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Most envisioned a clubhouse on the waterfront, near 3rd or 4th Avenue N but several houses and lots were considered and discarded. By April, 1927 there was $11,000 in the building fund. In November of 1928, C. Perry Snell made a gift offer of land on Snell Isle! The land was beyond the streetcar line, in the jungle and reached by a one lane rickety, wooden bridge – an isolated spot. The offer was accepted after much debate. The deed is dated December 24, 1928.

Mrs. Katherine B. Tippetts, a member of St. Petersburg Woman’s Club served as president of Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs 1926-1928. In January, 1929 it was voted to accept a note of $15,000 at 6% from Augusta Bank, Maine, the Winthrop Branch, to be signed by the club president and treasurer and endorsed by Mrs. Murray L. Stanley (newly elected president of the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs). By May, 1929 the building fund had reached $16,428.08. Club membership was limited to 600 regular and 150 life members.

The clubhouse dedication was in November, 1929 when the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs held their Fall Board Meeting there. Mrs. Stanley, Federation president, paid tribute to “Mrs; Wendell P. Slayton, club president, and to all those in the past whose 16 years of untiring effort and faith had brought it about, and the Mr. C. Perry Snell, by his gift of the beauty spot”.

A condensed treasurer’s report, 1929-30 shows the expenditure of $30, 490.64 for building & equipment and $3791.58 for furnishings totaling $34,282.22. The club immediately began to convince the city build a new bridge over the bayou and on Christmas Day, 1931 the new bridge opened.

On April 16, 1932 twelve young women formed Junior Woman’s Club as an auxiliary of the Senior Woman’s Club, their sponsor.

Worldwide depression hit the club with declining membership, the closing of the bank where their accounts were carried and only $181.21 in the club treasury. In 1931, membership dropped to 149 paid members. In 1932, The Florida Federation encouraged clubs to carry members unable to pay dues that year. At the beginning of 1933, the club advised the city and Mr. Snell it didn’t want riparian right to their property and couldn’t accept maintenance of the seawall. On December 14, 1933, paid membership was only 81.

By April, 1934 the loan was down to $10,600 plus local notes of less than $1000. By 1939 membership rebounded to 366 and a summer janitor was hired for $30 a month. Study classes were renamed The Town Hall Sessions. The mortgage was burned ceremoniously on April 18, 1940!

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St. Petersburg Woman's Club has been the gathering place for women to chat, giggle and provide hands-on service in the community since 1913.


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