For more than a century, the Bisbee Woman’s Club has encouraged women to further their education, improve their skills, expand their rights and apply their abilities and special sensitivities to the community’s problems.
A Brief History of the Bisbee Woman’s Club
In 1899, Helen French (Mrs. Stuart), who belonged to one of the Bisbee reading clubs, conceived the idea of a larger group—a real Woman’s Club—which could meet in Library Hall and be of service to the community as well as to each other. The idea was well received, and as there were already twenty or more charter members, the Bisbee Woman’s Club was launched in the fall of 1900.
In 1901, the Club was the first in Arizona to become a member of the Federated Woman’s Clubs and has the distinction of owning the first woman’s clubhouse building in Arizona.
The clubhouse is a one story frame clapboard sided bungalow in the Craftsman style, consisting of a main hall with a stage, two ante rooms, a kitchen and a restroom.
The land was fully deeded to the women by the mining company and a mortgage was secured after 26 members of the club marched in unison to the local bank to sign the loan. The loan was paid off through fundraising events such as concerts, dances and card parties. The total cost of the building was $2,805.95.
The clubhouse is historically significant for its role in the social life of Bisbee during the 20th century and for its stature as the oldest continually used women’s clubhouse in the state of Arizona. Throughout its existence, the club has promoted the cultural, intellectual and social life of the town and has continued its efforts in support of community enhancement through the years. The Bisbee Woman’s Clubhouse was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1985.