About the Club

 

The Ridgewood Democratic Club was founded by Carl Berger, in his home at 300 St. Nicholas Avenue, in January of 1908. Mr. Berger served as the temporary chairman, holding meetings in various parts of Ridgewood. At that time there were sixty members enrolled. By March of 1908 permanent officers were elected with Berger as president. With a membership of two hundred, the club entered into a two-year lease for its first clubhouse, locate d at 448 Grove Street. In July of 1908, the club incorporated as the Ridgewood Democratic Club. The club’s membership grew so rapidly over the following eighteen months that the Grove Street clubhouse became inadequate and larger quarters were required. In January of 1910, the club purchased its own building at 267 St. Nicholas Ave, relocating to it in March of the same year, the membership was at 450. The Board of Governors in 1916 decided to find a new location that would be more centrally located to the moving population. Berger was in the employ of Paul Stier, a real estate developer who eventually built more than 800 homes in Ridgewood and Glendale. Today the Ridgewood Democratic Club is headquartered in a three storey building originally built by Stier to serve as his office space. In 1916, Stier was elected Sheriff of Queens County. The following year, in the course of his duties, he was shot and killed. Shortly thereafter, on June 29, 1917, the Board of Governors voted to buy Stier ’s office for $12,750 and set a side another $1,000 for renovations. The move to the current building, then known as 24-20 Putnam Avenue, was completed on 11 September 1917. To offset some of the cost, the previous clubhouse was sold to the German Evangelical Church of St. Peter’s of Brooklyn- for the sum of $6,000. The membership swelled to 1400 and the clubhouse was known as the best in all of Queens County (it was called the “Home of Democracy.”) Mr. Berger was elected President for fifteen consecutive years and is given much of the credit for the progress of the club.