Fort Henry Club Ready for House-Warming, December 19, 1890
THE FORT HENRY CLUB
Almost Ready for the House-Warming Tuesday Night.
A BEAUTIFUL AND COSY HOME.
The Change Wrought in the Howell Mansion—Solid Comfort, Bright and Cheery—An Attractive Resort for Leisure Hours.
Handsomely engraved invitations embellished with the monogram of the club in gilt announce that the Fort Henry Club will have a housewarming on Tuesday evening next, beginning at 8 o'clock. Something over a hundred invitations have been sent out. No room in the house is large enough to accommodate so many persons at a banquet, but the committee having the matter in charge has hit upon an expedient which it is thought will serve the purpose. Tables will be placed in the rooms on the second floor and in the wide hall, and with good service everything will go smoothly. At 10:30 o'clock the supper will be served. An address will be delivered by Mr. O. C. Dewey, president and father of the club, without whose energetic efforts there would have been no Fort Henry Club, and to whose zeal and taste the club is already much indebted.
The club house stands on the northeast corner of Fourteenth and Chapline streets, on the beautiful and commanding terrace which stretches half way between Fourteenth and Twelfth, and makes the neighborhood one of the most attractive in Wheeling. It is at once in the heart of Wheeling and yet sufficiently removed from the hurly-burly of business life. Since the house was bought by the club from Mr. Allen Howell it has undergone a transformation in its interior, and the work is not yet completed. Carpenters, painters, paper-hangers and plumbers are still busy, making haste to get the house in order for the opening. The house has been provided throughout with electric lights and enunciators [loudspeakers or intercoms]. The plumbing is new, handsome and according to the best sanitary methods.
On entering the club house the visitor will find himself in a handsomely carpeted hall eight and one-half feet wide, running the length of the house. A bright natural gas fire gives a cheery welcome. Midway of the hall, opposite the broad stairway leading to the second floor, hangs a superb chandelier of seven electric lights and as many gas jets. Chairs and sofas intended for comfort will invite on every hand. The parlor, the large front room on the north side, will be one of the attractions of the house and one of the rooms most sought for comfort and a view of the passing throng. Here is another handsome chandelier, rich light papering and light carpet. Back of the parlor is a dining room furnished in heavy oak, a dream of a sideboard, and high-back, leather seated chairs, from which a tired man will never want to rise.
On the opposite side of the hall, fronting Chapline and Fourteenth streets, is the ladies' reception room, an attractive apartment whose beauty in reflected by two large mirrors. The next large room back, fronting on Fourteenth street, is the library, decorated in green and gold. In addition to books the library will be provided with newspapers and periodical literature. Between the ladies' reception room and the library is the toilet room, which has been handsomely tiled and furnished with white marble lavatories and mirrors. Back of the dining room is the kitchen, equipped to meet all the demands of the club, including such private dinner parties as members may see fit to have. All the water is filtered and comes from the pipes as clear as crystal.
In the recess beside the stairway, between the reception room and the library, is the manager's office. Here will be the cigar stand, with a moistening a contrivance to keep the stock as fresh as when it came from the hands of the maker. The fragrant "stogie" may make its familiar presence felt in the club house, but it will not be on sale there. The large hall opens out on to a wide piazza, now partly enclosed with lattice-work. Already members have their eagle eyes on this secluded spot for summer evenings. Or, before the dog days come the piazza may he enclosed glass and turned into a conservatory, an idea which finds favor among the clubmen.
The second floor is another scene of solid comfort. Here again a handsome chandelier lights up the long, wide hall, and here again are easy chairs and sofas. The front room on the Fourteenth street side is furnished for cards and other table games, heavy oak tables and heavy easy chairs of the same enduring wood. Any member playing for a stake will forfeit his membership. This was well understood before the adoption of formal rules. Opposite the card room, on the north side, is the billiard room, provided with one combination table and easy chairs. Members having played two consecutive games must give way to others desiring to play. Back of the billiard room is the café, where members may take their case in their inn, their cigars with their coffee, a privilege denied in the dining room below. Here are more high-back chairs and a handsome side board of black walnut. This is one of the rooms which, on notice, may be had for private dinner parties. A narrow hall running back leads to the store room and bath rooms, which latter has been made over. Still further back is a room for servants. Opposite the café is the ladies’ lunching room, into which no horrid may enter from high noon up to 3 o'clock, when the ladies are to have exclusive use of their lunching room, the library and the reception room. Cards of admission will be furnished to ladies of members’ families.
At the head of the main stairway is an open passageway originally intended as a means of communication between the front and back rooms. Now it will serve the additional purpose of accomodating the orchestra on gala occasions. From this colgue of vantage the musicians may be seen and heard from each floor and the house filled with the concord of sweet sounds. The band stand and the stairway are lit by electricity.
The third floor contains handsomely furnished rooms for members. Those living in the country, or such as may come in on late trains, will appreciate this provision. On the same floor are quarters for the manager and the servants, all neat and as sweet as fresh paper and paint can make them.
The club will be well supplied with silver and china bearing its monogram. The club house will be open from 7 o’clock in the morning to 12 at night during the week. On Sundays the opening hour will be 8 o’clock. No dogs will be admitted at any price.
From the start the club sets its fee against “tips” — these are positively prohibited. The rules will be stringent enough to preserve the good order and standing of the club, which is intended to be a second home for its members.