Alice Paul Institute

by Margo Harvey | Jun 24, 2008
Alice Paul Institute The Alice Paul Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the life and work of New Jersey’s most famous suffragist, Alice Stokes Paul (1885-1977), author of the Equal Rights Amendment, founder of the National Woman’s Party, and a lifelong activist for women’s equality. API’s mission is to educate the public about her life, preserve historic Paulsdale, develop future leaders, and work towards achieving women’s equality. Paulsdale, Alice Paul’s birthplace and family home in Mount Laurel, is a National Historic Landmark and serves as a center for celebrating women’s history and leadership. API was founded in 1985 and today has a membership of over 400 individuals and organizations.

Alice Paul was born and raised at Paulsdale. Her parents purchased the farm in 1883, when it encompassed more than 150 acres of orchards, farm crops and a small dairy herd. The Paul family farmed the land until selling Paulsdale in the 1950s. It remained a private residence until API purchased the property in 1990. The c. 1800 farmhouse stands on 6.5 acres of the original property.

The organization was operated by volunteers for more than a decade. Today, three full-time staff members, as well as volunteers, oversee the daily business and special events at Paulsdale. Since its inception, API not only has preserved the legacy of Alice Paul and her fellow suffragists, but also has taken a leadership role in bringing recognition to other organizations and historic sites that honor women.

The API also runs the Alice Paul Leadership Program. A new girls group has formed over the summer for girls entering fifth, sixth and seventh grades. Calling themselves GRAPEs (Girls Recognizing Alice Paul's Enthusiasm), the girls meet on the third Tuesday of the month to join in conversation and activities especially for girls. Please call 856-231-1885 for more info.

API's G.O.L.D. (Girls Overnight Leadership Development) program is for girls ages 8 and older. This overnight girls-only program includes tons of fun activities like arts and crafts, leadership exercises, movies, music, yoga, team games, and more! Girls leave with new friends, new skills, and cool stuff! G.O.L.D. takes place at Paulsdale. Registration fee is $30 (includes a G.O.L.D. T-shirt, evening snacks and breakfast). See table on the website ( for dates! Bring a sleeping bag, pillow and PJs. Think about this unique overnight program at Paulsdale for your daughter and her friends, a youth group or Girl Scout troop. For a registration form, or if you have any questions, call 856-231-1885 or e-mail

Find out about opportunities as a tour guide, committee member, slide show presenter, media assistant, sales coordinator or as an assistant for school programs and public events. Volunteering is flexible and most of all fun! Are you energetic, full of ideas and want to help out a great organization? Call 856-231-1885 or email for information.

Would you like to lead tours at Paulsdale? Train to become a tour guide at historic Paulsdale. Paulsdale will be open for tour season, March-November, twice a month with additional group and school tours as scheduled. They need you to help guide visitors around the site. You don’t have to have any prior experience; they will give you everything you need to lead a tour. Tour guiding is fun and easy to learn (they even have a script!) and is very flexible for your schedule (you only sign up for dates you are available!). If you are interested in becoming a Paulsdale tour guide, please call Kris Myers at 856-231-1885 or email to register for an orientation.

Paulsdale is on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places and in 1991 it was designated a National Historic Landmark. The exterior and interior of the house have been restored to their appearance during Alice Paul's residence, with modern accommodations that meet visitors' needs.

Come out to take a tour of Paulsdale! Tours begin with an outdoor walk around the property to see the farm landscape and the remains of the structures that once surrounded Paulsdale. Tourists will receive a map of the property to show the layout of the original farm. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes that can get dirty! Inside the house, tourists will learn about Alice Paul, the restoration/rehabilitation of the site and its present day use as a girl's leadership center. Though the house has no period furnishings, there is plenty of history within its walls.

There are two ways to take a tour of Paulsdale, on your own or with a group.

Open House Tours take place from March through November. Tours begin at 2:15pm and 3:15pm, and are approximately 45 minutes long. Tour prices are $5 for adults, $4 children (API members get $1 tour prices).

Group tours (minimum of 8 people) can be arranged for any date of the week, Monday through Friday. Groups have the option of a tour alone (45 min) or a combination of a tour and slide show presentation on the life of Alice Paul (please plan for 1.5 to 2hrs for both). If you are interested in bringing a group to tour Paulsdale, please contact staff at 856-231-1885 or at least three weeks before your desired visit. They will be happy to supply you with the names of local restaurants or caterers who will deliver lunches or refreshments for your group to Paulsdale. If you would like to bring your own food, please call to make arrangements. Tour prices for the combination tour and slide lecture for a group of 8 or more is $15 for adults and $14 for children.

The Alice Paul Institute is located on 128 Hooton Road in Mount Laurel. For more information, call 856-231-1885 or email Visit them on the web at

Article updated 6/22/08.

For more on local Organizations, visit our South Jersey Organizations page.

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Author: Margo Harvey


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