Lake County official, Lew Hendee, was one of many Waukegan Bachelor Club members. Shown here circa 1910. Dunn Museum 94.34.220
The founding members purchased property on the east side of Third Lake and built a clubhouse with eight bedrooms, a large gathering room with a piano, and a large kitchen.
Opening Day photo, June 14, 1903. "Opening Day" was usually held on a Sunday in June. According to an invitation sent by Lew Hendee and other members, the event began at 4 a.m. and continued until it was "time to go to work the following day." The bachelors decided the fate of one of their own at that first meeting each year. According to Dr. Pearce, "a candidate was selected by ballot to make a proposal for marriage that year. Some took the verdict good naturedly, others became terror stricken, but before the year had elapsed they have, thus far, persuaded some trusting damsel to share their fortunes."
Even after the men married, they remained dues-paying members to help with the property taxes on the clubhouse. The club also held a Family Day when bachelors could bring their girlfriends, and the married men could bring their wives and children for a picnic. The bachelors hosted exclusive parties, but also spent a good deal of time outdoors fishing, boating, hunting, and even had a baseball team.
Bachelors playing baseball at their clubhouse on Third Lake, June 1908. Dunn Museum.
As time went on, more of the men married and interest in the club declined. In 1905, Lew Hendee ended his bachelor days by marrying Miss Lila Favor.
Waukegan Daily News, August 23, 1920.
By 1920, only four of the original 25 bachelors remained single. With few regular members, the Bachelor's Club turned over the use of their Third Lake clubhouse to local Boy Scout packs.
In 1922, a new subdivision was created near the Club's property on Sunshine and Lake Avenues. The site of the club was eventually sold and developed.
- D. Dretske firstname.lastname@example.org