Two new National Historic Landmarks now exist due to the work of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites. The Klagetoh Chapter House and the work of Annie Wauneka of the Navajo Nation, AZ, and the Mary Baker Eddy house in Lynn, MA, were officially designated on January 13, 2021, by the Secretary of the Interior as important to the history of the nation.
The NCWHS works with others to achieve its goal of representing women’s activities in the history of the nation. Heather Huyck, former president of the NCWHS, established a connection with the National Park Service, an essential element for NHLs. Then in 2013, member Mary Melcher identified Wauneka as a significant Navajo leader. As the second woman elected to Klagetoh Chapter Tribal Council she served from 1951 to 1979. She became the foremost healthcare advocate for Navajos in 1953 when she led a successful fight against the tuberculosis epidemic on the reservation. Wauneka identified the need for cross-cultural coordination of the care offered by medicine men, government physicians, and a group of volunteer doctors who offered their services and an effective new drug. Her success led to recognition as a leader in Native American healthcare and increased funding for Indian health initiatives.
The NCWHS coordinated with the National Park Service under the leadership of board members Barbara Howe and Peg Strobel. They secured the grant funding and hired the team of Laurie and Tom Simmons to research and write the proposal. The Simmons found the best site for recognizing Wauneka’s service as the Klagetoh Chapter House where she served the community for years. For more information on her life, see https://ncwhs.org/landmarks/annie-dodge-wauneka-navajo-leader/.
Mary Baker Eddy (born 1821), author of 17 books on the connections between spirituality and health, has the additional distinction as the first American woman to found an enduring worldwide religion, and is the founder of The Christian Science Monitor. In November 2016, the NCWHS and the Longyear Museum began a collaboration that led to the December 2018 National Historic Landmark nomination for her home at 8 Broad Street, Lynn, Massachusetts.
Eddy experienced significant losses early in her life, which had a debilitating impact on her health. This led her to develop her novel approach to healing. In 1875, she purchased a house in Lynn, MA, started lecturing, and completed her seminal book Science and Health. It became one of the most influential books on spirituality ever written by an American and helped to launch a new denomination, Christian Science. The NCWHS, at the request of the National Park Service, Northeast Division, worked with the Longyear Museum to propose Eddy’s home as a National Historic Landmark in 2016. The Museum completed and submitted the proposal to the NPS in December 2018. Following the retirement of Strobel and Howe, Joanne Goodwin assumed the duties to take both nominations through the process. For more information, see https://ncwhs.org/landmarks/mary-baker-eddy-home/.