Guide to the Women of Fairhaven records

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Women of Fairhaven
Title: Women of Fairhaven records
Dates: 1948-1988 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3 linear ft.
Collection Number: XOE_CPNWS0131womenfairhaven
Summary: The Women of Fairhaven records document the activities and interests of this women's social and charitable organization based in Fairhaven in Whatcom County, Washington.
Repository: Western Washington University, Heritage Resources
Contact Information: Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Building
808 25th St
Bellingham, WA
Telephone: 360-650-7747
Languages: Collection materials are in English.  
Sponsor: 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 Note

The Women of Fairhaven was a charitable and social organization based in Fairhaven, Washington. The club was founded in 1948 to support the Fairhaven Boys' and Girls' Club. The Women of Fairhaven assisted in the construction of the Fairhaven Boys' and Girls' Club annual parade floats, supported their weekly dances, organized picnics, and donated goods for their club house.

The club also sought to involve itself other ways in the community. They raised money on behalf of the Mt. Baker Kidney Center, Skagit Preschool Association for the Rehabilitation of Children (SPARC), Bellingham Visiting Nurses Association, and provided financial support to community members in need. The club ceased meeting in the late 1980s.

Content Description

The Women of Fairhaven records span the dates 1948-1988, and comprise administrative and financial records, correspondence, records regarding club Activities, and documents relating to the Fairhaven Hotel. The records document the club’s charitable activities and social gatherings. It also documents the social activities of the Fairhaven Boys' and Girls' Club. These records provide a vibrant glimpse of Bellingham’s youth activities during the late 1940s and community life from the late 1940s to the mid 1970s.

Administrative and financial records span the period 1948-1988, and contain two minutes notebooks (1948-1951, 1960-1963). The minutes notebooks record the organization’s first meeting and bylaws, as well as notes from later gatherings. The financial documents (1955-1988) including receipts, checks, and an insurance policy. These financial records cover the fundraising efforts of the Women of Fairhaven.

Correspondence spans 1949-1986 and consists almost exclusively of thank-you notes documenting the charitable activities of the club.

Club activities records reflect the organization’s charitable work, fundraising events, and other gatherings and events from 1948-1975. This series includes photographs, newsletters, and newspaper clippings. Also included in the club activity records are scrapbooks (1948-1975) documenting the charitable and social activities, as well as other events of the Fairhaven Boys' and Girls' Club. The scrapbooks also include articles detailing the fiery destruction of the Fairhaven Hotel on July 19, 1953, then the meeting place of the Fairhaven Boy’s and Girl’s Club. It also documents the fire’s effects on the community including the efforts of the Women of Fairhaven to find a new location for the Fairhaven Boys' and Girls' Club.

The collection also contains materials pertaining to the history of the Fairhaven Hotel. These comprise duplicates of Fairhaven Hotel restaurant menus, and letters from Mary Larrabee Bourque, responding to questions posed by E. Rosamond Ellis, a local historian and club member, about the construction of the hotel and what life was like growing up in the old Fairhaven Hotel.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

The collection is open to the public.

Preferred Citation :  

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

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The Women of Fairhaven records are organized in accordance with the following series arrangement:

  • Series I: Administrative and Financial Records, 1948-1988
  • Series II: Correspondence, 1949-1986
  • Series III: Club Activities, 1948-1975
  • Series IV: Fairhaven Hotel Documents, 1988, undated
Custodial History :  

The provenance of these records is unknown.

Processing Note :  

Sean Krier processed the records for the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies in 2006.

Detailed Description of the Collection

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

Series I :  Administrative and Financial Records, 1948-1988
1/1 Washington State Federation of Democratic Women's Clubs directory and manual 1963
1/2 Minutes 1948-1951, ; 1960-1963
1/3 Receipts, Checks, and Insurance 1955-1988

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Series II:  Correspondence , 1949-1986
1/4 Correspondence 1949-1972
1/5 Correspondence 1973-1974
1/6 Correspondence 1975-1986
1/7 Correspondence undated

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Series III :  Club Activities, 1948-1975
1/8 Charitable and Fundraising Activities 1969-1975
1/9 Photographs circa 1960-1970
1/1 Scrapbook 1948-1952
1/2 Scrapbook 1952-1953
1/3 Scrapbook 1952-1955
1/4 Scrapbook 1955-1973

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Series IV:  Fairhaven Hotel Documents, 1988, , undated

This series contains records collected by E. Rosamond Ellis, a local historian and club member, documenting the history of the Fairhaven Hotel

1/10 Fairhaven Hotel Restaurant Menus (duplicates) 1891, ; 1893
1/11 Letters from Mary Larrabee Bourque, daughter of Charles Larrabee, describing life in the hotel 1988

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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.

  • Corporate Names :
  • Fairhaven Boys' and Girls' Club.  ( creator)
  • Fairhaven Hotel (Bellingham, Wash.) -- History -- Sources.
  • Women of Fairhaven.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Bellingham, Wash. -- History -- Sources.
  • Fairhaven (Bellingham, Wash.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- History -- Sources.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Boys & girls clubs of America --Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Community centers --Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Community life --Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Scrapbooks --Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Women -- Societies and clubs -- Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Women in charitable work -- Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Women in community organization --Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.

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