If you’ve read up on Farmington history, you’ve probably heard of Fred Warner: three times governor of Michigan, owner of 13 cheese factories, namesake of the Governor Warner Mansion museum.
But what about the Warner women?
Martha Warner, the First Lady of Michigan from 1905 to 1911, will be the focus of the fourth and final “Pages in the Parlor” book talk, to be held 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 2 at the Governor Warner Mansion, Farmington’s localhistory house museum. Author and researcher Joni Hubred-Golden, editor of Farmington Voice, will speak about her recent book Farmington: a women’s history, shining a spotlight on the little-known woman who lived much of her life in the shadow of her famous husband.
“Searching for Martha Davis Warner’s history feels, at times, like chasing a wisp of smoke,” Hubred-Golden writes.
Martha’s Farmington Observer obituary mentions only that she had been “active in community and civic affairs,” yet devotes a full paragraph to her husband’s career. But Martha contributed much to her hometown, and her legacy remains if you know where to look.
The book talk will be held in the Warner Mansion living room; it is free and open to the public. Following the presentation will be a Q&A session, as well as an opportunity to purchase the book ($10) and have it signed by the author. Afterward, guests are invited to step outside and view the statue of Martha, which stands amid the backyard gardens she once loved.
As a bonus feature, turn-of- the-century tunes will be played live on the Warner Mansion’s grand piano for the 15 minutes leading up to the presentation, beginning at 6:45 p.m. To set the atmosphere, museum volunteers will be wearing costumes from the early 1900s, giving the feel of a gathering that might have actually taken place in this house—100 years ago or more.