Anna Adams Gordon

In honor of International Museum Week 2022 we are highlighting the story of Anna Adams Gordon who was an influential figure in the WCTU’s history for more than 50 years. In addition to her work as Frances Willard’s personal secretary, she was the creator of the first museum at the house and brought the organization’s … Read more

“Look Up and Off, and On and Out”: Frances Willard and Women’s Oratory

By Fiona Maxwell, Director of Museum Operations and Communications; PhD candidate in History at the University of Chicago “Look up and off, and on and out; it is the curse of life that nearly everyone looks down.”  – Frances Willard By 1874, Frances Willard had acquired a local reputation as a public speaker. Yet, when … Read more

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

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