Women’s History Month Spotlight: The Richmond Home for Ladies

Virginia Museum of History & Culture's Blog

Original Home at 515 North Seventh Street; in use from 1883-1914. Original Home at 515 North Seventh Street; in use from 1883-1914.

Play the system. I can think of no better way to describe the strategy adopted by the first women who ran The Richmond Home for Ladies, an elderly care facility for women established in 1883 and still operating today as Covenant Woods. In honor of Women’s History Month, I thought I’d take the opportunity to highlight how the experience of early female volunteers for the organization followed that of many so-called New Women, Progressive-Era feminists who used social reform to establish a role for themselves outside the home. As a whole, these women provided a niche for subsequent generations to gain a greater presence in the workforce and society at large.

Inspired by concern for the welfare of elderly female members of area Methodist and Presbyterian churches, The Richmond Home for Ladies was established by a group of local…

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