Executive director of West End Day Nursery from 1969 until 1979, New Bedford’s Eleanor W. Morton (1915-2006) was an educator, community leader and social activist.
Margery V. “Ruby” Dottin (1922-2020) was the first African American woman to be elected to the New Bedford School Committee in 1976.
New Bedford artist Frances Eliot Gifford (1844-1931) was recognized as an accomplished illustrator and celebrated for her representations of birds both alone and in landscapes.
Elizabeth Wrightington Marble (1825-1894) proved her mettle by joining her husband Captain John Marble on two whaling voyages – the Kathleen (1857-1860) and the Awashonks (1860-1862) out of New Bedford.
A color theory pioneer, artist, collector and philanthropist, Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (1842-1939) wrote the 1902 book Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color, a 400-page text that analyzes color proportions of objects to quantify the effect of color on the imagination.
Silhouette artist Josephine Teixeira (1911-2008) was born on November 24, 1911 in the village of Camacha on the island of Madeira to parents Antonio and Genevieve (Neves) Baptiste.
Rubye Haffer Finger (1924-2012) was a compassionate woman of Jewish faith who was an active member in her community.
Westport artist and author Mercy Etta Baker (1876-1957) focused on the Westport landscape, its dunes and natural beauty, in her paintings.
A librarian at the New Bedford Free Public Library, Shirley Bernice Cohen (1924-2000) dedicated her life to helping her community through charity work with the New Bedford Junior Hadassah
Bertha Alpert Cohen (1898-1974), also known as Mrs. A. J. Cohen, or Bessie Alpert, was a lifetime resident of New Bedford and member of Tifereth Israel Synagogue.
Lighting the Way – Historic Women of the South Coast tells the stories of commitment, determination and perseverance of women from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
“Women’s contributions have often been heard as whispers in history,” said Christina Bascom, the project’s designer. Spurred on by tales of a Petticoat Society, a group of women from throughout the community are bringing these stories to life on the SouthCoast. “We are unearthing remarkable stories of women’s personal callings that required grit, tenacity and enduring commitment to their families, community and country. These stories will inspire, motivate and inform generations to come.”