2016 August Tea (photos below)
The Ways and Means Committee of the St. Paul Branch AAUW held the annual August tea on Wednesday, August 10, from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. Doors opened at 1:30. Guests enjoyed piano music by Jim Andrews (husband of committee chair Kathy Andrews), lawn games and tables in the shade in the backyard, a history exhibit, house tours, tea trivia and puzzles, as well as social time. At 2:00 lunch and freshly brewed tea were served. We began with fresh scones – carrot cake, vanilla, and dark chocolate with sea salt served with Devonshire cream and fruit preserves. Scones were followed by a wild rice, cranberry, grape & pecan salad. Next up were the sandwiches – marinated salmon on rye crostini with dill and lemon flavored cream cheese, chicken Waldorf with apples and celery inside a cream puff, and a cucumber, Boursin cheese, radish sprouts with tomato jam on French baguette. At 3:00 PM, Jayne Becker, Manager of the Alexander Ramsey House, presented a program about Victorian weddings and courting rituals. She brought along two dresses from the Minnesota Historical Society collection. Finally, dessert was served – mini ganache & meringue tarts, mini rhubarb pies topped with Chantilly, and baby strawberry napoleons.
The tea is a fundraiser for the Branch Scholarship Trust and for AAUW Funds.
The 2016-2017 Ways and Means Committee volunteered their time and talents to make the tea a success. Committee chair, Kathy Andrews, oversaw all the details. Diane Glynn and Joanne Wang arranged the flowers in teapots, loaned by committee members, for the table centerpieces. Carol Barry made the tea concentrate and filled the teapots with the help of Vickie Smith. Carol also arranged for the speaker. Doreen Nystedt and Vickie Eischens poured tea and replaced empty pots with full as needed. Doreen also designed the program and made the place cards with guest’s names. Betty Johnston took the reservations and prepared the tea trivia. Kathy Andrews made the tea crossword. Mikel Clifford and Mary Schwab handled the hospitality check-in table. Mary wrapped the door prizes. The entire committee, including Norma Cashill and Douglass Forbes, offered invaluable contributions at our planning meetings.
990 Summit Avenue Celebrates 100th Anniversary
990 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, celebrated its 100th anniversary in April with a special exhibit highlighting its history. In 1916, Thomas Holyoke, an associate of Cass Gilbert, designed 990 Summit Avenue in the Georgian Revival style. Ruth and Henry G. Allen hired contractor Emil Peterson to build the 33-room house on a foundation of limestone and exterior of “coursed ashlar and gray limestone” for a cost of about $15,000.
Henry Allen was president of the wholesale grocery, J.H. Allen & Company. The Allen’s lived in the home nine years before selling it, in 1927, to Doris and Shreve M. Archer. Shreve Archer was chairman of the board of Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, manufacturer of linseed oil and paint.
During their years at 990 Summit, the Archers remodeled the home, adding a “gun room”, bedroom and two baths. Helen and Sissy Archer attended nearby Saint Paul Academy with their neighbor Coco Irvine. The girls walked to and from school together and often on the walk home, they stopped at the local drugstore for a soda [15 cents each]. (Coco and her younger sister Olivia donated the Irvine family home to the State of Minnesota in 1965; it is the Governor’s residence.)
In December 1949, Mrs. Archer sold the house to its current owners, the St. Paul College Club for $35,000. The St. Paul College Club (aka St. Paul Branch of the American Association of University Women) made renovations to the home to adapt it to its new use. The House and Property Committee transformed the ‘gun room’ into a library and added an atrium, lecture hall and restroom on the first floor. Still meeting weekly in the house from September through May, the St. Paul Branch of AAUW has 430 members active in the St. Paul community. Local area residents attend the Annual Book Sale held in April at 990 Summit, as well as an August Tea. Proceeds benefit the AAUW Scholarship Trust and AAUW Funds, advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. The St. Paul College Club has been a wedding and event venue for more than 60 years. Please visit www.stpaulcollegeclub.com or call 651-227-4477 for further information.