VIOLA COMMUNITY CLUB
A LITTLE HISTORY
The original Viola Community Club House
In the time just before the First World War, the extension service for the University of Idaho helped form an extension service in the Viola Community, calling it the Viola Community Club. The first ladies learned sewing, canning, nutrition, and household tips while meeting in each other’s homes. The present club was officially formed in 1923. Setting out to aid the community, and through the sale of their wares and donations, they assisted the Viola school, church, and even the Children’s Home in Lewiston.
After World War II, the residents of Viola collaborated to build a club house as a thank you to the ladies for all the hard work and dedication they had exhibited over the years. The land where the club house was built was donated to the ladies by a kind resident by the name of Archie Bowles. It was finished in 1948.
In 1980, after thirty two years of use, crumbling floors, sagging roof, and antiquated electrical wiring, the residents did what they could to keep the club house going. It worked for another thirty years but in 2010, the county of Latah finally condemned the building and all community activities, once again, had to take place in private homes. While private homes had been utilized, none possessed the amenities that would support the needs of a diverse community.
In 2012 the organization developed the concept of building a facility large enough for community gatherings and other events. The club, historically dedicated to community service, became an official non‐profit organization filing for a 501(c) 3 in June of 2012. A five member Board of Directors were voted in and subcommittees where formed. The club first sought support from the community and received robust encouragement in the form of donations from residents, county officials, and multiple local organizations and agencies eager for a local center. Land was donated by a wonderful family who saw the potential of what it would mean to our area. With a little over four acres there is enough land to support the Community Center and have an outdoor playground for the young children and young at heart. Our area is growing and having a center that would help support a healthy and sustainable community with a large enough facility is beyond words.
The Board of Directors and subcommittees are made up of business owners and professionals (all volunteers) residing in Viola who have dedicated themselves to preserving the work of the original club members who began their humanitarian efforts back in 1923. With a shoestring operating budget of five thousand dollars annually, the Board is working tirelessly to bring many programs to the citizens of Viola and the surrounding areas.