By Keenan A. Mount
Lewis and Clark Community College’s Diversity Council presented “125 Years of Comfort,” an event that spolighted the historic Alton Woman’s Home.
Alton Woman’s Home was founded 125 years ago to support and host senior women as they reached retirement.
Gail Drillinger, Marlene Lewis and Lacy McDonald, all local historians, explored the history of the Alton Woman’s Home and Association, celebrating the impact it continues to have.
“The Alton Woman’s Home was an important part of the community in the decades before Social Security and pensions,” L&C History Professor Kelly Obernuefemann said. “Women could be left destitute if they did not have family support.”
During the event, Drillenger played Alice Georgia, a resident of the home from 1869-1946.
With federal programs that aimed to support the same elderly demographic becoming available in the late 60’s, the Alton Woman’s Home was forced to transform into its current force in the community.
Following its closure, the funding committed to the home was reallocated into an investment portfolio that feeds its dividends into the local community and organizations within it.
The home’s fund is used to support the YWCA, CHASI, Senior Services Plus, amongst others and is reportedly earning and distributing more than $150,000 a year.