Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead

The 1961 Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada Report Book contains an article about the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead, and I quote:

 Plans were made at the last Biennial to purchase the birthplace of Adelaide Hoodless, founder of the first Women’s Institute in the world. A committee of FWIC and FWIO*, chaired by Mrs. Kieth Rand, have carried out the purchase of the Homestead and the three acres on which it stands, near St. George, Ontario. The committee were also asked to prepare an application to the National Historic Sites Board to have the Homestead set aside as an Historic Site and given perpetual maintenance. The application was turned down but the Historic Sites Board have offered to place a plaque at the Homestead this year. This shows their recognition of Mrs. Hoodless as a National figure and gives honour to the memory of our founder. Mrs. Keith Rand will be reporting the activities of her Committee and their special recommendations. The response to the Homestead Fund shows the interest of all members.

*Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada and Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario

Also contained in this report book is a subject entitled  Adelaide Hoodless Biography – again I quote:

When preparations were being made to present the Homestead to the National Historic Sites Board, it was necessary to have a biography of Mrs. Hoodless as part of the presentation. Mrs. T. H. Howes had been appointed to complete materials for the writing of a biography and had made progress on her file when the need for an immediate biography came up. She was then asked to prepare this and did what the Committee considered an excellent job. The Committee has now asked that this biography be made available in quantity, printed in booklet form, for sale at the Homestead and elsewhere as we see fit.

So this is the story of how both the Homestead became the property of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada, and the writing of the booklet on Mrs. Hoodless. By the way, Mrs. Howes was a member of the Alberta Women’s Institute and her home was at Millet – the town is located 40 kilometers south of Edmonton on Highway 2A.

Many times I have referred to this 24 page booklet when looking for information on Mrs. Hoodless, and it has rarely disappointed me. I realize it is now out of print, but I am hopeful that some one with greater computer ability than me will find a way to share this little gem with more of the public. Mrs. Hoodless, working in the horse and buggy days achieved much on behalf of rural Canadian women, and through the efforts of others, with women around the globe. Yes, she is credited in Canada with the founding of the Women’s Institutes, the  Household Science courses in Ontario schools, among other achievements, and she received International recognition for her work and was picked by a British publication as its “Most Distinguished Woman of the Year.” What year? It doesn’t say!

In this ‘triple crown’ month of Mrs. Hoodless’ life we remember her birthday, the final day of her life, and that momentous day of February 19, 1897 when the first Women’s Institute was founded at Stoney Creek, Ontario. Hers was a life of  energy, dedication and achievement that has led to many accomplishments in all corners of the world and “we’re not done yet!” Happy Birthday, Addie!

For Home and Country, Ruth Fenner, BCWI Provincial Historian

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One Response to Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead

  1. Margaret Mertler-Little says:

    At one time, my Mom, Freda Mertler was the President of the BC Women’s Institute and she often spoke of Adelaide Hoodless and her work. There were always roses in her garden and now in mine in memory of the work that Adelaide did on behalf of women. Thank you for this memory.

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