By: Marion Williams, Ph.D.ret.
The Ella Jordan Federated Colored Women Club Home is under repair and restoration. The new roof is currently being added.
On this bright September day, this 1890 Queen Anne Victorian House is seeing the light of another day in historic Pensacola. Since 2004 when Hurricane Ivan inflicted severe structural damage to this once proud community icon, it is “being resurrected” for the future now due to the efforts of the Mother Wit Institute, Inc.(501.c.3) Foundation- Georgia/Johnny Blackmon/Beverlyn Baines and its members.
At the corner of “C” and LaRua Streets, the Home served as a club house, a community social and cultural gathering place during segregation of the 1920s-1960s. It was a place where young girls (originally) could experience hands-on activities in good grooming, social etiquette, Black history, arts, crafts, and life skills.
This site was the place for the Black community social and cultural events (weddings, receptions, dances, parties, meetings, bridge, classes, etc.) to be held. During a time when blacks were excluded from admittance to majority of white establishments, The Ella Jordan Home served to meet the needs of the community. It was also the source of women activism- the Right to Vote, political activity, education and pride! The National Federated Home President, Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, Mrs. Booker T. Washington and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt all visited the Ella Jordan home in it hay day!
Mrs. Ella Jordan, was a former teacher, first president, club member and political activist. The Home is named in her honor. Several other outstanding local Black educators served as presidents. These were: Mrs. Lillie James Frazier, Sadie Pryor, Marietta Shelby, Mattie D. Eagan, Dr. Ruby Gainer, Mrs. Mae Sue Nix Lewis and Mrs. Beverlyn Sanford Baines (the last), to mention a few.
-2- Press Release – Raising the Roof at the Ella Jordan Home
Several clubs were under the federated umbrella. These were: The Mary McLeod Bethune Federated Club, the Idea and Art Study Club, and the Ida
B. Wells Club. Other clubs were; The Royal 16, Les Amies des Amies, The Sister of Soul Federation, and Jack and Jill of America, Pensacola Chapter.
The Mother Wit Institute is seeking to restore the Ella Jordan Home to provide programs and services to the community as it once did. As a part of the Belmont-Devilliers Neighborhood community restoration efforts, the Home will help to serve as a catalyst to continue the city’s efforts to revitalized this African American community on the west side of downtown.
The Mother Wit Institute, Inc. is seeking public funds (donations, grants, donors, volunteers, etc.) to continue its efforts to fully restore this historic 1890s community icon. They need your community support.
If you are interested in assisting Mr./Mrs. Johnny/Georgia Blackmon, please
feel free to contact them at: Mother Wit Institute, Inc. c/o Ella L. Jordan Home/314 N. Devilliers St., Pensacola, Fl 32501(850) 426 -1229.
Submitted Volunteer/Grant writer- Ella L. Jordan Home