Library program celebrates the woman suffrage movement

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The “Book Review and Soup and Salad Too” program featured a speaker, basket raffle and food. The funds went toward the Springfield Capital Campaign. They have a goal of $100,000 for the year to help the Springfield library.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Christine Ridarsky presented on a book she coedited. the book, "Susan B. Anthony and the Struggle For Equal Rights," features seven essays on Anthony and the suffrage movement. Ridarsky, a Springfield graduate, now works in Rochester as a historian works with the library and the Susan B. Anthony House.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Christine Ridarsky brought an exhibit with her that detailed important women of the late 1800s and early 1900s and the timeline of the woman suffrage movement. Her presentations focused on the life of Susan B. Anthony and the suffrage movement.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Rochester City Historian Christine Ridarsky gave a presentation at the Poland library on April 14 on a book she coedited. The program raised funds for the Springfield Capital Campaign for the Springfield library.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Springfield Capital Campaign Committee invited representatives from the Upton House in Warren. The house formerly belonged to Harriet Taylor Upton, an important player in the woman suffrage movement and colleague of Susan B. Anthony. The house is now a national landmark and museum. Pictured are, from left, Marti Flint, Sandy Mahaffay and Sandy Sarsany.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

The Poland library hosted the “Book Review and Soup and Salad Too” program on April 15 as a fundraiser for the Springfield Capital Campaign.

The committee for the campaign has created events throughout the year to reach their goal of $100,000 to benefit the Springfield library. They brought in Rochester City Historian Christine Ridarsky to give a presentation on the book that she coedited, “Susan B. Anthony and the Struggle For Equal Rights.”

Committee member Judy Kovalan said that the group wanted to have a speaker for an event and she suggested her niece, Ridarsky. Ridarsky is a graduate of Springfield High School and often visited the Springfield library as a child. Her great aunt and Kovalan both worked at the library. She said she is excited to see it expand.

Her interest in women’s history comes from having strong women in her life. She knew her great grandmother well and joked that she was “full of hell and spitfire.” These strong women in her life led her to look at the stories of strong women in history, such as Susan B. Anthony, who fought for women’s right to vote.

She works closely with the history of Anthony and the women’s suffrage movement since she is a historian in Rochester, Anthony’s hometown. She said she is gearing up for 2020, the 100th year anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote, the 200th anniversary of Anthony’s birth and the 50th anniversary of the Susan B. Anthony House, a museum dedicated to Anthony.

While introducing herself before her introduction, she said that her love for history can be traced back to the Poland library. When in middle school, she participated in National History Day’s essay contest twice and did her research at the library. One of the essays explored Poland’s involvement in the Underground Railroad.

Her presentation focused on the book she coedited, which was a book of seven essays from a conference at the University of Rochester that she cochaired to commemorate the anniversary of Anthony’s death in 1906.

She explored several of the essays, placing them neatly in the context of the history of the time. After the essays, she gave information on other important women of Anthony’s time, including Martha Matilda Harper, Abigail Bush and Anthony’s sister Mary. Then, she showed pictures from Rochester relating to Anthony and her museum. She answered questions from the attendees after she presented.

She brought pins and pamphlets with her from the Susan B. Anthony House, as well as a number of large posters. These posters had information detailing the history of women’s right to vote and giving information about women of the time.

The committee also invited representatives from the local Upton House in Warren. The Upton House, a temporary center for the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1903, is the historic landmark of Harriet Taylor Upton’s home. Upton, a close colleague of Anthony’s, worked to gain women’s right to vote. The group spoke about the local history the area has in the movement and had informational pamphlets about the house.

The event also featured two raffles, a 50/50 and basket raffle. Dino’s Restaurant catered the event and provided soup and salad.

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