The Motherlode records, 1980-2000  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Motherlode (Musical group)
The Motherlode records
1980-2000 (inclusive)
.25 linear ft.
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0132Motherlode (collection)
These rocords document the Portland, OR/Bellingham, WA band, Motherlode, which started in 1980 and performed their own brand of women's folk music throughout the Pacific Northwest for over two decades.
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
Telephone: 360-650-7534
Access Restrictions

These records are open to the public.

Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the Washington State Legislature to the Washington Women's History Consortium. Funding for encoding the finding aid was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Motherlode is a lesbian folk music group that played throughout the Pacific Northwest. Band members include: Nan Collie, Kathleen Fallon, Marie Dodge Eaton, and Janet Peterson. They all met at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in 1980 and within a year, the four had formed Motherlode. Collie and Fallon had previously played together in the Portland band, Bittersweet. At the time, Collie and Fallon lived in Portland, OR, while Eaton and Peterson lived in Bellingham, WA. Despite the distance that separated this group, Motherlode managed to perform at countless venues over the years including the Seattle Folklife Festival, the McCall Music Festival (Idaho), the Corvallis Fall Festival, the Seattle Museum of History and Industry, Berkeley's Freight and Salvage, and numerous colleges and universities. Motherlode also played at several benefits for the gay rights political group, Hands Off Washington, as well as a benefit for four year old cancer patient, Alexandra Ellis.

Motherlode performed predominantly original material and members played a variety of instruments including guitar, cello, French horn, mandolin, bass, banjo, ukulele, piano, and flute to name just a few. Their musical careers together span nine albums and more than twenty five years. Members of Motherlode were also instrumental in founding and participating in the Northwest Women's Music Celebration, an annual music camp for women filled with music instruction and encouragement.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Motherlode records contain material spanning their more than twenty year existence. The records are an assemblage of publicity material including concert photos, press packets, original lyric sheets, posters, flyers, pamphlets, ticket stubs, schedules, and newsletters that provide information about their albums, concerts, and touring schedules throughout the years.

The video, Motherlode-20 Years: Looking ForwardLooking Back, is a retrospective of their musical careers. Members discuss songs and songwriting, albums, concerts, friends, band dynamics, and early history.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Motherlode records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Publicity Materials, 1980-2000 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Pamphlets, Fliers, Posters, Press Packet Materials

Series II:  Video,  2000Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Motherlode-20 Years: Looking ForwardLooking Back

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Folk music -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- Sources.
  • Gay rights -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- Sources.
  • Lesbian musicians -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- Sources.
  • Women folk musicians -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- Sources.
  • Women musicians -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- Sources.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Motherlode (Musical group) (creator)