SWEETWATER COUNTY — At the end of 2018, the Wyoming Office of Tourism declared 2019 as the “Year of Wyoming Women” in honor of celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.
Fast forward to Thursday, July 18, 2019, local author Christine Alethea Williams and Sweetwater County Historical Museum Director Brigida Blasi officially released Sweetwater Women, a new book that highlights over 100 women in Sweetwater County both past and present.
The mother-daughter duo held the official release at the Tomahawk Hotel in Green River on Thursday night. On Saturday, July 20, 2019 another book signing will be hosted at Sidekicks Book & Wine Bar in Rock Springs from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
From a List to a Book
Williams, who has written several other books, said that the idea for Sweetwater Women had been brewing for several years. She claims that originally her daughter, Blasi, had compiled a list of 12 prominent women in Sweetwater County for a celebration and that sparked an interest to pursue further research.
“It just took off from there,” Williams said.
Many hands made light work for the coming forth of Sweetwater Women. Williams was helped by the entire staff at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum along with a few other local individuals. The initial time spent on the book was around six to eight months but editing and weeding out the mistakes took even longer.
“There’s a lot of amazing women and a lot of women stories that I didn’t even know about until we started researching for this book,” Blasi said. “There’s some really interesting and amazing women in our history.”
Challenges and Obstacles
Most of the women featured in Sweetwater Women are names and faces of the past. Williams noted that the largest obstacle was trying to find modern women to include in the book. The majority of modern women she talked to claimed they had done nothing special to gain recognition, however, Williams thought otherwise.
“The biggest challenge was trying to get modern women,” Williams said. “If I could get their daughters to contribute then it would have been much easier.”
Blasi also said that “deciding when to stop and who to include” was also a major challenge she faced during her research efforts.
The possibility of a second book featuring more modern women in Sweetwater County is not far from Williams’ thoughts. She has received many comments and ideas that could support the efforts for volume two.
“I think we could do it very easily. I’ve had women tell me you should have included [this person],” Williams said.
Inspiring readers and helping them recognize the achievements of women in Sweetwater County is at the heart of what both Williams and Blasi hope readers take away from their hard work.
“I hope that it gives young women the idea that they can do anything,” Williams said. “There are no limits to what women can do.”
“A lot of the women we covered in here are everyday women. The whole idea is that everyday women don’t have to be the first Governor of Wyoming. Women contribute greatly to society and history all the time. This is just a very small portion of women’s contributions to our county and our state,” Blasi said.