International Women’s Day 2021: Barb Graeper

by Braden Murray

Today, March 8, 2021, is International Women’s Day. Today is a global day of recognition to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and girls, and raising awareness of the work left to be done.

Today we will be posting photos and stories of local women who have been innovators, business owners, politicians, and essential to the growth and prosperity to Kenora and the surrounding area.

First up is Barb Graeper c1940—

Barbara Graeper was the first local women to become a wartime railway employee. She worked in the shops.

During World War II there was a shortage of men in the workforce, so women stepped in new rolls. Even the traditionally male-dominated railway industry enlisted women who donned the traditional blue overalls to keep the war effort moving. Dozens of women worked locally, and thousands worked coast to coast. In Kenora, Barbara Graeper lead the way.

Photographer: unknown

Did you know?

Group of Seven member, Frank Johnston, visited Kenora and painted “Serenity, Lake of the Woods” in 1922, a shoreline view of Kenora with it’s distinctive smoke stacks from the pulp and paper mills.

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