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Anna "Annie" Cogswell Wood (Aug. 2, 1850, Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia - Feb. 9, 1940, Florence, Toscana, Italy) was an American writer, art Collector, teacher and world traveler.

She wrote under her own name and the pseudonym Algernon Ridgeway. Her books include "Westover's Ward," "The Story of a Friendship," "Idyles and Impressions of Travel, From the Notebooks of Two Friends."

Along with her teacher and companion, Irene Kirke Leache (1839 - Dec. 2, 1900), she founded a school for girls, The Leach-Wood Seminary, in Norfolk, Virginia. The Norfolk Society of Arts, an offshoot of the school's alumnae association, funded the construction of the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. They ran the Leache-Wood Seminary for nearly two decades before retiring to Europe, where Leache died in 1900.

Upon the death of her friend of 30 years, Anna founded the Irene Leache Memorial Collection, now a part of the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia.

Even if they died in Italy, they are both buried at Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, though not on the same plot. Epitaph for Irene reads "The thought of her past years is us doth breed perpetual benediction", that for Annie "Their works do follow them."


The Leache-Wood Seminary, facing Granby Street (from Artwork: Norfolk and Vicinity, Part VI, 1895 - Jean Outland Chrysler Library Rare Book Collection)
Annie Cogswell Wood was an American writer, art Collector, teacher and world traveler. She wrote under her own name and the pseudonym Algernon Ridgeway. Along with her teacher and companion, Irene Kirke Leache, she founded a school for girls, The Leach-Wood Seminary, in Norfolk, Virginia. They ran the Leache-Wood Seminary for nearly two decades before retiring to Europe, where Leache died in 1900. Upon the death of her friend of 30 years, Anna founded the Irene Leache Memorial Collection.


Annie Wood in Florence circa 1930 (Chrysler Museum of Art collection)

Source: www.chrysler.org/about-the-museum/irene-leache-memorial-foundati/

Further Readings:

Annie Wood a portrait: The life and times of the founder of the Irene Leache Memorial by Jo Ann Mervis Hofheimer
Paperback: 225 pages
Publisher: Irene Leach Memorial, Chrysler Museum of Art; 1st edition (1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 096605640X
ISBN-13: 978-0966056402
Amazon: Annie Wood a portrait: The life and times of the founder of the Irene Leache Memorial

More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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