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Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site


Maggie Lena Walker, daughter of a former slave, rose to prominence as a businesswoman, newspaper editor, and bank president, all at a time when women were denied the vote and married women couldn't own property.

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
©National Park Service
The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site honors the life of the
former slave turned businesswoman.

Walker, born Maggie Mitchell in post-Civil War Richmond, Virginia, lost her father when she was young. Maggie had to help her mother do laundry to support the family, but she also was able to complete school and worked as a schoolteacher for three years until she married Armstead Walker, Jr. When Maggie was 14, she joined a humanitarian organization called the Independent Order of St. Luke; 18 years later, she had worked her way up to the organization's top leadership position.

In 1901, she established the St. Luke Herald, a newspaper for the black community of Richmond. Two years later, she established the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and became the nation's first woman to serve as a bank president. The bank still thrives, having survived the Great Depression and the collapse of many savings and loans.

Walker was an advocate of civil rights and helped organize the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Maggie Walker's home from 1904 until her death in 1934 has been preserved as the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site since 1978. The 25-room house is furnished with original family pieces.

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site Information

Address: 3215 East Broad St., Richmond, VA
Telepho­ne: 804/771-2017 ext. 23
Hours of Operation: Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Admission: Free

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To learn more about national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit: ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based author who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.


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