Against this backdrop of national economic crises, firsts for women, and other events, a group quietly formed in Wewahitchka: The Idle Hours Club. The first meeting was held in the Pitt Café in April, 1932. A civic and social organization was launched.
During the 30’s the ladies sponsored a city-wide cleanup campaign, including placing garbage cans at every residence and business for containment of refuse. At the time, Wewahitchka had no central location in which organizations could meet. The ladies of the Idle Hours Club saw this deficit and went to work with a number of individuals at the local, county, state, and national levels to obtain funding to build a community house. With a Federal Grant under the WPA, logs donated by Mr. Cleckley, numerous fundraisers, including sales of recipe booklets, bake sales, and a garden tour, as well as the support of the community leaders and citizens, they were successful in contracting for, building, and furnishing a community house. In a dedication ceremony in 1934, the town council president, B.H. Smith, read this statement: “A rising vote of thanks is extended to the ladies of the Idle Hour Club for their full cooperation, their energetic and untiring efforts and assistance to secure for the Town of Wewahitchka, this beautiful edifice, which will stand as a monument to their zeal, loyalty, and perseverance, in bringing about a realization of their dreams of a Town Community House and an ideal place of recreation, for all of which credit is largely due to the inspiring Hand of Woman.
Once the building was constructed, the club sponsored classes in food preparation and conservation and brought in the instructor, Miss Pearl Jordan, from the State. She was hired by the Town Commission as Home Demonstration Agent as a result of these classes. The club also started a small library in the clubhouse, since none existed in Wewahitchka at the time. A club member was the librarian, and was paid by the WPA. Because the times were so difficult, the club sponsored a Health Clinic at the Courthouse, staffed by a nurse, Miss Mathison. The ladies also held a clothing drive for the Welfare Department, and remade clothing for the needy.
As one of its civic efforts, the club worked with the WPA to send photographers to document the Tupelo Honey Industry in Wewahitchka, and the end result is archived in the National Archives. You can see many of those photographs and descriptions of the work done in the industry in many of our public buildings and other buildings throughout the area.
In 1936, the Club was Federated as a part of the National organization, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and changed its name to GFWC Wewahitchka Woman’s Club.