||One of the oldest bridge clubs in New England, The
Puritan Bridge Club
was formed on June 15, 1920 by the "Odd Fellows" of Braintree. We are a non-profit, open club with
emphasis on the social aspects of the game. All games are non-smoking and
stratified when possible.
Game fees are $7.00 for club members for regular duplicate games, $8.00
for non-club members.
Some special ACBL games have added fees.
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We trace our roots back to June 15, 1920 when, after a regular lodge meeting of the “Odd Fellows” of Braintree, a number of brothers adjourned to form the “Puritan Club”. That Club was a men-only organization limited to no more than 45 members. Each member had to be elected to membership and, after payment of annual dues of $1.30, was entitled to a key to the Club. The “clubhouse” was located on the second floor of the Braintree Cooperative Bank in South Braintree Square.
Throughout the 1920s the Club’s members played pool, whist, and
occasionally cribbage. The Club’s House Committee was responsible for stockingcases with candy and cigars for sale to members.
According to the Club’s archives, the first reference to bridge appears in 1936. By then, the Club was mostly all about whist and bridge. Each player was paying 10 cents per game to play. Although women were allowed to play bridge at the Club, it was not until long after the Club had evolved into the “Puritan Bridge Club” that, in 1983 when Henry Daley was the Manager and Treasurer, women were allowed to become members.
When the East Braintree Methodist Church put its property on the market it had a hard time selling it because the property was in a residential zone. It was perfect for us. The Club sold the house it owned to the Braintree Art Association and used the proceeds to buy our current home.
Up against the right front wall near the directors’ station is a long wooden bench that looks like a church pew, because it is. Our building was originally the East Braintree Methodist Church. In February 1972, the Club bought the land and building from the Church for $25,000. Prior to that purchase, in December 1969, the Club incorporated with the help of member, attorney Stephen A. Bache of Braintree.
We rented our first “clubhouse”. In the early 1960s several of the Club’s members, including Mark and Vivien Batchelder, parents of the current Chair of our House Committee, Mark Batchelder, loaned the Club money so it could buy property. The Club bought a house and barn. The Club rented out the house and with the help of members Ed Nugent and the two Mark Batchelders (father and son), among others, transformed the barn into a bridge club. Subsequently the barn burned down and the Club temporarily rented space from the Emmanual Episcopal Church while we looked for a permanent home.