Votes for Women National Trail
In honor of the August 26, 2020 centennial celebration of woman’s suffrage in the United States, NCWHS is leading the effort to develop a nation-wide Votes for Women Trail. The Trail will highlight the role of each state in the 72-year battle to achieve women’s suffrage. Will you join this effort?
This project is truly a grassroots effort. Each state will have a coordinator who will lead volunteers from across their state to find and to research those sites that have a history with the women’s suffrage movement. They enter that information into a comprehensive database that will be used to populate an interactive nationwide map, which will - for the first time - represent the complete story of the struggle for women’s suffrage. The ultimate objective of this project is to show how social change occurs, to honor the suffrage movement’s countless participants, and to inspire future generations to treasure their right to vote.
Women's History Trails
Women’s heritage trails are being developed across the United States to share women’s history with the public. From Maine to Florida, Arizona to New Jersey, organizations in cities and states are creating maps that link historic sites to inform the public about women’s stories. They’re creating websites, walking and driving trails and publications about women’s lives and history. Statewide trails are in the works or completed in New Jersey, Florida, Connecticut, Indiana, Arizona, Maryland, and New York. Several city-wide trails also exist, in places like Boston, Manhattan, and Portland, Maine. These trails have a variety of structures, funding sources and methods of interpretation.
By Pam Elam, M.A. and Mary Melcher, Ph.D.
NCWHS Board Members
You may also view the Women's History Trails map in a new window.
What is the NCWHS Trails Committee?
Board Members Pam Elam and Mary Melcher founded the Trails Committee in 2009 after their article “Sharing Her Stories Through Heritage Trails: A National Movement to Link Women's History with Historic Sites” generated strong interest in forming women’s history trails across the nation. Since the Committee’s founding, women’s history trails continue to be a central aspect of the work done by NCWHS.
The newest project being undertaken by the Trails Committee is the Votes for Women National Trail. The goal of this Trail is to highlight the role of each state in the 72-year national battle to achieve women’s suffrage. The trail will also draw attention to the women and men who worked tirelessly to improve their communities, their states, and the nation—for themselves and for future generations. Originally legislated by Congress, the effort has never received the funding to get started. So in the spirit of the suffragists, the NCWHS Trails Committee has started a grass roots effort to get it done!
Check back here often to see how you can get involved with the work of the Trails Committee. We appreciate your constant support in our efforts to bring women’s history sites into the mainstream, and we hope that you can help us in our newest project to recognize the places and spaces where women and men fought for a woman’s right to vote.
NCWHS Trails Committee Members
The National Collaborative of Women's History Sites Trails Committee is composed of individuals throughout the country interested in developing women's history trails in cities and states. The following individuals comprise the committee. (Committee composition last updated: July 2016)
National Historic Landmarks
The National Historic Landmark nomination form is now available for reading! Prepared by architectural historian Heather Fearnbach and Dr. Sarah Azaransky of the Union Theological Seminary, the nomination will be presented on October 18th before the National Historic Landmarks Commission. The nomination represents the culmination of a year-long collaboration between NCWHS, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice.
Sign the petition to support the Pauli Murray nomination here!
Photo courtesy of Barbara Lau, Pauli Murray Center