This is where it all started...
When Spring Field Banquet Center was taken over from the Masons and renovated by private owners in 1995, they dedicated a room in the front of the building to serve high tea, dubbing it Spring Tea Garden.
Three years later, a couple friends met for a birthday celebration in that tea room. Trying to come up with a creative gift, local artist Ellen Cooper decided to wrap a red fedora she had found at a thrift store and include a copy of the poem Warning by Jenny Joseph, referencing the opening line "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple / With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me."
As the friends learned to laugh at themselves and enjoy growing old together, their quirky habit of going to tea dressed in red and purple caught on, and in 2000 the Red Hat Society took off. Since then, membership has continued to climb and now includes over 70,000 women worldwide who meet for tea dressed in garish colors to celebrate the idea that even if we must grow old, we can still participate in the joy of being a child.