Oldest Women’s Society to celebrate 200 years

2017 meeting of Ye Female Society. Contributed photo

Ye Female Society for the Support of the Gospel invites all women of all ages, to join them for their 200th annual meeting on Tuesday, June 19, at 2 p.m., at Winslow Congregational Church, UCC, at 12 Lithgow St., Winslow.

The first meeting of this organization was in June of 1819 to raise money for the allocation of a pastor, a legal requirement for every town with a church. Ladies of Winslow and Clinton met and gave 25 cents each to pay for a pastor. Since then, every third Tuesday of June ladies gather in the church hall and follow the historic order of agenda, which includes reading the organization’s constitution written in 1819, and paying their 25 cent dues. Over the years a program was added to the meeting. Past programs have included gardeners, artists, historians, performances of music and theater, reenactors, and leaders of local non-profits.

This year the group celebrates its 200th annual meeting with much pomp and circumstance. President Emily Rowden Fournier, of Fairfield, will welcome women of all denominations to the meeting. Pastor Kim Shrader, the reverend of Winslow Congregational Church, will offer inspirational scripture reading and prayer. Special ceremonies will be conducted in honor of the founding mothers and to remember many women of the society who have been the primary “movers and shakers” of Winslow, putting this notable group at the center of many improvements throughout Winslow’s history. Local historian, Pearley Lachance, of Winslow, will present a program on Gold Star Mothers of World War I. A presentation of old photos and the society scrapbook will be displayed.

This is an historic event for what is believed to be the longest continuously meeting female society in America. All members and interested women are urged to attend and bring memorabilia of interest to the society. Period clothing from the past 200 years may be worn. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, please call Emily Rowden Fournier at 207-314-8607.

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