In 1913, twenty-nine women who lived in Portland's Alameda neighborhood formed the Alameda Tuesday Club to do charitable work, serve the community, and socialize with one another. The first decade of the club set the tone for members’ education, community involvement, and philanthropy. Virginia Arnold, a nationally known speaker for the woman suffrage movement, made a presentation to the group, and the club befriended a family living in what is now Wilshire Park and gave them food baskets, clothing, and blankets. They also raised money for the Red Cross, war relief, and city beautification efforts. The club celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2013, with community involvement still its primary focus.
Members reached beyond the Alameda neighborhood during the club's second decade, hosting a picnic at Peninsula Park for wounded World War I soldiers and helping the neighboring Alberta Community Group in its efforts to secure a fire station. Club members also made and shipped bandages and other supplies to soldiers from Portland serving in the trenches in France. When the young Alameda neighborhood clearly needed a school, club members banded together to help make the case, and Alameda Elementary School was built in 1921. Members also provided support and did volunteer work for the Children's Farm Home, the Albertina Kerr Home, and Doernbecher Hospital.
During the late 1930s, the Alameda Tuesday Club—or ATC, as it is called by its members—became more focused, providing support and service to Louise House, Children's Farm Home, Albertina Kerr Home, Chester Lyons Home, Women's Convalescent Hospital, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, and Pisgah Home. Members raised funds through rummage sales, benefit teas, bridge parties in the Meier and Frank Department Store tearoom, and membership dues.
The ATC was active in the war effort during the 1940s, maintaining two workrooms for rolling bandages in members' homes, purchasing war bonds, and donating a drinking fountain to the Volunteers of America Day Nursery. After the war, the club continued to support organizations concerned with the needs of women and children. It donated fifty dollars a year for a bed at the Women's Convalescent Home in the 1960s and supported the Portland's Children Center/Home, the Pilot Education Program, and the Police Department's Sunshine Division.
In 1984, the club designed its monthly programs to explore the broader Portland community. Presenters included representatives of Albertina Kerr, the Oregon Symphony, the Indo-Chinese Cultural Center, the Burnside Community Coalition, Outward Bound, the Oregon Historical Society, and the Portland Chamber of Commerce. Donations were made to organizations such as the Salvation Army's Greenhouse School, the Raphael House, West Women's Hotel, and the Grant Park Neighborhood Association.
ATC has thirty-six members, all women. Membership is by invitation, and members must live in the Alameda neighborhood as platted in 1909, enclosed by Northeast Prescott and Fremont Streets on the north and south and by Northeast Twenty-first and Thirty-third Avenues on the west and east. Officers include a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, and committees are organized each year to determine the causes the club will support. Monthly luncheon meetings are held in members’ homes in September through May, and committees select the speakers for all meetings.
The club remains active in the twenty-first century, with meetings that feature speakers from such Portland organizations as p:ear Creatively Mentoring for Homeless Youth, Project Linkage, Friends of Children, Growing Gardens, and the Oregon Food Bank. The group contributed to Creston Children's Dental Clinic and Community Transitions in 2013, raised nearly $4,000 for improvements to Wilshire Park, and purchased a bench for the park to commemorate the support the club gave a family who lived there some hundred years ago. The archives of the Alameda Tuesday Club are in the Research Library of the Oregon Historical Society.
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Alameda Tuesday Club Scrapbook, Coll. 86. Oregon Historical Society Research Library, Portland.