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
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.
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:
world’s no blot for us,
blank – it means intensely, and means good:
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