Milford New Century Club
Built in 1885 as the Milford Classical Academy, the building at 6 South Church Street was purchased by the Milford New Century Club in 1898. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the women's club movement provided women with political and educational opportunities. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, women's clubs began to be formed in cities throughout the country. There had long been women's groups, but these usually functioned under the auspices of a church or a related men's organization, and were usually controlled men. The women's clubs of the late 1800s and early 1900s were managed by women themselves, and provided women with opportunities to be involved in the community as well as cultural and educational opportunities. Many women's clubs also became advocates for women suffrage.
The Milford New Century Club was formed by Mrs. Jonathan Willis, the wife of a prominent clergyman and congressman. The club was formed in 1898 and began to meet in the Academy the following year. The club began leasing the building in 1900 and purchased it outright in 1905.
The New Century Club owned the building until the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012. The building suffered significant damage in the storm and estimates for repairs were costly. At that point, the New Century Club gave the building to Dave and Dawn Kenton, who made the necessary repairs. The Kentons will continue to allow the building's use for community functions, as well as the Milford Women's Club, which is the renamed incarnation of the New Century Club. The building reopened in June of 2015.
Finney, Mike. New Owners, New Century: Milford Women's Club reopens historic Century Club building after hurricane damage. Milford Beacon. July 29, 2015. Accessed June 24, 2018. http://www.milfordbeacon.com/article/20150729/NEWS/150729823.