submitted by the Musee Morinville Museum
Pioneer women worked extremely hard both in and out of the home.
Women were the primary keepers of the home and family. They kept the home clean, prepared meals, did laundry, and for those who had children, attended to them as well.
The Pioneer Women display at the Mussee Morinville Museum contains several implements used to create many of the baked goods typical in a home in early Morinville.
Cast iron stoves and ovens were the major appliances at the turn of the 20th century.
Homemade baked goods were a staple in early Morinville. Goods were prepared daily due to the lack of modern refrigerators and freezers. Many women baked all of a family’s bread at home, and home-baked bread was often a source of pride for many women.
In addition to sewing and repairing clothing, many women would make clothing at home, using cloth, patterns and a mechanical sewing machine when available.
Sewing patterns were common for making clothes. The picture on this sewing pattern is of Sybil Jason, a child actress with Warner Bros.’ who was the studio’s answer to 20th Century Fox’ star Shirley Temple in the 1930s.
Laundry was not the easy chore it is today. Pioneer women washed clothing by hand on washboards and wrung them out with implements that took a bit of elbow grease and muscle. Clothes were hung out on a clothesline to dry in the air.
In addition to laundry, cooking, cleaning, sewing, canning, and looking after children, pioneer women also took on tasks of milking cows, churning butter and collecting eggs.
The workday for many began before dawn, and many days ended well after dusk.
In addition to the Life of a Pioneer Woman display, the museum also has several exhibits on early pioneer women in Morinville, including Sarah Rondeau, a midwife.