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Join Us at Travelers' Rest State Park for Winter Storytelling Series in honor of Women's History Month - Saturdays in March at 11am

(Missoula, MT) – Join Montana State Parks ( at Travelers’ Rest State Park in Lolo, Montana for the 2014 Winter Storytelling Series on Saturdays at 11am in March.

The programs will honor Women’s History Month and the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Montana. “March is Women’s History Month and we’re excited about this program that celebrates the countless accomplishments of women in Montana,” said Molly Stockdale, Executive Director of the Travelers’ Rest Preservation and Heritage Association. “We wanted to participate in honoring this special month and through the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau we were introduced to an exceptional group of presenters of women’s history.”

When:  Saturdays in March from 11am – Noon

Where:  Travelers’ Rest State Park - Holt Visitor Center and Museum, 6717 Highway 12 W, Lolo, MT 59487 / contact: (406) 273-4253

(The park is located approximately half a mile west of Lolo on Highway 12.)

For directions and more information about Travelers’ Rest State Park visit:

Admission to each program is $4 per adult.  Youths/teens under 18 and all current Travelers’ Rest Preservation & Heritage Association (TRPHA) members are FREE. 

Saturday, March 1, at 11am: Lea Witford presents stories from the Blackfeet. Whitford is a career educator on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and has served as Blackfeet Studies Department Chair at the Blackfeet Community College.  Ms. Witford has authored articles and other materials to help promote Indian Education for All. Lea was elected to the Montana State House in 2012. Lea, her husband Rick and their three children ranch northwest of Santa Rita/Cut Bank on the eastern edge of the Blackfeet Reservation and they operate a small trucking business.

Saturday, March 8 at 11am: Suzette Dussault presents the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program “Jeannette Rankin: Suffragette.” Partial funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

As Jeannette, Ms. Dussault tells the incredible story of how the men and women of Montana: wives, mothers, miners, farmers, ranchers, teachers and preachers joined together in one of the most thrilling grassroots movements in U.S. history. A powerful grassroots campaign worked to overthrow the iron fist of “The Company” and, for the first time in Montana’s history, to successfully approve the Montana constitutional amendment giving Montana women the right to vote. Suzette Dussault, like Jeannette, was born and raised in Missoula. She is a scholar, actress and singer who has brought Jeannette’s stories to countless classrooms and audiences for many years. 

While Ms. Rankin speaks to the adult audience, volunteers will offer children’s programming for our younger visitors.

Saturday, March 15 11am: Jennie Pak presents the Humanities Montana speakers Bureau program, “Mrs. Woody’s Trunk Full of Memories.” Partial funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Jennie Pak presents this living history interpretation of one of Montana’s early pioneer women. Sarah Elizabeth Woody moved west and found herself at the forefront of the birth of a community and the state of Montana. As a wide-eyed young woman, she couldn’t know what life had in store for her. Join Mrs. Woody as she sifts through her old travel trunk. Each item sparks a poignant memory of a life well lived. Mrs. Woody ruminates on the wagon train journey from Iowa to California, her time as a frontier school teacher, and her marriage to Frank H. Woody, Missoula’s first mayor, in a small cabin in the burgeoning village of Missoula. Jennie Pak is a business owner and an avid historical researcher and re-enactor. 

Saturday, March 22 at 11am: Diane Sands presents the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program “Taking Action: A Political History of Women in Montana.” Partial funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

“Taking Action” surveys the role of Montana women beginning with suffrage campaigns during territorial days through their 1914 victory granting women the vote. The political work of diverse groups such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union around alcohol abuse and the Montana Negro Women’s Clubs addressing hate crimes and equal pay on behalf of women and families continues to be relevant today. The presentation concludes with the role of the League of Women Voters in the 1972 Constitutional Convention where 19 women served as delegates and leaders. The political reforms begun more than 100 years ago, including definitions of women’s rights and equal opportunity continue as major political topics today.

Diane Sands is an independent scholar who has spent more than 40 years exploring aspects of Montana women’s history. Diane taught women’s history courses for a decade and founded the Montana Women’s History Project. Retired from the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, Diane serves on the steering committee for the celebration of the 2014 centennial of woman suffrage in Montana. She has served eight years as a member of the Montana House of Representatives.

Complimentary coffee, tea, hot chocolate and home-baked treats will be available at all programs. The Visitor Center and Museum will be open after the programs, from noon until 3:30 p.m.

The Winter Storytelling Series is sponsored by Travelers' Rest Preservation & Heritage Association, First Security Bank, Humanities Montana, Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast and Montana State Parks.



Loren Flynn

Park Manager,

Travelers’ Rest State Park

(406) 273-4253


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