The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus (ECV) is a fraternal organization dedicated to the study and preservation of Western Heritage, especially the history of the Mother Lode and gold mining regions of the area. There are chapters in California, Nevada and other western states. Members call themselves "Clampers." The organization's name is in Dog Latin, and has no known meaning; even the spelling is disputed, sometimes appearing as "Clampus", "Clampsus", or "Clampsis". The motto of the Order, Credo Quia Absurdum, is generally understood as meaning "I believe it because it is absurd."; the proper Latin quotation Credo quia absurdum est, is from the Christian apologist Tertullian (140-230), who rejected rationalism and accepted a Gospel which addressed itself to the "non-rational levels of perception."
The current incarnation of ECV (yes, it has evolved over it's illustrious history) spends most of its time concerning itself with the preservation of Western Lore by "Plaquing" lesser know historic sites and items. Plaques describing esoteric subjects as the first bordellos in the area, or where some lesser know bandit may have stopped for a drink are examples of the smaller details "Clampers" like to showcase.