How We Started
The Janesville Woman’s Club Building formally opened on May 7,1928. The land was donated by Mrs. H.W.W. Macloon, and George and Martha Parker donated the initial $10,000 to begin the building. Women from the Janesville Art League and Janesville Woman’s Clubs, as well as other clubs, raised the rest of the funds. Today, the building is listed on both the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
Our Work in the Community
In its early days, the clubs did what they do now — give back to the community. Giving back included free dental clinics, social programs for the community and fundraising. While we don’t offer free dental clinics any more, we donate over $10,000 a year in scholarships, school supplies, winter clothing, donations and other items needed in our community. In fact, over the last 5 years all of the clubs donated a combined total of $55,000 to the Janesville community.
Maintaining Our Historic Building
Late in 2018, we discovered serious gaps in what was thought to be restored tuck pointing on our chimney. With the help of restoration experts, Dakota-Evans, we discovered the gaps in mortar extended all the way along the chimney. Thanks to generous gifts from three donors, we fixed the chimney’s tuck pointing. But as with any historic site, we knew our work was not completed.
The three donors issued a challenge to our membership to raise at least another $15,000 to repair the building, fix the damage to walls and seal the basement, not to mention replace an air conditioning unit for the main floor. We exceeded our match goal! Our membership is steadfast in their support of this important building. We could not be more grateful.
In 2019 a few talented and energetic FP108SJ members approached the board about renewing the landscaping surrounding the historic Woman’s Club Building. We have relied heavily on volunteer time and efforts, but it is hard to keep up with the larger projects like tree trimming and leveling.
With the generous support of those same volunteers, Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, the Hardy Plant Society and local service providers we have made steady progress.
The O.V. Shaffer sculpture installed in the mid-1970’s is no longer hidden, but rather surrounded by a fresh and welcoming area, soon to be joined by benches. The trees have been attended to by long-time supporter, LP Tree Service. Hostas from a member’s garden frame the area. Neighbors, passers by and city bus drivers have stopped to compliment the scene.
There’s more work and we welcome help with funding, labor and certainly compliments! Come visit, or better yet, host an event here and enjoy a historic and beautiful setting.
Just on the heels of our matching campaign for capital repairs, we learned about a national grant. Using the momentum we had built, we threw our hat into the ring and made the cut! We are one of 20 projects chosen nationwide.
Janesville vs. Los Angeles and Salt Lake City and Miami and Denver and Austin to name just a few!
We can do this, Janesville! We want to earn over 1 million votes! Sounds daunting? Nah – not for Janesville in the midst of its recovery from one of the toughest economic periods. Just last year a town of 2,000 did it…We can do it, with your help!
Beginning September 24, look for news about voting on social media, the news, and radio. You can vote 5 times a day for the same project – the Janesville Woman’s Club Building.