May 18, 1893 - Amy Barnes Maynard invited eleven Amherst women to meet at her home on the campus of the Massachusetts Agricultural College to discuss forming a Woman's Club. Service to the community was to be an integral part of the club from its origin.
In the first ten years, club members addressed the need for a new High School building, a town library, a waiting room for trolleys and a District Nurse. The club supported the women's Christian Temperance Union campaign against the liquor license, the carelessness of market men with reference to flies, and campaigned for at least one educational moving picture each week.
During the First World War, club members supported Christmas stockings for the War Children of Europe and collected a box of clothing weighing 375 pounds for the Belgian Relief Fund.
In 1924, the club supported a dental clinic for schoolchildren, collected funds for a nutrition class for underweight children and funded hot lunches for children remaining in school during the lunch period. The club established a milk fund for schoolchildren and assisted at the annual Christmas party for Town children.
From 1932-1933, the club maintained an employment agency during the Depression.
In 1941, the club awarded its first scholarship of $50 for further study to an Amherst girl. Over the years, the scholarship program has grown to award two $1,000 scholarships each year, available to both girls and boys.
In 1943, the Amherst Woman's Club opened its doors to the service men studying at Amherst College and Massachusetts State College. The grounds of the clubhouse provided space for various games and the interior served as a place to dance, to write letters home or simply to sit quietly.
Today, the club raises $3,000 each year to fund local charities such as the Boys and Girls Club, Whole Children, Amherst Senior Center, Hospice Fisher Home, Soldier On, Amherst Community Connections, Amherst Survival Center, Safe Passage, Reader to Reader and the Renaissance Center in their efforts to meet the needs of the community.
The club has supported the Amherst Community by participating in Amherst History Day in 2000, the Amherst House Tour in 2000. In 2011, the club responded aaffirmatively to the town's request to donate a piece of frontage to enable the town to improve traffic patterns and pedestrian and bicycle safety along Main Street and Triangle Street.
One of the most important tasks of the Amherst Woman's Club has been to maintain the Hills Memorial Clubhouse since 1922. Through club members' contributions, we have preserved this 1864 Italianate Renaissance mansion for nearly one hundred years.