The Turner’s Club in Shrewsbury was the first social club on Lake Quinsigamond

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The Turner’s Club in Shrewsbury was the first social club on Lake Quinsigamond
An outing at the Turner’s Club in Shrewsbury on Lake Quinsigamond around 1870.

SHREWSBURY – The Turner’s Club, or as it was sometimes known, the Turn Verein, was the first ethnic/social club to have its quarters on Lake Quinsigamond. The original club building is the oldest remaining from among the many that once lined the lake’s shores, being built around 1870. It is located at 166 South Quinsigamond Avenue.

One of the things the club was known for was stringing strips of wool soaked in gasoline from wires strung over the Lake―the strips would glow brightly on dark summer nights, making quite the display! After many years as the Turner’s Club, it became home to Groezinger’s, which was a combination store, ice cream parlor and (reportedly) bar. Later it became home to the Lakemen’s Lodge, a neighborhood civic organization, then for a number of years it was known as the Lithuanian War Veterans Club. More recently, it was home to the Knights of Columbus.

Within the past few years it became home to the Quinsigamond, while still hosting the Knights of Columbus. Before the club building was erected, there was a smaller structure there, known as the Davis Cottage. This photograph, taken from an old stereoview card, shows a group of club members at an outing there. If you look closely, you will note a “human pyramid” to the left of the view―the Turner’s Club members were known for their athletic feats and prowess.

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