Lunchtime Lecture on Untold LGBTQIA+ Histories

For immediate release:
February 8, 202


Lunchtime Lecture on Untold LGBTQIA+ Histories
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and Other New England Historic Sites on the Ethics of Interpretation and Storytelling

Virtual Lunchtime Lecture

March 2, 2023, 12-1:30 pm


Hartford (CT)— How should historians interpret apparent LGBTQIA+ historical relationships involving people who did not self-identify?  How can museums design responsible guidelines for historical storytelling that encompass the complexity of suppressed and hidden histories—as well as the wishes of the subjects?

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center shares for the first-time new research on Katharine S. Day, the museum’s founding preservationist and the great-niece of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The program seeks to better understand Day’s identity in context of gender and female sexuality in the early 20th-century, how it might have informed her activism as a preservationist and promoter of women’s rights, and in concert with other historic sites engaged in similar interpretive work.

New insights into the identity of Katharine S. Day emerge from the work of Susan Ferentinos, Ph.D., a public history researcher, writer, and consultant, specializing in project management for historical organizations and LGBTQIA+ and women’s history. Her work with the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a CT Humanities funded project titled Understanding Katharine Seymour Day’s Identity: Interpreting Women’s Sexuality in the early 20th Century. Dr. Ferentinos presents this work publicly for the first time as an event panelist.

The lecture panel also includes representatives from three New England historic sites engaged in similar research:

Erin Farley, Collections Manager & Palmer-Warner Project Manager, CT Landmarks (East Haddam, CT), who will interpret the relationship between Frederic Palmer and Howard Metzger in the mid-20th century;

Marilyn Keith Daly, Site Manager at the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum (South Berwick, ME), who will interpret Jewett and Annie Fields’s 19th-century “Boston marriage”; and

Meghan Gelardi Holmes, Curator at the Gibson House Museum (Boston, MA), who will interpret museum founder Charlie Gibson Jr.’s queer life in early 20th century Boston.




The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a museum, research library/archive, and program center in Hartford, Connecticut. The Stowe Center’s mission is to preserve and interpret Stowe’s Hartford home and the Center’s historic collections, promote vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspire commitment to social justice and positive change. For general information and updates, please visit www.HarrietBeecherStoweCenter.org.


CONTACT: Christina Tom

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

860.522.9258 ext. 305  |  ctom@stowecenter.org