Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site

What is the Maggie L Walker National Historic Site?

The Maggie Lena Walker National Historic Site celebrates the life of a progressive and talented African American woman. Despite many adversities, she achieved success in the world of business and finance as the first woman in the United States to charter and serve as president of a bank.

She lived at the Italianate townhome with her large family from 1905 until she died in 1934. In 1978, it became a national historic site. It has been maintained by the National Park Service as a fully furnished house museum since 1985. Consequently, the National Historic site is a United States National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Site. You can find it in the Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia.

Maggie L Walker

The bulk of the museum’s collection was donated directly by Walker’s descendants in 1979. These include personal items, furnishings, and artwork, as well as the extremely significant Maggie Walker Family Papers. You can find rare photographs along with Walker’s speeches, correspondence, diaries, and business papers.

The different artifacts in the museum show the powerful story of a woman. A woman who rose from humble beginnings to a prominent seat at the table for social change.

She was an amazing woman and a civil rights activist. A trailblazing entrepreneur in the United States. Born in 1864 to a formerly enslaved woman, Maggie Lena Walker became a community leader and advocate for education. She dedicated her life to the advancement of civil rights, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities.

Mrs. Walker headed a bank, a newspaper, and a store 17 years before American women had the right to vote. This phenomenon woman fostered black entrepreneurialism when Jim Crow laws threatened African American progress. She served as an inspiration for pride and progress.

There is a Walker Statue and Plaza located on West Broad Street, one of Richmond’s major thoroughfares. It is the city’s first monument to a woman and one of a few dedicated to a person of color. 

Walker Statue located on West Broad Street

Maggie L. Walker House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places In 1975. It was designated a National Historic Landmark. Three years later the house was named a National Historic Site. 

The remarkable life and achievements of this famous early 1900s African-American are celebrated with artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia.

Her residence of thirty years is part of the site. You will also come across a visitor center detailing her life and the history of the Jackson Ward community. She lived and worked here.