About The Sound of the Baskervilles
The Sound of the Baskervilles is a literary organization founded to study and discuss the original Sherlock Holmes stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Through monthly meetings, our newsletter Ineffable Twaddle, special events and activities, we analyze and celebrate Sherlockiana in all forms, including canon, pastiche, film, radio and television adaptations, and fandom. We are an irreverent group of mystery solvers, collectors, Anglophiles, and fans of Victoriana, fondly referred to as The SOBs.
Members at the 2016 Annual Reichenbach Remembered Wreath Toss
Founded as a scion society of The Baker Street Irregulars* to serve the greater Puget Sound region of Western Washington, The Sound of the Baskervilles was christened on March 31, 1980. The first meeting was held on the Seattle-to-Bainbridge Island ferry. The name derives from a merging of HOUND and Puget Sound, the body of water along which the major cities of our region lie.
* BSI scion societies are local Sherlockian groups affiliated with the BSI International, whose own membership is by invitation only. Membership in local scions is determined by each local group.
Our Mission: The purpose of this Club is to encourage interest in and the study of the Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through the conduct of monthly meetings, other social events, and publications. The goal is to recruit, welcome, engage with and retain as members anyone interested in Sherlock Holmes. The Sound of the Baskervilles is an inclusive group highly invested in the well-being and safety of all Sherlockians.
Our Credo: While a literary organization drawing members from all walks of life, every age group, and with varied interests, we are a slightly irreverent group. Not all are scholars of Sherlock Holmes, but all are Holmes and Watson fans.
It is simple to join: Complete an application (name, address, phone #, email address) and pay the dues. There are no admittance requirements, no test of one’s knowledge, no limit on members, no other restrictions. Currently, with 104 individual memberships PLUS 19 family memberships, our membership totals 123 households and nearly 130 people.
Our History & Founding: The Sound of the Baskervilles was christened, literally, on March 31, 1980, when a fete—organized and hosted by one Janet Baily—was held that day on the Seattle-to-Bainbridge Island ferry, and drew attendance of more than 100 people. Jan’s husband Gil, a reporter with the (now-defunct) Seattle Post-Intelligencer, had placed a very effective press release about the event at which discussion of Jan’s aim to form a Sherlock Holmes Club was discussed and a short film was shown.
The Club’s name, suggested by Mrs. Baily, derives from a merging of “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” one of the most popular of Conan Doyle’s stories, and the Puget Sound. She agreed to serve as the Club’s President for six months; at which time, elections were to be held with the new president then assuming leadership. Mrs. Baily proposed organizing into a Club that meets frequently and welcomes all who have an interest in Sherlock Holmes and the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Elections, Board Positions & General Style Of Operation: Board Members consist of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Board Member- Emeritus. Additional “jobs” held include the Reference Librarian, the Associate Editor, the Program Manager, and the Webmaster; members in these positions also hold voting rights and are active in Club decision-making. All positions are filled by volunteers and most of these offices/positions have been held for several years at a time; e.g., our second Treasurer served from October 1981 through February 1994.
Each monthly meeting is devoted to the study of one of Conan Doyle’s 60 Canonical stories, usually featuring discussion and a quiz, chaired by the President or Vice President, or by a member who’s Canonical alter-ego appears in that story. Meeting content also has included presentations and discussions on a wide variety of Victorian and Anglophile topics and current events, such as films, books and TV shows. The Chair of the meeting will also make announce-ments of upcoming planned social events. Each meeting is opened with a toast to “Murray, without whom” (Watson’s orderly at Maiwand) and is closed with a reading (or recitation) of Vincent Starrett’s poem “221B.”
Meetings and social activities are held in public venues and in private homes. Public venues include free-use space, such as public libraries, and restaurants, at which attendees pay for their own refreshments.
Since the pandemic closed down in-person activities in March 2020, The SOBs have stayed in communication with Members and friends across the U.S. and Canada via by-monthly email communiques, the monthly newsletter and, of course, monthly Zoom Meetings, to which we generally draw 30 to 40 Members and guests.
Sound of the Baskervilles Board Members
|Kashena Konecki||Vice President|
|Terri Haugen||Secretary, Publications Editor|
|Lauren Messenger||Associate Editor|
|Chris “Bear” Berwald||Reference Librarian|
|Al Nelson||Board Member Emeritus|
|Sondra “Sunny” Even||Program Manager|