Monday Club records, 1892-2001  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Monday Club
Monday Club records
1892-2001 (inclusive)
1 linear foot
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0066mondayclub (collection)
The collection includes the records of the Monday Club, the oldest women's club in Bellingham, WA.
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
Telephone: 360-650-7534
Access Restrictions

The collection is 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

Established in 1892, the Monday Club is the oldest literary club in the Bellingham region. It was founded by Mrs. J.A. Kerr and Mrs. B.B. Seymour, two prominent members of Whatcom County society, in the city of Fairhaven. It was their intention to provide an intellectual and cultural forum for the local female elite to study classic literary works. The establishment of the Monday Club reflected a broader national trend as the decade witnessed the rise of the women's club movement throughout the United States. Though primarily a literary club, the women of the Monday Club also discussed the arts, current events, and philosophy, as well as giving each other support in their home and family lives. The members held a picnic every summer, a Christmas party every December, and several musical evenings throughout the year. The early members maintained a simple organizational structure for the club. Initially, the club was led by only a president, and as time went on a secretary/treasurer and a vice president were added to the leadership. In April of 1899 the president, Mrs. Gillette, encouraged the membership to formalize the organization so they could join the General Federation of clubs in the state. The suggestion was rejected by the club members. The club occasionally met with other groups, such as the Aftermath Club, to exchange ideas and conversation with women in the community. The membership of the club traces its roots to some of the first families to settle in the area. It has included such prominent members as Mrs. Lottie Roeder Roth, Mrs. C.X. Larrabee, Mrs. F.K. Gillette, Mrs. Blodel, and Miss Mabel Zoe Wilson - among many others. The club took for its motto a quote from Robert Browning’s Fra Lippo Lippi: “This world’s no blot for us, Nor blank – it means intensely, and means good: To find its meaning is my meat and drink.” The descendents of the original members still meet the first Monday of each month, ensuring that the Monday Club continues as an active and vibrant part of the Bellingham cultural landscape.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Monday Club Records include minute books, programs, correspondence, cards and notes, and some photographs. The Club's records provide documentation of the social life of women in the Bellingham area, many who descend from prestigious families. Within the minute books are records of presentations of books read by the members, discussions of current events, and descriptions of the events hosted by the club. The records were created by several club members over the Monday Club’s history, and organized from the outset. Secondary information on the Monday club can be found in: Roth, Lottie Roeder. History of Whatcom County. Vol I.Pioneer Historical Publishing Company. Chicago. 1926.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Monday Club 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:  Minute Books, 1892- 2001Return to Top

The minute books include several loose photographs, lists, and cards which were removed for preservation purposes. These items remain in the same folder as the minute book of origin.

Container(s) Description Dates
Minute Book
1892-1906 April 3
Minute Book
1906 May 7 - 1921 November 21
Minute Book
1922 January 2 - 1942 March 2
Minute Book
1942 March 9 - 1946 July 15; 1954 March 2 - 1965 March 15
Minute Book
1946 October 7 - 1954 March 22
Minute Book
1964 March 22 - 1985 March 18
Minute Book
1985 March 25 - 1994 March 28
Minute Book
1994 April 11 - 2001 April 9

Series II:  Programs,  1903-2001Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Scrapbook of Programs
1920-1942; 1951-2001
Script of Homer's Odyssey by Simon Armitage (Club Members Performed a Reading)

Series III:  Cards, Notes, and Memorials, 1996-2008Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Cards, Notes, and Memorials

Series IV:  Photographs, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Birdseye view of Bellingham

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Literature -- Societies, etc. -- Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources
  • Women -- Societies and clubs -- Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources
  • Corporate Names :
  • Monday Club (creator)