At the club's Christmas party on December 19, 1950, Frank Scott brought up the idea that the club needed a building in which to hold meetings. Everyone agreed and the club decided to adopt the building of the facility as the club project.
After visiting several community buildings in other communities, a special meeting was held to inform the members of the findings of the search committee. The lot in front of Walter Kirby's home emerged as the most suitable site because it was near the center of the community. The land was donated by Victoria Kirby Scott (Mrs. Frank Scott). The men in the community, husbands of the homemakers' club members, donated timber, a sawmill, and building time to complete the building.
The first project to raise money for the building was a candlewick bedspread made by club members. Chances were sold and the club cleared $91.25. The ladies graded and tied three barns of tobacco and had several suppers to raise money. The club collected chickens from all the members and sold them to buy dishes for the kitchen.
The first club meeting in the building was held February 26, 1952. It was exciting to have a building for meetings and parties. At the time, Mrs. Kathleen Scott was president; Mrs. Ralph Scott, Secretary; Mrs. Jim Kirby, Treasurer; Mrs. Esther Kirby, Reporter. Other members included:
Mrs. D. H. West
Mrs. Hubert Scott
Mrs. Virginia Holland
Mrs. Elijah Scott Mrs. Frank Scott
Mrs. Lloyd Edwards Mrs. Daylon Barnes
Mrs. Leonard Hayes
Mrs. Harvey Holland
Mrs. Linwood Scott Mrs. Johnnie Boswell
Mrs. Exum Scott Mrs. Scott Ellis
Mrs. Bill Kirby Mrs. R. J. Hooks Mrs. Herman Barnes
The St. Mary's Club has won several awards over the years. The most significant awards were received in 1951 when the club built the St. Mary's Community Building. That year the club was selected as The Best All-around Club, Best Community Project, and Club Obtaining the Largest Number of New Members. Since then the club has won the Best Club Award, Best Community Project Award and others. One of these awards recognized the club for its many hours of volunteer service to the Tobacco Farm Life Museum. The club has kept the maintenance of the St. Mary's Community Building as a project over the years.
Club children have grown up now and formed clubs of their own. The Young Homemakers and the Four-H Club meet in the community building as needed. These new clubs help maintain the building and grounds.
In 1990, the club decided the building needed a new face-lift. With help from friends and by using club savings, Aluminum siding was put on the building, a new paint job was completed, and the identification sign was repaired. Air conditioning and ceiling fans have been added over the years.
This history has been compiled by club members. It is presented here by the families of the St. Mary's Extension Homemakers' Club members pictured in the 1951 picture taken at St. Mary's School and displayed here. Much love goes to these ladies: they have reared us, nurtured us, and through this community project taught us community involvement. We, your children, are proud to honor you in this fitting and proper manner.