The Rapidian

Legacy Landmarks: New walking tour this Saturday of 16 sites significant in the history of Grand Rapids women

Underwriting support from:
Elizabeth Eaglesfield, the first woman to practice law in Grand Rapids

Elizabeth Eaglesfield, the first woman to practice law in Grand Rapids /Grand Rapids Public Library, Local History Department

Helen Jackson Claytor, the first African-American elected president of the local YWCA in 1949

Helen Jackson Claytor, the first African-American elected president of the local YWCA in 1949 /Grand Rapids Public Library, Local History Department

The Ladies' Literary Club built this clubhouse in 1887 at 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE, the first of its kind in the United States

The Ladies' Literary Club built this clubhouse in 1887 at 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE, the first of its kind in the United States /Grand Rapids Public Library, Local History Department

A month-long celebration of Women's History Month continues Saturday, March 6 with a new walking tour of downtown landmark sites significant in the history of Grand Rapids women.


This inaugural walk, titled "Legacy Landmarks: Walking with Women Who Left Their Mark on Grand Rapids", begins at 10 a.m. in the downtown branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE. Marcella Beck of the library's local history department will introduce the self-guided tour in the VanderVeen Center on the 4th floor where attendees can pick up a brochure and map that highlight the 16 landmarks.


Walking with women who left their mark


From the downtown library, the tour continues east to Prospect Avenue SE to a home where Elizabeth Eaglesfield, the city's first female to practice law, set up her practice. It then travels south to Cherry Street SE and north along Sheldon Blvd. SE to the YWCA where Helen Jackson Claytor was elected president in 1949, the first African-American woman to serve in that capacity. The route continues through Monroe Center, crosses the Grand River at Pearl Street NW and continues north to Bridge Street NW where it begins a return route to the library.


Among other landmarks on the tour are the St. Cecilia's Music Society's building, the Women's City's Club, the Ladies' Literary Club, Calder Plaza and St. Mark's Church.


The tour is co-sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids Historical Commission, and the Grand Rapids Historical Society.


More events

A complete listing of Legacy 2010 events, a celebration of the many hats worn by women at work and play in West Michigan, is posted here.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.

Browse