Picks and Pans Review: Susan B.anthony Slept Here
by Lynn Sherr and Jurate Kazickas
This summer, with caravans of eager tourists rushing to Mount Rushmore, the authors of this offbeat guide suggest a detour. South Dakota, they point out, is not just home to the craggy faces of four prominent U.S. Presidents: it is the site of writer Laura Ingalls Wilder's little house on the prairie (De Smet); the final resting place of sharpshooter Calamity Jane (Deadwood); and one of two states—the other is Wyoming—that claims to harbor the remains of Lewis and Clark's able guide, Sacajawea (Mobridge).
Sherr, a 20/20 correspondent, and Kazickas, a contributing editor at Red-book, who collaborated on the first feminist travel guide, The American Woman's Gazetteer (1976), have tracked down birthplaces, grave sites and other landmarks that commemorate notable and notorious American women who deserve at least a footnote in history.
Prohibitionist Carrie Nation and bandit Belle Starr are duly spotlighted along with Amelia Earhart and Emily Dickinson in this alphabetical-by-state directory. But who remembers Cecile Steele, inventor of the chicken coop (Dover, Del.) or Elmira and Elvira Fife, celebrated, at 83. as the nation's oldest identical twins (Peterborough, N.H.)?
And while few are likely to immediately book passage to, say, Alaska's Chugach Mountains to catch a glimpse of the Dora Keen Range—named after the adventurer who first sealed its peaks—the authors have served a purpose by reminding us that Dora did so. Moreover, Kazickas and Sherr would surely be pleased if, when we remember the Alamo, we think of hotel keeper Andrea Candelaria, who bravely took a bayonet in the chin to protect her valued guest, Jim Bowie. Now that's a hotel with security. (Times Books, $18)
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