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Temperance Coffee House Card

Identifier: RH-A-3994


  • Creation: approximately 1875


Biographical / Historical

Temperance organizations started in Kalamazoo in 1836. The city directories have no listing for a Temperance Coffee House but there is information in the 1876 Kalamazoo City Directory about the Kalamazoo Temperance Association, organized in June, 1875 which opened the "Holly Tree Inn" coffee rooms at 40 N. Burdick Street. The aim of the organization was to reform those who "habitually use intoxicating drinks," and coffee proved to be an acceptable alternative. On November 16, 1875, the Jackson Weekly Citizen stated, "A number of towns are considering the subject of following the good example of Kalamazoo and starting temperance coffee houses."

On March 3, 1876, the Kalamazoo Gazette notes a fundraiser by the Literary Society of the High School for the benefit of the Temperance Coffee Rooms. On April 18, 1876, the Gazette reported there were forty-two people who ate dinner at the Temperance Coffee House and on May 28, 1876 it was mentioned that a total of sixty-three people had dinner there. There is no other mention of the Temperance Coffee House in the Gazette after that year. It would have been located on the east side of North Burdick just to the south of Eleanor Street in the same building as the Phelps and Bigelow Company.


.05 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The off-white card is 2 ¾” x4 ½” with black bold-face type announcing information about the Temperance Coffee House and Free Reading Rooms at 40 North Burdick St. in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Other information on the card includes the times of meals and meetings. On the back of the card are words written in pencil with prices. The only two legible words on the back are 'Ice Box.' at the top. The card is in good condition although there is some discoloration measuring ¼”x 2 ½” on the right side.


Purchased with funds from the Starring Endowment.

Temperance Coffee House Card Finding Aid
Lynn Houghton
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490