In 1906, Mrs. Timothy Porter gathered a small group of women together to form The
Woman’s Literary Club for “self improvement and the study of literature.” During this era in
St. Michaels there were no paved roads, electricity, or central heating and women did not
have the right to vote. In 1913, the Literary Club joined the Maryland Federation of Women’s
Clubs. By 1927, the women opened and staffed a library for the town of St. Michaels in their
small clubhouse. A fire destroyed the clubhouse in 1940 but it was rebuilt in 1943 with the
support of local business leaders and through the valiant efforts of the women themselves.
The women paid off the mortgage two years later.
During WWII, the Club sold war bonds to raise $75,000 for a P-51 Mustang pursuit plane.
They rolled bandages and acted as plane spotters. In 1946, the Club contributed $2,600
toward an ambulance for the town. Woman’s Club members raised money for infantile
paralysis, the arts, cancer and scholarships. They endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment
and the right of women to serve on juries. They even purchased Christmas lights for Talbot
In 1960, the clubhouse was moved to its current location on St. Mary’s Square. Mrs. Lena
Orem, a past President, sold the property to the Club. The whole town turned out to watch
the clubhouse move down the street.
The Club continues its monetary support of local charities and also awards an annual
scholarship to a student, or students, at St. Michaels High School. In 2017, Rhianne
Brummell and Meredith Camper were each awarded a $3,000 scholarship.