Louisa St. Clair Chapter, NSDAR was formed by a group of eight women
in the Detroit home of Mrs. William Fitzhugh Edwards at 372 E.
Congress on January 19, 1893. The chapter was named for
Louisa St. Clair, the daughter of General Arthur St. Clair,
the Northwest Territory, following the Revolutionary War.
The name of Louisa St. Clair was suggested by charter member
Katherine Hendrie Green as Louisa was a daughter of the
Revolution in every way, having been born in 1773.
By the time the National Charter was
issued on February 13, ten more had joined, making 18 charter
members, with Mrs. Edwards as Regent of the first chapter in
Michigan and 44th in the National Society, which had been
formed a little more than two years prior.
The chapter grew rapidly, becoming
one of the largest in the country, and by 1903, it had reached
300 members. In the 1928-1929 the yearbook listed 653
members. Membership decreased in the 1930s but began to
grow again during the 40s, reaching 600 members by 1950.
Due to the exodus of Detroiters to the suburbs and the
organization of many new chapters, membership again fell.
In the fall of 1896, the chapter
began meeting at the Russell House, a large hotel in Detroit, at 10:30 a.m. on the third
Thursday of each month. Later the meetings were moved to the Twentieth
Century Club, the
Women's City Club of Detroit, the
Institute of Arts, and the
Book Cadillac Hotel. Then, in
1937, the chapter started meeting at Newberry House on East
Jefferson Avenue at the invitation of Helen Newberry Joy who
later deeded the property to the Louisa St. Clair Chapter.
was the chapter's home for the next 24 years. In 1961, an
office was established at the Women's City Club of Detroit,
moved to the Whittier Towers in 1976, and from there to Jefferson
Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1998.
In April 2007, after the chapter
changed its official location to Grosse Pointe, the archives
were removed to Kerby Elementary School in Grosse Pointe Farms.
The archives were removed to a climate-controlled storage
facility in August, 2012. Chapter members now meet in restaurants, clubs, and homes.