You Wish I Was Your Mom

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.

Lucy Stone, life-sized statue at The Boston Women's Memorial

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!


6 comments on “You Wish I Was Your Mom

  1. Anna Belle says:

    The title of this post comes from Lily herself, just so you know I’m not a raging narcissist (though I sometimes am). She gets to take one friend with her, and they’re all jockeying for position amidst laments that they wished their moms were so cool. Groovy.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mbfromhb, annabellep. annabellep said: You Wish I Was Your Mom: A Plan to Take my Daughter on a Women's History Adventure […]

  3. SYD says:

    Would love to do all of that! And I am now kicking myself that, through my long weeks in Boston I did not know about the Women’s Heritage Trail. I could have used the inspiration back then… it was a dark time for me.

    My son and I went to see Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home, the Seneca Fall Museum, and Susan B. Anthony’s home as well. On our final trip home from Harvard. That was a wonderful journey! We overnighted in Seneca Falls for the 4th of July and watched fireworks from our hotel balcony.

    Be sure to take an official tour at Susan B.’s home. They had so much to tell us about her life and times. And the tiny gift shop there is a must… for your daughter’s birthday. I bought a “Woman in the White House” T, and have yet to wear it. (Maybe 2012 will provide an opportunity? Hmmm…..)


  4. SYD says:

    Just sent a donation. Now you must PROMISE to blog about your pilgrimage. Post pics too! Esp. along the Boston trail.



    • Anna Belle says:

      Thanks Syd. How wonderful that you took your son! Thanks for the donation. No worries on posting. We’ll be posting every day, and I’ll be resurrecting Lily’s account so she can share her thoughts as well. Thanks!

  5. Alison says:

    Annabelle, you ARE the coolest mom ever! And now giving me new ideas of what special things I can do with my daughter when she hits her teens. I’ll do some NYC research since I used to live there for many, many years. I think there may be some interesting Brooklyn sites. Also, I live 45 minutes from Boston and never knew about all the sites you mention. Cool! Can’t wait for you to experience all of this and can’t wait to read about it myself.

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