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Governor’s Mansion to offer women’s history tours

FILE PHOTO: First Gentleman Mike Gregoire jokingly points to his wife, Gov. Chris Gregoire, as he escorts his daughter Courtney down the Governor's mansion lawn as part of her wedding rehearsal.
FILE PHOTO: First Gentleman Mike Gregoire jokingly points to his wife, Gov. Chris Gregoire, as he escorts his daughter Courtney down the Governor's mansion lawn as part of her wedding rehearsal. The Olympian

Visitors to the state Governor’s Mansion during Women’s History Month in March will have the option of choosing a special “Women in the Mansion” tour.

The hourlong tours will be offered March 15 and March 22 at 1 p.m. While the tours are free, space is limited and reservations are required.

Standard Governor’s Mansion tours, with an emphasis on the executive residence’s history and furnishings, also will be available most Wednesday afternoons throughout the year, according to a news release from the state.

The Georgian-style mansion is on a bluff overlooking Capitol Lake, Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Constructed in 1908, the mansion is the oldest building on the Capitol Campus.

During the special March 15 and March 22 tours, Governor’s Mansion Foundation volunteer docents will talk about women who have influenced Washington’s history from inside the mansion.

Those women include Lizzie Muir Hay, the initial first lady of the mansion from 1909 to 1912, as well as many of Washington’s first ladies. There also will be stories about the women who have served as governor and how suffragists lobbied for women’s voting rights during the official mansion housewarming in 1909.

If you go

▪ Each tour is 60 minutes.

▪ Tour participants must be at least 18 years old and have a photo ID; children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

▪ There are 20 spaces available maximum for each tour. Reservations are made on a first-come basis.

▪ Cameras, backpacks, umbrellas, strollers, food and beverages are not permitted.

▪ The mansion is accessible to wheelchairs and walkers. Visitors must walk a 200-yard incline to the entrance.

▪ No public restrooms are available.

▪ Reservations can be made through the Department of Enterprise Services State Capitol Tour Office at 360-902-8880 or tours@des.wa.gov.

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