History Throwback: January 1947

Welcome to our monthly “throwback” series where we spotlight Union Club events from years gone by. Our building at 539 Broadway was built in 1888. You read that right. 1888. Let’s take a moment to imagine the conversations that have taken place within these walls over the years. Battles over Women’s suffrage, sorrow of the Great Depression and the Kennedy Assassination, the anticipation of the Space Race.

Photo of University Union Club Stag and Doe party 1947 Newspaper Clipping

Even now, it seems everyone in Tacoma has a story from within our walls; an aunt got married here in the 80s, a Grandpa was an original member, or your mom played bridge in our Great Hall. No matter the story, the Union Club building at 539 Broadway has a collective Tacoma experience that we would like to share.

Let’s start by traveling back 71 years to January 31, 1947.

On this day, the members of the University Union Club held their annual “Stag and Doe” party. “Stag and Doe” parties are held in the honor of engaged couples. Often, tickets were sold to help families fund the wedding. Although more popular in Canada, these large, informal celebrations include people that would normally not have been invited to the wedding. Researching this we thought, what a snub! But hey, in these images the guests sure don’t seem to mind.

The Tacoma Public Library describes the scene,

“They were featuring a smorgasbord style buffet with traditional Scandinavian cuisine. They had a committee in charge of all arrangement and they would be wearing Scandinavian costumes for the event.”

1947 Stag and Doe Party
1947 Stag and Doe Party
1947 Stag and Doe Party
1947 Stag and Doe Party
1947 Stag and Doe Party

The Great Hall

This Stag and Doe party took place in what is known as the Great Hall at the Union Club. This space is now used for community events and rentable by the hour by the public and Union Club members. Although, charging an admission fee to your own wedding celebration in 2018 might put a damper on the event. The Union Club staff always follows your lead.

Great Hall at Union Club
Great Hall at Union Club
Great Hall at Union Club

Interested in learning more about renting our Great Hall?

We have more information available on our Event Rentals page which you can navigate to by clicking here.

Categories: Events, History

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