On January 10th, the Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail exhibit, “How Splendid is our Past,” opened at the Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix. NCWHS board member and historian Mary Melcher spoke at the exhibit opening. This traveling exhibit illustrates the lives and stories of the amazing women who have helped to build Arizona. These women were artists, museum founders, politicians and business owners, including the following: Jessie Bevan, who ran the Oliver House in Bisbee and served in the Arizona State Legislature; Frances Munds, who led the Arizona Equal Suffrage Association to help women win the vote before serving in the state Senate; Eleanor Ragsdale, a teacher, realtor, and civil rights activists who helped to integrate Phoenix schools and neighborhoods; and Annie Wauneka, a Navajo leader who was instrumental in eradicating tuberculosis on the vast Navajo Reservations. The exhibit explores the diverse stories of these women and several others, such as territorial historian Sharlot Hall, educator Rebecca Dallis, architect Mary Jane Colter, and the Hopi potter Nampeyo.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism, Arizona Humanities Council and Arizona Public Service, with assistance provided by the Sharlot Hall Museum and Arizona Historical Society. The Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail is a statewide legacy project linking women’s history with historic sites. For more information, see www.womensheritagetrail.org