Homemakers celebrate 90 years

LUSK - Not many organizations remain in effect for a long period of time, however, the Niobrara County Homemakers is not one of them. Celebrating 90 years in existence, the Homemakers will be hosting their Annual Spring Tea with a Birthday Party theme during Homemakers Week May 7-13. The Tea will be held on May 11 in conjunction with the Creative Arts Contest and South Regional Meeting. Some of the member attendees will be 90 years young.Perhaps you’ve notice the Homemakers Banners proudly displayed on some of the lamp posts downtown.  As you will see, Homemakers are the heart of the home, whether they hold an 8-5 job in your business or they are a stay at home gal with her own business or a working partner with her rancher spouse. 

The Homemaker Organization, first known as Home Demonstration Clubs, sprang up when the men were meeting for Farm Bureau in the 1920’s. When the Depression hit the club meetings came to a standstill. These three clubs, Node, Manville, and Royal Valley were the first to organize and Node still exists today along with Indian Creek and Road Runners. Although they no longer have demonstrations on home making, each club is actively involved in Community affairs such as card making and delivering to shut-ins, providing small quilts/afghans to four different entities, and fundraising for and bringing awareness to Operation Underground Railroad. Niobrara County Homemakers are probably best known for their homemade meals and pies served in the County Fair Kitchen each summer. Club activities do not stop there. The Christmas Bazaar, held the first Saturday in December, brings in vendors from surrounding communities as well as, many talents from the Lusk area. This is a “must see” event you don’t want to miss.

The number of Homemaker Clubs peaked in the 1950’s when there were 18 clubs and 380 members, compared to 3 clubs today and 36 members. The Node Club celebrated their 100 year anniversary recently, quite an achievement. Many stories are told, telling the tales and adventures some of the early Homemakers went through to get to their meetings. There were flat tires to fix and stuck cars to get out of the mud all while wearing a dress and high heels. These hearty women were great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mothers of the county and so deserving of celebrating being the “heart of the home”.   

Readers can follow the clubs on Facebook pages or if you’d like more information or would like to join, please call the Extension Office. They can put you in touch with any of the 3 club’s presidents. Happy Birthday Niobrara County Homemakers!