March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the groundbreaking women in history whose profound contributions have shaped our world today. From the pioneers of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement, to rallies that saved the Montauk Lighthouse, to even an athlete that helped launch the future of women's golf, and many more - Long Island has ties to numerous historic milestones and achievements for women. Long Island continues to be a region full of history-making women, female entrepreneurs shattering glass ceilings, and other tales of success. Continue reading to learn more about Long Island’s HERstory, and how to support the local woman-owned businesses making an impact in the region today.


Long Island’s HERstory Makers

Suffrage Movement

Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Harriot Stanton Blatch are mother and daughter duo who had summer homes in Shoreham and were key players in both the Suffrage and Abolitionist movements in New York. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is the author of the “Declaration of Sentiments” which expanded on the Declaration of Independence. Harriot then founded the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women and organized the 1910 New York suffrage parade.

You can visit Mary Louise Booth’s childhood home, The “Booth House” on Main St. in Yaphank. Booth served as a founding editor of Harper’s Bazar magazine, received letters from Abraham Lincoln and helped bring the Statue of Liberty to NY. Booth acted as a translator between Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (the French sculptor/creator of the Statue of Liberty) and government officials in New York.

Ida Bunce Sammis, born in Cold Spring Harbor, organized the first Women’s Suffrage club in Suffolk County, was the President of the Equality League and is one of the first two assembly women elected to the New York State Legislature in 1918.

You can find a statue in Cold Spring Harbor State Park dedicated to honoring Rosalie Gardiner Jones who was known as “the General” for organizing state-wide marches. She led two marches- the first from NYC to Albany where she led over 200 women over 175 miles in 13 days in December 1912 through bitter cold. The second was to the White house in March 1913 before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration.


The Founder of Newsday

Alicia Patterson launched Newsday in September 1940, despite her father firing her from being a reporter at the New York Daily News and told her a tabloid would not be successful on Long Island. Newsday won a Pulitzer Prize in 1954, became the country’s largest suburban magazine and helped shape the identity of Long Island.


Notable female pioneers

Helen Hicks, of Cedarhurst, became the first professional female golfer when she signed a promotional contract with Wilson Sporting Goods in 1934. She went on to become an icon in the female golf space by joining 12 others in founding the LPGA. Twenty-four years after she helped found the LPGA, Helen passed away from cancer in 1974. In June 2024, Helen Hicks will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort, ensuring that her contributions to the women’s golf game are never forgotten. 


Elinor Smith Sullivan, a pioneering aviator, went by the nickname of the “Flying Flapper of Freeport”. She flew her first plane at 6 years old and became the youngest licensed pilot at age 16 in 1927. Sullivan was named as the Best Female pilot in the US by the American Society for the Promotion of Aviation in 1930 at just 19 years old.


Barbara McClintock, an American Scientist and Nobel Prize-Winning Geneticist, worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1940. She studied chromosomes and how they changed during reproduction in corn. McClintock was met with a lot of skepticism from male scientists, so she stopped publishing her data. She wasn’t recognized for her work until she was 81 years old when she won a Nobel Prize for the discovery of genetic transposition.


Joan Whitney Payson was a prominent heiress and businesswoman who lived in Manhasset. As cofounder and owner of the Mets, she served as the team president until 1975.


Ellen McCormack, a Merrick mother of four and wife of a veteran New York City police officer, ran for president in 1976. In so doing, she helped put the anti-abortion movement on the political map.


Saving the Montauk Lighthouse

Over 40 years ago, Giorgina Reid saved the Long Island landmark as we know it today, the Montauk Lighthouse. The Coast Guard was ordered to abandon the lighthouse. On Earth Day in 1970, Giorgina, came out with her husband and volunteers from Rocky Point to do plantings on the cliff face of the Montauk Lighthouse to stop the erosion. In 1985, there was a tribute to Giorgina for her efforts and a letter written by President Ronald Regan of her courage. 15 years later, Reid and her volunteers saved the lighthouse from falling into the sea. Learn more by viewing the LITV episode linked below.


First Female Eagle Scouts

In recent years, three Long Island teens were among the nation’s first female Eagle Scouts. This accomplishment is the highest rank in the program and achieved by only 6% of all scouts. Three teens from Troop 186 of Wantagh worked for two years to receive the honor. Learn more about the accomplishments here.




Local Women-Owned Businesses to Support

In honor of Women’s History Month, the team at Discover Long Island has compiled a list of local women-owned businesses in the region that you can support this month—and every month.


AIREM Modern Beauty Rituals (Syosset)

AIREM Modern Beauty Rituals is Long Island’s first medspa inspired by Korean beauty rituals and backed by science. Owned by native New Yorker and Long Island’s first female facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Eunice Park, AIREM utilizes Dr. Park’s 10+ years of minimally invasive, non-surgical, and surgical techniques to help its clients achieve optimal skincare and beauty results. Inspired by her own journey of skincare and aesthetic wellness post-partum, Dr. Park has created a space for Long Islanders to rejuvenate, relax, and soak in self care with proven results.


The Bellport Inn (Bellport)

After traveling abroad for some time, Ivana Newman discovered the quaint village of Bellport in 2014 and was instantly drawn to Long Island’s magical beaches, the shimmering waters of the Great South Bay, the beautiful farms, and community’s charm. She set out to highlight Bellport’s diverse talents and community by opening the boutique hotel, The Bellport Inn, inside of a historic property dating back to 1889. The hotel opened in June of 2021 and features the work of local artists, authors, and artisans as well as an array of amenities.


Love Lane Kitchen (Mattituck)

A must-stop North Fork restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner year-round with tasty desserts, cocktails and local beer and wine. Love Lane Kitchen now offers online orders with contactless pay options.


Harbor Pet (Greenport)

Our pets deserve the best, its what inspired Kim Loper to open a boutique pet products and services shop, Harbor Pet, in the historic Greenport building. Here, shoppers will find an array of healthy treats, food, toys, and accessories for their furry friends.


Port Salt Cave (Port Washington)

Right on the Inspiration Wharf in Port Washington, Port Salt Cave offers one of the best deep relaxation experiences in its serene salt cave. Salt Therapy may help support the immune, nervous, and lymphatic systems, but it is one of the most calming experiences ever. Be sure to get some unique salt crystal jewelry from the cave’s Krystal Blu Boutique on your way out too!


Sannino Vineyard & B&B (Cutchogue)

Sannino Vineyard has been owned and operated by the Sannino Family since 2006. For the past 16 years, Lisa Sannino and her family have worked to create sustainable and delicious wine. The estate has been so successful that it has grown to include a highly accredited two room bed & breakfast as well as additional acreage for the Tasting House. Following Lisa’s suit, her daughters Marisa and Miranda have invested years of study to perfect viticulture, enology and sommelier and incorporate their knowledge into the Sannino family vineyard.


Sugared Beauty Bar (Roslyn)

Try out a new holistic beauty routine at Sugared Beauty Bar, where sugar, lemon and water are the all-natural ingredients used for your self-care upkeep!  Aside from the skincare and sugaring services offered, the Studio also offers Reiki class and utilizes Tibetan tones to center those in the classes.


Stony Brook Chocolate (Stony Brook)

For artisan-made chocolates, candies, and gift baskets made with love, visit Stony Brook Chocolate Works. For over 30 years, owner Bernice Fehringer has been crafting artisan chocolates and sweet treats for the community.


Macari Vineyards (Mattituck)

Visit the Macari Estate, set in the heart of Long Island Wine Country and led by winemaker Kelly Urbanik Koch who has been making wine with her family since she was a child. Experience Macari’s informative wine presentation in the contemporary tasting room, or if you prefer, enjoy the serenity of Macari Vineyards as you sip our wines on a covered deck set amid 180 acres of vines.


The Baker House (East Hampton)

outdoor eateries on Long Island

Enjoy a luxurious stay at one of the Hamptons finest bed and breakfasts, The Baker House. This award-winning boutique hotel has a long history dating back to the 1600s when it was a tavern, community center, meeting hall and a place for religious services. Fast forward to 1996 when Gary and Rita Reiswig turned it into an elegant and beloved hotel in East Hampton. Thirty years later, they sold it to the current owners, Antonella Bertello-Rosen and husband Bob Rosen, who revamped it with new amenities. Not only is this the place for exquisite events hosted on lush, terraced gardens and inside an elegant reception hall, but guests can also unwind in the hotel’s state-of-the-art spa facility. Relax, rejuvenate, and revitalize your mind and body with Baker House’s many spa experiences and wellness events. It’s worth noting that The Baker House spa services are reserved for guests of the hotel.

 Disset Chocolate (Cutchogue)

Disset Chocolate

From the heart of the North Fork of New York by a Chocolatier like no other... Ursula XVII, of Disset Chocolate, is a passionate chocolatier who has trained with world renowned pastry chefs while working at several Michelin starred restaurants and shops in Europe and the United States. From the time she was a little girl growing up in New York City, she spent most of her time after school baking muffins, cookies, and especially, playing all things chocolate.


Aquaries Candle Company LLC (Massapequa)

Aquaries Candle Co

Aquaries is a woman-owned, Black-owned small business creating modern sustainable handmade luxury goods in Massapequa. The company sells candles, all natural cold process soaps, body butter, and other goods that are all natural, organic, and vegan friendly.


Alexandra Accardo Studio (Huntington)

alexandra accardo

The services provided by Alexandra Accardo Studio include facials, body treatments, injectables, spray tanning, sugaring & waxing and lashes & brows. Alexandra’s knowledge, facial massages and extraordinary talent at creating customized facials leave her clients with healthy, glowing skin. She works with each individual to create a personalized daily skin care routine that fits both their skin and lifestyle.


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