Melrose Arts and Crafts Society History

... History of Arts & Craft Society in Melrose- Photo of Members with Mayor

Mazie Thompson

Melrose Arts and Crafts Society

The Melrose Arts and Crafts Society was founded in 1903 by Mrs.
Mary B. Sterling, wife of the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church
on West Emerson Street, Melrose.

A carpenter shop on Willow Street was rented for the meetings.
Because the shop was hard to heat with a wood stove the meetings
were held at various members homes during the winter months until
a room was found on Main Street.

In 1905 the Society was formally organized. A constitution was
drawn up and the Tudor Rose was adopted for a seal. Mr. Bradford
was president.

In 1909 the Society moved to a carriage house at 89 West Emerson
Street. There were 150 members.

In 1921 the meetings were held in the library at the High School.

In 1925 they moved to the Legion Bungalow on Crystal Street.
Rent was $5.00 per month.

In 1975 they met at the Green Street Baptist Church.

In 1978 they moved to the First Baptist Church Main Street,
Melrose where it currently holds all meetings.

For a period of time a gift shop was operated in the old Phineas
Upham House on Upham Street upon the invitation of the Historical
Society. Later a Gift and Tea Shop was opened at 89 West Emerson

Today the membership averages 125 per year and consists of
residents of Melrose and 16 area communities.

Ages range from 35 to 98 years.

This years (1999) motto is; A loom, a needle, a hook, and a
brush.  "These are the tools of dreams" by Patricia Hoover,

Meeting dates are the 4th Monday of the month. September to May.

Officers and directors meet at 9a.m. to discuss issues, set policy, and arrange programs of interest.

Craft classes are offered from 9:30 am to noon. Members and area crafters teach a variety of crafts.

Samples of class projects scheduled are displayed and an instruction and craft book exchange is always available.

Members may participate in classes or bring crafts in progress tow work on during the morning.

At noon the President opens the membership meeting with committee reports, announcements of interest and current events in the world of crafts.

Refreshments are served on appropriately decorated tables. At each end pourers use a silver tea service and bone china cups and saucers.

Alternating refreshment committees present an array of desserts and astries.

Following the refreshment break the Program Chairperson introduces a guest speaker-crafter.

Programs range from miniature replicas to a king size patchwork quilt. Last year a member won a blue ribbon at the Hammersmith Quilt Show.

A fund raiser auction is held annually. Proceeds benefit the Society. Sale items are donated by members.

"Project Teddy Bear" is this years' community service. The Bears, handmade by members, are donated to the Melrose Police Department. Officers then give the Bears to children when answering distress calls. To date, the group has made 75 Bears.

Highlight of the season is the annual exhibition held at the First Baptist Church Hall in May. Members may display up to four items they crafted. All must be new and never shown before. This
event is open free to the public and indeed is a beautiful display of arrangements of needle work, paintings, holiday decorations, plush animals, and many various works that are a credit to the Society. Their ingenuity and patience is rewarded by the compliments of viewers.

This year, 1999, the exhibit is scheduled for Friday May 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Hall corner of Main and Upham Street. Use the Upham Street entrance.

Tea is served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m,

The Mayor of Melrose and a few members

March 5, 1999

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