EXPERIENCE BEE RIDGE WOMAN'S CLUB
What we do...
The Bee Ridge Woman's Club is a Florida 501c3 not-for-profit organization focused on local community service while preserving the history of our club. Our main fundraiser is operating Bee's Diner at the Sarasota County Agricultural Fair every March. We have participated in the fair since it began back in 1924. Our club history runs deep here in Sarasota County.
To learn more about the the history of the Bee Ridge Woman's Club, please click on the Learn More button.
HISTORY OF OUR CLUB
Our story and our legacy...
They called themselves the Get-Together Club. These forerunners of the Bee Ridge Woman's Club organized in October 1915 to promote sociability among the residents and improve the community of Bee Ridge. A settlement that traced its roots to the 1860s, the Bee Ridge of the 1910s was sparsely populated and with much of the land owned by the Palmer family's Sarasota Venice Company. The company promoted the area as prime citrus farm land and encouraged northern visitors to buy choice land while there was still some left.
In the spring of 1917, the Get-Together Club adopted a constitution and bylaws to become the Bee Ridge Woman's Club. Upon joining the county federation of Woman's Clubs later that year, the Bee Ridge women became part of a countywide movement that had a significant impact on the small communities in the area. During its initial years, the club met monthly from October to June at the Bee Ridge Hotel. The small membership did not prevent it from providing aid to neighbors in need and support for the students and programs at the Gillespie School (near the intersection of McIntosh and Ashton Roads).
By 1920 the Woman's Club embarked on a building program. Numerous fund-raising activities raised the money first for a $50 lot and then for an $1150 clubhouse. Later land donations from the Bertha Palmer estate and a club member provided space for club activities and for landscaping that contributed to the beauty of the Bee Ridge community. The clubhouse is on Andrew Avenue near the intersection of Proctor and McIntosh Roads. In the 1920s, Andrew Avenue was part of the commercial center of the Bee Ridge community. North of the clubhouse was the hotel and east of it was the railroad station, Post Office, apartment house and store.
The first public event in the new clubhouse was a chicken supper in October, 1923. Diners brought their own tables, chairs, pots, pans and silverware for the meal. A local furniture store lent furniture and equipment. Gradually, they expanded the building by adding a kitchen, small meeting room, bathrooms and closing in the front porch.
The Gillespie School was a frequent recipient of assistance from the Woman's Club. A deep water well, building repairs, candy for a Christmas party and supplements to teachers' salaries were some of the club's gifts to the school. A Red Cross Auxiliary, summer programs for children, a library and a junior woman's club projects that benefited the larger community.
The club continues its social and benevolent activities. Its role in the Bee Ridge community has been recognized by the Sarasota County Historical Commission with the placement of a historical marker at the clubhouse. In 1995, the Bee Ridge Woman's Club was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Credit: Sarasota County History Center
Board & Brush Crafting Night July 2022
Christmas Social 2022 - Merry Christmas!
Mother's Day Social 2022
Sloppy Joe Prep Day 2023
“It's vitally important to help each other. No, we can't walk in each other's shoes, but we can walk side-by-side and support each other.”
- Thu, Apr 13BRWC Clubhouse
Clubhouse Rental Information
Are you looking for a rustic, historical place to rent for your special event? Our historic clubhouse was built in the early 1920's and stands on a large double lot in a quiet subdivision just south of Proctor Road in Sarasota. Our spacious grounds back up to the newly completed Legacy Trail and is covered with lots of foliage and a large grand oak tree. Our venue is perfect for folks looking to hold a special meeting, team building, or baby/wedding shower in a quiet neighborhood. Our amenities include a full kitchen, two bathrooms, round tables, rectangular tables, chairs, a large movie/projector screen, and a beautiful fireplace. If you're interested in renting our historic clubhouse please reach out by sending us an email to email@example.com or by calling us at (941) 219-5827.