Contested Territory:
Transformation of the Woods

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Women's Work in the New Brunswick Lumber Camps

Woman Cook in the Woods

WOMAN COOK IN THE WOODS: A woman wearing an apron is standing next to a male cook and a man on a sleigh of logs being hauled by a horse.

Women have always worked, and when thinking about the history of work in the New Brunswick woods, it is important to remember that women also played a part in the history of work in these operations. The structure of woods work in the province historically consisted of small family-based “jobber” camps, which facilitated the presence of women even prior to the twentieth century. In the small communities of this province, the wives and daughters of loggers were often relied upon to cook in the lumber camps in order to maximize the gains of the family operation. While cooking was the most prevalent kind of work for women in the lumber camps, they also engaged in clerical work, and some women participated in the production of lumber and pulpwood. The women who worked as cooks in the lumber camps were often expected to perform other kinds of domestic work as well, and many women brought their children to the camp.

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