Purple, white and gold. The colors symbolizing women’s suffrage were everywhere in Tydings Memorial Park in Havre de Grace, Md.
On Saturday, March 27, nearly 150 people gathered in the waterfront park for the dedication ceremony of a new National Votes for Women Trail (NVWT) marker commemorating women’s suffrage leader Elizabeth Forbes and her associates.
In 1915, Forbes and other suffragists rallied in Havre de Grace to garner support for women’s voting rights. Their tireless efforts, like countless other suffrage advocates at the time, helped lead to the passing of the 19th Amendment a few years later in 1920.
The March 27 celebration served as a link between that historical past and the impact on the present. The event kicked off with a parade down South Union Avenue leading to Tydings Park where the rest of the celebration took place. Among the flowers, flags, posters and costumes, Havre de Grace’s pride in community history was palpable. The event was the culmination of a weeklong celebration as reported on by The Baltimore Sun.
The dedication ceremony included a keynote address by Dr. Amy Rosenkrans, the scholar who conducted the research for the NVWT marker funded by the Pomeroy Foundation. Remarks were also given by Havre de Grace Mayor William Martin, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center (MWHC) President Maria Johnson Darby and MWHC Executive Director Diana Bailey. Pomeroy Foundation Communications Consultant Steve Bodnar shared a letter from Paula Miller, Executive Director of the Foundation. Decedents of Elizabeth Forbes were also present at the event.
To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment the Pomeroy Foundation partnered with the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, which administers the NVWT. The Foundation is funding 250 NVWT markers across the country. You can check out current NVWT markers on the Foundation’s marker map.
The NVWT marker for Elizabeth Forbes and the 1915 rally is the second historic marker funded by the Pomeroy Foundation in Havre de Grace. The first is a Lafayette Trail marker that was dedicated in November 2020.