- 1911-1969 (Creation)
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The Ravinia Woman’s Club originated as the Woman’s Civic Club of Ravinia in 1911. (Until 1899 Ravinia existed as a village.) The goals of the Club focused on maintaining the needs and friendships of the small community. Throughout its years of service, the Club focused on families, friendship, and civic engagements that benefited those living in Ravinia. General Federation of Women’s Clubs, did not exclude men; and men did join and participate.. The Ravinia Woman’s Club was both state and nationally recognized. These records end in 1969 after the Club voted to be absorbed into the Highland Park Woman’s Club.
Despite their growth and annexation to Highland Park, Ravinia citizens expressed a need for organization that would continue to focus on their small community. In 1911 the Woman’s Civic Club of Ravinia organized and held its first meeting. The original thirty-three charter members held education as their primary concern.
In 1912 the Ravinia Woman’s Club Ravinia Commission was established the Ravinia Commission to focus on the civic needs of the community. Two years later, in 1914, the Commission separated from the Club due to government restrictions. Yet, they continued to work closely with each other for the betterment of the community. From 1914 until 1925, the a Library Committee formed and collected books which it then gave to the local school and Highland Park Hospital. It subsequently changed the Committee name to Civics and Philanthropy.
The different commissions vied for the most unique way to design the meeting house (an old schoolhouse previously used as a community building) to be honored with a dedication ceremony held every November 22. The ceremony, initially known as the “lighting of the fire” in building’s hearth and the designing competitions became known as remodeling and furnishing “The Village House” in honor of having the old schoolhouse given to the Club in 1913.
The Woman’s Civic Club of Ravinia joined the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs and the 10th district Federation of Illinois in 1914. Due to their increased size and activities level, they created many committees to assist with various projects and programs. In 1921 the Education Committee which as become so large and compartmentalized that it renamed itself the Arts Committee and focused on bringing drama, art, and music to the “twilight teas” events. These events included children and adults both associated and not associated with the Club.
By 1928, the Woman’s Civic Club of Ravinia changed its name to the Ravinia Woman’s Club and had 222 active members. Throughout the years of the Ravinia Woman’s Club retained its main focus has always remained the same, a focus on the betterment of the community through sociable, educational, and cultural events that promoted friendship and the beatification of the area. The Club’s information runs until 1969 when the membership voted to became absorbed by the Highland Park Woman’s Club. For more information on the intermittent years, look in the history section of the various Member Directories.
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There are five series in this collection: Scrapbooks, Committees, Financial, General, and Members. Within the Committees series there are two subseries: Contracts, and Events under Committees, and Minutes and Membership Directories under Members.
There are three scrapbooks. Each one displays a mix of photographs, letters, ticket stubs, and pamphlets. Many are incomplete due to deterioration and other preservation issues. One scrapbook, chiefly arranged chronologically, with some topical pages, appears to have been created for the 25th anniversary of the Ravinia Women's Club, also known as the Ravinia Civics Club and the Ravinia Women's Club The scrapbook includes bylaws, yearbooks, clippings and programs and inter-organizational correspondence.
There are three committees that took part in the Ravinia Woman’s Club; they are Philanthropy, Social, and Village House. These committees held luncheons, dinner theater, and fashion shows and musical performances. These events can be found under the two subseries titles of Contracts and Events. These dates range from 1934-1969.
The financial section of the collection holds various member dues, expenses for events, and the costs involved with running the Club. It also contains some audits and tax-exempt forms applying for 501c3 not for profit status. The series ranges from 1916-1969.
General information ranges from 1911-1964. This topical file holds a mixture of histories, correspondence, outreach, and newspaper clippings.
The Members series of the collection forms the bulk of the Ravinia Woman’s Club records. It has two subseries the first being the Minutes of the meetings, with dates ranging from 1913-1957. Within the minutes are also newspaper clippings and letters. The second subseries are the extensive collection of Membership Directories. They almost hold a complete history of the Club ranging from 1919-1969. They help place the Ravinia Woman’s Club into its context by also being associated with the Lyons Township Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Federation of Clubs of the 10th Congressional District of Illinois.
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