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The Founder’s Story | Hypatia-In-The-Woods


Retreat Center for Women in the Arts, Academe & Business

The Founder’s Story


Photo of Elspeth Pope, founder of Hypatia-in-the-Woods

Elspeth Pope - Founder

In 1991, Elspeth Pope, recently retired as a professor in library and information science, met Dr. Melissa Hardie, director of the Hypatia Trust in Cornwall, England. Melissa and her husband, Dr. Philip Budden, had created the Hypatia Trust, a library of published and personal documentation of the achievements of hundreds of creative women. Their collection of more than 15,000 items was housed in a fine building, in the garden next to their home. Their work – and Hypatia’s story planted the seed that grew into the dream that became the reality of Hypatia-in-the-Woods.

When Melissa and Phil visited Elspeth and her husband, Jim Holly, at their Hammersley Inlet home, they mutually agreed that the beautiful property and an existing small building would make a fine U.S. extension of Hypatia Trust, Cornwall.

In 1998, after Jim’s passing, Elspeth established a trust to hold her property as the home for Hypatia-in-the-Woods. She formed a board of directors to oversee its operation and guided the development of articles of incorporation and by-laws to govern the new organization.

Jim and Elspeth