A committee has been formed in Marion to honor Elizabeth Sprague Pitcher Taber (1791 – 1888), who was born and raised in Marion. After a teaching career in Marion, she married Stephen Taber, a clock maker, and moved to New Bedford when she was 33 years old. After Stephen and their three children died, she returned to her hometown in 1870 when she was 79 years old and decided to put “some snap into her village.” Today, she is regarded as Marion’s Fairy Godmother, because she used the money she had wisely invested in mills, whaling ships, and railroads to build six important buildings for the people of Marion. Five of those buildings remain today: Town House (original Tabor Academy), Elizabeth Taber Library and Natural History Museum, Taber Hall, Congregational Chapel and Music Hall.
The Celebrate Elizabeth Taber Committee hopes to educate the community about Elizabeth Taber’s life and her significant contributions to Marion by commissioning a life-size bronze statue of her to be placed in a prominent location for all to enjoy. This celebration of her life will be coordinated with the 100th anniversary in 2020 of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote and the Lighting the Way project in New Bedford to honor remarkable women who have made a significant impact on their SouthCoast communities.
The Sippican Historical Society will match all donations to the project up to $50,000 and Tabor Academy has already made a significant leadership gift to honor the founder of the school. It is anticipated that the cost of the statue, landscaping, and a maintenance fund will be approximately $150,000 to be raised through a town-wide fundraising campaign. It is hoped that everyone in the Marion community will show an interest in supporting this worthy historic project.