The Women’s Institute was founded by Adelaide Hoodless. After her eldest child died at eighteen months, Hoodless was appalled when the death was attributed to improper infant feeding. To prevent future tragedies, she formed an organization to teach rural families a better standard of living.
The first Women’s Institute in Lambton County was formed in 1905. Programs offered included education, motherhood, home economics, household conveniences, and health. Community activities and social gatherings were also important.
During WWI and WWII many Women’s Institute members found a new role in life, driving motor cars, working in factories, assisting with Red Cross Services and farm labour.
Long-time Warwick Women’s Institute member Janet Firman shared some reflections about the organization in 2003: “It is here we meet and make many friends. It is educational, a learning of leadership, self-confidence, communication and working together.”
Nothing was too large to tackle and nothing small enough to ignore.
The Lambton County Archives is fortunate to have received many significant donations of material from our local Women’s Institutes. The material includes items such as books, convention materials, scrapbooks, photographs, booklets, correspondence, financial records and record books.
There is material from the following groups:
We are also fortunate to have Tweedsmuir Community History Books in our collection. For more information about these special history books, visit the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario website.
We have Tweedmuirs for the following organizations: