Details: The National Park Service celebrates Women’s History Month at the Gateway Arch with special storytelling events March 15 that spotlight the historic contributions of women who shaped the history of the United States. All storytelling events are free and open to the public.

Women of the West Storytelling Event, 11:15 am

NPS ranger Kathy Bommarito portrays a mid-19th century woman who was part of the westward expansion movement, and leads a 25-minute talk about her journey. A question and answer period will follow the discussion.

Elizabeth Keckley Storytelling Event, 12:15 pm

Local storyteller Carole Shelton portrays Keckley, who was born a slave around 1818 in Virginia, and later moved to St. Louis where she worked as a dressmaker. Keckley bought her freedom and established a dressmaking business in Washington, D.C., eventually becoming Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker and confidante.

Laura Ingalls Kids’ Interactive Story Time Event, 1:15 pm

An NPS ranger will share stories of Laura Ingalls in this interactive story time event for children.

Making House Calls: The Story of a Pioneer Lady Doctor, 2:15 pm

Local storyteller Mary Lu Bretsch is Frances James Ballew, a woman who survived poverty and the hardships of the frontier. She used her experiences as a midwife to become a skilled pioneer doctor who traveled around the early Illinois/Missouri territory to care of her sick neighbors.


  • Occurred Saturday, March 15th, 2014 @ 1:15 am – 3:15 pm


Gateway Arch

St. Louis, MO 63102