The last of a storied tradition

RC Women’s Club gaining membership but is still looking for more women to join

Rush City Women’s Club President Jan Twingstrom showcases a club poster, which reads, “Proud of our past, planning for our future.”  Photo by Derrick Knutson
Rush City Women’s Club President Jan Twingstrom showcases a club poster, which reads, “Proud of our past, planning for our future.”
Photo by Derrick Knutson

There was a time when women’s clubs were strong and vibrant across Chisago County.

There were clubs in Harris, Shafer, Palmdale, Taylors Falls and Rush City.

They were social groups and more; the clubs focused on civic engagement and enacting positive change in their communities.

One by one, the clubs disbanded as membership declined, the most recent of those being the Taylors Falls club, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

That leaves the Rush City Women’s Club, established in 1921, as the last such organization in the county.

Its membership was declining, too, until recently, when a few new members joined the ranks.

Those who have been a part of the Rush City Women’s Club want to see it continue to grow and be an integral part of the community, as it has been for more than 90 years.

Some past accomplishments

Marvel Anderson, a club member since 2003, said she’s amazed at the undertakings of the club since its inception.

“Their accomplishments were incredible,” she said. “We researched the projects that these women focused on based on their mission – community service and mutual benefit.

“They started the first library in town, in 1923, and they ran the library themselves. They bought the books; they were the librarians. They also started the first town park.”

She also noted the club stepped in when it deemed Highway 61 near the Grant House was a dangerous area for kids to be playing.

“Women were worried kids would get injured in accidents, run over,” she said. “They sent a letter to the state commissioner of highways asking him to send up a patrolman to monitor that intersection because the kids were crossing the street there.

“It just shows you their foresight. Rather than go to the mayor, they went straight to the top.”

Recent activities

In recent years, the club has supported the community through numerous initiatives.

Two of those are a youth scholarship program, which the club hopes to continue if it’s able to garner enough financial support, and its yearly Christmas program at Golden LivingCenter in Rush City.

This year, the Christmas program will be at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17.

“We’ve called the North Pole, and there will be some cute Santa toys for the Golden Living residents,” Rush City Women’s Club President Jan Twingstrom said, adding that the club has always been very well-received at the center for this event. “Everyone gets to be a child that day — there’s cake and ice cream, and we get someone to plunk out some Christmas carols. The staff is really appreciative.”

Fundraiser, new members welcome

This spring, the club is trying something new as its main fundraiser.

Dubbed the “Spring Fling,” the event will take place at the Rush City Community Center, 740 W. 14th St.

There will be booths where vendors will be selling all sorts of wares, music, food for sale and more.

“All the money raised from the event will go right back into the community,” Twingstrom said.

Twingstrom also noted the club is always looking for new members — women who just want to be part of the group and those who would like to step forward and take on leadership roles within the organization.

“We need members and we need gals who think it would be interesting to step forward and share new ideas,” she said.

She added, “I’m proud of the women’s club. I think they’re really worthwhile. I’m really proud of those accomplishments of all those women for all those years. I just don’t want to let it die.”

Rush City area women who would like to become involved with the Rush City Women’s Club can contact Marvel Anderson at 320-358-4561 or Jan Twingstrom at 320-358-4465.

The club meets nine times a year at various locations. Its next meeting is 1 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Grant House.

The club can also be reached via email at [email protected] Emails sent to the club should have the subject line “RC Women’s Club.”

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