The article below was originally printed in the Summer 2005 issue of The Jackson Villager - published by the Jackson Historical Society.
Founded in 1917.
Since 1917 the Jackson Women's Sewing Club has provided a gathering place for the ladies of the village who wish to help their neighbors. This group is such an integral part of the social history of Jackson. The original mission of the group was to do something on the home front for the "Jackson boys" serving in WW I. The founders decided to wrap bandages and to knit mittens, socks and scarves to send to the troops serving overseas.
Past Fundraisers included Annual Apron Sale
After the war was over, the ladies continued knitting assorted items. They also started making aprons - this was a popular item because, at that time, most women wore aprons while cooking and cleaning. The ladies took turns hosting the meetings in their homes. As the group became larger, they began meeting at the parish house, which is now a private residence at Carter Notch Road, overlooking the Wildcat River in the Jackson Falls Historic District.
The annual apron sale became quite an event. All the aprons were hung on a clothesline, which was strung up behind the Jackson Community Church. One hundred aprons might be sold during a successful sale day!.
Members Meet at Jackson Community Church
When the Jackson Community Church dedicated its new Parish House on December 10, 1983, this facility became the meeting place for the club, and this arrangement has continued right up to the present time.
Some of the members are familiar names to local residents. Betty Whitney, original innkeeper at Whitney's Inn on Black Mountain, and Flossie Gile, teacher, town clerk and "guardian of the Jackson bridge" from her home (now Flossie's Gift Shop) near Jackson's 1896 covered bridge, were members. Both were holders of the Boston Post Cane for being the oldest residents of the town and were honorary JWSC members until they died at ages exceeding 100 years! Other longtime members are Janet Green, who founded the Jackson Historical Society in 1977, and Virginia Temple, who served as the club's secretary-treasurer after 17 years of service. viginia passed away 2 years ago.
Annual Silver Tea, Fundraisers and Scholarships -
The club today has many members and sewing is no longer a prerequisite for belonging. Many handmade items are offered for sale at the annual Christmas Silver Tea, Farmers Markets and Art Shows. In 2001, the JWSC published a recipe collection entitled THROUGH THE COVERED BRIDGE, which has sold out.
All proceeds from the Christmas Silver Tea bazaar, cookbook sales, raffles, bake sales and other projects are used to help the needy of Jackson - especially in case of fire or other catastrophe. The Priscilla Bissell College Scholarship is given to a Jackson student each year. Also, Christmas gifts are purchased for local children through the Angels and Elves, a non-profit organization in the valley. The ladies meet on the second Monday of the month and graciously welcome new members.