for this material is the Suffolk Times.
    The ladies of the Community Club had now become effective fundraisers. By the annual meeting held in January 1924, the treasurer was able to announce that they now had $1,000 in the Community House Fund. They had a membership of 28. The officers for the year were Mrs. Clarence Wilcox, chairman, Mrs. Thomas Young, Mrs. Moses Griffing and Mrs. St. John Cambell vice chairmen, and Secretary, Miss Lillian Loper.
    On Thursday, January 31, the Club held a Silver Tea at Mrs. Herbert Whitney’s home. On February 13, they held the ever-popular Valentine Party at the Firemen’s Hall, and in late February, they had a card party at the home of Mrs. A.C. Wintraecken. They were on a roll, and would continue at a frenetic pace throughout the year.
    Mrs. Myers and another member had taken a dress making class offered by the Home Bureau in East Hampton, and she was now offering a six class course in dress making for $1.00. “This is a fine opportunity for anyone interested in learning to make their own clothes. Those interested may find out the date and place of the next meeting by calling 41R today.”
    On Saturday, April 12 the Community Club held a food sale from 2:30 to 4:00 pm at the store of Captain Orin Lester in the Center.
    In May, they again held the very popular Children’s Party and elected a Queen of the May.
On Decoration Day in late May, the Community Club decorated the base of the Memorial Boulder with dogwood, white and purple lilacs and snow balls, in honor of Captain Jack Baldwin.
    July 11: “During the past year the activities of the Community Club have been many and varied. With the Community House in view, they have worked steadily through the year preparing for their Summer Fair, which will be held in the Triangle at the Heights, Friday, July 18th. Since their fair last summer they have had five pinochle parties, three bakery sales and a silver tea for the benefit of the Community House Fund. In October the Club published the Community Cook Book, Shelter Island's first cookbook of its own. These books are being sold to help out the Community House project. The Club has also been active in all branches of community work, bringing sunshine to those in sickness and distress and helping the patriotic side of community life. At the Harvest Festival for the Public Library, the Club had charge of the candy and ice cream cone booths and carried the work through successfully. In February they held their annual community party at which they entertained 150 people. In May the club gave a May party for the children of the town and held a May Queen contest. During February and March the Club held sewing classes and studied the Home Bureau two-piece skirt project. They have had two lectures from the Home Bureau Public Health Nurse, Mrs. Whitmore; these were free for the public. The Club has also aided those in need with baskets of groceries. Last year they gave crib sheets for the Fresh Air Home. Fruit and flowers have been sent to the sick and several invalids have had sunshine bags to brighten the weeks of ill health. Memorial Day flowers were placed on graves of the soldiers and upon the Memorial Boulder. Flowers were placed upon some of the graves of those who had none to remember their existence. So far as possible, the Club has lived up to their foremost duty to help wherever there is need. The Community House fund is steadily growing and they hope through the fair, they are soon to give, to add very materially to it. Any contribution of cake, candy, fruit, vegetables or money for the fair, will be very welcome. The Club has secured a fine lecture course for the Island that will begin in October. There will be entertainment each month, until March.”
    On July 25: “The Triangle at the Heights was the center of attraction on Friday of last week, this day being the day for the Fair and Sale for the benefit of the Community House Building Fund. The many tables and booths were decorated so gaily with the best of colors that most everyone in that vicinity on that afternoon and evening was sure of entering the grounds. The fair started at 2:30 with one of the nicest days of the season. Cakes, candy, ice cream, fancy articles, novelties, country store, hot dogs, and punch were some of the attractions. The grab bag was the thing which drew the children's attention. It represented a gypsy campfire with all the real attractions of color and dress. At night the Triangle was lighted by red, white and blue lights very close together, which drew large crowds of people to the fair. The sale drew to a close at about 11:00 and all feel that we are much nearer to our Community House as a result of the good work of the people who helped to make this fair a success.” The Community Club was also grateful to many of the merchants in Greenport who contributed goods to be sold at the fair.
    That August, the Community Club also held two food sales, one on August 8 at Willow Square (on Bridge Street) and the other on August 29.
    They also contracted with the White Entertainment Company for five entertainments for the winter months. They were to include a “quartette, bell ringers, and other high class musical entertainers.”
    During the fall, they held a number of Pinochle parties culminating with one at the Winyah House on Chase Avenue in mid-December. The games of choice were pinochle and mah jong. (The Winyah House was located on the south-east corner of Chase Avenue and burned down in 1925.)
    December 12: “the Community Club met for the first time in their new club room at Green Acres.”  (Green acres was the home of Mrs. St. John Cambell, the Gabriel Crook house on Route 114 with the red apple sign in front.) “The Club has just finished fixing their club room, which is very attractive with its retonne draperies, cozy rocking chairs, sewing table, etc.”
    On January 11, 1925 they held a “500 party” at which “Forty-two” was also played. They charged 50¢ to attend.
    The last of the Concert series was held on February 11 at the Firemen’s Hall.  It was the highly acclaimed Kenmore Girls who were also known as the “Joy Bringers.”
    On January 13 the Community Club held a card party at Mrs. Myer’s house and on February 27 a food sale in their new clubroom, which brought in about $20.
    In early April, they sponsored an evening of hilarious fun! “The plot of the play is based on a lost Japanese-Siberian, Spitz-poodle dog named Sally.” Tickets were 50¢. “A crowded house greeted the Star Hose Company [of Greenport] actors last Wednesday evening, when they presented a lively comedy, What’s Become of Sally? for the benefit of the Community Club. The parts were all taken by men, and they proved themselves past masters in burlesque and feminine impersonation. Applause was generous and the audience appreciated to the full the bits of local humor…”
    For members of the Community Club, however, May 15, 1925 was the most special of the year, because on that day they purchased a half-acre of land from Charles H. Smith and his wife Florence. The deed was recorded on December 15, 1925 in Liber 1159, page 266. It is described as bounded North on Public Highway, 150’, East by Library Avenue 170’, South by land of Eleanor Griffing 150’, West by land of Charles H. Smith, 175’. (Later described in the February 26, 1926 issue of the Suffolk Times as being on the corner of Bateman and Library avenues with a frontage of 170’ and 150’ on the two roads.) All  those bake sales, fairs, parties, card parties, cookbooks, and silver teas had paid off, and they were one large step toward their goal of a Community House.
    But there were more cakes to bake, cards to play, fairs to produce, and parties to give before they would be finished.
    They held a “500” party in mid-May, and had a bake sale, with cakes, pies, biscuits and peanuts, on Friday, May 29 on Mrs. Bowditch’s lawn.
    Decoration Day was again observed by the Community Club, by decorating the Memorial Boulder with a large wreath of snowballs and the base with flowers and green foliage. They also “decorated the graves of all the solders with flowers according to their annual custom.”
    During the Spring the Community Club women sold a hundred boxes of stockings for the Fliesher Hosiery Company, thus earning a handsome commission.
    The annual fair was rained out on Friday, July 31 but was held the following day. “The Triangle at the Heights was the scene of excitement. Decorated booths were put up during [the] day, which caught the eyes of all passers-by. Fancy work of all descriptions, ice cream, candy, cakes, hot dogs, and many other things were for sale. The Fair started at about two-thirty and was carried on during the afternoon and the earlier part of the evening. The children were attracted in groups by the grab bag, which gave forth many valuable rewards. This fair added a large amount to the building fund of the Community Club.”
    For the Harvest Festival that year, the Community Club “took charge of soliciting and collecting donations” and ran the candy table. In September, they held a cake sale in Willow Square, and the Suffolk Times reported, “Everything was quickly disposed of owing to the great demand for home made food.”

1923 Community Cookbook