The Twentieth Century Club was a social organization created in 1909 to facilitate better relationships between residents of Bellingham, Washington and faculty at Western Washington Normal School (now Western Washington University). This “town and gown” club met every September through May from 1909 to 1977 to discuss music, history, art, and politics. Membership was by invitation and, at its peak, the group had space for over one hundred members. The club first met at the Baker Hotel and various other locales throughout Bellingham until it settled permanently at the Leopold Hotel in 1941.
The group invited various speakers from Bellingham and the Seattle area to discuss local and international issues. One popular topic discussed during the 1950s and 1960s was that of the Cold War and its impact on the United States and world affairs. During the 1970s, membership among faculty started to decline, and club members began to discuss whether a reorganization of the group might be in order. The club disbanded in 1977, declaring its original objectives met.
The records of the Twentieth Century Club document the interests and activities of this “town and gown” organization in Bellingham, Washington. Records span the period 1924-1978, with bulk dates from 1948-1975. The collection comprises administrative and financial records, materials related to club activities and history, and press clippings.
Administrative records include copies of club resolutions and rules, as well as meeting minutes. Membership books and correspondence document changes in membership patterns and practices. Financial records consist entirely of club receipt books. Materials related to club activities include year books documenting the names of club members and those who held important leadership roles, as well as an official program from the group’s fiftieth anniversary celebration in 1959. These records also include a club scrapbook that dates from 1960-1965. The scrapbook contains newspaper articles and meeting notices which document various topics covered at meetings. Records related to club history include two official histories written by Miriam Snow Mathes and Arta F. Lawrence on the occasion of the club's fiftieth anniversary.
Restrictions on Access :
The collection is open to the public.Preferred Citation :
Twentieth Century Club records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.
Records of the Twentieth Century Club are organized in accordance with the following series arrangement:
Detailed Description of the Collection
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.