LEC Receives Grants for Women’s Rights Walkway

LEC will be hosting a Suffrage Fundraiser to benefit continued installations.

Lake Erie College has received two grants to fund the addition of interpretive signs to the Women’s Rights Walkway and College Hall. The three new interpretive signs and the Susan B. Anthony Exhibit will be dedicated on Friday, August 26 at 6pm in front of College Hall.

The first grant from the Western Reserve Junior Service League is for $1,782.78 to fund the Ohio Woman’s Suffrage Association interpretive sign for the walkway. The grant was submitted by the Dean of the School of Education, Katharine Delavan. The two other signs that will be featured in the Women’s Rights Walkway include sponsorship from Lisa Lewins, The Candoren House Owner to install the History of Women’s Suffrage sign;  and The Lake County Bar Association in partnership with Judge Mary Jane Trapp and Judge Maryann Sezon are sponsoring a sign honoring Judge Florence Allen. 

“The bench and bar jumped at the opportunity to honor a woman of firsts and to share the incredible achievements of this trail blazing legal aid lawyer, prosecutor, judge, and justice with the public,” Trapp said. “We hope young women reading about her life and seeing the photos of her as a young suffragist and then as a judge will be inspired to follow their dreams of achievement.”

The signs are designed by Kayla Metzger, who previously interned with Ohio History Service Corps for the first installation of signs in August 2021. Metzger has stayed on the project to provide consistency for the signage and content authenticity. Kayla is now the Site Manager at the Spring Hill Historic Home in Massillon, Ohio.

“I have chosen to stay on the project since my job change because of Katharine and the other individuals that have been so dedicated to teaching and inspiring current and future generations about those who made a difference before them,” Metzger said. “The project enables me to combine my interests, history and graphic design, and I enjoy continuing to learn more about the suffrage movement and the various women and men who contributed to it.”

The second grant is from Ohio Humanities and totals $2,000. The grant funds the Susan B. Anthony Exhibit that will be installed in College Hall. The permanent exhibit  includes a facsimile of the letter Susan B. Anthony wrote to college president Mary Evans, thanking her for the visit with the girls and the ability to speak to their “heads and hearts” in May 1885. The grant is a collaborative effort from Delavan, Director of the Lincoln Library Jeanna Purses, and Jessica Baloun – an AmeriCorps Member with YSU and Trumbull County Historical Society.

“Working on this grant with Katharine and Jessica was an absolute pleasure and thrill,” Purses said. “This letter needs to be available to our community because it is an inspiration to all of what can be accomplished through persistence and passion.” 

The Sidley Construction Company has graciously agreed to host a Suffrage Fundraiser to benefit continued installation of interpretive signs and exhibit display at Lake Erie College. The fundraiser requires the purchase of a ticket and includes a tour of the historic Casement House, historical portrayals of Frances Jennings Casement, Susan B. Anthony and Mary Evans by Women in History and LEC Alum Alex Strawbridge ‘21.

The Casement House is the former residence of Frances Jennings Casement and her husband Gen. Jack Casement. Her friend Susan B. Anthony stayed in the house on at least two occasions, one of those occasions was for the Ohio Women’s Suffrage Association Convention held at the Painesville Methodist/Episcopal Church in May of 1885. 

“Our area has a deep and strong history in women’s suffrage. It is my intention to raise awareness of the amazing women and men who stood up for women’s rights and inspire current and future generations to continue their work and instill a sense of pride in Painesville and surrounding communities,” Dr. Katharine Delavan.

Register Now For Our Suffrage Fundraiser