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Guide to the E Clampus Vitus Historic Sites Collection MS 49
MS 49  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information

  • Title: E Clampus Vitus Historic Sites Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 49
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.0 Linear feet (2 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1530-2000
    Abstract: This collection contains historic site reports compiled by the San Diego-based Squibob Chapter of the E Clampus Vitus fraternal organization, either to apply for historic designation or in preparation of dedication ceremonies and the installation of commemorative plaques.
    creator: Squibob Chapter #1853.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus (ECV) is a fraternal organization dedicated to the study and preservation of Western Heritage, in particular the history of the Mother Lode and gold mining regions of the area. There are chapters in California, Nevada and other Western states. Members call themselves "Clampers." The organization's name is in Dog Latin, and has no known meaning. The motto of the Order, “Credo Quia Absurdum,” is generally understood as meaning "I believe it because it is absurd." They are perhaps best known for their role in the 1936 “Drake’s Plate of Brass” hoax.
    The organization has raised legitimate historical plaques in many places throughout the West (often those sites such as bordellos and saloons overlooked by more traditional historical societies), with a traditional "doin's," or party, after each plaque dedication. These are now common in historical areas around California and the West. When in the Gold Country, a Clamper-placed plaque is never far away. The fraternity jokes that it is not sure if it is a "historical drinking society" or a "drinking historical society."
    San Diego and Imperial Counties are home to the “Squibob” Chapter, which has devoted considerable effort to the placement of historical plaques in the region. The collection of Squibob publications held by the San Diego Historical Society details the history of those efforts and that of the sites they represent.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains historic site reports compiled by the San Diego-based Squibob Chapter of the E Clampus Vitus fraternal organization, either to apply for historic designation or in preparation of dedication ceremonies and the installation of commemorative plaques. The reports primarily consist of detailed histories of these sites, with footnotes or bibliographies of conducted research. Also included is a file of ephemera from the organization, with programs, invitations to events, and other mailers.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged alphabetically by publication title, with the exception of the final folder, which contains miscellaneous documents not related to the other publications. The date ranges refer to the period of history being summarized.

    Preferred Citation

    E Clampus Vitus Collection, MS 49, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Daniel Eakin in September 2007.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chamberlin, Eugene K., PhD.
    E Clampus Vitus (Fraternal order).
    California Registered Historic Landmarks
    Historic landmarks
    Historic sites