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  • Janet Miller

From the Archives: The Hinsdale Club

Let's take a look this time at the Hinsdale Club, which was on the southwest corner of First and Garfield until the mid-fifties.


The club itself came into existence formally in 1887.


The Hinsdale Club formally came into existence in 1887. Simon Heinemann, one of the original thirteen members of The Hinsdale Club, allowed the Club to use the rooms above his store in what is now known as "The Heinemann Building," at 53 South Washington, free of charge. At the time, the Club was often referred to as “The Men’s Club." By the late 1880s, the group had grown to about 35 men. 


It was originally what one would call a “gentlemen’s club”: a group of men who gathered together on a regular basis to talk and smoke. The club’s by-laws, which never really changed through the years, described the purpose of the club as “the cultivation and promotion of social intercourse among its members.” Over the years membership increased to 400 and a Woman’s Club also became part of the organization.


The club billiard room is pictured from the 1897 Hinsdale the Beautiful.  The photo gives a sense of the  elegance of the club amenities.
The club billiard room is pictured from the 1897 Hinsdale the Beautiful. The photo gives a sense of the elegance of the club amenities.

In 1899 a new clubhouse was built on First Street just west of Garfield. The building, which was constructed by a local Hinsdale builder, Adolf Froscher for $10,350, and contained billiard and card rooms, lounges and an auditorium with a stage. Shortly thereafter, a bowling alley was added to the basement. 


The Hinsdale Club building is pictured looking toward the southwest from First and Garfield.  Note the water tower in the upper left which would have been about a block to the south.
The Hinsdale Club building is pictured looking toward the southwest from First and Garfield. Note the water tower in the upper left which would have been about a block to the south.

The club was the focal point of life in Hinsdale. It held a New Year’s Dance every year. The monthly dinner dances, civic events, lectures, and other events of note held at the club over the years numbered in the thousands. The clubhouse was described as having “an air of elegance and comfort.”


As the fabric of life in suburbia changed, the membership in the club dwindled until 1942, when the club was formally disbanded. The property was turned over to The Community House organization. In the mid-fifties, that organization built new facilities in its current location on Madison Street and the old clubhouse was razed.


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