Our Mill Girls

Starting in the early 1940’s, our shortage of manpower was starting to grow. Men who worked our machinery were enlisting to help in the War efforts. With the help of the Canadian government, we began recruiting young women to help keep operations running.

We sent our recruiters to northern Ontario, Newfoundland and even as far as England. They were successful and introducing enough young ladies to our community that we have been able to keep the mill running 24 hours a day, 6 days a week.

It’s difficult, dusty and noisy work, but these ladies proved they could equal the efforts of our men…and in some cases…dare we say, outpace. They became affectionately known as the Mill Girls.

The girl on the top right, brushing her teeth in the photo above is Betty Roscoe. She is not technically a Mill Girl but rather a true Hespelerite. Her father, William (Bill) works at the Mill and we all agreed to use her likeness as the poster-girl in our recruitment campaign. On the right, you are able to see the photos we used in presentations. Photos courtesy of Frank Johnston.

Mill Girls Remembered After 75 Years

Celebrating 75 years (1945 – 2020) since these brave young women graced our factory floors.

In 2020, an interview will be conducted on third floor of Building 3. Valerie Spring talks about our Mill Girls after conducting her own interviews in 1986.

Valerie’s interview is part of a larger Q&A to gather information for the 2022 release of the play, “Girls From Away”.

Family gathered around radio listening

We’re on the Radio in 2021!

In 2021, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) produces a radio documentary on our Mill Girls. We were delighted to see that some are still thriving in the community.

Gather the family around the radio box below and listen in. It’s really fantastic.