Milton Historical Society to debut Women of Milton exhibit

Display will open to the public March 25
March 22, 2023

Milton Historical Society is set to unveil not one but two new exhibits to the public Saturday, March 25, at the Lydia B. Cannon Museum on Union Street.

The main exhibit is called Women of Milton, a celebration of women who have made notable contributions to Milton and the state of Delaware. Development Director DeeDee Wood said the exhibit was planned to open in March, which serves as Women’s History Month. 

Wood said the inspiration for the exhibit was a visit to Goshen cemetery, where she came upon the grave of Ida Fox, former owner of the Fox Theatre, the forerunner to the current Milton Theatre. Wood said in researching the name, she learned that Fox had been the first woman in Delaware to register to vote after women’s suffrage was approved under the 19th Amendment in 1920. 

The idea was then hatched for a display telling the stories of other notable Milton women, in what Wood called a kaleidoscopic look at women with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Members of the society were able to get a sneak preview of the exhibit at a March 18 special event.

Among the artifacts in the exhibit are a temperance quilt and a display on the temperance movement of the early 20th century, led in Delaware by Miltonian Lillian Cade. Modern-day women featured in the exhibit include Brenda Hampton, who died in 2022, and was the first African-American woman to work in Milton’s post office. 

To tie in to the theme of a broad variety of women, the banner outside the museum advertising the exhibit has been laid out in a style similar to a patchwork quilt, which Wood said was a conscious choice. 

In an effort to make the exhibit more interactive, the museum has included QR codes on some of the displays that when scanned with a smartphone will take the visitor to additional information and research on a particular woman. Wood said there is also the intention to have video materials available later in the year.

In addition to Women of Milton, the museum is setting up a series of mini-exhibits in the atrium; the first will be called Milton Medicine, a history of doctors, nurses and healthcare in Milton over the years. Wood said the plan is to have six mini-exhibits rotate throughout the year. 

The Women of Milton exhibit will be on display through Saturday, Dec. 23. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday to Sunday. For more information on the society and the museum, visit

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