Anna Belle & Lily’s Excellent Women’s History Adventure 2010
Lily Peacock is 16 this summer. She is lovely; a smart, warm, funny idealist who has managed to so far surpass all the lofty goals I held for her upon her birth. Since she was an infant it has been my plan during her sixteenth summer to take her on a whirlwind tour of the East Coast and New England in search of women’s history. There is so much to share. She is sixteen. The time is now.
We are leaving June 25th and will be gone 11 days. I am planning for her a trip beyond her wildest imagination. Names like Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul, among others, have populated her childhood. Unlike me, she will not have to go to college to learn of the legacy left by the amazing women from our history. But there is something to be said for being there and seeing the hallowed ground upon which their accomplishments were built. I know; I took my niece on a miniature version of this tour 12 years ago.
My niece and I made a pilgrimage to Seneca Falls, NY to see the birthplace of the women’s rights movement in America. We stopped by the Susan. B. Anthony house in Rochester as well, but on a day it was closed. For Lily I will go so much bigger. We will start our journey in Cheltenham, PA, the home of Lucretia Mott. From there we will drive to near Boston, where we will camp for three nights while we explore what Boston and the surrounding area has to offer us. I know I want to see the Boston Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue, and check out the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail. I also want to explore Mercy Otis Warren’s monument in Barnstable, as well drive out to Lucy Stone’s homestead in West Brookfield. There is so much in Boston proper, or within an hour drive. I hope we can fit it all in!
From there we will head to Rochester, where I will at long last get to see Susan B. Anthony’s home. I can’t wait to fill my daughters ears with stories of her hiking from that home, often through the snow, walking hundreds of miles to maintain connections and spread the word about women’s rights. After that we will head to nearby Seneca Falls, a mere two hours away. We will camp there like we will in Boston, because this part of New York is rich with women’s history. In addition to the National Women’s Rights Historic State Park, there is Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s small house, where she miraculously raised her seven children, and Jane Hunt’s house in nearby Waterloo.
From there we will stop in New York City on our way to the Alice Paul Institute in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. New York City has so much women’s history I don’t even know where to start. I’m still working on this portion of the tour, so if you know of sites in NYC, please drop me a line in e-mail, or post it in comments. We’ll be in NYC July 2 & 3rd, visiting Mount Laurel, NJ on the 3rd, as it’s just an hour and a half drive. On July 4th we will drive to Philadelphia, were we will explore the rich American history in that city on the day of our nation’s birth. The next day we will drive home, exhausted, educated, and hopefully happy.
I’ll of course be blogging the entire thing, complete with pictures, from the road, so be sure to check back frequently between June 25th and July 5th to see where we are and what we’re doing. I haven’t worked out the entire itenerary yet, and will post more details as I know them. If you’ve got sites you want to promote, share them in comments or e-mail.
Finally, I haven’t pushed the PayPal button (top-right) for a long time, but if you’ve got a little to spare, give a thought to helping us fund this trip. If you can’t spare it, please don’t dare it!