Guide to the George I. Williams Boy Scouts of America collection

Shaun D. Strobridge
Center for Sacramento History
551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Phone: (916) 808-7072
Fax: (916) 264-7582
Email: csh@cityofsacramento.org
URL: http://www.centerforsacramentohistory.org/
© 2013
Center for Sacramento History. All rights reserved.

Guide to the George I. Williams Boy Scouts of America collection

Collection number: MS0033

Center for Sacramento History

Sacramento, CA
Processed by:
Shaun D. Strobridge
Date Completed:
2009
Encoded by:
Sean Heyliger
© 2013 Center for Sacramento History. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: George I. Williams Boy Scouts of America collection
Dates: 1910-2004
Bulk Dates: 1993-2004
Collection number: MS0033
Creator: Williams (George I.)
Collection Size: 9 linear feet (9 boxes + 1 oversized map drawer)
Repository: Center for Sacramento History
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Abstract: The George I. Williams Boy Scouts of America collection is a collection assembled by George I. Williams, an eagle scout and a life-long member of the Boy Scouts of America. The collection ranges from 1910 to 2004 with a concentration of records ranging from 1993-2004. The first box contains five logbooks ranging from 1942-1966. These large, bound books contain a wealth of information about the Boy Scouts in the Sacramento region. The second distinct group is the handbooks and manuals ranging from 1910-1995. The scouting manuals were distributed nationally and are vital to understanding to continuous development and refinement of the Boy Scouts of America. The final distinct group is the annual collections ranging from 1993-2004. Each year is contained within the own folder and contains both local and national materials related to the Boy Scouts of America.
Physical location: 50I1, 50I4-5, 50H9, 55C1
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights

All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], George I. Williams Boy Scouts of America collection, MS0033, Center for Sacramento History.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by Alan O’ Connor, a friend of George I. Williams, to the Center for Sacramento History in 2005.

Processing Information

George I. Williams Boy Scouts of America Collection processed by Shaun D. Strobridge, 2009. Finding Aid was prepared by Shaun D. Strobridge, 2009.

Biography / Administrative History

George I. Williams was a life-long member of the Boys Scouts of America. Williams earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He served on multiple ships that sailed under the Golden Empire Council. He even served as the skipper of the S.S.S. Sacto in 1946. Williams also served in the military. George I Williams was the first member of the Golden Empire Council to receive the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award and the George Meany Award.
George I. Williams took on multiple roles through his years in the Boys Scouts. Moving from Eagle Scout, to Skipper, and finally to the position of Council Historian. He was part of a ten member Council History Committee and helped to develop and publish a seventy-five year history of the Golden Empire Council which is part of his collection.
As a Council historian George I. Williams worked to gather all records pertaining to the history of the Golden Empire Council and Scouting nationwide. He collected manuals, magazines, letters, ephemera, patches, pins, logbooks, and other materials that recorded the Boy Scouts’ existence in the Sacramento Region. George I. Williams created displays of Scout patches that were put on display at scouting functions. In addition to collecting on a local level, Williams was also an active participant in the Scout memorabilia trade. He used this system to acquire materials not just for himself, but for others who also wished to collect and preserve the history of the Boy Scout of America.
In 1916 Troop 1 was organized by W. George Spillman in Sacramento. By 1919, twenty-one troops existed in the Sacramento region. In 1920 a formal council was created to develop and promote scouting in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. The first annual scouting demonstration, now known as the Scout-o-Rama, was held in 1921. Cortex Monete Kitchen became the council’s first Eagle Scout.
In 1922 the Sacramento Lions’ Club donated land along the American River for scouts to use it later becomes Camp Pollock. 1923 the first Sea Scout ship for the council was registered with eighteen sea scouts. In 1923 the council embarked on a vast expansion and annexed Amador, southern Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties into the new Sacramento Council District. This was done because in 1922 the council expanded to include all of Sacramento County which succeeded in improving services. In 1924 Eagle Scout Robert Harkness attended the world jamboree in Denmark, one of only 56 nationwide. The 1922 expansion ran into problems and in 1924 Sacramento District Council divided into four councils: Sacramento Council, Buttes Area Council, Tahoe District Council and Kit Carson Council.
In 1937 the Sacramento Council changed its name to the Golden Empire Council. In 1940 troop 32 sets a record for the most Eagle Scout promotions in one ceremony relative to troop size; 9 boys became Eagle Scouts. In 1946 the Golden Empire Council incorporated. In 1963 local troops participated in the American River Clean-up Week. In 1965 scouts participated in distributing 100,000 charity “good turn” bags as a community service project. In 1966 troop 372 cleaned Taylor Creek, a salmon spawning ground.
The Golden Empire Council merged with the Tahoe Area Council in 1971. During the 1970’s boy scouts again came under fire because their uniforms were similar to military uniforms. In 1991 Golden Empire Council began to receive support from the local community for its in-school scouting program. This program focused on less privileged children in inner cities. Major donors include the Purple Heart Veterans Association, UNOCAL, and the law firm of Weintraub, Genshlea, and Sproul. In 1992 Mt Lassen Area Council and the Buttes Area Council merged with Golden Empire Council in another attempt to consolidate and improve services.

Scope and Content of Collection

The George I. Williams Collection contains six distinct series ranging from 1910-2004. Series #1 focuses on logbooks, a total of five ranging from 1942-1966. These are perhaps the most valuable and informative of all the series in the collection because it tracks the daily/weekly operations aboard the vessel and the scout troop that operated it. The focus is strictly on scouting in the Sacramento region. In addition to acting as a log book for the vessel they also served as a scrapbook tracking the troop’s history. Materials contained within include rosters with required dues, newspaper clippings, photographs, permits, charters, maps, diagrams, letters, invoices, ephemera, and letters. A high percentage of these logbooks were created during World War II. This series would be useful for researching the history of Boy Scouts in the Sacramento region during World War II. When received the logbooks appeared to have no apparent order thus they were arranged in chronological order.
The scrapbook series includes six scrapbooks documenting the activities of George I. Williams as a member of the Golden Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The scrapbooks contain photographs, newsletters, programs, badges, membership cards, and newspaper clippings documenting the Boy Scouts in the Sacramento region.
The third series in the collection focuses on handbooks and manuals used by the Boy Scouts which ranges from 1910-1995. The series is further divided into 5 sub-series; each was arranged in chronological order since no clear organization was apparent when the collection was received. The series was subdivided because the manuals were distinct enough that such an arrangement was warranted because it highlights the different aspects and branches of the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scout handbook sub-series range from 1910-1979. The Sea Scout handbook sub-series range from 1936-1966. The Air Scout handbook sub-series range from 1943-1958. The adult/troop leader handbook sub-series range from 1925-1971. The final sub-series, group histories and yearbooks, ranges from 1931-1995. This series does not focus specifically on the Sacramento region since these manuals were produced and distributed nationwide. The series is useful however for studying the development and refinement of the Boy Scouting program through these manuals.
The fourth series focuses on oversized objects and contains one box of boy scout badges and 1 certificate. A Silver Beaver certificate awarded to George I. Williams in 1971. This record would be useful for developing a biography of George I. Williams or as part of a study focusing on Boy Scout awards.
The fifth series is photographic negatives and contains one item. A negative taken on May 23, 1959; was taken during the Scout-O-Rama gathering. This record would be useful for developing a biography of George I. Williams or development of a history on the Scout-O-Rama gathering which occurs annually.
Annual collections are sixth and final series in the George I. Williams Collection. This series ranges from 1993-2004 and is divided into eleven separate folders which contain records for a specific year. When the collection was received the records were separated by year but no organization existed with the folders. Each folder was individually arranged by group specific records together in chronological order. The original filing structure has been maintained but is now much easier to navigate. The contents of each folder will vary slightly from year to year but most contain the following types of records which focuses on both nationals and regional boy scout history: Boy Scouts of America magazine, Boy Scout catalog, Boy Scout memorabilia catalog, letters received, letters sent, ephemera, newspaper clippings, invoices, local scout newsletters, photographs, and artifacts in the form of patches and pins. This series multiple uses including the study of the scout memorabilia trade, Boy Scout award ceremonies and social functions in Sacramento, and drafting a biography of George I. Williams.

Arrangement

Series 1. Logbooks Series 2. Scrapbooks Series 3. Handbooks and manuals Series 4. Silver Beaver certificate and badges Series 5. Photographic negative Series 6. Annual collections

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Boy Scouts of America. Troop 1 (Davis, Calif.)
Boy Scouts of America--History.
Boy Scouts of America--Handbooks, manuals, etc.


Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Logbooks

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Scope and Content Summary

The logbooks series includes ledgers that document the daily/weekly operations aboard the vessel and the scout troop that operated it. The focus is strictly on scouting in the Sacramento region. In addition to acting as a log book for the vessel they also served as a scrapbook tracking the troop’s history. Materials contained within include rosters with required dues, newspaper clippings, photographs, permits, charters, maps, diagrams, letters, invoices, ephemera, and letters. A high percentage of these logbooks were created during World War II.
Box 1

Sea Explorer No.3 “Sacrament” Log, Edwin C. Cole, Skipper 1942-1944

Box 1

S.S.S. Sacto 1946

Box 1

S.S.S. Sacto 1947

Box 1

S.S.S. Sacto Log 5003 1948

Box 1

S.S.S. Blue Fin 144, B.T. Williams, Skipper 1966

 

Series 2. Scrapbooks

Physical Description: 6 scrapbooks

Series Scope and Content Summary

Series includes six scrapbooks documenting the activities of George Williams as a member of the Golden Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America between 1931-1974. The scrapbooks contain photographs, newsletters, programs, badges, membership cards, and newspaper clippings documenting the Boy Scouts in the Sacramento region.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically
Box 5

Scrapbook #1 1931-1958

Box 5

Scrapbook #2 1959-1962

Box 6

Scrapbook #3 1963-1966

Box 7

Scrapbook #4 1967-1969

Box 8

Scrapbook #5 1970-1971

Box 9

Scrapbook #6 1972-1974

 

Series 3. Handbooks and manuals

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Scope and Content Summary

The handbooks and manuals series focuses on handbooks and manuals used by the Boy Scouts which ranges from 1910-1995. The series is further divided into 5 sub-series; each was arranged in chronological order since no clear organization was apparent when the collection was received. The series was subdivided because the manuals were distinct enough that such an arrangement was warranted because it highlights the different aspects and branches of the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scout handbook sub-series range from 1910-1979. The Sea Scout handbook sub-series range from 1936-1966. The Air Scout handbook sub-series range from 1943-1958. The adult/troop leader handbook sub-series range from 1925-1971. The final sub-series, group histories and yearbooks, ranges from 1931-1995.
Box 2

Subseries 3.1 Boy Scout handbooks 1910-1979

Box 2

Subseries 3.2 Sea Scout handbooks 1936-1966

Box 2

Subseries 3.3 Air Scout handbooks 1943-1958

Box 2

Subseries 3.4 Adult handbooks 1925-1971

Box 2

Subseries 3.5 Yearbooks and group histories 1931-1995

Box MS 3:1, 4

Series 4. Silver Bear certificate and badges 1971

Physical Description: 1 box + 1 certificate

Series Scope and Content Summary

Certificate was issued in 1971 to George I. Williams for “distinguished service to boyhood.” 1 box of assorted Boy Scout badges.
Box 3

Series 5. Photographic negatives

Physical Description: 1 negative

Series Scope and Content Summary

One negative dated May 23, 1959. The image is from the Scout-o-Rama gathering
 

Series 6. Annual collections

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Scope and Content Summary

The annual collections series ranges from 1993-2004 and is divided into eleven separate folders which contain records for a specific year. When the collection was received the records were separated by year but no organization existed with the folders. Each folder was individually arranged by group specific records together in chronological order. The original filing structure has been maintained but is now much easier to navigate. The contents of each folder will vary slightly from year to year but most contain the following types of records which focuses on both nationals and regional boy scout history: Boy Scouts of America magazine, Boy Scout catalog, Boy Scout memorabilia catalog, letters received, letters sent, ephemera, newspaper clippings, invoices, local scout newsletters, photographs, and artifacts in the form of patches and pins. This series multiple uses including the study of the scout memorabilia trade, Boy Scout award ceremonies and social functions in Sacramento, and drafting a biography of George I. Williams.
 

Subseries 6.1 1993

Box 3:3

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 1926-1960

Box 3:3

Local Boy Scout Newsletters: The SE-KAH-KE and the Trailmarker 1993

Box 3:3

Ephemera 1993

Box 3:3

Artifacts, 3 scout patches 1993

Box 3:3

Boy Scout memorabilia: invoices 1993

 

Subseries 6.2 1994

Box 3:4

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 1994

Box 3:4

Local Newsletters: The SE-KAH-KE and the Trailmarker 1994

Box 3:4

Ephemera 1994

Box 3:4

Artifacts, 1 scout patch 1994

Box 3:4

Boy Scout memorabilia invoices 1994

Box 3:4

Letters sent 1994

 

Subseries 6.3 1995

Box 3:5

Boy Scouts of America magazine 1995

Box 3:5

Local Newsletters: The Trailmarker, On My Honor, and the Trading Post 1995

Box 3:5

Ephemera 1995

Box 3:5

Artifacts, 1 scout patch 1995

Box 3:5

Boy Scout memorabilia: invoices 1995

Box 3:5

Boy Scout museum pamphlets and membership solicitations 1995

 

Subseries 6.4 1996

Box 3:6

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 1996

Box 3:6

Local Newsletters: The Trailmarker, A Scout Is, and Se-Kah-Ke 1996

Box 3:6

Ephemera 1996

Box 3:6

Order forms and related letters 1996

Box 3:6

Boy Scout memorabilia: invoices and correspondence 1996

Box 3:6

Photographs 1996

Box 3:6

Letters received 1996

Box 3:6

Letters sent 1996

 

Subseries 6.5 1997

Box 3:7

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 1997

Box 3:7

Boy Scouts of America Catalog 1997

Box 3:7

Local newsletters: The Trailmarker, Scouting in the News, Character Counts, Pathfinder Press, and the Se-Kah-Ke 1997

Box 3:7

Newspaper clippings 1997

Box 3:7

Ephemera 1997

Box 3:7

Letters received 1997

Box 3:7

Boy Scout memorabilia: invoices and correspondence 1997

Box 3:7

Boy Scout pamphlet 1997

Box 3:7

Artifacts, 5 patches 1997

 

Subseries 6.6 1998

Box 3:8

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 1998

Box 3:8

Local newsletter: The Trailmarker 1998

Box 3:8

Newspaper clippings 1998

Box 3:8

Ephemera 1998

Box 3:8

Letters received 1998

Box 3:8

Letters sent 1998

Box 3:8

Boy Scout memorabilia: invoices and correspondence 1998

Box 3:8

Golden Counsel Calendar 1998

Box 3:8

Artifacts, 3 patches 1998

 

Subseries 6.7 1999

Box 3:9

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 1999

Box 3:9

Boy Scouts of America Catalog 1999

Box 3:9

Local newsletters: The Trailmarker, Golden Bear District Newsletter, Pack 94 newsletter 1999

Box 3:9

Newspaper clippings 1999

Box 3:9

Ephemera 1999

Box 3:9

Letters received 1999

Box 3:9

Boy Scout memorabilia: invoices and correspondence 1999

Box 3:9

Artifacts, 2 patches 1999

 

Subseries 6.8 2000

Box 3:10

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 2000

Box 3:10

Boy Scouts of America Catalog 2000

Box 3:10

Local newsletter: The Trailmarker 2000

Box 3:10

Ephemera 2000

Box 3:10

Letters received 2000

Box 3:10

Letters sent 2000

Box 3:10

Invoices 2000

Box 3:10

Pamphlets 2000

Box 3:10

Artifacts, 3 patches 2000

 

Subseries 6.9 2001

Box 3:11

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 2001

Box 3:11

Local newsletter: The Trailmarker 2001

Box 3:11

Merit badge requirements 2001

Box 3:11

Ephemera 2001

Box 3:11

Letters received 2001

Box 3:11

Letters sent 2001

Box 3:11

Invoices 2001

Box 3:11

Pamphlets and advertisements 2001

Box 3:11

Annual report 2001

Box 3:11

Photographs 2 2001

Box 3:11

Artifacts, 3 patches 2001

 

Subseries 6.10 2002

Box 3:12

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 2002

Box 3:12

Boy Scouts of America Catalog 2002

Box 3:12

Boy Scout Strategic Plan Guide 2002

Box 3:12

Local newsletter: The Trailmarker 2002

Box 3:12

Letters received 2002

Box 3:12

Letters sent 2002

Box 3:12

Invoices 2002

Box 3:12

River City District Calendar 2002

Box 3:12

Ephemera 2002

Box 3:12

Newspaper clippings 2002

Box 3:12

Photographs 2 2002

Box 3:12

Artifacts, 7 patches and 1 pin 2002

 

Subseries 6.11 2003

Box 3:13

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 2003

Box 3:13

Boy Scouts of America Catalog 2003

Box 3:13

2003 Roster 2003

Box 3:13

Newspaper clippings 2003

Box 3:13

Letters received 2003

Box 3:13

Letters sent 2003

Box 3:13

Invoices 2003

Box 3:13

Boy Scout donation sheet 2003

Box 3:13

Ephemera 2003

Box 3:13

George I. Williams personal card 2003

Box 3:13

Photographs 4 2003

Box 3:13

Artifacts, 5 patches and 1 pin 2003

 

Subseries 6.12 2004

Box 3:14

Boy Scouts of America Magazine 2004

Box 3:14

Local newsletter: The Trailmarker 2004

Box 3:14

2004 Roster 2004

Box 3:14

2004 calendar 2004

Box 3:14

Carolina Trader catalog 2004

Box 3:14

Letters received 2004

Box 3:14

Letters sent 2004

Box 3:14

Invoices 2004

Box 3:14

Ephemera 2004

Box 3:14

Unoccupied envelopes 2004