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[294]

Cambridge clubs.

George Howland Cox.
Cambridge is famed for the many social clubs connected with the university and the town. Their purposes are varied, the musical, literary, scientific, and social tastes of its people are fully provided for. Among those organized for social purposes, the most unique, perhaps, is the colonial Club, which combines both town and gown; for the professor in the university and the business man of the city are included in its membership. This club was organized in 1890 by J. J. Myers (its promoter), Charles W. Eliot, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry H. Gilmore, Alvin F. Sortwell, J. G. Thorp, Chester W. Kingsley, Henry P. Walcott, William A. Munroe, Charles J. Mclntire, Daniel U. Chamberlin, Edmund Reardon, and Edmund A. Whitman.

The Henry James house, No. 20 Quincy Street, was purchased immediately after organization, and in 1892 it was entirely remodeled, and a very large addition made to it. It has the conveniences of a modern club-house, which include reading and card rooms, library, dining-rooms for members, as well as for ladies, assembly hall, bedrooms, billiard-rooms, and bowling-alleys.

The membership of the club is about four hundred, and comprises a most representative array of men. Its past presidents include Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1890-93, and Charles W. Eliot, 1893-95. Its present secretary and treasurer have served continuously since the first organization. The purpose of the club is not merely to provide the usual place for reading-rooms and social intercourse, but to bring the men of the various sections of the city into closer relationship. Its success has been marked, and no club stands higher, or offers greater inducements to men who desire a place where club life can be found in its most dignified form. [295]

The officers are: J. J. Myers, president; Judge John W. Hammond, Richard H. Dana, Judge C. J. McIntire, Arthur E. Denison, vice-presidents; George Howland Cox, secretary; Edmund A. Whitman, treasurer.

The Newtowne Club of North Cambridge had its origin in the Rindge Club, which was organized in December, 1893. The name Rindge was discarded the following year at the request of Mr. Rindge, and ‘Newtowne’ substituted in its place. The club was incorporated July 23, 1894, and it is in the possession of a handsome club-house, colonial in design, located on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Davenport Street. The object of the club is to promote physical culture and social intercourse among its members. The club-house has a commodious gymnasium and six fine bowling-alleys. The membership is about four hundred and twenty-five, and includes many well-known men in the city. The officers are: E. D. Mellen, president; W. H. Lerned, vice-president; John C. Sylvia, secretary; George W. Apsey, treasurer.

The Cambridge Club is the outgrowth of the Harvard Lyceum, an organization formed October 26, 1879, by citizens mostly of Cambridgeport, with the object ‘to promote literary and social culture among its members, and especially to consider and discuss questions relating to the welfare of the city of Cambridge.’ Meetings were held at Pythian Hall, Main Street. At a meeting held November 17, 1881, an amended constitution and by-laws were adopted, and it was voted to change the name to the Cambridge Club. Meetings are held monthly, excepting in summer, with a dinner at each. The aim of the club is to create and keep alive in the community a keen interest in all matters relating to the welfare of Cambridge; and with that object in view, the discussions at its meetings have generally been confined to subjects of that character. The limit of membership is one hundred, and there are no vacancies. Its officers are: Dr. Henry O. Marcy, president; Judge Charles J. Mc-Intire, vice-president; Charles F. Wyman, secretary; Will F. Roaf, treasurer.

The economy Club is an organization of young men which began as a debating society, and has broadened into a well-known and influential institution of the town. It was organized in 1872, and has had a continuous career ever since, this long and vigorous life making it remarkable among clubs of its character. [296] Not a few men who have won distinction in various fields of activity have been members of the Economy Club, and owe much to its training. Its object is the study and discussion of economic, social, political, and historical questions. The management is in the hands of the president and executive committee, yet club affairs are fully discussed in such a manner as to preserve town-meeting methods. The club occasionally invites men eminent in their special lines of thought to address it, and other organizations to participate in joint debates; but it relies principally upon the efforts of the members, thereby preserving its traditions and its esprit de corps. The individuality of the club is marked by its singleness of purpose, by the composite character of its membership, and by the fact that it is non-sectarian and non-political.

The Cantabrigia Club was organized in March, 1892, and Mrs. Estelle M. H. Merrill was elected president. The object of the club, as set forth in its constitution, is threefold, ‘social, literary, and humanitarian. In its work it shall endeavor, not only among its members, but in the community, to promote good fellowship and the highest form of social life; to encourage mental and moral development, and to aid by its organized effort such worthy causes as may secure its sympathy.’ Its work is divided among eight committees,—on literature, art, science, music, civics, the home, philanthropy, and current events, each presided over by a chairman. The membership of the club is more than six hundred, and its influence in the community has been marked. The officers of the club are: Mrs. William A. Bancroft, acting president; Miss Grace S. Rice, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Agnes D. Wilder, treasurer.

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