In 1889, Mrs. Margaret Riggs formed the Woman’s Reading Club in her Rutherford Living room, for the purpose of gathering like-minded community women together with the common goals of camaraderie and community service.
From this humble beginning, the membership had grown to 60 women by 1893. The members decided to spearhead the project of forming a free library and sought community involvement, receiving full support. One year later the Rutherford Free Public Library opened its doors in the ShaferBuilding at Station Square.
By 1924, the Club was a thriving and vital force in town, it incorporated, purchased the circa 1886 building (built with brownstone from Belleville) at the corner of Montross and Fairview Avenues, and turned it into a meeting place.
The building was originally the carriage house for “Iviswold — The Castle”, David Brinkerhoff Iverson’s summer residence. It was purchased for $15,000 and the mortgage was paid off in 1949.
The Woman’s Reading Club became the Woman’s Club of Rutherford in 1928 and has continued its role of community service. Our affiliation with the State and National Federation of Women’s Clubs has broadened our horizons and given us new perspectives.
Our Clubhouse has required much maintenance and improvements over the years. We have installed central air conditioning, replaced much flooring and lighting, repainted, and much more. It is our hope to be able to continue to serve our community from this center of our operations, The Brownstone Clubhouse.
The Woman’s Club of Rutherford is open to all women of the community. We work together, contributing our individual skills and energy towards common community goals and selected charities.
Founder Mrs. Margaret G. Riggs
Mrs. Edwin C. Abbott Mrs. J. B. Hollister
Mrs. Richard Allison Mrs. S. W. Hollister
Mrs. Waldamar D. Bain Miss Holt
Mrs. Pierre Boucher Mrs. George Kettell
Mrs. Henry Bullington Miss Landreth
Mrs. Arthur Collins Mrs. Thomas LeClear
Mrs. Arthur Coughtry Mrs. William Ogden
Mrs. E. W. Deen Mrs. Alfred Smillie
Mrs. Richard E. Gnade Mrs. Myndert Van Buren
Mrs. Frederick Hasbrouck Mrs. John Wade
Mrs. Theodorus B. Hascall Mrs. Frederick Withington
Pathway of Presidents
History of Lincoln Park
LINCOLN PARK (the triangle shaped park on Lincoln Avenue, Highland Cross, and Park Avenue) was created due to the hard work and persistence of a dedicated group of RUTHERFORD WOMEN.
Before the turn of the 20th Century, Mrs. Margaret Riggs founded the Women’s Reading Club.
Forty women that she selected held a tea and formed the Rutherford Town Improvement Association (R.I.T.A.). The Association had a Park’s Committee chaired by Mrs. Ganz.
In 1903, they leased the area that is now the site of Lincoln Park. The area was leased from two private owners. The area of the park closest to the cannon was owned by Mrs. Minnie Hooper. The area closest to The Holman property on Highland Cross was owned by Dr. Farrington of New York City. The Farrington section was cleared first. In its natural state the area was inundated with brush, woods and difficult to remove trees. To remove the trees, the R.T.I.A. made arrangements with a Lyndhurst contractor who was permitted to keep the wood as a reward for his efforts. In order to continue their work, the R.T.I.A. purchased top soil to fill the tree holes and for other portions of the planned park. The R.T.I.A. also received a donation of 3,000 daffodil bulbs and numerous trees from the Bobinks-Atkins Co. which owner a greenhouse nursey in East Rutherford. The company, which had provided flowers and trees for New York’s Central Park, benefitted from the publicity associated with their donation and continued to be a major supplier of greenhouse products.
The R.T.I.A. also provided a park bench, which benefitted from knife carvings from local boys, and served as a resting place for commuters on the trolley of The Hackensack to Newark line of the Newark Hackensack Traction Co. and after foreclosure its successor the Hudson River Traction Co. The new park called Farrington Park was an area of unmatched beauty.
It should be noted that the Women’s Club that operated the park was also responsible for the creation of the Rutherford Free Public Library, the Rutherford Health Department and the Parents Teachers Association. All of these things were done before women were given the right to vote by the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.
In 1928, the Women’s Reading Club’s name was changed to the Woman’s Club of Rutherford.
Source: In 2000, Alan Note, Borough Historian of Rutherford (at the time), wrote about the history of Lincoln Park. Research done by Fred Bunker, the former Borough Historian of Rutherford, was used in the write-up.
The Woman's Club of Rutherford 201 Fairview Avenue, Rutherford, NJ 07070