The Women Up North, Way Up North

Mother Goose has been happily researching times in the Yukon during the construction of the Alcan Highway and also the Canol Project (which was an oil pipeline building project concurrent with the Alcan). Mother Goose is excited and pleased to inform that not only brave men worked these mammoth adventures, but women as well. Mother Goose is absolutely honking with delight to find these pictures at a very very interesting website about the Alaska Highway.

Here’s Audrey Coey, the first woman to drive a car on the Alaska Highway! I bet the fellas were mighty glad to see her coming up the road…

And here’s Belle Desrosiers who prepared and served food to highway workers near Champagne during the summer of 1942. Most First Nation women retained their traditional roles during the construction time. But some, like Belle, who lived near the highway began working for wages as launderers, cleaners, cooks, seamstresses. They also sold handicraft work. By the way, First Nation men were also employed by the construction contractors as guides and surveyors.

Margaret Freeman, on the far right, with four other women who were traveling from Toronto for jobs on the Alaska Highway. Margaret Freeman worked with the Public Roads Administration for 18 months. ca. 1942

And here’s Margaret wearing her best pair of rubber boots near Dawson Creek circa 1942.

Women seem to have fun wherever they find themselves, even in the Yukon Territories.

Having women in the Yukon made it more fun to go to the movies.

And, of course, there were invitations to dances.

Of course, Mother Goose realizes that life on the Alcan Highway wasn’t ALL fun and games. But how nice that there might have been SOME fun and games. Of course, Grampa Lawrence was married to Gramma Clara at the time, and she was waiting back home in Nimrod for him. So we would not expect to see him involved in any of these fun and games pictures…. He just kept building and working the Alcan Highway day and night. And I just want to say “thanks again” Grampa for doing whatever it took to support your family. You will always be loved and missed.

Lawrence and Clara Frame of Nimrod, Minnesota. Photo circa 1939.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bunn
    Nov 15, 2011 @ 17:11:08

    Oh Mother Goose your too funny…honking with delight. Great history lesson again! Love the pictures! Lots of smiling faces!


  2. Dianna
    Nov 15, 2011 @ 17:22:33

    I’m sure they were ready for some fun after working the long, hard hours that they did! Thanks again for the history lesson: honk, honk!


  3. eof737
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 04:12:33

    What a fascinating story… I hope you are planning to do some more writing on the subject; even get it published… It is an important part of the history of the area. The pictures were terrific too. 🙂


    • Natalie
      Nov 16, 2011 @ 07:31:21

      Thank you, Eliz! Yes, there will be more today from the Alcan Highway. As to publishing, I would love that, but I think there are enough books already written about the subject. Plus if I was tied up writing a book, I’d never find time to tell my little stories… 🙂


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