Susan B. Anthony's Birthday Marked by Open House at New Museum
February 12, 2009
By: Tammy Daniels, iBerskshires
ADAMS, Mass. — Bella Richardson got used to strangers knocking on the door of her unassuming white clapboard house on East Road over the years.
"They'd ask to come in and look around," she said Sunday, standing in what was once the front parlor of the 200-year-old home. "But it was privately owned and there wasn't anything here to show them. So they'd ask if they could take pictures of outside. ... I'd get cards and letters thanking me for letting them take pictures."
Soon, those who make the pilgrimage along that back road in Adams will be able to go inside and stand in the same spot as Richardson — the room where Adams' most famous daughter had likely been born exactly 189 years before.
Women's rights advocate Susan B. Anthony spent her earliest years in the home her father, Daniel Anthony, built to house his family and store. She was born in the south parlor, likely the first-floor room that now looks out on East Road.
Anthony might recognize the layout of the center hall Colonial but not much more. The building passed from the Anthony family years ago. Several attempts have been made to turn it into a museum, including a stint in the 1930s and '40s, when it was operated by a Quaker society (the Anthonys were Quakers).
The latest effort is being undertaken by Carol Crossed of New York, who purchased the property in 2006. She and a group of dedicated volunteers have been working to bring the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace and Museum to life. A couple hundred people packed into the small rooms of the four-bedroom home over several hours on Sunday to see how far the nonprofit group has come.
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