MOUNT DESERT — The lives of fishermen’s wives on the Maine coast in the early 1900s will be in focus at the Sound School House, 373 Sound Drive, on Friday, Oct. 16, from noon to 1 p.m. Judith Burger-Gossart will discuss her recently published book, “Sadie’s Winter Dream: Fishermen’s Wives and Maine Sea Coast Mission Hooked Rugs, 1923-1938,” at the Mount Desert Island Historical Society Historian’s Forum.
Many fishermen’s wives were poor, isolated and had limited educational opportunities. To help ameliorate the condition of their lives, Alice M. Peasley created a hooked rug program in 1923. Under the auspices of the Maine Sea Coast Mission, the women produced about 650 rugs between 1923 and 1938. Peasley encouraged the women to use their imaginations, be creative and see the world in a new way. Sales of the rugs put much needed money into their pockets. As Carl Little noted, “Sadie’s Winter Dream” is about hooked rugs, but also about community, art and hard living.
Burger-Gossart has degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Columbia University Teachers College and the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. She has curated hooked rug exhibits, written articles and catalogs on rug hooking and given numerous talks on the subject. She is an author and antique dealer, and she designs and makes hooked rugs. Burger-Gossart and her husband live in Salisbury Cove.
Burger-Gossart will have hooked rug samples available to view, as well as copies of her book for sale.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.