Featured Windows, June 2004
Scott Club Windows
Building: Scott Club of South Haven
City: South Haven
These two handsome portrait windows adorn the main meeting room of the Scott Club, built in the early 1890s as a "meeting hall for members and guests in pursuit of intellectual, scientific and liberal culture."
The west window holds a portrait of Sir Walter Scott with his dog, above an arrangement of crossed Scottish swords, shield, hunting hat and powder horn. A scroll at the base is inscribed, "Scott Club. Presented by James H. Bates of Brooklyn, New York."
The east window displays the likeness of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, above inscriptions that say "Liberty" and "In God We Trust," combined with images of an American eagle, flag-draped sword and weapons of the American Indian. An inscription on the scroll below reads, "Literary and Antiquarian Societies. Presented by Prudence Dykman Hale, Charles J. Monroe, W.C. Ransom, R.T. Pierce, George D. Carnes, George H. Mayhan, George L. Seaver, Joseph Lannin, A. Voorhees, O.A. Dean, H.M. Avery, W.H. Hurlbut, A.S. Dykman" (early South Haven residents who donated the window). Cherubs fill the semi-circular panels surmounting the portraits.
The Scott Club traces its origin to the formation in 1883 of a women's literary and social group, which adopted the name of Scott Club in 1888 after studying the writings of Sir Walter Scott. Early meetings were held in private homes and church parlors. When the organization grew to include more than one hundred women who were active in the South Haven community, the need for a larger meeting place became apparent. In 1891 the Scott Club joined with two other literary groups, whose members were primarily men, to purchase a site for a meeting hall that would accommodate all three organizations: the Literary and Library Association, the Antiquarian Society and the Scott Club. Donations of money, materials and labor from members and the South Haven community led to the construction of a clubhouse in the Queen Anne style, designed and built by local architect and builder, John Cornelius Randall. By 1893 the picturesque building with a Moorish dome was hosting meetings. At the turn of the century the two men's groups disbanded and sold their shares of ownership to the women's Scott Club, which has continued to occupy and maintain the building for more than 100 years, through the financial contributions and efforts of its members. Designated a Michigan Historic Site in 1981, the Scott Club celebrated its centennial in 1983.
The central pictorial panels of the windows were created in 1893 by the Tyrolese Art Glass Co. (Tiroler Glasmalerei und Mosaik-Anstalt) of Innsbruck, Austria. An unidentified American studio made the surrounding decorative glass frames. Founded in 1861, the Tyrolese Art Glass Co. provided many windows for the American market from the late 1870s until the beginning of World War I. Their windows employed the painterly "Munich Style" associated with studios such as those of Franz Mayer and F.X. Zettler in Munich. At one time the firm maintained offices in New York and Chicago, to handle its American trade. It continues at Innsbruck today, under the direction of Konrad Mader, a descendant of one of its founders. To see another window by this firm, visit the Window of the Month for July, 2001.
The Scott Club was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Pearl Sarno, Etta Smith and Martha Roberts, members and officers of the Scott Club of South Haven.
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Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, June , 2004.