In 1895, the Aftermath Reading Circle began primarily as a literary and social club organized by a group of New Whatcom women. The name was suggested to indicate “a second gleaning.” The organization provided opportunities for socializing and intellectual broadening as well as actively participating in community affairs. The Aftermath Club raised money for the new YMCA and offered an annual prize of $25 for the town’s “most improved lawn.”
When the reading circle became the formal Aftermath Club the members took the opportunity to build a clubhouse. The structure they built in 1904 is estimated to be the first women’s clubhouse in Washington. For many years this was the only clubhouse owned by members, unlike the men’s clubs that charged higher dues and had no permanent location. Remarkably, the Aftermath clubwomen managed to finance and pay off the debt of their property while continuing their charitable work.
Along with its significance in local history, the Italian Villa style of architecture of this two-story wood frame clubhouse is notable. This type of building, common in the east, is relatively rare in the Pacific Northwest. The Aftermath Club’s literary and cultural ambitions probably influenced their choice of style.
The Broadway Hall is owned and operated by Westford Funeral Home. The hall has been renovated and upgraded to reflect its original character, and is available for weddings, funerals, parties, dances and community events. It has over 5,000 square feet of space available for rent and is listed on the National and State Historic Registers.
For more information see the Broadway Hall (Aftermath Clubhouse) National Register of Historic Places Nomination.