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“Leading Ladies of Palmer Memorial Institute” Presented at Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum


From earlier days at Palmer Memorial Institute, visionary women shaped the institution into an elite preparatory school for African Americans that closed in 1971. Now functioning as the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, some of these women will be featured in “Leading Ladies of Palmer Memorial Institute” with tours March 3 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Founded by Charlotte Hawkins Brown and helped by benefactor Alice Freeman Palmer, a friend to Dr. Brown and president of Wellesley College, the school focused on the classics while engaging the residential students in its operations, including gardening, cafeteria work and maintenance.

The tours will feature Brown and Palmer, along with Maria Cole, a Palmer alumni and niece to Dr. Brown. Cole became a famous jazz singer and wife to singer Nat King Cole. Also featured will be Lois Mailou Jones, who started the Art department here, and the only African American female painter to achieve fame abroad in the 1930s and ’40s.

Reserve tickets for this free event by emailing or calling (336) 449-4846. Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum is located on Highway 70 in Sedalia. Also visit the site on Facebook ( for more information.

Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum is located on Highway 70 in Sedalia and within the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.