Redstone Club

The Growlers at Blount Springs, 1909 The Redstone Club is the oldest continuously operating men's social club in Birmingham. It was founded in 1908 by a group of high school boys and recent graduates to foster their ideals for friendship and comradery. It later became involved in charitable activities before reverting to its original purpose as a social club.

Originally called Phi Chi Delta, within a year the organization became known as The Growlers' Club. In 1916, the members, now young businessmen, became more civic minded. They changed the name to the Community Club of Birmingham and became a constructive force in community affairs. When the United States entered World War I, 70 percent of the organization's men enlisted in the armed forces and served on all fronts. The club voted to waive the dues of servicemen while serving and curtailed events at home by suspending the Christmas Ball and others activities until the men returned. Meanwhile, remaining members met at weekly luncheons to hear speakers discuss civic problems and achievements, thus becoming the oldest men's luncheon club in Birmingham. These civic-minded young men were called upon to solicit funds and often chair campaigns for more than 20 worthy organizations making annual appeals. Realizing the need for a better way of soliciting money for community services, the Community Club suggested a combined annual appeal and submitted a constitution that was accepted by the Inter-Club Council, a represented body for men's luncheon and civic clubs. With the Inter-Club Council approval, the Community Chest was established in 1922.

Phi Chi Delta President Claude Estes Also in 1922, the Community Club bought a 14-acre site on the Warrior River and established a clubhouse and cottages. For 40 years, the camp was a popular weekend venue for expanding fellowship among club members and their families for fishing, boating, and swimming. After a lengthy debate, the club agreed in 1927 to return to a social club because some members involved in other charitable organizations found that participating in multiple fundraising endeavors was too cumbersome. That year, members renamed it The Redstone Club, which may in some way refer to Red Mountain and other suggested names.

In 1965, the Warrior River Camp was sold and replaced by a 30-acre location with a lodge, cabins, dock, and water facilities on Logan Martin Lake. In 2002, the second campsite was sold, and today the club maintains a new camp at Black Jack Ridge off present-day Interstate 459 and Derby Parkway.

Grand Opening of the Warrior River Camp, 1922 From its inception, the club was noted in Birmingham newspapers for its Christmas dance, which first welcomed home college students. By 1922, the Community Club held Birmingham's first presentation ball, where college-age women were introduced to family and friends at a formal country club dinner and dance. Although presentation requirements have varied over the years, the young women are typically college students with family ties to members.

By hosting private parties, bachelor parties, members' sporting events, and weekly luncheons, The Redstone Club follows its original ideals of promoting fellowship among its members.

Further Reading

  • Satterfield, Carolyn Green. The Redstone Club: A Centennial History. Birmingham, Ala.: The Redstone Club, 2009.

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