Women have played significant roles in New Jersey history through politics, scientific advancements, arts, culture, etc. The Journey Through Jersey and the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail websites provide information that demonstrate and recognize women’s significant contributions throughout several centuries.
Using the websites as guides, visitors can walk in the footsteps of inspirational and famous women who served as abolitionists, suffragists, physicians, ministers, war heroes, and more. Journey Through Jersey has several categories to explore, such as “Women’s History Along New Jersey’s Scenic Byways,” “Revolutionary Women,” and “Camden County Women.” Interactive maps pinpoint specific historic sites attributed to women and guide you throughout the Garden State. The New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail features over 90 historic sites in a digital book that spans the state from Atlantic County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Salem County, and Union County.
Deborah Marquis Kelly, a board member of the New Jersey Historic Trust, co-authored the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail. In an interview with NJ.com, Kelly explained that the project was a “two-year, grassroots effort” to connect with “municipalities” and “organizations” across New Jersey. All communication was done “pre-internet” and required “driving” to locations, “making phone calls, and sending letters to different townships or historical societies” and asking them to “nominate women where there was a site existing that they thought was significant enough for the Women’s Heritage Trail.” The process took two years. In the end, the State Historic Preservation Office evaluated the criteria. The result was the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail, which features a “wide geographic distribution by not only county, but also of interest and sectors.”
The New Jersey Historic Preservation Office hopes to expand the trail. To nominate a site, follow the link to the Journey Through Jersey Historic Site Nomination Form. For more information on the history of the Women’s Heritage Trail, click here.