At the turn of the century, throughout the country, women were organizing in groups to enlarge friendships, study books, music and drama, and to assume civic obligations.
Reno was fortunate in having women with vision and courage to organize. Through the years, the women have continually pursued projects which they felt were needed for the betterment of the community such as--a circulating library, scholarships for women, and founding the first kindergartens. The women urged the legislature to establish public kindergartens throughout the state.
In 1896, meetings were held in the Byington Building above the Walgreen's Drug Store. When another social club--the Nevada Club--disbanded, the members bought the building at the corner of Chestnut Street and Riverside Drive. The club house would be used until 1924, when they sold it at a profit.
A new club house was commissioned in 1925, and built by F.M. Schadler. It was sold in 1980 for $300,000. Funds are invested, and continue to grow allowing the Club to support the community.
The brick building at the corner of First and Arlington streets is now listed on the Historic Register of Buildings.
The members of the Twentieth Century Club are serious about their mission of community betterment, but they have fun in getting the job done.
Much like Artown today, the Twentieth Century Club produced musical extravaganzas featuring more than 200 artists. They hosted spring floral arrangement, art, and fashion shows, and square dances. The Club also arranged for international musicians, dancers, and dignitaries to visit Reno.
The members produced three popular cook books that are still coveted by cooks today.