Thank you for the honor Dutchess County Historical Society.
Our next spotlight for Women’s History Month is Deborah Dows.
An accomplished horsewoman, Deborah Dows devoted her life to maintaining the characteristics of rural life that she valued. One of the few female students accepted at the Spanish Riding School, Deborah turned the “south lands” of the Dows family estate, “Foxhollow,” into a successful, respected riding academy and horse farm. Her aim was to use horsemanship to teach respect and love for the land and its animals, both wild and tame. This approach was successful in building character, leadership, responsibility, and confidence in her students. Beyond horseback riding, she welcomed individuals to work at Southlands when in need of sanctuary. Over the years people from all walks of life would come and go. All that was required was to put in an honest day of hard work and in return, they were guaranteed a substantial meal, a warm place to rest, and a small stipend. Today, the Rhinebeck property is home to The Southlands Foundation, which continues Deborah’s mission to cultivate respect and love for the land and its animals through education, conservation, and outdoor recreation.
To learn more about the Southlands Foundation visit: www.southlands.org.
Photo credit: The Southlands Foundation
To support this effort and donate to help DCHS uncover and spotlight more important women in Dutchess County history visit: https://dchsny.org/celebrate-women/.