Robbins Hunter Museum – Tribute to Victoria Woodhull

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All Photos by Nina Russo. Victoria out at a little after 4pm Granville, Ohio (clock is fast). She looks ready to give a speech to onlookers below.

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Granville, Ohio for the first time. My childhood friends, Kelly and Nina were with me and wanted to go to the Avery-Downer House and Robbins Hunter Historical home. (Note: Museum link is not secure). I, of course was delighted to, not knowing about the connection to Victoria. This museum is next to the library and across the street from the Worthington Inn. We first determined to go to the writer’s store, Just Write (which also seems to be the gift shop for the home). Yes, this was an interesting journey. Just Write is run by a lovely lady, Stefanie Lauvray, who is a transplant from California, like myself. We had a great time catching up on favorite spots in Northern California. Before I got to the Just Write store though, I saw a placard outside the museum that said Victoria Woodhull. Now, this peaked my interest. I knew she was from Homer, Ohio, so what is this doing here?

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The Physicians Daughter: A Historical Fiction

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When I read a novel about a heroic woman, it fills me with pride. Even though it is historical fiction, these things did happen, just a different name or city or country. The Physicians Daughter is a historical fiction written by Martha Conway. Ms. Conway is Cleveland born, now living in San Francisco, where I also lived (on the Bay side) just 12 years ago. Of course, I was a transplant from Columbus and moved to the Bay Area after having lived in California for a couple of decades. I loved this book because it is filled with all the good things you want in a novel. For us history buffs, it takes place post-Civil War. It appears that Ms. Conway has done an incredible amount of research about the details of not just the war but also about being a doctor and many other things that occur in this story.

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Madonna of the Trail, Springfield

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There are 12 markers that have been placed, across the country, celebrating the pioneer women who, with their families, made homes. They represent the beginning of settlers in our country. The markers can be found on the national trails road “Route 40.” The sculptures were created and designed by August Leimbach. The upkeep and establishment of these statues are through the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. To learn more you can read this article in regard to our Ohio statue in Springfield.

Madonna of the Trail, Springfield, Ohio – Route 40

Queen Elizabeth II; End of an Era

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As with many respectful Americans, I am saddened by the loss of this wonderful woman. For me, it is a bit of concern too about what will happen in the future. When a monumental change occurs like this, it affects us all on levels we can’t quite understand. Queen Elizabeth kept up traditions in her country and stood by strong values and duty to her country. I am not sure we understand what this really means here in the U.S. I can’t imagine a president seeing themselves as having a duty to uphold, in quite the same manner in which she did. Perhaps they see that they have a role but sometimes I am not so sure they have our countries best interests at heart. Of course this is a matter of an opinion, just as the same would go for a British subject or for those in the extended empire.

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Minerva Park, Ohio: Oral History

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There are two Youtube videos that I will be embedding here. It is an hour long talk given in 1963 for the Ladies Club of Minerva Park. The speaker is the very first Mayor, Carlton Berry, speaking about the Minerva Amusement Park from 1895-1905. This is what Minerva Park originally was. When it closed down, the owners had opened another park in the center of Columbus called Olentangy Park Casino. The Mayor will go on to speak about the Minerva Park incorporation in 1940 and bringing the ladies up to date to 1963. These oral reports are so fascinating because he is providing so many details about life in those years. While these are Youtube videos, there is only one photograph for both of them. The first photo is the “Casino” of Minerva Amusement Park but it was not a gambling center but an opera house. Evidently, this is what they were called in those days.

Minerva Amusement Park Casino – Part I of Mayor Carlton Berry’s oral talk to the Ladies Club.

Minerva Amusement Park – I believe this is where the Minerva Park trolley stopped to let people off.

My home was built in 1928 and is one of the very first homes to be occupied in Minerva Park. I live on a street that was originally a wild bear exhibit, when they had zoo animals in the park, as well as the casino. The original owner was Opal Dunn McAlister and you can read more about her in another article featured on this website.

Maria Longworth Storer: Cincinnati

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Maria Longworth Nichols, unknown date but believed between 1880-1885. The American Ceramic Society

Maria Longworth (Nichols) Storer (1849-1932) pushed social boundaries and had a lasting impact on Cincinnati. Maria was a philanthropist and a talented artist who worked in clay to form decorative pottery and tapped beautiful pictures on thin pieces of copper. She was an accomplished pianist who played solos or accompanied other musicians at concerts. She established a successful international business, the Rookwood Pottery Company, in an era when women were to be domestically rather than corporately focused. She became a celebrity because of this enterprise and helped make Cincinnati an art center of the country.

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The Fate of the American Revolution Rests in Anna’s Hands…

Inspired by Actual Events, New Historical Adventure Novel Celebrates the Role of Women in the Battle for America’s Independence

The contributions of women to the American Revolution are often ignored. Answering Liberty’s Call: Anna Stone’s Daring Ride to Valley Forge, tells the story of one woman’s heroic mission of mercy. The heart-racing novel draws inspiration from actual events experienced by one of the author’s ancestors, and the new, second edition is on sale just in time to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Answering Liberty’s Call is “[A] grand and rollicking revolutionary adventure undertaken by a young mother and brave American patriot.” —Historical Novel Society, Editor’s Choice Selection

As the wife of a preacher-turned-soldier, a healer, and mother of three, Anna knows her place in this world. She tends to things at home while her husband and brothers fight for liberty. But when her loved ones face starvation at Valley Forge, she refuses to sit idly by.

Armed with life-sustaining supplies, Anna strikes out alone on horseback over 200 miles of rough and dangerous terrain. Despite perilous setbacks along the way, sheer determination carries her toward her destination. When she learns of a plot to overthrow General Washington, her mission becomes more important than ever. With the fate of the American Revolution in her hands and one of the conspirators hot on her trail, Anna races to deliver a message of warning to Valley Forge before it’s too late.

Based on events in the life of the author’s sixth-great-grandmother.

Anna Stone and her family moved west after the American Revolution, first to what is now West Virginia, then to Pennsylvania, and finally to Ohio in the early years of the nineteenth century. Her husband, Benjamin, was a Baptist preacher who planted churches on the frontier until he was in his eighties. They lived as far west as Guernsey County before settling near Cadiz. Anna’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would gather around to hear her tell of her adventures during the cold winter of 1778. One of her descendants published an account of her journey in a genealogical journal in 1903. Two of her great-great granddaughters organized a DAR chapter named in her honor in 1923, and Anna’s story was published a second time.


Author Tracy Lawson, a direct descendant of Anna and Benjamin, used the 1923 version of the tale as the basis for Answering Liberty’s Call.

The second edition of this acclaimed historical adventure novel has a brand-new look!

Pre-order now and get it on March 29, 2022.

Spring Night/Summer Night 1967 Film

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This film is made on a low budget, the director used real people vs. professional actors (except in one case) and it is filmed in Southeastern Ohio. I have put this movie here on Ohio Women’s History because I feel that it is rich in history, landscape and the Appalachian people who’s elders migrated here from what is more traditionally seen as the Appalachian region.

This film also focuses on a woman who is effected by the tale that is drawn out and displayed for us to ponder over. She represents our mother or grandmother, depending on which generation you are in. How she is treated gives us some historical context into the roles women have played for centuries. The film gives us that “Hillbilly Elegy” story but without the mental illness as an excuse for behaviors. Poverty is more the main character that is represented. Low income White families near the West Virginia border.

The people used in this film made the story come across in a very authentic way. There were times when the dialogue was a bit rough in coming out but this made the film real and deeper in understanding this culture. Having been around these people it is actually the way they do speak. A professional actor would not have been able to properly show this, even with a voice coach.

The storyline is stereotypical but not unusual or farfetched. As a psychotherapist, I was able to see immediately what was going to happen in the film much sooner than it became obvious. This is because the cameraman set up the plot through scenes rather than dialogue. It is uncanny how each of these people in the film were able to give us a sense of emotions. Jessica, the daughter, and the main female character, gives us a sense of the pain, humiliation but also the strength in dealing with what life has thrown at you. The strength of her character and the way the townspeople handle this tells us about how enmeshed these communities are and how they come together in their own ways. I was drawn to the story within minutes of watching this on Kanopy (through your local library).

The only downfall with the making of this film is the sound. As the director, Joseph L. Anderson, a professor at Ohio University, (Kanopy and some articles/reviews list the school as University of Ohio), did not have a huge budget, he probably didn’t have an ability to get the type of equipment that would have captured their voices easily. This film was actually saved so that it would be able to be shown on video as I saw it. I assume that they couldn’t do anything about the sound. Just be aware that you will need to put your volume up about as high as it can go. Some scenes are a little easier (when they are not outside), to hear. The majority of the film is outside though, so keep that volume up!

After viewing, I did look the film up online and it seems that the character Donna, went on to become a professional actress and we have seen her (under a different first name) on Little House on the Prairie and the Waltons as a character actor. The mother, in this film, went on to become a well known baker – she is a wee woman. I won’t say who the professional actor used in this film was or which character they played because I wouldn’t want you to be comparing acting styles when you watch it. It would be better to watch this, as I did, without knowing so you can focus on the film. Don’t even read about the storyline that is to come, just find out where you can watch it if you don’t have Kanopy. Let it all unfold naturally.

I would call this a historical masterpiece that you might want to put in your collection.

Why I am a Suffragist: Pauline Steinem

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Toledo Blade, Wednesday, October 28, 1914

I believe in woman suffrage because I believe that the perfect equality of men and women is founded on Divine Wisdom.

Divine Wisdom, or, in the Greek term, Theosophy, teaches first of all the brotherhood of man without distinction of race, creed, color or sex.

The foundation for such brotherhood lies in the fact that there is but One Life, whatever we may call it, permeating and sustaining the universe. In human beings this life exists in a more highly evolved form; it has become individualized, self-conscious, and we know it as the Ego, the Thinker, the real man.

The body which the man wears is merely a garment, put on today and laid aside tomorrow, the real man is external, like the source from which he sprang, taking on new bodies life after life, for the purpose of gathering that experience which eventually shall make him “more than man.”

Since all human beings partake of this One Life, and since women must be considered human beings, it follows that men and women are the same in essence, differentiated only by the outer garments, the bodies they temporarily wear, and that therefore they have certain duties and certain responsibilities shared by all human beings alike.

Theosophy or Divine Wisdom teaches-as does science-that the purpose *[of the] is growth, evolution, and that all growth is the result of use, exercise, expression; that, in fact, without expression there can be no growth, for muscles long unused become atrophied, and faculties or powers long neglected.

In the light of this knowledge, have women been fairly treated? Has not woman’s lot been largely one of repression, while man had every opportunity for expression?

Women were constantly reminded that they were ruled by their feelings that they lacked logic and reasoning power; they were born and bred in an atmosphere of prejudice and suppression, which could not but have its influence upon them, with the result that they did not use the talents they possessed.

People say: “Women cannot succeed in certain fields.” How do we know what women can do, when we have never yet allowed them to try? No man knows what woman could do, if she were free to develop the powers latent within her, nor does she herself know as yet.

Theosophy further teaches that service is the duty and at the same time the privilege of every human being, for service to humanity is considered a short cut to perfection. Woman’s right to service has never been questioned; rather has she always been expected to serve, but the sphere of service was carefully marked out for her, and never by any chance was she allowed to step our of it.

But times have changed. New conditions have arisen. Women do not do their own milking and churning, their own spinning and weaving any more. Factories and machinery have taken much of woman’s work out of the home, and a large army of women are following their work by going out into the world. However, another army still remains, constituting today the leisure class. Shall we allow these women to become parents? Are we going to take away from them the right to labor and to serve in whatever way may be best suited to their individuality? To do so would be fatal to the race, as Olive Schreiner so forcefully points out in her book on “Woman and Labor.”

Women need today the larger vision and the wider experience which the world’s work would give them. They need that all-around development so essential in the building of character, in order that they may become better wives, better mothers and better home-makers. And the world needs them; it needs its mothers; if we are to enter upon the new era, promised by the teachers of the Divine Wisdom, and earnestly hoped for by every lover of humanity, an era of co-operation, of brotherhood, and of universal peace.

*Brackets above are because I could not see the type and was not sure what she was trying to say specifically. Personally, I would have taken it out but I wanted to give you exactly, to the best I could, what was typed in the paper. This is from a copy on microfiche of that newspaper article. No photo was added to the paper. I am enclosing below.

Pauline Steinem is Gloria Steinem’s grandmother. Born a Jewish woman in Poland on August 4, 1864 and died January 5, 1904. She lived in Toledo, Ohio and was elected to several boards during her time. She helped rescue many of her family from the holocaust.

Katherine Wright – Dayton, Ohio

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Katherine Wright, (August 19, 1874 – March 3, 1929; Leo/Hera) was a woman who sacrificed her life for others. It wasn’t until the last few years of her life that she was finally able to have true love, her own life and this was at the cost of her brother abandoning her. Her story is one of dedication to the two famous Wright brothers, Orville and Wilber but also to their lesser known father Bishop Milton Wright.

A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, she began her work as a teacher in the classroom. Constantly having positions kept from her, as it appeared her future destiny was being prepared for her. At the same time, her brothers were creating their airplane empire, trying to prove they could make a plane fly and then trying to prove to others it did.

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