It was 1906 and the government wanted to tear down the Town Hall, with the Market beneath to build a new Post Office. This caused a storm of protest led by Miss Ida Sutton and supported by the Fayetteville Observer resulting in a new permanent organization with Miss Georgia Hicks as President. This was the beginning of the Woman’s Club of Fayetteville, NC, Inc.
At a meeting in January, 1907, the name “Fayetteville Civic Improvement Association” was adopted, but in 1909 , the “Fayetteville Civic Improvement Association” decided to federate with other North Carolina Clubs and the name was changed to “Fayetteville Woman’s Club”. Some years later the club withdrew from the North Carolina Federation of Woman’s Clubs and in 1920 changed its name to the Woman’s Club of Fayetteville, NC. In 1947, with a membership of over five hundred it rejoined the Federation as second largest Woman’s Club in North Carolina.
The Woman’s Club is also responsible for Fayetteville’s first public restrooms (in the Market House), the first teachers’ retirement plan for North Carolina and many other significant projects.
During World War II, the Woman’s Club began renting the Sandford House from the Powell family. The club gave a “proper” home to single young women who had moved here to Fayetteville to attend college or to meet the city’s growing war-time job market. The house was also used as the city’s YMCA. In 1945, the club purchased the Sandford House.
In 1956, the Halliday home was set for demolition. Fortunately, the owners donated the beautiful “Oval Ballroom” to the Woman’s Club. The Woman’s Club successfully placed both the Oval Ballroom and the Sandford House on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
In 1966, the Club purchased the neighboring house, now call the Baker-Haigh-Nimocks House. The Club immediately removed modern additions and conveniences but restoration of the property has been slow-going.
During 1997, the Colonial Dames of American began a campaign to complete research on and restore the structure. The Woman’s Club is in awe of the success of their campaign and are eternally thankful to the Colonial dames for their continue support of Heritage Square.
The Woman’s Club continually and joyfully supports many charities that directly benefit the citizens of Fayetteville. The Club also participates with other community groups to help bring a sense of history Fayetteville during events such as Dickens Day and the Haunted Fayetteville tours. The Club present the Christ Tour of Homes annually, in addition to many smaller projects and groups in hope to helping to meet the needs of desires of this city’s citizens.
Since the first meeting, the mission of the Woman’s Club of Fayetteville, NC, Inc., has been to promote civic, cultural, educational and social welfare of the city; to preserve Heritage Square and to promote the historical preservation of the community.
The Woman’s Club colors are purple and green. The insignia is the thistle. The motto is “Gainsay Who Dare.” (Gainsay is the old-fashioned work meaning “contract” or “oppose.”)
Click here to see photographs and text about events at the Woman’s Club of Fayetteville