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Gig Harbor Literary Society: Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America

Harbor History Museum and the Gig Harbor branch of the Pierce County Library invite you to join the Gig Harbor Literary Society, dedicated to exploring the literary world of historical fiction, nonfiction, and other works of interest. 

The December meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 5th at 6:00 p.m. at the Harbor History Museum. The book for the December meeting is Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America by Linda Lawrence Hunt.

In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant and mother of eight children named Helga Estby was behind on taxes and the mortgage when she learned that a mysterious sponsor would pay $10,000 to a woman who walked across America.

 Hoping to win the wager and save her family’s farm, Helga and her teenaged daughter Clara, armed with little more than a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and Clara’s curling iron, set out on foot from Eastern Washington. Their route would pass through 14 states, but they were not allowed to carry more than five dollars each. As they visited Indian reservations, Western boomtowns, remote ranches and local civic leaders, they confronted snowstorms, hunger, thieves and mountain lions with equal aplomb.

Their treacherous and inspirational journey to New York challenged contemporary notions of femininity and captured the public imagination. But their trip had such devastating consequences that the Estby women's achievement was blanketed in silence until, nearly a century later, Linda Lawrence Hunt encountered their extraordinary story.

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Attendees are welcome to bring an appetizer or dish to share with fellow bibliophiles. The Museum will provide complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. Enjoy a drink while you talk books? You are welcome to BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine). Library and Museum staff will lead the discussion. Materials will be available for checkout at the Gig Harbor Library, as well as for purchase online at Amazon.com.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Seats are limited; RSVPs are encouraged. To RSVP or for questions, please contact Zachary Sokolik, Marketing & Events Coordinator, at marketing@harborhistorymuseum.org or 253-858-6722.

Earlier Event: November 18
Donkey Creek Chum Festival