While positioned well for the future, the Hamilton Club has a storied history. Named in honor of James Hamilton, a prominent political figure in Colonial America and planner of the City of Lancaster, the Hamilton Club was founded in 1889 by 31 prominent citizens seeking a place to gather. From 1889 to 1899 the Club leased a building at 39 North Duke Street; from 1899 to 1912, the Club was located at 37 East Orange Street; and in 1912 the members purchased the current building at 106 East Orange Street.
Built in 1890 as a private residence for Catherine Haldeman Long and designed by Architect James Warner, the Club is cited by the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County as the earliest domestic example of the “Chateauesque” style in Lancaster County.
To better meet the needs of its members, in 1935 the Club expanded its program offerings to include duckpin bowling and bridge. In addition, a Social Committee was established to plan and schedule events more systematically. The Club’s Reciprocal Membership Program began in 1940 when the Hamilton Club established reciprocal privileges with similar clubs in key locations outside of Lancaster.
Renovations in 1953 joined the main Club facility with the Mews, an adjacent area to the rear of the main house, providing space for larger social functions and, in 1963, the health and athletic facilities were completed. A major renovation and expansion to the Club in 2005 included extensive changes and added a new dining room above the 1953 first-floor addition. A new cardio room and ladies’ locker room were added to the Health Club area, and both squash courts were enlarged to meet international standards.
In November 2006, the Board of Directors expanded its membership definitions, when full membership privileges were extended to spouses or partners, as well as any children and stepchildren under the age of 21 residing with the parents.
Today’s Hamilton Club membership is representative of the diversity of lifestyles that exist within the various Lancaster area communities. Our members are a broadly inclusive group of accomplished men and women with varied interests, passions, and backgrounds.