(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum (CSPM) is celebrating National Women’s History Month through exhibits and events featuring local women throughout the month of March.
“Well, the great news is that we tell women’s history every single day of the year, but we’re especially pleased to offer special programs during the month of March,” Curator of History for CSPM, Leah Davis Witherow, said. “But we would invite our visitors to come in and look at our exhibits. We tell women’s history in every single gallery because after all, if we didn’t tell women stories, we’d be leaving out half the history.”
One exhibit, This Shall Be the Land for Women, highlights women fighting for the right to vote in 1893, which was 27 years before the federal amendment.
“I feel like there’s a lot of women’s history in Colorado, so I’m really glad that they’re sharing that,” CSPM visitor, Isabel Gring, said. “So, I’m just excited to be here again, honestly.”
Over the years, Gring has noticed changes in exhibits and expressed her appreciation for the museum.
“This is what got me into history, and I still enjoy history, but this is like the main supplement for history,” Gring said. “… I was homeschooled so we would come here and just we would spend so much time here.”
For families and children, there is a scavenger hunt to encourage younger visitors to learn about the historical role women held in the Colorado Springs community.
“Learning is a team sport here at the museum,” Witherow said. “So, when families come in, it’s a great activity. It takes them all around the building. And we believe that you’re never too young or too old to learn local history.”
Another interactive exhibit is The Story of Us, which uses a digital map to identify historical locations throughout the city where women fought for the 19th Amendment.
“There’s a specially curated women’s suffrage tour where you can see sites in Colorado Springs that pertain to the fight for women’s right to vote,” Witherow said.
Specifically, the map features the history of the five different locations including the National Women’s Party, Gray family home, City Hall, Garden of the Gods, and Woman’s Club of Colorado Springs.
CSPM has a gallery online so you can explore the exhibits in your own free time.
For more than 100 years, CSPM has preserved and shared the history of the Pikes Peak Region.
“I think it’s super fascinating,” Gring said. “I’m glad that we have this place to learn about the history of Colorado because I feel like other places, you don’t know the history of the town. You don’t know what’s happened there before. Like, it’s just… exists and nobody knows. But it’s really neat that this place exists so you can come learn about things like that.”
Throughout every Saturday in March, CSPM will hold a history stroll from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. where visitors will take a mile stroll through downtown and hear stories of Southern Colorado women’s work, activism, and philanthropy.
“They’re called Women’s Voices, Women’s Lives and we delve into all kinds of interesting stories about women’s fight for suffrage and how women have always contributed to Colorado Springs history,” Witherow said.
You can purchase tickets to the history stroll online and it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early.
On March 11, Sarah Bryn Rickman will be sharing her film Six WAFS Up Close and Personal which highlights six women pilots who flew planes during World War II.
“It’s on the women ferry pilots in World War II and it’s a fascinating story about how about a thousand women volunteered as citizen soldiers during World War II and they ferried planes,” Witherow said. “They took airplanes all across the country from one place to another. Additionally, they also towed targets so that ground gunners could practice their skills aiming at airplanes, imagine that. So, it’s a not to be missed program, there’s plenty of room.”
Pre-registration is required and more information on the event can be found online.
Throughout 2023, CSPM offers a lecture series that highlight different guests who share their stories and perspective on history in the Pikes Peak region.