Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Rochester Hills Museum

Rochester Hills Museum Presents Women’s History in March

Visit the Museum on Thursdays in March, for “Herstory” presentations celebrating Women’s History Month. All programs begin at 7:00 p.m., with the exception of March 29, A Purse of Her Own, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Programs are free for Museum members and $5 for the public. Refreshments provided.

Register at www.rochesterhills.org/musprograms, emailing rhmuseum@rochesterhills.org or by calling 248-656-4663. 

March 8: Not Just a Man’s War, presented by Caitlyn Dial of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame

Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame graphic is the shape of a coin with three women on the front

Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame

The Michigan Women’s Historical Center, operated by the Michigan Women’s Studies Association, is responsible for the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, the only museum in Michigan dedicated to women’s history. Established in 1983, it honors and celebrates the achievements of remarkable Michigan women, including Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen and Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, Ph.D.

In her autobiography, Petticoat Surgeon, Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen wrote about her birth – “ … I had other reasons for crying:  my country was at war – fierce, cruel, civil war.  During my first year I was never known to smile … ” She reflected that she should have been born laughing -“ … for I was that most fortunate of creatures, a wanted baby.”

Caitlyn Dial will reflect on remarkable women and their acts of courage, determination and bravery just as Bertha was entering the world.

March 15:  Fidelia Gillette, presented by Maureen Thalmann​

Old photo of Fidelia Gillette

Fidelia Gillette

A resident of Rochester, Fidelia was the Women’s Rights Editor for the Rochester Era and owned an interest in Truth for the People, an advocacy newspaper dedicated to ‘the best interest of the people politically, morally, and socially.”

In 1874 Fidelia was one of 10 men and women chosen to represent Rochester and Avon Township at the Michigan State Women’s Suffrage Associations’ annual meeting in Lansing. She and her fellow delegates waged a campaign to drum up support for a women’s rights amendment to the state constitution. Although the proposal was eventually defeated, Fidelia continued her quest for universal suffrage through lectures and writing, publishing several volumes of poetry and essays.

Maureen Thalmann will share her knowledge of this woman who was a writer, lecturer, and missionary. Minister Fidelia Gillette was hailed as a “thinker of uncommon breadth” for her efforts in the fight for women’s suffrage during the 1870s.

Old photo showing women in front of a farmhouse

A Look Back at Women’s Roles as Homemakers and the Tools that They Used

March 22: A Look Back at Women’s Roles as Homemakers and the Tools that They Used, presented by Jim and Berta Cassell

Women’s roles have changed over the years, as have the tools that they use. Jim and Berta Cassell are Collectors of History and will share their knowledge of irons and other everyday objects from the past, that were part of life in the home. Guests are encouraged to bring unusual objects from the past that may have been part of homemaking long ago.

March 29, 7:30 p.m.: A Purse of Her Own, presented by Susan Nenadic

A collage of old photographs of women and a purse

A Purse of Her Own

​Much of what we think about American women in the nineteenth century is based on stereotype. Author of A Purse of Her Own, Susan Nenadic, challenges stereotypes regarding issues of education, health, marriage and divorce. From Washtenaw County, Susan looks at Michigan against a backdrop of changes occurring throughout the United States.

The Rochester Hills Museum is located at 1005 Van Hoosen Road, off Tienken Road between Rochester and Dequindre Roads.

Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm





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