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Ess Tees Bridge Club records

Identifier: AMN 1154

Scope and Contents

Photographs, meeting minutes, budget plans, score cards, decorations and holiday cards (1951-2009) document the history of the Ess Tees Bridge Club. The records are arranged in three series. The first series, Administration and History, contains a minute book as well as a collection of speeches recounting the groups history, with a list of contact sheets of members involved. The second series, Meetings, contains a collection of simple scorecards and more ornate and holiday themed scorecards. The third series, Events, contains records (budgets, photographs, and guest lists) related to group events, specifically in relation to the 75th Anniversary of the organization.


  • Creation: 1951-2009
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 2000-2009

Historical Note

The Ess Tees were founded by African-American women teachers in the 1930’s who met once a month to play bridge. In a speech for February 1984, one of the later members, Emily S. DeCosta describes that some of its charter members included Anita Oliver, Helen Brown, Mayme Burroughs Massey, Mary Felder Hutchinson, Leola Gibbs Ezekiel, and Charlotte Ross Powell. Initially the group would meet at the home of Anita Brown, however, as years went on, they would meet at the various homes of the members. Certain special occasions, like that of the 75th Anniversary were often affairs of higher prestige, meetings in hotel event spaces, and other venues. They meet once a month. The membership of the group shifted and changed from its original founders, as members relocated beyond the Charleston area, or passed away. Nonetheless, the Ess Tees saw continuous involvement as late as 2009, which marked the group’s 75th Anniversary.


0.2 linear feet (1 archival box)

Language of Materials



The Ess Tees Bridge Club was a recreational card playing social group which was founded by working class African-American women in the 1930’s. It is thought that the Ess Tees was an abbreviation of either ‘School Teachers’ or ‘Society of Teachers’. As the years continued, the Ess Tees managed to bring in new members, meeting on the second Saturday of each month. This collection offers a broad array of materials relating to the Ess Tees Bridge Club, including but not limited to photographs, meeting minutes, score cards, as well as holiday-related cards. While this collection offers ample documentation of the Ess Tees in the ‘50’s, 80’s and 90’s, the core of this collection is concentrated in the 2000’s, as the Ess Tees worked to organize the 75th Anniversary of the group’s founding.

Collection Arrangement

1. Administrative and Historical documents

2. Meetings

3. Events

Inventory of Ess Tees Bridge Club records, 1951-2009
C. Mateo Merida-Sparling
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States