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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
(1958)

Y.W.C.A. of Neenah-Menasha,   pp. 447-450 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 447


Y.W.C.A. OF NEENAH-MENASHA
              (Formerly the Young Women's Club)
IN THE early i9oo's more and more women were being drawn from
a protected home life into industrial employment. It was brought to
the attention of the Tuesday Club that here was an opportunity to
provide advantages for broader life interests for working girls.
  In the spring of 191I a club for girls was organized. Interest in the
club was stimulated by the work of The Boys' Brigade, in Neenah,
and by a Girls' Glee Club, sponsored by a women's organization, now
the Economics Club, of Menasha.
  The Girls' Club started in a small way with emphasis upon social
activities. Groups of girls were invited to homes of members of the
Tuesday Club for parties, games and for picnics during warm weather.
  In 1912 a Director was engaged to coordinate the work already
started. Later, club rooms were opened in the building on the north-
west corner of Church Street and Wisconsin Avenue.
  In the fall of 1914 the Girls' Club was converted into the Young
Women's Club of Neenah and Menasha. As more women were enter-
ing office and industrial positions, a broader program and more space
were required. In the fall of i915 the former Robert Shiells' home at
243 East Doty Avenue was rented as a club house.
  Then emerged the emphasis on the needs of younger girls,-char-
acter-building activities, camping for girls, and organizations such as
the Camp Fire Girls. Several groups of Camp Fire Girls were organ-
ized. Camping facilities at Onaway Island were made available to the
groups. The women of Neenah and Menasha, by accepting leadership
of these groups and aiding in transportation to camp, made this ven-
ture one of the most rewarding. Through the generosity of two Nee-
nah women, a recreation hall was added to the building. Here a stage
was erected and dramatic work prospered for awhile.
  Following World War I the Directors of the club responded to
another community need. Our city lacked adequate dining facilities
                              447


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