Blast from the Past: Women's History Month


Ever heard of the Alachua County Library District's Heritage Collection? No?! The Heritage Collection consists of over 1,100 historical photographs from all aspects of daily life in the Alachua County area. Treat yourself to a journey of amazing historical detail and profound human interest through this annotated photographic exposé of the Alachua region spanning the 1870s through the 1970s. Experience and understand local history in a different way, through the faces and places of the past that still influence the present.

March is Women’s History Month, so we’re focusing this month’s Blast from the Past on them. Throughout history women have been mostly seen as inferior to men, despite their important roles in society. When President Jimmy Carter proclaimed March as Women's History Month in 1980, he wrote, "men and women worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America is as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well." The following photos show the many facets of these women's lives. Click on the images for more information about each picture. 

Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage: Wives and Mothers
Emma Williams and children
Emma Williams, a teacher at the Union Academy, watching over her children as they play.
Minnie Blitch Godwin and her children
Mary Blitch Godwin widowed with four children.
Mrs. Miller, Getzen, and Tigert
Nell Martin Critzer Miller wife of a UF President, Josephine Brooks Getzen, wife of a Florida state senator, and Edith Bristol Tigert, wife of a UF President.
African American mother with children
A mother and her children in High Springs.
A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste: Teachers and Students
Teacher and students in High Springs
A teacher with her students in High Springs.
Miss Tebeau's Students
Tebeau School students, Gainesville's premier school for young women for over 60 years.
East Florida Seminary Girls
Female East Florida Seminary students in 1903. The school was absorbed into the University of Florida in 1905.
Tebeau School Graduates
Graduates of the Tebeau School founded in 1873.
Caring and Sharing: Community Service
Women celebrating library service in Hawthorne
Members of the Hawthorne Woman’s Club celebrating library service coming to Hawthorne in 1959.
Little Women's Club, daughters of Gainesville Women's Club members
Group portrait of the Little Women’s Club in 1954. The club was for younger members of the Gainesville Woman’s Club.
Helen Ellerbe, Alachua County Historical Commissioner
Librarian Helen Ellerbe with the Alachua County Historical Commission in 1966. She was the commission chairperson from 1979 to 1987.
Mary Godwin giving first aid to doll
Mary Godwin practicing her first aid skills on her doll.
Workin' Hard for the Money: Jobs Outside the Home
Nina Berkstresser in WWII Army Corps uniform
Nina Berkstresser served in the Women’s Army Corps in WWII. She was also the postmaster of Hawthorne for many years.
Women working at Waffle House
Two women working hard at the counter of the popular Waffle Shop. 
Library Director Beth Daane
Librarian Beth Daane, working in the Reference area of the Santa Fe Regional Library Headquarters building.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Women's Drill Team at East Florida Seminary
No twirling batons for these ladies. The Women’s Drill Team at East Florida Seminary practicing with spears. 
9 girls performing The Cherry Tree Number
Nine girls performing the Cherry Tree Number in a Gainesville Fine Arts Association program.
Group of women at Magnesia Springs
Women outside the entrance to the Magnesia Springs swimming pools near Hawthorne in 1945.
Farm Bureau Convention Beauty Queens
Miss Suwannee County, Miss Desoto County, and an unknown contestant at the 31st Annual Florida Farm Bureau convention with Florida Governor Askew.
Esther Serena Jordan with children in decorated car
Esther Serena Jordan driving a decorated car full of children. Perhaps they are going to be in a parade?


By BethN on March 16, 2024