• Lifestyles

HERStory celebrates 100 years of political progress

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

This year, members of the Milford Garden Club celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by creating HERStory in the borough. Lifestyles photo by Katie Collins.

By Katie Collins lifesnews51@gmail.com

Follow Katie @Lifestyles51

MILFORD - It has been 100 years since women were granted the right to vote. The Milford Garden Club is celebrating the 19th Amendment, by hosting HERStory with displays telling of true suffragettes who were at the forefront of the movement so many years ago.

Traditionally, the club hosts a themed flower show, but because of the pandemic to recognize the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage this year, special displays were crafted. Members of the club united to create and share their ideas and creativity for a show that can be found throughout Milford.

The suffragists

Club President Liz Steen spoke about how the women were beaten and imprisoned for their efforts 100 years ago. The suffragettes were considered homely and single, but yet, they responded by wearing white dresses and hats as they marched. The white was important Steen said, because it was considered a color of “beauty and innocence.”

Cornelia Bryce Pinchot

A visionary for the exhibition, Carol Commando said the displays recognize just a few of the many women who were a part of the movement. She has created a display in honor of Cornelia Bryce Pinchot who was a founding member of the club. Commando altered a styrofoam head with flowers made of purple, white and yellow pine cones she painted, which are the colors of the Pennsylvania suffragettes flag.

Taking part in the celebration was “fun” Commando said, because of the many who worked together to honor the women since she felt HERStory was the club’s contribution to paying tribute to the suffragettes.

Rosie the Riveter

An “iconic figure,” Steen reinvented a 55 gallon drum as a display to honor Rosie the Riveter who was a symbol for women who worked during World War Two, while men were serving. On the sides are images of women then and now, showing how they worked in fields that had only been held by men. Taking part in HERSTory was “fun” she said.

Those Who Serve

For the women who have served in the many branches of the military, Ruth Boudreau made a wreath from an array of materials to recognize them; just a few, including the nurses who worked in the Revolutionary War. Boudreau said it was “fun” because of the creativity needed to construct the wreath and other members helping her as she placed a blend of themed items, such as camouflage and the Laurel flowers and poppies.

Domestic Goddesses

Together, Sue Smith and Kathy Donahue built “Domestic Goddesses,” to recognize three female culinary masters: Julia Child, Martha Stewart and Alice Waters. Smith said the women were to be honored because they established “enormous businesses” from their talents of cooking and organizing. The project was “exciting” because aside from learning more about the women, Smith recalled using Julia Child’s cookbook before she became an icon and she considers herself a “Julia Child’s lady” since she continues to use the many recipes created by the late chef. Each woman contributed materials for the display, with the pots and pans being colored those of the suffragettes.

With such an exhibition like HERStory, that solely recognizes women, when she learned of it, Donahue said it was “about time.”

Sue Smith and Kathy Donahue built “Domestic Goddesses,” as a tribute to the many women who set the path for other women to establish businesses. Lifestyles photo by Katie Collins.

The Supremes

Maria Torffield decided to show the “progress” of women in American history by building columns that represented the first four female Supreme Court Justices: Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagen and Sonia Sotomayor. Torrfield figured it was important to see the women, not just list their names and so she made computerized paintings of each Justice’s face and the columns are draped in black robes. Determining a focus was a task, since she didn’t have many ideas because the “creative process is interesting” since it can’t be forced, she said. Instead, one has to sit and “let it percolate.”

Aside from four female Supreme Court Justices, there is a note of acknowledgement to Dorothy Stroh Tisdale who was the first elected district attorney in the state when she became the Pike County district attorney in 1931; Margaret Mary Jones was the first female Pike County commissioner in 1987 and most recently Kelly Gaughan was the first female judge elected to the Court of Common Pleas in 2019.

The exhibit will be on display until August 26. There is more information and maps available at the visitors center or from this link. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ru77Qmsn7U2zWtogeZZ-KPER6dm7Ndju/view?fbclid=IwAR0S4X7lOntdASWrv_hoEQRSiRxrZhF8fd15JltqwJ-X8MbBiLNdbsZGagw For further information visit the Milford Garden Club’s Facebook page.

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