Eliza Scidmore’s American Fan Club

October 10, 2011 /
Cherry Blossom Festival book

I’m not the only one with a fixation on Eliza Scidmore. After I began researching her I met two other women equally fascinated by her remarkable life. Washington writer Ann McClellan learned a lot about Eliza while writing The Cherry Blossom Festival, published in 2005 as a souvenir book for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Hearing about my project, a colleague in the Women’s History Discussion Group at the Library of Congress put me in touch with Ann, a friend of hers. Then earlier this year I met Andrea Zimmerman, soon after the launch of her children’s book Eliza’s Cherry…

Read More

Eliza Scidmore Grave in Yokohama

September 19, 2011 /

Last week I received an e-mail from a Japanese friend that made my day. The message had a photo attached. When I opened it, there was a picture of Eliza Scidmore’s gravesite in Yokohama! I knew from my reading that Scidmore was interred at the Foreign General Cemetery. But here was physical evidence of it — a key landmark. Because of Scidmore’s long ties to Japan, I’ll have to do some research there to investigate various strands of her life. In the meantime, I’m grateful to Miho Kinnas for serving as my eyes abroad. Miho and I met as writing…

Read More