Turning Point Suffragist Memorial – Lorton, Virginia - Atlas Obscura
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Turning Point Suffragist Memorial

The first national memorial to honor all women suffragists stands on land where suffragists were once imprisoned. 

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The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial tells the stories of the brave women who fought tirelessly to win the right to vote, beginning with the women’s rights movement in the mid-19th century and culminating in the passage and certification of the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920. 

At the entrance of the Plaza, a statue of Alice Paul greets visitors. Paul was the founder and leader of the National Women’s Party and leader of the suffragists imprisoned in the nearby Occoquan Workhouse. There’s also a scaled replica of the White House gates as well as a section of the White House’s actual fence, beyond which Paul and the “Silent Sentinels” picketed.

Inside, the Suffragist Memorial Plaza features the names of the women who were imprisoned in Occoquan and the District of Columbia for picketing the White House in 1917. There’s a statue of Mary Church Terrell, a prominent Black suffragist leader and co-founder of the NAACP. There’s also a replica ballot box commemorating suffragists’ achievement in gaining women the right to vote.

Beyond the memorial plaza is Turning Point Plaza where a ring of 19 interpretive stations covers the history of the suffragist movement up until the passage of the 19th amendment. Within the circle of stations is an entablature supported by six columns and emblazoned with the following six words: Justice, Democracy, Liberty, Equality, Freedom, and Advocacy. A statue of National American Woman Suffragist Association president, Carrie Chapman Catt, stands proudly in the entablature’s center with a bouquet of flowers.

Know Before You Go

The Turning Point Suffrage Memorial is located within Occoquan Regional Park. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk and there is ample parking in the lot next to the memorial.

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