How did Fraternity Snoqualmie get started? We’ll tell you how. We don’t know! Nudism was in its infancy, having started in Germany early in the 20th century and finally in the United States in 1929. There were no web sites and no nudist publications. Even the local newspapers would not accept ads for anything relating to nudism. Some people had read about the nudist movement and knew that this would be a great lifestyle. Surely, there were others who felt the same way. But without the communications media that are available to us today, how could they get together? It would be a slow, painstaking process. “Word of mouth. Tell your friends. Steer the conversation.” Slowly, by some unexplainable force, the potential nudists were drawn together. And they talked about the revolutionary new lifestyle.

“All right! We’ve talked long enough! Let’s give it a try! But where can we find enough privacy?” At first, there were nude gatherings in private homes or in enclosed back yards. Then there were outings to secluded beaches or clearings in the forests. It soon became obvious that a permanent home would be needed. This meant finding land of their own.

“First, we’ve gotta get organized.” Everything pointed to a non-profit corporation. “What will we call our new corporation? Well, we might name it after the location. Cascade Mountains? Puget Sound? Snoqualmie National Forest? That’s it! How about Snoqualmie Nudist Club? No, we’d better be careful with the word ‘nudist.’ Snoqualmie Club? Nah! How about Snoqualmie Society? Sounds good. But there are advantages to being a fraternal organization rather than a social organization.(Well, at least that’s what some people believed.) All right, how about Snoqualmie Fraternity? Good, but let’s emphasize ‘Fraternity’. Let’s put it first. ‘Fraternity Snoqualmie’. We have a name!”

Then came all the bureaucratic paper work of applying for corporate status. “What are the ‘Purposes of the Association’? Well, we want to say ‘nudism’ without actually saying ‘nudism’.” So the Articles of Association ended up with a lot of barely understandable buzz words and phrases, “…the great social damage done by the ‘body taboo’…, …liberation of the mind from the thraldom of social conventions…” and a lot of other gobbledygook. But the state bought it long with the bylaws. It was 1937 and the neophyte nudists were now incorporated.

We don’t have any details on how the land was acquired, but the original location was in Snohomish County, at the present home of the Lake Bronson Club. It was a beautiful spot, primitive and unspoiled. To stay there for a weekend meant “roughing it”. But, at last, the members had a place of their own where they could shed their clothing and the feelings of guilt and shame which the clothing symbolized. This would be the home of Fraternity Snoqualmie until the mid 1940’s.

← Previous “Introduction”

Next “Part II: A New Home” →