Celebrating Women's History in Connecticut Last Updated: July 2023
March is Women's History Month and Connecticut is rich with stories of female trailblazers who influenced American history. Explore the state that spawned the first boarding school for women of color, the home of one of the nation’s first female architects, and more! The Connecticut Women's Heritage Trail is filled with ways to celebrate strong women from our state. Here are some historic landmarks on the trail and events to honor Women’s History in Connecticut.
Events to Honor Strong Women
Connecticut’s Tributes to Women’s History
Connecticut is filled with historic landmarks steeped in Women's History.
When the museum reopens this spring, explore the home of famous abolitionist and author, Harriet Beecher Stowe at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. The museum features Stowe's life story and her literary works, and it colorfully illuminates her 19th-century world in Hartford. The Stowe Center is part of the Nook Farm complex, home to Stowe and her influential family, including many strong, successful women. The Center is home to regular programs that connect issues of the past to modern day problems of gender equality.
Admire art at the former home of influential Connecticut woman “Miss Florence” Griswold. Florence Griswold helped cultivate American Impressionism by hosting painters in her home, turning Old Lyme into a thriving artists' colony in the late 19th century. Today, the Florence Griswold Museum, is filled with American Impressionist Art and preserves Griswold's legacy as a patron of the arts.
Did you know that one of the first female architects in the nation lived and designed right in the heart of Connecticut? The Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington is located in a house designed for her parents by architect Theodate Pope Riddle. On a tour of Europe, Riddle and her parents picked up the impressive collection of Impressionist art that is now displayed throughout the museum. The Hill-Stead also boasts a restored sunken garden, walking trails, and a stunning 152-acre landscape.
Visit the house of two influential women, Josephine Holley and her daughter Constant, who ran a boarding house for writers and Impressionist artists and fostered an artist colony in the village of Cos Cob. However, Holley was not the first remarkable woman to occupy the home. During the Revolutionary War, while her husband was imprisoned, Sarah Bush defended her house and family against attack. Both women's stories are interpreted at the Bush-Holley House.
Did you know that the nation’s first boarding school for young African American women was right in Connecticut? The Prudence Crandall Museum's efforts for equal education helped affirm attitudes against slavery and ultimately won the founder, Prudence Crandall a spot in the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995. While the museum is currently under renovation, we encourage you to plan a future visit. The remodeling process will allow for new exhibits and the opportunity to bring forward the voices and stories of the students who attended the academy, offering a fuller picture of the tumultuous seventeen months that the school was open for African American young women.
Plan to see a show or attend a virtual one at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and honor the legacy of famous actress and daughter of suffragist, Katharine Hepburn. The center, nicknamed “The Kate” presents a full repertoire of cultural and performing arts programming for all ages and provides a lasting legacy for America’s iconic actress.
Honor Marian Anderson, an African American woman who triumphed over racial discrimination and became a famous opera singer of the 20th century. At the Danbury Museum, you can visit her studio and learn about her life. The museum is currently closed but offers online resources.
Honor the work of Mabel Osgood Wright by attending a program by the Audubon Society. Wright dedicated her life to preservation and natural beauty, ultimately founding the Connecticut Audubon Society and earning her spot in the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.
Discover more on the Connecticut Women’s Heritage Trail and see how many stops you can visit during Women's History Month in March!