May Preservation Month  

Hosted by Washburn Heritage Association (WHA)

The Washburn Heritage Association invites the public to celebrate May Preservation Month and focus attention on our historical buildings and unique heritage. This year we are introducing a brand-new brochure — Washburn Historic Buildings Tour — to encourage residents and visitors to explore our community.  We are also focusing attention on “The Club”.

The Club was built in 1919 specifically for families that worked at the DuPont Barksdale Plant during WWI and WWII. It offered bowling alleys, gymnasium, showers, pool room, fireplace room, meeting rooms and offices. For decades, The Club was the center of activity for Washburn residents of all ages.

As DuPont was reducing its operations, they donated The Club to the City in 1961.  For years the cost of operation and maintenance overwhelmed the City budget. In 2009 the City of Washburn proposed complete demolition. As a result of the Washburn Heritage Association’s leadership, this plan was reversed. The building was purchased privately and restoration initiated in 2010.

With the infusion of many donations and thousands of volunteer hours during the last ten years, The Club is now being restored to its original beauty under the leadership of a non-profit foundation. After years of being closed, the building received its public occupancy certificate in March 2021 and local groups are now using the building for meetings, small group activities and scheduled public tours.

May Preservation Month activities will begin on Saturday, May 1 when Washburn’s Mayor, Mary Motiff, delivers a proclamation at 10 am.

Special events are scheduled from 10 am – 12 pm on each Saturday in May.

May 1:  Proclamation, tours, and film

Members of “The Club” will give guided tours of the building.
A one-hour film of the History of the Dupont Club will be presented.
WHA members will hand out brochures for the walking/car tour of the Washburn Historic Buildings Tour and the Lakefront Walking Trail. 
The book “Wood, Stone and Water, Washburn’s Walking Tour” will be available for purchase and members will answer questions people might have about Washburn’s unique heritage.

May 8:  Activities in the Fireplace room for Seniors

In addition to the activities above, on this Saturday, as has happened through the years, the newly refurbished Fireplace Room will be open for Seniors to play various board and card games.

May 15:  Activities in the Gym and Outside

In addition to the May 1 items, this Saturday will focus on activities for young children, teens, young adults and not so young adults in the newly refurbished gymnasium. In addition to a mini basketball tournament, children are invited to paint rocks and signs for raised garden beds that will be installed this spring.

May 22:  Music and Dance

In addition to the May 1 activities, this Saturday will focus on music and dance. Double Squeeze will play live music from 4 to 6 pm. All are invited to come listen and dance to music from the past and present.