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This tour was curated by: Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives

Established as a museum in 1900, the Frances Willard House Museum contains a remarkably intact collection of original furnishings and objects, including Frances Willard's bicycle Gladys, which helps visitors learn the story of one of the most significant women in American history. Frances Willard was a visionary social reformer in the late 19th Century. As president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union from 1879-1898 she campaigned for causes including women's economic and religious rights, women's suffrage, and education, prison and labor reforms. She used the women's temperance movement to organize women and mobilize them for social change.

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This Tour is a Walking Tour.

Frances and Gladys: A Bicycle Tour of Frances Willard’s Evanston Life & Legacy

Created by Lori Osborne on May 5th 2022, 4:42:26 pm.

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Welcome to the official Frances Willard bicycle tour presented by the Frances Willard House Museum! This tour, designed to be enjoyed as either a biking or walking tour, takes visitors on an exploration of Frances Willard's legacy through the lens of influential relationships. Given the importance bicycle riding played in Willard's wellbeing and independence, this tour fittingly invites the community on a pedaling journey across the historic fabric of Willard's beloved hometown of Evanston, Illinois Frances Willard's contributions to the early women's rights and temperance movements were influenced (and even bolstered) by central figures in her life. This guided historic tour examines the role key relationships played in shaping the achievements of Frances Willard and the impact those achievements had on the community of Evanston. In addition, this tour serves as a complementary experience to a visit to the Frances Willard House Museum by encouraging visitors to explore Willard's Evanston neighborhood and social reform legacy. Bicycles can be rented from Divvy bike-share stations located at Chicago Avenue and Sheridan Road, Benson Avenue and Church Street, or at the university library on Northwestern’s campus. Please exercise caution and follow all rules applicable to biking and walking on urban roadways. We hope you enjoy Frances and Gladys: A Bicycle Tour of Frances Willard’s Evanston Life & Legacy!