Vermont Women's History Project
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BURLINGTONConsuelo Northrup Bailey: Vermont Pathfinder, a Vermont Humanities Council program hosted by the Fletcher Free Library and co-sponsored by the Vermont Women's History Project, takes place Friday, January 18, 2008 at 12:00 p.m. in the Fletcher Free Library’s Pickering Room.  The program will be presented by J. Kevin Graffagnino, Executive Director of the Vermont Historical Society.


Consuelo Northrup Bailey (1899-1976) was a national pioneer among women in public service.  Born and raised in Fairfield, Vermont, and a 1921 graduate of the University of Vermont, she was the first woman in America to serve as a state's attorney, as Speaker of a state house of representatives, and as Lieutenant Governor.  Vice-chair of the Republican National Committee from 1952 to 1956, she was also the first woman admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.  Graffagnino’s presentation will detail the life and career of this extraordinary Vermont role model for women.


This program is the first of a series of programs around the state co-sponsored by the Vermont Women’s History Project (VWHP) as part of its “Women’s History  Year ‘Round” initiative. Women have been actively contributing to the story of Vermont every day of the year. Rather than confining the celebration of women to Women’s History Month in March, the VWHP proposes that Vermonters celebrate women’s history all year long. Visit their web site for information on other programs about women’s history during 2008.

Consuelo Northrup Bailey: Vermont Pathfinder is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Vermont Humanities Council (VHC). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or the VHC.



By promoting the understanding of the diverse experiences of women in Vermont history, the Vermont Women's History Project (VWHP) seeks to create a new perspective on history and culture that will positively affect society’s perceptions of women.  For more information, visit or contact Judith Irving, Director,, 802-828-5940.  VWHP is an initiative of the Vermont Commission on Women.


Consuelo Northrop Bailey History Marker –

Bent Northrop Public Library

Consuelo Northrop Bailey History MarkerDescription: The new Consuelo Northrop Bailey Historic Marker will be dedicated July 2005 outside of Bent Northrop Library at Fairfield Center School. Consuelo Northrop Bailey was born in Fairfield, in 1899 at her family farm. She was “first” in many areas” - first woman city prosecutor for Burlington, first woman lawyer to try a murder case in Vermont, first Vermont woman to be admitted to practice of law before U.S. Supreme Court, first woman Speaker of the House in Vermont Women's History Project, first woman Lieutenant Governor in U.S., ,. Complementary copies of Consuelo Bailey’s autobiography, “Leaves Before the Wind” will be available at the library, the Country Store and the Chester A. Arthur Historic Site.

Directions: School is just before Fairfield Center four corners on your right, coming from St. Albans.

Hours and Contact Info: Library Summer Hours
Bet Howrigan,, 827-6160

C N Bailey, courtesy AAUW(PDF)

C N Bailey, courtesy UVM's Liber newsletter(PDF)

Listen to Vermont Public Radio Commentary on Consuelo Northrop Bailey by Cyndy Bittinger, Executive Director of Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, Inc.: 

Consuelo Northrup Bailey Cottage

The cottageDescription: Known in Fairfield as the summer home of First Woman
Lieutenant Governor Consuelo Northrop Bailey

Directions: At the intersection with Northrop Road, turn left instead of right towards Green Wind Farm. ,7 miles along this road, you will come upon a whitish large cottage. This was Consuelo Bailey’s homestead. The next large farm you come to right after that is the Howrigan’s. They own the Cottage.

Known in Fairfield as the summer home of First Woman Lieutenant Governor Consuelo Northrop Bailey, this home was actually built in 1856 by Patrick Flood. The Floods lived here until their deaths, when the small farm was taken over by their daughter and son-in-law, Bridget and Jack Mackin. In April 1928, Consuelo's mother, Katherine Northrop, bought "The Cottage" and its 33 acres. The property was farmed for many years and later was used as a summer home by Consuelo until her death in 1976. During that time, Consuelo's sister Fredericka and her husband Winston were yearly summer visitors. "The Cottage" is now owned by Harold and Anne Howrigan and has rejoined the acreage of "The Northrop Homestead".

The Northrop Homestead
Now referred to as "The Sheldon Farm", this 257 acre farm is owned by Harold and Anne Howrigan. Jonathan Northrop bought this farm on the Fairfield-Sheldon town line on May 13, 1863. In 1888, Jonathan sold the farm to his son, Peter Bent Brigham Northrop. It was to this farm that Peter brought his bride, Katherine Fletcher in 1891. It is the birthplace of their three daughters, Mary, Consuelo, and Fredericka.

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