Collection ASM0400 - Woman's Club of Coconut Grove records

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Woman's Club of Coconut Grove records


  • 1891-1991 (Creation)


75 Boxes

Name of creator

Administrative history

On February 19, 1891, Flora McFarlane convened the initial meeting of the first woman's organization in Florida, the Housekeepers Club. The charter members were representative of the pioneering families of Coconut Grove: Mrs. Kirk Munroe, Mrs. Joseph Frow, Mrs. Charles Peacock, Mrs. Charles John Peacock and Mrs. Benjamin Newbold. Miss McFarlane came from New Jersey, in December of 1886, as a guest of Mrs. Thomas Munroe and her son Mr. Ralph Munroe. She became the first school mistress of the nascent community and later invited the mothers and those without children to sewing meetings at the school house. Community service and mutual support of members were integral parts of the organization. Club activities included the construction of the first church, city beautification, environmental conservation, sponsoring of the first Girl Scout troupe as well as involvement with the woman suffragist movement and financial support of World War II orphans in Europe.



Housekeepers' Club founded by Miss Flora McFarlane, 1st president, 1891-1893.

Constitution and by laws adopted.

First tea and social event held in the Sunday school room.


Vote to disband the club.

Decision not to disband the club and "to work harder than ever".


Mrs. J. H. Swanson (Emma) elected 2nd president, 1893-1895.


Mrs. Kirk Munroe elected 3rd president, 1895-1897.

The Florida Federation of Women's Clubs organized in Green Cove Springs.


First Housekeepers Club house built under the leadership of Mrs. J.S. Frederick, 4th president, with land donated by Commodore Ralph Munroe, Miss McFarlane and a contribution by Henry M. Flagler.

Charter obtained in order to own property. Document is signed by Isabella Peacock, Louisa Newbold, Flora McFarlane, Julia Thompson and Martha Peacock.

Sunday school building becomes the Union Congregational Church - later known as Plymouth Congregational Church.


Mrs. Charles Peacock elected, 5th president, 1898-1901.

The Florida Federation is admitted to the General Federation of Women's Clubs.


Housekeepers Club is federated in the state of Florida.


The 10th Annual meeting of the Florida Federation of Women's Club held in Miami.

Mrs. John Gifford of the Housekeepers Club introduces a motion requesting that: "The Federation endorses a proposal to make a Federal Forest Reservation of Paradise Key in the Everglades in order to preserve the unique group of royal palms, this being the only spot in the United States where the palms are growing naturally."


Ms Flora McFarlane serves as club president.


State of Florida deeds 4,000 acres of land, including Paradise Key, to the Florida Federation of Women's Club.


Housekeepers Club charter amended to build a new club house.

Dade County Federation of Women's Clubs is organized by Mrs. A. Leight.

Mrs. Kirk Munroe elected 1st president of the Dade County Federation of Women's Clubs.

The Housekeepers Club House is sold.


Incorporation of Coconut Grove and spelling changed from "Cocoanut Grove" to "Coconut Grove".


Miss Flora McFarlane, club founder, passes away.


Housekeepers Club members vote in favor of building a new club house.

Dedication ceremony for new club house designed by Florida architect Walter C. DeGarmo

"Blue Pheasant Tea Room" opens, 1921-1923 to pay for clubhouse expenses.


"Trip Around the World" pageant organized as a fund raiser to pay for the new club house construction debt.


First Girl Scout troop in Dade County is organized by Mildred Emerson Crawford, member of the Housekeepers club.


City of Miami annexes Coconut Grove.


Club house is "unroofed" by Hurricane. Memorial Shelter in honor of Miss McFarlane is "swept away".


Jr. Housekeepers Club formed and disbanded.


Celebration of the Housekeepers Club 50th Anniversary.


Mrs. Florence P. Haden burns the mortgage note. The Housekeepers Club pays off debt incurred because of Hurricane damages.


Jr. Housekeepers Club formed again, Mrs. Fred A. Sutton Jr., 1st president.

Housekeepers Club hosts General Federation of Women's Club.


Florida Legislator passes the bill initiated by the Jr. Housekeepers Club to remove "the stigma of illegitimacy" on children's birth certificates and records.


Housekeepers Club changes its name to the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove.


Diamond Jubilee of the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove.


The club house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The club house is placed on the City of Miami Heritage Conservation List.


100th Anniversary Celebration of the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove.


The Woman's Club of Coconut Grove is still in existence at 2985 South Bayshore Drive, Miami, Florida.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The collection documents the civic and social activities of the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove - formerly called the Housekeepers' Club. The records include minutes, committee and financial reports as well as membership files, scrapbooks, narratives, publications, photographs and architectural plans. The topical files contain information about the history and development of Coconut Grove depicted with maps, event flyers, local organization by-laws, newspaper clippings and local publications.

System of arrangement

Series I: Administrative Files (arranged chronologically) include committee and financial reports, minutes, club history, membership rosters and architectural plans.

Series II: Scrapbooks, Guestbooks and Clippings (arranged chronologically). The scrapbooks vary in size and formats and are arranged with photographs, drawings, newspaper clippings and handwritten narratives by club members and presidents. They document activities throughout the years as well as topics of particular interest such as the "Everglades Seminoles" or "Women Suffrages". Guestbooks provide lists and signatures of the membership at various club functions. Newspaper clippings consist of press coverage of the various community projects and social events organized by the club.

Series III: Correspondence (arranged chronologically) documents through letters the club's charitable work within the South Florida community as well its participation in the issues of national organizations such as the Federated Woman's Club.

Series IV: Publications (arranged chronologically) consist of the yearbooks and newsletters published by the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove.

Series V: Junior Woman's Club (arranged chronologically except for photographs which are arranged alphabetically) contains the history, membership information, minutes, correspondence, clippings, financial records, publications and photographs from the sister organization.

Series VI: National and Regional Women Organizations (arranged chronologically within each sub-series) include correspondence, newspaper clippings and publications of other women's organizations with which the Woman's Club was affiliated through membership and general interests.

Series VI is arranged as follows:

Sub-series A. Federated Women's Club

Sub-series B. Florida Federated Women's Club

Sub-series C. Dade County Federated Women's Club

Series VII. Photographs (arranged alphabetically) depict club members, special gatherings and events such as the "Tour around the world" and "Tour around the Orient".

Series VIII. Topical Files (arranged alphabetically) Contain information about the Coconut Grove Community (personalities, groups and events) and local organizations working with the Woman's Club.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

Items from this collection are kept on-campus and may be requested from the first floor Kislak Center in the Otto G. Richter Library at University of Miami. Restrictions may apply to the reproduction of fragile materials.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Woman's Club of Coconut Grove Records Finding Aid © 2007 University of Miami. All rights reserved. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English
  • French

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Selected materials from this collection have been digitized.

Related archival materials

Ink: the journal of civic affairs. Miami, Fla.: Dade County Conference on Civic Affairs, ASC Florida JS451.F69 D345 v.16-21, Jan 1965-Apr 1973 (Inc.)

The Village Post. Miami, Fla.: Village Post, ASC Florida F319.M6 V53, v.7-15, Jan 1963-Apr 1969 (Inc.)

Lillian Frow Peacock and Eunice Peacock Merrick Photographs Collection, 1860-1946 (bulk 1880s)

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