“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Troy in Rensselaer County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Emma Willard

Emma Willard Marker in Troy, New York image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 22, 2007
1. Emma Willard Marker in Troy, New York
2/23/1787 – 4/15/1870
Educator, author, & founder
in 1814 of first school for
girls with a curriculum
like that available to boys.
George E. Pataki, Governor

Erected 1998 by New York State Governor’s Commission Honoring the Achievements of Women.
Location. 42° 42.703′ N, 73° 39.92′ W. Marker is in Troy, New York, in Rensselaer County. Marker is on Pawling Avenue (New York State Route 66), on the right when traveling east. Marker is near the front of the Emma Willard School campus. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 285 Pawling Ave, Troy NY 12180, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Albert Pawling (approx. 0.8 miles away); Old Mount Ida Cemetery (approx. 0.8 miles away); Michael Burke (approx. 0.9 miles away); Wilson Farmhouse (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ebenezer Emmons (approx. 1.4 miles away); Gasholder House
Emma Willard School, Sage Hall image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, February 23, 2008
2. Emma Willard School, Sage Hall
(approx. 1.4 miles away); Norman Rockwell (approx. 1˝ miles away); E. & S. Wilson – Brick Manufactory (approx. 1˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Troy.
More about this marker. 1998 marked the 150th Anniversary of the Women’s Rights Movement, launched at the world's first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19 to July 20, 1848.

To honor that anniversary The New York State Governor’s Commission Honoring the Achievements of Women has expanded the New York State historical marker program, started in 1926, to more accurately reflect women’s contributions to history. Each county was asked to participate by nominating three historic local women who contributed to the community and deserved recognition. From these nominations, the Commission sponsored the creation and installation of a historical marker for every participating county.

The markers are cast iron painted with the colors of the suffrage movement, purple and gold. The markers were dedicated and installed throughout the state during the fall of 1998. The Emma Willard marker is one of approximatley 50 markers added that year.
Regarding Emma Willard. Emma Willard 1787–1870. Born the 16th of 17 children near Hartford, Connecticut. In 1807 she began teaching and propounding her strong belief that females beyond the 8th grade were as capable as males in learning math and science. It was widely held that if young women did not study sewing, etc, but tried a rigorous academic course of study, they might take ill or die. In 1814, she had opened the Middlebury Female Seminary in her Vermont home. She wrote and spoke both nationally and internationally on the subject of female education.

Governor Dewitt Clinton invited her to open a school for young women in New York State, which she opened in Waterford in 1819. Waterford did not support the school, but leading citizens of Troy raised money to bring the school to Troy in 1821, where it was called the Troy Female Seminary. The high school was originally where Russell Sage College is now, in downtown Troy. The school’s name was eventually changed, in 1895, to “Emma Willard” to honor its
Slocum Hall image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, February 23, 2008
3. Slocum Hall
The marker is on the right, above and to the left of the stone post.
founder. The roster of graduates of Emma Willard, particularly in the 1800’s, includes many national leaders, including many in the women’s right-to-vote movement. Her sister, Almira, came to teach with Emma, and was principal for about 8 years. She wrote many science textbooks which were used nationally. Almira became, in 1859, only the second woman ever elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Olivia Slocum Sage, an 1847 Troy Female Seminary graduate, became the wealthiest woman in America upon the death of her husband, former congressman, financier and railroad tycoon, Russell Sage, in 1906. At her urging, he had donated at small amount to her idea of founding a college for women. At his death, she helped establish Russell Sage College on the former Emma Willard site downtown, and was the most generous benefactor in helping to build the current Emma Willard School campus atop Mount Ida on Pawling Avenue in Troy, New York in 1909–1910. The three original buildings constructed with that money were Sage Hall, Slocum Hall, and a gymnasium (now the Alumnae Chapel), which were built in collegiate Tudor Gothic splendor.

Today the Emma Willard School’s Pawling Avenue campus is the present-day home of the nation’s oldest secondary school for girls.

Portions of the movies, Scent of a Woman,and The Emperor’s Club
Emma C. (Hart) Willard image. Click for full size.
4. Emma C. (Hart) Willard
Emma Willard: Pioneer in Women’s Education
were filmed on the Emma Willard campus to take advantage of the campus architecture.
Additional keywords. Emma Willard Troy Female Seminary Russel Sage Troy New York Dewitt Clinton Olivia Slocum Sage Seneca Falls Women's Rights
Categories. Notable PersonsWomen
Sage Hall image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 22, 2007
5. Sage Hall
Alumnae Chapel image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, February 23, 2008
6. Alumnae Chapel
The Alumnae Chapel, originally built as a gymnasium in 1909–1910, is one of the three original buildings of the Troy Female Seminary, later the Emma Willard School.

More. Search the internet for Emma Willard.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 6,573 times since then and 51 times this year. Last updated on April 18, 2008, by R of New York, New York. This page was the Marker of the Week March 16, 2008. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 8, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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