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Historic buildings and sites related to suffrage

Important sites of suffrage activity were not well documented in the state's online database, Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS),
Now these suffrage-related sites are documented on my forms or supplemental sheets in MACRIS. Go to the MACRIS website, enter the MHC ID number (listed below, for example BOS.2651) to go to the current official form, then click on "INV" button to read or download the complete form. Some of my drafts are available in links below. If a link leads to a blank page at MACRIS, try refreshing the page in your browser.

Perhaps the most important site is 585 Boylston Street, Boston. This was the home of many suffrage organizations during the peak years of suffrage activism. The building is still there, across the street from Copley Square. See photos here.
The suffrage organizations moved around Boston, and their other locations are shown in the chart at the bottom of the page here. These organizations were nationally important for the woman suffrage movement.

Boston (kind of in the order I researched these sites)
  • 76 White Street, East Boston home of Judith and Sylvanus Smith, BOS.14278

  • 3 Park Street, home of woman suffrage organizations (building replaced about 1919-1925); for history of previous building, see my supplement sheet at the end of BOS.1935

  • 6 Marlborough Street, home of woman suffrage organizations (building replaced in 1924); for history of previous building, see Historical Narrative in BOS.3080

  • 6 Beacon Street, home of woman suffrage organizations, see my supplement sheets at the end of BOS.1545

  • 112 Salem Street, home of Civic Service House that helped immigrants, funded by suffragist Pauline Agassiz Shaw, BOS.16863. Now home of La Famiglia Giorgio's Restaurant in the North End.

  • 74-94 Boylston Street, 1919 home of Boston Equal Suffrage for Good Government, founded by suffragist Pauline Agassiz Shaw, BOS.2249

  • 585-591 Boylston Street, home of woman suffrage organizations during peak years 1909-1919, BOS.2651 . See photos here.

  • 11 Roanoke Avenue, Jamaica Plain, later home of Judith Smith and her daughter Zilpha Smith, BOS.10115

  • 15 Franklin Street, home of the first US women's rights journal, The Una (1853-1855), published in Providence, then Boston. It would have been near Washington Street. The building is no longer there and does not seem specifically documented in MACRIS. Front pages of two issues of the paper, "A Paper Devoted to the Elevation of Woman," are here and here. Issues of The Una are in the Caroline Wells Healey Dall Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. The 1855 Boston Directory, page 149, had a listing for the paper at 15 Franklin Street. Franklin Street has a history all its own.

BOS sites, alpha order.PNG
1855 Boston Directory, 149, Hewitt, The
  • 167 Tremont Street. From 1916 through 1918, BESAGG’s headquarters were in leased rooms at 167 Tremont Street (building since demolished), BOS.2302. Here BESAGG met and ran the Sunflower Lunch Room. See more here.

  • 74-94 Boylston Street, at Tremont Street, described in BOS.2249. BESAGG had its headquarters in this, the Little Building.

  • 45 Boutwell Street, Dorchester, near Neponset Circle. Not listed in MACRIS, which only lists buildings that existed when documented. This building, commonly known as the Lucy Stone House, was destroyed by fire in 1966. (Thanks to Joelle Million for the following information.) Lucy Stone and her husband built this house in 1872. Alice Stone Blackwell inherited it. It was a center for suffrage activities.  A couple of years after Alice moved from the house, she deeded it to a small charitable organization, "The Lucy Stone Home," to be used for benevolent purposes. For many years it was used as a summer center for disadvantaged children (see Alice Stone Blackwell, Pioneer of Woman's Rights, p. 297).  The Library of Congress has a photo of the house, reproduced in Marlene Merrill, Growing Up in Boston's Gilded Age: The Journal of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1872-74. A photo is also in Sam Bass Warner, Streetcar Suburbs The Process of Growth in Boston 1870-1900, p. 59, credited to S.P.N.E.A., now called Historic New England.

  • 9 Park Street, BOS.1937, home in 1918-1919 of the Boston chapter of the militant National Woman's Party. This was headquarters for an NWP demonstration against US President Wilson when he visited Boston, February 24, 1919. Police arrested 19 or more suffragists and locked them up overnight. In court, 16 refused to pay fines and were sentenced to eight days in jail, where they served some of their sentence. This was the last time this happened to demonstrating suffragists in the US, and the only place this  happened outside Washington, DC. See my continuation sheet at the end of BOS.1937.

  • 9 Appleton Street (49-55 Berkeley Street), Parker Memorial Building, Boston's South End, BOS.18587. This was built in 1872 by followers of Rev. Theodore Parker (1810-1860). He was a Unitarian minister, major American reformer, Transcendentalist, and fierce abolitionist in the mid-1800s. In 1846, he led a new, independent congregation of followers, the 28th Congregational Society of Boston. It became the largest congregation in Boston. Members included Louisa May Alcott, William Lloyd Garrison, Julia Ward Howe, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In 1853, Parker endorsed women's suffrage in the sermon “The Public Function of Woman” and the congregation supported women’s suffrage. After Parker’s death, his followers continued to meet, with various pastors, and in 1872, they built this building as a memorial to Parker. Sylvanus and Judith Smith (covered in a chapter of Summer Suffragists) were early followers, and by 1881, Judith was a member of the Standing Committee of the congregation. Later, the building was the home in the late 1960s of the legendary rock hall "Boston Tea Party" and it now houses condominiums and a 7-11 convenience store.

  • Scituate Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage at iconic Old Scituate Light, SCI.110 and related forms. Earliest summer home of Judith & Sylvanus Smith. See "Scituate Lighthouse was Once Abandoned but not Vacant," by Lyle Nyberg, The Keeper's Log (U.S. Lighthouse Society, November 2019), p. 12, here.

  • 82 Lighthouse Road, summer home of Judith & Sylvanus Smith, which they built in 1896, SCI.519

  • 3 Driftway, summer home of Meyer & Sylvia Bloomfield (now demolished), SCI.1234

  • Other houses of summer suffragists (now demolished). Two examples on Third Cliff are here.

  • The farm (1844-1854) of Sylvanus and Judith Smith was just west of the Dr. Anthony Collamore property and house, which is still there on Washington Street (Rte. 53). See PEM.16, MACRIS with 2020 supplement here.

  • Historic home of William Moore, "Bradford, Capt. Gamaliel House," at 942 Tremont Street (Rte. 3A), DUX.3, MACRIS, with 2020 supplements at the end; download copy here.

  • Sylvanus Smith was raised in "Smith, Jonathan House," at 45 Cedar Street, DUX.37, MACRIS, here, with supplement here.

  • Sylvanus Smith was born in "Peterson, Daniel House," at 612 Washington Street, DUX.261, MACRIS, here, with supplement here.

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