Historic Camden County women at the Barclay Farmstead Museum

‘Remember the Ladies’ exhibit celebrates Women’s History Month

On May 5, learn about Camden County women in history at the Barclay Farmstead from 1 to 4 p.m. for its first “Remember the Ladies” event. (Special to The Sun)

Get ready for Barclay Farmstead Museum’s first “Remember the Ladies” exhibition on Sunday, March 5, a chance for visitors to take guided tours of the historic house and learn about Camden County women who made history. 

The event coincides with the First Sundays Open House on Sunday, March 5. Visitors can take guided tours of the historic house and learn about Camden County women who made history. 

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Sandy Levins, chair of the exhibition and former president of the Camden County Historical Society, thinks the exhibition will surprise people.

“They’re not just going to be touring the rooms and seeing the same old same old, but they’re going to be seeing story boards of women in Camden County who have made their own history,” she explained. “We have around 29 women, and they’re in the field of everything from medicine to education to religion to social work, and this dates back maybe to the 1800s.”

While the exhibition is the first time Women’s History Month has been celebrated in such a way,  there have also been other events for the month at the farmstead, including a Quaker wedding and reception. 

This year, visitors can learn about county women through the 24 storyboards that will be placed around the house. There will be docents to guide and answer questions about the historical figures represented.

Levins’ interest in women’s history grew during the five to six years she spent as board president for the historical society and broadened when she left.

“I started looking at the roles of women in society, and when Women’s History Month rolled around one year, I kind of decided to research and produce a women’s history exhibit that was focused solely on local women, Camden County women,” Levins recalled. 

“ … I find it fascinating, because these are women I never heard of either,” she added. “How come I didn’t know about these women? I’m sure other people will have the same reaction.”

The women highlighted have a wide range of backgrounds in terms of career, race and faith. Some are more well-known than others, like Elizabeth Haddon, the Quaker who founded Haddonfield New Jersey. Information on others is lacking due to a limited number of records; they include Dorothy E. Hockaday, a teacher of Black History from the Berlin school district. 

In addition to organizing the exhibition, Levins also has a blog called “Wednesday’s Women”   that highlights “remarkable women you have not heard of.”

“One of the things I do is I try to Google or look for who is the first woman to be a licensed pilot in the U.S.?” she noted. “Who was the first woman to do that? Women inventors? Women in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)?

“You’d be amazed who’s out there who you’ve never heard of,” Levins added. “It was a woman who invented the flat-bottomed paper bags … You find (remarkable women) everywhere.

“You just have to be a little creative in figuring out where they’re hiding.”

To register for the free event, visit https://friends-of-barclay-farmstead.ticketleap.com/remember-the-ladies/

To learn more about Wednesday’s Women, visit https://wednesdayswomen.com/.

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