Anecdotes from local history

Bay's two-room school house

Longing for the good ol' days? Here are excerpts of old records from the Bay Village Women’s Club, giving a snapshot of local life. 

1917: Women in Bay formed the Mothers Club in January while the men formed the Community Club mid-year. The women first met in the one-room school house (now Bay Presbyterian Church site) but soon moved to the two-room school house at the western end of Lake Road when membership ballooned to 107. The women rode the interurban railway to the meetings and “transported food and refreshments in wagons.”

1921: Club records noted the “seriousness of the school situation” with 108 students attending the West School and “48 receiving instruction in the Village Town Hall.” Also, the Club sent a resolution to the mayor “asking for some means of fire protection” in the community.

1922: Performed a one-act play for a fundraiser, with the husbands building the set. Eventually formed a theater group and in 1967 moved to Clague Playhouse in Westlake.

1927: Sponsored a Girl Scout organization in Bay.

1928: Referred to the new Forestview School. Supported the Federation of Women’s Clubs in urging the choice of the “wren” for the state bird.

1929: A record book described Bay Village: “5 miles along Lake Erie, purely residential tho boasts 3 stores. Into such a community come young married couples to grow up with Village.” By this year there was a PTA and a new school house.  The Women’s and Men’s Clubs took over the abandoned two-room red brick school house, remodeled as a club house and combined the two rooms into one.

1931: “Canned 226 quarts of fruits and vegetables for use among the village needy this winter.”

1935: Gave its first scholarship – $50 outright plus a $50 loan to be repaid; raised the funds from a Bridge tea. In 1944 changed to an outright gift of $200.

1938: The Club’s garden group separated into the Bay Village Garden Club.

1942-44: Fielded complaints about women smoking during the meetings. Appointed Mrs. Steinbrenner chair of the Defense committee; sold “defense stamps”; donated cookies and apples to the U.S.O. station; distributed booklets to members on civilian defense; held blood drives; participated in county salvage for the war effort (paper, rags, fat waste from food, tin); and many more activities.

1945: Asked city council to support county-wide rabies control. Collected 15 tons of clothing for “foreign relief.”

1946: Nickle Plate Railroad installed flashers on Cahoon Road. A Club member had been killed at the crossing.

1950: During meetings, a babysitter kept the children at the library for a fee of 50 cents per child.

The Women’s Club donated $5 each year to several charities, including Easter Seals for Crippled Children, Red Cross, Community Fund, Cancer Control and more.

One event the Women’s Club originated in the 1960s that continues to this day is an antiques show to raise funds for college scholarships. Beat the winter blahs by visiting the 54th Antiques & Vintage Show at Bay High School Feb. 17 and 18.

Nancy Trainer

The Bay Village Women's Club and Foundation is Bay's longest running civic and social organization, founded Feb. 1917.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.06.2024