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Lecture on women and bicycling set for Saturday at Johnson Hall

JOHNSTOWN — Johnson Hall State Historic Site, 139 Hall Ave., will host a lecture on the history of women and bicycling at 1 p.m. Saturday in the site’s center hall.

Kjirsten Gustavson will present “Woman on a Wheel,” a program that will celebrate both the bicycle and the spirit of women’s independence.

During the late 1890s, bicycles changed the popular notion of what American femininity could be. Thousands of women in New York state and beyond began to challenge their bodies in ways never acceptable before. They adopted new clothing reforms and gained new independence with unfettered travel and even mechanical training. Susan B. Anthony once said of the bicycle, “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.”

Gustavson has developed educational programs for the state Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation since 2005, including lectures on historic underwear, theatrical programs, and festivals.. She holds a masters degree in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Seating is limited. Although free of charge, donations to support the event will be greatly appreciated. Due to the lecture, public tours of Johnson Hall will be given at 10 a.m., 11a.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. only on that day.

This is a Path Through History Weekend event, held in conjunction with the Bicycle Through History event organized by the Fulton County Tourism Department.

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