Hobnails, Beads and Pearls: The Women of the Rockies

In the winter of 2016 Whyte Museum staff were invited by the Curator of Art & Heritage to choose a woman from Canadian Rockies past or present and represent them in a scrapbook. The scrapbook was placed in the new exhibit Hobnails, Beads and Pearls, located in the Gateway to the Rockies exhibition, which celebrates the women of the Rockies whether they were climbers or movie stars, horsewomen or homemakers.  

Below are the scrapbook pages and a short paragraph about the women represented. For more information on these amazing women readers can search the Whyte Archives Online Database or pay a visit to the Museum and discover the women throughout the Museum, the Archives and even in books in the Whyte Shop! The scrapbook is a work in progress as staff members and members of the public are welcome to submit pages to include in the book. Anyone interested can contact our Curatorial Team via info@whyte.org

Aileen Harmon

Aileen Harmon, daughter of famous photographer Byron Harmon, worked as a government naturalist in Banff. She was involved in local natural history groups and activities, especially with the Bow Valley Naturalists.

Beth Wooley Monod

Beth Wooley Monod is a local Banff artist who works in metalsmithing and glassblowing. Beth co-owns Fireweed Studio in Canmore along with 3 other artists, creating both artistic and functional pieces. 

Caroline Hinman

From 1915 to 1960, Caroline Hinman organized and led annual summer pack trips throughout the Canadian Rocky Mountains on her signature Off the Beaten Track tours, encouraging women to travel and see the world!

Dorothy Carelton

Dorothy Carleton is a war bride who came over from England in April 1946 to live with her husband Ed who became a warden in the Rocky Mountain backcountry after the Second World War. Dorothy is an active member of the Banff community and still attends Back to Banff Day at the Whyte Museum, where she bakes cookies in Windy Cabin.

Dorothy Cranstone

Dorothy Cranstone was a businesswoman and hotel worker in Banff at the Banff Springs Hotel and at the Mount Royal Hotel. Dorothy also worked for the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies as custodian of the Moore Home and as museum hostess.

Edith Sorenson

Edith Sorenson immigrated to Canada in 1957 with her husband and son looking for a better life. Settling in Banff, the young family was adventurous, leaving behind their jobs and entire family back in Denmark. 

Edith Wing

Edith Wing worked at the Dominion Cafe on Banff Avenue. Her husband Fred owned and operated the Cafe, catering to tourists and locals alike.  

Edme Moore

Edme Moore was the daughter of Col. Philip A. Moore and Pearl Brewster. Edme was a homemaker and wife of Charles Reid.

Georgia Engelhard Cromwell   

Georgia Engelhard was a mountaineer, photographer and writer who made 32 first ascents in the Rocky and Purcell Mountains. Georgia was the niece of photographer Alfred Stieglitz and his wife Georgia O'Keefe. She studied both photography and painting from Stieglitz and O'Keefe in her youth.

Helen Keller       

Helen Keller visited Banff in 1939 where she was made a tribe sister in the Stoney First Nations. The initiation ceremony took place at the Banff Springs Hotel during Banff Indian Days celebrations where she received a snowy eagle feather (the insignia of her Indian name "White Eagle Plume") from Chief Walking Buffalo.                              

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe came to Banff, Alberta in 1953 to film River of No Return, with Robert Mitchum as co-star. As can be imagined, this caused quite a stir in the town with various photo-ops around town and the Park. At one point during filming she injured her ankle and had to use crutches and then a cane to get around.  

Lizzie Rummel

Lizzie Rummel was a mountain guide who began working at Magog Lake, and eventually managed Skoki Lodge and owned and operated her own camp on Sunburst Lake from which she guided guests on trips. From 1966 to 1980 Lizzie worked as assistant and oral history interviewer at the Archives of the Canadian Rockies (now Archives of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies). 

Margaret Greenham 

Margaret Greenham, along with her husband Henry, operated a private girls' school in Banff known as the Mountain School. Margaret and Henry valued the natural environment around Banff as a great teaching tool and encouraged Arts and Drama as important parts of the curriculum. Margaret was instrumental in the Banff Literary-Dramatic Society, the Merry-Go-Round Theatre for children and Banff Home Industries, a local crafts society.

Mary Schaffer Warren 

Mary Schaffer was an American explorer, photographer and artist. In 1908 she reached Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park and returned in 1911 to survey the region. Schaffer also accompanied her husband Dr. Charles Schaffer on his trips in the mountains to study botany. Her photographs and drawings of floral specimens were used in his book "Alpine flora of the Canadian Rocky Mountains" which Schaffer helped complete with Stewardson Brown after her husband's death.

Olive Beil 

Olive Beil, formerly Olive Luxton, was a Banff local who gave much of her time to the community. Among her many community pursuits Olive was involved with the Girl Guide and Boy Scout organizations, and volunteered at Back to Banff Day where she would bake her famous shortbread cookies. 

Recognizing Relations Stoney First Nations Women: Peggy Bearspaw, Nancy Ear, Elizabeth Bearspaw, Jean Bearspaw, Flora (Crawler) McLean 

Many of the photographs of indigenous peoples contained in archival collections lack the names of the people who appear in them, especially women. The Recognizing Relations project at the Whyte Museum uses oral history interviews with local First Nations groups in order to identify and contextualize photographs from the archival collections at the Whyte Museum Archives.  


Popular posts from this blog

In Castle Mountain's Shadow: The Story of Silver City

The Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies

Banff Sanitarium Hotel: Mineral Springs, Monkeys, and Medicine