Nominate Frances Willard to be on the U.S. Quarter

By Janet Olson, Archivist On January 13, 2021, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 was signed into law. The bill directs the Treasury Department, through the U.S. Mint, to issue quarter-dollar coins featuring “prominent American women,” effective January 1, 2022 through the end of 2025. The act allows up to five coin designs … Read more

A Work In Progress: The Willard House Garden Restoration

2020 was a watershed year when much of the research, planning, and preparation for the Willard House Garden historic reconstruction efforts came to fruition. Beginning with a planning grant we received from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we have worked to make the gardens surrounding the house a unique and special setting for Evanston’s … Read more

You’re Invited: A Museum Opens in 1900

In the spring of 1900, hundreds of people received invitations to the dedication of the new National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) headquarters at “Rest Cottage, Evanston, Illinois.” Rest Cottage was the nickname Frances Willard had given her home – at least partially in jest as so much of her working life happened within its walls. … Read more

A Monumental Figure: Ida B. Wells

March is Women’s History Month and this year we are thinking about the places where women’s history happened, why it is so important to preserve them, and how easily they can be lost and forgotten. In advance of our program (Sunday 3/28 at 4 pm) – A Conversation with Michelle Duster: author of Ida B. … Read more

Saving the Phyllis Wheatley Home

By Fiona Maxwell, Museum Fellow, and Lori Osborne, CWHL Executive Director Historic buildings offer a tangible and immersive way to explore past women’s lives and work. Some women’s history sites have been protected in recognition of their historic significance and educational potential. Yet, for all of the sites that have been maintained, far too many … Read more

Women’s History is Everywhere and Essential!

March is Women’s History Month – a time set aside to tell women’s stories, revealing the significant and often forgotten role women played in making our communities. This year, we are thinking about the places where women’s history happened, why it is so important to preserve them, and how easily they can be lost and … Read more

The Fruitful History of “Dry January”

By Elizabeth Schmidt, Fall 2020 Intern As 2021 begins, many people will make typical New Year’s resolutions to get in shape and become healthier. These resolutions often include a vow to moderate the use of alcohol. This will be particularly meaningful after a year when, due to the pandemic, health was everyone’s main concern, and … Read more

Launching the “Last Call”: The Women’s Crusade against Alcohol, 1873-1874

Crusade painting header

by Kristin Jacobsen, Assistant Archivist Patrons nursing their beers in the saloons of Fredonia, New York, on December 15, 1873, were met with a startling sight: more than one hundred local women taking to the streets to prevent drinkers from raising another glass. The women visited all eight liquor dealers in Fredonia – praying, singing … Read more