The Pastime Club, the oldest in Mendham, was founded in 1915 to sponsor and promote athletics in the community. After two set backs, the club began its “modern era” in 1938, when it reorganized. Members met monthly, sponsored a baseball and basketball team, held pinochle and quoits tournaments and hosted an annual children’s Christmas party. These activities were financed by dues of 25 cents a month, supplemented by fund-raising raffles and minstrel shows.
During World War II those members not in the armed services worked on restoring the building at 3 Hilltop Road, the home of the Pastime Club for 60 years. The extensive work was accomplished by members who freely gave their talents and labor and raised money for materials. By 1947, two apartments had been constructed in the building and the club’s popular four-lane bowling alley was completed in 1953. True to its original goals of supporting athletics and the community, the Pastime Club today is a generous supporter of athletics programs for youth and adults in the area through its sponsorship of teams in a variety of sports, donating equipment for fields and athletics awards to students in local schools.
The major portion of monies raised during the Pastime Club’s Labor Day weekend activities and the Annual Circus started in 1999 support these programs. The annual Labor Day celebration, sponsored jointly by the Pastime Club and the Recreation Committee of Mendham Borough, was first held in 1951, with games and field events, bicycle and swimming races and a gigantic fireworks display. Throughout the years, a athletic contests, a carnival, car raffle, which has since been replace by a 50/50 raffle, rides on a fire engine supplied by the Mendham Borough Fire Department, and other activities have been added to the celebration.