Women’s Heritage

 

Written by Sophia Dembling

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Kate Clifford Larson is the author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.

Kate Clifford Larson, Ph.D., was intrigued by Harriet Tubman when her daughter studied the famous abolitionist in elementary school. But when she looked for a biography of Tubman written for adults, the most recent one Larson could find was from the 1940s.

Thus began her career as a Tubman scholar.

Larson's book Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero came out in 2003, and she has since become a go-to scholar, consulting with Eastern seaboard states developing Harriet Tubman sites and, recently, with HBO about a miniseries co-produced with and starring Viola Davis.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

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Villa Lewaro, home of self-made female entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker.

March is Women’s History Month, a time when we as a nation reflect on the contributions, stories, and struggles of American women. It seems a bit strange -- given that we are over half the country’s population -- that women get just one month, but this is actually an improvement: Originally, it was Women’s History Week, and before that, only a few short decades ago, the only women whose stories made it into textbooks tended to be First Ladies.

Even now, twenty-eight years after Congress made Women’s History Month official, strides for women’s equality and recognition across the spectrum continue to lag behind. Preservation is no different. Over the years, we have not always done what we could to highlight and preserve places that tell the rich, diverse stories of American women.

So here at the National Trust -- where I am proud to serve as the first woman president and CEO -- we are working hard to save places that tell these stories, and help us to better understand who we are as a nation. And there are plenty of remarkable ones to be told!... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Stephanie Meeks

Stephanie K. Meeks

Stephanie K. Meeks is president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

 

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This 1998 statue, by Ted Aub, depicts the first meeting in 1851 between famed suffragettes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, (who were introduced by activist Amelia Bloomer, depicted in the center).

Can you name 20 American historical figures that are women, excluding famous athletes, celebrities, and First Ladies? Most college students cannot, which isn’t surprising given that less than 5% of the content of history textbooks refers to women. On top of that, only 8% of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places embody underrepresented communities, including women.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York aims to change that.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Meghan O'Connor

Meghan O'Connor

Meghan O’Connor is the member services assistant at the National Trust. She enjoys learning, writing, and talking about museums, art, architecture, and anything historic.

 

By Sophia Dembling

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Hetty Jane blasted the Great Pool out of granite as a swimming pool. It has several tiers of cascading water.

It all started with a little recreational trespassing.

"Everybody trespassed," says Jennifer Bigham. "Gazillions of people had done the same thing."

So she and her husband, just to satisfy their curiosity, climbed over a little fence to explore the ruins of Dunaway Gardens in Newnan, Georgia.

At first glance the property looked like little more than kudzu and swamp. But Bigham, who lives in nearby Peachtree City, saw magic.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

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Paul Robeson spent the last decade of his life in this West Philadelphia house after retiring from his show business career.

Scholar, athlete, singer, actor, civil rights activist. Paul Robeson, born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1898, was a man who played many roles throughout his long life, gaining fame and recognition for his deep baritone voice and passionate acting in film and on stage. As a young man, he was only the third African-American student ever admitted to Rutgers University, earning a full academic scholarship and All-American recognition for his prowess on the football field. Later, his stage roles included Othello, both on Broadway and in a Royal Shakespeare Company production, and he starred in films like “The Emperor Jones,” “Proud Valley” and “Jericho.”

Robeson's strong support of anti-lynching legislation and stance against McCarthyism, as well as his affiliation with Communism, got him blacklisted in the 1950s. His career stalled after his passport was revoked and he could no longer travel abroad, and he spent the last decade of his life living with his sister and her husband in a modest house in West Philadelphia. He passed away in 1976, at the age of 77.

Thanks to the work of one woman, that house is now a vibrant community arts center. Frances Aulston has been working with the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, which owns and operates the house, since 1984. In recognition of her decades of service to the community and work with the Paul Robeson House, Aulston was recently honored by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. I spoke with her about her passion for Paul Robeson's house and legacy, and the neighborhood that he called home.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

 

By Sophia Dembling

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When the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club purchased the Excelsior Hotel in 1959, the ladies cleaned and furnished the neglected building themselves.

In the 1930s, a group of ladies started getting together to share recipes and gossip. They ended up saving a town.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.