About Events with The Historic Martin Mansion
The Woman's Club of Norfolk was founded in November, 1905, by Miss Virginia Gatewood. Miss Gatewood sent out 500 invitations and 200 women responded. In December of that year, the club was incorporated and in 1925 they purchased the Martin Mansion as their home. The Woman's Club sponsored a speaker series that included Ruth Rhode, Minister to Denmark, President Herbert Hoover and many Governors and Authors. This lecture series was the precursor of the Norfolk Forum. The club hosted activities for the 1907 Jamestown Exposition, sponsored a legal aid clinic, pushed for prison reform, marched for women's suffrage and sponsored the Crepe Myrtle Festival, a forerunner of the Azalea festival, now known as the Nato Festival. They also conducted classes three days a week beginning in 1927 for what was the beginning of the Norfolk branch of William and Mary that later became Old Dominion University.Over one hundred and twelve years later, the Martin Mansion is still home to the Woman's Club of Norfolk.