The Women’s Club of Caldwell is a member of the Liberty District of the NJSFWC of GFWC. We are a nonprofit, service organization comprised of women from Caldwell and the West Essex area. We are a non-partisan, non-denominational group that holds, as one of our basic tenets, a belief that we should give back to our community, state, and country to the best of our ability. Interwoven with a spirit of fellowship, we work diligently to achieve our goal of service to the larger community. This philosophy has led us to initiate and engage in many programs and projects for the West Essex area, the state of New Jersey, and the nation as well as some international ventures.
We welcome new members and are open to interested women of all ages. Our club offers members the opportunity to enjoy a variety of daytime, evening, and weekend activities. Monthly club meetings take place on the third Friday of the month, from September through June, and are held at 253 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ. The meetings include interesting speakers, service projects, and activities, plus the opportunity to connect with women in the area.
A Brief History of the Women’s Club of Caldwell
At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, a group of civic-minded women saw the need to provide social activities for local teenagers. The Caldwell Borough Improvement Association was organized with an emphasis on the town’s youth and taking an active interest in the civic affairs of the borough. During the first year (1901) of its existence, the association placed refuse cans on Bloomfield Avenue and improved the village green with gravel walks and flower beds. The Caldwell Borough Improvement Association was incorporated on January 2, 1902. The first women’s club of its kind in the West Essex area.
The organization then rented the GAR Hall, cleaned it, installed electric lights and new seats, and built a stage. For two years, all entertainment sponsored by the club was held there. The children’s auxiliary was formed in May 1902. The object of this important branch of the Association was to teach citizenship and love of town and country to the young members – 80 local boys and girls. In that same year, the organization purchased a lot on Academy Road for the asking price of $650.00. The building was completed in July 1902 at the cost of $8000.00.
The Association became a member of the State Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1908, and in 1921 the organization’s name was changed to the Women’s Club of Caldwell. Unfortunately, the association’s building on Academy Road burned down in August of 1920. The club then continued to meet at Provost Homestead. On May 18, 1926, the chorus from the Caldwell Club won first prize in the National Federation chorus contest. The award, a grand piano, was used by the club for over eighty years. On May 1, 1928, the dream of a clubhouse of their own was realized when the building on the corner of Westville Avenue and Brookside Avenue in Caldwell was opened.
The Women’s Club of Caldwell used the clubhouse for all club activities, such as meetings, dinners, performances, fundraisers, etc. To offset building maintenance costs, the club rented the building to private individuals for weddings, showers, parties, etc. The building was also rented out regularly for other clubs and organizations, including The West Essex Kiwanis Club, the Knollwood Juniors, the Cotillon club, Weight Watchers, Tai Chi, and PlayCrafters.
Due to rising maintenance costs, in 2008, the Women’s Club of Caldwell decided to sell the clubhouse to the Pio Costa Education Foundation with the understanding that the club would continue to meet in the building for several more years. The clubhouse had served as the home for the Women’s Club of Caldwell for eighty-five years. After the agreement with the Pio Costa Education Foundation was finished, the club met on a regular basis at various locations, including the West Caldwell Civic Center and the public libraries, and currently holds club meetings in the meeting room at 253 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell.