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History

History
Original entrance to The Colony Club
In 1889, George W. Tapley sold the real estate later known as 50 Maple Street in Springfield for $35,000 to Daniel B. Wesson, one of the founders of the firm of Smith & Wesson, now internationally known for the manufacture of revolvers. In 1892, construction of the beautiful Wesson Mansion was begun and completed in 1898. The architecture was described as being a slight departure from the French Chateau fashion and from the moment of its completion until its destruction by fire in 1966, this mansion was considered one of the most beautiful residential types of edifice, inside and outside, in the country. Final cost of construction exceeded $200,000, not including fees for architects.

Mr. and Mrs. Wesson both died in 1906. After several years of attempts to sell or give away the property, the Colony Club, formed in 1915, acquired this magnificent Wesson property and the officers signed a mortgage for $51,000, just $16,000 more than Mr. Wesson had paid for the land.

Over the years, the Club has entertained such distinguished guests as Presidents Taft, Roosevelt, and Hoover, and the then Congressman from Massachusetts John F. Kennedy, among others. The Club functioned happily in these beautiful and historic quarters from 1915 until February 19, 1966 when a tragic fire swept through most of the building. With such massive destruction, all that could be salvaged was only a few items and ultimately, the structure had to be leveled. Thus, the first era of the Club came to a tragic end.

Several months later, the second era of the Club began with the rental of interim quarters on the third floor of the building known as 110 Maple Street, a few hundred yards south of the beautiful old Clubhouse. These interim quarters served their function well until, after one unsuccessful attempt to move to Baystate West (now known as Tower Square), the land at 50 Maple Street, still owned by the Club, was taken by the City by eminent domain, and funds were in hand to help finance the move to the present Clubhouse in March, 1973.

And so, from an organizational meeting in early 1915, to incorporation and acquisition of the 50 Maple Street real estate in the same year, to the tragic fire in February of 1966, to seven years of interim quarters, and now this elegant Clubhouse, with a full complement of Members and broadened base of membership, we find ourselves today, a strong and happy social club -- still with all the changes, the Colony Club.


 
 
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