Notable Takoma Park Women – Part 1

March is Women’s Month, and Historic Takoma is pleased to offer insight into some of the black and white distinctive women who helped create the Takoma Park we know today. Part 1 of Notable Takoma Women honors those who played significant roles in Takoma’s early decades. Part 2 will focus on more recent decades.

Creating Takoma Park out of the wilderness meant cutting down trees to lay out streets and build houses. For the first women it meant setting up households and raising children in relatively isolated conditions. Together they established churches, schools, and cultural amenities to make Takoma their home. Historic Takoma’s archives contain images and newspaper clippings that reclaim the names of many of these women.

Pamela Favorite

Pamela Favorite was one of the most prominent early residents. She took over the town’s first general store, opened by Isaac Thomas, and renamed it “Favorite’s.”  She also became the town’s first Postmistress. But her place in Takoma history was assured when she began publication of The Favorite in 1892. This monthly news sheet covered Takoma politics and local gossip, leaving us a glimpse of those early days.

Ida Summy is credited with suggesting the name “Takoma” (from Tacoma, Washington) to her friend Benjamin Franklin Gilbert. In 1884 she and her husband moved into their home at 7101 Cedar Avenue, which sits on the Maryland side of the boundary line with the District of Columbia.  Read More

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