February is Black History Month, and to celebrate we’re highlighting a little-known but fascinating true story in our Standish Park Storywalk.
Fearless Mary, written by Tami Charles and illustrated by Claire Almon, tells the story of Mary Fields, one of the unsung, trailblazing African American women who helped settle the American West. A former slave, Fields became the first African American woman stagecoach driver in 1895, when, in her 60s, she beat out all the cowboys applying for the job by being the fastest to hitch a team of six horses. She won the dangerous and challenging job, and for many years traveled the badlands with her pet eagle, protecting the mail from outlaws and wild animals, never losing a single horse or package. Fields helped pave the way for other women and people of color to become stagecoach drivers and postal workers.
Fearless Mary will be on display at our Standish Park Storywalk throughout February. Never visited the Storywalk? Now’s your chance. Our Storywalk is located in tree-lined downtown Standish
Park and allows you to enjoy a stroll while reading a storybook — mounted along the path — as you go. Open year round, our StoryWalk features a rotating variety of storybooks so families can find something new on repeat visits. The Standish Park Storywalk was made possible by partnership with the City of Galesburg Parks and Recreation, Galesburg on Track, and the Friends of the Galesburg Public Library.