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The Acquisition Of The Present Clubhouse


On March 1, 1893, the Old Colony Club voted to buy the property on the corner of Court and Brewster Streets from Mrs. Everett Sherman so that the Club would no longer to be dependent on rented quarters. On February 6, 1893, a committee (of Arthur Lord, I. M. Jackson, Ellis Harlow, Anthony Atwood and A. P. Bent) was appointed to select a property for a permanent home for the Club. On February 25th the committee recommended that the Club purchase the B. A. Hathaway house on North Street for $8,000, and it was voted that the Club should do so.

Nevertheless, there must have been some opposition to this decision that the records do not reveal, because on March 1, another meeting was called. At this meeting the purchase of the land and building on corner of Court and Brewster Street owned by Mrs. Everett Sherman was considered. This proposal was approved and the Court St. property was duly acquired for $4,500. The funding of this move was arranged as follows:

After Consideration with care the subject of said purchase, the following `Voted' were unanimously passed:

  • Voted: - The Treasurer is hereby authorized and instructed to purchase in the name of this Club the house and lot on the corner of Court and Brewster Street not including the house lot on Brewster Street of Mrs. Everett F. Sherman for the sum of Forty Five hundred dollars.
  • Voted: - The Treasurer is hereby authorized and instructed to negotiate and execute in the name and on behalf of this Club a mortgage in Common form for three thousand at a rate of interest not exceeding six per cent per annum on the real estate on the corner of Court and Brewster Streets in Plymouth this day authorized to be purchased.
  • Voted: - The Treasurer is hereby authorized to issue in the name and on behalf of this Club notes or Scrip to an amount not exceeding four thousand dollars bearing interest at the rate of five per cent per annum, payable Semi-Annually, principal payable in ten years from date, but the whole or any part of said Scrip shall be payable at any time at the option of the Executive Committee for the time being. In case part is paid at any time the particular notes or pieces of Scrip shall be determined by lot.
    The Treasurer is also hereby authorized to dispose of said notes or Scrip to whomsoever may desire to purchase the same at not less than par, preference being given to members of this Club.
  • Voted: - That the Treasurer is hereby authorized and instructed to execute in the name and on behalf of this Club a mortgage for the sum not exceeding four thousand dollars on the real estate on the corner of Court and Brewster Streets in Plymouth this day authorized to be purchased. Said mortgage to be subject to the mortgage heretofore authorized and to be made to James D. Thurber and Isaac M. Jackson as Trustees as security for the holders of the scrip or notes this day authorized and to be in such form and with such Conditions as the executive Committee may approve.
  • Voted: - The executive Committee the President and the Treasurer with Mr. Leander S. Cole are hereby made a Committee with full power to alter, repair, furnish and install heating apparatus in the house, this day voted to be purchased by the Club, but no expense or liability shall be incurred greater than the sum of fifteen Hundred dollars.
  • Voted: - That the executive Committee be recommended to take such action as will be necessary to make the Active Membership of one hundred instead of Eighty as now stated in Article II of the Constitution.

Adjourned: Wm. S. Danforth Sec'y"

A postcard was sent to the membership announcing the decision. The Club then proceeded to renovate the building, with the following expenses:

Mortgage $3,000.00 Cleaning $28.54
Notes $3,300.00 New Boiler $470.00
(Notes due) $400.00 Gas piping $18.90
Purchase price $4,500.00 Electrical wiring $57.40
Recording deed, mortgage $3.35 Coal $19.00
Repairs $812.10 Furniture $500.21
Sundries (E.W. Harlow to Boston) $ 8.00
The Club also received $40.50 for the old boiler and gas lines.

The Old Colony Memorial reported on the renovation of the new Clubhouse on April 20, 1893. A new light-tinted wallpaper was installed in the entry and the 130-year old staircase had been cleaned and repainted. A large moosehead was hung in the stairwell. The walls of the rooms were covered with a pressed figured paper. The house was wired for electrical lights and also piped for gas, as both forms of illumination were in use. The ceilings were tastefully tinted.

There were heavy tapestry carpets in every room except for the Billiard Room on the second floor. A small Domino Room was installed off the Billiard Room toward Court Street and two Card Playing rooms were located beyond the Billiard Room towards the harbor, and a toilet as well.

Downstairs the Club Parlour was graced with a fireplace and a table for books and newspapers. There were many interesting pictures, of which game pieces predominated. A small writing room overlooking Court Street was fitted out with a cushioned window seat and a secretary desk for members' correspondence and Club business. To the rear of the Parlour was a Music Room with a deer's head over the fireplace and a table for magazines. The adjoining coat room was also provided with a "marble set bowl." The ell was furnished as an apartment for the custodian and his wife, Mrs. and Mr. Alonzo H. Perry. Mr. S. C. King was the builder and Mr. W. H. Williams decorated the rooms. The paper's account concluded that "The Old Colony Club has in these new quarters as elegantly appointed rooms as can be found outside the Hub, and the fitting is highly creditable to the taste and good judgment of those having it in charge."

The Club did not stop with the refurbishing of the interior of the house. It was decided in August 1897 to add that classic component of the Victorian house, the porch or piazza on the north side of the Clubhouse. The actual construction was more tedious: the committee in charge of building the piazza was given more time to complete the work on Forefathers' Day in 1897, and again in 1898, with the final result we see today being accomplished at the very end of the century. The Club used the new piazza for its "Afternoons for Ladies" in 1900.

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