Celebrate Women’s History Month at These Historical Hudson Valley Sites
March is a special month for all the ladies everywhere, it's Women's History Month. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Thankfully, this movement gave women the right to vote, GO US!
Ladies, we make the world go round’ no big deal. I always talk about how truly amazing it is to live here in the Hudson Valley with the views, hiking trails and historical sites in our backyard. We are lucky to also have had such inspiring women in our region who helped shape not only the Hudson Valley but the world as well. Let’s take time to appreciate these ladies who were true pioneers.Check out just a few of the many women who made the Hudson Valley an even cooler place to live by their actions and fortitude.
- Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site at Val-Kill
The former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt made Hyde Park her personal home when not with FDR across the street. She named her beautiful cottage Val-Kill which became a National Historic Site. I had the chance to visit these remarkable grounds with my sister a few years back. Eleanor had a passion for civil rights, women’s rights and being a positive figure for women all around the world. My favorite part of visiting Val-Kill was her living space where her chair was set up much higher than her male guests who would visit to discuss business (boss move).
106 Val kill Park Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538
- Frances, Franny Reese
Franny Reese was known for spending her life protecting historical and nature sites throughout the Hudson Valley. She stopped the production of a hydroelectric power plant that was going to be built on Storm King Mountain. Franny was such an inspiration that she now has a preserve named after her called Franny Reese State Park. The trails are located in Highland, are free and open year round. They feature a 19th century building along with views of the Walkway Over the Hudson. Franny Reese State Park is in Ulster County in the town of Lloyd.
Macks Ln, Highland, NY 12528
- Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger is mainly known as the founder and educator of Planned Parenthood, how neat! She was a nurse before taking another road into writing where she found herself educating women once again. Margaret worked for New York Call where she started a column for women’s health and working towards birth control options. She worked very hard for women’s rights throughout the years and then thankfully, opened the first birth control clinic in the US with her sister. Margaret never gave up even after her clinic was closed and then spending time in jail for doing what she believed in. Thankfully she kept fighting and started Planned Parenthood and opened the first legal birth control clinic allowing women to get the services they needed.
The Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center
Art exhibit of paintings by Margaret Sanger
9 & 12 Vassar Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-3022
- Sarah Wells
Have you ever heard of Sarah Wells Trail? I have passed this location several times and never thought of the history behind it. Sarah ventured out of Manhattan and settled in Goshen in 1712, being the first female settler. It’s hard to believe that she was an orphan and yet overcame her struggles to help settle land in the Hudson Valley. Sarah was working for Elizabeth and Christopher Denne at the time and in return received 100 acres in Goshen. This journey took Sarah 2 days and over 20 miles to get to her location. She then married a man named William Bull and had 12 children together. Sarah and William built a 10 room stone house that still exists in Campbell Hall, I totally have to check this out!
Cool fact: Sarah lived to be over 100 years old.
William Bull & Sarah Wells
183 Co Rd 51, Campbell Hall, NY 10916
- Sybil Ludington
This is by far one of my favorite stories of historic Hudson Valley Women. On one of my many adventures throughout the Hudson Valley with my sister, we came across one of the NYS Historic Markers of Sybil Ludington. We quickly turned around and had to grab a picture of the sign and read all about her brave efforts. Her father was known as Colonel Henry Ludington who was a volunteer militia officer. He had a super cool job of being an aide to General George Washington. I find it fascinating that she was only 16 years old and yet she rode 40 miles on horseback in the middle of the night to warn George Washington of the British attacks and how they were coming.When Sybil returned home, about 400 troops were already at the Ludington home ready to take on the British.
Her brave efforts in 1777 have lived on forever. GO Sybil!
Historic Marker located in Carmel, New York, located in Putnam County
- Sojourner Truth Freedom Trail
Sojourner Truth’s life is an absolute inspiration. We may know her for her brave efforts of escaping slavery in 1826 and leaving her slave master hoping for a better life. Thankfully, she ended up in New Paltz where a couple took her in and let her live with them until the emancipation in New York State started.
Isabella Baumfree was her name but she took upon the name Sojourner when she became an Abolitionist and worked for women’s rights. Sojourner became the first African American woman to win a court case against a white man.
Her life was not easy but her determination is something that will be remembered forever. Not only did she become women’s right activist but also an evangelist and abolitionist.
SUNY New Paltz library
Sojourner Truth Library
300 Hawk Dr, New Paltz, NY 12561
Sojourner Truth Statue
172 Broadway, Port Ewen, NY 12466
I am so proud to be a woman, especially a woman from the Hudson Valley. These remarkable ladies created a path in so many different ways for a better life not only for themselves but for us as well. Which story was your favorite? Have you been to any of these historical sites? Leave a comment below :)