In early 1959 Jane and Dan McLaughlin and their four children were living on Davis Road. Jane was talking to her milkman about Bedford lacking swim facilities. The milkman told Jane about a newly organized swim club in Burlington, MA. Jane was very interested in the idea, and went to work! She visited the new club in Burlington and two weeks later, Jane was working with 14 families throughout Bedford to make this happen. She choose these families because of their energy, enthusiasm and backgrounds. She included three lawyers, an accountant, a heating expert, an insurance agent, a physical education teacher, a newspaper editor, a salesman, and more! This group, the founding members, became the original governing board and immediately began meeting weekly, sometimes lasting until 2:00 or 3:00 AM.
The Founding Fourteen:
Arthur St. Once
The group found a home for sale at 84 Page Road. The property was 6.26 acres and included an 18 room house, a garage, a carriage shed, a large well, a pump house and a barn. The property was on the market in the mid-forty thousands! The group moved forward to purchase this property and started working on financing, pool construction, rules, regulations, by-laws, etc.
At this point, the group needed to come up with a name for the club. Many names were tossed around, and then narrowed to three choices:
- Eagle Claw-because of a rare tree on the property called an “Eagle Claw Maple”
- Crestview- because it was the telephone exchange for Bedford at that time.
- Wedgewood- because the pool being proposed was shaped like a wedge
Wedgewood was chosen unanimously.
The committee then went out with a formal proposal to friends and neighbors to bring more families on board. Within 4 weeks, 111 families took a leap of faith and submitted $250 each to get things going.
On September 3, 1959, The Wedgewood Club, Inc was formally organized. The by-laws were voted in as were the Governors and officers. Wedgewood was incorporated on October 2, 1959 as a non-profit organization.
In October, after another membership drive (bringing membership to 141 families) the board paid $4,000 to bind the sale of the property at an agreed price of $40,000. The committee borrowed $24,000 for Lexington Federal Savings for the property mortgage.
Papers were passed on the property on November 11, 1959, and meetings began to be held in the main dining room of the large home on the property.
As work was being done to get the $20,000 pool constructed, they also were busy with fun activities. Socials began being held in the home and custodians were hired to live in the apartment in the back of the house. They did light housekeeping and worked in the lounge. The “Crestwood Club” was a lounge that ran on evenings and weekends. The first winter included a grand New Year’s Eve Party, a Monte-Carlo Night, a Spring Dance, a Valentine’s Dance, an Easter Egg Hunt, a Spaghetti Dinner, High School Dances, Junior High School Dances, a Car Wash, and the like.