Whatcom county chapters of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union date back to 1883. At various times since then, there have been simultaneous chapters in Sehome, Fairhaven, Lynden, Sumas, Bellingham, and possibly elsewhere. The consolidated Whatcom County chapter is documented in this collection from 1932 (right before the repeal of prohibition) to 1958. During this period the chapter organized resistance to the sale and use of alcohol (and, to a lesser extent, tobacco) through protest and education. The chapter also promoted other Christian causes, such as their effort to have the Lord’s prayer recited in public schools.
As a national organization, the WCTU was formed in 1874 to spread the message of complete abstinence from alcohol. Their web site, www.wctu.org (2006) claims that they are the oldest continuing non-sectarian women’s organization in the world.
The Whatcom Christian Temperance Union records document the organization’s activities and philosophy from 1932 to 1958. A full and detailed volume of meeting minutes is the most valuable document to researchers, since it describes the WCTU’s ceremonies, positions, goals, and procedures. Other materials include financial records (mostly treasurer’s reports), event programs, by-laws and position recommendations, and a small amount of correspondence and clippings.
Restrictions on Access :
The collection is open to the public.Preferred Citation :
Whatcom County Woman's Christian Temperance Union Records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.
The collection is organized in accordance with the following series arrangement:
Acquisition Information :
In October 1997 the Whatcom Christian Temperance Union records were donated by Estella Gelder.Processing Note :
Victor Burgett processed the Whatcom County Woman's Christian Temperance Union Records in July, 2006
The Whatcom County Woman's Christian Temperance Union Records records were part of a larger donation, but were processed as a seperate record group. The other records now comprise the Progressive Literary and Fraternal Club records, also available at the Center For Pacific Northwest Studies
Detailed Description of 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.