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


December 23, 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
Mary Seeger
Ruth Stevens
Jill Straub
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Happy Holidays: A Gift from the Past!


1920s Grand Rapids Santa Claus Girls

Greetings from GGRWHC's President


As we celebrate the winter holidays, I want to take a moment to thank all our backers for their continued support of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council. Your interest and investment in the Council are appreciated not only by me, but by all the directors. What we do is a labor of love.


We live in a community where many women, as individuals or in groups, do wonderful things to improve the lives of others. But we sometimes lose sight of the fact that women have opportunities today because of those who are no longer with us--women we have come to know through work often fostered by the GGRWHC. They include political activist Emily Burton Ketcham, early physician Frances Armstrong Rutherford, and pioneering teacher Hattie Beverly.


My wish for the new year is for you to continue your support of the research, documentation, and preservation of the lives of local, historical women who made a difference in their time and shoulder the visions and work of women today and into the future. 


Early in 2014 watch for our new website. For now, keep track of us on the old one. Check there for Upcoming Events, especially the award-winning History Detectives. See you on January 18th!


In the meantime, have a peaceful and safe holiday season,

Falinda Geerling

Award-Winning History Detectives Returns!  


On Saturday, January 18th, the GGRWHC and a consortium of local history organizations brings back History Detectives at the Grand Rapids Public Library! Our program will begin the day at 9:30am:

Women and WWII: New Roles and Old Stereotypes
Dr. Richard H. Harms

WWII-era Grand Rapids women operated punch presses in factory jobs previously open only to men.

Presenter Dick Harms, curator of the archives of Calvin College and co-author of Grand Rapids Goes to War, will elaborate how World War II touched every aspect of life in Grand Rapids, how women on the homefront responded to the nation's "call to arms," a little known aspect of local wartime history.

Five other programs will continue through 4 pm: "When the Automobile Came to the Furniture City" (Chuck Snow), "Mr. Rover Visits Grand Rapids" (Melissa Fox), "The Mystery of West Michigan's Sunken Canoes" (Kevin Finney), "Remembering Grandville Avenue" (Mary Angelo), and "Still Standing: 40 Years of Historic Preservation" (Rebecca Smith-Hoffman).

Check our homepage ( for the 2014 brochure, directions about lunch, and full program descriptions.  

February Membership Drive
The week of February 1, 2014, check your snail mail or email for our annual membership letter. This letter will bring you important news about our activities and achievements to date and ways to renew your membership or to become a new member.We look forward to hearing from you then. Remember that March is Women's History Month, always a good time to recall and support the research and programs that honor local, historical women. And we thank you always for your present and past support of GGRWHC!


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 or plan to attend a meeting.


 Share the Newsletter with Your Friends

Forward this newsletter! Friends can sign up to receive it by clicking the button in the left hand margin. Don't assume they are with us--with every technological shift, we miss people.


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!