Listen Live
HomeNewsPioneering women of the Porcupine

Pioneering women of the Porcupine

International Women’s Day is on March 8th, and we’re going to devote our local history feature the next two weeks to the pioneering women of the mining camp.

Timmins Museum director-curator Karen Bachmann says International Women’s Day goes back to the mid 19th century, when women fought for better work conditions and wages, leading to establishment of the International Garment Workers Union.

In this area, Indigenous women were community leaders for hundreds of years before the gold rush, when women came here at the same time as men.

“Some as prospectors in their own right,” she notes. “Some came as camp cooks. Some young girls came in.  They were 16, 17 and they were on an adventure and they came in particularly to help with setting up those cook camps.”

- Advertisement -

Halfway houses for people on their way to the Porcupine were also run by women.

Bachmann says when men answered the call of the gold rush early last century… many brought their wives and kids. That resulted in schools and churches being built.

Women also developed businesses.

“There’s a Miss Christie who was in Cochrane and moved down to Timmins and in 1911 and 1912, was selling ladies’ hats and dresses,” Bachmann recounts, “which tells you there’s a lot of women here, because if you’re going to have a business and you’re doing that type of thing, it’s because there’s a market for it.”

Next week: A couple women who made their marks on the local political scene earlier than you might guess.

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading