In 1913 the Lesbian Society of Suffield Academy poses for a photograph outside of Fuller Hall. There are 52 members of the Lesbian Society present in this photograph. (Source: Suffield Academy Archives)
The Lesbian Society was a group that was formed to provide entertainment and relief for Suffield Academy starting in the 1850s and carrying all the way into the 1920s. They provided dances, camps, festivals, and receptions and encouraged all students to be treated equal. The Lesbian Society was made up women with the highest ideals of womanhood. These were women who were independent, educated and knew not only how to take care of themselves, but others too. The Lesbian Society objectives were: 1.) True sisterly affection among all members. 2.) The encouragement of loyalty and enthusiasm in all matters of school life. 3.) The cultivation of sterling character and accurate scholarship among its members. I also learned that
Women in the Connecticut Literary Institution were once part of the Lesbian Society were the most likely learned how to take a role in their society. The five members that started the society that I want to continue to research are Miss Lavinia Parker, Miss Catherine C Mann, Miss Elizabeth A. Reynolds, Miss Rebecca D. Nichols, and Miss D. Pumber. I think that there is a lot to learn on these specific women as they were the ones with the courage and passion to start this wonderful club.
While I was searching the archives for articles that had significance to women history, I came upon this article about the Lesbian Society. I instantly grew interest and that night i went home and did further research on it. After doing a lot of research, I learned that the Lesbian Society was a very important group in Suffield. Even though the name of the group sounds like they had something to do with the LGBTQIA, they actually had nothing to do with it. They were a group that was formed to provide entertainment and relive during a time where the United States was fighting in World War I. I would like to research the Lesbian Society because i think that the Lesbian Society provided joy and calmness by providing dances, camps, festivals, and reception. This was not an easy time for Suffield as a lot of mothers were left alone to take care of the children and provide and times were only getting harder. The Lesbian Society was formed to make times easier for the ones who weren’t in the war and was at home fighting the homefront. What I would like to know is who were the key players in the Lesbian Society and how it was formed? I will need to search for more information about the Lesbian Society in our local archives. I can also check Suffield Academy’s archives, and I will reach out to members of the Suffield Historical Society and check records in the town hall.
The Lesbian Society is putting on a dance for the town of Suffield at Suffield Academy’s gymnasium.