The Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council and other historical organizations cooperate with the Grand Rapids Public Library in bringing you a day-long event featuring detectives in local history and what they've found. Choose to attend the two programs on women's history or stay all day for all the great presentations!
Saturday, January 28, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Grand Rapids Public Library, Main
Free programming and parking
Immigrant Midwives and a Notable Botanist
The first detective of the day at 9:30 a.m. is Janet Sheeres, who has ferreted out information on a little known and almost undocumented group of women--the midwives in the Dutch community.
"Present, But Not Counted: Dutch Immigrant Midwives in Grand Rapids" will focus on the work of several women midwives in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century
A midwife's medical bag
Grand Rapids and will address why they chose work delivering babies; who their clients were; what hardships they faced; and why they are not in our histories.
Sheeres's research has primarily been on Dutch midwives, but her findings also shed light on finding midwives serving other ethnic communities. She will expand on them March 4 for the West Michigan Genealogical Society. See details here.
At 1:00 p.m. Julie Stivers, who has been sleuthing out details of the life and work of botanist Emma Cole for several years, will reintroduce
the Central High School teacher. Valued among her peers nationally and internationally for her botanical research, Emma Cole left a legacy of scientific research that remains important to professional botanists, students, and researchers. Part of that legacy includes her 1901 book titled Grand Rapids Flora, a 136-page catalog of 1260 plants growing without cultivation in the vicinity of Kent County. The book remains the most complete account of plants specific to our area. For the presentation titled "Where Have All the Flowers
Title page of
Grand Rapids Flora
Gone? Rediscovering Emma Cole's Nineteenth-Century Grand Rapids Flora," Stivers will be joined by Calvin College professors David Warners and Garrett Crow describing their work with students to rediscover Cole's haunts and assess their natural quality more than 100 years later.
rest of the day includes four other presentations:
*** 10:30 a.m. - the huge bi-annual furniture expositions that attracted buyers to Grand Rapids from around the world *** 11:30 a.m. - Michigan's boat building industry
*** 2:00 p.m. - the expansion of Grand Rapids Public
Schools in the 1950s with new Mid-Century Modern
*** 3:00 p.m. - the project
to document the urban Native American experience in Grand Rapids in the last half of the 20th century
For complete program details for History Detectives
Not a current member of GGRWHC? Register or renew your membership and
help offset the expenses associated with annual research and programs. Your membership helps to set the record straight on the women who've made history here in our community.
GGRWHC Board Meetings
Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. at the Vanderveen Center for the Book at the Grand Rapids Public Library. If you have suggestions for programs, oral histories, or other items, please
email us or plan to attend a meeting.
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Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomonal women who've helped to shape West Michigan! If you aren't already a member of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider showing your support through annual membership. Visit our
web site for more information and the ability to register using Pay Pal online!
Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!