Katharine Lee Bates

Katharine Lee Bates graduated from Wellesley College in 1880, and worked as a professor there.


She became the head of the English Department there around 1880.

Image from Huffington Post

     In 1893, she accepted a summer teaching position at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. After having ascended the Pies Peak, and admiring the  “far expanse of mountain ranges and the sea-like sweep of plain,” she wrote the poem “America the Beautiful.”  


     The music by Ward was applied to the lyrics in 1904. The song since became one of the most popular patriotic songs. There has been effort to make "America the Beautiful" a national hymn or the national anthem.

      Katharine Lee Bates used to live in a house on Curve Street, a five-minute walk from the current entrance to Wellesley College.

       I keep imagining how she walked down Curve Street in the morning to her office at the English Department.

       Then one warm day in 1893, the young poet and English professor packed her bags, and rode the trains to Colorado. And the rest is history.

What the Katharine Lee Bates House looks like now on Curve Street in Wellelsey.