Happenings Lifestyle Reader Contributed

West Hartford Historian Will Give Free Seminar about Eleanor Roosevelt and Beatrice Fox Auerbach

From left: Along with friend and supporter Sylvia, Eleanor Roosevelt and Beatrice Fox Auerbach admire a painting when Roosevelt came to Connecticut to tour AuerFarm in Bloomfield. The 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm hosts a free seminar on Thursday, Feb. 25, “Beatrice & Eleanor - Why Would Eleanor Roosevelt Come to Auerfarm?” Photo Credit: CT Historical Society
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The Feb. 25 seminar, which will be presented by Dr. Tracey Wilson of West Hartford, will explore the friendship between the owner of Auer Farm and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

From left: Along with  friend and supporter Sylvia, Eleanor Roosevelt and Beatrice Fox Auerbach admire a painting when Roosevelt came to Connecticut to tour AuerFarm in Bloomfield. The 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm hosts a free seminar on Thursday, Feb. 25, “Beatrice & Eleanor - Why Would Eleanor Roosevelt Come to Auerfarm?” Photo Credit: CT Historical Society

From left: Along with friend and supporter Sylvia, Eleanor Roosevelt and Beatrice Fox Auerbach admire a painting when Roosevelt came to Connecticut to tour AuerFarm in Bloomfield. The 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm hosts a free seminar on Thursday, Feb. 25, “Beatrice & Eleanor – Why Would Eleanor Roosevelt Come to Auerfarm?” Photo Credit: CT Historical Society

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Eleanor Roosevelt dramatically changed the role of the first lady when her husband Franklin became president in 1933. She spoke out for human rights, children’s causes and women’s issues. Meanwhile, Beatrice Auerbach Fox was the only woman CEO of a large department store in the US. They met and became fast friends. Connecticut Historian Dr. Tracey Wilson will explore the special relationship between the founder of Auerfarm and Roosevelt at a free seminar on Thursday, Feb. 25, from 5:307:30 pm.

“Both women were strong, independent humanitarians who shared many of the same beliefs,” said Wilson. “Over the years they stayed in touch through visits and by exchanging 187 letters.” Their story is a story that gives insights into the lives of women leaders in government and industry at this time in history.

Eleanor Roosevelt visited the farm and was impressed by the quality of the crops and animal production. Thefarm was a model farm and farmers from abroad came to learn modern practices for use in their countries.

Auerbach took over the farm when her husband died in 1927. For 40 years she managed the 230-acre Auerfarm. She achieved national prominence in the 1930s as the first female president of a leading department store, G. Fox & Co. Her good business sense, humanitarian work practices and philanthropic ventures left a legacy from which people benefit today.

The 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm is a private, non-profit education center located at 158 Auer Farm Rd. just minutes from West Hartford and Hartford, off Route 185 in Bloomfield. Visit www.auerfarm.org for more information.

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