I was remiss in including a visit to the Maria Mitchell Observatory on my list of Island Must Do’s. It only took me three decades but I finally made a visit last week. And what a time it was. Not only did I see the surface of the moon, and vega but I also got to see Saturn, rings and all. How amazing is that?
One of the many fascinating things about this little island is the rich female history we have. Maria Mitchell, the first female astronomer, was born on Nantucket in August 1818. At the age of 14, she became the first female librarian at The Atheneum, discovered a comet in 1847 from the windows at the Pacific National Bank, became the first appointed professor at Vassar College in 1865 and was an advocate for ending slavery throughout her life, which led her to convert from a quaker to a unitarian. What a woman!