Significant Sites for Maryland Women


Historic St. Mary's City

Hailed as a feminist for advancing rights of women Margaret Brent (1601 – 1671) ranks among the most prominent female figures in early Colonial American history. Brent is memorialized at Historic St. Mary's City; the museum at the former site of Maryland's colonial capital features her in exhibits and the St. John's site archaeology museum includes an exhibit devoted to her life. The Historic St. Mary's City grounds also include a garden dedicated in memory of Brent.

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House 

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine

Mary Pickersgill (1776 – 1857), was the maker of the Star Spangled Banner Flag hoisted over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Pickersgill learned her craft from her mother, and, in 1813, was commissioned by Major George Armistead to make a flag for Baltimore's Fort McHenry that was so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a great distance. The flag was installed in August 1813, and, a year later, during the Battle of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key could see the flag while negotiating a prisoner exchange aboard a British vessel, and was inspired to pen the words that became the United States National Anthem. Pickersgill, widowed at the age of 29, became successful enough in her flag making business, that, in 1820, she was able to buy the house that she had been renting in Baltimore, and later became active in addressing social issues, such as housing and employment for disadvantaged women. 

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Barbara Fritchie (1766 – 1862), was a Unionist during the Civil War. She became famous as the heroine of the 1863 poem "Barbara Frietchie" by John Greenleaf Whittier, in which she pleads with an occupying Confederate general to "Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your country's flag." Three months after this alleged incident, Frietchie died. She was buried alongside her husband, who had died in 1849, in the German Reformed Cemetery in Frederick. Later, in 1914, her remains were moved to Mount Olivet Cemetery along with a new memorial. 

Clara Barton National Historic Site

Clarissa "Clara" Barton (1821 – 1912) was a pioneering nurse who founded the American Red Cross. She was a hospital nurse in the American Civil War, a teacher, and patent clerk. Nursing education was not very formalized at that time and she did not attend nursing school, so she provided self-taught nursing care. Barton is noteworthy for doing humanitarian work at a time when relatively few women worked outside the home.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center 

Bucktown Village Store

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. 1822 – 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. During the Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the United States Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the struggle for women's suffrage and  worked alongside women such as Susan B. Anthony.

National Historic Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Elizabeth Ann Seton, (1774 – 1821) was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church (September 14, 1975). She established the first Catholic girls' school in the nation in Emmitsburg, where she also founded the first American congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of Charity.

St. Mary’s Spiritual Center & Historic Site located in Mother Seton House, Baltimore

Mary Lange, (1784-1882), born Elizabeth Clarisse Lange, was an African-American religious sister who was the foundress of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, a religious congregation established to allow African-American women to enter religious life in the Catholic Church. The cause for her beatification has been opened and thus she is honored as a Servant of God by the Catholic Church. 

Evergreen House

Mary Elizabeth Garrett (1854 – 1915) was an American suffragist and philanthropist. She was the youngest child and only daughter of John W. Garrett, a philanthropist and president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B. & O.). Well-known for her "coercive philanthropy," Mary Garrett donated money to start the Johns Hopkins University Medical School in 1893 on the condition that the school would accept female students "on the same terms as men." She founded the Bryn Mawr School, a private college-preparatory school for girls in Baltimore and generously donated to Bryn Mawr College with the requirement that her intimate friend, Martha Carey Thomas, be the president. In her later years, she collaborated with her longtime friends, Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw, to secure the right for women to vote in the United States. Evergreen, the Garrett family home for two generations, is a superb example of Gilded Age architecture set on 26 landscaped acres in Baltimore.

Penn Alps 

Spruce Forest Artisan Village

Alta Schrock (1911-2002) is the first Mennonite woman in the United States to receive her doctoral degree. She founded the Spruce Forest Artisan Village in 1957. Penn Alps Restaurant is housed in the last log hospitality house on the National Pike. Spruce Forest Artisan Village, a part of the extended Penn Alps campus, has grown from a few cabins to some 12 log and frame structures of early vintage, two of which date to the Revolutionary War Period. Most of these provide studio space for artisans. Artisans work in various media, including bird carving, stained glass, basket making, hand-loom weaving, and hand-thrown pottery. 

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Women in a window dressed in colonial attire
Historic St. Mary's City