A reception for the expanded “Leaders & Legacy: Women of Hanover” exhibit at the Hanover Museum of History & Culture drew a large and enthusiastic crowd on the evening of October 13th.
The exhibit recognizes women from all walks of life who made their mark on our county's - and our country's - history and culture from the 1600's to the present day.
Leaders & Legacy begins with the story of Cockacoeske, who was called “the Queen of the Pamunkey” by English leaders. She ruled that tribe for 30 years after the death of her husband, Totopotomoi, and in 1677 signed a treaty with Great Britain which united several tribes and made the Pamunkey Indians subjects of the King of England. That treaty gave the tribe hunting rights and permanent ownership of land including parts of what would become Hanover County.
Among the other women featured are Martha Ann Fields who lived on what is now the County Complex property as an enslaved person with her children and escaped across the Chickahominy to freedom, as well as Lois Chenault and Nina Peace who were the first women elected to office in Hanover. Plus, there are a number of entrepreneurs, educational leaders, and women who profoundly impacted everyday life in Hanover through their innovation and service to others.
“We are so fortunate to have this museum and visitor center, and we are excited about all of the great things to come in the future,” said County Administrator John A. Budesky in welcoming the crowd. “I hope you will come back again in the future and help us to spread the word about it.”
"Leaders & Legacy is an important example of how we have begun tell ALL the stories here in Hanover,” said Angela Kelly-Wiecek, the Chair of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors and the representative of the Chickahominy District. “We want to encourage more cultural experiences like this one because they create broader understanding, better community engagement, and ultimately they help us form good public policy.”
“All these people together tell the story of Hanover County,” said Anne G. Cross, curator of the exhibit. “I am honored to have been a part of this.”
The Hanover Museum of History & Culture is located at 7496 County Complex Road in the Hanover County Government Complex. “Leaders & Legacy: Women of Hanover” is expected to run at least through the end of this year. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and by special appointment. Please call 804-365-7150 or email [email protected] for more information.