'The League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen'
To the editor:
I am writing to publicly acknowledge the generosity and helpfulness of your local historian Rebecca Shank.
I recently called ahead to make a half-hour appointment to see the Silliman House, and Becky spent an entire afternoon, the next morning and noon showing it to me, pulling out from drawers and folders all possible references, written and pictorial, to my ancestors who lived in Three Rivers, Flowerfield and Prairie Ronde. She not only gave me historical research, she also found the yearbook from my mother’s class, drove me to the library, my mother’s old house, the cemetery, the Flowerfield cemetery, and walked out with me to a revolutionary war ancestor’s grave in the middle of a 500-acre field in Prairie Ronde.
Her small museum at the Silliman House is sparkling, a library of records as well as artifacts. But the true wealth of this DAR Chapter House is Becky herself, who seems to know all the Three Rivers history from its former industries to the friends of ancestors two and three generations ago. And most importantly, she has kept the history of generations of remarkable 19th century women in this town and surrounding towns alive.
I can’t wait for her to write a book called “The League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen” about the women who influenced a generation of women to become physicians, lawyers, professors, and activist ecologists.
I felt I was in the presence of a true historian, as Becky checked and double-checked references and photos and articles. I want to again express my gratitude for your Three Rivers guardian of history, Becky Shank.