Throughout the month of March, the world celebrates Women.
Why? Because who really runs the world...
The team behind Bitts and Bites searched high and low throughout #VisitWilm and found four interesting stories to tell over the course of the month. Stories of women who changed the trajectory of history in Delaware and the world. Incredible stories. Incredible legacies. Incredible women.
The first video in the series gives insight to the Women of the Gold Ballroom inside the HOTEL DU PONT. This room was added to the HOTEL five years after it opened in 1913 and took 30 Italian artists over a year to create. The ballroom features 20 famous women of the era - diverse in ethnicity, skill, and story. Dido, Lady Hamilton and Pocahontas are just a few of the featured women etched into the walls. How does the saying go? If only those walls could talk...
The second video in the series brings attention to a true pioneer, Marian Coffin, a landscape architect, who was truly ahead of her time. Even with her skill, she couldn’t land a job at a local firm. So, in 1905 Coffin created her own landscape architecture firm securing her friend, Henry du Pont as a client in the late 20s for the remodel of his home, to what we call today... Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. Her work doesn’t stop there. Coffin’s garden designs are located throughout #VisitWilm and continue to thrive as gorgeous destinations visitors can enjoy while they explore Greater Wilmington. Learn more about Marian Coffin’s work at Winterthur in the video below.
Harriet Tubman is one of the world’s most iconic female figures with a historic legacy set largely here, in Wilmington, Delaware. The last leg of the Underground Railroad runs through the city where Tubman-Garrett Park now lies. Partnered with Thomas Garrett, together they freed hundreds of slaves, helping them get through the First State, across the border to Pennsylvania. But the story doesn’t end there. Ashley Cloud, a Wilmington History Enthusiast, shifts the focus to Rachel Mendenhall (wife of Thomas Garrett) who is an unsung hero and icon in her own right. Ashley proudly shares the story below - take a look!
In the last video of the Women’s Month series, we bring our focus to Hagley Museum and Library... specifically, about a woman named Louise du Pont Crowninshield, a collector and founding member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Louise had a vision for Eleutherian Mills and the estate property, and the people at Hagley have only just begun to uncover it. Aside from the story of Crowninsheild, Hagley will soon debut their long-awaited Nation of Inventors exhibition with a special section dedicated to women inventors from the past with hopes of inspiring young inventors of the future. Check out some of the inventions you’ll see in the exhibit in the video below.
These four stories of iconic women featured in the halls of hotels, in the grounds of du Pont estates, in the fight for freedom and in the world of technology and inventions, are only the beginning of the impact women have had in Wilmington’s history.
Be sure to bring your moms, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces and girlfriends to #VisitWilm and explore the impact generations of women have had in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s a chance to learn about the historic geniuses who fought for women’s rights to give them the chance to do what they can today. Bring your dads, grandfathers, brothers, sons, uncles, nephews and friends to #VisitWilm and explore what the world could’ve been had these women not made a name for themselves in the history books.
It’s because of women like those listed above that a path has been paved for the women of tomorrow. . It’s a chance for all to learn how amazing women were, are and will continue to be for generations to come.