Female Seminary Historical Marker
Georgetown's history can be tied to the female seminary movement, a form of private educational instruction for women in the middle of the nineteenth century. The name "seminary" is a misnomer however, as the primary purpose of these institutions was to instruct women in a variety of subjects, rather than to instruct in religious endeavors only. In Georgetown alone at least three seminaries for women were established in the early part of the nineteenth century, as part of the movement that emerged around 1820 in the East and by mid-century in this area. Female seminaries fostered growth in literacy while offering instruction by professionalized teachers, many of whom taught at four-year colleges. Such was the case with the Georgetown Female Seminary: Professor J.J. Rucker, instructor of Mathematics at Georgetown College, taught at the Seminary as well. So committed to female education, Rucker and his wife opened the doors of their home (the historic Hawkins House on Jackson Street) to board the women after the tragic fire of the old Seminary Building c. 1868 left the structure in a state of disrepair.