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Maine Sea Coast Mission Hooked Rugs

Capturing life from the perspective of a fisherman's wife

By: Judith Burger-Gossart

According to records, Mary Ann Bunker hooked 150 rugs. This one is titled Autumn Birches.

The Roaring Twenties was a time of prosperity. The economy was booming, and the spirits of many were high. The status of women was on the rise, heralded in by the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. The Jazz Age was in full swing in places like New York City.

Yet, there was little jazz in Downeast Maine, particularly for fishermen and their families. For them, work was backbreaking, and it was hard to make ends meet even in the best of times. To increase the family income, the Maine Sea Coast Mission began a hooked rug program in the 1920s that put fishermen’s wives to work. This little-known endeavor has not garnered the attention that Waldoboro rugs and Grenfell Mission mats have received; however, its story is worthy of receiving a special focus.

This article is from the June/July/August 2014 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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