Society of Bowdoin Women: Kate Douglas Wiggin Room in 1968 and 2011

The Kate Douglas Wiggin Room was home to the Society of Bowdoin Women. It was named after the first president of the Society, who received an honorary Bowdoin degree in 1904. The Society did not initially have a fixed space but instead moved around to various campus locations for its meetings. Eventually the group established the Kate Douglas Wiggin Room and furnished it as headquarters and as a place to wait while their husbands conducted Bowdoin business.

The original meeting place was in a parlor on Federal Street. From here, the society rented a house on Cleveland Street until the porch collapsed beneath them in 1932. They then received permission to use Gibson Hall in 1955. This was their first official space on campus, but it brought much discomfort to many of its members because of the all male environment. In 1965, the Society offered to refurnish and decorate a room in Cram Alumni House in exchange for its permanent use. Three years later they redecorated a small adjoining room to create additional space. In 1983, the College requested temporary use of this room for eighteen to twenty-four months. Three years later, the College took over the space permanently, leaving the Society without a meeting place. The Society women took a stand for themselves and tried to reach a compromise with the College. They were offered another room downstairs in the south parlor of the Alumni House, which they rededicated as the Kate Douglas Wiggin Room. This document (Document SC, 5) displays pictures of this room in 1968 and 2011, portraying how much change this room underwent over the years.

Society of Bowdoin Women: Kate Douglas Wiggin Room in 1968 - sc-5

Society of Bowdoin Women: Kate Douglas Wiggin Room in 1968 - sc-5

Society of Bowdoin Women: Kate Douglas Wiggin Room in 2011 - sc-5

Society of Bowdoin Women: Kate Douglas Wiggin Room in 2011 - sc-5

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