Welcome to New Charter Members!

The Society is delighted to welcome four additional new Charter Members. Please join in our traditional greeting as we bring these new Watsonians among our fold:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Kenneth Siarkiewicz, JHWS “Cooper”

Mr Siarkiewicz joins us from Tucson, Arizona. He has been a Sherlockian since the early 1900’s and reads deeply in the Canon and the Baker Street Journal. We look forward to his participation and contribution to the Society.

Eric Swope, JHWS “Punch”

Mr Swope joins us from Mishawaka, Indiana.  He is a member of the following:

» The  Society of the Solitary Cyclists
» The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis
» The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
» The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota
» The  Red Circle of Washington, D.C.
» The Bootmakers of Toronto
»  The Mycroft Holmes Society of Syracuse
» The Younger Stamfords
» The Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem
» The John H Watson Society

He writes:

“I am a third generation Californian with a life long affection for both John H. Watson and the Great Detective himself. I specialize in rare Sherlockiana and enjoy my involvement with numerous societies. I am the secretary for the Society of the Solitary Cyclists and just recently attended my first Sherlockian conference in Minneapolis. I enjoy reaching out to the younger generation about Sherlockian

We welcome “Punch” and look forward to his participation in “things Watsonian.”

Margaret Nelson, JHWS “Annie”

Mrs Nelson lives in Seattle and is a member of The Sound of the Baskervilles (SOB’s). Margaret was a member of the Open Team Competition that won First Place in the First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt with a perfect score of 100 points. She enjoys growing old garden roses. Recently she wrote a mini-monograph, Moss Roses in Two Classic Victorian Mysteries. Of course it includes the rose in The Naval  Treaty. 

Allen Nelson, JHWS “Trix”

Mr Nelson resides in Seattle with his bride Margaret and was also a member of the winning Open Team Competition in the JHWS Treasure Hunt.

He is also a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and the Sound of the Baskervilles. In 2009 he went to a meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London to hear a lecture on the battle of Maiwand. The next year, we both traveled to Salisbury where he again met the lecturer, Colonel (Retired) M.J. Cornwell, who is the Curator of the Rifles, Berkshire (Watson’s regiment) and Wiltshire Museum.They have a large copper beech tree on the grounds. They also had displays about the first battle of Maiwand and the modern war in Afghanistan. Ironically, the Nelson’s new son-in-law is in the infantry and has been to Afghanistan twice. He was several times asked “I perceive you have been in Afghanistan…” when he came to a SOB meeting.

Treasure Hunt Winners!

The 2013 First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt was a success!

Many of our members (and many non-members) have reported that it was “fiendishly difficult,” “maddeningly hard,” and “just plain tough.” There were 100 questions, linked, requiring the solver to work from question 1 through to question 100 in order to arrive at the identification of the Ultimate Treasure. The devisers of the Treasure Hunt believe that it may be the most difficult quiz ever set in Watsonian and Sherlockian history.

Participants were given one month to complete the Treasure Hunt and the winners were determined by the number of correct answers, the date and time of submission of the answers, and the correct solution to the final Ultimate Treasure.

Were are delighted to announce that we have winners! There are members and non-members who persevered and found their way to the solution.

The 2013 winners of the First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt  are:

Open Team Competition:

The team consisting of Society Members from Seattle’s Sound of the Baskervilles (SOB’s) who scored a perfect 100 on the very difficult questions. Their team consists of:

Stephen Adkins, JHWS “Alfie”
Margie Deck, JHWS “Gwen”
David Haugen
Sheila Holtgrieve, JHWS “Daisy”
Allen Nelson, JHWS “tbn”
Margaret Nelson,  JHWS “tbn”

Congratulations to Team SOB’s on their scholarship, teamwork and their perseverance. They report having logged hundreds of hours during the month-long Treasure Hunt. They also competed entirely for the fun and joy and specifically requested that they be awarded no prize. Instead, the Society has awarded two-year Charter Memberships to the team non-members as a token of its respect and admiration and to joyfully obtain four new members who are dynamite quizzers. The team will defend in the 2014 Second Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt scheduled for June 2014.

Open Individual Competition:

Working entirely alone and finally completing the Treasure Hunt just as his wife was preparing to pack his bags for him after twenty-three days of Treasure Hunt obsession, and as his grandchildren were constantly questioning “What in the world is wrong with Pop?” our intrepid Society member Denny Dobry, JHWS “Kirby,” who resides in Reading, Pennsylvania and is the  Current Gasogene of the White Rose Irregulars of York, took Open Individual honours with a score of  98 correct answers. Denny even managed to find numerous alternative, accurate answers to questions that Buttons overlooked. Congratulations to “Kirby” on a job well done. He wins the Treasure Hunt Prize, a British First Edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes donated by an anonymous member.

The Open Student Competition attracted no entries. We would encourage all Society members to “adopt a student for the Canon” and encourage participation in next year’s Treasure Hunt.

The Open Team International Competition has been extended to 9 September 2013 and a winner will be announced if the correct entry is received.

The answers to the 2013 Treasure Hunt will be added to the Treasure Hunt page on 9 September 2013 when the competition is officially closed.

Congratulations to all who participated, those who tried, those who persevered, and those who achieved success. Next year, the Treasure Hunt will be revised and a focus on teams as well as inter-Canonical organization competition will be strengthened. And . . . It will be even more difficult!

Please watch for announcements of the 2014 Second Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt over the months ahead. Also, please watch in the next month for an announcement of a major new event being sponsored by our Society that will involve the entire Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world!  This is going to be VERY exciting!

And now . . . after a long labour . . . perhaps Buttons shall have a steak and kidney pie and a pint of best bitter . . . or two . . . .

The 2013 Treasure Hunt is Closed. The 2014 Treasure Hunt is Announced!

The 2013 Treasure Hunt is closed. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, 4 September 2013 on this Blog page. The International category will remain open until 9 September 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific) and the winner of the International category will be announced here shortly thereafter.

The 2014 John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt is Announced!

The 2014 Treasure Hunt will have slight changes and will shift focus towards open individual and team participation and competition from scion clubs and organisations worldwide. Society members, individuals and teams will find a detailed explanation of the 2014 Treasure Hunt on the Treasure Hunt Page of the website.

We encourage preparation and assembling of resources for the next John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt which we promise will be as difficult as the 2013 edition. We also are announcing new collectible awards in lieu of tangible prizes.


A very positive development has come to our attention. Our esteemed colleagues in France, The Sherlock Holmes Society of France, have been working on the Treasure Hunt. They had to order reference materials from the United States and these have taken significant time to receive. They are nearing completion, but have requested an extension of the deadline.Buttons has not extended the deadline, as one cannot change the rules after the fact. However, Buttons has created a new category, the International category, and has given a one week extension for that category  to 9 September 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific).

This benefits The John H Watson Society in a number of ways:

1. It gives us international exposure and the opportunity to shift our annual Treasure Hunt into a worldwide experience beginning in 2014.

2. It gives us the privilege of building a bond with one of the largest, oldest and most respected Sherlockian societies in the world:  La Société Sherlock Holmes de France .

3. It allows us to expand the awareness of the John H Watson Annual Treasure Hunt to many more people and clubs in order to make it an even more meaningful measure of global scholarship and Canonical knowledge.

4. It supports the evidence from this year’s inaugural John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt that the Society will benefit from shifting its Treasure Hunt focus slightly to include inter-scion and inter-club competition, as well as individuals. Everyone benefits when the base is broadened to include more people and more organisations; it’s a win-win-win.

Therefore, having made a unilateral decision for the benefit of the Society, Buttons will not post the answers to the Treasure Hunt until 9 September 2013. The winners of the Members and other categories will be announced as scheduled on Thursday, 4 September 2013. The new International category will be announced on 9 September 2013.

Buttons sincerely hopes this has the approval and support of the Members. The guiding thoughts are, as always, fairness and inclusion, all in support of the integrity, reputation, and expansion of the Society and its aims.

Welcome to Jim Rudolf, JHWS “Monty”

The Society welcomes Mr Jim Rudolf to Charter Membership. Jim resides in Durham, New Hampshire. Mr Rudolf is a life-long follower of the Canon. He writes:

“At about the age of 11 I discovered a volume of collected Holmes stories on one of the large bookshelves in my Grandmother’s living room in Westfield, New Jersey. I devoured the volume during my short visit at her house over my Thanksgiving vacation from school. I have since read the canon many times over and have encouraged many of my literarily-minded friends to do so as well. I later discovered pastiche collections and Sherlockian scholarly writings and have enjoyed them very much.

During my graduate studies, the focus of which was Victorian literature, I was
pleased to be able to study the Canon and the life of Arthur Conan Doyle with
new understanding and purpose, to present several papers on the subject (which I
may begin to revise for possible future submissions), and to continue to get other people hooked. My thesis did not end up being specifically focused on Holmes, but on Poe and Hawthorne, and some of the similarities between some of their characters and Holmes’ reasoning and deductive abilities. More recently I’ve been teaching writing at the local university and a community college, and have been
incorporating Holmes stories in a variety of classroom exercises. I began receiving the Baker Street Journal in 2007, and I am extremely excited to be regularly receiving another periodical devoted to the study the Canon.

Thank you for inviting me to become a charter member. I am pleased and honored.

Please welcome “Monty” to membership with our greeting: “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”