The Powdermaker Sisters

Dr. Darla Shaw portrays Florence Powdermaker and tells the story of her sister Hortense, both Doctorates, who in the 1920s contributed greatly to their respective fields. Florence had a doctorate in medicine and psychiatry and Hortense was a doctor of anthropology. They lived on a 103-acre farm in Ridgebury for 30 years. Powdermaker Drive is named after them.

Read two of Florence Powdermaker’s books online.

Darla Shaw

By Darla Shaw

Dr. Shaw is a professor of education and women’s studies at Western Connecticut State University. Prior to teaching at WCSU, Dr. Shaw was a teacher and administrator in the Ridgefield School System. She has been teaching for 63 years full time and history and related research are two of her passions. To keep her college classes motivated, Dr. Shaw became a storyteller and now takes on the role of over 36 different historical characters. She will be sharing the stories of some of these famous Ridgefield women.