One of Oak Ridge Landmarks
Oak Ridge Woman's Club, Inc. (ORWC)
ORWC History             
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Founded 1943

Current Membership: 150

Images From the Past —

A few memories and good times ...
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Oak Ridge Woman's Club, Inc.

There were about 75,000 people in Oak Ridge in 1943 and many of them were working on the Manhattan Project.There were no activities for the ladies who did not work outside of the home. Col. Stafford told his wife to plan some sort of an event to entertain these Ladies.

The hostesses from Roane-Anderson Company were assigned the job of visiting the homes and wives of the men employed on the Manhattan Project, stating that a group of women would meet in the Central Recreation Hall to see if there was enough interest to form a Woman’ Club. The group met for a “Standing Tea” since there were no chairs. Another Tea was held in February 1944 on Valentine’s Day.

As a result of the teas the Oak Ridge Woman’s Club was organized on April 12. 1944 with 112 members and grew to 700 by October. The membership now is about 150 and is open to all Ladies not only in Oak Ridge but the surrounding area.

One of the purposes of the Club, as stated in its Constitution and By- Laws is “to stimulate, awaken, and promote the educational, literary, and civic betterment of the City of Oak Ridge”. Some of the projects that the Club has participated in since its formation include hosting many citywide events. The Club was the official greeter for the Oak Ridge gate opening event in 1949 with two special visitors: actress Marie McDonald and actor Rod Cameron. The club hosted a reception for Oak Ridge’s 50th Anniversary, a reception for Mayor Bissell’s 80th Birthday, and hosted the Open House at the Alexander Inn, which was a kick- off for the Homecoming ’86 Weekend Celebration to mark the Club’s 50th birthday.

One of the main events for the city as well as the club is the Christmas Tree Lighting and Reception, a yearly event since 1986. The ORWC has participated in almost every civic activity of the city and supports the Oak Ridge High School building fund, the Children’s Museum, the Holiday Bureau, UT Arboretum, the Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center, and ADFAC, just to name a few. For the Oak Ridge Civic Center the Club purchased the center's sign, a kitchen unit, and some Bradford pear trees.

In 2014, the ORWC still has over 100 members, some of which have celebrated their 90th birthdays. We still have an active group, and are accepting new members. The club even has members of three generations currently active in the group. The youngest member is 13 years old, but has been participating in the club for the past few years. A Proclamation from the Oak Ridge City Council was presented to the ORWC at the 70th years Celebration. That date of April 16, 2014 was also been declared as Oak Ridge Woman's Club Day.

In June 2018, after 74 years of service, the Oak Ridge Womans's Club has ceased. A new monument was unveiled at the Secret City Commenmorative Walk near the Oak Ridge Public Library with a plaque now stands, engraved with a short history of the Woman’s Club and the names of all of the women who have served as president.