Reflections on Packing Up the Suffrage Costumes

There they hang in our closets—the long black skirts, the old hats adorned with Centennial pins and flowers, and the “Votes for Women” sashes. We wore them in while marching in 4th of July parades, while performing a Reader’s Theater presentation, and during Vicki Roberts-Gassler’s debut as a playwright in her unique suffrage play (performed recently during LWV of Skagit County’s Zoom meeting).  Wearing our costumes brought new suffragists into our group consciousness.

I felt a wave of sentimentality as my vintage suitcase was placed in the closet. It had once carried donated books about women’s suffrage to read to third graders, thanks to the many League members who went to over 74 school libraries in Snohomish County last year.

After we completed three of the four Centennial grant projects, the “Where’s Missouri Hanna?” Children’s Scavenger Hunt (set for this past June) was cancelled due to the pandemic. But the state grantors had not forgotten—“Design a new project or replace the funds.” This cloud of concern weighed over our heads, while various ideas were suggested by the LWVSC Board and our Centennial Committee.

Seven months later, out of the blue, the Washington State Historical Society sent a letter confirming that all requirements have been fulfilled. The file is now closed. HOORAY!

Meanwhile, the local Girl Scout Council decided to take on our suffrage resources and these young scouts, from Brownies to Cadets, will learn about the bold actions of our suffragists 100 years ago, and earn their Civics Patch.

Will they want to borrow our suffrage costumes? Wouldn’t it be great to have them join us in the Edmonds 4th of July parade when life is normal again?

Rita Ireland