Clio Logo
LGBTQ History in the Capital
Item 4 of 7
This was the final location of Lammas Women's Books & More, a lesbian and feminist bookstore that operated from 1974 to 2000. Founded as a jewelry and craft store in 1974 at 321 7th Street SE near Eastern Market, Lammas later evolved into a bookstore and moved to several locations before landing on 17th Street NW. In addition to being a bookstore, Lammas was a community space where lesbians could organize actions, watch movies, and attend workshops.

  • Lammas advertisement in "The Blade," December 1977. Courtesy of the Rainbow History Project (reproduced under Fair Use)

In 1974, Lammas opened as a craft and jewelry store that also stocked some books. It quickly evolved into a bookstore. Lammas was a meeting space for women in the lesbian community as well as a retail store. The publication Women's Monthly, which at one time was published by Lammas, conducted a survey around the time of the store's closure and found that most respondents attended events there like author readings or movie screenings in addition to patronizing it by purchasing books.

Owners of the store over the years included Jane Troxell, who later became the director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, and Sylvia Colon.

The closing of Lammas was part of a rise in independent bookstore closures in the early 2000s, due in part to the growth of chain and online booksellers. During this period, distinctly lesbian spaces were also closing in the Washington, DC area as LGBTQ culture gained more mainstream acceptance.

Alston-Akers, Melanie H. Losing Lammas, Women's Monthly. July 2002. Accessed July 21st 2020.

Anonymous. Lammas Women's Books and More, Lost Womyn's Spaces. September 28th 2011. Accessed July 19th 2020.

Hoover, Eric. Fading Places, Washington City Paper. October 13th 2000. Accessed July 19th 2020.

Williams, Stephanie. A historical walking tour and a revitalized march honor D.C.’s lesbian past, Washington Post. May 30th 2019. Accessed July 19th 2020.

Image Sources(Click to expand)