Clubhouse on South Temple

A new chapter began for the Clubhouse in 2016 when Preservation Utah sold the historic hall to the creatives behind Photo Collective Studios. Watch the short video below to learn more. 

Opting for a creatively connected group with a business focus will help ensure the building is kept open to the public and continue the legacy and ideals of the Ladies’ Literary Club for cultural enrichment.
— Kirk Huffaker, SL Tribune, June 5, 2016
That the literary club’s building will remain on South Temple is proof that it’s possible to save our most important artifacts.
— Peg McEntee, SL Trib, April 22, 2013

Ladies' Literary Club

“The House that the Women Built” at 850 E South Temple, Salt Lake City. Constructed from 1911-1913. Image courtesy of the Special Collections Dept, J Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

“The House that the Women Built” at 850 E South Temple, Salt Lake City. Constructed from 1911-1913. Image courtesy of the Special Collections Dept, J Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

May we settle down into our clubhouse cosily, throw open its doors hospitably, give of its bounties generously, and judge here, as elsewhere, our fellow members tolerantly.”
— Mrs W.C. Jennings, 1913 Opening Day in new club house
On February 13, 1914 the drama club, one of several sections of the Ladies' Literary Club, performed "Birthday Cake," a playlet written by club members at the new club house on So Temple. Image courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.

On February 13, 1914 the drama club, one of several sections of the Ladies' Literary Club, performed "Birthday Cake," a playlet written by club members at the new club house on So Temple. Image courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.

On January 7, 1898, the formal opening of their first clubhouse, situated on Third East between South Temple and First South took place. In this building the Club conducted its activities for the next 15 years until it outgrew the building, and moved into its present home at 850 East South Temple in 1913.”
— National Register of Historic Places, 1978
1910: Only known photograph of a general club meeting, taken in their first club house at 50 S 300 E. This building was sold to purchase the land for their new club house at 850 E South Temple. Image courtesy of Utah State Historical Society

1910: Only known photograph of a general club meeting, taken in their first club house at 50 S 300 E. This building was sold to purchase the land for their new club house at 850 E South Temple. Image courtesy of Utah State Historical Society

The core agenda of the Ladies’ Literary Club was for women to get together, to read literature, to know about what was going on in the world around them, to look at beautiful pieces of art, to contemplate ways to make Salt Lake City a more genteel city.”
— Dr. Martha Bradley-Evans, 2013
Annual “Blue Tea” celebration. Photograph by Borge B Andersen for the Salt Lake Tribune. Year unknown.

Annual “Blue Tea” celebration. Photograph by Borge B Andersen for the Salt Lake Tribune. Year unknown.

Members of the LLC, year unknown. Image courtesy of Preservation Utah.

Members of the LLC, year unknown. Image courtesy of Preservation Utah.

Historic Timeline of the early days, quoting Eliza K Royle, First President of the LLC in 1877.

Historic Timeline of the early days, quoting Eliza K Royle, First President of the LLC in 1877.

LLC Gallery-32.jpg
In 1896 the Club was a major force behind the Library Bill, which established the first free public library in 1898. Since then, the Club has undertaken many tasks to beautify Salt Lake City, and expand the cultural and educational base of the city.”
— Ethel Louise Bower, Board of Directors, LLC 1978
Photograph of painting of first Club president Eliza K Royle, historically hung in entry of the Clubhouse.

Photograph of painting of first Club president Eliza K Royle, historically hung in entry of the Clubhouse.

Learn more about the historic Ladies’ Literary Club by watching this short video made by Preservation Utah (formerly Utah Heritage Foundation) in 2013.

Woman's Club Movement

The woman's club movement was a social movement that took place throughout the United States. While women's organizations had always been a part of United States history, it was not until the Progressive era that it came to be considered a "movement." The first wave of the club movement during the Progressive era was started by white, middle-class, Protestant women and a second phase by African-American women. These clubs, most of which had started out as social and literary gatherings, eventually became a source of reform for various issues in the U.S.

Five officers of the Women's League in Newport, Rhode Island, 1899. Library of Congress.

Five officers of the Women's League in Newport, Rhode Island, 1899. Library of Congress.

Both African-American and white women's clubs were involved with issues surrounding education, temperance, child labor, juvenile justice, legal reform, environmental protection, library creation and more. Women's clubs helped start many initiatives such as kindergartens and juvenile court systems. Later, women's clubs tackled issues like women's suffrage, lynching and family planning. The clubs allowed women, who had little political standing at the time, to gain greater influence in their communities. Such clubs often accomplished their goals in town councils through sheer persistence and determination—a remarkable achievement considering that, prior to enfranchisement, women had no sanctioned political voice. By the time women won the vote in 1920, however, the club movement had lost much of its momentum, as new avenues for change opened to women.

- Club Movement, Britannica

- Woman’s Club Movement, Wikipedia