The new book Pioneers in Petticoats is being launched at a special event this Friday in Abbotsford.

New book details Abbotsford pioneer women from Trethewey family

Launch of Pioneers in Petticoats takes place Friday, Sept. 27

In the late 1800s, Mary Ann Trethewey was home alone in the wilderness with her young children.

When a stranger refused to leave her front porch, she pulled out the pistol concealed in her skirt. A nurse by training, she knew just where to aim. The astonished man escaped with a flesh wound in the arm.

This story, and many other tales, are found in a newly published book entitled Pioneers in Petticoats: The Trethewey Women 1800 – 1900.

The book is written by local author Julia Rohan and published by the Heritage Abbotsford Society. It will be launched at a free public event on Friday, Sept. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Trethewey House Heritage Site at 2313 Ware St.

When Rohan and her architect husband Ted Yudelson moved to Abbotsford from Quebec a year ago, one of the first places the couple visited was Trethewey House, the historic house museum located on the shores of Mill Lake. During their tour, executive director Christina Reid regaled them with stories about the house’s original owners, J.O. Trethewey and his controversial wife Reta Bell Massen.

These snippets of the past were all that were necessary to inspire the author to research the family’s history in depth.

She learned that Trethewey (pronounced “Tre-THEW-y”) Street was named after the family; that James Trethewey was the first man to create a townsite at Mission; and that Abbotsford’s Mill Lake was the site of the Trethewey sawmill that employed hundreds of locals in the early 1900s.

“I noticed that, though the men in the family were frequently the subject of local news, the women –their wives, sisters and daughters – were more or less ignored,” Rohan says.

“But these ladies played pivotal roles in the success of the family, and ultimately in the success of the communities they inhabited.

“Each of the 16 women in the book is unique, though some are more mysterious than others. Writing their stories, I grew to have affection for them all.”

The author will be on hand to read an excerpt from her work and to sign copies of the book. Refreshments will be served. Call 604-853-0313 for more information.

RELATED: Agents of Discovery comes to Trethewey House in Abbotsford

Just Posted

Decades of development damaged central Abbotsford’s watershed. Can new development fix it?

Watershed in poor environment health and threatened by climate change, city staff say

Cupcake Family Picnic officially launches at Honda Way in Abbotsford

Signed Vancouver Canuck Brock Boeser #6 jersey will hang in showroom until being auctioned off in March 2020

Students at old Abbotsford school trained for the war

Philip Sheffield High School had firing range in basement

Abbotsford’s Remembrance Days in 1939 and 1945 through historical archives

Abbotsford News reporting shows the anxieties of people living through conflict

Remembrance Day service at Thunderbird Memorial Square

Event in Abbotsford on Monday, Nov. 11 hosted by Royal Canadian Legion

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

UPDATE: Bargaining to resume in transit strike as bus driver overtime ban looms

Both sides might be headed back to the table to prevent new overtime ban

Brian Burke considered favourite to replace Don Cherry

Brian Burke is the 5-4 pick to be the full-time replacement next season

Major donor Peter Allard takes UBC to court to get his name on all law degrees

Philanthropist claims school not adhering to 2014 agreement for his $30-million donation

Environment Canada issuses snowfall warning for Okanagan

Snow is expected to be replaced with rain in the afternoon

Report predicts drug resistance likely to kill 400,000 Canadians by 2050

This increase is expected to cost Canada 396,000 lives, $120 billion in hospital expenses

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Most Read