Mobile's Athelstan Club was originally organized by the members of the Athelstan Masonic Lodge.

On January 8, 1876 the following officers were selected to lead the new club:
James Fleetwood Foster, President
A.L. Willoughby, Vice President
J.T.Poe, Secretary

The original intent was to organize a fraternal association limited to 100 members but all members must also be members of the Athelstan Masonic Lodge. 

Applicants would need the endorsement of two existing members; their names would be posted in the Club Room for 10 days and then a vote of the membership would occur. As it was originally stated, one blackball would mean rejection. Yet, at the second organizational meeting in February, 1876 it was decided that three blackballs would be needed to force the rejection of a new member. 

At 8:00 p.m. on February 1, 1873, an "Opening Night" reception was held at
18 S. Royal Street (between Dauphin and St. Francis St., next to the Battle House Hotel).

The requirement of membership in the Masonic Lodge was dispensed with in 1875. 

from Bradley Goodyear Smith's The Athelstan Club: An Enduring Legacy


 Athelstan Club c. 1900

  The Athelstan Club was first located on the corner of Dauphin and St. Joseph Streets.

The original Athelstan Club location 

The Club was later relocated to 158 St. Francis St. before moving to its current location just a bit to the west at 170 St. Francis St. 

The Athelstan and Manassas Clubs kept open house today, and the rooms were filled all the afternoon with guests. These club receptions are a delightful feature of Mardi Gras. There one meets strangers from all over the State and elsewhere, as well as the familiar Mobile faces, and there is a spirit of informality that is very agreeable. 

Montgomery Advertiser, February 17, 1904
The Manassas and Athelstan Clubs kept open house and the balconies were crowded with ladies and visiting gentlemen who viewed the parade and the surging mass of humanity that filled Bienville Square. There was dancing at both clubs and light refreshments were served. About 3 o'clock the crowd began to disperse, various luncheon parties being on hand. 

Montgomery Advertiser, March 9, 1905

The scene shifted today from the Manassas to the Athelstan Club, where the Queen and her maids awaited the passing of the King. 

The Queen and her maids, in their pretty and becoming gowns of light colors, formed a lovely group of youn women, worthy of the hoomage paid them by the King and his loyal subjects. 

After the parades were ended, the King and his Knights returned to the club, where dancing and merry-making filled the hours. 

Mr. Luce entertained again most royalty today at luncheon at the Athelstan Club for the Queen and the members of their court. 

Montgomery Advertiser, February 28, 1922.