Proceedings of the
Pacific Northwest History Conference 2010
Game Changers and History Makers:
Women in Pacific Northwest History
The Pacific Northwest History Conference took place at The Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington from November 3-5, 2010.
Wednesday, November 3
Women's Words: A Basic Oral History Workshop
"Into the Wilderness"
- Dr. Katrine Barber, Director, Center for Columbia River History and Portland State University Professor of History, Portland.
- Donna Sinclair, Program Manager, Center for Columbia River History and President, Northwest Oral History Association, Vancouver.
The panel will consider what draws women into the wilderness, what attracts us and challenges us. The panel will specifically consider the historical experience from the 1890's to the 1960's, including women's political, economic, exploratory, and recreational contributions.
Chair: Judy Bentley
"The Campbell House: Using Physical Space to Understand Women’s History"
- Judy Bentley, Instructor, English and Pacific Northwest History, South Seattle Community College, and author, Hiking Washington’s History (University of Washington Press, 2010), Seattle.
- Lace Thornberg, Editor, Washington Trails magazine and Trail News and graduate student in archaeology, University of Washington, Seattle.
- Joan Burton, Author, Best Hikes with Kids in Western Washington, and long-time Mountaineer, Seattle.
- Carla Firey, Pacific Northwest mountaineer and Artist, Seattle.
The session will focus on the Campbell House in Spokane, as a case study in how physical space can promote public understanding of social and political history, particularly as the house witnessed the changing social transformations around 1910 as women in Washington achieved the right to vote.
Moderator: Linda Strong, Historian, Spokane
"The Landed Gender: Environmental History from a Women’s Studies Perspective"
- Marsha Rooney, Senior Curator of History, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane.
- Rose Sliger Krause, Curator of Special Collections, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane.
- Gayle Foien, Master of Initial Teaching, Gonzaga University and History Educator, Spokane.
Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Jameson, Imperial Oil-Lincoln McKay Chair in American Studies, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
"Women Religious Communities and Education in the Northwest"
- “Learning to Farm from My Grandmother: Linda Mielke’s Story.” Warner Blake, Interdisciplinary Artist, Snohomish.
- “Women's Relationship with the Land of Pleasant Valley in Western Montana as they are Represented, Misrepresented, and Hidden in the Annals of Western Conquest." Marion G. Dumont, Ph.D. Candidate, California Institute of Integral Studies, Shelton.
Women religious were instrumental in the education of countless students in urban and rural communities across the Northwest. This session looks at a number of innovations that different groups of religious women enacted.
Chair: Maureen Nutting, Professor of History, North Seattle Community College, Seattle.
- “The Impact of the Sisters of Providence and Other Women Religious communities on Education in the Northwest.” Loretta Zwolak Greene, Archivist, Providence Archives, Mother Joseph Province, Seattle.
- “The Sisters of St. Ann as Business Education Innovators, 1890-1960.” Shelley Myhres, Program Coordinator, St. Ann’s National Historic Site, Victoria, B.C.
- “Pierce v. Society of Sisters: The Fight to Preserve Catholic Education in Oregon.” Sarah Cantor, Director of Archives, U.S.-Ontario Province of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Lake Oswego.
Thursday, November 4
"Writing Their Way to Equality: Women in the 19th-Century Pacific Northwest"
Chair: Kimberly Jensen, Ph.D., Department of History Chair, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon.
"Past and Present Contributions of Idaho Women: Advancing Northwest Women’s History and the Crafting of Idaho Women’s History Day”
- “’A Lovely but Unpredictable River’: Frances Fuller Victor’s Early Life and Writing.” Sheri Bartlett Browne, Associate Professor of History & Women’s Studies, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee.
- “The Guiding Principle of “Home Protection” in the Life and Work of Bethenia A. Owens-Adair, M.D.” Jean M. Ward, Professor Emerita of Communication, Lewis & Clark College, Portland.
- “Dear Abby, Mrs. Duniway’s Advice Column in the 1870s.” G. Thomas Edwards, Professor Emeritus of History, Whitman College, Portland.
Students in the Boise State University course, “History of Women in Idaho,” helped develop Idaho Women’s History Day with research papers and poster exhibits at the Idaho State Capitol. These papers represent three perspectives on that project and highlight research on three women in Idaho history.
Chair: Erin Passehl
"Leadership Roles in Health Care: Sisters Setting the Pace and Taking the Helm of Hospital Administration and Training"
- “Espe Alegria: Cultural Advisor and Voice of the Basques in American Radio.” Erin Passehl, Librarian/Archivist and Assistant Professor, Boise State University, Boise.
- “May Arkwright Hutton: The Influence of Her Idaho Experience on the Suffrage Movement." Stephanie Milne, Graduate Student/Adjunct Faculty, Boise State University, Boise.
- “Agnes Just Reid: Poet and Author Sketched the Agrarian History of the Snake River Valley.” Ashley Chapman, Undergraduate, Boise State University, Boise.
The session will provide examples of the impact of pioneering religious women on the establishment and growth of health care in the West.
Chair: Emily Hughes Dominick
"Legislating for Women: Veteran Activists Compare Notes"
- “Nursing Education in the Northwest.” Maura Egan, Ph.D., RN, Independent Scholar, Steilacoom.
- “Contributions of the St. Joseph School of Nursing in Victoria, British Columbia.” Theresa Vogel, Executive Director, The Society of Friends of St. Ann’s Academy, Victoria, BC.
- “To do what needs to be done”: Sisters of Providence as Hospital Administrators.” Emily Hughes Dominick, Associate Archivist, Providence Archives, Seattle.
In the 1970s, legislatures in the Northwest all passed significant feminist legislation. What were the strategy and tactics that led to the startling success of young female legislators and their newly-organized lobbying groups? In this panel, veteran feminist legislators compare their memories of that exciting era.
Chair: Sue Armitage, Professor of History and Women’s Studies, Emerita, Washington State University, Pullman.
- Senator Karen Fraser, 22nd District, Washington State Legislature, Olympia.
- Representative Diane Sands, 95th House District, Montana State Legislature, Missoula.
Chair: Shanna Stevenson, Coordinator, Washington Women’s History Consortium/Washington State Historical Society, Olympia.
"Women in the Arts: Cultural and Historical Legacies"
- “A Centennial Celebration of Mary V. Dodge’s Musical Legacy in the Pacific Northwest.” Donna Evans, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, Washington State University, Pullman.
- “Whatever Happened to Dainty June? The Rise, Fall and Return of June Havoc.” Gwen Perkins, Education Specialist, Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma.
- “Discovering Viretta Denny: Uncovering an Early Seattle Photographer.” Nicolette Bromberg, Visual Materials Curator, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle.
Chair: Leslie Madsen-Brooks, Assistant Professor History at Boise State University, Boise.
"Emma Smith DeVoe: Documenting Her Suffrage Contributions and Preserving Her Historical Record"
- “Lee Morse, Pioneer of Pop.” Dennis Nyback, Independent Film Archivist and Historian and Anne Richardson, MFA, and Co-curator with Dennis Nyback of the Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival, Portland.
- “The Women Chiefs.” Roberta Ulrich, Writer and Historian, Beaverton.
- “Social Problem More Difficult than Physics Problem: The Papers of Dr. Kwan Hsu, Portland State University’s First Biophysics Professor.”
Lisa Donnelly, Graduate Student, Portland State University, Portland.
No celebration of the centennial of woman suffrage in Washington State would be complete without a panel about Emma Smith DeVoe. The four presenters will provide an all-encompassing look at the suffragist.
Chair: Sue Armitage, Professor of History and Women’s Studies, Emerita, Washington State University, Pullman.
"Baskets, Bonnets, and Pin Cushions: Interpreting the Life and Work of Mary Richardson Walker"
- “Battling for the Nineteenth Amendment: DeVoe and the National Council of Women Voters.” Jennifer Ross-Nazzal, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland University College, Houston, Texas.
- “Digitization of the Emma Smith DeVoe Papers.” Judy Pitchford, Digital Collections Librarian, Washington State Library, Olympia.
- “Emma Smith DeVoe and the National Women’s Hall of Fame.” Sue Lean, Interpretive Exhibit Designer/Project Director, Olympia.
- “National Register Property: The DeVoe Mansion.” Cheryl Teifke, Owner of the DeVoe Mansion, Parkland, Washington.
The session details aspects of a recently-installed exhibit at Washington State University that explores the life and work of Mary Richardson Walker, a young missionary wife who traveled across the Oregon Trail in 1838 to help establish a mission near Spokane.
Chair: Jennifer Thigpen
"Women at Work: In Prohibition, At War, and Fighting Fire"
- “Clifford Drury and E. O. Holland: Collections for the Washington State College Library.” Trevor Bond, Interim Head & Rare Books/Special Collections Librarian, Washington State University, Pullman.
- “Interpreting Mary Richardson Walker’s Life.” Rachael Johnson, M.A, Washington State University, Pullman.
- “Curating the Walker Exhibit.” Jennifer Thigpen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History, Washington State University, Pullman.
The session explores women at work through records in municipal and federal archives.
Chair: Anne Frantilla
"Beyond the Rebel Girl: A Social History of Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest"
- “Women’s Work During Wartime.” Patty McNamee, National Archives and Records Administration—Pacific Alaska Region, Seattle.
- “The Shady Side of the Road: Women in Prohibition.” Carol Buswell, National Archives and Records Administration—Pacific Alaska Region, Seattle.
- “Strength and Stamina: Women in the Seattle Fire Department.” Ann Frantilla, Seattle Municipal Archives, Seattle.
The session explores the history of women radicals in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) in the Pacific Northwest.
Chair: Aaron Goings
"Alternative Leaders: Women Activists and Newsmakers"
- “The IWW and Louise Olivereau and Marie Equi.” Heather Mayer, Ph.D. Candidate, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B. C.
- “Female Members of the IWW in Grays Harbor, Washington.” Aaron Goings, Ph.D. in Progress, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B. C.
Chair: Donna Sinclair, Program Manager, Center for Columbia River History, Vancouver.
"Telling the Story of Local Women’s Suffrage in Primary and Secondary Schools"
- “Tuning In, Dropping Out: Documenting Lesbian Land Communities in the Pacific Northwest.” Heather Burmeister, Graduate Student, Portland State University, Portland.
- “The Mischief-makers: Women’s Movement Development in British Columbia, 1850-1900.” Melanie Ihmels, Master’s Candidate, University of Victoria, Victoria, B. C.
- “Sex by Northwest: Women’s Liberation and the Pacific Northwest Underground Media.” Blake Slonecker, Assistant Professor of History, Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa.
The panel will explore the educational elements of an NEH grant to Tincan in Spokane, which prepared regional teachers to incorporate material on the Washington Women’s Suffrage centennial into classrooms. Panelists will discuss their curriculum research and classroom applications.
Co-Chairs: Elisha Durrant and Nancy D. Engle
- June Lamberd, Teacher, Mead School District, Spokane.
- Elisha Durrant, Tincan Research and History Coordinator, Spokane.
- Kim Kreber, Historian and Educator, Spokane.
- Marcella James, Secondary Social Studies Vertical Chair, Central Valley School District, Spokane.
- Kathy Johnson, Special Education and English Language Development, Principal P-12, Spokane.
- Nancy Engle, Ph.D., Historian, Spokane.
Friday, November 5
"Testing Boundaries, Reaching for Change: Pacific Northwest Women and the Law"
Chair: Shirley Yee, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, University of Washington, Seattle.
"Finding Pacific Northwest Women’s History: Locating, Collecting and Using Primary Sources to Study Women"
- “'Property for Women’--Unearthing the History of the Married Women’s Property Law in Oregon.” Melinda Marie Jette, Ph.D., Franklin Pierce University, Rindge, New Hampshire.
- “'The Rosa Parks of Nome’ –Alaska’s Anti-Discrimination Act and Two Women Pivotal to Its Passage.” Jacquelin Benson Pels, Editor/publisher, Hardscratch Press, Walnut Creek, California.
- “'To Make the Laws that Govern Her': Legal Activism for Woman Suffrage in the Pacific Northwest, 1870-1912. “ Cindy Koenig Richards, Ph.D., Department of Rhetoric and Media Studies, Program in Women’s and Gender Studies, Willamette University, Salem.
The session will deal with the three-pronged problem of researching the history of women from an archivist’s perspective, from a reference perspective, and from a researcher’s perspective.
Chair: Nancy Bunker
"Working Women: Gender and the Heritage Professions"
- “Washington Women’s History Consortium Projects.” Rose Sliger Krause, Curator of Special Collections, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane.
- “Locating Women’s History Nationally.” Nancy Bunker, Associate Professor, Whitworth University, Spokane.
- “Making Women’s History Materials Available at Whitworth University.” Janet Hauck, University Archivist, Whitworth University, Spokane.
The session will investigate the roles gender plays in heritage professions using recent data and comparisons across professions.
Chair: Terry Baxter
"Difficult Lives, Wrenching Decisions: Women and Social Change"
- “Gender Balance in Heritage and Heritage Professions.” Terry Baxter, Records Manager/Archivist, Multnomah County Records Program, Portland.
- “Women’s History in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, 2000-2009.”Eliza Canty-Jones, Editor, Oregon Historical Quarterly, Oregon Historical Society, Portland.
- “Gender Shifts in the Librarian and Archivist Professions and the Impact on Users.” Cassandra A. Schmitt, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene.
Chair: Kathleen Huttenmaier, Director, Social Studies/History Education, Department of History, Eastern Washington University, Cheney.
"Political Change and Education Reform: Women Organizers and Activists"
- “What Orphans? Why Women Relinquished Children in the Pacific Northwest, 1890-1915.” Patricia Hart, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Media, University of Idaho, Moscow.
- “Women with a Common Cause: the Pacific Coast Social Reform Network.” Janice Dilg, Project Director, Century of Action: Oregon Women Vote, 1912-2012, Portland.
- “Housewives or Prostitutes? – Chinese Women in Washington and other Northwestern States Before 1910.” Chuimei Ho, Ph.D., Co-Editor, CINARC (Chinese in Northwest America Research Committee), Bainbridge Island.
Chair: Karen Blair, Ph.D., Chair, Department of History, Central Washington University, Ellensburg.
"Publications with a Purpose"
- “League of Women Voters—Taking Women from Suffrage to Civic Engagement.” Ann Murphy, President, League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area, Spokane.
- “Washington Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.” Marjorie Ann Reeves, Historian for the Robert E. Lee Chapter 885, UDC, Seattle.
- “More than a Sign of the Times: Progressive-Era Educational Efforts of the Portland Section, National Council of Jewish Women.” Emily Stuckman, Graduate Student, Portland State University, Portland.
- “Before They Could Vote: How Women Made a Difference.” Sharon. L. Morris, Senior Lecturer Emeritus, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle.
Chair: Marsha Rooney, Senior Curator of History, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane.
- “Northwest Women Cooking for the Cause: The Role of Cookbooks in the Washington Women’s Suffrage Movement.” Kim Kreber, Historian and Educator, Spokane.
- “The New-Old Pioneer Spirit: Mid-Century Nerve and Know-How in Pacific Northwest Women Memorists.” Peter Donahue, Author and Writer of the “Retrospective Review” column about Northwest literature for WSHS’s Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History, Wenatchee Valley College, Omak.
- “Mountain of Shell: Japanese American Women Poets of Oyster Bay 1900-2000.” Llyn De Danaan, Ph.D., Emerita, The Evergreen State College and Independent Scholar/ Anthropologist, Olympia.