History of The Fortnightly Club

In 1893 The Fortnightly Club of Summit was formed by the wife of Summit’s first mayor and met on a fortnight (every fourteen nights or two weeks).

The Fortnightly Club joined the Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1912. The Club’s commitment to charitable causes has not wavered since its inception and has contributed millions of dollars to the community, and multiple millions of volunteer hours and in-kind donations over the course of its existence.

Selected Accomplishments over the Past 124 Years

Town Improvement Association was formed in 1897

  • Inaugurate mosquito extermination and control.
  • Equip the first snow plows and met the drivers at 6am with huge pots of coffee.
  • Instituted the first garbage collection.
  • Instated milk inspection.
  • Sponsored horse watering troughs.
  • Supported general beautification program of the City of Summit.

Social Services Committee

  • Financed the first visiting nurse in Summit.
  • Sponsored the first playgrounds.
  • Opened a small store where used clothing could be purchased by needy families, which The Junior League of Summit took over in 1934; the Thrift Shop still exists today.

Art Department

Subsequently led to the formation of the Summit Art Association.

Music Department

Led to the formation of the Summit Choral Society.

Child Study Group

Created the first child study group in the State; later taken over by the Summit Public Schools.

Welfare Department

  • Supported for decades the Red Cross and Overlook Hospital.
  • Supported all efforts in community and for soldiers for WWI and WWII.
  • Undertook a diet supply program for invalids and children.
  • Co-sponsored a new Adult Education school and a new field of welfare service providing eye glasses for the indigent, crutches for the helpless and dental care for the poor.

Emergency Welfare Department

During the Depression, the Fortnightly Club worked in collaboration with Summit’s relief agencies.  A sewing room was set up and volunteers turned out 3,000 garments for needy families, surplus army clothing was sold, they organized an unemployment bureau, made garments for children and soldiers (for both World Wars), and made bandages and dressings in conjunction with Overlook Hospital.

Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad

Ongoing support.

Public Library

Since 1904, annually supports with monetary and book donations.

Area Baby Center (ABC)

Based out of the Fortnightly Club’s Twin Maples home, rent-free, lending support to families in our community in need.

Annual Scholarships

Annually, the Fortnightly Club awards scholarships to graduating senior high school women.

Twin Maples

The preservation of Twin Maples historic estate continues to be a major commitment of The Fortnightly Club.

The Fortnightly Club of Summit

The Fortnightly Club of Summit

Organized 1893; Incorporated 1926; Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) 1996.

Member, General Federation of Women’s Clubs and New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs Liberty District