Greater Grand Rapids Womens History Council
  P.O Box 68874, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-8874                 Phone: 616-574-7307


October 21, 2013
GGRWHC Board of Directors

Falinda Geerling,
Cindy Dorman,
 Vice President
Ruth VanStee,
Connie Ingham
Janet Brashler
Jo Ellyn Clarey
Susan Coombes
Gayle Davis
Sharon Hanks
Kyle Irwin
Mary Jane Keeler
Jef McClimans
Jennifer Morrison
Kathy Rent
Mary Seeger
Ruth Stevens
Jill Straub
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GGRWHC & the Winning Consortium


At its annual fall conference the Historical Society of Michigan awards individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions preserving and presenting Michigan history. This year Grand Rapids' History Detectives: Sleuthing for Local History won the 2013 State History Award for Special Programs.


Accepting the 2013 State History Award for History Detectives are event coordinator Melissa Fox, GRPL, and Don Bryant of the WMGS.


Grand Rapids' "History Detectives" is loosely based on the PBS program and has featured area historians exploring Grand Rapids' past every January since 2008. Hosted by the History and Special Collections Department of the Grand Rapids Public Library, the day-long event is sponsored by a consortium of Grand Rapids history organizations, including the Greater Grand Rapids Women's Council. Joining the GGRWHC and GRPL are the Grand Rapids Historical Commission, the Grand Rapids Historical Society, the Western Michigan Genealogical Society, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, GVSU's Kutsche Office of Local History, and the Grand Rapids Civil War Roundtable.


Founded in 1828, the Historical Society of Michigan is the state's oldest cultural organization dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of Michigan's historical story. For full information, see 

GGRWHC's History with HSofM Awards

In 2000 the GGRWHC won a State History Award for Legacy, a 1990s triennial Women's History Month extravaganza, and for the 1999 centennial celebration of the 1899 meeting in Grand Rapids of NAWSA, the National American Woman Suffrage Association. If you can't remember who brought Susan B. Anthony to town that year, see And for a reminder that dynamo EBK was nevertheless thoroughly forgotten until recently, even by her family, see


Esther Ketcham Visser recalling her late father's often futile attempts to interest his children in their great-great-grandmother Emily Burton Ketcham's life.


Sneak Preview - History Detectives 2014 


On Saturday, January 18, 2014, the Grand Rapids Public Library will once again host History Detectives. The GGRWHC will sponsor "Women on the Homefront: The 1940s in Wartime Grand Rapids" by Dr. Richard Harms, curator of the archives of Calvin College and co-author of Grand Rapids Goes to War. Our program will begin the day at 9:30am, and five more programs will continue through 4:00pm. Stay tuned!


Upcoming Events! 

Click more information about a GRPL Genealogy Lock-In this Friday, theYWCA's annual TRIBUTE! Awards luncheon & WGVU's Women & Girls Lead Initiative luncheon next week,then Torch Club's"From Marilyn to Madonna: A Brief History of Celebrity Women in the Media," GRHS's "Brewing in Grand Rapids," and the GRPL's Archives A to Z Exhibit in the History and Special Collections Department.




Not a current member of GGRWHC? Membership is easy and helps offset the expenses associated with research and programming presented each year. 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 first Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm 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 at [email protected] or plan to attend a meeting.


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Please take a moment to forward this message to others you know who may be interested in Women's History.  If you've received this message as a forward, consider joining our mailing list (click on the button in the left column above!) in order to receive future updates about programming.

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!