In 1941, a group of deaf men met on a regular basis in a clubroom located at 21 Front Street in Rochester. They were members of the so-called Rochester Sphinx Club. Socials and other entertainments were planned to raise money to pay the rent of the clubroom.
The club incorporated in 1945, and the name was changed to Rochester Recreation Club for the Deaf, Inc. (RRCD). Women were eventually allowed to join. Socializing was very popular as there were no ttys, no tv captioning, no open-captioned movies at theaters. People met at the club to catch up on news, and make plans or other appointments.
From 1945 to 1966, the club met at various locations, renting space when needed. RRCD began hosting New York State Bowling Tournaments. They also started showing 16-mm captioned films every weekend, sometimes showing twice in an evening to handle the large crowds.
The hub of the Deaf Community
Since the founding of the club some sixty years ago up to the big fire of its clubhouse on St. Paul Street in 1989, the club had been exempted by the City of Rochester from property taxes since the club provided beneficial services to the deaf community.