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Let’s Celebrate Staunton Women!


March is Women’s History Month, and it’s time to celebrate the contributions women have made toward history and society, especially close to home. Here’s a guide to what’s happening in Staunton for Women’s Day.

Women’s Day

We first observed National Women’s Day in 1909 following a strike by NYC garment workers protesting poor working conditions. Later, in 1977, The United Nations recognized International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day calls for work toward gender equality and celebrates the achievements of women around the world. In the U.S., it’s part of Women’s Month, a recognition of women’s contributions to history, culture, and society that occurs each March.

Queen City Women’s Day

Staunton will celebrate Queen City Women’s Day on Saturday, March 9th from 10 am – 10 pm. Follow on Facebook for updates and schedules, but you can expect lots of business participation, pop-up vendors, artists, performances, dining, learning, and celebration of women’s impact on the local economy.

Event organizers hope the public will “celebrate, support, and amplify the impact women have on our community by attending this one-day event to learn, explore, buy, and experience the talents and treasures that’ll be showcased throughout town.” 

Valley Women’s Weekend

The Valley Women’s Weekend will take place next weekend at locations up and down the Shenandoah Valley. Here’s a link to all events from Valley Women’s Weekend. Check out the March 8th Waynesboro Women’s Event and the Queen City Music Studio’s House Concert Series: Women Who Rock on March 24th at Baja Bean Co. (7 – 10 pm)

Staunton’s Historical Women

  • Lady Rebecca Staunton – Staunton was originally called “Augusta Courthouse.” Its current name came from Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of William Gooch, the first colonial governor of Virginia (1727-1749). Gooch encouraged colonists to settle in the Shenandoah Valley. Interestingly, Staunton’s name was actually pronounced “STAN-ton,” and there’s no clear consensus as to why the sounds shifted. 
  • Rita Wilson, Staunton’s first Black councilwoman and vice mayor, served the community for 16 years. She worked tirelessly toward solving community problems and speaking for the underrepresented.
  • Mary Baldwin graduated from what was then called Augusta Female Seminary in 1846 and took over the school’s leadership in 1863. She kept the school out of financial distress and revamped the curriculum. It was soon considered “one of the most distinguished for young women in the southern states.” The school was renamed in her honor.
  • Edith Bolling Wilson was married to President Woodrow Wilson. After a stroke left him bedridden, she helped manage his office. The former first lady later worked to establish the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library.
  • YuLee Larner was a self-taught ornithologist who wrote Birds of Augusta County, Virginia and Virginia’s Birdlife: An Annotated Checklist. She was a founding member of the Augusta Bird Club and a president of the Virginia Society of Ornithology. Named for her, the YuLee Trail through Staunton’s Montgomery Hall Park is a wonderful place to walk, mountain bike, and look for wildlife.

Support Staunton’s Female-Owned Businesses

Here’s how to buy products or services from female-owned businesses operating in Staunton.

Female-Owned Businesses in Staunton

Female Co-Owned Businesses in Staunton

Female Business Controllers in Staunton


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