Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Sporadic Existence of the Davis Chamber of Commerce (67)

DE, 1-3-63
The current conventional reckoning is that the Davis Chamber of Commerce began in 1905 and has been a continuous and active entity since then.

But, the other day I happened upon a January 3, 1963 Davis Enterprise article reporting how that organization was started in 1925.

Puzzled, I then looked at Joann Larkey’s Davisville ’68 where I discovered the Chamber’s history seems even more complex. According to her, the organization lapsed, ceased, and/or was resurrected in 1907, 1914, and 1916, as well as in 1925. I reproduce two Larkey items in which details are provided.
Larkey, Davisville '68, p. 124

I infer from other sources that there has apparently been, historically, a tension between an organizational concept of a businessman/retailer association and a broader idea of a “chamber” that features non-retailers. These two divergent concepts waxed and waned in support over the decades and resulted in organizational succession or, at times, no association at all. Other factors may also have been at work, such as civic apathy or exhaustion.

Larkey, Portraits, 1-21-71