In 1987, The National Women’s History Project requested that Congress establish March as Women’s History Month and on March 12th that same year, it became officially declared as a month-long celebration in the United States. From historic sites to women-owned farms, all month long we are celebrating the extraordinary, and ambitious women who have contributed to the history, innovation, and culture of Montgomery County, Maryland.
Tour the Clara Barton National Historic Site
A nurse and relief worker who founded the American Red Cross, Clara Barton is known for dedicating her life to help those in need. The Clara Barton National Historic Site includes The Clara Barton House, the place she called her home for the last 15 years of life until her passing in 1912. The site was the original headquarters of the American Red Cross and now offers self-guided and guided tours around the property on Fridays and Saturdays at the top of every hour between 1 pm and 4 pm.
Visit the National Capital Trolley Museum “Women in Transition” Exhibit
The National Capital Trolley Museum highlights the deep history of trolleys, streetcars, trains, and more through historic photographs, life-size models, and videos. During Women’s History Month, the museum celebrates women through their “Women in Transition” exhibit.
Explore the Rachel Carson Conservation Park
Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, conservationist, and author who wrote the book Silent Spring, which ultimately contributed to the advancement of the global environmental movement. During the last few years of her life, she called Silver Spring, Maryland home and spent her time studying various environmental threats such as pesticides and other spraying programs involving harmful chemicals.
Her passion for nature and the environment lives on through the Rachel Carson Conservation Park. Named in her honor, the park is one of Montgomery County, Maryland’s premier conservation areas and includes six vibrant miles of natural surface trails that are perfect for hiking, walking, running, and exploring.
Pick Your Own Bounty at Butler’s Orchard
A Silver Spring native, Shirley Butler (also known as Mrs. B) and her husband George Butler purchased the original 37 acres of what now is known as Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland. They are known as the originators and pioneers of the “Pick Your Own” produce business and opened the farm publicly in the 1950s.
Today, Butler’s Orchard offers more than 25 varieties of fruit, vegetables, flowers, trees, and herbs across their farmland, along with many family-friendly events throughout the year. Shirley now oversees every phase of development and growth on the farm along with second and third generation Butler children.
VM Team Fact: There are 492 female farmers in Montgomery County, Maryland. This makes up 48% of the total county producers in the area.
Experience Anna Maria Weems Journey at The Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Anna Maria Weems was born into slavery in 1840 in Montgomery County, Maryland and is known for gaining her freedom by risking her life to escape. On September 23rd, 1855, Anna Maria ran away to Washington, DC at just fifteen years old. There she spent time with relatives who had been separated from her early on in her life to craft a plan for her escape. She traveled to Philadelphia by carriage and met William Still, a principal conductor of the Underground Railroad, who helped her get to Brooklyn. On the final stretch of her long and exhausting journey, she traveled by train to Canada to meet her aunt and uncle who settled there years earlier. Anna Maria Weems was a free woman and called Canada home for the remainder of her life.
There are many others with stories similar to Anna Maria Weems that focus on their dangerous journeys to freedom. To understand the freedom seekers voyages, visit The Underground Railroad Experience Trail at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park to experience the journey first hand during a guided hike that allows you to follow the path that freedom seekers took to the North.
Share how you celebrate Women’s History Month with us by using #MontgomeryMoment or tagging @VisitMoCo in your photo.
Want to explore more historical sites in Montgomery County, Maryland? Check out the C&O National Historical Park or The Perfect Weekend Getaway Itinerary for History Lovers.