Woman’s Club of Norfolk

Established 1905

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The Woman’s Club of Norfolk was founded in 1905, by Miss Virginia Gatewood. Miss Gatewood sent out 500 invitations and 200 women responded. In December of that year, the club was incorporated and in 1925 they purchased the Martin Mansion, historic Ghent, as their home.

The early Woman’s Club sponsored a speaker series that included Ruth Rhode, Minister to Denmark, President Herbert Hoover and many Governors and Authors. This lecture series was the precursor of the Norfolk Forum, which is enjoyed by many today. The club hosted activities for the 1907 Jamestown Exposition, sponsored a legal aid clinic, pushed for prison reform, marched for women’s suffrage and sponsored the Crepe Myrtle Festival, a forerunner of the Azalea festival, now known as the popular NATO Festival. They also conducted classes three days a week beginning in 1927 for what was the beginning of the Norfolk branch of William and Mary that later became Old Dominion University.

Over a century later, the Martin Mansion is still home to the Woman’s Club of Norfolk.

The Woman’s Club of Norfolk is relevant to women today as a private Club, with members of all ages, and fosters a positive and encouraging environment for all members, with a focus on activities and programs that support philanthropy, education and women’s entrepreneurship. The Club also directs the Gatewood Martin Mansion Foundation, the preservation and fundraising effort for our over 100 year old Mansion, and grounds.


We are a private club. Prospective members must be proposed by a member and sponsored by two additional members. If you do not know a member, please contact our Membership Chair at wcnmembership@yahoo.com. Prospective members are invited to attend our annual welcome meeting each September. All member applications require board approval and applicants must be at least twenty-three years of age. We offer several member tiers based on your activity interest. For more information, contact our membership chair at: wcnmembership@yahoo.com

Public Program & Events


The Garden Club of Norfolk and the Woman’s Club of Norfolk join
in presenting: “C-Change Conversations”

Featuring Kathleen Biggins
Thursday, January 17th at 6:45 PM
Woman’s Club of Norfolk
524 Fairfax Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23507

Please join us for an evening of community engagement with this interactive,
non-political presentation by Ms. Biggins, climate change subject matter expert.
She brings her knowledge and insight to Norfolk in a
discussion that will focus on the science and effects of climate change.
Her insight will illustrate how this conversation shapes our modern world,
coastal communities, and lives.

There is no admission fee for this event.

Seating capacity is limited. To ensure you get a seat – please RSVP to:

C-Change Conversations, a 501(c)3 organization conducts national climate science speaking tours.
(Donations to benefit their efforts will be accepted the night of the event.)

Ongoing Programs We Support

Community non-profits, as well as, Susan G Komen & Women for Women International