“A Woman’s Place July 9 at HSM

An illustrated program by the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown (HSM) on the roles, work and lifestyles of women at the turn of the last century will kick off a series of July programs observing the centennial of women’s right to vote in New York State.

“A Woman’s Place,” with presenter Connie Jeffers, will be offered Sunday, July 9 at 3 p.m. at the HSM hall, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville, 12455. Admission is $5 and includes tastings from several recipes drawn from the 1886 Woman Suffrage Cookbook. An abridged reproduction of the cookbook, compiled by designer Trish Adams, will be available for purchase.

The program will look at the lives of women, both urban and rural, from 1880 to 1920, when the decades-long effort to gain access to the ballot box culminated in the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution guaranteeing this right nationally. New York women had won the vote in 1917.

Connie Jeffers will discuss gender roles, women’s work both in and outside the home, domestic and social mores as depicted in magazines of the times, and how the industrial revolution, politics, the economy and war changed society and propelled the advance of women. A slide show will include photos of area women at work in the home and on the farm.

Mamie Townsend proved a woman’s place was not just in the kitchen on the Townsend farm, Bragg Hollow, near Halcottsville

The talk will also explain how cookbooks were used to generate both revenue and support for the Suffrage movement and for charities. A description of the physical kitchen in the age before electricity will place in context the look and flavor of foods to be tasted after the program.

Connie Jeffers is a retired elementary school principal who moved to Margaretville from California nine years ago. She and husband Tom lived in an historic home in the village where they are often seen toodling about in a 1930 Model A named Henry.

Suffrage Month will continue with a concert, “Remembering the Ladies,” by Delaware Dulcimores Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m. On Wednesday, July 26 at 7 p.m. all are welcome to participate in a Suffrage Parade down Main Street in Margaretville to the Open Eye Theater to meet the characters in the new musical “Seneca Falls,” and to view a short film on Suffrage martyr Inez Milholland.