Ada Louise Orvis

Time Period


Subject Categories

Arts, Government / Politics

Notable Facts

Prominent in Vermont and national political spheres, as well as active in supporting local arts and community. Participated in the Republican National Committee, founded both the Southern Vermont Artists, Inc. and the Woman's Organization for National Prohibition Reform. First female Village President of Manchester.

Personal Information

Primary Residence




Historical Significance

Ada Louise Simons, later known as Mrs. George Orvis, was the first female village president of Manchester, Vermont. She was also a member of the Republican National Committee in 1924, which was the first year women were given equal representation in the National Committee. During this year, she and Mrs. Barclay Warburton of Philadelphia took charge of the Elephant Shop at the Roosevelt, a center of election information.

In 1929, she left the Republican National Committee to be free to fight prohibition. She joined fifty women, representing 17 states, in Chicago to form the Woman's Organization for National Prohibition Reform. The purpose of this organization was to enlist five million women to fight Prohibition and to favor Temperance.

Orvis also sat with eleven men on the first board of trustees of the Southern Vermont Arts Center. She was the proprietor of the Equinox House, which lent its pavilion in 1924 to Francis Dixon and Frank V. Vanderhoof. Later, these two artists would form the group that has come to be called the "Southern Vermont Artists." In the 40's, the Board, comprised of twelve prominent residents and business owners, formed the Southern Vermont Artists, Inc. to insure the longevity of the budding art organization.

Working with young Peggy Beckwith, Orvis constructed a personal landing strip for the Equinox Hotel. Ingeniously, she had "Manchester VT" painted on the roof of the hotel with a large arrow pointing to the airfield she and Peggy had selected.

Organizations or Movements

  • Southern Vermont Artists, Inc.
  • Republican National Committee
  • Woman's Organization for National Prohibition Reform


  • Village President of Manchester
  • VermontProprietor of the Equinox Hotel
  • Manchester
  • Vermont

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • "W.O.N.P.R" Link

  • Southern Vermont's Art Center Link

  • "Not Afraid to Fly"

Additional Images

"A Short History of SVAC", Founders c. 1930's