Author Archive | The Director

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The Silent Steed So Swift and Blithesome

In the late nineteenth century, American cities were filled with bicycles. People from all walks of life embraced them, which shaped urban environments. Frances Willard and other reformers promoted bicycles as particularly important for women. Bicycles were instruments of health, freedom, and convenience, which could contribute to equality. Some people doubted  whether women should ride […]

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How does Willard and the WCTU fit into our modern idea of feminism?

What We Mean When We Say Feminism

There has been a lot of debate and discussion about the meaning of the word feminism in recent years. Women today take various stands for or against it – and generally its true meaning is lost in the fray. Feminism is a loaded word in our culture with some wearing the term proudly and others […]

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Restoration 7

The painting of the trim in the Office, Hall, and Parlor is now complete.  The Hall and Parlor have trim that is painted brown, while the Office is a green-blue color.  We surmise here that when Willard got the money for writing her autobiography in 1889, she asked Mother how she would like to re-decorate […]

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Floor by the west wall of the office

Restoration 6

Things are picking up again here at the House. The trim in each room has already been sanded and primed. By the end of the week, all of the trim should have a two coats of finish paint. In order to prepare the rooms for painting, the edges of the carpets were removed so that the […]

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Restoration 5

We have had to do some unplanned exterior restoration. A large windstorm in late February knocked several bricks from the chimney cap on the southwest side of the house. It is the chimney for Willard’s Den. While looking at the one chimney Gerry Rice of Rice Masonry Construction alerted us to the poor state of 4 […]

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Picture rail in the office

Restoration 4

Restoration Update Not much has happened (visually) in the past few weeks. The plaster has cured and now is hard and ready to work with. Matthew Weil has stripped the picture rails in preparation for their being refinished. After several layers of paint were removed much more detail on the rails can be seen. Most […]

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Week 3 Restoration

The plasterers have made tremendous progress over the past week. Work in the office and hall has been completed and the dining room and the parlor are set to be completed either by the end of this week or early next week. Some walls were so badly damaged due to the house settling that large […]

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This is a small sample of items that Willard had in her satchel, "Old Faithful"

Featured Collections Object: Old Faithful’s Contents

Ever wonder what Frances Willard carried around with her in the satchel she named “Old Faithful”? Pictured above are a few of the papers she had in it upon her death and includes pamphlets, a newspaper clipping, a letter, and invitations. These items remained there until recently when conservators working on the satchel discovered and removed them. Old Faithful was named […]

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Previously Unknown Opening In West Wall

Week 2 Restoration

Week 2 update: The wallpaper has been fully removed to reveal the original plaster, a mystery opening, and a previously unknown wallpaper pattern. The completion of this work also means we have to say “goodbye” to Mike and Zach. It has been a pleasure working with them. The plasterers  from Bob Jirasek Plastering have started […]

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