Celebrate Women's History Month At The Wyoming Women's History House

Celebrate Women's History Month At The Wyoming Women's History House

March is Women's History month; discover Wyoming’s bold legacy of female firsts at the Wyoming Women's History House, located at 317 S. 2nd Street in Historic Downtown Laramie. It is a testament to the pioneering spirit of women in Wyoming and their significant contributions to history. Open from March 1st through mid-December, Monday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, this wonderful institution delves into the rich legacy of female firsts in Wyoming, a state proudly known as the Equality State.

Uncover the history of Wyoming’s pioneering women and celebrate historic firsts for women across the globe. One of the most notable milestones celebrated at the Wyoming Women's History House is the historic event of September 6, 1870, when Louisa Gardner Swain became the first woman in the world to cast a vote with equal rights in Laramie, Wyoming. The story of how the 70-year-old "gentle white-haired housewife" came to be the first woman to cast that vote is a simple one. It is said that she "she arose early, put on her apron, shawl and bonnet, and walked downtown with a tin pail in order to purchase yeast from a merchant. She walked by the polling place and concluded she would vote while she was there. The polling place had not yet officially opened, but election officials asked her to come in and cast her ballot."

Her act was made possible by the Wyoming Suffrage Act of December 10, 1869, which granted women the right to vote, setting Wyoming apart from other regions where suffrage was conditional and limited by various factors. Importantly, this act extended suffrage to all women in Wyoming, irrespective of their social or economic status.

The exhibits at the Wyoming Women's History House illuminate not only Swain's groundbreaking achievement but also pay tribute to other trailblazing Wyoming women of the 20th-century. Visitors can explore stories of the first woman governor in the nation, the first woman to serve as a justice of the peace, the first woman to sit on a jury, and the first woman of color representative in Wyoming’s Legislature.

The Wyoming Women's History House is made possible by the support of the Louisa Swain Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting education in democracy, human rights, and suffrage. The Foundation also aims to recognize individuals who embody the qualities of community, courage, and strength of character exemplified by Louisa Swain when she cast her historic ballot.

In essence, the Wyoming Women's History House serves as a beacon of inspiration, highlighting the resilience, determination, and pioneering spirit of women throughout Wyoming's history and beyond. For more information go to wyomingwomenshistoryhouse.org or call 307-399-9571.