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Auto Club serving plates

Bloomington yesterday: A helping of history from AAA Auto Club Country Club

Fill your plate with local history. The Bloomington Historical Society serves a good helping in its display of place settings circa 1911—a multi-course meal of nostalgia plated on the finest china.

The dogwood pattern has all the trimmings for an elegant table, right down to the demitasse bowl. The set hails from the former American Automobile Association (AAA) Auto Club Country Club, located on Old Auto Club Road. It was touted as the largest and finest automobile club in the nation until the building was razed in 1958.

The Auto Club Country Club was the place for memorable meals with travel log meetings, bridge clubs, style shows, orchestra-led dances, proms, weddings and other joyful events. Patrons were well-nourished with full menus featuring French onion soup, crudités, prime rib, spiced apple rings, rolls, baked Alaska and more—all for $2.75. There was even a smorgasbord on Thursdays.

Bloomington resident Henry Seifert donated the dinner service. When the AAA Auto Club Country Club closed in 1958, the former employee made a home for the otherwise unwanted dishes in his basement. Today, part of the set is on display for all to see at Old Town Hall, 10200 Penn Avenue South.