By Doris Hoover
The year 1898 was the final academic year for the Milford Classical Academy; however, the building did not long stay vacant. Men dominated the political and social agenda and the ideas and opinions of women were not held in high regard. Women felt the need to gather and discuss issues of importance to their causes. Thus, The Milford New Century Club was organized and has continued for the past 115 years as non-profit, with the purpose to form friendships, to create awareness of civic and community concerns and problems, and create cultural and educational opportunities for the community.
Pictured are three generations of past and current Presidents. Left are Elaine T. Dickerson and her daughter Dawn D. Kenton. They are holding a picture of Virginia S. Salevan, mother of Mrs. Dickerson and Grandmother to Mrs. Kenton. A $1000.00 donation made by Elaine T. Dickerson is on behalf of her mother and daughter who were past and present Presidents of the Milford New Century Club.
Virginia S. Townsend (1886-1982) was born in Bowers Beach and graduated from Milford High School in 1904 as valedictorian. She married G. Marshall Townsend in 1912 and became affiliated with the Milford Chronicle weekly newspaper writing a social column that included many civic activities. She joined the Milford New Century Club in 1900 and served as President from 1940-1942. Her daughter, Elaine Townsend Dickerson (b.1925) followed her mother’s example and became the Century Club President in 1988-1990. Elaine also followed her mother’s position as columnist and social editor for the Chronicle. Elaine wrote a very noteworthy weekly letter called “In the Air Force” from 1952-1969 and then a local column called “Blue Hen Beat” from 1970-2002. Elaine’s daughter, Dawn Dickerson Kenton, has now assumed the co-presidency of the Century Club with her election to the post in 2012.
The Century Club building is still in its original condition since its construction on the same site in 1885. All women are invited to attend the meetings held in the Club House, 18 Church Street, the first Monday of the Month, October through May at 1:00 P.M. A fundraiser will be held Monday, February 18 at Pizza Palace. The Club will host a “Calendar Party” with refreshments and entertainment on March 20 at 1:00 P.M. The Annual Card Party and Lunch will be April 17 at 12:30 P.M.