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May 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pmFree
It was an unlikely journey for historian Meryl Carmel. When she took a walk through a Natirar one afternoon in 2007, she never dreamed it would lead to ten years of research tracking down the little-known story of Kate Macy Ladd, a Gilded Age heiress who opened a convalescent home for women, was influential as a philanthropist in many health-related areas while alive, and ultimately founded the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, which still funds many important healthcare projects today. On Thursday, May 16 at 7:00 pm, Ms. Carmel will talk about her book, “Finding Kate: The Unlikely Journey of 20th Century Healthcare Advocate Kate Macy Ladd,” at Bernardsville Public Library. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
While the Gilded Age is dominated by figures such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Vanderbilt, their wives and daughters often lived behind closed curtains, staying well out of public view everywhere but the society pages. Standard Oil heiress Kate Macy Ladd seems, on the surface, to have followed in this tradition. But a deeper look at her life reveals a woman who was fiercely committed to the welfare of ordinary people, and who ultimately became a medical philanthropist with her creation of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.
Spanning two centuries and based on Macy Ladd’s bare bones memoir as well as family diaries, letters, and reminiscences, Carmel’s book reveals one woman’s life of faith, charity, and resilience.
An enthusiastic explorer, Carmel has hiked extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Ireland. She especially enjoys opportunities to discover trails closer to her home in Chester, New Jersey. She is a former teacher, curriculum specialist, and museum director with degrees from Beloit College and Edgewood College in Wisconsin and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her graduate work in history emphasized the roles and contributions of American women in our nation’s past. “Finding Kate” is her first book.
There is no charge to attend the program. Advance registration is requested at www.bernardsvillelibrary.org, or call the Library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.