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Isaac Davis

The members of The Worcester Club have seen the club through many different decades, from austere times of war, to the historic moon landing. The Club has, throughout centuries, been a place for individuals to both feel at ease after a long day’s work, as well as where many know they can socialize with other community leaders.

The Worcester Club was founded in 1888 shortly after the passing of Isaac Davis, a well-known and respected politician. Davis was a native to Northborough, but attended Brown University from which he graduated in 1822. Davis would go on to become State Senator in 1843 & 1854, as well as become the Mayor of the city of Worcester in 1856, 1858, & 1861.

On March 27th, 1888, forty-one gentlemen gathered, voted, and agreed on the formation of a club within the city of Worcester, though this had been planned for some time. These men created a constitution for the club and voted to purchase the Isaac Davis Mansion for $25,000 with a 5% bank loan. Senator George Frisbie Hoar, Stephan Salisbury, and John D. Washburn, to name a few would begin to undertake the formation and construction of The Worcester Club.

Even with all this, the birth of The Worcester Club went smoothly, members joining and memories being made. By 1890 the club had become the spot to be, bustling nights and crowded dinner tables. Almost 30 years after opening, in 1911, the club began to feel cramped, much too small for a club with nearly 250 members. Richard Ward Greene, the club president in 1911, consulted Treasurer Alfred L. Aiken, and the work began on an addition to the Clubhouse. The club allocated $32,623 to a three story addition, doubling the clubs interior space and also adding a squash court in the basement. After this addition the club did not have many major changes to the interior for quite some time, aside from the addition of a bowling alley in the basement, suggested by Chandler Bullock.

The Worcester Club Continues on, many decades later to today, much has changed while many traditions stay. Still today The Worcester Club strives to be the premier local private club experience, as well as a place where social, community, and business leaders have gathered for generations.

“On March 24, 1888, less than two weeks after the worst blizzard in New England history, an elegantly printed letter went out to sixty-five prominent Worcester men: A preliminary meeting of the gentlemen interested in the formation of a Social Club, will be held at the office of Col. A. G. Bullock, 240 Main Street Worcester, on Tuesday evening, March 27th, at 7:30 o’clock”

John D. Washburn,
Chairman Gen’l Com.

The Forty-one men who attended that meeting voted unanimously to form a club. On April 10,at a meeting in Colonel Bullock’s office, the group adopted a constitution and voted to buy the vacant Isaac Davis mansion at Elm and Oak streets for $25,000 and to take out a 5 percent bank loan.

Worcester Club at One Hundred Years
Albert B. Southwick

“Now used as a private social club, the Isaac Davis House is a unique local example of Italianate architecture, resembling the Italianate architecture of Providence, Rhode Island from which the architect of the house, General William Walker, came. Alterations to the house include an 1888 remodeling of the interior (Stephen Earle, architect), the construction of a three-story brick ell in 1911 (James Purdon, architect) and the removal of the original square plan cupola. Built at a cost estimated, in 1888, to have been $100,000, the Davis House is by far the most elaborate house of its period extant in Worcester.”

Massachusetts Historical Commission