PPR Strategies


Honoring Women’s History Month

Today’s blog is contributed by Hannah Clawson, PPR’s new Senior Content Writer. 

Entering the world of economic development and tourism after a decade in historic preservation has been a refreshing (and sometimes dizzying) change. Surprisingly, the two fields are more intertwined than you’d think. Both are grounded in the idea of community empowerment – albeit from different perspectives – one looking back at the past community, the other envisioning its future.

An area’s history is not just a story on a pamphlet or placard outside a building; it’s the cornerstone upon which its future is built. For communities, it is essential to embrace and acknowledge your history. 

When visiting a new place, it is second nature for me to seek out its history. What were its defining industries? Who were its notable residents? What imbues it with its distinct uniqueness? Living around the DC metro area, there is no shortage of historical gems to explore – my wish list of destinations keeps growing! At PPR Strategies, we know that viewing such sites through an economic development lens reveals their crucial role in showcasing the area’s history daily and preserving stories. 

Celebrate Women’s History Month by exploring places around your area that converge the past and present (and maybe inspire how your place can honor its historic women). 

As a lifelong Marylander, I’ve been able to explore some beautiful, historic places around the state that celebrate women. Here are a few of my favorites and sites that are still on the list! 

St. John’s Site Museum | Historic St. Mary’s City

In 1648, Margaret Brent was the first woman to request the right to vote in the U.S. The museum educates visitors on the archaeological dig of a house from this time in Maryland history and a memorial to Brent.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway | Eastern Maryland 

125-mile stretch and 18 attractions mark the experiences of Harriet Tubman and other escaped enslaved persons. Learn about the remarkable journey many took along this route and how Harriet bravely led over 70 people to freedom. 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Museum | Greenbelt, MD

This site honors pioneering African-American scientists and mathematicians like Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson — all of whom contributed significantly to the Space Race of the 1960s and were featured in the movie “Hidden Figures.” 

Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum | Baltimore, MD 

The home turned museum celebrates Lillie Carroll Jackson, President of the Baltimore NAACP from 1935 to 1970. Under her leadership, the NAACP helped desegregate spaces in Maryland and advanced the rights of African Americans in Baltimore. 

Rachel Carson Conservation Park | Montgomery County
Environmentalist and author Rachel Carson penned her 1962 book Silent Spring in Montgomery County. The park honors Carson by preserving 650 acres in the Brookville


Barbara Fritchie House | Frederick, MD 

As the rebel army marched into Frederick during the Civil War, Barbara Fritchie (then 95 years old) was said to refuse to take down her Union Flag. The act inspired a famous poem, and her house still stands in Frederick to honor her bravery and defiance. 

How does your place celebrate its historic women? 

PPR can help strategize initiatives to celebrate your place’s history and craft programs to support the next generation of leaders. Set up a 15-minute call with Sandy Dubay, CEcD, to talk about the possibilities!

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