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A Rochester Hills News Flash

Posted on: February 27, 2018

Rochester Hills Museum presents: Women's History in March

Join us on Thursdays in March for "Herstory" presentations celebrating Women's History Month. All programs begin at 7:00 pm, with the exception of March 29th, A Purse of Her Own, which will begin at 7:30 pm. Programs are free for Museum members and $5 for the public. Refreshments are provided.

Guests can register by using the PayPal option by visiting our Museum Programs page, emailing, or by calling 248.656.4663.

Programs scheduled for this March:

March 8

Not Just a Man's War, presented by Caitlyn Dial of the 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 Jones, Ph.D.

In her autobiography, Petticoat Surgeon, Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen wrote about her birth - "...I had other reasons for my 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

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.

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
A Purse of Her Own, presented by Susan Nenadic

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.

Museum Programs webpage
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