Election Day soup, pie luncheon raising money for historic house

Fairfield Women?s Club Inc. will host its annual Election Day soup and pie luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 7 at the McElhinny House.

The menu will include cheesy potato or vegetable soup, various selections of pie, with cornbread and beverage.

Everyone is invited to attend. Tickets are $9, with proceeds going toward maintaining the historic McElhinny House.

The McElhinny House was Fairfield?s first showplace. It was built for pioneer merchant Robert McElhinny in the 1850s. One early source described the home as the embodiment of ?New England dignity and Southern hospitality.? From its inception, it was elegant with furnishings made of walnut, rosewood, and mahogany.

Originally, the house had a parlor and sitting room on the south, a library, dining room, and kitchen on the north, with a summer kitchen in the rear. Five bedrooms, each with its own fireplace, were upstairs. And, the house was surrounded by a high board fence.

McElhinny died May 6, 1878. The house remained in the family for 69 years. At times it was closed and vacant, while at others, it was rented as a rooming house and a private home.

After the family sold the house, it had various owners, including the Fairfield school district that used it as an elementary school until 1931.

In 1933, the Fairfield Women?s Club, through a $10,000 bequest from the estate of Robert McElhinny?s daughter Elizabeth to purchase a club house, bought the house.

Since then, not only have the Fairfield Women?s Club meetings and activities, like the Election Day soup and pie luncheon, have been held in the historic house, but it has been the setting for parties, weddings, anniversaries, receptions, reunions, meetings and many other events.

The McElhinny House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.