Pioneering Women of Dorchester County

Pioneering Women of Dorchester County 2020-06-29T11:26:07-04:00

Pioneering Women of Dorchester County

Women Take Center Stage on the Eastern Shore

One hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment of the Constitution – guaranteeing every American woman the right to vote – was signed into law. To mark this landmark anniversary, women across the country will celebrate the “Valiant Women of the Vote.” Special events, exhibits and activities honoring “the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women and the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others” are planned in every state.

2020 Year of the Woman in Maryland

And in Maryland, Governor Hogan declared 2020 the Year of the Woman. Celebrating this centennial, the state is launching programs, activities and events by women, for women and focused on women traveling to and through Maryland. From women of influence to significant sites – including our own Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center – special exhibits and events are planned to showcase the role of women in Maryland’s past, present and future.

Dorchester Celebrates Pioneers, Women of Influence

Honoring Dorchester County's Pioneering WomenHere in Dorchester County, we are celebrating the pioneering women of our Eastern Shore community. We invite you to visit the Heart of Chesapeake Country to meet the spirited and soulful leaders who shaped our landscape – and continue to do so today.

From legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman and political groundbreaker Anna Ella Carroll to civil rights icon Gloria Richardson Dandridge and actress and equal rights pioneer Bea Arthur, we’ll profile women past and present. Each month, we’ll showcase the women who help make Dorchester County a wonderful destination for visitors who love history, nature, art and food.

Visit Dorchester County and Celebrate the Year of the Woman!

Susan Meredith of Blackwater Adventures - Photo by Stephen Bland

Outdoors inspires family business

Susan Meredith shares the back story of her family, their passion for nature and local history, and the birth and success of their Dorchester County-based outfitters and tour guide business, Blackwater Adventures. Read more.

Jennifer Layton of Layton's Chance Vineyard & Winery

Meeting curveballs
face on at
the winery

Jennifer Layton, general manager the family-owned Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery, reflects on the winery’s first decade, the recent designation as the state’s first winery, and the challenges they’re taking on during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Midge Ingersoll (left) and Shirley Jackson - Handsell

Two Women
Preserving History

Midge Ingersoll and Shirley Jackson formed a friendship and alliance, built on  their shared love of Dorchester County history concentrated at the site of Handsell House and the former Indian Town near Vienna – and the stories of repression, resilience, redemption and healing. Read more.

Women of 
Tubman

Meet three women standing sentry on Harriet Tubman’s legacy. Dana Paterra, Deanna Mitchell and Angie Crenshaw are inspired by Harriet’s extraordinary courage and commitment to faith, family and freedom. Their careers are linked by their missions to engage, educate and promote a national hero. Read more.

Anna Ella Carroll - Photo courtesy Library Company of Philadelphia Digital Collections

Anna Ella Carroll

Anna was a “politician, pamphleteer and lobbyist” from the Eastern Shore. A close friend of President Abraham Lincoln, she devised the successful Tennessee Campaign during the Civil War and guided the President on his constitutional war powers. Visit Old Trinity Episcopal Church in Church Creek to see where Anna was laid to rest in 1894. Read more.

Bea
Arthur

Emmy Award-winning actress Bea Arthur grew up in Cambridge and went on to fame with the TV sitcoms Maude and The Golden Girls. She was voted “wittiest girl” by her Cambridge High School classmates. Arthur was a longtime champion of equal rights for women. Read more.

Gloria Richardson Dandridge_800x600

Gloria Richardson

One of the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights movement, Gloria Richardson was the first woman in the country to lead a grassroots civil rights organization outside the Deep South. She helped to launch and lead the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee. Take the Pine Street Walking Tour to learn her amazing story. Read more.

Annie
Oakley

A legendary sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and international star, Annie Oakley and her husband Frank Butler built a home in Cambridge overlooking the Choptank River in 1912. Oakley used to step outside their bedroom onto the roof to shoot ducks on the river. The house still stands but is privately owned. Read more.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

Born into slavery, Araminta Ross (later known as Harriet Tubman) was one of the greatest leaders of the Underground Railroad. She was also a trailblazer in the fight for the right to vote. Take a powerful and inspiring journey to the places on Maryland’s Eastern Shore where Tubman lived, worked, worshipped, and led others out of slavery. Read more.