The History Museum and Research Center are temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back for reopening information soon. Close
The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour video series 2

The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour video series

Celebrating the National Women's Suffrage Centennial
  • Dates:
    Look for whistle stop video posts on social media as the Suffrage Special virtually rolls across Washington.
  • Ages:
    All ages
  • Where:
    Facebook @washingtonhistory and @suffrage100wa and at WashingtonHistory.org
  • Tickets:

    Free

  • Accessibility:

    Accessible online via Facebook and the WSHS website

August 2020 marks the National Women’s Suffrage Centennial and to celebrate, we invite you to climb aboard the digitally delivered Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour!

This eight-episode video series explores our state’s connections to the larger national history of women’s suffrage, and honors Washington’s women changemakers who led the way then as well as those who continue to do so today. It is thematically based on the real life 1909 “Suffrage Special” train which carried local and national suffragists across the country and through Washington State from Spokane to Seattle in support of women’s fight for the vote.

Ride along withthe Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour! We’re posting one segment daily from August 19-26 on the Historical Society and Votes for Women Suffrage Centennial Facebook pages. We’ll also add the segments to the accordion below.

@washingtonhistory @suffrage100wa

Did you know… Washington women permanently won the right to vote in 1910 (after several previous wins and losses of the right), ten years before national women’s suffrage was enacted.

What was the “Suffrage Special?” Suffragists from across the country were headed to the National Suffrage Convention, held in Seattle in 1909. The train many of them were on was dubbed the “Suffrage Special.” It arrived in Washington State in Spokane and made stops en route to Seattle, gathering more suffragists along the way.

The 1909 National Suffrage Convention was–not coincidentally–held at the same time as the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition (AYPE). It was an important time in the fight for women’s suffrage and savvy suffragists took advantage of the significant visibility afforded by AYPE to promote their cause.

What’s happening with the video segments? The video series will make eight virtual “whistle stops” with one video segment posted each day from  August 19 through 26, 2020. Each whistle stop segment will be hosted by a local historical organization and will explore women’s suffrage history and its legacy in their geographic region, as well as ties to national women’s suffrage efforts.

August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, the date that the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920.

The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour schedule includes:

August 19 - Spokane

Hosted by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

This whistle stop will post on August 19!

The mission of the MAC Foundation is to financially support the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture as it actively engages all people in appreciation of arts and culture through collections stewardship, exhibits, and programs that educate and entertain.

August 20 - Tri-Cities/Walla Walla

Hosted by the Franklin County Historical Society, located in Pasco.

This whistle stop will post on August 20!

The Franklin County Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Franklin County’s past. The Society has been collecting artifacts and information that tell the history of Franklin County since its inception in 1968. Countless volunteer and staff hours have been spent working to increase the public knowledge of our local history.

Our mission
The Franklin County Historical Society shall preserve and promote the history of Franklin County through educational publications, programs, and the operation of the Franklin County Museum.

August 21 - Yakima/Ellensburg

Hosted by the Kittitas County Historical Museum located in Ellensburg.

This whistle stop will post on August 21!

The Kittitas County Historical Museum is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Our mission

To collect and preserve materials, which may help establish, illustrate, and educate about the history of Kittitas County. To provide accessibility to all who wish to examine or study it, as well as to disseminate historical information and arouse interest in Kittitas County history through exhibit and interpretation.

August 22 - Vancouver

Hosted by the Clark County Historical Society and Museum, located in Vancouver.

This whistle stop will post on August 22!

For 56 years the Clark County Historical Museum has been encouraging an understanding of how local history shapes the character of Clark County and strengthens our sense of place. CCHM has collected and preserved over 60,000 items of local historical significance during this time. We use these treasures to inform people about the region’s heritage and its importance in their daily lives. Our purpose is to share an understanding of the past that will help to build a better future for generations to come.

But our work is about more than a collection of items from our distant past. We believe history is something that happens every day. Beyond the expected museum exhibits, you’ll find an ever growing list of events, workshops, tours, activities, and more designed around the belief that history is something that influences the world around us today.

What we stand for

The Clark County Historical Society and Museum is committed to responsible collections stewardship, innovative collaboration and inspiring exhibitions and programs that engage the community in an exploration of Clark County’s past, present and future.

August 23 - Bellingham

Hosted by the Whatcom Museum located in Bellingham.

This whistle stop will post on August 23!

Thank you for your interest in our museum! We are committed to serving as both a community magnet and a regional destination for cultural experiences rooted in art, nature and northwest history. Here, as part of our vision to connect people to new ideas, old traditions and each other, visitors take part in a vast range of programs and exhibitions designed to get us all thinking about our changing cultural, natural and historical landscapes. The goal? Build strong art muscles. Understand our shared heritage. Stretch minds, inspire preservation and stoke creativity in the name of sustaining Bellingham at its best.

Our mission

The Whatcom Museum provides innovative and interactive educational programs and exhibitions about art, nature, and Northwest history. We seek to stimulate curiosity about our changing cultural, natural, and historical landscapes, for the youngest to the oldest minds, and to inspire preservation of and creative contributions to our region and beyond.

August 24 - Seattle

Hosted by the Washington State Women’s Commission.

This whistle stop will be posted on August 24!

Statutory authority
With bipartisan support and companion Senate Bill 6583, the legislature passed HB 2759 on March 5, 2018 because of the importance to achieve equal opportunity for all citizens.  The legislature finds women face unique problems and needs. For economic, social, and historical reasons, a disproportionate number of women find themselves disadvantaged or isolated from the benefits of equal opportunity.  The legislature believes addressing women’s issues and improving the well-being of women will have a positive impact on larger societal issues.  The development of public policy and the efficient delivery of governmental services to meet the needs of women will  be improved by the Women’s Commission being the focal point for the interests of women in state government.
On March 15, 2018 House Bill 2759 was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee, establishing the Washington State Women’s Commission.

Our mission
The Washington State Women’s Commission improves the life of every woman by ensuring equitable opportunities and removing systemic barriers through engagement, advocacy, and public policy, while being inclusive of our diverse populations.

Our vision
Every woman is healthy, safe, prosperous, and empowered to achieve their full potential.

August 25 - Tacoma

Hosted by Tacoma Historical Society.

This whistle stop will post on August 25!

Tacoma Historical Society is a fairly young organization, founded in 1990. Our early focus was on educational opportunities via community forums and publications. 1993 brought the first Historic Homes of Tacoma Tour, which has become a community institution. In 2011 we began digitizing and cataloging our growing collection of artifacts, documents, and photos. In March 2014 we opened a museum in the historic Provident Building at 919 Pacific Avenue, fulfilling a decades-long vision. This location provides a safe, stable environment for collection items, as well as improved community access to exhibits and activities. THS has established our ability to present newsworthy exhibits and will continue to promote the unique history of the city of Tacoma.

August 26 – Olympia

Hosted by the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum.

The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop pulls into its final stop in Washington’s capital city, Olympia, posting on August 26, Women’s Equality Day!

The Olympia Historical Society was founded in 2001 with the vision to collect and preserve Olympia area historical resources, from family attic treasures to architectural gems, and to find ways to make that history accessible and available to the public. The Bigelow House Preservation Association was formed in 1992,  dedicated to preservation of Bigelow House and interpretation of local and regional history. In December 2013, the memberships of both organizations voted to merge and become the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum (Society and Museum). The Society and Museum is a 501(c)(3) organization.

The Society and Museum is dedicated to the collection and preservation of materials which document and illustrate Olympia’s history and heritage.

Thank you to our partners the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Pasco’s Franklin County Historical Society, Kittitas County Historical Society, Clark County Historical Society, Whatcom Museum, Tacoma Historical Society, and Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum for collaborating on this series.

The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour is presented by the Washington State Women’s Commission, Washington State Historical Society, and the Washington Women’s History Consortium, in conjunction with Washington State Suffrage Centennial programming (details at www.suffrage100wa.com), and with the generous support of the Washington state legislature, Aerospace Machinist Industrial District Lodge 751, and Premier Media.

The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour video series 3