In 1889 residents established the South Orange Field Club. This was a members-only organization that met in Edwin Mead's Barn. Seven years later, in January 1896, the barn burned to the ground and the club immediately began building a new clubhouse. It featured 14 clubrooms, a veteran's recreation room, pool tables, four bowling alleys, a craft shop and three kitchens. By 1929, more sports activities were available and the private club evolved into a community center. In 1930, 14 rooms were added and the South Orange Field Club was renamed the Baird Center. In addition to serving the welfare needs of the community, the Baird has since become the hub of both cultural affairs and recreation for the Village.