The Wydown Fortnightly was founded by Dorothy Merrell O’Neil in the early 1950’s (1952-53) as a manners and dance instruction program for students 6th through 8th grade.
Mrs. O’Neil wanted an opportunity for her own children and their peers, as well as many others throughout the community, to learn key social etiquette and formal dancing skills prior to the dating and dance experiences they would have in high school. She intentionally created the program to bring young people together from different schools (private, public, and parochial) to further enhance their social experience.
Dorothy Merrell O’Neil was a fourth generation member of The Congregational Church which is located on Wydown Boulevard. The Wydown Fortnightly was held in the church building for many years. The original name taken from the street address of the church has been consistent through the years.
In 2013 The Wydown Fortnightly was relocated and is currently held at The Frontenac Racquet Club.
Dorothy Merrell O’Neil’s vision for The Wydown Fortnightly has provided unique learning opportunities to generations of young people for more than 50 years.