The Detroit History Club

The Detroit History Club is a place for lectures, events, and presentations celebrating over 300 years of stories in the great city of Detroit. As a members-only club we exist in the brightest of shadowy places - easy to join but bursting with membership pride.

The Suffragette’s Ball

sold out

The Suffragette’s Ball


March 9th, 2019

Six thirty in the evening to midnight

Dinner will be served at 7:15pm

The Detroit Yacht Club - 1 Riverbank Drive, Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan

Ladies and Gentlemen of Detroit,

It is with a full and open heart that we request the honor of your presence at The Suffragette’s Ball; a gala event celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of these United States of America. As we raise our glasses in celebration of the liberation of the American women, you’ll be transported back in time to the winter of 1919. Over a foot of snow laid on the ground in Detroit, and politically things were heating up fast. Michigan had just become the third state to ratify the 19th amendment. From socialites to shop girls, the city erupted into emotions ranging from celebration to anger, fear to excited anticipation, and of course, joy. After seven long decades of protest, activism, and lobbying, the previously disenfranchised half of America would be allowed, if not always welcome, at the polls. Throughout Michigan the gold, white, and purple flags of suffragism were flown, bunting was draped from windows, and women marched through the streets in victory. Within the year, the 19th amendment would be ratified as the law of the land. And today, one hundred years later, we welcome you to join us in a recreation celebration of that auspicious day.  

A party that hasn't been seen in 100 years...elegant rooms drenched in flowers, silk ball gowns, tailored tuxedos, and illegal prohibition era booze. Hallways full of brilliant women and men talking excitedly, plotting, planning, and creating a better future for all Detroiters. Excitement fueled by Federal agents, automotive tycoons, sultry dancing, wealthy heiresses, fierce politicians, and a red hot band. Balconies overflowing with with gold, purple, and white bunting and flowers, bars pouring out the newly illegal lifeblood of Detroit, and the revolution of the flapper. Grab a glass of ill gotten champagne, and join The Detroit History Club for The Suffragette’s Ball, a celebration of female liberation.

“We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers. “

-Emmeline Pankhurst

The sounds of a full jazz band will great you as you glide up the 1928 grand staircase to the two ballrooms of the Detroit Yacht Club. Enjoy a glass of champagne and hors d'oeuvres as you stroll the balconies of the 150 year old gem before sitting for a three course dinner menu including 1919 Waldorf Salad, Suffragette Chicken Wellingtons with Duexell sauce, and scrumptious decade desserts. As dinner is served our suffragettes, politicians, and activists take to the stage to recreate the speeches of nearly 100 years before. Following dinner in the grand ball room you’ll shimmy out onto the dance floor of the fountain room to the smoky melodies and forgotten songs of Detroit's famed jazz age as a twenty person band plays. Or you can take a break from dancing to learn the manufacturing jobs that brought women financial independence through the teens and twenties, when Detroit was known as “The best five cent cigar city in the world” and “Little Havana” by trying your hand at rolling cigars with our master makers. Have your fortune told or tea leaves read along the hallowed hall of Peacock Alley under ornate chandeliers donated by Matilda Dodge and among the trophies of a century and a half of yacht racing.

Imbibe at the inclusive prohibition themed bar. Or sneak off for a bit of vice at our premium open bars or hidden gaming tables. Before the night is over, you may even find yourself embroiled in a life or death race to pass information among activist spies disguised as party goers in order to aid the women of Britain as they continue to fight for equal rights.

The Suffragist, Vol. 1 No. 4, published on December 6, 1913, describes the symbolism of the colors worn by suffrage supporters. “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.”

This evening is designed to be a fully immersive experience, a ghost of a legendary night, the reincarnation of a singular memory; rich in fantasy, history, and Detroit. Guests are required to dress for the occasion in full 1919 glamour. Brave women of Detroit, drape yourself with family jewels, wrap yourself in the colors of our cause, and perhaps tuck a forget-me-not or lily into your hair. Fine gentleman, don your tuxedos or dark suits and loop a ribbon for women's rights into your button hole, a corsage at your breast, or a necktie in honor of the day. Let the thrift store, vintage shops, and grandparent’s closet raiding begin.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit The League of Women Voters Education Foundation in their efforts to ensure all Americans the ability, honor, and dignity of a fair vote. For your support, we humbly thank you.


Cocktail hour to include champagne, premium bar service, and chilled hors d'oeuvres.


Waldorf Salad - Baby greens, romaine, apples, celery, candied walnuts and house yogurt dressing.

Suffragette Chicken Wellington - Grilled chicken breast wrapped in house puff pastry and drizzled with duxelles sauce, served with roasted carrots and a seasonal potato mash.

A vegetarian option is available. We apologize for being unable to accommodate vegans.

Following dinner a 1919 dessert presentation table will be open for the remainder of the night. It will feature desserts that date back to a time before women could vote, including custom Fairy Floss (cotton candy) provided by our friends at Detroit Spun Sugar.

*This event is fully price inclusive

**All guests must be twenty one years old or older

***Early Bird pricing allows for the first 75 tickets purchased to be discounted 15 dollar per ticket. After the allotment of early bird tickets is sold the cost will remain 175 dollars per ticket.

Because The Detroit History Club operates as a members-only club, out of private homes, hidden spaces, and secret locations, you’ll need to join before being able to buy tickets to events. At checkout you’ll be asked if you are already a member; if not, select “New Member.” Membership to The Detroit History Club is five dollars per calendar year. Each person attending an event must have a membership of their own. Membership cards may be picked up at the first event you attend as a new member, and new cards are issued at the first event you attend each year. Parking is on-street and at your own risk (we’ve never had an issue, but the lawyer insists we have the disclaimer).

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