Hattie Stimpson was one of the founding members of the Mackinaw Woman's Club some 90 years ago. Mackinaw City Historical Pathway
On Saturday, March 6, 2004, ninety-two people attended Mackinaw Area's Historical Society's first annual Cabin Fever Dinner at Audie's Restaurant in Mackinaw City. The Society's president, Kurt Grebe, and vice president, Dorothy Krueger, led a discussion on the candidates for selection of the next large wooden statue, a woman, to he carved by Jerry Prior.
The four candidates were Hattie Stimpson, artist and Woman's Club founder; Frances Margaret (Madge) Fox, noted author of children's hooks; Julia Inglis, first president of the Mackinaw Woman's Club; and Luella Overton, the village's first school teacher and wife of Forrest Stimpson (who drowned in the Straits). She then married John Overton, a lighthouse inspector; she also owned and operated the Mackinaw Pharmacy.
Hattie won the vote by a 2 to 1 margin.
Hattie is the first woman to be carved by Jerry and was completed at the end of the 2008 summer season.
During Hattie's reign in Mackinaw, she was the overseer of the Woman's Clubhouse. She made sure everything was in its place, and her husband John helped by keeping the building and grounds maintained.
In 1912, six Mackinaw City women formed a club to study Shakespeare. These women
were: Julia Inglis (MCWC's first president), Grace Robertson, Hattie Stimpson, Tena Barrett, Blanche Desy, and Luella Overton. Their meetings were held in each other's homes until 1914; by that time they had 30 members. It was in that year that they decided to form the Mackinaw City Woman's Club.
In the Club's first printed program, it stated the purpose of the Club; to create an organized center of action among women for cooperation in literacy, education and philanthropic work, for the study thereof, and for general culture, the promotion of practical interest in science, art, literature and music.
With the help of Hattie's husband John, who made a push cart for the ladies, books were collected and taken to various meeting places in their efforts to start a library. Housing was becoming a problem. For a while they used the Village Council Chambers as a library, but that didn't work out satisfactorily with city fathers; the women would get rid of their ashtrays and cuspidors. Later, a room in the schoolhouse was used; that arrangement also didn't work out. With all the stumbling blocks they had, this ambitious group of woman fired up the idea of building their own clubhouse. In order to raise funds, they held ten cent teas, parties, musicals and various other programs.
Finally, two lots on Jamet Street were purchased for $550 from Charles Stimpson.
On October 5, 1931, fifty women gathered to witness the first earth shoveled for the long-awaited clubhouse.
On January 18, 1932, with President Grace Barton presiding, the first meeting was held in the new clubhouse. And at a festive occasion in September, 1938, President Grace Trumbull (Dorothy Wallin's mother) led the group in burning the 'paid in full' mortgage of $1,290.00.
Hattie Richardson was Hattie's maiden name. She was one of Battle Creek's most popular young ladies. She married John B. Stimpson of Mackinaw City on August 3, late in the 1800's, in Battle Creek. Both Hattie & John lived their lives at 313 Jamet St., where their home still stands today with modem renovations. Hattie died at 73 in 1948; she outlived John by six years.
Hattie & John's headstone is in the Mackinaw City Cemetery, far west side, with the big letters STIMPSON on it.
This White Pine Structure of Hattie Stimpson was designed and hand crafted by Jerry Prior during the summers of 2007 & 2008.