PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Portsmouth, Rhode Island, has a proud history of trailblazing men and women. While it may be easier to trace the lives and influence of the Portsmouth men, our community has had women who were important to establishing the roots and values of the community.
The Portsmouth Historical Society will celebrate some of these women on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the historical society’s museum, 870 East Main Road.
The museum doors will open at 2 p.m. and visitors will be able to view a special display of artifacts for many of the women from the society collection.
Some displays are part of the regular exhibit, but many items will be on display for this day only. At 3 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room, there will be a “round robin “ presentation on these women who have contributed to Portsmouth.
There will be a brief description of each woman’s contribution. Cards for each woman will be read by audience members.
Those who have a special connection with a woman are encouraged to read her card. After the presentation, there will be an opportunity to continue viewing displays.
The booklet “Portsmouth Women,” with more detailed information on each of the women, will be available for a donation ($5 is the suggestion) to pay for printing costs.
Some of the women that will be celebrated are famous. Anne Hutchinson and Julia Ward Howe are well known. Some of the women have had quiet yet influential roles in our Portsmouth community.
Teachers: Isabella Fish, Elizabeth Wilkey
Artists: Sarah Eddy, Sophie Mitchell
Community Volunteers: Emeline Eldredge, Ruth Earle
Reformers: Phebe Hathaway, Cora Mitchel, Clara May Miller
Faithful Women: Sarah Gibbs, Sarah Fish Tucker, Mary Dyer,
Women of Hospitality: Mary Durfee, Ruth Durfee, Mary Payne Tripp
Women of Means who contributed to the community: Barbara Norman Cook, Edith
Taylor Nicholson, Alice Brayton
Women who shared their stories: Geraldine Leis, Mary Lou Camara, Nan Waters
Women whose stories are infamous: Jane Hawkins and Rebecca Cornell, Herodias
Long Gardner Hicks Porter
Founding Mothers, some of whose names are unknown.
Wives and Mothers: Sophia Brownell Mitchel and Floride Mitchel May
The Portsmouth Historical Society continues to look for suggestions of more Portsmouth Women to research and celebrate.
The Portsmouth Historical Society is a volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Portsmouth, Rhode Island’s history.