The Cosmopolitan Club, 894 Washington Street. Website
When did you begin the enterprise? (and where if not Bath) The Cosmopolitan Club of Bath formed in April 1913 when Miss Elizabeth E. Webber, along with sixteen other Bath women, created a social club for working women to get together and share a fellowship. Their primary purpose was social interaction outside of home and work, and volunteer service and philanthropy locally, nationally, and internationally. In March 1915, the women gathered their resources to purchase the 1841 Greek Revival house at 894 Washington Street in Bath. As the local gentleman’s club had a house, the Cosmopolitan Club women also wanted their own house for community events and eventually for rental to single women in need of housing.
What do you offer? The Cosmopolitan Club is committed to inspiring and encouraging women’s aspirations. The clubwomen and their volunteers are striving to practice social connections, community service and education, and supportive partnerships. We provide this in our beloved home while working towards its restoration.
Why do you love Bath? Women are a powerful force in Bath as there are many women entrepreneurs. The community of Bath also appreciates the Club’s long history and, in particular, the preservation of the city’s architectural history.
What might surprise someone about you or your business? The Cosmopolitan Club has been hosting Senior Teas since 1953 (63 years!) and Strawberry Shortcake Festivals since 1974 (42 years!). Also, in its first month of existence (April 1913), the Club welcomed Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan to the Winter Street Congregational Church (over 600 tickets were sold at 50 cents!).
What are you excited about in the coming year? The Club would like to offer more educational programming with topics highlighting women’s health and fitness, financial independence, and women as entrepreneurs. The Club would like to recruit more members and volunteers. The Club would also like to start a fundraising campaign to fund renovations to the meetinghouse.
What favorite local non-profits do you support? Recently we have supported the Teen Essentials Program through Bath Youth Meetinghouse & Skatepark, Bath Food Bank, Bath Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity’s AmeriCorps NCCC teams, and Maine Youth Leadership.