Photo Credit: Mrs. Kinney’s W.H.O. (We Help Others) Club. 1920. C194-082, Cumberland Museum & Archives.


The Cumberland Museum and Archives celebrates Women’s History Month with two unique events.

Life in a coal town like Cumberland was not easy for the women who settled here. Dangerous mining conditions and the loss of husbands and sons meant that many women struggled to make ends meet, in a world where only men were allowed to work in the coal mines. The best way to survive and care for the family was to take control. Join community guide, Marianne Bell, on Saturday, October 20 at 2pm, on a guided walking tour of the Village featuring stories of women who lived extraordinary lives making Cumberland their home. Register at, or RSVP by calling 250 336 2445.

The stories of women are often overlooked in ‘History’. The museum presents our third Living Library, ‘Herstory’, featuring women who brought their commitment to their community, their work, and their political life.

Leslie Baird has spent her whole life in Cumberland. For many years a community volunteer for the Victoria Day celebrations, she also helped organize the Union (UFCW) in her workplace, was first elected onto Village Council in 1990 and is Cumberland’s first woman Mayor.

Linda Genge Hargreaves was raised in Minto and Cumberland. She was active in politics and was elected to Cumberland Council in 1990 and 1993. Linda worked at the Cumberland Health Centre (now Cumberland Lodge) and was active in the Hospital Employees Union. Linda also volunteered for Miners Memorial and Victoria Day Celebrations among other community events, and served on various boards and executives.

Hear Leslie and Linda’s stories on Thursday, October 25 from 10:30 to noon at the Cumberland Museum and Archives. Admission by Donation.

Anna Rambow

Engagement Coordinator, Cumberland Museum & Archives