Museum spotlights women who shaped Benton County for International Women's Day

Museum spotlights women who shaped Benton County for International Women's Day

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. – On International Women’s Day, the East Benton County History Museum is putting a spotlight on some of our community's most impactful early women.

“The women in our community are tough,” said Stephanie Button, administrator at the East Benton County Historical Society and History Museum. “They are fearless. They are entrepreneurial, we're in the wild west!”

The women left behind a photo, a wreath, a piano, and a story. And Button knows a lot of them.

“It's important for us to share ‘herstory,’ she said. “And share the wonderful lives of the women who've made our community what it is today.”

Behind every photograph is a legacy at the East Benton County History Museum.

Gladys Vickers Crooks was a talented pilot.

“Women did work! They did real work.”

Little Virginia Riblet learned to ride a bike at the tender age of 18-months-old.

“And that put her in the Ripley's Believe It or Not!”

Bea Sherk owned a clothing company.

And there are countless others who shaped Benton County: school teachers, beauty queens, nurses.

“History is essential,” Button said. “It's essential for knowing ourselves, for knowing our community and for knowing our future.”

Button said women haven't been as celebrated in history, and she wants that to change.

“Women can do so much,” she said. “We're mothers, we're wives, we're daughters, we're business people, we're entrepreneurs, we're athletes.”

She said she wants to issue a challenge to everyone this international women's day:

“Hug your mom!” she laughed. “But also, take this time to research a remarkable woman or an everyday woman form our community.”

“Women have a strong and growing role in our community today and it's exciting to know where we came from,” Button said.

If you want to keep learning more about the women from our community's history, visit the museum’s Facebook page—they’ll be featuring women all month.

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