Our Story

For more than 125 years, Sangamo Club has upheld its reputation as the area's premiere private dining city club for business, government and community leaders.  Located in historic downtown Springfield, IL, Sangamo Club seeks to provide a first-class hospitality experience at every opportunity.  The Sangamo Club is lead by an advisory Board of Directors comprised of influential and accomplished men and women from various industries as well as a strong management team with decades of experience focused on creating an exceptional member experience.  

Service is our joy and our pleasure, and we look forward to welcoming you to Sangamo Club.    

The history of Sangamo Club as documented on its 85th anniversary
On April 7, 1890, the Secretary of the State of Illinois issued a corporate charter to the Sangamo Club.  Records of the Club list 116 charter members, many of whom have become synonymous with the history of the professions, commerce and public service in the area. 

The first clubhouse was opened June 10, 1890 at 523 South Sixth Street.  Four years later, in July 1894, the Club moved to 518 East Capitol Avenue.  A year later, additional quarters known as the "Century Club House" were opened at the State Fairgrounds.  These quarters were open only during the State Fair and provided a means of entertaining visiting dignitaries attending the Fair.  There were some who hinted that the principal purpose was to give members opportunity to rinse fairgrounds dust with something better suited to a dry throat than soft drinks. 

In 1915, the new clubhouse at the corner of Fifth and Capitol was opened. At this time 76 of the 78 members of the Gamma Club, known as convivial spirits, joined Sangamo Club as a group.  They brought with them, among other things, a magnificent player piano.  The adjoining property to the south was purchased in 1925.  The second floor was rented to the Chamber of Commerce and the Club operated a tea room on the main floor.  In 1931, the Club moved to the top two floors of the Illinois Building.  These facilities were then considered the finest in the state outside of Chicago.  The depression years and other unfavorable factors combined to determine abandonment of this location and a move back to the Fifth and Capitol building in 1937.  Then, however, only the lower floor was occupied.  

During the fifties, a growing membership and ever more-crowded social functions caused the Club's officers to consider the need for larger quarters.  After considering a number of alternatives, the present site was purchased and the existing building remodeled and furnished to the highest standards of function and style.  The new Club was opened in March, 1963.  The completion of the second stage of the building program was marked by the opening of the large room on the second floor, appropriately called the "75 Room" to commemorate the Diamond Anniversary.  

The enthusiasm of the membership for the new building led to a demand for increased facilities.  In 1974, a large new addition was completed, including the Patio Room, three private second floor meeting rooms, and an enlarged kitchen.  The attractiveness and taste of the surroundings, coupled with excellence of cuisine and service bring praise from visitors throughout the world.  

Historical Notes of Interest

The original by-laws granted power to the Board of Directors to admit strangers and visitors, including ladies.
The first initiation fee was $25.00 with annual dues set at $24.00 payable quarterly.
The by-laws provided that "games of hazard of playing for money in any form" was not permitted.
"Games of cards, billiards, or any other game shall be absolutely prohibited on Sundays," was another by-law.
If a member broke a glass or dish, he was charged for it.
Members whose accounts were "subject to posting" were not issued tickets to the Country Club House at the State Fairgrounds.
During the existence of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution from 1919 to 1933, the Club could not sell liquor. This made a considerable difference in its income and was probably responsible for its failure to retain the two floors of the Illinois Building.  
In addition to dining facilities, the clubhouse in the Illinois Building had a gymnasium, golf driving range, wrestling mats, exercising equipment and ping-pong tables.