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From Preservation to Accessibility

The Ladies Library Association (LLA) was founded in 1855 by nine Randolph women, with the mission to further the education of women and to provide benevolent service. Since that time our country has changed a great deal, and the lives of all women along with it. In 1911 the Ladies Library Association inherited the Jonathan Belcher House at 360 North Main St., built in 1806.  The house exhibits a characteristic style of the Federal Period and is listed in the MA State and the National Registries of Historic Places.  The preservation of this historic treasure was added to our mission. 

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In 2010 the RWC adopted the Jonathan Belcher House Master Plan developed by Menders, Torrey and Spencer, IncArchitecture and Preservation.  The first phase, exterior restoration of the House, was done in 2013 with a generous grant from the Randolph Community Preservation Committee. The second phase, creating handicap accessibility, has been awarded two grants for this work, totaling an impressive $322,000, and has submitted two additional grant requests. We need to raise a total of $595,000.

 The Randolph Women’s Club is committed to continue and expand our efforts to host and open the house and barn to a wide variety of community uses. Future programming includes tours, exhibits, workshops, and lectures in many areas such as health and wellness, humanities, the arts, cultural and natural history events for all - children, adults, seniors, and those with accessibility challenges.

The Club will continue to partner with the Town, Randolph Historical Society, Local Cultural Council, the Business community and professional, social, faith and civic organizations, to strengthen the fabric of the community and promote Randolph as a place to live, play, work, and visit.

 

In 1987, the Association admitted the first Jewish woman to membership. In 2005 the Ladies Library Association became the Randolph Women’s Club (RWC). The first black president of the Club was elected in 2008.  We welcomed sisters in the LGBTQ+ community. We commemorated the centennial of women’s right to vote with a series of events. Each year we celebrate International Women’s Day, joining women all over the world to embrace the strides that have been made and commit to the progress that still lies ahead.   

We are known as an inclusive club, welcoming the diverse community of women in Randolph and surrounding towns. However, women with limited mobility and physical challenges have not had the same access to our beautiful House, to Club meetings and to public events, because our 1806 house is not handicap accessible. Here is our plan to change that.

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An accessible Belcher House would become a destination gathering site for the Randolph community.

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RWC Master Plan:

Menders, Torrey and Spencer, Inc

Architecture and Preservation

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Architect:

Patrick Guthrie, President

Design Associates, Inc

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