The Kiwanis was founded in Detroit Jan. 21, 1915 and originally accepted only men as members. By 1962, the organization enjoyed world wide expansion. March 31, 1927, the Ticonderoga Club was organized by Freeman Pond, H.P.Conron, Mortimer Ferris, and L.R.Mead. They met at the Palm Restaurant and proudly received their charter June 16 of that year at a luncheon at the Silver Bay Hotel. Freeman Pond was one of the first leaders serving from 1927 to 1935.
Weekly luncheons were held at the Burleigh House, the Latch String, McCauleys and the Ti Inn. These were business, professional and agriculture men committed to civil and social service to the community. Over the years, they have sponsored baseball teams, bowling teams, golf tournaments and Boy Scout troops. They have organized Halloween parties, dances, fund raising dinners and Christmas parties for children, education funds, bowling tournaments, a library wagon for Moses Ludington Hospital and welcome signs for the community.
During World War II the group planted Victory Gardens and had clothing and paper drives. Many Fresh Air Children were sponsored by the Kiwanis, Red Cross swimming programs at the Black Point Beach were taught, wheel chairs were purchased for the handicapped, money was raised for a milk fund for the under-privileged, and the Ti Youth Center was organized. During the 1940s a campaign was launched to raise $2,000-2,500 dollars for an educational fund for Ti High School.
In 1955 a Scout Conservation Exposition was held at the Ti Armory and Boy Scout Troop # 72 was started. Truly, the Kiwanis is composed of ordinary people performing extraordinary work. Kiwanis, through guidance and example, works to develop future generations of leaders. Every day Kiwanians are revitalizing neighborhoods, organizing youth-sports programs, tutoring, building playgrounds, and performing countless other projects to help children and communities.
This series of articles is compliments of Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, located in the 1888 building at the entrance of Bicentennial Park.