Sunday, March 12, 2023 1-4 pm 100 Year Anniversary of the Penngrove Community Clubhouse, aka Penngrove Social Welfare Club Penngrove Social Firemen 385 Woodward St., Penngrove CA Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Penngrove Community Clubhouse COST: Free Refreshments, history displays, card games, dance styles through the decades. Information, contact Kim Hanson, Board member, at 707-794-1516
history of penngrove clubhouse
Thank you to Jack Withington, historian, for providing facts about the Clubhouse history.
If buildings could talk, Penngrove’s Community Club House could spin a story that would include much of Penngrove’s rich and interesting history. The name has changed over the years. Originally built as the Penngrove Social Welfare Club and completed in 1922, it later became the Penngrove Women’s Club and now the Penngrove Community Club House.
The grand opening of the Penngrove Social Welfare Club House was held on March 10, 1923, in tandem with the opening of the new Central Commercial & Savings Bank building on Main Street. The first Penngrove Social Welfare Club public dance was held at the new club house a month later. Gentlemen charged 75 cents for admission, and women 50 cents ($12 and $9 respectively in today’s currency).
Mrs. Tillie Hermann was the club’s first president, the wife of local builder Al Hermann.
In 1930 the basement of the club house served as the home of Penngrove’s Fire Department until 1938 when a new two-story firehouse was built next door utilizing lumber from the razed old Eagle School building. The little metal building on display at the Penngrove Park was formerly located in front of this fire house.
The club house has served the community for nearly 100 years. No matter if you have lived in Penngrove all your life, born here or raised here, or just passing through, there is a good chance you hold fond memories of the large building on the corner of Woodward and Oak Streets in Penngrove.
Many Penngrove Elementary School graduations along with Christmas pageants were held in the building. If you belonged to the Old Adobe or other 4-H clubs you had your meetings there. If you were Finnish, or a member of many other ethnic groups, you met there. If you belonged to one of the myriad groups that met there for differing reasons like folk dancing, square dancing. When you voted, there was a good chance your polling place was the Women’s Club House. If your group was raising funds, you held bazaars, card parties or carnivals there. The Penngrove Grange, for many years, met there.
Dances were a popular use of the club house. Local groups like the Korn Vendors Orchestra led by Penngrove poultry farmer, Larry Sani, played to crowds in the 1950s. You could also dance and enjoy the music of Ralph Rawson and his band. The country group Black Jack Wayne with Cal and Rose Maddox were a regular feature in Penngrove.
When the hall underwent stressful times, the Penngrove Social Firemen stepped in and brought financial stability to this iconic club house. They bought the clubhouse in 1963, from the Penngrove Social Welfare Club. The Club continued to hold regular meetings at the hall up until 1967, when the club appears to have disbanded.
The name of the Penngrove Woman’s Club House was changed to the Penngrove Community Hall beginning in 1968, although the names were used interchangeably until the late 1970s. Today, Penngrove Social Firemen use the building for fundraising dinners, monthly meetings, and rental for special events.
Penngrove Social Firemen is a non-profit 501 (c)(3), that supports the community. They own and rent their two facilities, Penngrove Park and Penngrove Community Club. For information, on membership and events go to www.PenngroveSocialFiremen.org -0- Media Contact: Kim Hanson 707 794-1516 firstname.lastname@example.org or Lyndi Brown 707-795-1107 Lyndi@sonic.net