Historic Women's Club Home
a nonprofit 501(C)(3) Organization
ABOUT US

The Home

   
As you drive down Center Street on Marion’s east side you’ll come across a beautiful tree filled lot surrounded by a stoic cast iron fence.  The fence frames the historic Greek Revival style home with a sprawling curved front porch.  The home, built in 1906, was once a welcoming gathering place for Marion’s social circle.  Certainly, you’ll start to imagine just what happened in the home and who conceived its beauty and function.  While touring the home you will be enlightened to details that tell a story of generosity, hard work, strength and the history of women determined to make a difference in every aspect of their lives and their community.
 
Entering the home from the columned stately front porch you’ll
note a tile mosaic floor in the entry proclaiming the monogram of
Shauck Barlow, the home’s owner.   The walls of the entry are
paneled with an intricately carved leather.  Any direction you
look you will see artistry.  The ceiling in the entry is no exception
with rich color and ornate plaster work. The first floor boasts original
lighting fixtures that catch your eye.  The cast iron ceiling fixture in
the den claims the space once a study for the successful
industrialist, Shauck Barlow, the builder of the home.  It’s easy to
imagine the gentlemen solving the problems of the world.  The
walls display hand painted Moorish wallpaper.  Mission style
cabinetry in the den houses early 20th century books collected
by the Barlow’s and the Women’s Club.  The original hardwood,
laid in picture frame design, connects the living areas leading you across the hall to the beautiful parlor.  A globed and cut-glass chandelier is a focal point of the parlor.  No detail is missed when it comes to artistry and craftsmanship in the home.  The rich grain and carving of the wood rosettes accentuates the columns and seating framing the glazed tile fireplace. The beveled glass in the front door, and windows throughout the home, creates beautiful prisms as the afternoon sun shines through.  Custom decorative plaster work ornately adorns the walls and ceilings throughout the first and second floor of the home.  Original paintings can be found throughout the home and adds a sense of the sophistication of the home’s owners and the Women’s Club members.
 
The push-button light switches have been preserved throughout the home.  The kithen is equipped with a dumb waiter,  a glass-faced and lighted panel which identifies the room needing staff, and access to the service stairway to the second floor.  The oak cabinetry in the butler’s pantry still keeps china and flatware that has been used by the women’s clubs for decades.  Upon entry into the dining room you will at once be overwhelmed by the rich wood paneling, gilded coffered ceiling, detailed plaster work, and breakfront hutch displaying exquisite pieces of glassware.  The access to the dining room is through massive tiger-stripe oak pocket doors that bear signature bronze carved hardware.
 
Turned ballisters support the beautiful oak main staircase to the second floor.  The ornate newel posts are capped by urn-shaped finials.  The second-floor hall has a large reception area with a large custom-made oak settle that serves as a stop over for guests ascending to the third-floor ballroom.  A cedar closet preserves historical archives recording the activities of the Women’s Club. The master bedroom continues the theme of beautiful French plaster work and a unique tile fireplace with copper trim.  Off the bedroom is a sitting area with access to the balcony over the porch.  The master bath passes through to the hall with access to the housekeeper’s quarters including a private bath and closet and access to the back stairwell.  Two additional bedrooms are on the second floor and frequently are used as dressing areas for weddings at the home.  The third-floor ballroom was a focal point for entertaining and features built in seating with storage and original wall paper.  The area has morphed through the years as a billiard room and even later as an art room.
 
On the property there is also a cottage that once served as the garage and residence for the chauffer.  A car port once graced the east side of the home. 
 
The home was donated by the Barlow’s to the Women’s Club in the 1940’s after their death.  During the prime  years of the organization, every room of the house was used for various club activities. In 1964 an auditorium was added to the home to accommodate the entertaining and meeting needs of the Women’s Clubs.  The auditorium is home to a beautiful breakfront cabinet and an original bas relief sculpture by Hermon Atkins MacNeil a noted professor at Cornell University.  The sculpture was donated to the Women’s Club from the Marion Public Library when the library moved from its original site on South Main Street to the East Center Street building.  The auditorium continues today as a focal point for private and community events and activities which promise a bright future for the Marion Community.
    

Who We Are

The Marion County Federation of Women's Club Inc. mission is to preserve the historic home, community, and provide enriching and empowering activities for the women of Marion County. We have been involved in education, social issues, the arts, community initiatives and the enhancement of the lives of women in the Marion area for over 120 years. The club was instrumental in starting a hospital, the school lunch and school nurse programs, women's voting rights, and the Marion public library. The organization is funded by membership dues, club activities, rental of the Abigail Harding Lewis auditorium, community donations, and an endowed fund with the Marion Community Foundation.

Tours are available
    Tours by Appointment available March through November.    

Admission
Call for Pricing (740)387-1366

Handicap accessible, restrooms
Narrated Tours with Interpretative Signage, stairs involved
An ideal location for a group luncheon or tea    

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